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Silkeborg is a city in the central part of the Jutland peninsula, slightly west of the geographical centre of Denmark. With a population of 43,313 (as of 1st January 2018) it is the 14th largest city in Denmark. Silkeborg is located along the Gudenå-river, the largest (and only) river in Denmark, and the river has played a significant role to the history of the city; first as a major resource for industries and infrastructure in the 19th centery, to being a prominent spot for outdoor tourism in the late 20th and 21th centery.

Silkeborg is well known as a summer hotspot for recreation and outdoor activities such as trekking, hiking and mountainbiking in the surrounding forrests, and to various water activities like canoeing or kayaking on the river, and swimming in one of the many lakes. Silkeborg and the surrounding area is known as the danish lake-highland (danish: søhøjlandet) due to its many lakes and hills, the most famous of which is Himmelbjerget (litteraly 'the sky-mountain') about 16km from the city centre.

Get in[edit]


By plane[edit]

Midtjyllands Lufthavn (Karup Airport) is the closest airport, located 40 km North West of Silkeborg. The airport offers several daily flights to the Danish capital Copenhagen. The closest international airport is Billund Airport. If you are arriving in Billund Airport, your best option is to rent a car at the airport and drive to Silkeborg. If you are using public transportation, the easiest choise is the airport shuttle bus to Skanderborg or Aarhus, and train from here to Silkeborg. Another (cheeper) option is to get on the bus to Vejle and from here continue your trip on train to Silkeborg (change train in Skanderborg).

By train[edit]

It is easy to reach Silkeborg by train. Silkeborg Station is a stop on the local rail link from Aarhus to Herning, which runs every half hour during the day and once per hour in the evening. Trains from Copenhagen, Aalborg, Odense and international trains stop in Skanderborg, and you will have to change to the local train here.

Get around[edit]

Silkeborg city centre is quite small and it is easy to walk around the city. There are several city bus lines that may help you reach the suburbs and some of the attractions further away from the centre. All busses depart from the train station, and many bus lines also pass Godthåbsvej just next to the town square and the pedestrian area.

See[edit][add listing]

fish stairs
  • 'Torvet City square. On the main square of the city you can see the beautiful old town hall, which is now a tapas bar called Drewsen, named after Michael Drewsen, the man who founded Silkeborg. You can also see a statue of him in front of the town hall. On the opposite side of the square you will see the main church of the city, Silkeborg Kirke (Silkeborg Church). The curch dates back to 1877 but most of the interior was decorated by the danish artist Peter Brandes and was revealed to the public at the reopening af the church on April 9th 2017. Another notable building on the city square is the Hotel Dania, the oldest hotel in Silkeborg founded in 1848.
  • 'The fountains. In the lake just next to the new city hall you will find five fountains. These are some of the largest fountains in northern Europe and were opened in 1970. The tallest fountain sends the water 30-33 meters up in the sky. The fountains are iluminated and are a spectacular sight in the summer evenings (closed during winter season). The colours of the fountains change between different colours in a 40 minutes program.

Museums and attractions[edit]

  • AQUA [1]. Freshwater aquarium with animals that can be found in the danish nature like fish, otters, beavers and birds. The big tanks can be viewed both from above outside the building and from the side, inside the building. Has touch tank where you can pet the fish.
Touch tank at AQUA
  • Museum Silkeborg, Hovedgården Silkeborg history museum. You will find the museum of local history in the oldest building in Silkeborg, Silkeborg Manor that dates back to 1767. The main attraction of the museum is the Tollund Man (da. Tollundmanden), a more than 2400 years old mumified body that was discovered in a marsh close to Silkeborg in 1950. A test run in 2017 determined his death to have been between 405 and 384 B.C.
  • Museum Jorn Gudenåvej 7-9, tel:86825388, [2] Silkeborg art museum houses the collections of Danish COBRA-painter Asger Jorn. Open all year. Tu-we: 10am-5pm, Th: 10am-9pm, Fr: 10am-5pm, Sa-su: 10am-5pm. Has a café with vue to the marina-area.
  • Paper museum. At the now closed paper mill you will find a museum that tells the history of paper. You can see how paper has been crafted through history, and you can try to create your own paper. A fine activity for children.
  • Art Center Silkeborg Bad The museum is located in the old sanatorium and spa buildings of Silkeborg Bad next to the lake Ørnsø. The museum houses different exhibitions, check their webside for what's on and when. A visit to the ajecent park is also a must. Here you will find different sculptures and installations, as well as beautiful plants and a great view over the lake. You can also see the natural spring, Arnakkekilden, and taste the water. The dansh brewery Carlsberg collects water from the spring for their bottled spring water. If you drink the water from the well next to the lake it will have a strong taste of iron.
  • Bunker museum. The museum is located within the park of Art Center Silkeborg Bad inside a small WWII-bunker. On display are different items from the war period like weapons og uniforms.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Gudenåen, the Gudenaa river has lots to offer. You can either enjoy a stroll alongside the river (best start is at the harbour where you can observe the smaller boats going through the lock) or you can rent a canoe or kayak (or a motor boat) and explore the river and lakes. You can rent canoe and kayak at the harbour or next the the marina. The camping sites usually also have some that you might rent, though guests have first priority to these.
  • Hjejlen [3] is the oldest operative paddle steamer in the world. In the summer months Hjejlen, alongside other modern tour-boats, sails between Silkeborg and Himmelbjerget (1hr 15 min). Bookings phone: 8682 0766. Hjejlen is both the name of the oldest boat and of the company that now operates several boats. The Hjejle-boast stop at many interesting places and with a return ticket, you can hop on and off. This also gives you the opportunity to ride at least once with the original steam paddle boat.
  • Himmelbjerget. Walk this 147 meter "mountain" (Himmelbjerget is literaly sky mountain) and the tower on top of it. There are kiosks, restaurants, toilets next to the top. You can get there by the river boats (stop: Himmelbjerget).
View From Himmelbjerget
Tower on Himmelbjerget
  • Almindsø, one of the many forrest lakes, Almindsø is the preferred place to go for a swim in the summer. There are two beaches with toilets and kiosk-facilities, the easiest to reach is Østre Søbad (Horsensvej 2, 8600 Silkeborg). Here there are many parking options just next to the beach and a bus stop (busses 4 and 110 stops at Østre Søbad). All year round it is also a great place to go for at walk (a trip around the lake is approx. 4,2km).
  • Indelukket. Marina and recreation area. oldest miniature golf course in Denmark, sculptures. Openair stage music. Hede Rytmer (hot rhytms)

