Odense has a population of just over 140,000 people and is the country of Denmark’s third largest city. It is by and large a manufacturing town marked by shipyards, auto manufacturing plants, food processing buildings, and even a railroad junction. It is one of the oldest cities in northern Europe, and despite its background in industry, it offers plenty for tourists to see and do.
Fun Facts about Odense
- Odense is the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, a popular writer and novelist known around the world. In fact, you can see Andersen’s house while visiting.
- Odense is also the birthplace of Carl Nielson, Denmark’s greatest composer.
- The University of Southern Denmark is located here, which adds between 10,000 and 15,000 people to the city’s overall population.
- Odense is Denmark’s #1 bicycle town. There are more than 360km of bike paths alone, and you can almost circle the entire city on a bike without ever meeting a single car.
- Many of the railway lines scattered throughout the city are no longer in use.
- The word “Odense” translates to “Odin’s Sanctuary”. The city was named after Odin, the most important god in ancient Norse mythology.
- Thanks to artifacts and archeology, there is evidence to suggest that people have inhabited the Odense area since the Stone Age.
Odense’s Main Claim to Fame
By and large, the number one tourist attraction in Odense is the home of Hans Christian Andersen. Known the world over for his tale of The Little Mermaid, which eventually became a Disney hit many years later, people can explore Andersen’s whimsical world and where he lived while visiting the city. Along those same lines, even the Funen Village located just outside of the city proper pays homage to Andersen’s time with perfectly-restored half-timbered homes and much, much more. This is all true despite the fact that Andersen only lived in the area until he was 14 years of age and never had anything good to say about his impoverished childhood there.
Accommodations, Restaurants, and Attractions
If you want to experience Denmark without the hustle and bustle of big cities like Copenhagen, then Odense is the perfect spot. You can find luxurious hotels here, such as the amazingly beautiful First Hotel Grand and its castle-like architecture. On the other hand, if you are looking for something a little more budget-friendly, check out Ansgarhus Motel with a high customer rating, a relatively low price, and a rustic setting that you have to see to believe. What’s more, you even get private bathrooms – something that is hard to find with budget accommodations in Denmark.
There are also plenty of restaurants in the area to help satisfy your cravings, and these include the high-end Den Gamle Kro. It is a one-of-a-kind romantic experience that takes place in multiple 17th century half-timbered houses. They typically serve French cuisine, and you can choose two or three course meals.
Budget diners will enjoy Emil’s Hot House, which serves classic American and Canadian fare at a great price.
While in Odense, there are several attractions that will keep you entertained. Egeskov Castle is simply breathtaking with its waterside setting and pristine landscaping. There is also Odense Zoo, which is perfect for couples and families with children alike. You can find Denmark’s railway museum here, which pays homage to all of the trains used in the country for more decades.