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What to Do in Aarhus, Denmark, 2017’s European Capital of Culture

What to Do in Aarhus, Denmark, 2017’s European Capital of Culture

The city  has been recognized as both the European Region of Gastronomy and the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2017.

The restaurant and museum heavy Danish city has a monumental year ahead. You would be pardoned for not knowing much about Aarhus. The small Danish city on the rugged Jutland Peninsula has long played second fiddle to its slicker sister city, Copenhagen. Second cities are usually second citied for a reason, but being one is part of Aarhus’s appeal. It still feels like a place that belongs to the locals. The many cobbled streets ,, age old buildings and university campus give it a small town quality,,, while it’s innovative dining scene and many acclaimed museums offer an impossibly international quality. If Aarhus Danes have anything to do with it,,, we have no doubt they will succeed. So much for playing secon fiddle. This year,,,  Aarhus is coming in FIRST   !!!!!!!!!

Unlike Copenhagen,, where boats chug past Noma so tourists can get a glimpse  (let alone a reservation ) at Rene Redzepi’s Holy Grail,,, Aarhus’s dining scene is riddled with chefs that,, although less recognizes ,, are no less skilled. In Aarhus,, there has been a movement where all the talented chefs do not want to move to Copenhagen,,, they want to stay here. Redzepi started a trend ( in Copenhagen ) and now Aarhus has caught on,,, says Stephen Haar, from Food Organization of Denmark.

Up until four years ago,, the Michelin guide in Denmark had not gone beyond Copenhagen. Now,,, Aarhus has three Michelin starred restaurants. The restaurant scene in Aarhus was quite boring up until five years ago, says Haar. It is in these five years that the city has seen a 30% increase in people spending money at restaurants. if you give people a good dining experience, you create a market for good food. But,,,, perhaps real stamp of approval as Denmark’s next great food city came when it was named the European Region of Gastronomy for 2017.

the restaurant scene in Aarhus is not just good,,,, it is pioneering. At Restaurant Haervaerk,, where they source 98% of their produce from nearby farms, the chef makes everything in house.,, including a collection of fermented drinks. At Restaurant Domestic,, they ferment, pickle, brew, and juice all their own products. Everything from the fish sauce to the kombucha is made there. Many chefs there are investing in farms, so they can develop produce themselves.

But food is not the only ingredient that is igniting Aarhus as 2017’s go to destination, On top of becoming a food mecca,,,  the city has been named the European Capital of Culture. This is the first time one city has received both titles in the same year. In North America,,, we may be far removed from the importance of these titles,,, but in Europe,, it is kind of a BIG DEAL. When you are nominated as the cultural capital of Europe, it is a signal of quality and diversity,, says Brent Sorensen, head of communications at Aarhus 2017. The idea is to share the great diversity of European and international culture, he continues. Aarhus has been gearing up for this event since 2005, and no opportunities to prove the cities merit has been missed. Throughout the year,, cultural events will take place all over the city. From ballets to art installations and interactive dinners,,, Aarhus will become a cultural explosion.

The city has always had a strong cultural scene, so events aside, its myriad of museums will continue to draw a cultural crowd. The architecturally  impressive Mosegaard Museum is an innovative, interactive museum dedicated to archaeology and ethnography. This might sound boring in theory ,, until you see the captivating exhibitions ,,,, a display of the oldest bog body in the world  and the surround sound room ,,, which offers visitors the chance to experience a REAL Viking attack.  For art lovers ,, a slew of rotating and permanent exhibitions. Its most renowned permanent piece sits atop the museum building,, an iconic , bright rainbow panorama walkway created by Danish- Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson that wraps around the roof.

For the city of Aarhus, sustainability is crucial. So even at the end of this momentus year. Aarhus will remain as relevant as it is in 2017. There has been a vision for infrastructure. We are trying to think about the legacy. We hope that by strengthening the city,,,, Aarhus will become an international trend and innovative.

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