Welcomes to Hans Christian Andersen’s home town and the ”capital” of Funen. Odense is charming high streets, lots of museums and activities, Odense Zoo, lovely green parks and much more.
With a history dating back more than 1,000 years of history, Odense is one of the oldest cities in Denmark. A legacy dating from the Vikings, all the way into today’s transformation to a modern Danish city. A large number of festivals, 261 parks and 540-km network of cycle paths are just some of the things that make Odense an adventurous experience and a great city to visit. Here are the top 7 thing to do in Odense.
- Egeskov Castle – It’s one of Europe’s most beautiful buildings, a renaissance water castle that looks the same now as it did when it was constructed in 1554. It sits in the middle of a small lake, forming the castle’s moat and is elevated from the lakebed by oak piles. In essence it’s a stately home with fortifications, as the castle dates to a time of civil unrest in the build-up to the Protestant Reformation.
- Odense Zoo – The city’s zoo is the most popular visitor attraction on the island of Funen, and one of the top ten in the county. It started out in 1930 as a menagerie with just a handful of animals and now has 147 different species, updating itself with new zones and enclosures every few years.
- Danish Railway Museum – Odense has the largest railway museum in all of Scandinavia. In a converted roundhouse there are 50 locomotives and carriages to see, among them the E Class engine that pulled King Frederick IX’s funeral train in 1972. You will also find the oldest surviving locomotive in Denmark: The H40 from 1869.
- Carl Nielsen Museum – Nielsen was a luminary of early-20th-century classical music and remains a Danish cultural icon. He was also born just a few kilometres south of Odense. At his museum you’ll be presented with a chronology of the composer’s life and work, and the experience is enriched with displays of his possessions.
- Hans Christian Andersen’s Childhood Home – It’s a small half-timbered house and you’ll hear how the Andersen family didn’t even have it to themselves; they shared with a glovemaker’s family who occupied the living room. Exhibits in the home help to tie Andersen to the city of Odense and even the furniture arrangements have been devised to conform to the author’s personal recollections of his childhood.
- Hans Christian Andersen Museum – The beloved author’s birthplace in the old town has been open as a museum for more than a century now. The son of an unsuccessful cobbler, Hans Christian Andersen was born in this humble little abode in 1805. The home and its modest furnishings take you back to the time in which the author grew up and worked, displaying a number of his drawings and manuscripts, as well as personal items that shed some light on his personality and friends.
- Møntergården – Found in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, this museum covers Odense and Funen’s history from prehistory up to the middle ages. This renaissance house is an attraction by itself; with an ornate timber frame and leaded windows. Inside, the most exciting displays are about the city’s development in the late-medieval period, when wealth through trade brought about a golden age.