Odense in Denmark is the unofficial capital and largest city on the island of Funen (da.Fyn). The third largest danish city is great to explore on bike, as a real Danish would! The home of Hans Christian Andersen, the world famous fairytale writer (the Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling or The Snow Queen), is a must-see, as well as the Funen Village with its old windmill.
Odense is roughly in the centre of Funen, which lies between the larger Zealand island & the Jutland peninsula. The first recorded reference to the city dates back to 988 AD in a letter from the German Kaiser Otto III. Some recent archaeological findings have indicated that a settlement has in fact been around since the Viking period. At that time, however, Odense was just the small centre of the Odin cult. In 1100, the first monastery, St. Knud’s was established by English Benedictine monks.
Up until the middle of the 17th century, Odense enjoyed the position as a main trading-centre for the people from the surrounding areas. Local produce & livestock were exported from the city. However, a war with Sweden in the 1600s weakened the city’s economy. This economic downturn continued until 1803 when a canal linking Odense & the Baltic Sea was opened. This swiftly changed Odense into a port city & over the next 100 years Odense quickly developed into the modern industrial city which it is today.
Most of Odense’s attractions, bars, restaurants & shopping areas are very easily accessibly on foot. All of the city’s main hotels & hostels are located within the city centre or train station areas. As a general rule all of the major attractions in the centre are between 5 & 10 minutes of each other.
A major exception to this is ‘The Funen Village’ (Den Fynske Landsby), which is about a 45 minute walk along the river. Similarly the zoo is on the same route & is roughly 30 minutes from the city centre. Both of these attractions are sign-posted all the way along the river.
Trains are a get way to go there, especially if you plan on visiting other parts of Denmark or are arriving from Copenhagen:
Roughly between 90 minutes & 2 hours from Copenhagen City. Trains depart 2-3 times an hour. (Average cost: 220dkk)
Around 105 minutes from Aarhus.
Between 80 and 110 minutes from Esbjerg in southern Jutland.
About 45 minutes from Svendborg in the south of Funen
Between 4 and 5 hours from Hamburg in Germany.