Shopping off the beaten track
London has Oxford Street
Paris has Champs Élysées. Rome has the Corsa. Aalborg is no capital - but on the other hand it has two walking streets: Bispensgade and Algade.
These two pedestrian streets cut right through the centre of the city, almost parallel to one another. Both are absolutely worth a visit.
If you start from the west end, you could meet up with your friends at the point, where Bispensgade joins busy Vesterbro by the statue of the . If you say to someone from Aalborg, “Let’s meet by the Bull”, everyone will know what you mean.
Once upon a time this was the location of the schnapps distillery. When Vesterbro was established, the spirits factories gave the Cimber Bull to the people of Aalborg. Some believe that it is symbolic that the bull is faced with its rear towards Vendsyssel...
When Bispensgade begins, you can already get detoured from the walking street. If you cross Vesterbro, you will find yourself at the entrance to Medinaen. However, you can also start your stroll by going down Bispensgade. After a few meters, you will see Vesteraa and Gravensgade. These streets have interesting stores to the right - and nice places to eat on the left. Both places are definitely worth a look.
Southern mood in Aalborg
By now the professional shopper is getting warmed up. The route continues down Bispensgade and passes Jomfru Ane Gade on the left hand side. Jomfu Ane Gade needs no further introduction, and may be worth a revisit in the evening or night depending on your preferences.
If the clock is ticking towards lunch time, you may want to turn down the alley Doktorens Gyde, and you find yourself on the old C.W. Obels Plads, where throughout the summer you will find outdoor serving on all cafés and restaurants. Be sure to visit the micro-brewery, Søgaards Bryghus.
After visiting C.W. Obels Plads, return to Bispensgade and continue your exploration of shopping possibilities. This street dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries, and has been Aalborg’s most important pedestrian street for hundreds of years. Here you will see fashion shop after fashion shop for every budget.
Bispensgade leads you to Østerågade. Take a little detour to the left down Østerågade. Here, you will see the small shoe shop Kenza Shoes, where, if your feet are the right size, you can make a bargain on high quality and high fashion shoes, as the shop only sells shoes that are worn once or twice in fashion shows.
Back on Østerågade, even the most tunnel-visioned shopper cannot help but notice Jens Bang's House. The influential merchant Jens Bang built this impressing five-storey tower block back in 1624, right on the banks of the stream Østerå. His goods were transported up the stream from the Limfjord and right up to the building. The stream disappeared a long time ago, but the building is just as impressive. On the street’s right hand side you pass Gammel Torv and Aalborg’s beautiful , which serves as registry office for many couples, both residents and tourists.
A Cigar for dad
This could possible be where the family part ways. The historically interested should wald to the right down Algade and visit Budolfi Church, while the gentlemen in need of a beer and a good cigar should continue straight ahead. On the street that is no longer called Østerå, but rather Boulevarden is the London Pub. Apart from its selection of more than 80 different bottled beers, what really sets this place apart is its atmosphere – maybe also the fact that because the pub is so small, it is not subject to Denmark’s anti-smoking rule.
Hardened shoppers however, should turn down the pedestrian street Algade, where shops both big and small lie in wait, ready to tempt you. Opposite the department store Salling is Summerbird, a shop to make any chocolate-lover swoon. And just a few meters on, on the same side of the street, is Kronen, the city’s atmospheric and award-winning tea and coffee shop.
Now you should give yourself a treat and walk down Møllegade to Mølle Plads and Rantzausgade.