Festivals and anual[edit]

Regatta, Riverboat, Hede Rytmer


The local football team is Silkeborg IF, who plays their home games at the new stadium Jysk Park. The club won the Danish natinal league in 1994 and the Danish Cup in 2001. Jysk Park has a capacity of 10,000, and going to a home game can be a great experience, especially if it's a match against one of the other local teams in the region lige AGF (from Aarhus), FC Midtjylland (from Herning) or Viborg FF. You can buy tickest at the stand outside the stadum on match days (they are never sold out) or online.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The main shopping area is the pedestrian zone in the city centre, primarely the streets Vestergade, Søndergade, Nygade and Tværgade. Here you will find all kinds of shops both local and international brands. In Nygade, which is also the main party street in the evenings, you will find small local shops.

pedestrian shopping street

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Restaurant Piaf
  • Underhuset
  • Michael D The restaurant and brasserie at the Radisson hotel at papirfabrikken. Tel +45 88822222. [4] Menus from 250DKK.
  • Cafe Evald. Papirfabrikken 10. tel: 86803366, Good beers and tapas, pastas, steaks, and burgers.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The 'party street' of Silkeborg is Nygade. Together with some of the adjacent streets is is where you will find the night clubs and discotheques and several all-night (at least in the weekends) fast food shops. Some bars worth mentioning are:

  • Roxy Malt, Nygade 18A, 8600 Silkeborg, phone +45 4080 1018. Irish-inspired pub and night club. Fine but quite expensive selection of beer, whisky and gin. Offers pub quiz every thursday and live music every weekend. Check social media to find out what's on and when.
  • Målet, Bindslevs Pl. 18, 8600 Silkeborg, phone +45 8681 1969. Målet ('the goal') is a small and smokey but very cosy sports bar. The bar is dedicated to the local football club Silkeborg IF but on the walls you will also find scarfs, shirts and flags for other Danish and international clubs. It is owned by the former Premier League footballer Henrik Pedersen (Played in Bolton and Hull City). Good and cheap selection of draft beer and posibility to play various card- and boardgames as well as darts.
  • St. Michaelsberg, Søndergade 20A, 8600 Silkeborg, phone +45 8844 3443. Also a restaurant, St. Michaelsberg has the largest selection of draft beer in the city.
  • Villa, Hostrupsgade 29, 8600 Silkeborg, phone +45 4080 1029. Stylish night club and lounge. You might find the best drinks and cocktails in the city here.
  • Zwei Grosse Bier Bar, Nygade 31C, 8600 Silkeborg, phone +45 2615 9880. Cheap german/austrian-theemed party discotheque. Popular among younger generations.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Radisson BLU, Papirfabrikken 12, phone +45 8882 2222. Nice but expensive hotel located at the Gudenå river in the former paper mill. Free internet, wireless at ground level, wired in rooms(get access code, RJ45 cable at the reception).
  • Scandic, Udgaardsvej 2, 8600 Silkeborg, phone +45 8680 3533, email [email protected] Large and modern hotel about 5km from the city centre.
  • Hotel Dania, [5]. Iconic hotel located at the city square.

Gammel skovriddergård

  • Danhostel, [6] The youthhostel with a great location next to the river.

Get out[edit]

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