On our way back from the summer house in Skagen, we had a travel dilemma: take the quick ferry route or opt for a scenic troll-chasing adventure through Jutland. Given our unfinished troll bucket list, we thought, why not add a dash of adventure to our return trip?
We opened the troll map, setting a zigzag course to follow the troll trail all the way to Copenhagen. The hunt was on! Our first pit stop? Aalborg – a beautiful city that seems to have been playing hide and seek, often concealed by the fame of Copenhagen and its other Scandinavian siblings.
Aalborg’s history dates back over a thousand years, and you can feel its rich heritage as you stroll through the city’s historic center. We actually regretted not having more time to explore the city.
A standout attraction in the area is Aalborghus Castle, a charming half-timbered structure now home to a museum. Though it bears more resemblance to a manor than a castle, the presence of dungeons and cellars earns it the ‘castle’ title, according to my books 🙂
We took a leisurely walk around the premises, stealing a quick glance into its dungeon. Our tight schedule prevented us from joining an official tour, but for those keen on a deeper dive, more information on guided tours can be found here.
Jomfru Ane Gade
Perks of having a Danish boyfriend? Insider tips on Denmark’s coolest spots! Like when he nonchalantly mentioned Jomfru Ane Gade – apparently, Scandinavia’s biggest party street.
From Thursdays to Sundays, it transforms into Nightlife Central. Whether you’re hunting for a 10 kr shot or feeling fancy with a 285 kr Long Island Iced Tea, this street’s got you covered.
For those with nocturnal tendencies, it’s THE weekend hotspot. But even as a daytime wanderer, I got a kick out of window-shopping the discotheque facades and quirky pub fronts.
Walk through the town
Cobbled pathways lead past historic structures, where medieval meets the Renaissance. Amidst the ancient facades, modern boutiques and cafes thrive, offering a perfect blend of history and present-day charm. The ambiance is a delightful mix of nostalgia, underscored by the inviting scents and sounds of the town’s vibrant heartbeat.
Salling Department Store Rooftop
As we approached the Salling Department Store, signs beckoning “Explore Our Rooftop” caught our eye. Without a second thought, we got up, and soon found ourselves marveling at the city’s panorama from this elevated vantage point. Given the store’s central location, we were treated to a breathtaking, unobstructed view of the entire town.
As we gazed out from the Salling Department Store, a distant tower piqued our curiosity. A quick online search revealed its identity: the Aalborg Tower. Should’ve guessed, right? 🙂
Built in 1933 for the Nordjysk Udstilling (Exhibition North Jutland), its demolition costs proved too steep. So, Det Broderlige Skydeselskab snagged it for a mere DKK 5,000.
Today, you can take the highest outdoor elevator of the North of Europe to the very top and be rewarded with a sweeping 360° vista of Aalborg. We couldn’t squeeze in a visit, but it’s certainly on our radar for next time.
More info here.
Monastery build in 1431, one of the largest and best preserved monasteries in Denmark. Some online snaps had me spellbound in an instant. You can embark on a guided tour of the monastery, but don’t forget to book in advance at Aalborg Kloster’s website. We missed that memo, so it seems a return trip is in the cards for us!
I’m always drawn to local churches, so spotting the open doors of Budolfi Kirke was an invitation I couldn’t resist. Claiming the title of Denmark’s smallest cathedral, its roots trace back to the 11th century.
Post-visit, we learned about its renowned glockenspiel that chimes every hour between 8:00 and 22:00. However, it was the mesmerizing ceiling artwork that truly captivated us. A little tip? Don’t forget to crane your neck and gaze upwards during your visit.
Lindholm Høje Museum
When in Aalborg, don’t miss the Lindholm Høje Museum, an ancient Viking burial ground boasting around 700 graves and approximately 150 shipwrecks. I ventured there a few years back and found it to be a fascinating dive into history.
More info here.
Our first troll encounter of the day was with Pil, nestled on the quaint island of Egholm, just a swift 5-minute ferry ride away. While we drove due to time constraints, the route was dotted with families enjoying leisurely walks, picnics, and bike rides.
Known as Pil Tusintongue (or ‘Pil of a Thousand Languages’), this troll has the unique gift of conversing with both humans and nature. Throughout the day, Pil gathers stones inscribed with people’s wishes. Once a wish is penned, it’s tossed into Pil’s bucket. He then consults with the forest creatures, deliberating on which dreams to grant.
Check this website for details about the ferry.