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A view of the colorful houses along the Denmark waterfront.

Aalborg, Denmark

The arable flatlands that flank the Limfjord—more of a long, shallow waterway than a typical fjord—create a scenic route into Aalborg, Denmark’s fourth-largest city. Aalborg’s sense of place is built on a history of trading that spans from the Vikings to 18th-century merchants, and its port’s proximity to the city center makes the half-timbered buildings and soaring cathedrals accessible for exploration. Along a waterfront promenade, a cluster of design-forward cultural venues exude a more cosmopolitan energy, but there’s also a breezy low-key vibe, thanks to the great outdoors surrounding the city. Aalborg is also an up-and-coming culinary destination, largely due to its location at the heart of North Jutland, one of Denmark’s most fertile farming regions. The city’s cookery school churns out an abundance of talents who turn into “the ones to watch,” creating innovative dishes that are distinctively Danish. Don’t miss the sensational crayfish featured at many of Aalborg’s top eateries, and, of course, the world-famous Limfjord oysters, plucked fresh from the water.