Odense is situated at the very heart of Denmark. Famous as the birthplace of author Hans Christian Andersen, you might not know that it is also the official bicycle city of Denmark. Uncover more about Denmark’s third-largest city here…

At the heart of Denmark

You will find Odense nestled on Denmark’s garden island, Funen, which is packed full of manor houses and castles, such as the stunning Egeskov Castle. The city is named after Odin, the Norse god of war, poetry and wisdom, a perfect patron for a cultural and historical hotspot.

City of Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen put Denmark on the world map through his fantastical 19th century fairy tales. At the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, you can form a strong impression of the writer as a person as well as the world he lived in. You can also visit his childhood home, see his sketchings and papercuts and take a Hans Christian Andersen guided tour of the city.

Carl Nielsen

Another Odense-born celebrity, the composer Carl Nielsen, also contributed a great deal to the town’s cultural inheritance. Head to the Carl Nielsen Museum, dedicated to the life and work of Denmark’s most famous composer, to find out more. 2015 is the 150th anniversary of Carl Nielsen’s birth which will be celebrated around the world with concerts, recordings, book publications, exhibitions, etc. Read more here at carlnielsen.org.

Historical sights

Odense dates back to pre-Viking times and offers you a rich mix of historical periods and attractions. Visit the intriguing Sankt Knuds Kirke (Saint Canute's Cathedral), the only example of true Gothic architecture in Denmark. Experience yesteryear at the Funen Village, an open-air museum in a reconstructed 19th century village.

Culture and nightlife

Odense's nightlife is built around intimate cafés, live music and cosy pubs. There’s also a casino to enjoy. From June to August, the Summer in Odense Festival brings you rock and jazz, and in August you can enjoy open-air Opera. Odense’s pedestrianised streets are often treated to the music of street musicians and other performers throughout the summer months.

Popular attractions

Odense hosts the Odense International Film Festival each year. It’s also home to a popular zoo and museums and art galleries, such as Funen’s Art Museum (Fyns Kunstmuseum) and Art Gallery Brandts.

Shopping in Odense

Every Wednesday and Saturday, the area outside the Concert Hall is transformed into Funen’s largest market with stalls selling fresh farm produce from the countryside. There is also an antique market, as well as many specialist shops, in the city centre. Alternatively, you can explore one of Denmark’s largest shopping centres, Rosengaardcenteret, just a few minutes from the city centre.

Further reading

Find holiday inspiration at the VisitOdense website.

Read more about Funen.

Share this page