By Caroline Krogholm Pedersen, feature photo by VisitViborg
Only a little over an hour away by car, and with the train leaving from Aarhus Central Station twice every hour, Viborg is the ideal town to explore if you want to see more of Jutland. Read on for a lovely day in one of the oldest towns in Denmark…
The trip to Viborg from Aarhus should actually start about 30 minutes out of town, in Mønsted Kalkgruber, the world’s largest limestone mine. You can walk around underground accompanied by a few friendly bats, mostly sleeping. The setting in Mønsted Kalkgruber is beautiful and there are more than 60 kilometres of cave paths to walk.
Remember to wear warm clothes, as the temperature in the beautiful caves are constantly at eight degrees. In fact, because of the low temperatures, the major Danish dairy company Arla Foods uses the caves to store their special cheese, as the temperatures are ideal for the ripening process, creating a special and very in-demand cheese.
After a visit to the mine it’s time to head into town and warm up with a cup of coffee at Café Morville. It’s location on Hjultorvet, the big town square, makes it the perfect place for people watching whilst sipping on a hot chocolate, made with 70% Valrhona dark chocolate, or a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. If you’re hungry for a small bite of lunch before some shopping, they serve salads, sandwiches or the café classic – nachos. You can even have a delicious serving of moules frites.
Hjultorvet is filled with locals throughout the day, and during the summer every inch is taken up by the square’s cafés, giving it a special buzz.
After filling up your stomachs, it’s time to see some of beautiful Viborg. It is an old town, with many charming streets and a fabulous cathedral. To make sure you see all of the most important historic sights, follow this guide, which will take you past Nytorv, the Latin Garden, the cathedral, a beautifully restored old street called Sct. Mogens Gade, and the scenic Borgvold park, to name a few. The route ends by the lake, with the opportunity to go on a short cruise on the ‘Margrethe I’ boat, giving you a totally different view of the town.
Viborg is one of the oldest towns in Denmark, which will become obvious as you walk along cobblestone streets – especially on Sct. Mogens Gade – past beautiful houses dating all the way back to the 1700s. The town is also close to nature, with several large lakes in the vicinity. Here you can have a nice walk and picnic while enjoying the combination of cosy houses and spectacular nature.
Of course, there’s always time for some shopping! For clothes, Viborg has two major players: Garbitch and Buhl. Both have a great focus on personal service and guidance. The price level in Buhl is a little higher than Garbitch; Buhl has brands such as COMME de Garçons, Mulberry, Isabel Marant Etoile and many more.
In Garbitch you will find mostly Danish brands like Samsøe & Samsøe, Selected Femme and Gardenia, although they only have womenswear. In Garbitch they’re known for giving their customers very personal service, while creating a relaxed atmosphere around your shopping experience. They’ll help you find the perfect outfit for your girl’s night out, family get together or date, or help you build up a wardrobe every street style photographer would love to get a snap of.
If you’re looking for something delicious to bring home, or a hostess gift that will guarantee you an invitation for next time, just around the corner from Garbitch you’ll find Alliance Vin. Here, Lars will help you find just the right whiskey, wine, speciality coffee or tea, and even exquisite luxury chocolate, while giving you a great laugh. You’ll never want to shop for wine anywhere else. Lars can tell you all about everything he has in his shop and make sure you come home with something that fits your personal taste.
Since Viborg isn’t that big of a town, it is mostly filled with locals, and they tend to stay. This is the main reason why it’s such a great place to shop. Everybody knows everybody and you will quickly feel part of the big Viborg family. You can easily walk from one place to another, unless you want to go to the outer parts of town, which are mostly residential areas.
Since you have now seen some of the best things Viborg has to offer – beautiful nature, shopping and historic sites – it’s time to have a taste of the town at one of its many cafés or restaurants. One of the finer restaurants, well-known and loved by the locals, is Kafe & Restaurant Arthur, where you can have a delicious three-course meal for the very reasonable price of 440 DKK.
If you’re a meat-lover, you should definitely try Den Gyldne Okse, where they serve a mean steak. And if you’re visiting on a Wednesday, don’t miss out on their 80s inspired menu, including shrimp cocktail, Boeuf Béarnaise and three coloured ice cream for dessert.
After dinner it’s almost time to leave Viborg. But, if you have a little longer, you should stop by the local favourite, For Enden af Gaden. The bar is named after its location at the end of the street, and serves cocktails with crazy names such as ‘Pickled Cucumber’ and ‘The One We Know’, which are really just gin and tonic and mojito. Like almost all of the restaurants, cafés and shops in Viborg, it’s run by friendly locals. Cheers!
I hope you enjoy your day in Viborg, a characterful old town that is perfect for a short visit. But I warn you – you’ll end up missing its homely atmosphere once you’ve left.