H.C. Andersen’s city: Odense



To travel is to live – Hans Christian Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life

Odense is the 3rd largest city of Denmark and the main city of the Fyn island. And more importantly it’s the birthplace of famous fairy tale writer, Hans Christian Andersen. The city and it’s people are quite proud of him. Almost everything in the city marks this man in some way or the other – even traffic signals have the figure of it’s famous writer!

H.C.Andersen’s Statue

Odense is around couple of hours from Copenhagen and can be reached by bus or train. We travelled with bus both ways, and was our stopover destination during our trip to Ærø.

As a city, Odense is not very much popular among the travellers and most of the time it’s overlooked against it’s odd. Even though it falls in the centre of Denmark, it’s hardly being noticed as the place to travel.

First thing we did was to visit the Tourist Information Centre (visitodense) and checkout the things to do. To our luck, our travel day had the main festival running – the H.C. Andersen’s festival. YES, that gave the city a completely different feel. The whole city was painted in pink and numerous activities happening across multiple streets made the city more lively!


However from travel perspective, most of the things to see in the city revolve around H.C. Andersen’s life : his birthplace, his childhood house (also a museum), his Workhouse where he received his irregular & free education, his statue by the river Odense Å, the H.C. Andersen House hosting a museum showcasing all his work.

Apart from these, there few other sites which depicts some important aspects/moments of his life – the Market Square, the Cathedral, the Town Hall, the Gråbrødre Hospital, the Odense Castle, St. Knud’s & St. Hans’ churches, the Washing site – All these can be seen by following the foot steps printed on the streets all over old town. The trail is around 3kms long and there is basic information written below each street name (in Danish though!!!).

Odense Odense

Along with these, there are numerous fairy tale sculptures all around the city, like these:

Woman with eggs


Few other things to do in the city are:

  • strolling in and around Vestergade & Kongensgade streets – these are more like walking streets with plenty of options to eat & buy,
  • riverside walk along Odense Å,
  • walk across the garden close to cathedral & the Town Hall,
  • Munke Mose – a green oasis and a perfect place to relax and watch the local life.


We didn’t had the time to explore Danish Railway Museum & the Funen Village – which are considered as things to visit in Odense.

From the eating perspective, there are lot of places to have good meal or coffee with snacks or cake. Few of the places we tried:

  • Dinner at Tortilla Flats – A great small & cozy Mexican restaurant – had really nice food and great service.
  • Breakfast at Nelle’s Coffee & Wine – a great place in the city centre for fast eat out and coffee.
  • Quick coffee & cake at Kræs For Smag in the city centre.
  • Lunch in restaurant named UBN  – which is in the city centre with huge portions at reasonable price.

All in all, it was perfect time in Odense. It’s quite different, as its not a usual travel destination, but definitely recommended to anyone who stays in Denmark for some time. Would be nice to have something different from usual 🙂

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