When you are feeling good – really good – you get more from your valuable time. Sometimes, we do not need three weeks’ vacation to unwind. Half a weekend may also do the trick. But then you do need to leave home and have a sensational time! We have prepared a guide for just that kind of a trip.
Horsens is not Milan, Amsterdam or Copenhagen. It is neither a metropolis nor particularly exotic. On the other hand, it is a charming city with exciting culture and a unique historical background.
The city has managed to exploit the past as the home of a state penitentiary and as an industrial city and, today, it offers relevant and authentic experiences for all visitors. Horsens offers great taste, great art, magnificent nature and great culture – despite its relatively small size.
Our guide to a perfect weekend
This is our guide to a perfect day, weekend or mini-break in Horsens – filled with inspiration and recommendations for all the places and activities, we love in the city, ourselves.
Pick everything you find interesting and exciting and save it in My VisitHorsens. Then, you have your personal travel guide at your fingertips and get the most out of your visit.
Morning: Start your day with brunch
When you only have a short time somewhere, making as much as possible from it is important! Leave home early and take advantage of the culinary and cultural cornucopia, which we call Horsens, already from the early morning.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast from one of the best restaurants in town so you are ready for the day’s experiences. We recommend the sumptuous brunch buffet at Restaurant Oksen in Grønnegade – then, you are sure to feel full and happy well into the day. Alternatively, you can have breakfast at Café Gran in the same street, and 200 metres further afield is Café Bytorv Horsens which invites you to enjoy a delicious brunch in the middle of the pedestrianised street.
Late morning: Explore the museums of the city
Horsens is a proverbial gift basket in terms of its innovative presentation of both art and history. Are you a history nerd, an art aficionado, crazy about science or just slightly morbid? Regardless of your interests or preferences, there is knowledge, entertainment, impressions and experiences to be explored.
You can choose one of the museums and easily spend a good morning there or you can combine them and see how many visits you can make. The ambitious can enjoy the advantages of buying the museum pass which provides access to four exciting museums in two days.
Also, check out: Free bicycle rental in Horsens
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Horsens Art Museum, which is a mere 15-minute walk from your brunch at Oksen, is beautifully located at the top of Horsens in the old park, Caroline Amalie Lund. The colloquial name for the park is Lunden and, on a beautiful sunny day, it is worth a visit. At the museum, you experience modern experimental art by several of Denmark’s greatest artists, awaking thoughts and feelings. Including, of course, the son of the city, Michael Kvium. The museum always has new interesting exhibitions, so you will not be disappointed at your 2nd, 3rd or 10th visit.
Horsens Art Museum is also one of the places where you can borrow a city bike for free.
Also, check out: What is happening in Horsens
If you are up for more, then the next museum experience awaits you around the corner. A five-minute walk takes you to Horsens Museum and here the past is uncovered. The museum exhibits an impressive collection of ancient and medieval artefacts that tell exciting tales of art, culture and people, of local and national history.
Also, check out: Museums in Horsens
If Vitus Bering, silver coins and ancient finds are not doing it for you today, you can walk directly from Horsens Art Museum and 500 metres south and visit Denmark’s Industrial Museum. The museum has much more going for it than suggested by its name and is definitely not just suited for boys who like machines. The many varied exhibitions tell you the comprehensive, but nuanced, history of manufacturing Denmark’s development from the early industrialisation to today’s welfare society – both the professional and the private. Everyone who visits Denmark’s Industrial Museum has an experience that stays with them. For example, explore the life of workers in the Villavej flats. Here, each floor of the building tells a very personal and typical story for its time of a life that, in the course of 140 years, has changed in every way possible. The degree of detail is almost creepy, and impressions stay with you for quite a while. Well, yes – and, of course, there are also big, old machines whose volume and general swankiness cannot help but thrill you.
Top off your experience with a cup of coffee in the museum’s small and very cosy Café Gaslight.
If you are not in the mood for museums
We love our museums! And we know that they are often recommended as something quite special by our guests and, therefore, our guides focus on them. However, you could definitely use the morning on something else – for example relaxation, activities for children, hiking or free fun and pleasures.
A walk of art through the cityscape may also be just the thing on a sunny day?
Lunch: When you start feeling hungry
Where do I find the best place for lunch?
When art has satisfied the senses and real hunger starts to show itself, you can walk down to the family-run Restaurant Dollys which is located at the harbour – a stone’s throw from Denmark’s Industrial Museum. Here, they serve classical dishes which are prepared from scratch with love and quality ingredients, and the menu is adapted to the seasons.
Afterwards, the obvious choice is taking a short walk down to Langelinie, the city’s marina oasis with beach, playground and green areas. Do you think harbour life and fjord views are boring? Would you prefer having lunch in the atmosphere of the pedestrian street? Then we recommend a formidable burger at the restaurant CORFITZ or tapas at GranBar. You can also skip straight to dessert and satisfy your sugary cravings at Vaffelcaféen.
Afternoon: Shop ’till you drop on the widest pedestrian street in Denmark
After the morning’s cultural input and a delicious lunch, maybe it is time to take it easy. In Denmark’s widest pedestrianised street you feel the city’s pulse while shopping in beautiful and tranquil surroundings. Some of the city’s oldest and best-preserved buildings are located in the city centre – along with more than 150 shops.
You can replace the contents of your wardrobe or home in the well-known chain stores in the pedestrian street or explore the small side streets offering specialty shops ranging from hand-woven baskets to cheese, wine and local art.
