Clustered with buildings dating back to the mid-17th century, Ærøskøbing is a charming town on the Danish island of Ærø. It was once the major hub for the island’s commercial and maritime trade, with its architecture reflecting Funen, North German and Schleswig traditions. In 2002, the town was awarded the Europa Nostra for its work in safeguarding its cultural heritage.
Things to do in Ærøskøbing
In the heart of town is the Ærøskøbing Church, which was constructed in the 1750s on the site of a medieval church. Its whitewashed walls are topped by a soaring spire while the serene interior features an ornate pulpit and a baptismal font that dates back to the Middle Ages. Like many Danish churches, it also features model sailing ships hanging from the ceiling.
A short walk from the church is the Ærøskøbing Bymuseum, which explores the cultural history of the island. Its exhibits include traditional costumes, industrial-related artefacts and historic photographs, as well as paintings and sculptural works. Adjacent to the museum is a peaceful garden that was laid out in the 1920s.
South of Ærøskøbing is an octagonal-shaped windmill that was built by the Dutch in 1848 and has recently undergone extensive renovations. Originally constructed to mill grain, it operated until 1957 and has since become a landmark of the town. Step inside to explore the beautifully preserved interior with its grinders and sack hoists while learning about its importance to the cultural history of Ærø.
Getting around Ærøskøbing
Regular ferries connect from Ærøskøbing to Svendborg Færgehavn, which is around 40 minutes by bus from Odense. Copenhagen Airport is just under two hours’ drive from the harbour and has flights to destinations across the globe. Ærøskøbing is small enough to explore on foot.