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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Party With the Culturati in Aarhus

Home to a stunning, rainbow-roofed museum and a rapidly rising arts scene, Denmark’s second-largest city is stealing more than a bit of Copenhagen’s thunder.


1. Where to Stay

Scandic Aarhus City offers contemporary design in the city's historic center.  

Save a few extra kroner for beer by squeezing into Cabinn (from $90), a tidy option that’s popular with young travelers. The nautical-themed rooms are pint-size and utilitarian, but perfectly located on the Aarhus riverfront—the banks of a formerly underground waterway that, in recent years, has been uncovered and transformed into a bustling promenade with bars and cafés.

Get a taste of the much-heralded new Scandinavian design movement blanketing bigger cities like Oslo and Stockholm at Scandic Aarhus City (from $149), a modern, boxy structure that opened in the heart of the city’s historic center last summer. The first hotel of its kind in Aarhus, its 228 rooms are spacious and elegant in a subdued way, while the lobby bar attracts locals for orange flower gin fizzes and D.J. sets on weekends.

Go green at Hotel Guldsmeden (from $178), where everything from the all-fair-trade bath products to the biodegradable wooden key cards meet standards for ecofriendliness. Located on a cobblestone street in the trendy Latin Quarter, the 27 rooms here feature an eclectic take on French colonial style, mixing Persian carpets with Balinese beds and bamboo fiber sheets. The hotel serves organic breakfasts under fruit trees in the back garden and also offers bikes for urban exploring.

Published on Feb 8, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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