Odense is the unofficial capital and largest city on the island of Funen (da.Fyn) in Denmark. As Denmark's third-largest city, it offers the traveller a mixture of an exciting vibrant night-life, beautiful street-scapes, great shopping opportunities & a rich cultural heritage.
Hans Christian Andersen house
The old windmill at The Funen Village.
Live Jazz in Odense.
An example of the many 15th & 16th Century buildings in Odense.
Odense is roughly in the centre of Funen, which lies between the larger Zealand island & the Jutland peninsula. The first recorded reference to the city dates back to 988 AD in a letter from the German Kaiser Otto III.
Some recent archaeological findings have indicated that a settlement has in fact been around since the Viking period. At that time, however, Odense was just the small centre of the Odin cult. In 1100, the first monastery, St. Knud's was established by English Benedictine monks.
Up until the middle of the 17th century, Odense enjoyed the position as a main trading-centre for the people from the surrounding areas. Local produce & livestock were exported from the city. However, a war with Sweden in the 1600s weakened the city's economy. This economic downturn continued until 1803 when a canal linking Odense & the Baltic Sea was opened. This swiftly changed Odense into a port city & over the next 100 years Odense quickly developed into the modern industrial city which it is today.
Currently Odense has a population of 185,871 people, thus making it Denmark's 3rd largest city.
Odense is also the birthplace of the world famous fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen & the city proudly displays statues, parades & monuments in his memory. Andersen was born on 2 April 1805, in a tiny house on Munkemøllestræde, quite close to the cathedral. During his lifetime, Andersen created many famous fairy-tales which today are internationally famous. For example 'The Little Mermaid', 'The Ugly Duckling' & 'The Snow Queen'.
Odense Airport (IATA: ODE, ICAO: ICOD) , no longer engages in domestic flights and international services has been much reduced since the construction of the Great Belt Bridge, However the small local carrier AirBorne  operates directs flights to several Italian cities during the summer, including Parma, Firenze and Trieste. Regular schedules services are from the country's other major airports, which thanks to Odense central location are not far way:
Copenhagen/Kastrup Airport take the train from the airport directly to Odense via Copenhagen City. This trip can take between 105 and 120 minutes. (Note: On trains leaving from Copenhagen Airport it is important that you clip your train ticket prior to boarding).
Billund Airport, take the local bus to either Kolding or Vejle & then get a train from there to Odense. Trains depart roughly every 30 minutes during the day & every two hours after 1am. The total trip is roughly 90 minutes.
DSB provides rail-links between Odense & many of Denmark's major towns & cities. The trains are of exceptional quality, offer very comfortable seating & have food + drinks served en-route. During peak times it might be advisable to book a seat. This is generally not required very early in the morning or late at night.
Trains are quite regular & arrive generally on time. Ticket checks take place on every journey, thus it is vital that you are in possession of a valid ticket at all times. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the train.
Roughly between 90 minutes & 2 hours from Copenhagen City. Trains depart 2-3 times an hour. (Average cost: 220dkk)
Odense is situated in the centre of the island Funen (da.Fyn), and although not technically correct, many Danes consider it to be the centre of Denmark. The main highway between east (Zealand) and west (Jutland) Denmark, the E20, runs trough the southern suburbs of the city. If you are driving from Germany, this highway branches of the highway from Germany (E45) right after the Kolding Ø exit. It is important to note that there is a toll for crossing the Great-Belt Bridge from Zealand to Funen, the cost is 235 DKK one-way.
Regional buses arrive at & depart from the regional bus hub which can be found behind Odense Train Station on the north side of the railway. These are not to be confused with the local buses which depart from within the train station terminal on the south side of the railway. The Intra-city buses can be recognized from the regional buses by the length of the line number. Two-digit number lines are intra-city while 3-digit numbers are regional and inter-city.
Odense City has been made accessible to yachts by the construction of a 7 km long canal from Odense Fjord to the old harbour.
There are several marinas, however it is recommended that you make sure they have visitor berths before you arrive.
You can also dock at marinas in Svendborg, Faaborg or Kerteminde. Then a connecting train or bus would link you to Odense.
Most of Odense's attractions, bars, restaurants & shopping areas are very easily accessibly on foot. All of the city's main hotels & hostels are located within the city centre or train station areas. As a general rule all of the major attractions in the centre are between 5 & 10 minutes of each other.
A major exception to this is 'The Funen Village' (Den Fynske Landsby), which is about a 45 minute walk along the river. Similarly the zoo is on the same route & is roughly 30 minutes from the city centre. Both of these attractions are sign-posted all the way along the river.
Taxis are relatively abundant throughout the city, but they are quite pricey when compared to local buses. Areas which usually have a large amount of taxis waiting to pick up customers include, the taxi pick-up point at the trainstation, outside the Rosengård centre & at Fisketorvet.
On a Friday or Saturday night taxis can be found all over the city. You can hail a taxi on the street, or ask in a bar/restaurant for them to get one sent to come pick you up. It should be noted that taxis do cost more at night time.
Odense Riverboat, from the town to The Funen Village.
