Lonely Planet, the global travel publisher, has ranked Aarhus number two in its list of the ten best destinations in Europe for 2016. Aarhus, with its population of just 330,000 people, stood out due to its “cool-cat neighbourhoods, head-turning architecture and culinary wizardry.”
Although Copenhagen is traditionally the better-known city in Denmark, Lonely Planet said Aarhus is quickly gaining on the Danish capital. And its international profile is only expected to rise. In 2017, Aarhus will receive the titles of European Capital of Culture and the European Region of Gastronomy, which are expected to increase tourism and give it some much-deserved attention.
Lonely Planet, which offers affordable travel plans across the world, also highlighted Aarhus' harbour front, which includes Scandinavia's largest library housed in the new Dokk1.
Dokk1 holds the largest public library in Scandinavia. Photo: Gardar Rurak/Wikipedia
The guide also pointed to “show-stopping” developments like the Iceberg building.
Isbjerget, known as Iceberg in English, is a residential building located in Aarhus. Photo: Villy Fink Isaksen/ Wikipedia
Lonely Planet also heaped praise upon renowned museums like ARoS and Moesgaard.
ARos is one of the largest museums in Denmark. Photo: EHRENBERG Kommunikation/Wikimedia
However it's not only its architecture that landed Aarhus on this ranking. Music festivals and other events plus the city's increasingly lauded restaurant scene also contributed.
The Peloponnese peninsula in Greece led the Lonely Planet list. Venice (Italy), the Dordogne region, (France), Lviv (Ukraine), Warwickshire (England), the Extremaduras region (Spain), the East Coast of Tenerife (Spain), Textel (The Netherlands), the Northern Dalmatia region (Croatia) rounded up the other top ten European destinations for 2016.
Aarhus Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard called the designation "a huge scoop" for the city.
"We are so incredibly happy and proud of this. It is likely the most well-read travel guide in the world," he told news agency Ritzau.