Explore Jutland: 12 hours in Randers

by Caroline Krogholm Pedersen

Just 30 minutes away by car, train or bus, Randers is the ideal option for a day trip from Aarhus. It is an old town, and the quaint charm is very much visible as you walk the cobblestoned streets, surrounded by old timber houses. With this and much more, Randers has a lot of to offer you as a visitor. We have carefully made an itinerary for you to make sure that you experience the best of this pretty town.


Explore the old town this Christmas season (photo: Caroline Krogholm Pedersen)

9 AM:
Departure from Aarhus. You will want to get an early start so as to have enough time to experience all the joys of Randers. Also, the early departure will leave time for you to have breakfast at Cafe K, where they serve a special tapas-inspired brunch. Pick from four to six of the various small yet delicious breakfast dishes on the menu. Choose your favourite coffee, tea or fruit smoothie, and all that’s left is to say: “velbekomme!” which means “bon appetit!”

11:30 AM:
With your stomach full of the goodies of Cafe K, you are now ready for a trip to the Randers Rainforest, an indoor zoo with three domes, each with a different ecology to explore. With the humid air, green surroundings and birds chirping, it feels as if you have suddenly been transported to a real rainforest in South America, Africa or Asia, depending on which dome you’re standing in. Walk around and observe a variety of animals. You can say hello to the manatee, pique your curiosity about reptiles in the snake temple, and even observe the eerie bats as you enter the Night Zoo, home to the nocturnal animals.

If you are in the mood to relax rather than walk a lot, you can visit the Randers wellness centre and indoor swimming pool, ‘Water and Wellness’. Choose from a wide selection of hot stone massages or five different saunas, including saunagus, foot baths and many other experiences. All except the massages and facials are included in the three-hour ticket.

The old brick houses around town (photo by Caroline Krogholm Pedersen)

The old brick houses around town (photo: Caroline Krogholm Pedersen)

2 PM:
After exploring the secrets of the rainforest and being pampered at Water and Wellness, it’s time to have lunch at one of Randers’ lovely restaurants. We recommend Bistroketet, which serves exquisite bistro food with a Danish touch in a beautiful setting.

3 PM:
Now that you are relaxed and full of good food, it’s time to see more of Randers. An excellent and free way to do this is by following the Star Route around the historical centre. It is around 2.5 kilometres long and can easily be done in an hour with plenty of time to stop and take a good look at the 15 sights along the way. You can print a guide with a few facts about all the stops on the route from the Visit Randers website here.

4.30 PM:
After exploring, why not fit in a bit of shopping! Randers has plenty of independent shops which are not part of a franchise or high street chain. This means the town ranks quite high on the style radar. Some of the shops worth a browse are ‘THOMAS’, ‘Hr. og Fru B’, ‘CC: Christensen’ and, my personal favourite for fashionable women’s-wear, ‘CIN’.

If you are looking for some fashionable things for your home, the ‘Decorate Shop‘ and ‘Sinnerup’ are the places to go. The Decorate Shop also has two sister-stores in Aarhus. The Randers store is noteworthy due to its location in the old pharmacy, giving it a unique front with a charming old staircase leading up to the door; golden swans look over you as you enter the shop.


Enter the charming Decorate shop (photo: Caroline Krogholm Pedersen)

7 PM:
The shops have closed and your day in Randers is almost over. The best way to end such a day is with a delicious dinner. Local favourite ‘Det Gamle Apothek’ (the old pharmacy) will provide you with just that. With its versatile menu, you are sure to find something you like, and also pair it with a glass of fine wine. If you still have time after dinner, you can go to ‘Café Borgen‘, the iconic bar, and have a pint with the locals before heading home.

Here we have mentioned merely a few things of what Randers has to offer. There is plenty more to see and do in the town, and here are some alternatives to those mentioned above:

  • A visit to one of the world’s biggest Elvis museums, ‘Memphis Mansion’. The outside of this museum is an exact replica of Graceland, Elvis’s real home
  • Watch a show at Værket– a cluster of four theatre buildings dating from as far back as 1887
  • Go to GAIA  Museum of Outsider art and push the boundaries of your cultural knowledge
  • Have a picnic by Gudenåen, Denmark’s longest river
  • Shop in second-hand luxury store, DIA
  • Eat Italian ice cream at Paradice.

If 12 hours in Randers just isn’t enough for you, Hotel Randers is much recommended as a place to stay. In 2015, this heritage building, which dates back to the year 1856, suffered from a fire. However, it has now been beautifully restored, and all rooms have been renovated.

All you have to do now is find a free day in your calendar and remember that Randers is waiting to welcome you!

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