Aarhus Day Trips – The 7 Most Interesting Cities & Towns Near Aarhus

Aarhus day trips

If you’re a traveler staying multiple days in Aarhus, or if you are an exchange student or expat worker living in Aarhus, it makes sense to explore some of the nearby cities. Here’s a guide to the best day trips from Aarhus – a great opportunity to get some inspiration on where to go!

There’s no doubt that Aarhus is an insanely cool city to visit. But why limit yourself to just Aarhus? There are countless other destinations in the vicinity, and they usually aren’t hard to get to. Below you’ll find a list of the best day trip options, and information on how to get from Aarhus to all of these places.


Travel time: 1h30m
Best way to get there: Bus, car

Billund has the second-largest airport in Denmark, and if you’re flying to Aarhus, there’s actually a high chance that you will be landing in Billund.

But Billund’s most famous venue is not the airport. Rather, Billund is famous for Legoland. A huge attraction park based on Lego – and in case you didn’t know, Lego was actually founded in Billund!

For families, this is an absolute must, but we would argue it’s a great experience for everyone. Billund is not a large city by any means, in fact it’s rather small – but Legoland alone makes the trip worth it.

It takes an hour and a half to drive from Aarhus to Billund by car or bus, so it isn’t too long. Visit Legoland’s website to prepare your trip, view the entry prices and to see what the park has to offer. There are other attractions too, such as Lalandia and the Park of Sculptures.


Travel time: 1h30m
Best way to get there: Train, car


When we talk about Aarhus day trips, it would be foolish not to mention Aalborg. The two cities have so many things in common, in the sense that they are both offering an increasing amount of cultural attractions, and that they are both student cities.

They visually look like each other, and the two cities have a similar vibe. The only major difference is that Aarhus is a bit larger and has more things to do – but you’ll probably enjoy a trip to Aalborg as well.

Located in North Jutland, Aalborg is the largest city of its region. We have described it extensively in other articles, so be sure to check some of them out if you are interested in going there:

If you take the fastest train, the InterCity Lyn, it will only take an hour and a half to reach Aalborg from Aarhus. Iit’s an obvious city to visit on a day trip if you have some time to spare while staying/living in Aarhus. We highly recommend it, since there are many things to do in Aalborg. It has some of Denmark’s best museums, and its nightlife is famous: Just visit the iconic street Jomfru Ane Gade on the weekends! It’s full of bars and restaurants and probably has the craziest nightlife in Denmark.


Travel time: 45m
Best way to get there: Train

Randers has a special reputation. It is hard to explain in English, but people from other Danish cities often make jokes about citizens from Randers. A stereotype is that men from Randers are typical troublemakers and a bit eccentric. Most people are not really serious when making these Randers jokes, and the people from Randers often join in on the joke, laughing at the stereotype themselves, and sometimes purposely living up to it.

But with all that aside, Randers is actually an interesting and entertaining city. As the sixth most populous Danish city, it is not too small by any means. There are decent shopping options, a few nice attractions (such as the tropical zoo, the city hall, the art museum), and it is not far from Aarhus. With the direct InterCity train headed north, the trip takes a bit less than an hour. If you’re driving by car, you can reach Randers in just over 30 minutes from Aarhus as the freeway connects the two cities.


Travel time: 45m
Best way to get there: Train, bus, car

The mid-sized town of Silkeborg has a very central location in Denmark. It offers some nice sights, such as the old town square, the church, the steamboat Hjejlen (the world’s oldest of its kind) and the town museum, conveniently located inside an old manor from 1767.

Silkeborg also has some beautiful nature surrounding it. A lot of Danish families go camping in the area in the summer since there are some nice open fields, lakes and hills. The hill Himmelbjerget should be visited, as you can get a great view out over the local landscape.

So even though Silkeborg isn’t the fanciest destination, it is an extremely enjoyable place to spend a day or even a week. If the Danes love taking regular trips to the town of Silkeborg and its surroundings, foreigners might enjoy it as well!

If you want to visit Silkeborg, you just need to head directly west from Aarhus. It takes about 45 minutes by train and 35 minutes by car (depending on traffic).


Travel time: 30m
Best way to get there: Train

Horsens is a proper working city. It has a port and in recent years, several Danish industrial companies have moved to the Horsens area.

For a city with just shy of 60,000 inhabitants, Horsens offers an impressive range of attractions. It has become famous for hosting many events related to culture and entertainment.

Its cultural center, Horsens New Theatre, has already opened its doors to internationally acclaimed musicians such as Bob Dylan, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones – and with a new event almost every day, so something is always happening at the venue.

Since Horsens is a relatively old city, it also offers some nice classic attractions. Horsens Klosterkirke is an impressive old church that you can visit. A walk around the pedestrian zone is always fun, at least when the weather is good. Horsens is also famous (at least in Denmark) for its prison; Horsens Statsfængsel used to be the institution where the worst prisoners in Denmark would serve their time. It closed in 2006, but only to reinvent itself: Nowadays, Horsens Statsfængsel is a prison museum, highly worth visiting.

Many Danes are currently moving to Horsens because of its proximity to Aarhus while having way lower property prices. It only takes 30 minutes to take the train from Aarhus to Horsens, and trains depart every hour. So it’s a super easy trip to plan.


Travel time: 1h30m
Best way to get there: Train, car, bus

A little further away than Silkeborg and Horsens. But Odense is still within a reasonable distance, and you can definitely visit it for a single day and go back to Aarhus at night. It takes an hour and a half to go from Aarhus to Odense by train, and it takes about two hours by car.

Odense was the home of Denmark’s most famous author, Hans Christian Andersen. It has many charming houses and streets, and you can even visit the house where Andersen was born.

Generally speaking, Odense is a city with lots of things to do. It is the largest city on the island of Funen, which makes it the regional center for education and working opportunities. The people living in Odense speak with an accent that is different from most other areas of Denmark, and it can sound a little funny (but very charming).

Odense has some nice hotels, which makes it easy to stay in the city longer than for just a day. A lot of people choose to spend an entire weekend there. With classic as well as modern attractions, there’s also more than enough to do and see in Denmark’s third-largest city.


Travel time: 3h
Best way to get there: Train, car, bus, ferry


There’s a direct train departing for Copenhagen every hour. It takes a bit under three hours to get there by train or car, so it is definitely possible to visit Copenhagen as a day trip from Aarhus. But you could easily argue that Copenhagen deserves to be visited for more than just a day. Especially if you haven’t been to the Danish capital before.

The city center of Copenhagen is absolutely full of attractions, so even in a single day, you can do and see a lot. We recommend visiting Nyhavn, Amalienborg (the Queen’s castle), Rundetårn, Christiansborg and taking a walk on Strøget, the main pedestrian street and one of the longest in the world.

To give you an idea of how you can arrange a day trip from Aarhus to Copenhagen, you can depart from Aarhus at 9.00 in the morning, arrive in Copenhagen at 12.00 and stay for eight hours. Then, at 20.00 in the evening, you head back on the train and you’ll arrive at the central train station in Aarhus at 23.00, just in time to go to bed and get ready for the next day.

As you see, Aarhus has a perfect location right in the middle of Denmark. From Aarhus, you can visit almost any city or town in Denmark in a matter of hours. That opens up a lot of possibilities, especially if you’re a foreigner and want to do some day trips while staying in Aarhus.

The central location is also the reason why Aarhus is one of the first cities we recommend when advising tourists on where to go in Denmark.

We wish you an incredible trip to Aarhus, and if you’re looking for more travel information related to the city, feel free to read our guide to the best attractions in Aarhus, where to stay, and where to eat.

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