Early morning in Aarhus, the self-proclaimed city of smiles.
As with most smaller countries, many are familiar with the capital, but know little of the second city or what the country otherwise has to offer outside of Noma or #Hygge. I’m completely guilty of this myself as geography isn’t my forte, but as I’m strolling around Aarhus while the sun starts its daily rise, I can’t help but think that this modest city of 320.000 people has qualities that can easily compete with that of Copenhagen.
To be fair, Aarhus is getting more and more spotlight as it gets ready to take the stage as European Capital of Culture in 2017. I’ve come across mentions of the city several times in Monocle thanks to an increasingly energetic and prominent entrepreneurial spirit throughout the city and a much touted reclaiming of the sizable harbor for both flats, co-working spaces for start-ups and a massive new library. Then there’s the art museum with the massive rainbow walkway by Olafur Eliasson, which gives you a 360 view of the city through colored glass. Food-wise, Aarhus can currently boast with of three restaurants with Michelin stars and with 45.000 students living in the city, there are also cheaper alternatives to explore if you’re not into flavorful froth or dishes with questionable textures.
It isn’t, however, a bustling mecca for classic menswear enthusiasts as you’re more likely to find bearded hipsters in denim jackets or fashion victims in asymmetrical black t-shirts and whatever constitutes the season’s version of drop-crotch trousers.
The silver lining is, however, that where there are hipsters, there is good coffee to be found. The best example is La Cabra, which has cropped up in various trendy Instagram accounts and in cups in places like Lyle’s in East London. Make sure to stop by for a carefully brewed cup near the atmospheric neighborhood known as the Latin Quarters and check out all the little boutiques in the picturesque cobblestone streets.