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Living in Aarhus, Denmark – Interview With an Expat

Moving to and living in Aarhus, what is it really like?

Denmark always scores high on lists of best countries to live in, best quality of life, etc. This interview with Grace, who chose to move to Denmark I, therefore, found very interesting and a great way to find out more about what life in this highly praised country is really like!

This interview is part of the Ask an Expat series. In this series I interview people living all over the world but outside of their home country. I try to help paint an honest picture of the ups and downs of life abroad, and share tips about moving to the place the expat now lives in.

Life in Aarhus, Denmark

living in Aarhus, Denmark

Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Name: Grace
Age: 22
Hometown: London, UK

Her story:

“I graduated from university in the UK in July 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.

Like many other graduates, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do next in my life! I knew I didn’t want to keep studying Sociology at a higher level, but I didn’t feel quite ready to get a full-time job.

My boyfriend is Danish and we began to joke about me moving to Denmark to work or study.

I was a little apprehensive about the idea at first but then I thought ‘why not?’, it would be a great experience and a chance to see what it’s like living in Scandinavia.

In August 2016 I made the move to Aarhus and I am so glad that I did!

I am studying towards a marketing qualification here and I also work part-time for a fashion company.”

Interview with an expat about life in Aarhus
Interview with Grace about moving to Aarhus

Why Did You Move to Aarhus?

“Of course it was convenient that my boyfriend lived here and already had an apartment.

However, it was also important to me that I found something that I really wanted to do whilst I was here, so I was lucky that I found a great education program.”

What Do You Like About Living in Aarhus?

“I love how safe it is here.

In the UK I tend to feel a little on edge when I’m walking alone, especially at night, but here I don’t get this feeling at all.

I also love the size of the city; it is not as big as Copenhagen or London. It is just the right size to still feel busy but at the same time, cozy as well.”

What Do You Dislike About Living in Aarhus?

“I wish that I could pick all my friends and family up and move them here!

Apart from that, there is not much that I dislike about living in Aarhus. The only thing I can think of is that some things, like groceries and eating out, are a lot more expensive here than they are in the UK.

In England I tended to go out for dinner with my friends and family a lot as it is fairly inexpensive, but because of the prices here in Aarhus it is not a frequent occurrence.”

What Is Your Favorite Thing to Do in Aarhus?

Moving to Aarhus: one of the best places to live in denmark

“I love to go to brunch on the weekend down by the canal that runs through the center of the city.

A lot of the cafes by the water have buffet brunches, which are a lot cheaper than eating out at dinner-time, with so much yummy food.

It’s a really nice relaxed way to spend a lazy morning.”

What Is Your Favorite Place to Hang out in Aarhus?

“A really great place I like to go to eat is to Aarhus Street Food as it is huge and has so many different food options.

For nightlife, I really like a bar called Hornsleth which is in the city center. It gets really busy on the weekends and they play good music over a couple of different rooms. The website looks a little strange and the club itself has a lot of odd artwork and writing on the walls but I promise it’s a nice place!

For a more cozy and relaxed atmosphere I like to go to the Latin Quarter of the city to places like Café Jorden.”

What Is the Expat Community like in Aarhus?

“I have never reached out to expat communities or forums here in Aarhus but I know that they do exist.

One example is the International Community Facebook page – they regularly post about expat events that are happening in and around the city.

Another option is the Aarhus Internationals Facebook group

Any Tips for Moving to / Living in Aarhus?

a picture of Møllestien, a street in Aarhus
Møllestien, a famous street in Aarhus

“Accommodation is hard to come by here. Many of my friends struggled with finding apartments or rooms when they moved to Aarhus.

I think a good tip for this would be to try and make friends with some Danes who can let you know when they hear of a friend who is looking for a roommate or a renter as it is not often that they will appear on letting websites.

If your move to Aarhus is your first time living in Denmark make sure you apply for your CPR number as soon as possible. This number will allow you to open a bank account, get a job, and a travel card.

The process of getting a CPR number can take months so be sure to get the ball rolling as soon as you move to Aarhus because without it, things are a little trickier.”

Any Resources You Found Useful During the Process of Moving to And/Or Building a New Life in Aarhus?

“I browsed mostly government websites and also websites like Work in Denmark to find out about the formalities of moving here and what I needed to do when I got here.

New to Denmark is the official website with information about immigration.

