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.


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

By plane

Odense Airport

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

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

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

The Danish state-owned railway company 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

By car

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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.


Town Hall and Saint Knud's Church
Egeskov Castle
The sign at the entrance to the Brandts area of the city.


Munke Mose Park, in winter.
The old windmill at The Funen Village.


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.







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.






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


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.



Go next

Routes through Odense

Kolding Middelfart  W  E  Nyborg Copenhagen

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, December 14, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.