Odense

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Odense is the 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.

An example of the many 15th & 16th Century buildings in Odense.

Understand[edit]

Odense is roughly in the centre of Funen, which lies between the larger Zealand island and the Jutland peninsula. The first recorded reference to the city dates back to 988AD 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, Saint 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 with the Kattegat was opened. This swiftly changed Odense into a port city and 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 and The Snow Queen.

Hans Christian Andersen house

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Odense Airport[edit]

The small airfield called Odense H.C. Andersen Airport (IATA: ODE) has been reduced to handling periodic charter flights for package holiday operators. Getting on such a flight pretty much requires buying a package holiday that starts and ends in Odense, so the only practical way of using Odense Airport as a point of entry is if arriving by private aviation, if you happen to own a plane or are able to procure the services of one. Otherwise, the country's two major airports are a better bet, and they are not that far away.

Copenhagen Airport[edit]

From Copenhagen Kastrup Airport take the train from the airport directly to Odense via Copenhagen City. This trip can take between 95 and 120 minutes. (Note: On trains leaving from Copenhagen Airport it is important that you clip your train ticket prior to boarding).

Billund Airport[edit]

From Billund Airport, take the local bus to either Kolding or Vejle and then get a train from there to Odense. Trains depart roughly every 30 minutes during the day and every two hours after 01:00. The total trip is roughly 90 minutes.

Odense Banegård, the city's main train station handling long-distance trains, features a large building housing a shopping centre

By train[edit]

DSB provides rail-links between Odense and many of Denmark's major towns and cities. The trains are of exceptional quality, offer very comfortable seating and 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 and arrive generally on time. Ticket checks take place on every journey, so it's vital that you are in possession of a valid ticket at all times. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the train.

Odense is

  • roughly between 90 minutes and 2 hours from Copenhagen City. Trains depart 2-3 times an hour. (Average cost: DKK220)
  • around 105 minutes from Aarhus.
  • 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.

Train schedules, destinations and other services.

By car[edit]

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 DKK235 one-way.

By bus[edit]

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 and depart from the Odense Train Station. 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.

A map and schedule of available bus lines can be found on the Fynbus website which is partially available in English and German.

By yacht[edit]

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, Middelfart or Kerteminde. Then a connecting train or bus would link you to Odense.

Get around[edit]

Odense WV.png

By foot[edit]

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.

By bike[edit]

Odense is known for its good bicycle infrastructure. There are bicycle lanes along most major roads in addition to many commuter bicycle paths separated from the road system.

If you have not brought your own bike you can hire one short term through a hi-tech online system. You have to register using a mobile phone and a credit card, but the first half hour is free.

By taxi[edit]

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.

By boat[edit]

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.

By bus[edit]

The buses from Fynbus are available all over Odense, and are fairly frequent. Almost all city buses passes through the Odense Train Station in the course of their route. All city buses cost 23 DKK for trips in the city, or 24 DKK for trips in the suburbs as well as trips between the city and the suburbs. A full day ticket is available for 40 DKK. It is also possible to get an electronic voucher card which can be charged with money for travel within Funen. You can get this card for a refundable deposit of 50 DKK and the trips in the city and suburbs using this card will cost 10 DKK.

There busroute numbered 10 is free of charge. It only goes in a short loop around the inner city which makes it useful as a quick sightseeing tour.

By train[edit]

The regional 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. The regional train from Odense to Middelfart stops in Holmstrup which is a small village in the extreme western edge of the Odense municipality.

See[edit]

Town Hall and Saint Knud's Church
  •    Brandts KlædefabrikBrandts Torv 1 +45 65 20 70 00. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00 (except Th 12:00-21:00). The art and 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.
  •    Carl Nielsen MuseumClaus 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.
  •    Danish Railway MuseumDannebrogsgade 24 +45 66 13 66 30fax: +45 66 19 02 20, e-mail: . Daily 10:00-16:00 (closed 1 Jan, 24, 25 and 31 Dec).. A museum dedicated to the Danish railways. Contains dozens of old trains, carriages and 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. DKK48, children 5-13 DKK20, Families DKK120 (2 adults and 3 children).
Egeskov Castle
  •    Egeskov CastleEgeskov Gade 3, Kværndrup +45 62 27 10 16. Daily 10:00-17:00 (Jun-Aug 10:00-20:00). One of Europe's best preserved is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castles, dating back from 1554, about 30km 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. DKK175.
  •    Hans Christian Andersen MuseumBangs Boder 29 +45 65 51 46 01. Daily 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. 55 DKK for entrance.
  • Hans Christian Andersen's GardenTown Centre, behind Saint Knuds Kirke. A garden commemorating 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).
  •    Odense ZooSdr. Boulevard 306 +45 66 11 13 60, e-mail: . 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.
  •    Saint Knuds KirkeKlosterbakken 2 (Next to the Town Hall),  +45 66 12 03 92. 09:00-16:00. Cathedral in the Gothic style 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..
  • Galleri GalschiotBanevaenget 22 +45 66184058, e-mail: . Mon-fri 9am to 5pm, sun 12am to 4 pm. 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.
The sign at the entrance to the Brandts area of the city.

