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Aarhus (until 2010 and still commonly used: Århus) is the second-largest city of Denmark. It is also known as the city of smiles. :)
You can get very good maps of Aarhus for free at the tourist information, it is inside the library Dokk1 located at the harbour, 700 m. from the train station.
In the library Dokk1 there is the turist information and there are computers and WiFi that you can use for free. (wifi is called SmartAarhus - ask for someone's danish phone number to log-in as a guest). You can also find lockers there where You can store your lugage for free in their opening hours, using a 20 kroner coin that you will get back.
On the train station there are luggage boxes where you can store your luggage ( 20 kroners per day for small one, 40 kroners for a big one).
There used to be municipal bicycles (blue or colorful, with thick construction) which you could use for 20 kroners without any limitations (on the internet you can find a map of the stands for these bicycles. Many of them are already taken, so stands can be empty. If you manage to find one, be aware that quality is not perfect.)
You can also often find abandoned bikes. If it looks quite trashy and is unlocked, you may adopt it. If it has a yellow sticker from the municipality, it has been there long time and soon will be picked up by the police and sold in their auction. Danes have a natural bike-sharing eco-system going on, especially after a night out.
You can buy tickets for busses & letbanen in Aarhus area using phone app Midtraffic. For train - DSB app. In Aarhus (and the rest of Denmark) you can use the app/homepage "rejseplanen", which shows you the easiest and fastest way to use the public transportation. Google Maps works just fine too.
Yellow busses, trains and Letbanen you can enter freely with a risk of 750dkk (100eur) fine. In Blue regional busses you enter at the driver and show\buy a ticket (you can try to walk past by showing an expired ticket).
Control is not so frequent, and mainly happens downtown (klostertorv-park alle route). They wear black clothes with Securitas 3 red dots logo, and have small machines on their waist. You can avoid the fine if you don't show reveal your real identity and formal information to Control officers (say you only have a (foreign!) bank card instead). Even if you did, the fine might not arrive outside of Denmark, especially outside Europe.
Nice places to visit and free dinners
Den Gamle By Near the centre there is a famous open air museum with hundreds-year-old picturesque buildings. The entrance fee is around 9 euros, but at some places along the fence it is very easy to sneak in. The gate is often open at night, the guard is quite friendly towards polite and clean night visitors.
Botanical gardens Very close to this museum and free of charge. There are free toilets and small useful lockers and wifi inside (have a coin for the locker that you'll get back).
Institut for (X) Best known place in town! Cultural center, diverse community, venue for musical events, workshops, exhibitions. Colorful container city with many artist, music studios, local businesses and non-profits. Feel free to hang around and meet wonderful people. #localheroes On Thursdays, join free Creative Dinners in Area K and afterwards join the Fire Flow Jam next to A-house.
Aros Art Museum Worth to visit! 2 persons can enter free with Aros card (yearly Aros public membership). Ask your couchsurfing host if they have it! You will Scan the card at the right side of the entrance (online billet).
Kunsthal Always free art museum close to Aros. There’s free toilet and wifi.
Cafè Mellemfolk Volunteer ran activist cafe downtown Aarhus, hosts losts of cosy events. On Monday evenings Foodsharing Aarhus give away some groceries there.
Ungdoms Kultur Huset Youth culture house. Hosts a lot of events. On Mondays look for Madmekka event to join a free dinner with people with or without refugee background.
Trøjborg Beboerhus On Sundays join the free People's kitchen (folkekøkken) on Sundays.
Harbor area Aarhus Ø area (where the famous iceberg buildins are) and Bassin7 is worth to take a walk in. Closer to the center, beautiful dome Domen sometimes hosts free events, concerts, movie screenings and more.
Sydhaven South area of Aarhus, includind Frontloberne, Kulbroen, Reuse, Skraldecafeen and more...
In Nature: There is a long beach to the south leading out of the city with a huge park/forest, with a few shelters where you can camp. Morning you can easily meet e.g. joggers. Along the beach there are a few clean toilets free of charge. In this park/forest you can find a park with deers (free entrance) and further South a Moesgaard museum (up to 160dkk or using a member card).
