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Odense

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Odense [1] is the capital & largest city on the island of Funen in Denmark. Denmark's third-largest city, 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.

Understand

Odense is located on the island 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 finds 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 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 a modern industrial city.

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.

Get in

By plane

The local airport, Odense Airport, no longer engages in domestic or international passenger flights. However there are nearby airports in Århus, Billund, Esbjerg & Copenhagen. All of these airports are served by buses and/or trains which travel onwards to Odense.

  • Århus Airport, take the airport shuttle-bus to the train station in the city centre where you may take a train to Odense. Trains depart roughly every 30 minutes during the day & every two hours after 1am.(Served by: Ryanair)
  • 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.(Served by: Ryanair)
  • 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).
  • Esbjerg airport take the local bus from the airport directly to the town centre where you can then take a train to Fredericia & then onwards to Odense. (Served by: Ryanair)

By train

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 very regular & are generally on time. Ticket checks take place on every journey, thus it is important that you are in possession of a valid ticket. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the train.

Odense is...

  • Roughly between 90 minutes & 2 hours from Copenhagen City. Trains depart every hour. (Average cost: 220dkk)
  • Around 105 minutes from Århus.
  • Between 80 and 110 minutes from Esbjerg in southern Jutland.
  • About 45 minutes from Svendborg in the south of Funen.
  • Between 4 and 5 hours from Hamburg in Germany.

For further details on train schedules visit, www.dsb.dk .

By car

Odense is situated in the middle of the island Funen. It is easily accessible by car by the highway connecting Jutland, Funen and Zealand.

It is important to note that there is a toll for crossing the Great-Belt Bridge from Zealand to Funen. The cost is 200 DKK one-way.

By bus

The cream coloured buses from FynBus travel to Odense from locations all over the island of Funen, Fredericia in Jutland, and Nykøbing on the island of Falster.

Regional buses arrive at & depart from the regional bus hub behind Odense Train Station. These are not to be confused with the local Red/Wine coloured busses which depard from within the train station terminal.

By boat

No passenger ferry lines exist.

By yacht

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.

Get around

By foot

Most of Odense's attractions, bars, restaurants & shopping areas are very easily accessibly on foot. All of the city's main hotels & hostels are contained within the city centre or train station areas. As a general rule all of the major attractions are between 5 & 10 minutes of each other.

The 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.


By taxi

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, in the taxi area of the trainstation, outside the Rosengård centre & at Fisktorvet.

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.


By boat

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'.

Odense Riverboat, from the town to The Funen Village.

The journey, which takes around 30 minutes, is a very relaxing way of seeing Odense river, the countryside & to just relax on a summers day. Sometimes live jazz bands occasionally play on-board during the summer months.

A picturesque street in Odense's Old-Quarter.

Row-Boats & Paddle-Boats can also be rented at the same location.

By bus

The red and white buses from Odense Bytrafik (page in Danish) are available all over Odense. The main local bus hub is directly beneath (ground level) the central railroad station - not to be confused with the regional bus hub.

Smaller hubs are located at:

  • Klingenberg next to City Hall (Regional buses also stop here).
  • The hospital, connected to the rail line from Ringe / Svendborg (Regional buses also stop here).
  • The main shopping centre, "Rosengårdcentret" (Regional busses do not stop here, the #41 bus travels back to the city from here).

As in all cities Odense City buses may be crowded during the daily rush hour (7am-8am, 12pm-2pm, 5pm-7pm), however this can vary depending on the particular bus route. A few regional buses do not stop at the train station terminus, these use some of the smaller ones instead.

The red and white buses operated by Odense Bytrafik (page in Danish) are available all over Odense. The main local bus terminus is directly beneath (ground level) the central train station (This should not to be confused with the regional bus hub, if the bus is red (Wine Coloured) it is a local bus.

All city buses cost 16 DKK regardless of the destination. Drivers carry small amounts of change with them but it is advisable to make sure you have the correct change before boarding. You may also ask the driver for a ticket which will allow you to use any of the city buses for the next hour, this means that if you have to get a connecting bus you only have to pay once.

Multi-Ride tickets can be purchased in the shop in the main train station.

