Odense is the third-largest city in Denmark and just 75 minutes from Copenhagen. It is the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen and the ideal destination for a one day trip in your Denmark itinerary. Here are the best things you can discover in this idyllic town.
Discover Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense at the beginning of the 19th century and stayed in this town until the age of 14. Now, travelers want to discover more about the writer’s life and visit important locations from the writer’s past.
Visitors can discover the writer’s childhood home, his former school and see the riverside spot where the writer’s mom did her laundry. There are a lot of Andersen’s statues in the city, and also colorful characters from his tales. The Emperor’s New Clothes and Thumbelina are just two examples.
There is also a HC Andersen Festival that takes place in Odense in August. You’ll have the chance to see over 500 events, including theatre performances, storytelling, concerts, street performances, art exhibitions and more. Most of these activities are free of charge.
New HC Andersen museum will open this year
A new HC Andersen museum will be opened in the centre of the old town in 2020. The Andersen collection that featured personal items was moved to a temporary location in the Odense Concert Hall because the former museum building was bulldozed.
The modern museum was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, and will consist of a 5600-sq-m building, with two thirds of the exhibition underground. A large garden space will surround the museum, providing a magical atmosphere.
Visit Egeskov Castle
Egeskow Castle is one of Europe’s most beautiful buildings, a water castle that passed the proof of time, as it looks the same now as it did 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.
The conical towers at each end have arrow slits and machiolations (holes for dropping scalding oil or water on attackers!).
Oh, and if you like classic vehicles you’ll love the interior, as there’s a neat collection of vintage cars and bikes to see.
Different flavours for every taste
The town offers a lot of dining options no matter your tastes: from street food to fine dining. You can enjoy oven-fired pizza, delicious fish&chips and the local bear.
For something a little less casual, visit Oluf Bagers Gård, housed in a 16th-century timbered building. It offers smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwiches) at lunchtime and a nine-course seasonal Nordic tasting menu in the evening. Be sure to stop in to Odense Chokoladehus to pick up some handmade sweet treats, like the flavourful macarons or traditional flødeboller – soft meringue on a marzipan base, enrobed in chocolate.
While in Denmark, make time to visit Odense. You’ll get in love with this idyllic town and you can visit it in 1-2 days.