With a population of 261,570 (2014), Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark; however, it does not have the overcrowded feel that some cities have. The city is quite simply very likeable, from Den Gamle By (the Old Town Museum, a must-see), to picturesque waterfront buildings. Aarhus also has incredible culinary offerings, from Michelin-starred gourmet dishes, to Denmark’s signature open-faced sandwiches.
Due to the number of institutions of higher education, the city’s population is very young. The student vibe is also noticeable in the frequency of events, festivals, and the general buzz — there’s always something to do in Aarhus. However, the massive student population has led to a problematic housing shortage, which foreigners should be aware of before reaching their destination.
Aarhus has a cold and temperate climate, so it rains quite a lot. July is the warmest month, and January is generally the coldest. June, July and August tend to be pleasant, and are the best months to get out and about, and see the city. It may not be shorts and T-shirt weather every single day, but you’ll be able to leave your jacket at home frequently throughout the summer, though keeping an umbrella handy even on hot days is not a bad idea.
Though you’ll need to wrap up warm, Aarhus is stunning when it’s snowy. If you don’t own snow boots, gloves, and thick jackets, it is well worth investing in them before November strikes.
Finding housing in Aarhus can be far from easy and expats are often unaware of the issue. This is largely due to the large student population, making it particularly difficult to find accommodation if you’re searching around the same time as the semester starts. Due to the high demand, landlords have all the power. Online advertisements often fail to include photos of the properties.
Luckily, expats who have relocated for a particular job, in contrast to students, tend to receive help with locating an apartment to rent. If the company only provides temporary accommodation while you find your feet, it is worth being aware of the tough market conditions — it is very unusual to find housing in under a month. It’s also worth noting that many apartments in Denmark have wet room style bathrooms, meaning that turning down apartments with this feature will increase the length of your search significantly.
For more general information, including an introducation to Denmark's visa regulations, you can also take a look at our article on Moving to Denmark.