Do[edit]

Munke Mose Park, in winter.
  •    Odense GolfklubHestehaven 200 +45 6595 9000. 21:00-17:30. Green fees: M-Th DKR275 (€38), Weekends and holidays DKR325 (€45). Odense Golfklub does not accept Euros and only permits credit card payments on weekdays 08:30-16:30.
  •    Odense Go-Kart-HalCikorievej 32 +45 70 25 02 10fax: +45 70 25 02 20, e-mail: .
  • Odense Symphony Orchestra (Odense Symfoniokester) +45 66 12 44 80fax: +45 65 91 00 47, e-mail: .
  • 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.
  • Odense BoldklubBolbro. Odense has one of the most active fan scenes 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.
The old windmill at The Funen Village.

Work[edit]

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.

  • Fyens Distribution A/SBlangstedgårdvej 2, 5220 Odense SØ, Danmark. +45 65 45 56 22, toll-free: +45 80 60 90 90. Before 07:30.. delivering newspapers 130dkk.

Buy[edit]

  • Odense Pilsner & Odense Classic from the local brewery Albani. (Available in shops & bars throughout the city.)

Eat[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • China BoxVestergade 1 (Next to the Town Hall),  +45 66 12 06 24. 11am-10pm. Good quality take-away Chinese at affordable prices. Between 22 DKK & 35 DKK.
  •    Emils Hot HouseVestergade 17 (Next to the Town Hall),  +45 66 12 18 18. S-W 11AM-10PM,Th-Sa 11AM-6AM. Take-away burgers, pizza & hot dogs. Between 15 DKK & 45 DKK.
  • Happy ChickenVestergade 17 (Next to the Town Hall),  +45 66 17 85 43. All-Day. Budget Chinese food. The quality is not quite as good as that in China Box. Between 20 DKK & 45 DKK.
  •    Cafe du NordVestergade 20 (Near to the Town Hall),  +45 66 11 92 11. 9am-7pm.

Mid-range[edit]

  •    Cuckoo's NestVestergade 73 +45 65915787. Mo-We 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 dishes 70-200 DKK.
  •    Restaurant CarlslundFruens Bøge Skov 7 (Accessible by train, bus or by taking the Odense Aafart tour boats on the river),  +45 65911125, e-mail: . Su-We 12AM-11PM, Th-Sa 12AM-12PM. An old farm house in the Fruens Bøge forest in a suburb of Odense. Traditional Danish main courses and Smørrebrød. Especially famous for their rendition of the traditional Danish omelette with fried bacon, pork rinds, tomato and chives served with dark rye bread and mustard at a price of 130 DKK for all you can eat. 70-250 DKK.

Splurge[edit]

  •    Den Gamle Kro (The Old Inn), Overgade 23 +45 66 12 14 33fax: +45 6617 8858, e-mail: . 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..

Drink[edit]

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.

  • 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..
  • Birdies.
  • BoogiesNørregade (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.
  • Carlsens KvarterHunderupvej 19, 5000 Odense C +45 63110110. A traditional Danish pub, with a cozy Danish atmosphere. A wide range of Danish and foreign beers. Close to Munke Mose & the Teknisk Skole.
  • Christian FirtalVintapperstræde 31, 5000 Odense C. A small traditional Danish pub, with a cozy Danish atmosphere. A wide range of Danish and foreign beers.
  • Ryan´s of OdenseFisketorvet 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.
  • Odense CasinoClaus Bergs Gade 7 (Inside the Radisson Hotel),  +45 6614 7800, e-mail: . 7pm-4am. American Roulette, Black Jack,Texas Hold Em Poker, TouchBet Roulette Terminals, Slot Machines, Viking Stud Poker 60 DKK entrance fee.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

  •    Hotel DomirHans Tausens Gade 19 +45-6612-1427fax: +45-6612-1314, e-mail: . Small but light,well furnished rooms. Center of town. 5 Min.walk to train station. Walk to most attractions. Rate DKK545.00+.

Splurge[edit]

Connect[edit]

There are free Wi-Fi hotspots and internet connected computers for public use at the public libraries. The computers may need to be booked ahead of time. There is also an internet café at the central station. Same thing for most cafés where internet are free to use too.

Stay safe[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 unsecure than most places.

Cope[edit]

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, the Rosengård Center and at the northern exit of the central train station.

Pharmacies[edit]

  • Apoteket ØrnenFilosofhaven 38A +45 66 12 29 70. Open 24 hours a day. A fee of DKK 20.65 are added to purchases outside normal opening hours.

Consulates[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Kerteminde, Located about 20km to the northeast, this cute seaside town with a large centre of old 18th century houses offers beautiful beaches, mini-golf & an aquarium, complete with sharks.
  • Ringe, an agricultural town in the middle 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.
Routes through Odense
KoldingMiddelfart  W Tabliczka E20.svg E  NyborgCopenhagen


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