Odense is the largest city on the island of Funen ("Fyn" in Danish) 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.
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 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, Saint Knud's was established by English Benedictine monks.
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.
It has a population of about 178,000 people (2018), thus making it Denmark's 3rd largest city.
Odense is also the birthplace of the fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen, and the city proudly displays statues, parades and 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.
- 1 Hans Christian Andersen Airport (ODE IATA). The small airfield 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.
From Copenhagen Airport take the train from the airport directly to Odense via Copenhagen or drive along road E20 across the Great Belt Bridge (note the road toll on the bridge).
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.
DSB operates trains in and out of Odense. From Odense, you can take a direct train to many cities and towns throughout Denmark.
The trains run frequently and generally on time.
It's important that you have a valid ticket before you board the train, as it's not possible to buy tickets onboard.
Tickets to Odense are best purchased directly from DSB. For those planning ahead, you can get a good deal with the so-called Orange and Orange Fri tickets, available online only.
The trains generally offer very comfortable seating and drink vending machines onboard. For longer journeys, it's recommended that you buy food and beverages before you get on the train. If you travel 1st class on InterCity and InterCityLyn trains, there are free water, coffee, tea and snacks on the train.
When travelling on peak travel days or during rush hour, or if travelling in groups, it's advisable (but not mandatory) to reserve seats on the InterCity and InterCityLyn trains.
Odense is in the centre of the island Funen (da.Fyn), and many Danes incorrectly consider it to be the centre of Denmark. The main highway between east (Zealand) and west (Jutland) Denmark, the E20, runs through 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. There is a toll for crossing the Great-Belt Bridge from Zealand to Funen, the cost is 235 jr one-way. As of 1 October 2023 a low emission zone has been introduced in Odense, see Driving in Denmark#Low Emission Zones.
Regional buses arrive at and leave from the Odense Railway Center ("Odense Banegård Center"). The local city buses can be recognized from the regional buses by the length of the line number. Two-digit number lines are city buses 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.
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, from which you should then take a train or bus to Odense.
Most of Odense's attractions, bars, restaurants & shopping areas are very easily accessibly on foot. All of the city's main hotels and hostels are in the city centre or train station areas. As a general rule all of the major attractions in the centre are between 5 and 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, and is roughly 30 minutes from the city centre. Both of these attractions are sign-posted all the way along the river.
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, the company Donkey Republic rent out bikes through an app.
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 railway station, outside the Rosengård centre and at Fisketorvet.
On a Friday or Saturday night taxis can be found all over the city. You can not hail a taxi on the street. You can ask in a bar/restaurant for them to get one sent to come pick you up, use the taxi companies app, website or ring to them. Taxis do cost more at night time.
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 and 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 on a summer day. Sometimes live jazz bands occasionally play on-board during the summer months.
Row-boats and paddle-boats can also be rented at the same location.
The buses from Fynbus are available all over Odense, and are fairly frequent. Almost all city buses passes through the Odense Railway Center ("Odense Banegård Center") in the course of their route. All city buses cost 23 kr for trips in the city, or 24 kr for trips in the suburbs as well as trips between the city and the suburbs. A full day ticket is available for 40 kr. 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 kr and the trips in the city and suburbs using this card will cost 10 kr. Tickets may also be purchased online through the FynBus.dk webshop or app, from which during school holidays you can buy a special tourist day ticket priced at 50 kr for one person (adult or child) or 150 kr for a group of 4 people.
The inner city bus route number 10 is free of charge; it only goes in a short loop around the city centre which makes it useful as a quick sightseeing tour.
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.
- 1 Brandts Klædefabrik, Brandts Torv 1, ☏ . 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 and a post office.
- 2 Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Claus Bergs Gade 11, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A museum which honours the life of the world's perhaps most famous fairy tale writer, who was born and raised in Odense though he later left to live in Copenhagen to follow his dream of a career at the theater. Many of his stories are inspired by his childhood in Odense - for good and for bad.
- 3 Danish Railway Museum, Dannebrogsgade 24, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. 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 10,000 m². 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. 48 kr, children 5-13 20 kr, Families 120 kr (2 adults and 3 children).
