The city is the third biggest in Denmark, with a population of about 192,000, and it’s the perfect place for those who like to go off with a bang. Despite its size, Aalborg has more liquor licences than any other city in Denmark.
It’s also home to the country’s version of Gordon Ramsay, chef of the year Morten Nielsen. If you want a seriously orgasmic meal, hang the cost (don’t even look at the bill) and get yourself seven courses with wine, at Mortens Kro. Fresh local seafood and produce feature heavily in the dishes – think roasted halibut fillet on a bed of leeks and home-smoked blue mussels spiced with anise, served with cauliflower gratin, anise froth and strong lobster syrup.
Just make sure you wear forgiving clothes or you may need to let out your dinner pouch if you don’t. If you can move after you’ve polished off all seven courses and made room for coffee and chocolate truffles, you’ll probably want to work it off in Aalborg’s most famous street, Jomfru Ane Gade (Virgin Ane street). It’s brimming with cafes, bars and restaurants and, unfortunately, teenagers.
That aside, it’s seriously pumping from Saturday night till Sunday morning and you’re destined to find somewhere to shake your booty.
Ask someone to mix you a mean cocktail, preferably with Aalborg’s local potent liquor, aquavit.From horny teenagers to horns on Viking helmets, don’t miss Lindholm Høje, an ancient Viking burial ground with about 700 excavated graves. It’s the region’s prime tourist attraction. Be sure to visit the museum to find out how the plaited warriors lived back in the day.
They might not have had canons, but from the look of their weapons it seems life was never dull. It was from Aalborg that the Vikings launched their many predatory pilgrimages. Head down Jomfru Ane Gade on a Saturday night and it might seem as though little has changed.
The North Jutland Museum of Art (Nordjyllands Kunstmuseet) has a huge collection of contemporary art, with permanent exhibits of about 1500 paintings, sculptures and mixed media works dating from 1900. It has a fine collection of works by Danish artists. The building, which opened in 1972, is also famed for its use of natural light and flexibility, with moving walls allowing areas to be opened or closed to suit an exhibition.
Design for life
Denmark is famous for its design shops, and while Aalborg may not rank up there as a designer haven, it certainly has enough to keep you entertained for a while. Don’t miss the glass-blowing workshops for some well-priced local art (see www.lundglas.dk)
At the Franciscan Friary museum take a modern elevator down to the Middle Ages and check out the well-preserved medieval ruins of the friary. The walled cellar and foundations of the friary chapel can be seen in the museum along with human skeletons, some of which are have only been partially extracted from the wall.
Established in 1968 by the Lange family, Lange Handicrafts is a ceramics and glasswork shop, gallery and sculpture garden in one. It’s set in an old farmhouse in the centre of Aalborg and has a range of well-priced, individual items and is open every day except Sunday.
The Danish way
While you’re in Aalborg, why not try some of the traditional local delights:
- Pickled herring
- Rye bread
- Seafood, especially lobster and oysters
- Aquavit – schnapps
- Smørrebrød – open-faced sandwiches
- Frikadelle – Danish rissoles
- Wienerbrød – Danish pastry
- Saltlakrids – salty liquorice
- Pølsevogn – Danish sausage