Den Gamle By: Walk Through History in the Colorful Old Town Aarhus

January 7, 2019 16 Comments

Aarhus, Denmark has one of the most interesting “old towns” that I’ve been to because it actually isn’t part of the city. Den Gamle By is considered to be a museum, and it’s a little outside the main part of the city. You do have to pay to enter (but I will talk about a way to get in for free below!), but it’s definitely worth it! Old Town Aarhus is one of the prettiest spots in the city, and I loved exploring the colorful, half-timber houses 🙂

Den Gamle By: Walk Through History in the Colorful Old Town Aarhus, Denmark

Visiting Den Gamle By

So Den Gamle By is an open air museum instead of being a part of downtown Aarhus, like other European towns I’ve visited. And it’s unique because instead of just being the historic part of town, Den Gamle By was created by the city, and they actually took historic homes from all around Denmark to construct the old town. Instead of being an actual “old town,” it’s a representation of what the Danish towns would have looked like years ago, and it’s pretty cool to learn about where all the different houses came from!

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Another interesting thing about Den Gamle By is that it’s laid out by date. So it goes from the half timber houses from the 1700s all the way up to modern day, so you can see how Danish towns changed over the years. They also have people dressed in period clothing, and you take rides in an old-fashioned horse-and-buggy!

They have lots of little shops, museums (including a Christmas museum!), bakeries, and houses that you can walk through. I definitely recommend stopping in a bakery because I think Denmark has the best pastries! I chatted with the “store owner” in a general store, and when he saw that I was an American, he pulled out some newspaper clippings from American newspapers during the period his store was from. So I even got to learn about my country’s history in the Old Town in Aarhus!

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Aarhus Den Gamle By

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Denmark manicured garden

Old Town Aarhus

Old fashioned house Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Stained glass window Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus horse and buggy

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Potted flowers in Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Aarhus horse and buggy

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Museum Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Old Town Aarhus

Pink flowers in Aarhus

Pink flower in Aarhus

Windmill in Aarhus

Purple flowers in Denmark

Getting into Den Gamle By for Free

Like I said before, you do have to pay to enter Den Gamle By. It’s cheaper in the winter, and there are discounts for students (and since I was a student from another country, I got an additional discount). From March-December, it costs 135 DKK (about $22 USD) for adults and 70 DKK (about $12 USD) for students, and it’s free for anyone under 18.

I went on a Sunday morning and it was pretty crowded, and I actually went back later for free. I was with a group of Danes from my class, and they had insider knowledge that Den Gamle By is still “open” after hours and free to visit! The stores and houses aren’t open then, but if you just want to check out the town without crowds of people around, wait until the evening. It’s such insider knowledge that I can’t find a website anywhere that verifies this! (And I promise I did not break in or anything; there were a few other people walking through the town). I was there around 8 p.m., and it’s still sunny then during the summer in Denmark.

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Horse and buggy in Denmark

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Old Town Aarhus at sunset

Even if you have to pay, I still recommend visiting Den Gamle By! It was really interesting to see how they reconstructed the old town, and I enjoyed getting to walk through old stores and houses, which you often don’t get to do in old towns in other cities. Plus, you know I loved the colorful historic houses 🙂

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16 Comments

  1. Reply

    Bernie and Jess Watt

    February 2, 2019

    We loved this place – such a great selection of architecture, beautiful gardens and photo opps. Looks like you were gifted a stunning day when you visited. Great photos.

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 2, 2019

      Thank you! 🙂 It really is an amazing place!

  2. Reply

    Anne

    January 12, 2019

    I love open air musuems, but hadn’t heard of this one. I’ve added it to the list. Love that you can still wander round it after closing time too.

    • Reply

      Julia

      January 12, 2019

      Yes open air museums are one of my favorite things to see!

  3. Reply

    April

    January 12, 2019

    Wow! I’ve never heard of den gamle but what a fantastic place. The architecture is absolutely stunning. It looks like a living museum. Definitely my sort of place to just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere and learn about life in the past. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Reply

      Julia

      January 12, 2019

      I hope you can go, it’s even more incredible in person!

  4. Reply

    Kristin

    January 12, 2019

    So awesome that you got the scoop to go by later when the shops were closed but the streets were empty! I mean, I’m sure I would still enjoy it when it was crowded but I love how the town looks so peaceful and quiet in your photos.

    • Reply

      Julia

      January 12, 2019

      Yes it was so much fun exploring when it was empty! And so much easier to take photos, too!

  5. Reply

    Lynne

    January 12, 2019

    This looks like such a cool place to experience. Your pics are beautiful too!

    • Reply

      Julia

      January 12, 2019

      Thank you! 🙂

  6. Reply

    Heidi Roland

    January 9, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your experience in Aarhus, Denmark! What an intriguing and beautiful place!

    • Reply

      Julia

      January 9, 2019

      Thank you! 🙂

  7. Reply

    Amy

    January 9, 2019

    What a magical little town! You captured its essence so well with your photographs!

    • Reply

      Julia

      January 9, 2019

      Thank you! 🙂

  8. Reply

    tonya

    January 8, 2019

    Wow! I love that the city wanted to created this and worked to make sure all of it was real houses!

    • Reply

      Julia

      January 8, 2019

      I know, it’s such a cool concept! 🙂

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