It wasn’t Sønderborg’s beautiful nature that made the difference to married couple Stine Paulsen and Nicolaj Gottlieb. They already lived in the scenic Virum, with its easy access to lakes and forests. They love Sønderborg’s unique coastal landscape now that they live here, but that wasn’t what clinched the deal either. What made them sell their terraced house in Virum and move back to Sønderborg, where they both grew up, was the quality of life and the opportunity to commute and be close to family, not to mention the slower pace of life and the opportunity to be more present.
Sønderborg is Denmark’s 16th largest municipality and the “capital” of Southern Jutland. Around 75,000 people live here – but there’s room for more, especially those looking for a place where they can be close to nature, other people and the rest of the world.
In recent years, Sønderborg has undergone a rapid transformation from a sleepy provincial town to an ambitious, vibrant municipality, an attractive holiday and conference venue and an internationally recognised development hub within the green transition. So a nice place to live, work and study. Because in Sønderborg, you’re close to just about everything. It only takes 35 minutes to fly to Copenhagen and an hour and a half to drive to Hamburg. We are located on the border of Europe, which gives Sønderborg a special international vibe. 150 different languages are spoken here – we have German kindergartens and schools, and the option of English-speaking programmes from primary school through to university. Sønderborg International School goes from nursery all the way up to year 11. And when it comes to higher education, Sønderborg is one of only 10 university cities and towns in Denmark – and has one of the country’s most international campuses.
Here you get it all
Sønderborg Municipality extends all over Als and across Sundeved on the Jutland side. So virtually wherever you live, you are close to the water – not to mention forests and open plains. And fun experiences are always within easy reach too because in Sønderborg you can see summer revues and symphony orchestras, local bands and international superstars. We eat well at both cafés and gourmet restaurants, and the kids always have something to do – because we have both a nature playground and an adventure park. And then there’s the hundreds of voluntary associations and sports clubs that provide active leisure activities at all levels in everything from ballet to ball games.
Denmark is full of beautiful places, but we’re pretty sure that what we can offer here is really special – because here we combine an internationally oriented business and study environment with an active urban and cultural life, easy access to other cities and towns, and breathtaking nature. This makes Sønderborg both global and local. Perhaps this is because we’re building our future on the history that has shaped us; for many centuries we have been a borderland, the centre of both conflict and development, and we’ve had to learn to work together across borders, cultures and boundaries.
In Sønderborg, we do what we say
In Sønderborg, we move quickly from idea to action, and we are united in our desire to create change. That’s why we now have a motorway, a university, a luxury hotel, a multicultural house and a waterfront designed by a world-famous architect. And a large, innovative holiday resort is being built at Nordals. This kind of success is achievable because some of Denmark’s largest global industrial groups are located in Sønderborg. And together with the municipality and the other local players, they take responsibility for developing the area through a unique and close collaboration. It’s the reason why we have such a vibrant cultural life. And it’s what enables us to attract even very large events such as the Tour de France, the Royal Run and the international IEA conference.
We are ambitious about sustainability
It’s also the local action force that has ensured that Sønderborg is close to zero carbon emissions. The target is to become carbon zero by 2029, and we are well on our way. Because in Sønderborg we have the private/public collaboration Project Zero, which keeps us focused on our efforts to make the entire supply chain green. As such, we are the first Danish municipality to be included in the UNESCO network Sustainable Learning Cities. But we’re not doing this just for ourselves – our goal is also to be a pioneer municipality, to spread our knowledge and contribute to the green transition in general. Approx. 60% of our industry – or almost 6,000 jobs – deals with green solutions here in the municipality, and Denmark’s environmental technology cluster CLEAN is headquartered in Sønderborg.
So take a closer look – We look forward to seeing you in Sønderborg.