Welcome to Aalborg

Aalborg is a multi-faceted city full of contrasts. A city with a zest for life with all of its pleasures.  From fast-paced fun to peaceful oases. From a foaming draft beer to sublime gastronomy. From the Viking Era, through the Middle Ages, to modern art.

Aalborg is the little big city, where all major city attractions are easily reached, as everything is within walking distance. These factors provide the perfect conditions for an inspiring trip to Aalborg – the capital of North Denmark. Aalborg is also a city undergoing a rapid transformation – from industrial town with smoking chimneys to a modern city.

The former grey, industrial town has developed into a shimmering city of culture and knowledge. The signs of this transition are pronounced; old industrial buildings are replaced and fascinating architectonic gems arise all over the city and provide Aalborg with a completely different cityscape.

The signs of this transition are especially evident along the city’s waterfront, which has much to offer to outdoor and culture enthusiasts. With its many open-air sports, recreational areas, and several cultural centres, the waterfront invites both active guests and those with zest for life. Take a walk on the waterfront and you will come across the major powerhouses of culture; the old power station Nordkraft, the architectonic, astonishing Utzon Center, and Musikkens Hus (The House of Music).

Nordkraft supplied the people of Aalborg with electricity and energy. Today, the former coal-fired power station in the centre of Aalborg generates a completely different kind of power – cultural power. Nordkraft joins culture, sports, and recreation, by keeping sports facilities, a cinema, theatres, and restaurants under one roof – all in a fusion of contemporary architecture and authentic industrial styles that create a unique atmosphere. With its raw and industrial yet stimulating look, Nordkraft truly reflects the spirit of Aalborg.

The Utzon Center, situated perfectly at Aalborg waterfront, was the last work of the Aalborg-raised architect Jørn Utzon, best known as the architect who designed the world famous Opera House in Sydney. He described the Utzon Center as “a place where good thoughts could come together and… a centre of excellence for architecture and humanity in the future.”

Musikkens Hus is not only the latest architectonic lighthouse of Aalborg, but it has also quickly become a national and international rendezvous of music. The construction of Musikkens Hus is one of the most ambitious and impressive projects in the history of Aalborg and is designed by the world renowned Austrian architect firm Coop Himmelb(l)au.

Finally, but not less prominent in terms of culture and art, you find KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art only a short walk from the city centre. The only art museum designed by the renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto to be found outside of Finland. Recently, it was completely refurbished in accordance with the original drawings; now, a truly impressive, architectonic masterpiece in white marble, housing a fine art collection and an outdoor a sculpture park. 

Sleep Well in the City of Aalborg

Aalborg has around 1,700 hotel rooms, all within walking distance of both conference venues and the city centre. Many of the rooms in new hotels or in hotels that have been refurbished recently. Hotels are available in all styles: Crisp minimalism, a refined gentleman’s club atmosphere, or classic Scandinavian modernism. Aalborg has it all. The hotels have ratings up to four stars; no matter what category you decide on, Aalborg offers exceptional value for money.

The History of Aalborg

Aalborg is characterized by eras of the past. In and around the city, you will find relics of the past with stories to tell. The city’s roots go far back, and the spectacular gravesite and dwellings at Lindholm Høje are the best examples of that. Lindholm Høje stems from the late Iron Age and Viking Era, and it is a magical and impressive sight that meets you as you stand and gaze at Lindholm Høje’s 700 or so graves and 150 stone ships distributed all over the hills. Lindholm Høje was buried in sand in the 9th century due to heavy sand storms that ravaged the area and forced the Vikings to decamp. Aalborg’s location at the salty fjord, Limfjorden, made the city the obvious choice for a market town. In 1342, it became a reality, and the town quickly became one of Jutland’s (Denmark’s mainland) largest market towns. Naval officer Skipper Clement was one of Aalborg’s best-known figures of the 1500s, and he initiated an uprising among peasants in the town during the civil war, The Count’s Feud, in 1534. Skipper Clement’s forces were captured in Aalborg, and the 7,000-8,000 men died in a massacre. Skipper Clement was later captured, and in 1536 he was executed at Viborg’s parliament. In the 1800s, industrialization came to Aalborg and many factories emerged. The town was best known for its many industrial chimneys and despite the transformed city centre, Aalborg is still a major industrial city, however, the signs of it are less visible these days, as the industry has moved outside the city centre. The cement factory Aalborg Portland is a product of the industrialization, and despite having celebrated its 125-year anniversary, it is still a strong player in the international market today. Modern industry is also present in Aalborg, and today it plays a major role in the wind turbine-fairytale.

Aalborg – Youth and University City

Aalborg has a strategic and clear vision of being Denmark’s best youth city, and, for that reason, students have a high priority here. In recent years, a lot of money and time have been invested in Aalborg’s pursuit to attract new students, working people, and residents to the city. Turning Aalborg into an attractive university city has been an overwhelming success. The number of students has grown, and this huge boom is reflected in the population figures; today, 1 in 4 residents of Aalborg municipality is a student. In order to accommodate these students, approx. 4,500 new student housing units have been, and are being, built in Aalborg in the period of 2009-2017. In fact, some of the new housing on the waterfront, is for students only.

Not only Danish students choose to study in Denmark. Around 2,500 international students live and study in the city now. Aalborg municipality takes care of the new students by a “Roof-over-your-head guarantee” policy. The housing guarantee applies to all new students looking for a place to live. Aalborg municipality has prioritized to offer students the opportunity to live in attractive and centrally located youth housing.

Aalborg has gone from industrial town to modern knowledge city with a global perspective. The international perspective, in particular, has been decisive for the local development. With an original, high-quality education and research environment, with Aalborg University as its flagship, Aalborg has been put on the world map of university cities.

In the autumn of 2017, Aalborg University was ranked as the best university in Europe and the eighth best university worldwide for engineering according to the Best Global Universities list published by U.S. News and World Report.

In the European Commission’s analysis (Feb 2016) of 83 European cities, it was concluded that the citizens of Aalborg are the happiest in Europe. Business Insider wrote; “The industrial city in the north of Denmark isn’t exactly world famous, but utilities like a symphony orchestra, a world class university, and a beautiful waterfront, make it not surprising that Aalborg’s citizens are the most satisfied in Europe.”

It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the city of Aalborg! We hope you will enjoy your stay.

Visit Us

  • VisitAalborg, Kjellerups Torv 5, Level 13 9000 Aalborg
  • Annike Seerup Hjorth
  • +45 99 31 75 23
  • ash@aalborg.dk
  • VisitAalborg, Kjellerups Torv 5, Level 13 9000 Aalborg
  • Linda Riisgaard
  • +45 99 31 75 02
  • lr@aalborg.dk