We would want to visit, for example, the workshop and the shop Blindes Arbejde where the blind and visually impaired make beautiful, old wooden crafts and are happy to tell you about the products, the work and the project Blindes Arbejde. At Kvist Galleri og Interiør, art is combined with old artisanal traditions, while the lifestyle shop Profil Art sells the latest trends in fashion, design and interior design.
Also, check out: Shopping in Horsens
In the Town Square, in the middle of the pedestrian street, you find bytorvHORSENS. The shopping centre contains no less than 31 inspiring shops with something for every taste, which means that it is almost guaranteed to meet all your latent shopping needs.
Are you looking for antiques or do you love to make a thrift shop bargain? Then, you are in the right place! Horsens is a pure El Dorado for flea market enthusiasts and the city houses Denmark’s largest thrift shop, Blå Kors Genbrugscenter. It is a 1.5-kilometre walk, drive or cycling trip away from the pedestrian street, but maybe that is not far to go for the perfect, antique lamp?
If you do not feel like shopping
If you have secured a free bike at the harbour or in the city, we can recommend a short bike ride to Bygholm Park in the western part of Horsens as an alternative to afternoon shopping. The park is located only 600 metres from the city centre and, so, a quick walk can also do it. The city park is a protected park and nature reserve where play, recreation and unspoilt nature go hand in hand. A comprehensive trail system makes the park ideal for walking and running. The playground is ideal for the needs of children to be physically active while Erik Menveds Borgruin – the remains of the medieval castle Bygholm – takes central position in the park, for the benefit of the historically interested. We can also recommend enjoying an exceedingly good lunch, a cup of coffee or specialty beer at Scandic Bygholm Park, which has its home in a former mansion from 1775.
Also, check out: Experiences in nature
Evening: Enjoy life and each other
After an eventful day, it is time to sit back and enjoy life, your free time and each other. The evening should be spent on having a good time and, depending on the mood, ending the day with cocktails, culture or both.
An excellent meal with the right wine, in the right company and at a particularly inviting restaurant can be therapy for body and soul – just like a long vacation. We need to get away from everyday life, try new things and open up our senses.
For many years, Denmark has been at the gastronomic forefront – both in terms of quality, innovation and produce. The best restaurants in Horsens can easily play in the big league on the Danish gastro-pitch, so do not cheat yourself of a tasty experience. One of those you will remember when the everyday hits you again. Go exploring in the city’s gastronomic epicentre in Søndergade and the surrounding, narrow streets or reserve a table at one of our favourite restaurants below.
Also, check out: Restaurants and cafés in Horsens
The definition of the joy of good food? That must be an organic ribeye steak with sauce bearnaise and a well-appointed glass of wine in the old, beautifully refurbished factory premises at Gasfabrikken. Or the all-evening experience “The taste of Møhr” at Møhr Steakhouse where the restaurant compiles 15 servings based on seasonal ingredients and the chef’s imagination, making each visit a unique experience. And it does not even cost and arm or a leg – or the lid of a can of Beluga caviar. Happiness could also be a visit to Ristorante Venezia – one of the city’s absolutely cosiest restaurants with its large selection of genuine Italian specialties for both children and adults?
Nightlife: Cocktails and sleep behind bars
Late night, night life – and where to go when you go out?
If you are still feeling energetic later in the evening, we recommend going for a walk through one of the nicest streets in the city, namely Grønnegade, where the evenings are buzzing with its many bars, cafés and restaurants. Stepping out into the nightlife can be the perfect end to a good day and you can make a good start at TERRASSEN cocktail bar which is a covered roof terrace joining Café Gran and Møhr Steakhouse.
However, if you crave more culture, there are many other options. Horsens has a long tradition as a city full of experiences and there are often concerts and events taking place around the city, so be sure to check the calendar. Go to concerts, comedy or theatre performances in Horsens Ny Teater, experience exciting artists at Kulisselageret, or how about an intimate concert at Børsen?
Also, check out: Horsens nightlife
Sleep behind bars
When you are finally ready to walk up the stairs to Bedfordshire, there is fortunately plenty of opportunity to find overnight accommodation in Horsens. Do you dare spend the night in a prison cell? In SleepIn FÆNGSLET, you will not only be given a comfortable bed as well as well-appointed toilet and bath facilities (plus a breakfast bag to go), but an authentic and different experience which opens up for reflection and gives your life new perspective.
SleepIn is housed in the prison’s old hospital wing and the atmosphere still exudes from the walls, the barred doors, the radio that still works, and the graffiti of former inmates. Moreover, the prison film R with Pilou Asbæk in the lead role was filmed here. If your hotel has to be more than just a place to sleep, you must go to prison. On the other hand, if you prioritise a private bath and breakfast buffet, we recommend Hotel Opus Horsens or Scandic Bygholm Park Hotel.
Also, check out: Finding the right overnight accommodation in Horsens
Squeeze every last bit of juice from your mini-break
Do you have the time for a little more before everyday life calls? So do not miss out on a tour of the Prison Museum.
FÆNGSLET which, since 2012, has been a cultural institution and prison museum, offers a unique insight into life as an inmate. It is an overwhelming experience to see the cells, the corridors, the church, the visitor rooms and the hospital wing being left exactly as when the prison closed in 2006 and (literally) follow in the footsteps of an inmate.
As a visitor, you choose the identity of a specific inmate or prison officer which makes the information both relevant, informative and extremely personal. The prison museum at FÆNGSLET is actually one of the must sees of Horsens, so if you do not get around to it this time, you will just have to return soon.
Also, check out our guide to 48 hours in Horsens.