- Location: Funen Islands, Denmark
- Significance: Historic City
- Attraction Type: Historic City, Museums, Architecture, Festivals
- How to Reach: Odense is extremely well connected to Copenhagen by train. Odense has also a small domestic airport, with regular transfers from Copenhagen.
- Nearest Airport: Odense Airport
Named after the Norse god Odin, Odense appears to be as old as Denmark itself. The hometown of Hans Christian Andersen is also the fairy tale of Denmark. The Thousand Years Forest, the cobbled pavement, the church of King Canute, all exude a sense of historicity and tradition that is rarely found anywhere else in the whole of Europe. Odense is the pearl of the picturesque Funen Island in Denmark. It is not unusual to feel being in the twilight days of Germanic history when one is in Odense.
Odense is a great mix of tradition and modernity. Tradition is present everywhere, right from historic buildings and landmarks, sites of famous historical events that date back to the times of medieval Europe. Simultaneously, you also have an opportunity to enjoy the latest sports, go shopping, check out arts by contemporary artists and explore wildlife or go out for a picnic. The numbers of getaways are also impressive. All in all, Odense is the consummate Scandinavian destination.
There are plenty of things in Odense that never fail to catch the visitor’s fancy. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in the city include the following:
1.Saint Canute’s Cathedral: This 11th-century cathedral was rebuilt in the 13th century. The mortal remains of Canute, Denmark’s patron saint who planned to invade England and overthrow William of Normandy, remain under the altar in this cathedral. The cathedral also has a beautiful Claus Berg triptych as an altarpiece and a large fragment of an original Byzantine cloth.
2.Our Lady’s Church: This houses another great altarpiece by the same artist, Claus Berg of Lubeck. It was built in the 13th century and was restored and renovated in the middle of the 19th century.
3.Odense Palace: Erected by Frederick IV who died here in 1730, this is one of the major attractions of this ancient Danish city.
Museums in Odense
Art is the soul of Odense, and there a number of museums that celebrate this obsession that the city has with art. The proliferation of arts in the city center of Odense is emblematic of the high artistic profile of the city. You can visit the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, the Funen Art Museum, and the Funen Village. For a comprehensive idea of the local history of Funen in general and Odense in particular, pay a visit to the Bymuseet Montergarden. A visit to the Brandts Exhibition Complex will introduce you to the best modern Danish arts. You can also visit the highly popular Railway Museum in the city.
Festivals in Odense
Odense is a city of festivals. A large number of events are held all throughout the year, some with their roots dating back to the early medieval times. In almost all festivals, the tradition and the distinctive soul of Funen Island are celebrated with style and pride. Some of the most popular festivals in the city are:
- The Folk Festival: Usually held in the month of May, this festival brings together great traditional music from all across Scandinavia, Ireland, and England.
- Odense International Film Festival: Odense has a number of theaters, which betrays the city’s lasting infatuation with films. This Odense Film Festival is a labor of that love. Held between the months of August and September, it is gradually gaining in importance in the world festival circuit. It presents a great collection of both long films, as well as short films and documentaries from all over the world. International productions that do not always make it to the regular theaters at other times of the year are quite obviously the top draws.
- Fairytale Run: This is the longest fun run in the whole of Denmark and is held on Ascension Day. The starting and finishing areas are around the Odense Idratspark. It is a very colorful and vibrant event and is heavily attended.
- Odense International Blues Festival: Denmark, quite surprisingly, is one of the strongest bastions of the Blues. A number of established and promising artists, from the US, Denmark and other parts of Europe arrive here to showcase their talents.
- The Hans Christian Andersen Parade: This colorful fairytale parade by children, held more than once every year is one of the greatest attractions of this city. You will understand why the city is most appropriately understood as the Fairytale city.
Accommodation in Odense
Hotels and inns in Odense satisfy the needs of luxury as well as budget travelers. Some of the most popular accommodation opportunities in Odense are City Hotel Odense, Odense Congress Center, Clarion Hotel Plaza, First Hotel Grand and Comfort Hotel Windsor. There are many beds and breakfast as well as backpackers hostels in Odense as well.