Aarhus has a youthful vibe and a very active nightlife – especially on Thursdays and in the weekends. If you are visiting Aarhus on a trip, you must experience the nightlife! This guide will give you all the tips you need for going out in Aarhus.
We will have a look at the best areas, the best bars and clubs, along with some tips to help you fit in. Let’s get started!
General tips for the nightlife
The nightlife in Aarhus is similar to the nightlife in other parts of Denmark – but you have way more options! Aarhus is the second-largest city after Copenhagen, but thanks to the large student population in Aarhus, the nightlife legitimately rivals that of the capital.
There are all sorts of venues: Large nightclubs, smaller clubs, fancy cocktail bars, cheap bars, cool pubs, and cozy cafés with long opening hours. No matter what you are into, you will find it in Aarhus.
Locals generally pre-party before going out. They meet up at someone’s apartment and have some drinks to start off the night. Others have dinner at a restaurant, get a drink or two there, before proceeding to the bars and the clubs.
While Aarhus is very lively in the evening, and you will see a lot of people out already at 8-9 pm, the real nightlife does not really begin until midnight. Midnight to 3-4 am are the peak hours so that is when you SHOULD be out, although you can start earlier if you like.
Drinks are expensive in Aarhus, so prepare for that. It is relatively easy to socialize, especially after people get a bit to drink. The difficult part is to maintain a friendship, so if you meet someone you hit it off with, make sure you exchange numbers and/or social media. Facebook Messenger is used by almost everyone in Denmark. Snapchat is popular among young Danes. WhatsApp is not as popular as in other countries, but if you meet other expats in Aarhus they will likely prefer WhatsApp.
Some areas of Aarhus are alcohol-free. That means it is illegal to drink alcohol in some areas. This applies on all pedestrian streets and on all squares. You can get a fine if the police catches you drinking alcohol in one of the alcohol-free zones. Signs indicate whether you are in one of these zones. Of course, it is completely fine to drink alcohol within the grounds of a bar or a club, and that includes outdoor seating.
You have to be over 18 years old to attend bars and clubs. Some venues have even stricter age limits, requiring their guests to be 21, 23 or even 25. For this reason you need to bring some type of ID when you go out – it will be checked at a lot of venues.
It is rare for Danish people to go out alone. Most go out in groups or at least in pairs. It is fine to go out solo, but if you can, we recommend that you find somebody to go out with. Use the MeetUp app or any other social application, befriend some locals (easiest at the university and at Dokk1), or befriend some other tourists (easiest at a hostel or at main tourist attractions) and proceed to go out with them at night.
To get home from the nightlife, you can take a taxi or a bus. If you are staying in the city centre, you can also just walk back. The Danish alcohol culture can get crazy, especially among younger people – enjoy your night out but try not to get so drunk that you get into trouble!
Best nightlife areas of Aarhus
It is always easy to spot the nightlife in Aarhus. It is centered around Åboulevarden, also known as ‘Åen‘ in daily speech.
Åboulevarden is a boulevard located by the Aarhus River in the central part of the city. Very easy to find. A huge number of bars and clubs are located on each side of the river in that district. This is the main place to go for nightlife, and if you only have one night out, there is absolutely no doubt that Åboulevarden should be your destination. It has plenty of venues, lots of people, and many different options.
But you will also find some other options.
Great nightclubs are popping up at the waterfront, basically at the eastern edge of Åboulevarden.
Latinerkvarteret (the Latin Quarter) just north of Åboulevarden also has some nice bars.
In the neighborhood Frederiksbjerg, just south of the train station, you will find plenty of pubs and old bars.
And in the University Area, in the northern part of Aarhus city centre, there are multiple student bars.
You should read the article where to stay in Aarhus to find proper accommodation in the centre so that you have quick access to the nightlife areas and the other places of interest in Aarhus.
Bars in Aarhus
Most people want to go to bars when they attend the nightlife in Aarhus. In the bars you can get quality drinks, and you can actually have conversations with people. Aarhus has cocktail bars, beer bars, and general bars – in all sorts of price ranges, although generally expensive compared to other cities.
Here is a list of some popular bars in Aarhus:
- Clemens Bar
- Skt. Pauls Apothek
- Bar Smil
- Heidi’s Bier Bar
- Kurts Mor
- Shen Mao
- London Bar
- The Australian Bar
- Herr Bartels
- Grace Aarhus
Search for the name of the bar on the map on your phone and it should give you directions. As mentioned before, you can also just go to the Åboulevarden district where you’ll find plenty of bars – and simply start your night there.
To learn more about each one, read our in-depth article about the best bars in Aarhus!
Clubs in Aarhus
For those who want to dance, listen to music and go crazy, the nightclubs are certainly the right solution.
Train is one of the best nightclubs in Denmark – and the most famous one in Aarhus. This club is huge and it often features live music. There’s plenty of space to dance, and you can buy drinks all night long. Train has a lot of security, so it is a safe club to attend. Aside from being a nightclub, Train is also a concert venue where you sit and enjoy the music rather than partying. Check up on the schedule before you go.
Kupé is located right next to Train. It started out as a lounge bar, but underwent some renovations in 2010 and emerges as a top nightclub! Famous DJ’s come to perform at Kupé, and the venue is suited for those who want a quality experience in the Aarhus nightlife. It is a very popular place, so consider booking a table. You can move on to the dance floor as the night progresses.
Loulou is a super popular cocktail bar / nightclub located right on Åboulevarden in the centre of the city’s nightlife. It is a fancy place where you should dress well. You have to be over 23 to enter. The cocktails are amazing, and the place is overall more sophisticated than other nightclubs.
Der Kuhstall is a German-inspired club. It is basically a mix of a bar and a club. There are places where you can sit down and drink beer, but it is also very loud, and there is a dance floor with plenty of action. It is often very crowded with people inside Der Kuhstall, but it is a fun place to party, and very down-to-earth compared to other venues in Aarhus. You can act likely like an idiot there and get away with it.
Going out in Aarhus is very straightforward: Show up to the district Åboulevarden on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, and you will have a great time. This is the best way to party if you are coming to Aarhus as a tourist or if you are living in the city due to studies or work.
But Aarhus also has lesser known venues, and it all depends on your priorities as well. Overall, we hope that this guide has been useful and that you know a little bit more about the Aarhus nightlife now – particularly the customs of the locals, where you should go, and what to be prepared for.
If you want a nice bar experience, go to BarStart or Vinstuen. They are also decent for dates. If you want to party hard at a club, go to Kupé, Train or Loulou late at night. Have a nice experience and don’t miss our other Aarhus-related travel articles!