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Aarhus possesses the fun-loving atmosphere endemic to small university towns. The hip cafes, cozy bars and chic nightclubs are eminently student-friendly – the city is given life by the student population which has tripled since 1965. The ever-expanding menu of attractions, entertainment and cultural destinations in this small college town is the mark of a city on the rise. Aarhus is a top 100 conference city in the world and a center for education and research, home to Scandinavia’s largest educational institution, Aarhus University. While Copenhagen might steal the show internationally, savvy students are increasingly looking to Denmark’s alternative capital – a place that leaves you in no doubt as to why Denmark scores so highly on those livability lists.

Aarhus' average growth is 4,500 people per annum, and the city has the youngest demographics in Denmark – 48,500 residents are under 18, and one in every seven are students. A visionary and enterprising population spurs a vast repertoire of cultural opportunities – the 2017 European Capital of Culture is constantly carving out new spaces for dynamic drinking, dining and design.

Things to do in Aarhus:

Historical sites

Timeworn but vibrant, the old-world cobbled streets and toy-like houses of the Latin quarter intersect with distinctly modern perks – excellent restaurants, artistic cafes and quirky shops make the area an enticing space for students. The uniquely picturesque architecture of Møllestien similarly allows visitors to imbibe the ancient Viking heritage of Aarhus – the quaint little lane has existed since before 1300, and the crooked half-timbered houses exude ancient charm.

Monuments

A monument to the Danish royals, the elegant 19th century mansion of Marselisborg Palace is the site of the Changing of the Guard every noon when the royals are in town. Aarhus Cathedral is also not to be missed – this magnificent Gothic structure is bedecked with fresco paintings, glorious stained-glass windows and a magnificent golden altar. For something entirely different, check out the The Iceberg – this architecturally innovative, visually striking feat of urban brilliance has helped transform the former container port into a dynamic new community.

Art and Culture

Den Gamle By is a unique open air museum chronicling the bygone life of Aarhus, from the days of horse-drawn carriages to the 1970s. Pricing is significantly discounted for students, who can amble through the eons for only 10 EUR. Students of the arts will be drawn to the rotating and resident collections of ARoS museum, which features an exciting 150m circular skywalk in technicolor. The city’s penchant for creativity can also be observed in the Moesgarrd Museum, where cutting edge architecture and prehistory collaborate among the rolling landscape of Skåde.

Entertainment

Brave Tivoli Friheden, a theme park slap bang in the middle of the city, for an unconventional and somewhat extreme break from your studies. For more traditional relaxation, the Botanical Gardens are an urban oasis with an eclectic collection of fauna which would be of interest to any biologist. Finally, the newly erected quarter Aarhus Ø is an upcoming hub for students – it is a mosaic of cafes and shops only minutes’ walk from Navitas campus, where activity on the buzzing waterfront includes the Ø-Haven city garden and opportunities for a sea swimming course.

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