- 4 Hans Christian Andersen's House, Hans Jensens Stræde 45, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the house where Andersen was supposedly born (though he would never confirm it). The little yellow corner house has become an Odense icon and is perhaps the city's most photographed house.
- 5 Hans Christian Andersen's Garden, Town Centre, behind Saint Knuds Kirke. A garden commemorating H.C. Andersen. Large flower arrangements, a river and 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. Andersen's fairy tales).
- 6 Odense Zoo, Sdr. Boulevard 306, ☏ , email@example.com. 10:00-16:00 (or 18:00 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 kr, Adults: 110 kr, Family: (2 adults, and 2 children) 300 kr.
- 7 St. Canute's Cathedral (Sankt Knuds Kirke), Klosterbakken 2 (Next to the Town Hall), ☏ . Daily 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.
- 8 Galleri Galschiot, Banevaenget 22, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 09:00-17:00, Su 12:00-16:00. 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.
- 9 Nonnebakken. The "Nun Hill" is one of five Viking Age ring fort remains to be listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- 1 Odense Golfklub, Hestehaven 200, ☏ . Daily 21:00-17:30. Green fees: M-Th 275 kr, weekends and holidays 325 kr. Odense Golfklub does not accept euros and only permits credit card payments on weekdays 08:30-16:30.
- 2 Odense Go-Kart-Hal, Cikorievej 32, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com.
- Odense Symphony Orchestra (Odense Symfoniokester), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- Football: Odense Boldklub play soccer in Superliga, Denmark's top tier. Their home ground is Nature Energy Park (capacity 14,800) two km west of city centre.
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/S, Blangstedgårdvej 2, 5220 Odense SØ, Danmark., ☏ , toll-free: . Before 07:30. delivering newspapers 130 kr.
- Odense Pilsner & Odense Classic from the local brewery Albani. (Available in shops & bars throughout the city.)
- Odense Marcipan (Available in supermarkets and sweet shops throughout the city.)
- 1 Emils Hot House, Vestergade 17 (next to the Town Hall), ☏ . Su-W 11:00-22:00, Th-Sa 11:00-06:00. Take-away burgers, pizza & hot dogs. 15-45 kr.
- Happy Chicken, Vestergade 17 (next to the Town Hall), ☏ . All day. Budget Chinese food. The quality is not quite as good as that in China Wox. 20-45 kr.
- 2 Cafe du Nord, Vestergade 20 (near the Town Hall), ☏ . Daily 09:00-21:00.
- 3 Cuckoo's Nest, Vestergade 73, ☏ . M-W 09:00:00, Th-Sa 09:00-02:00, Su 10:00-24:00. Stylish but relaxed cafe-bar in the front, with a courtyard restaurant in the back. Nachos, burgers, salads, fish, and tapas platters. Main dishes 70-200 kr.
- 4 [dead link] Restaurant Carlslund, Fruens Bøge Skov 7 (accessible by train, bus or by taking the Odense Aafart tour boats on the river), ☏ , email@example.com. Su-W 12:00-23:00, Th-Sa 12:00-00:00. 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 kr for all you can eat. 70-250 kr.
- 5 Restaurant Hans Christian, Claus Bergsgade 7 (near Odense Train Station). The restaurant’s menu showcases French and Danish specialities. €20.
- 6 Den Gamle Kro (The Old Inn), Overgade 23, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11:00-23:00. Easily one of the most attractive restaurants in the country, in a historical half-timbered building, built as an inn in 1863. French-inspired and serves traditional Danish food. A la carte mains from 189 kr, 2-course menu 297 kr, 5-course menu 418 kr.
- 7 Sortebro Kro, Sejerskovvej 20, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 12:00-23:00. 18th-century inn near Den Fynske Landsby (Old Funen Village) Sejerskovej 20. Danish cuisine. A la carte from 215 kr, 3 courses menu 495 kr.
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 05:00 or even later.
- Albani, Tværgade 2, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A local beer, primarily Odense Pilsner and Odense Classic. The brewery was founded in 1859. Does not serve beer.
- 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. ID is required at the door. Door: 45 kr, drinks: relatively cheap.
- Boogies, Nørregade (near 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 Kvarter, Hunderupvej 19, ☏ . 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 Firtal, Vintapperstræde 31. A small traditional Danish pub, with a cozy Danish atmosphere. A wide range of Danish and foreign beers.
