Experience the city of smiles

Villa Provence is often described by many regulars as a relaxing haven in the middle of a vibrant city, and in the description the word “oasis” is often used.

The metaphor of an oasis in the middle of a desert can be a bit misleading, however, as Aarhus certainly cannot be described as a lifeless desert, and a walk in the city of smiles is certainly not a desert walk. Here you can read a little about experiences and quirks around Villa Provence.

Photocredit: Frame & Work



Posthusmøgen is located just to the left when you step out of the gate at Villa Provence. Posthusmøgen is really just a shortcut up to the street, but it is filled with lots of history about customs officers and smugglers from the 17th century. Posthusmøgen has recently been beautifully renovated and is illuminated by changing colors in the evening.

Gedulgt - cocktailbar

It can feel a little underground when you enter a backyard at Fredensgade 41 and open the door to a bicycle shed. But behind the discreet facade is an exclusive cocktail bar, where it is an experience not only to enjoy the exotic drinks, but also to see how they are created and presented with showmanship. It is a gourmet cocktail bar.

Spanien Public Baths

It is just a 400-metre walk from Villa Provence if you turn right on Fredensgade and then left on Sønder Allé, before you get to the beautiful bathing establishment with swimming pool, sauna and hot tub.

Wine & Petanque

On the way up to Salling, you pass a wine bar with indoor petanque courts. It doesn’t get more French than enjoying a glass of Bourgogne and a duel to get the balls as close to the pig as possible.


Dokk1 contains citizen services for Aarhus residents and the city’s library. Dokk1 also offers exhibitions and events all year round, an architectural experience, and the surrounding harbor area is definitely worth a walk as well.

Good places to eat


We recommend

There are countless good places to eat all over Aarhus at different levels and with different experiences. You can actually just take a walk down to the river and look at the menus and the atmosphere yourself to find the experience you prefer.

Michelin restaurants

  • Frederikshøj
  • Domestic

Bib gourmand

  • Restaurant Hærværk
  • Restaurant Pondus (by the river)

We also recommend

  • Restaurant ET (Read below)
  • Restaurant Mefisto
  • L’estragon
  • Madklubben
  • Restaurant MØF
  • KP5 – Havnefronten
  • Restaurant Mellemrum (At Fredens Torv)


  • Olinico
  • Café Piccolina

restaurant et

A French recommendation

By the river you will find, among other things, Restaurant ET, where the name is not a Danish number 1, but must be pronounced like the French word for “and”. Restaurant ET is times simple French brasserie at its best. The name arose when the vision for their restaurant had to be described. Their concept is not just a restaurant, but a restaurant, a wine bar and a shop.

Restaurant ET is run with great passion and professional pride by Lars Eiskjær and Morten Sandvad, who were trained by French Chef Michaud at Ruths Hotel. Restaurant ET is designed as an informal food venue with a good classic atmosphere – where Edith Piaf meets Danish craftsmanship.

Photocredit: Photopop



At Aarhus Art Museum you can experience international contemporary art, special exhibitions and the well-known colorful rainbow at the top.

The Old Town

Den Gamle By in the center of Aarhus is the world’s first open-air museum and presents the market towns’ culture and history.

Moesgaard Museum

At Moesgaard Museum in Højbjerg you can experience exciting archaeological and ethnographic exhibitions.

Musikhuset Aarhus (Aarhus Concert Hall)

Musikhuset Aarhus is the largest music house in the Nordics and hosts everything from concerts, dance, comedy, musicals, opera and music.

Tivoli Friheden

On the edge of the city center you will find Tivoli Friheden, where you can experience rides, concerts and exciting events.

Kunsthal Aarhus

In Kunsthal Aarhus you can experience fantastic contemporary art, which presents exhibitions by international as well as Danish artists.

The Latin Quarter

The beautiful Latin Quarter is known for its colorful and old buildings, including the Juuls building from the 18th century.

Aarhus Cathedral

At Store Torv in Aarhus Center you can experience the beautiful cathedral, which with its 96 meter high tower is one of the tallest in Denmark.


Photocredit: Frame & Work


Is this designation due to the fact that the people of Aarhus have an easy time smiling? Or is it because a visit to Aarhus will invariably bring a smile to anyone’s face?

Both actually seem to be the case, but where does the term actually come from? There are different stories about the origin and genesis of this slogan: One explanation is that it should have originated from a board meeting of the Aarhus Tourist Association in 1938, where it was also used in leaflets, published in 50,000 copies.

Another explanation comes from the beginning of the 50s, when King Christian X had given a speech at Amalienborg and, among other things, asked “where has the lovely Danish smile gone”. It should then have inspired the Aarhusians to say that at least it still existed here.

A third explanation also dates from the middle of the last century, going back to the time when there was a night ferry from Copenhagen to Aarhus. The captains of the boats thought that Aarhus was smiling when they sailed into the bay every morning.

No matter what the explanation is, Aarhus is full of wonderful quirks that can make anyone smile.


Every spring, the country’s gourmet chefs make a pilgrimage to Riis Skov, 3 km north of Villa Provence. April and May are typically the best time to pick chives, and Riis Skov is probably the place in Denmark where chives are most widespread. Ramsløg, allium ursinum, is originally a plant from Southern Europe and Asia Minor, but it has spread to several places in Denmark, where the lush forest floor and shade under the deciduous trees create good conditions for this tasty plant, which is also called the garlic of the forest. But why is it precisely in Riis Skov that the largest distribution is found? It is thought that this may be because Spaniards used the frodic forest floor to plant chives back in the 1800s. When Napoleon declared war on Sweden in 1814, Denmark, as France’s ally, had to land 14,000 Spanish soldiers. A regiment of 18,000 Spaniards lived for a number of years in the very area of Aarhus where both the institution and the street bear the name Spain.

Photocredit: Photopop


All year round you can experience exciting events and sights in Aarhus.
Below you can explore the many options.