It's also nice to know that it is legaly allowed so be naked in the beach nearby forest in Denmark! :) About free tenting in Denmark: https://naturstyrelsen.dk/naturoplevelser/overnatning/fri-teltning/ Find shelters map and more info: https://friluftslivaarhus.dk/ https://eng.naturstyrelsen.dk/experience-nature/sleeping-outside-in-nature/
Stuff: You can find anything in Aarhus! Just keep looking in the piles or bags on the streets and next to the trashcans. There are several groups on facebook for sharing free things called storskrald, gives bort gratis, free your stuff aarhus and simillar. Visit recycling center REUSE to find small or big free treasures. At times they host free bike or stuff repair workshops.
FOOD: Close by Reuse, Skraldecafèen is located. They have a few free fridges, where you can often find ready made meal packs and sandwiches and other dumpsterdived or donated foods. There are many good places to dumpsterdive in Aarhus, including city center. Check this map for reference. It might be outdated, keep trying!
Bonus for reading: pass by Briançon bakery next to the canal downtown afteir their closing hours for the tastiest bread and croissants in town (just push the gate in and pass through)!
North towards Aalborg, Frederikshavn
Good spot for cars going north on the E45 motorway, accessible by bus from Århus city center. Take the 14 bus towards Sabro and get off at Tilst Vestervej/Frømosevej (or later, but you'll have to walk back). Walk back to the roundabout and turn right to walk along the Viborgvej for 5 minutes. You'll come to a sliproad for cars going north on the E45 road. Walk along it and the road straightens out, so cars can see you from a long way off and have time to stop - or try at the beginning of the sliproad where cars are still slow.
Take the same bus as above, walk to the roundabout and stand by right turn (Viborgvej). It's visible and there's a handy parking space just after for cars to pull into!
West towards Silkeborg, Herning and West Jutland
Take the 11 bus towards Harlev get off at "Tre Ege/Silkeborgvej" you can hitch a car from the busstop, make sure that they are going on highway 15, towards Herning
South towards South Jutland and Germany
The best spot to go is definitely located near Viby Torv. Take bus #1a, #6a, #4a, #200, or #14 towards Viby Torv. Get out there, walk some meters back to the big traffic light and go to the left into the Viby Ringvej. You'll also recognize signs announcing the motorway. Walk along this street for around 1 km, then the on-ramp for the motorway appears. There's enough space for you to stand on, easy to catch cars in all directions. Most cars are driving from the other direction, so it will be faster to cross the roads (you will have to cross a road where it is not allowed to walk by foot, and also go under a tunnel, but it takes only 2 minutes and it is really way more easy to catch a ride). Most cars stopping only goes to Skanderborg, but if you want to get further south (Germany), only accepting cars to at least Vejle Nord is a good idea, as there are so many cars stopping here, that you will eventually get a ride to at least Vejle in a short time. Here it pays to be patient!
Another good spot is on the corner of Marselis Boulevard and Skanderborgvej: http://goo.gl/maps/eixOE. It's only a 2 km walk from the central station, but you can also get here by busses 1A, 2A, 4A and 200. Since most cars are headed to the motorway and going slow because of the traffic light, you'll have good chances of getting a ride. NB! There is an undergoing construction of some building next to the traffic lights. This makes it more difficult to catch a ride from this place. The cars can see you pretty late. (2016)
East towards Copenhagen
There are two ways to go to Copenhagen.
- Go to the harbour of Aarhus (see map) and have a look for the ferry towards Sj. Odde (full name Sjællands Odde). Wait in front of the terminals with a sign for Copenhagen, nearly everybody is going there. The drivers pay per car and not per person so it is free for them to bring you. You can find timetables for the ferry here: Mols Linien
- If you don't like ferries you can also hitchhike via the motorway. In this case use the hitchhiking spot mentioned above.