On Friday June 29, 2018, we made the 4-hour ferry/train move from Ærø to Aarhus, in the north of Jutland, Denmark’s big peninsula.

Then on Saturday June 30 we went to the fabulous Aarhus Open-Air Folk Museum (Den Gamle By – “The Old City.”) This could be one of my favorite folk museums ever — most show country life, buildings, and farms going back a century or more. In contrast, Aarhus’ museum shows life in the city 100 – 300 years ago. There’s a bakery, a book shop (don’t miss it!) a hat maker’s shop, and much more, with shopkeepers dressed in period costumes selling their wares. There are also wealthy homes with cooks and workers in action.

We took the “long” (25 minute) horse and carriage ride through the botanical gardens and the museum’s grounds, and had a nice meal in one of the many places to dine. And, to top it off, it’s walking distance from the center of Aarhus (compared to most open-air museums which are a bit of a bus ride out of town because they need so much space.)

Den Gamle By Cost and Hours

  • Open at 10:00 every day except Christmas holidays
  • Closes at 6:00 June – Sept., earlier during other times of the year
  • (Very nice that it’s open on Mondays – most museums in Denmark are closed on Mondays, so going on a Monday is a good choice.)
  • DKK 135 ($21)
  • https://www.dengamleby.dk/openinghours-prices/

The Book Store

Den Gamle By’s book store was especially fun because one of the shopkeepers asked us where we’re from – as always, we said, “We used to live in San Francisco, and now we’re moving to France at the end of July.” He told us about all kinds of connections between Denmark and France; and Denmark and San Francisco/California, including Sunmaid Raisins (started by a Dane, and a Danish woman modeled for the photo on the boxes, according to the shopkeeper.). For our new home, we bought some wooden clothes pins, a map showing Denmark 100 years ago, and some brass hooks — Jeff’s going to put them on one of our antique mirror/coat racks that we inherited with the house. They’ll look beautiful there!


Traveling from Ærø to Aarhus

  • Take the 1.5 hour ferry from Ærø to Svendborg (buy tickets on the ferry, although, no one came around to sell tickets on either trip); (if you’re not driving, no need for advance reservations, but if you have a car, definitely book ahead.)
  • Dash to the train station to hop on the train for Odense (I hope you can buy tickets on the train. We didn’t buy tickets because of the tight connection, but no one came to check.)
  • Then at Odense, go into the train station and find the DSB ticket office upstairs to purchase your tickets to Aarhus. (Or I’m sure you can buy them in advance online, and show your ticket on the app.) Ask for reserved seats – no extra charge. Trains leave every half an hour or so, so we didn’t have long to wait.