For those interested in a more relaxed break, a river boat (Odense Åfart) can be taken from the bridge in Munke Mose Park (Nyvestergade) to the Zoo & to the forest next to 'The Funen Village'. The journey, which takes around 30 minutes, is a very relaxing way of seeing Odense river, the Danish countryside & to just relax on a summers day. Sometimes live jazz bands occasionally play on-board during the summer months.
Row-Boats & Paddle-Boats can also be rented at the same location.
The buses from Odense Bytrafik are available all over Odense, and fairly frequent. All city buses cost 18 DKK for trips in the city, or 20 DKK for trips in the suburbs as well as trips between the city and the suburbs. A map of available bus lines can be found here . The the Funen village take city bus 21 or 22 or regional bus lines 110 or 111, throughout most of the day these lines combined makes for departures every 10 minutes from the city centre. For Odense Zoo take bus 110/111 from the train station to the Skt. Knuds Gymnasium stop and walk from there, these buses depart around every 30 minutes and cost 20 kroner.
Brandts Klædefabrik, Brandts Torv 1, ☎ +45 65 20 70 00, . Tu-Su 10AM-5PM except Th noon-9PM. The art & cultural centre of Odense. Contains two museums; The Danish Museum of Media which focuses on all types of media and their history and the museum of photographic arts museum specializing in photography, there is also a gallery with changing exhibitions in its four large halls. And also specialist shops, a music library, a specialist cinema, bars & a post office.edit
Carl Nielsen Museum, Claus Bergs Gade 11, ☎ +45 65 51 46 01, . A museum which honours the life of the classical music composer, Carl Nielsen, who was born just outside of Odense and is primarily known in Scandinavia and the UK for his 6 symphonies. Carl Nielsen is the portrait featured on the front side of the Danish hundred-kroner note.edit
Danish Railway Museum, Dannebrogsgade 24, ☎ +45 66 13 66 30 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +45 66 19 02 20), . Daily 10-16 (Closed 1 January, 24, 25 and 31 December.). A museum dedicated to the Danish railways. Contains dozens of old trains, carriages & rail road memorabilia over 10.000m2. There is also a large model train landscape and a ride-on miniature railway and playground for the children. On public holidays and during the schools summer vacation the museum also arranges train rides in old vintage steam trains to various destinations on Funen - call ahead for dates and reservations.Admission: Children 5-13 30 DKK , Adults DKK 60, Families 150 DKK 120 (2 adults and 3 children). edit
Egeskov Castle, Egeskov Gade 3, Kværndrup, ☎ +45 62 27 10 16, . Daily 10AM-5PM (or 8PM in June/August). One of Europe's best preserved are the Renaissance water castles, dating back from 1554, about 30 km south. The current owner, Count Ahlefeldt, has added numerous features, including a maze, walk-among- the treetops and a veteran auto museum, toy museum, kitchen garden, and more, all in a scenic park.175 DKK. edit
Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Bangs Boder 29, ☎ +45 65 51 46 01, . Tues-Sun 10AM-4PM (or 6 PM in July-August). A museum dedicated to the city's most famous son, author and poet Hans Christian Andersen, most famous for his fairy tales and in particular The Ugly Duckling and the Little Mermaid. Part of the museum is located in the house where Andersen was supposedly born (though he would never confirm it). The impressive collection is mainly documents from his life and times, period furniture, and many drawings and paper clippings he is famous for at home. 85 DKK for entrance. edit
Hans Christian Andersen's Garden, Town Centre, behind Saint Knuds Kirke. A garden commemmorating H.C. Andersen. Large flower arrangements, a river & an ice cream shop make this park an ideal location for a picnic. The small attractions of the park include a pergola, the “Chinese Wall” a statue of Hans Christian Andersen and close by – in the river – there is a sculpture of a paperboat (a prop from one of H.C. Andersens fairy tales).edit
Odense Zoo, Sdr. Boulevard 306, ☎ +45 66 11 13 60 (email@example.com), . 10AM-4PM (or 6PM in summer). One Denmark's biggest tourist attractions is the Odense zoo, covering almost 4 hectares on both sides the Odense River. The Oceanium opened in 2001, is the main show-piece featuring a tour though South America, including a very impressive aviary and indoor rain forest.Children: 55 DKK, Adults: 110 DKK, Family: (2 adults, and 2 children) 300 DKK. edit
Saint Knuds Kirke, Klosterbakken 2 (Next to the Town Hall), ☎ +45 66 12 03 92, . 9am-4pm. Cathedral of King Canute the Holy, who became a martyr nearby in 1086. His tomb and that of his brother are in the crypt with many other burial stones of dignitaries of the day.Free Entry.. edit
Galleri Galschiot, Banevaenget 22, ☎ 66184058, . Mon-fri 9am to 5pm. Gallery Galschiot is the sculptor Jens Galschiot's 2500 m2 studio and museum. The place is one of Denmark's most spectacular and biggest private art workshops. The place is full of activities, and besides the artist's workshop, there is also a bronze foundry, gallery shop, art schools, wicker workshop, TV-studios, Sculpture Park and a 400 m2 art gallery. free. edit
