Aalborg, Denmark

The waterway known as Limfjord separates the northern tip of Denmark’s Jutland from the rest of the peninsula. At its narrowest strait, Vikings created a settlement in about 700 AD. Sailing into Aalborg today, you will see one of Europe’s most modern and attractive waterfronts. Striking contemporary landmarks such as the Utzon Center are balanced by repurposed structures like the vintage power station housing the Nordkraft cultural center. Built in 2008, the Utzon Center is the work of Joern Utzon, the architect who designed Sydney’s iconic Opera House. This contrast is repeated throughout the town, with Renaissance landmarks such as the Jens Bang’s House and Aalborg Castle juxtaposed against the ultra modern House of Music and the newly renovated modern art museum Kunstet. The waterfront attracts visitors with pleasant parks and playgrounds including the Jomfru Ane Park and the Havnebad swimming center. At the Springeren Maritime Experience Center you can tour an actual Danish submarine and a high-powered torpedo boat displayed on dry land, or take the virtual wheel on a navigation simulator. Nearby attractions include the sandspit at the upper end of Denmark at Skagen, the picturesque market town of Nide and Voergaard Castle. A fitting climax to your day in Aalborg might include a visit to the Danish Distilleries, established in 1881, which manufactures 16 varieties of the potent, herbal-scented spirits called aquavit. Skaal!