Heading to Odense and in need of things to do? Then we have got you covered. Read on to find out about our favorite things to do in this delightful Danish city.
As the third-largest city in Denmark, Odense has got a plethora of sights just sitting there awaiting your visit. The city sits on the island of Funen, which is packed full of manor houses and castles, but it is perhaps most famous as the birthplace of fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen. So are you ready for an adventure? Then let’s head out and explore the city!
1. Bike your way around town
You might know that Denmark is a bicycle heaven but did you know that Odense is the country’s official bicycle city? In other words - the best way to explore town is to hop on a bike and pedal your way around. Considering how flat the country is, you don’t have to be a top athlete to zoom around the city.
If you don’t have a bike of your own you can rent one for free with Cibi, all you need to do is send an SMS and off you go. There are bike stands throughout the city and if you are staying at our Radisson Blu H.C. Andersen Hotel in Odense these stands are located mere minutes away. Remember to bring a helmet and learn the rules of biking in Denmark with this guide.
2. Up close with the animals at Odense Zoo
Ready to heed the call of the wild? Then Odense Zoo is the perfect match! Elected Europe’s Best Zoo in 2013-17, it is home to several different species. Lions, tigers, chimpanzees and zebras, oh my – you can find them all here. But watching these amazing animals is not all you get to do. Get up-close with the giraffes as you feel the hot muzzle against your hand when you feed them. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get a kiss? If you’re visiting in the summer you can also get close to the tapir or visit Lemur Island, where you can help feed the lively lemurs.
3. Binge on the best art at Brandts
If you’re looking for a taste of the best of Danish and international art, then Brandts, one of the leading art museums in Denmark, is the perfect choice. The museum itself is divided into two parts; Brandts 1 and Brandts 13, found in two separate locations in the city center; Brandts 1 and Brandts 13. The latter is the home of young art, where you can see the most recent works by a variety of artists. When you want to peruse classical art, head on over to Brandts 1.
Enjoy formidable installations, videos, sculptures as well as paintings and photography, all presented side by side. A visit here will definitely give you something new to talk about, whether you are checking out modern art or the classical masterpieces.
4. Revel in fairytales and fun at H.C. Andersen Museum
© mary416 / Shutterstock.com
Ever heard the tales of the Little Mermaid or the Ugly Duckling? The creator behind it all, Hans Christian Andersen, was born in the heart of Odense and his home still stands. Today, it serves as a museum, telling the story of the writer’s life spanning from 1805 to 1875. Browse through the books he wrote at the library, where translations are available in more than 130 languages, or learn more about the impressive era that he was born into.
Walk through the gallery and enjoy the many illustrations created for Andersen’s stories, with some of the earliest as well as most recent paintings included.
5. Enjoy enticing Egeskov Castle
© Egeskov Castle
Who’s got two thumbs and loves a great castle? You do! So step inside Egeskov Castle, one of Europe’s finest Renaissance buildings, complete with a real moat, spires, knight’s hall and ghastly creatures in the masonry. The young ones will love the PlayForest, a forest playground that will have them entertained for hours, as well as the wonder of the 3000-piece dollhouse. The gardens surrounding the castle is a true marvel and the perfect place for a leisurely stroll, just make sure you bring your camera.
If veteran cars, classic motorcycles or historic dresses are more your thing, then you’re in luck. Egeskov has an impressive exhibition of all three. The motorcycle exhition consists of 60 different vehicles spread across 600 m². Combine it with a visit to the automobile exhibition and you got yourself a trip to chrome heaven!
6. Shop til you drop
Do you feel a burning sensation in your wallet? Or are you just looking for some Danish specialties to take home with you? Then Odense has got you covered! Stroll around in the streets and head into unique specialty shops or head indoors to the shopping centers. If the former is more your thing, then Kongensgade and Vestergade, situated right in the city center, is the perfect place to be no matter your budget. Here, you’ll find small local shops side by side with major international brands.
You might fancy the convenience of a modern mall and if that’s the case, stop by Rosengårdcentret shopping mall. With more than 150 shops across 100 000m² it stands as the second-largest mall in all of Denmark. Make sure to check out Visit Odense’s guide to shopping in the city for more great tips.
7. Dine in style with Danish delicacies
With all these things to do in Odense, you’re guaranteed to be feeling the hunger sneaking up on you as you explore. But have no fear, Danish food is here! You might know about the traditional “smørrebrød”, open faced sandwiches, and these tasty little things are ready to settle your hunger. How about a lunch stop at Kong Volmer? Located right next to Brandts this is the perfect place for a true Danish lunch, as they serve a variety of open faced sandwiches.
If you’re craving an upscale dinner experience, you don’t have to venture far when staying at our hotel in Odense. Our Restaurant Hans Christian is not only a great spot to start your Danish day out but also a top spot to relax and unwind after a day of adventures. Enjoy excellent Danish and French cuisine for dinner, or just enjoy a refreshing cocktail in the bar.
Well, what are you waiting for? We’ll see you in Odense!
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