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The Aalborg Carnival, held at the end of May, is one of the largest festivals in Scandinavia, attracting some 100,000 people annually.
The major university is the University of Aalborg, founded in 1974, which has more than 17,000 students.
In the Middle Ages, royal trading privileges, a natural harbour and a thriving herring fishing industry contributed to the town's growth.
These companies have become global producers of wind turbine rotors, marine boilers and cement.
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.
By road Aalborg is 64 kilometres (40 mi) southwest of Frederikshavn, and 118 kilometres (73 mi) north of Aarhus.
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.
The European Commission has concluded that the citizens of Aalborg are the most satisfied people in Europe with their city.