By train

The train from Odense to Svendborg has a few stops in the Odense area. For example there is a stop at the picturesque Fruens Bøge area which is relatively near to The Funen Village. However it should be noted that some trains don't stop at Fruens Bøge. The stops are listed on the information screens on the platforms in the train station. (It is recommended that people wishing to see this area & The Funen Village should go by boat, as it is the most relaxing & enjoyable way to do so.)

See

Skt Knud Church
  • The Hans Christian Andersen Museum, [2]. Part of the museum is located in the house where Andersen was supposedly born (though he would never confirm it). The collection is mainly documents from his life and times as well as period furniture. 55 DKK for entrance.
  • Brandts Klædefabrik, [3]. The art & cultural centre of Odense. Contains museums, galleries, specialist shops, a music library, a specialist cinema, bars & a post office.
  • Odense Zoo, +45-6611-1360 (), [4]. Children: 55 DKK, Adults: 110 DKK, Family: (2 adults, and 2 children) 300 DKK.
  • The Carl Nielsen Museum, [5]. A museum which honours the life of the classical music composer, Carl Nielsen, who was born just outside of Odense.
  • The Danish Railway Museum, Dannebrogsgade 24, +45 66 13 66 30 (, fax: +45 66 19 02 20), [6]. 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. There is also a ride-on model train for children. Admission: Children 5-13 DKK 20, Adults DKK 48, Families DKK 120 (2 adults and 3 children).
  • Odense's many Medieval buildings, Møntergården (just off Overgade and Nedergade). Restored buildings from 1500-1600 with many rooms containing artifacts and memorabelia of Odense over several hundred years
  • Saint Knuds Kirke, Town Centre, next to the Town Hall. 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..
  • H.C. 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.

Do

The sign at the entrance to the Brandts area of the city.
Munke Mose Park, in winter.
  • Odense Golfklub, Hestehaven 200, +45-6595-9000, [7]. 9 pm -5:30 pm. Green fees: Weekdays Dkr. 275 (38 Euro), Weekends and holidays Dkr. 325 (45 Euro). Odense Golfklub does not accept Euros and only permits credit card payments on weekdays between 8:30 - 16:30.
  • Odense Go-Kart-Hal, Cikorievej 32, +45-70 25 0210 (, fax: +45-70 250 220), [8].
  • Odense Symphony Orchestra (Odense Symfoniokester), Cikorievej 32, +45 66 12 44 80 (, fax: +45 65 91 00 47), [9].
  • Odense Aafart, [10]. 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.
  • Saint Knuds Kirke. (Cathedral of King Canute the Holy )murdered in 1086. His tomb and that of his brother are in the crypt with many other burial stones of dignitaries of the day.

Learn

  • University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, +45-6550-1000 (, fax: +45-6550-1090), [11].

Work

Work can be difficult to find in Denmark unless you already have a fairly good level of Danish fluency. However for those who cannot speak the language work can be found delivering news papers, working in kitchens or collecting glasses in bars.

Delivering Newspapers...

  • Fyens Distribution A/S, Blangstedgårdvej 2, 5220 Odense SØ, Danmark., 65 45 56 22 or 80 60 90 90. Before 07:30.. 130dkk.

Buy

  • Odense Pilsner & Odense Classic. (The locally brewed beer, available in shops & bars throughout the city.)

Eat

Budget

  • China Box, Next to the Town Hall. 11am-10pm. Good quality take-away Chinese at affordable prices. Between 22 DKK & 35 DKK.
  • Emils Hot House, Next to the Town Hall. All-Day. Take-away burgers, pizza & hot dogs. Between 15 DKK & 45 DKK.
  • Happy Chicken, Next to the Town Hall. All-Day. Budget Chinese food. The quality is not quite as good as that in China Box. Between 20 DKK & 45 DKK.
  • Cafe du Nord, Near to the Town Hall. 9am-7pm.

Mid-range

  • Cuckoo's Nest Vestergade 73, +45 65915787. Stylish but relaxed cafe-bar in the front, with a courtyard restaurant in the back. Nacos, burgers, salads, fish, and tapas platters. Main dishes 70-200 DKK.

