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Grey Friar Convent, on the east side of Østerå, was probably built around 1240; it was documented in 1268 when it was a Franciscan Convent of the Order of Friars Minor, but like many other Roman Catholic monasteries and convents was shut down in 1530 as a result of the Reformation.
The Aalborg Carnival, held at the end of May, is one of the largest festivals in Scandinavia, attracting some 100,000 people annually.
The area around the narrowest point on the Limfjord attracted settlements as far back as the Iron Age leading to a thriving Viking community until around the year 1000 in what has now become Aalborg.
In the Middle Ages, royal trading privileges, a natural harbour and a thriving herring fishing industry contributed to the town's growth.
During the Middle Ages a number of important institutions were established in Aalborg, including Budolfi Cathedral in the late 14th century and the Hospital of the Holy Ghost, a monastery and nunnery founded in 1451 to help those in need.
In 1530 a large part of the town was destroyed by fire, and in December 1534 it was stormed and plundered by the king's troops after a peasants' revolt known as the Count's Feud led by Skipper Clement. From the 1550s to the 1640s, as a result of increased foreign trade, Aalborg enjoyed great prosperity, second only to that of Copenhagen.