I also read a book called ‘The Year of Living Danishly’ by a British author and journalist Helen Russell. It gave me a humorous taste of what to expect when moving here and it has been very accurate!

In terms of building a life here, an essential website that is also available as an app is Rejseplanen. It is available in both English and German and is a quick and easy way to check out bus and train times.

Of course, the Google Translate app has also been a lifesaver. Most Danes speak great English but it is always handy to have and it has saved me a few times!”

Also Read: Things You Should Consider Before Moving to Another Country

Is There Something You Just Have to See or Do When You Are in Aarhus?

“The biggest tourist attraction here in Aarhus is the ARoS art museum and I can see why. It has lots of interesting exhibitions of mostly modern art, but the stand-out feature is the circular glass rainbow walkway that is on top of the building.

That is definitely a must-visit if you find yourself in Aarhus!”

About Aarhus

Life in Aarhus, Denmark

Aarhus is the main city on the Jutland peninsula in Denmark. With a population of just over 300,000 people, it is Denmark’s second-largest city and the city with the youngest population.

Aarhus offers an elegant mix of cosmopolitan city and small-town charm, with lovely pubs, restaurants and romantic places. It is often said to be one of the best places to live in Denmark.

Den Gamle By is its old town open-air museum, with centuries-old timbered houses. Nearby are the greenhouses of the Aarhus Botanical Garden.

In the center, the multistory ARoS art museum shows global contemporary works. The underground Viking Museum explores early local history. Nearby, Aarhus Cathedral has restored 14th- to 16th-century frescoes.

Aarhus is known as the city of cafés and has for many years been known as a nesting box for Danish musicians and bands, primarily in mainstream pop and rock music.

The city hosts the largest cultural festival in Scandinavia, Aarhus Festuge (Aarhus Festival).

Also Read:

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What is Aarhus, Denmark, really like? Interview with an expat about moving to and living in Aarhus.

Images thanks to Visitaarhus.com
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Author: Sanne Wesselman
A traveler, wanderer, digital nomad, and entrepreneur. Owner of marketing company A to Z Marketing.
I spend most of my time living and working abroad and use this website to share "the good, the bad and the ugly" of traveling and living abroad. Visit the About Me page for more info.

10 thoughts on “Living in Aarhus, Denmark – Interview With an Expat”

  1. I am looking for expats who are currently working or used to work in Aarhus. I would like to learn more about your experience in regards with the high disposable income and the cost of life in Denmark (more specifically aarhus). Please feel free to contact me 🙂

  2. For anyone from outside of the EU it will depend largely on your professional qualifications and the easiest way to move to Aarhus would be to find a job first (which, depending on your skills can be easy or difficult).
    I would recommend checking out this government website for more information about moving to Aarhus and Denmark in general: https://international.kk.dk/

  3. Hi, I’m a South African, who was married to a Dane and immigrated to Denmark. I found it to be the worst choice of my life. The character of my wife changed from easy going to a hardliner with the rules. I’m in my fourth semester of an engineering degree at an international school. The medium of instruction is English. Many students and myself find Danes quite racist and xenophobic, and for me to say this coming from apartheid South Africa, should be taken seriously. The school is dealing with a lot of students suffering from depression and suicidal tendencies because of the isolation from society and the difficulties faced as a foreigner in Denmark. The government is continually taking steps to push foreigners and foreign students out. 20 million Kroner of tax payers money goes to organisations spread across Denmark, to help foreigners integrate because Denmark cannot hold onto skilled labour yet at the same time they make biased laws against us. Skilled workers come here and cannot integrate into Danish society and leave. If Denmark is so nice then why have they had a shortage of engineers for the last ten years? The right wing Dansk Folke Party is seen as the equivalent to Nazis from a foreigners perspective. 3 years ago you could get citizenship within 5 Years, now is changed to 8. They are paying out English medium educations at a time when the computing age is moving towards English. Grace is one of the lucky few expats to have a good life in Denmark. Denmark has some of the highest consumption of anti depressants in the world, their elderly are left to fend for themselves or sick in old age homes. I have lived in London, Nairobi and South Africa, and I would choose any of those countries despite their difficulties, over Denmark. I remain it Denmark to complete my studies and no other reason.

  4. Nice post – I’m hoping to go to Aarhus in September so will definitely take some of Grace’s tips onboard!

  5. I love hearing about people who just went for it and moved away. Aarhus sounds so nice! I’m glad you’re loving it there


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