Splurge

  • Den Gamle Kro (The Old Inn) Overgade 23, 5000 Odense C, ph:+45 6612 1433 (dengamlekro@city-hotel-odense.dk, fax: +45 6617 8858) [12] An historical inn built in 1863. French inspired and serves traditional Danish food.
  • Sortebro Kro situated by Den Fynske Landsby ( Old Funen Village ) Sejerskovej 20. Tel.66132826 email "sortebro_kro@mail.tele.dk"

Top quality cuisine served in genuine 18th.century Inn.

Drink

Statue at the SAS H.C.A. Hotel, Odense
Brands Klædefabrik

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 (), [13]. A local beer, primarily Odense Pilsner and Odense Classic. The brewery was founded in 1859.
  • Odense Casino, Claus Bergs Gade 7 (Inside the Radisson Hotel), +45 6614 7800 (), [14]. 7pm-4am. American Roulette, Black Jack,Texas Hold Em Poker, TouchBet Roulette Terminals, Slot Machines, Viking Stud Poker 60 DKK entrance fee.
  • Ryan´s of Odense, Fisketorvet 12, +45 65 91 53 00. hours. The only Irish-Pub on the island of Funen, Ryan's is an authentic traditional Irish Pub, stocked with Irish drinks & staffed by Irish barmen. Live music every Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 11pm.
  • 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..
  • Carlsens Kvarter, Hunderupvej 19, 5000 Odense C, +0045 63110110, [15]. A traditional Danish pub, with a cozy Danish athmosphere. Close to Munke Mose & the Teknisk Skole.
  • Froggys Café, Froggys Café, Vestergade 68, 5000 Odense C, +4565907447 (), [16].
  • Boogies, Nørregade (Near to Ryan's Irish Pub). Popular with young people & students, open most weekday nights. During the summer there is an open air court with its own bar.>
  • Birdies.

Sleep

Budget

  • Dan Hostel Odense City, Østre Stationsvej 31 (Adjacent to the central railroad station, located in the city center.), +45-6311-0425 (, fax: +45-6311-3520), [17].
  • Odense Danhostel Kragsbjerggaard, Kragsbjergvej 121, +45-6613-0425 (, fax: +45-6591-2863), [18]. Denmark's only Manor-House hostel. Quiet residential area,2 km from the city center.

Mid-range

  • Hotel Windsor, Vindegade 45, +45-6612-0652 (, fax: +45-6591-0023), [19].
  • First Grand Hotel, Jernbanegade18 (Just to the right as you leave the train station), +45-66 11 71 71 (, fax: +45-66 14 11 71), [20].
  • Domir Hotel. Hans Tausensgade 19,"phone = "+45-66121427" In City center, 5 min.walk to Rail/Bus Station. Small, but light well furnished stylish rooms. Major attractions can be reached on foot.

Splurge

  • Hotel Ansgar, Østre Stationsvej 32 (directions), +45-6611 9693 (, fax: +45-6611 9675), [21]. 600Dkk-900DKK.
  • City Hotel, Hans Mules Gade 5, +45-6612-1258 (, fax: +45-6612-9364), [22]. 570 DKK and above.
  • Radisson SAS H.C. Andersen Hotel, Claus Bergs Gade 7, +45-6614-7800 (, fax: +45-6614-7890), [23]. 850 DKK and above.
  • Knudsens Gaard. Hunderupgade 2 Excellent if by car. Residential area,at major cross roads out of town. 20-30 min.walk to city center. Top quality restaurant.

Contact

  • Local Police, Hans Mules Gade 1-3, 5100, Odense C, 6614 6414.

Stay safe

  • Odense is generally a safe town. The police can be contacted by dialling 6614 6414 or 112.

Cope

  • The local currency in Odense, as in the rest of Denmark is the Danish Krone. For those travelling to Odense directly from Germany can change money in the 'Forex' money exchange office in the train station.
  • 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.
  • Bottles in Denmark, (e.g. A Coca Cola bottle), have a levy(PANT) included in their prices. To reclaim the levy (PANT) you should return your bottles to any shop.
  • 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.
  • The legal drinking age is 16, in stores & 18 in Pubs/Clubs.

Get out

  • Kerteminde, located at the top of the Odense canal, this seaside town offers beautiful beaches, mini-golf & an aquarium, complete with sharks.
  • Ringe, an agricultural town in centre 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 harbour.
  • 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.



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