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ADVENTURES BY THE FJORD IN AALBORG
An ancient Viking city overflowing with fascinating attractions, Aalborg’s lust for life is simply infectious! The luxury Radisson Blu Limfjord is in the heart of the city next to beautiful Limfjord and the main pedestrian area with its charming cafés and shops. Close by, don’t miss elegant Jens Bang's House from Renaissance times, and the outstanding Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, not to mention Tivoliland amusement park.
Historically, the city gained notoriety as the rebel Skipper Clement’s headquarters during the Count’s Feud, but in 1534 he was defeated by Johan Rantzau’s troops after the raid on Aalborg. Skipper Clement was captured and later beheaded at the County Council of Viborg in 1536.
The city’s fishing activities, upon which its prosperity was based, were replaced by industrialization in the 1800s, and many large companies were established during this period. The cement factory Aalborg Portland is among the companies still in existence today, while Aalborg Shipyard, like many other harbour areas in the country, is being transformed into an area with residential housing, businesses, cultural centres and a seafront promenade. Take a walk in the area, there are many exciting things taking place and even more in the pipeline.
Like most other places, the development is on the upturn, and industry is being replaced by knowledge. Currently, Aalborg houses several educational institutions, including Aalborg University and University College Nordjylland. The many students naturally leave their own mark on the city, as do the many cultural institutions that make Aalborg one of the country’s most active music and culture cities.
As a guest at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Aalborg, you will have every opportunity to take advantage of everything the city has to offer. You live centrally in the middle of the old city centre and within walking distance of the fjord, Aalborg Castle, the famous Jomfru Ane Street, and the shopping street Bispensgade. Easy and convenient when you want to explore the city and the surrounding area, and it is great to return to the wonderful facilities and amenities after a busy day.
If you walk down the side streets you will find several specialty shops, small clothing and jewellery boutiques, often with their own design, as well as handicrafts, galleries and cafés. Here you can rest your feet while enjoying a drink and watching the crowds around you. You will also get to experience a unique environment with beautiful old houses and cobbled streets.
Located at Nytorv is the Salling department store, which has recently been renovated and offers a wide range of products, including a supermarket. If there is something you need, you will surely find it in one of the city’s shopping centres.
Schnapps has been produced in Aalborg since 1846, and even though you can order a Red Aalborg and the many other variations throughout Denmark and in many other countries – it is said to be the reason why Aalborg is written with Aa – there is something special about buying a bottle from the actual place.
On the first Saturday of the month, the huge boiler room at the cultural centre Nordkraft is transformed into a large food market with fresh produce from local producers and specialties from abroad. Flea markets are also very popular. Here you will meet students in search of a piece of furniture for their dorm rooms or a good, second-hand winter coat, collectors looking for the very thing they are lacking in their collection, connoisseurs hoping to find a gem, and everyone else enjoying themselves while walking around and browsing – and perhaps falling for an irresistible item, which they absolutely do not need but simply cannot do without.
Like most other places in Europe, Christmas markets have also become a popular gathering place in Aalborg, where you have fun at the different stalls, buy Christmas presents, and warm up with a glass of steaming mulled wine, or glögg as it is known locally.
As a contrast to Jens Bang’s pompous Renaissance building, you could stop by the Utzon Centre at the Castle Square, which was designed by Jørn Utzon. The purpose of the centre is to showcase architecture, design, culture, and art in a higher form of synthesis.
If you are in Aalborg during the summer months (and it is not windy), the city’s landmark, Aalborg Tower, is worth a visit. Erected on Skovbakken and 55 meters tall, it is the city’s highest point with an amazing view. Going to the top in the external elevator, the highest of its kind in Scandinavia, is an experience in itself. Your visit may be further enhanced by knowing that the tower, which was built for an exhibition in 1933, was supposed to be torn down after the exhibition, but it turned out to be too expensive, so it is still there. Next to the Aalborg Tower is KUNSTEN (THE ART), an architectural masterpiece designed by Alvar Aalto. KUNSTEN is currently being renovated, but you can admire the building from the outside.
Take a trip across the fjord to Nørre Sundby. Here you will find Lindholm, a living museum that provides great insight into life in ancient times and the Viking Age, both in theory and practice. The exhibits are based on discoveries made in the city and surrounding area, and you have the opportunity of sailing in a Viking ship and visiting a Viking house.
If you are travelling with children, the Aalborg Zoo is a great place to visit. Here you will find the polar bears, which are known by many visitors because their cubs have been followed by webcam for longer periods. Lions and tigers thrive in their new facilities, and the little baby monkeys are absolutely adorable. One particular section showcases the African village with antelopes, zebras, ostriches, and dwarf hippos. Naturally there is also a playground, where the children can burn off some energy.
There is so much more to see in Aalborg. If you have particular interests, please ask the staff at the hotel, they will gladly help you on your way.
Every year, Aalborg puts opera on the agenda. 10 days of arias, duets and entire operas on film and stages, in squares, workplaces and cafes, with the new Music House as ground zero. You do not need to be an incarnated opera fan to sing along with La Donna è mobile – just make up your own lyrics. Everybody knows the melody.
Without food and drink, no one lasts long – but there is certainly no reason to go without in Aalborg. The city boasts a large variety of cafés, bars, and restaurants; all you have to do is take your pick.
Try something different by participating in an Aalborg Beer Walk. With a tasting glass and six coupons in your hand, you can try out the city’s pubs in an affordable way.
Aalborg’s new waterfront offers great gastronomic experiences. Enjoy an extraordinary dinner on the old, and now retired, icebreaker Elbjørn. The setting is unique with a tempting menu. You can also stay on land and visit one of the ‘mainland’ restaurants. You will still experience great food and a view of the fjord.
Jomfru Ane Street – or just the Street – next to the Radisson Blu Hotel, is a story in itself. During the day you can enjoy a nice lunch or a cup of coffee in one of the Street’s delicious restaurants and cafés. Most of them offer outdoor seating during the summer. When evening falls, the night owls come out and the street is transformed into a party zone with music and dancing all night long. There is a reason why Jomfru Ane street is known as the largest café, restaurant, and nightclub street in the Nordic countries.
The Jutland inns are famous, and some of the best are located in and around Aalborg such as the legendary Scheelsminde, which is located inside a manor house from 1808 with an adjacent park. Enjoy the inn’s classic cuisine based on seasonal ingredients with a bold, modern touch.
If you prefer to socialize at the hotel rather than going out after a day full of experiences, you can enjoy a delicious meal at the hotel restaurant Vero Gusto. It serves Italian cuisine with pizza, pasta and steak, all made with premium, fresh ingredients. A happy ending to a great eventful day.