The city of Århus has the richest and most varied cultural life in Jutland. Its chief attraction, and a major venue for cultural events, is the Musikhuset Århus . The Århus Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Opera perform here frequently, among other attractions. For a look at what's happening here and in other venues, pick up a copy of the monthly booklet What's On in Århus at the tourist office.
You'll have to speak Danish to enjoy most productions at the Århus Theater, Bispetorv (tel. 89-33-23-00), which has five stages with a total of 1,200 seats. It was designed by Hack Kampmann and opened in 1900. Local actors and visiting stars entertain in a wide repertoire early September to mid-June.
Svalegangen, Rosenkrantzgade 21 (tel. 86-13-88-66), presents an up-to-date repertoire, the latest in Danish drama, music, cabaret, modern dance, and guest artists. The company stages about 40 productions annually. Entré Scenen, Grønnegade 93B (tel. 86-20-15-36), is an experimental feature of Århus's dramatic life. A varied range of performances, often by foreign artists, appeals to a wide spectrum of ages here. Guest opera and dance theater productions are also staged at Gellerupscenen, Gudrunsvej 78 (tel. 86-25-03-66).
Opened in 1982, Musikhuset Århus, Thomas Jensens Allé (tel. 89-40-90-00), is the home of the Århus Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Opera. Tickets for most events range from DKK50 to DKK1,000 ($8.50-$170/£5-£100). Programs are presented on the great stage, the small stage, and the cabaret stage, as well as in the amphitheater and on the foyer stages, where free performances are presented year-round. The foyer, open daily 11am to 9pm, is the site of the box office, an information desk, a cafe/restaurant, and souvenir shops.
The most popular, charming, and fun dance club in town is Train, Toldbodgade 6 (tel. 26-12-58-00), where a crowd that's under 35 or 40-ish dances on any of three floors of what used to be a warehouse down beside the waterfront. The top floors feature disco music from the '70s and '80s; the middle and lower levels are devoted to an English-style pub and louder, more jarring techno. The site is also a venue, at irregular intervals, for live concerts. There's sometimes, but not always, a cover charge that can range from DKK45 to DKK80 ($7.70-$14/£4.50-£8), depending on what's on that night.
Århus abounds in bars and taverns, most of which charge no cover unless there's live music on special nights. The oldest hostelry in town, Thorups Kælder, Store Torv 3 (tel. 86-12-04-14), was founded by Cistercian monks in the 13th century. Here you can quench your thirst in historic surroundings. You'll find us at our favorite bar and cafe, Café Under Masken, Bispegade 3 (tel. 86-18-22-66), next door to the Royal Hotel. This is the creation of a well-known local artist, Hans Krull, who designed the iron sculptures adorning the gateway to the hotel. If Salvador Dali were alive and could see the decor, he would call it surreal. Krull and some of his patrons apparently picked up the flotsam and jetsam of the world for decor. The only Aussie bar in Århus, The Billabong Bar, Skolegade 26 (tel. 86-13-27-15), is a typical Outback-style bar, its raw edge adding to its charm. There's live music every weekend, and sports fans gather here to watch major events on TV, all the time sipping Australian beverages. Gyngen, Mejlgade 53 (tel. 86-19-22-55), is the venue for rock, techno, and the like.
Bryggeriet Skt. Clemens, Kannikegade 10-12 (tel. 86-13-80-00), is a combined brewery and public house which offers freshly tapped, frothy draft beer brewed in coppers in the cellar, matured, and served in glasses. The bartender's special is a 1-liter kwak glas (a round-bottomed glass held upright on a wooden stand). Regardless of which beer you select, this glass is designed for massive consumption. In addition to the pub, you can also order various Danish dishes here if you decide to stick around and dine.
Gays and lesbians gather to dance and enjoy the cafe at Pan Club, Jægergårdsgade 42 (tel. 86-13-43-80). The cafe is open Friday and Saturday 10pm to 6am; the dance club is open Friday and Saturday 11pm to 5am. Cover is DKK60 ($10/£6) after midnight.
An Amusement Park
Tivoli-Friheden, Skobrynet (tel. 86-14-73-00; www.friheden.dk; bus: 4), is a pale imitation of the Tivoli in Copenhagen; the scale is much smaller here, but there is some of the same sense of fantasy. Set in a forest about 3.5km (2 1/4 miles) south of Århus, it's bright and modern, appealing to families and couples from the city and the surrounding communities. Entertainment includes an open-air theater, art shows, concerts, clowns, rides, and a scattering of restaurants. The park is open only mid-April to mid-August. Although the park opens every day at noon, the rides and attractions don't open until 2pm. Everything closes down at 11pm. Admission is DKK65 ($11/£6.50) adults, DKK45 ($7.70/£4.50) children 4 to 11.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.