How to Find Housing in Aarhus
The housing market in Aarhus is fairly competitive. For a reason! Aarhus is a beautiful, vibrant city with the highest percentage of students in Denmark. Definitely one of the best places to spend your study years. (A bit biased opinion 😉).
The purpose of this article is to make it a bit easier for you to find housing in Aarhus so you will not end up without a roof over your head.
Before you even start looking (and applying) for a place, it is important to ask yourself a couple of questions: What is your price range? How far from university are you willing to live? Are you going to apply alone or with a friend/partner?
How to find housing in Aarhus if you're a full-degree EU/EEA/Swiss student
As a full-degree EU/EEA or Swiss student your options are limited to either Student Housing Aarhus (in Danish Kollegiekontoret) or the private market (see further down).
You can find step by step guide on how to apply for a place through Student Housing here!
How to find housing in Aarhus if you're a non-EU student
As a student coming from a non-EU country, you can apply for housing through AU Housing, which is a student housing administered by Aarhus University and Student Housing Aarhus.
AU housing offers a 1-year contract in a furnished apartment or dorm room. The apartments and dorm rooms are located all over the city. Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a certain place. You can, however, apply for a specific type. The different types of apartments together with a video with pictures can be found here. Please, be aware that AU Housing does not have a housing guarantee!
Find more information on how to find a place to live for non-EU students here!
Important! The deadline to apply for housing through AU Housing is on the 1st of May
If you're going to stay in Aarhus for more than a year, Studenthousing Aarhus might be the best option for you. (See above to read about the application procedure.)
Private market - what to expect
When it comes to looking for an apartment/room in a shared apartment on the private market, most of it is done through Facebook, both Marketplace and private groups. Take a look at: Lejligheder til salg og leje i Aarhus, Lejebolig og lejligheder i Aarhus or Housing in Aarhus (Facebook group for internationals). You can also use housing portals. The most used ones are Boligportal.dk, Lejebolig.dk, and Findroommate. The portals have a subscription where you get access for free for a limited time (usually a couple of days), and after you have to pay a certain amount each month. Please, be aware that the monthly price is usually quite high.
When you’re applying for a place make sure that you write a bit about yourself and what they can expect from you as a person. Especially if you’re applying for a room in a shared apartment with other people. Danes are quite careful when they’re picking the person to live with but that doesn’t make your chances as an English-speaker any smaller. Don’t be afraid to answer even to the posts written in Danish as most Danes speak perfect English anyway. Express your interest in the place and (hopefully) also your interest in learning Danish and you might get lucky!
Below you can find five tips that I wish someone would have told me when I began to look for a place to live in Aarhus. (It was at the beginning of August. Way too late and extremely stressful. 😬 )
Tips on finding student housing in Aarhus
1) Start ASAP
The sooner you start your search and apply the higher your chances are. On Studenthousing Aarhus you can create an application up to 6 months before your studies begin. On the other hand, AU Housing has a very favourable cancellation policy as it allows you to cancel your offer 6 weeks before the contract begins.
2) Do your research
Read a lot and ask a lot (that’s what our Unibuddy platform is for) because you might be surprised. Even if you would expect Denmark to be flat, Aarhus is actually quite hilly and if you’re living a little bit outside of a city centre you might have to get used to biking uphill from the university or your work. And don't get me started on the weather…
3) Money, money, money
Denmark is in general very expensive and rent is probably going to be the biggest item in your expense budget. There are a couple of rules which I have come across during my stay in Aarhus and which can be useful for you as well.
- The more central you go, the higher the price (with some exemptions, if you get lucky)
- The other more expensive areas include Aarhus Ø (harbour area) and Risskov
- Apartments in Aarhus are in general quite small (especially those in the city centre) and usually you don’t get much of a shared space
- Deposits are high! Landlords can ask for up to 3x of your monthly rent just for a deposit + prepaid rent. Deposits are high because the landlords want to make sure that they will have enough money to cover the expenses for repairing the apartment. It is standard in Denmark that your apartment will get repainted and the floor will get fixed when you moved out.
- If you’re not renting your place through AU Housing, you’ll get your place unfurnished. Fortunately, there are many cheap(er) options to decorate:
- You can get new furniture at Ikea or Jysk
- For second-handed furniture visit: dba.dk, Røde Kors or Facebook Marketplace
- And yes, you can also get free furniture in Aarhus quite easily. Either visit Reuse (a place close to the harbour) or keep an eye or Storskrald i Aarhus kan du finde her
- As the delivery fees are quite high you can rent a trailer (for free) using freetrailer.com and if you don’t have a car you can rent one on gomore.dk
4) No stress
- Don’t be afraid to ask! If you feel that something is fishy about your contract, feel free to reach out to AU Housing. If they have time, they can investigate your contract and say if something is odd. They can also provide a contract in English.
- You can always move! If you’re unhappy with your current place, there’s nothing easier than to move out. (Just be aware of the moving out notice period – for some places, it might be up to 3 months.) You can also move into a sub-leased apartment and move after your 1st semester when you’ll get more familiar with the city and find some friends who will help you to assemble furniture! 😊
5) Living wtih Danes
Speaking from a personal experience, living with Danes will get you the proper introduction to a Danish culture which includes a lot of fun, shared meals and drinking games! And of course, few hopeless attempts to pronounce the famous Danish word Rødgrød med fløde. 😉