Experience Aalborg: The Danish metropolis ranked in the Top 10 by New York Times

by Nathalia Hentze Nielsen

When highlighting what Denmark has to offer, media from all over the world usually zoom in on Copenhagen and as a result, our capital has time and time again made the most prestigious lists.

So it came as a major surprise to just about everyone when Aalborg in 2019 was highlighted as one of the world’s most attractive travel destinations.

It was none other than The New York Times, one of the world’s largest media institutions, that ranked Aalborg as number eight on the list “52 Places to Go in 2019.”

The list catapulted Denmark’s third-largest city ahead of international metropolises like Las Vegas and exotic Costalegre in Mexico and deemed it a tourist destination worthy of visiting even from across the pond.

Here in Aalborg, it helped push a sense of pride that has been growing in recent years, marking that the city is more than just Jomfru Ane Gade, Aalborg University, and AaB.

An astonishing transformation

Aalborg has truly undergone an astonishing transformation from an industrial, gray port city to a metropolis of architecture and culture.

Take for instance the beautiful harborfront where you can experience architectural art in Musikkens Hus and the Utzon Center.

Or the area in Østre Havn, which has been named Northern Jutland’s Manhattan due to the grand buildings that have risen along the waterfront. Here students rent apartments from 3.000 kr a month while neighboring penthouse apartments that sell for as much as 18 million kr.

It is a contrast that is tangible but it is also one of the reasons why the European Commission named Aalborg the happiest city in Europe in 2016.

Utzon Center
Slotspladsen 4
9000 Aalborg

The Utzon Center is located on the harborfront.

More great gourmet experiences

The city is also on a crazy culinary journey where several gourmet restaurants are making a name for themselves, and it seems that only a bit of stubbornness from the Michelin Inspectors is separating a place like Restaurant Tabu from receiving the coveted Michelin star.

Other notable gourmet projects are top chef Dennis Juhl’s sustainable creativity at Textur, the Asian kitchen at Nam, and, of course, Restaurant Fusion that still maintains a sky-high level of expertise.

Their latest initiative is a luxury experience based on the Japanese concept of Omakase where the chef has completely free reins to cook up approximately 20 different servings of food of his own choosing.

A mayor who runs with his city

Aalborg may be one of the biggest cities in Denmark but everything is still relatively close. Whether you want to walk by the water, go to the stadium or look at an art exhibit, you will not have to travel more than ten minutes from the city center.

The New York Times wrote the following about Aalborg’s placement in the Top 10:

“Viking long ships once glided through Aalborg’s mighty Limfjord. Today, the city is turning its most famous natural asset into an artistic one.

Wildly innovative buildings have sprouted on Aalborg’s shores, including the Utzon Center, designed by Jorn Utzon, the architect of the Sydney Opera House.”

Aalborg’s mayor, Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, is a prime example of our city’s comfortable atmosphere.

You are just as likely to find him running in the company of the Crown Prince of Denmark during Royal Run (an annual running event) as you are seeing him opening a new burger restaurant. There is no shortage of those in Aalborg we might add so if you love good burgers, you are in the right city.

Of course, it goes without saying that the mayor is proud of the accolades given to Aalborg by a media like The New York Times:

“We have made sure that the harborfront encompasses both people, parks, and cultural gems. A lot has happened but it has happened in moderation. It sets the city apart from other European cities that build on every available surface,” he told Jyllands Posten.

The Crown Prince of Denmark and Aalborg’s mayor, Thomas Kastrup-Larsen.

World-famous project launches

We are not exaggerating when we say that the plans for the area formerly known as Spritfabrikkerne are huge.

Named Cloud City, the groundbreaking project will among other things feature one of the world’s largest pieces of installation art made out of glass by the renowned Argentinian artist, Tomás Saraceno, and is expected to attract people from all over the world.

Cloud City is still some way off with an expected finish date in 2022 but Aalborg is still worth visiting, not least because of its location.

From Aalborg you have an easy gateway into the beautiful nature of Northern Jutland. If you want to combine big city vibes with a relaxed atmosphere during summers, you can visit Skagen where lunch or dinner at Ruths Hotel is a must.

Whether you want to stroll through the pretty scenery or explore cute coastal cities, it is easy to combine with a vacation in Aalborg.

So if you have to take just one piece of advice this year, it is to listen when an acclaimed media such as The New York Times declares Aalborg a must-visit.

In cooperation with Visit Aalborg, we have chosen a number of places to visit when you are in Aalborg.

Lindholm Høje

Located close to Aalborg is one of Denmark’s unique ancient monuments, Lindholm Høje. The site houses as many as 682 graves and 150 stone ships dating all the way back to the Germanic Iron Age and the Viking Age.

Utzon Center

The beautiful Utzon Center, which is located on the harborfront, was designed by the famous architect and local Aalborg-boy Jørn Utzon who is primarily known for designing the Sydney Opera House. At the center, you can look at art or express your own creativity through Lego and Virtual Reality.

Musikkens Hus

On top of an amazing view over the Limfjord, the architectural gem that is Musikkens Hus can also boast of its reputation as being one of the best concert halls in Europe.


Nordkraft has undergone a huge transformation to become one of Europe’s largest and most impressive cultural centers where you can experience both theater, concerts, art exhibits, and cinema.

Vestre Fjordpark

Vestre Fjordpark is a 165.000 square meter recreational area next to Limfjorden filled with numerous activities such as swimming, springboard diving, ball games, parkour, and sunbathing.

Vestre Fjordpark

10 places with delicious food in Aalborg


Mentioned in the Michelin guide and ranked as Aalborg’s best gourmet restaurant.

Read more here


Cocktails and gastronomy at the highest level. Run by the former head chef at Ruths Hotel.

Read more here


Asian inspired with a Nordic twist. Made the front page of the food magazine Gastro in 2019.

Read more here


Named Denmark’s cheapest gourmet experience by the magazine Euroman. You can order 10 servings for less than 400 kr.

Read more here


New and exciting gastronomic project that focuses on local ingredients in several servings.

Read more here

La Locanda

Award-winning Italian restaurant that provides an authentic experience.

Read more here

Karma Sushi

One of Denmark’s best sushi restaurants.

Read more here

Restaurant Fusion

Here you can enjoy sushi, fish, and shellfish at a high level. Especially known for their Omakase with over 20 servings.

Read more here

Hos Henius

You will find Aalborg’s best smørrebrød (traditional Scandinavian open-faced sandwich) at Hos Henius, a cozy restaurant decorated in 60s style.

Read more here

Mortens Kro

One of Aalborg’s oldest gourmet restaurants that still manages to maintain a high level.

Read more here


Experience more of Aalborg at VisitAalborg.

MyAalborg is sponsored by Port of Aalborg – bringing the city together

Del artikel

Andre læser også