The football club Aalborg BK, established in 1885 and based at Nordjyske Arena, won the Danish Superliga in the 1994–95 season, the 1998–99 season, the 2007–08 season and the 2013–14 season.

Other sports associations include the icehockey club Aalborg Pirates, the men's handball team Aalborg Håndbold, the rugby club Aalborg RK, and Aalborg Cricket Club. Kennedys Plads has connected the city to Randers and the south since 1869.

The distance to Copenhagen is 412 kilometres (256 mi). Aalborg's position at the narrowest point on the Limfjord made it an important harbour during the Middle Ages, and later a large industrial centre.

With its theatres, symphony orchestra, opera company, performance venues, and museums such as Aalborg Historical Museum and the Aalborg Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg is an important cultural hub.

The Aalborg Carnival, held at the end of May, is one of the largest festivals in Scandinavia, attracting some 100,000 people annually.

Despite the difficulties it experienced over the centuries, the city began to prosper once again towards the end of the 19th century when a bridge was built over Limfjord and the railway arrived.

Aalborg's initial growth relied on heavy industry but its current development focuses on culture and education.

In Erik Pontoppidan's Danske Atlas (Danish Atlas) it was described as "after Copenhagen, the best and most prosperous market town in Denmark".

After Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden in 1814, Aalborg lost its important role as the country's centre for Norwegian trade.

Its prosperity increased when the merchant- and trade association Guds Legems Laug was established in 1481, facilitating trade with the Hanseatic League, The king frequently visited the town, where he held court and stayed in the old Aalborghus.

The herring fishery linked Aalborg to the East coast of England, across the North Sea, both in commercial competition and cultural exchange.

), is Denmark's fourth largest city with an urban population of 136,000, including 22,000 in the twin city Nørresundby 600 meters across the Limfjorden.