- Froggys Café, Froggys Café, Vestergade 68, ☏ , email@example.com.
- Ryan´s of Odense, Fisketorvet 12, ☏ . hours. Ryan's is an authentic traditional Irish pub, stocked with Irish drinks & staffed by Irish barmen. Live music every Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 23:00.
- Odense Casino, Claus Bergs Gade 7, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 19:00-04:00. American Roulette, Black Jack, Texas Hold Em Poker, TouchBet Roulette Terminals, Slot Machines, Viking Stud Poker 60 kr entrance fee.
- 1 Danhostel Odense City, Østre Stationsvej 31 (Adjacent to the central railroad station), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com.
- 2 Odense Danhostel Kragsbjerggaard, Kragsbjergvej 121, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Denmark's only manor-house hostel. Quiet residential area, 2 km from the city centre.
- 3 Bed and Breakfast, Engvej 9, email@example.com. From 400 kr.
- Odense Bed and Breakfast, Faaborgvej 434B/Lettebækvej 32, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Nice and clean rooms. Close to the town but in the countryside. From 325 kr.
- 4 Villa A Hotel, Kirkegaards Allé 17, ☏ , hotel@villaA.dk. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. A small 15 room hotel with a cozy courtyard and views to the park. Car charging station and free parking. 775DKK.
- 5 Hotel Windsor, Vindegade 45, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com.
- 6 First Grand Hotel, Jernbanegade 18 (just to the right as you leave the train station), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 7 Hotel Domir, Hans Tausens Gade 19 (5-minute walk to train station), ☏ , fax: . Small but light, well-furnished rooms. From 545 kr.
- 8 Hotel Ansgar, Østre Stationsvej 32 (400 m from Central Station), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Reasonably spacious rooms decorated in a traditional style. 600–900 kr.
- 9 City Hotel, Hans Mules Gade 5, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 570 kr and above.
- 10 Comwell H.C. Andersen Hotel, Claus Bergs Gade 7, ☏ .
- 11 Knudsens Gaard, Hunderupgade 2, ☏ . Excellent if by car. Residential area, at major crossroads out of town. 20-30 min walk to city centre. Good restaurant. From 1,100 kr.
- 12 Gl. Avernæs, Helnæsvej 9, ☏ . A little from Odense, close to nature in a quiet and relaxing area. From 980 kr.
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.
- Odense Central Library, ☏ .
- Odense is generally a safe town for visitors, but criminal activities and violence occasionally occur and caution is recommended late at night. Although there is not really any reason for tourists to venture there, the Vollsmose area is infamous in Denmark for its crime, social problems 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 unsafe than most places.
- Local Police, Hans Mules Gade 1-3, ☏ .
Maps of Odense can be purchased in the two shops in the train-station for 10 kr. Similarly there are maps placed all around the town for visitors, Most ATM machines in Odense close between 02:00 and 06:00, 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.
- Apoteket Ørnen, Filosofhaven 38A, ☏ . 24 hours a day. A fee of 20.65 kr is added to purchases outside normal opening hours.
- Belgium (Consul Niels Thorborg), Østre Stationsvej 1-5, ☏ , email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Finland (Consul Uwe Teichert), Englandsgade 25, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com.
- Germany (Consul Dr. Christian Benne), Campusvej 55, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Netherlands (Consul Robert Rasmussen), Christiansgade 70, ☏ .
- Norway (Consul Steen Haustrup), Energivej 40, ☏ .
- Sweden (Consul Jens Hempel-Hansen), Vestergade 97- 101, ☏ , email@example.com.
- United Kingdom (Consul Frits Niegel), Albanitorv 4, ☏ .
- Kerteminde, about 20 km to the northeast, this cute seaside town with a large centre of 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. A bit south near Kværndrup is the Egeskov Castle, a well-preserved Renaissance water castle.
- Middelfart, a coastal town which is near to the bridge to the Jutland peninsula.
- Nyborg, a coastal town which is complete with a mediaeval castle, beautiful gardens and 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. 90 minutes by intercity train. Visit the Mermaid, Tivoli Theme Park or the Carlsberg brewery.
|Routes through Odense|
|Kolding ← Middelfart ←||W E||→ Nyborg → Copenhagen|