The largest city on the island of Funen, Odense is bursting with history, culture, and exciting culinary experiences. Discover the best things to do during your visit with our list of the top tourist attractions in Odense.
Tourist Attractions in Odense
1. Munke Mose Park
Munke Mose Park is located directly in the central ring of the city. The park is a huge green area that offers a wide range of activities, playgrounds, and nature trails. Surrounded by waterscapes and nature paths, the entire park is an excellent place for running, walking, or biking.
There are also many open-air events going on in Munke Mose Park throughout the year, as it’s an easily accessible area of Odense.
Whether you’re spending the day with your family or walking alone, the peaceful vibe really freshens your thoughts. It’s a great place to take a lunch break for those that work inside all day too.
2. Egeskov Castle
To call “Egeskov Castle” dazzling would be a rank understatement; 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.
The conical towers at each end have arrow slits and machicolations (holes for dropping scalding oil or water on attackers!).
If you like classic vehicles you’ll love the interior, as there’s a neat collection of vintage cars and bikes to see.
3. Hans Christian Andersen Museum
One of the best tourist attractions in Odense is Hans Christian Andersen Museum. Dating from 1908 and dedicated to the writer’s life and work, the Hans Christian Andersen Museum explores Andersen’s world through artifacts, mementos, and exhibits. Of particular interest are his drawings and artwork. The interactive installations include a PC that allows you to leaf through his books. In the listening posts, you can hear his stories and poems.
The museum shop has a wide selection of books in several languages, both about and by Hans Christian Andersen. The domed hall is adorned with scenes from the autobiographical book Story of My Life.
4. The Old Town
Some of the city’s oldest houses are located within the Old Town’s neighborhood. The Old Town dates back to medieval times and is situated on the East side of the city center.
It is a beautifully preserved part of Odense where the most powerful and influential citizens had their houses and businesses.
The old cobblestone streets and colorful crooked houses are what attract tourists because of their medieval feel. The wonky houses, and it’s fair share of well-preserved buildings, give you a good idea about how life was in Odense during the Middle Ages.
5. 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.
It will definitely get a thumbs up from the kids, especially if you try one of the special experiences that will bring them nose to nose with giraffes, tapirs, or lemurs.
The zoo also attracted a lot of media attention in the summer of 2015 when it dissected a lion as part of an educational event.
6. St. Knud’s Cathedral
To the south of Odense Town Hall, St. Knud’s Cathedral (Skt. Knuds Kirke) is named after the Danish saint, Knud IV, who began building the structure around 1100. The original church was burned down in the 12th century, and after a further great fire, a three-aisled replacement was started in the 1300s. In fact, it took almost 200 years to complete.
A notable feature of the interior is the crypt below the choir, which contains the tombs of King Knud, his brother Benedict, and various other kings and their consorts. Behind the High Altar stands a huge reredos with magnificent carvings.
7. Brandts Art Hall
In the city’s west, a leisurely 10-minute stroll from the cathedral is Brandts Art Hall (Brðndts Klædefabrik), a former textile factory that is now an Arts Center, with shops, restaurants, and cafés. The Art Hall itself is an exhibition covering an area of 1,600 square meters.
In rooms that once housed spinning jennies and looms are stunning paintings, sculptures, and a range of works from the fields of architecture, design, and handicrafts. The new Collection Wing holds more than 15,000 classic works of art and photographic exhibits by world-famous photographers. In addition to all this, there are regular video installations, concerts, and public lectures.