Odense Aafart, . Odense Aafart has tour boats from the recreational area Munke Mose in the city centre on Odense River with stops at Odense Zoo and in Fruens Bøge near The Funen Village.edit
Odense Boldklub, Bolbro. Odense has one of the most active fanscenes in Denmark and if you are so lucky that OB plays at home against FCK or BIF you will have to go to the stadium and watch it. If you want a drink among other fans go to Sprogø up to 6 hours prior to kickoff. You will find a great atmosphere and singing here.edit
Cuckoo's Nest, Vestergade 73, ☎ +45 65 91 57 87, . M-W 9AM-midnight,Th-Sa 9AM-2AM,Su 10AM-11PM. Stylish but relaxed cafe-bar in the front, with a courtyard restaurant in the back. Nacos, burgers, salads, fish, and tapas platters. Main dishes70-200 DKK. edit
Den Gamle Kro (The Old Inn), Overgade 23, ☎ +45 66 12 14 33 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +45 6617 8858), . Daily 11AM-11PM. Easily one of the most attractive restaurants in the country, in a historical half timbered building, originally an old inn, built in 1863. French inspired and serves traditional Danish food.A la carte mains from 189 DKK, 2 course menu 297 DKK, 5 course menu 418 DKK.. edit
Sortebro Kro, Sejerskovvej 20, ☎ +45 66 13 28 26 (email@example.com), . Daily noon-11PM. 18th century Inn near Den Fynske Landsby (Old Funen Village) Sejerskovej 20. Danish cuisine.A la carte from 215 DKK, 3 courses menu 495 DKK. edit
Bars in Odense have opening hours which tend to vary greatly. For example some bars close everyday at around midnight, while others stay open until 5AM or even later.
Albani, Tværgade 2, ☎ +45 65 48 75 00 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A local beer, primarily Odense Pilsner and Odense Classic. The brewery was founded in 1859. edit
The Australian Bar (A-Bar), Brandts Passage. The A-Bar is popular with students & young people due to its low prices. It is particularly popular with exchange students. Note: ID is required at the door. Door: 45 DKK, Drinks: Relatively Cheap.. edit
Ryan´s of Odense, Fisketorvet 12, ☎ +45 65 91 53 00. hours. , Ryan's is an authentic traditional Irish Pub, stocked with Irish drinks & staffed by Irish barmen. Live music every Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 11pm. edit
Odense Casino, Claus Bergs Gade 7 (Inside the Radisson Hotel), ☎ +45 6614 7800 (email@example.com), . 7pm-4am. American Roulette, Black Jack,Texas Hold Em Poker, TouchBet Roulette Terminals, Slot Machines, Viking Stud Poker 60 DKK entrance fee. edit
Dan Hostel Odense City, Østre Stationsvej 31 (Adjacent to the central railroad station, located in the city center.), ☎ +45-6311-0425 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +45-6311-3520), . edit
Odense Danhostel Kragsbjerggaard, Kragsbjergvej 121, ☎ +45-6613-0425 (email@example.com, fax: +45-6591-2863), . Denmark's only Manor-House hostel. Quiet residential area,2 km from the city center.edit
First Grand Hotel, Jernbanegade18 (Just to the right as you leave the train station), ☎ +45-66 11 71 71 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +45-66 14 11 71), . edit
Hotel Domir, Hans Tausens Gade 19, ☎ +45-6612-1427 (email@example.com, fax: +45-6612-1314), . Small but light,well furnished rooms. Center of town. 5 Min.walk to train station. Walk to most attractions. Rate DKK545.00+. edit
Odense is generally a safe town for visitors, although criminal activities and violence occur and caution is recommended late at night. Although there is not really any reason for tourist to venture there, the Vollsmose area, is infamous in Denmark for its crime, social decay and a recent terrorism case. The problems are, however, highly exaggerated by the media and you will find the Vollsmose area to be no more insecure than most places.
Maps of Odense can be purchased in the two shops in the train-station for 10 DKK. Similarly there are maps placed all around the town for visitors, Most ATM machines in Odense close between 2am & 6am, Most shops only accept Danish credit cards & will not take foreign cards. (One exception to this is Ryan's Irish Pub), Post offices can be located in the Brandts Passage & Rosengård Centre.
Kerteminde, Located about 20 km to the northeast, this cute seaside town with a large center of old 18th century houses offers beautiful beaches, mini-golf & an aquarium, complete with sharks.
Ringe, an agricultural town in center of the island of Funen.
Middelfart, a coastal town which is near to the bridge to the Jutland peninsula.
Nyborg, a coastal town which is complete with a medieval castle, beautiful gardens & walks by the harbor.
Fredericia, a beautiful medieval fortress town. 50 minutes by train this town offers beautiful walks along the old town walls, a gorgeous sandy blue-flag beach & the chance to visit the Jutland peninsula.
Copenhagen, Denmark's capital city. Only 90 minutes by intercity train. Visit the Mermaid, Tivoli Theme Park or the Carlsberg brewery.