Aalborg, Denmark

Aalborg Castle
Aalborg Castle

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Overview

There are at least a couple of different reasons why it would be possible to argue that Aalborg is watered down — but not in the traditional sense. The fourth largest city in Denmark is far from diluted when it comes to experiences; this is not a destination where cruise passengers will find it difficult to find something to do after disembarkation.

In this case, water is essential — and that’s not only because the city owes much of its historic development to seaborne trade. The Danish destination is also intimately connected with aqua vitae, or the water of life. That’s because Aalborg is home to De Danske Spritfabrikker (“Danish Distillers”), which is the world’s largest producer and exporter of aquavit.

Aquavit is a big thing in Aalborg

Water also continues to play an important role in the form of trade, though. This port city is northern Denmark’s most important hub for import and export. It is divided by a branch of the Limfjord, which, in fact, divides the entire Jutland peninsula in two: the fjord connects the North Sea with the waters off the east coast of Denmark.

The Limfjord has a special position in the history of the city. It is believed that the fjord was the reason why people decided to settle here some 1,000 years ago. Lindholm Høje, a hill overlooking the city, offers an insight into what life once was like here several hundred years ago (see below under Do Not Miss).

There’s more the modern-day city than its history, though. Featuring more than 300 restaurants and bars, this destination is quite famous for its nightlife. Particularly along the Jomfru Ane Gade in the city center — one of the most well known streets in all of Denmark. A street with cafés and restaurants during daytime, it changes character at night when it becomes the area around which the city’s nightlife revolves.

Aalborg is pedestrian friendly: Walk from the ship to the city center

Aalborg For Cruise Passengers

The port of Aalborg is located only a few minutes walk from the city center, with its pedestrian streets, supermarkets and department stores.

Do Not Miss

Lindholm Høje is the largest burial place in Scandinavia from the Iron Age and the Viking Age. With more than 700 graves, as well as a new Viking museum, this is something for those interested in history.

Aalborg Søfarts- og Marinemuseum is the maritime museum. Among the items on display: a submarine once in service for the Danish Navy, and a gas turbine powered torpedo boat. The museum also tells the story of Danish shipbuilding. Among the ships to be built in Aalborg were two cruise ships for Carnival Cruise Lines — Tropicale (built in 1981) and Holiday (built in 1985). Both ships left Carnival’s fleet a couple of years ago.

One of the highlights of the Historical Museum is the Aalborg Room. Dating from 1602, this is considered the best-preserved interior in Denmark from the Renaissance. The museum reaches farther back in time than that, though, telling the city’s story over the last 1,000 years.

Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg is a museum for modern and contemporary art. The permanent collection consists of some 1,500 paintings and sculptures from the 20th century. The Finnish architect Alvar Aalto designed the building.

Aalborg's Zoo is one of the largest in Scandinavia

With a wide variety of animals, Aalborg Zoo is one of the largest zoos to be found in Scandinavia.

Sunbathing might not be what you associate with Scandinavia, but the fact is that not far from Aalborg are some of the finest beaches that this corner of the world has to offer.

Skagen is the farthest north that you will get in Denmark. Here, at the very tip of North Jutland, it is possible to experience the works of the famous Skagen School of painters.

For a different outdoor experience, consider a round of golf at Aalborg Golf Club — considered one of the finest golf courses in Denmark.

Aalborghus is a charming castle from the mid-16th century, located close to the port.

Dronninglund Castle traces its roots to the 13th century

Not far from Aalborg, you will find Dronninglund Castle. Named after Queen Charlotte Amalie, this mansion north east of Aalborg was originally built as a monastery in the 13th century.

Vor Frue Kirke is one of Aalborg’s most well-known landmarks. Although the church is of newer date, the spot where it is built has been church grounds since the 12th century.

For an altogether different experience, visit Casino Aalborg in the central parts of the city — close to the Jomfru Ane Gade (see above).

Shore Excursions

A number of shore excursions in and around Aalborg can be available. Examples include:

  • Walking tours of the city will take in many of the experiences mentioned above, under Do Not Miss.
  • In addition to attractions in the city center, tours by coach or car can include sights such as Lindholm Høje and Kunsten Museum of Modern Art.
  • Skagen, and the collections of paintings that can be found here, can be the destination on some shore excursions.

Getting Further

The distance to Denmark’s second-largest city, Aarhus, is 51 miles/82 kilometers. Copenhagen is farther away: the distance to the Danish capital is some 260 miles/410 kilometers.

Visit Aalborg Official Web Site

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