From an 18th-century almshouse to a 20th-century student commune, this living, outdoor museum spans two hundred years of Denmark’s urban history.
The daily lives of Danes have changed dramatically over the last two centuries, but at this open-air museum, time stands still, allowing visitors to experience how life used to be. Den Gamle By is based around the re-creation of a historic Danish market town. The museum features 75 original buildings from more than 20 towns around Denmark. Founded in 1909, the buildings were used to create a fictional township where people could experience the customs and culture of a traditional Danish town. Today, this ever expanding museum is one of the most popular attractions in Denmark and welcomes over three million visitors every year.
Move through the streets to see the town in action with museum staff playing the roles of villagers. Stop to chat with a blacksmith, baker or local merchant. See typical settings that inspired Hans Christian Andersen to write his much-loved children’s stories. Visit the houses of the town to see period-correct bedrooms and kitchens. Then explore the post office, schoolhouse and theater. Buildings range from 1550 until the 19th century, highlighting fascinating differences as city life progressed.
Relax with a beer at the Beer Cellar, or lie on the grass in one of the five historic gardens in the town. With the number and variety of activities for children, Den Gamle By is one of the most popular family attractions in Aarhus. Watch as children pet horses and play traditional games in the town streets.
After exploring life in the 1800s, step into Den Gamle By’s newest additions, the 1927 Quarter and the 1974 Neighborhood. Den Gamle By also features permanent exhibits which are destinations in their own right: the Danish Poster Museum, the Toy Museum, the Textile Museum and the Gallery of Decorative Arts.
Den Gamle By is located just west of the city center and can be reached by bike or on foot from most hotels. A bus route runs to the entrance of the museum and there is street parking in the area. Den Gamle By is open daily. An admission fee applies for adults.