Kongelig ballet på H.C. Andersens Hus

Holiday for 2 - Much more than Hans Christian Andersen

Photo: Elvinas Tam

Odense is known as the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, but it's much more than that. In fact, the city is rapidly developing and has undergone a marvellous transformation from big city to metropolis. But what is worth experiencing in Denmark's greenest city? Find inspiration here.

Danser i udstilling Brandts

©VisitOdensePhoto:Elvinas Tam

Adventurous attractions

Once upon a time there was a city that was sometimes forgotten in favour of mighty Copenhagen and great Aarhus, but that's no longer the case. Odense is now firmly on the map when it comes to fantastic attractions, scenic experiences and gastronomic gems. Start your tour of the city with a visit to Odense's historic city centre, where you'll find Møntergården. This is the city's archaeological and historical museum, which, in addition to the old merchant's house, covers an entire block of listed buildings dating back more than 600 years. There are exhibitions for all ages, including the story of the city's development from a small village to a large city with a view of Europe, and you can visit the Children's Backyard, which is a staged urban environment from the 1890s with a backyard, apartments and a carpenter's workshop.

From the historic district, you can walk through the city to Odense's Latin Quarter, an oasis in the centre of the city with small speciality shops, great places to eat and exciting cultural life. The Tidens Samling is one of the must-visit places. It's a cultural history hands-on museum of 20th century clothing, interiors and home furnishings from 1900 - 1990s. Here you are allowed to touch the exhibits, sit in the furniture, open the drawers and try on the clothes. Afterwards, make your way to Kunstmuseum Brandts, also located in the Latin Quarter. The museum is one of the leading museums in the Nordic region and consists of one large unified museum for art and visual culture. Exhibitions and events are spread over four floors in this unique complex in Odense.

Both in Odense's Latin Quarter and the nearby pedestrianised streets and alleys, you can enjoy the vibrant city life and fill your shopping bags with goodies. There are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of all the city's shopping facilities, ranging from large chain stores to small shops. There's something for everyone, whether you're into fashion, art, chocolate, crafts, flowers, interiors or a good mix of all of the above.

©VisitOdensePhoto:Thomas Mørkeberg

Scenic adventures

In Denmark's greenest metropolis, there's room to play and space to enjoy, breathe and relax. Natural gems are just waiting for you to pack your picnic basket, lace up your hiking boots or strap on your cycle helmet. You can start with a walk on the river trail along Odense Å, a stretch of almost 20 kilometres from Kertemindevej in the northeast all the way to Bellinge in the southwest. Here you'll also find the "Ud i det blå" signs that tell you about the river valley's flora and fauna, but also about historical sites and events.

When you need to rest your legs, hop aboard the Odense River Cruise in Munke Mose, which takes you on a scenic boat trip past the zoo and out to Fruens Bøge. During the cruise you can experience the green landscape, the beautiful water lilies, the wild birdlife and the many splendid villas along the route. In fact, the sailing trip is a bit of a classic, as Odense Aafart has been sailing since 1882.

Located just two kilometres from the city centre, the Odense Harbour has also undergone a wondrous transformation from an industrial port to a fashionable residential area with harbour baths, restaurants and scenic squares. Take a stroll along the harbour and experience the new neighbourhood and atmosphere first-hand. If you fancy a refreshing dip, you'll find Odense Harbour Bath in the centre of Odense Harbour. It looks like a ship with a deck and cabin, making it easy to find. Plus, the harbour bath is free to use and open all year round, so winter bathers are also welcome.

©VisitOdensePhoto:Jonas Legarth

Gastronomic gems

The food scene is booming in Odense, and there are opportunities for gastronomic adventures. Odense offers cafés and restaurants galore.

Storms Pakhus is a gastronomic and creative street food market - and Funen's largest of its kind. The atmospheric market is located on the harbour in Odense in a raw and industrial hall of 3,000 square metres, which includes food stalls with quality street food, bars and creative workshops. Be sure to show up hungry, as Storms Pakhus offers everything from steaming homemade pita bread and butter chicken made from scratch to spicy samosas and stone-oven baked pizzas.

If you're looking for Japanese-inspired cuisine, sublime service and a delicious wine list, you can also visit GOMA in the heart of Odense. Here, the menu consists of several smaller dishes that are served continuously with a thorough presentation. So if you're into delicacies like oysters and sushi, GOMA is the place for you.

If you want to round off the evening with a glass of wine, there are many exciting options at the city's wine bars. If you're more into colourful and ambitious cocktails, do yourself a favour and stop by Bar Visit. They take pride in their cocktails and love to play and challenge both their own and their guests' taste buds.

Photo:First Grand Odense

If your trip includes accommodation, you can stay at one of the city's many lovely hotels, rent a holiday home, stay at a B&B or perhaps sleep under the stars in a shelter. See the options here.