Attractions in Odense

By Signe Greiner

Last updated August 29, 2023

Odense is a city full of history and exciting sights. For most people, the city brings to mind H. C. Andersen, and for the same reason, Odense is also often referred to as H. C. Andersen's city. In addition to a lot of attractions linked to the author, Odense contains much more than just that. Read along and find inspiration for your next trip to Odense. Read about the sights in Odense that you must visit.

Musts when you visit H. C. Andersen's town

With a population of just over 200,000, Odense is Denmark's third largest city. When you visit Odense, you are guaranteed an ocean of historical experiences and beautiful nature in the form of parks and beautiful gardens. Come and discover Odense's many attractions. We have selected some of the best sights.

  • The town hall in Odense
  • Odense Theatre
  • Odense Zoo
  • Denmark's Railway Museum
  • H. C. Andersen's childhood home
  • H. C. Andersen's Museum
  • King's Garden
  • The Fairytale Garden (Eventyrhaven) - H. C. Andersens Garden
  • The Monastery Garden
  • The Romntic Garden Sanderumgaard
  • The Village of Funen (Den Fynske Landsby) - open-air museum
  • Port of Odense
  • Odense Cathedral

Odense Town Hall

In the center of Odense city you will find the Town Hall, which is located by Flakhaven. This is popularly called the Town Hall Square. A number of cultural events, such as festivals, concerts, etc., are held in this square every year. The town hall in Odense was built between 1881-1883 and designed by the architects J. D. Herholdt and Carl Lendorf, who largely found inspiration in Italian medieval buildings.

Odense Theatre

The theater in Odense is an older number, so old in fact that it is Denmark's second oldest theater. With over 200 years on its back, Odense Theater has been based in the city since 1796. Odense Theater consists of 5 stages: Main Stage, Theater Hall (ODEON), The Workshop, The Underground and Foyer Stage. Together, the 5 stages have room for 930 guests.

Odense Theater is a regional stage. This means that the theater must put on performances that range widely, with both Danish and foreign classics, more modern performances, as well as performances aimed at a younger audience and children. The theater also shows performances that include music and dance.

Odense Zoo

When Odense Zoo opened back in 1930, it was under the name Odense Animal Park (Odense Dyrehave). Just 3 years later, however, the name was changed to Odense Zoo. The zoo was originally owned by Christian Jensen, but in 1980 his family transferred the Zoo to Odense Municipality. Today, the Zoo is one of Odense's most popular attractions, offering a wonderful experience for the whole family.

Denmark's Railway Museum

Located in the center of Odense is Denmark's Railway Museum. Right next to the railway station in an old shed building from 1954, you can get up close to Danish railway history when you explore the museum. Spread over 21 tracks, old iconic locomotives can be studied up close, and it is even possible to go inside several of the old locomotives. Fortunately, a visit to the railway museum is not just an experience for the older generation. There is undoubtedly plenty of opportunity for the little ones to get an exciting, fun and educational experience out of a visit.

H. C. Andersen's childhood home

It has probably not escaped anyone that Odense is the city where our H. C. Andersen grew up. It is therefore also a given that you should drop by the beloved author's childhood home. In Munkemøllestræde in the middle of Odense city you will find a small yellow half-timbered house. From the outside it looks like any other old house from that time, but this particular house has a very special history. From Hans Christian Andersen was 2 to 14 years old, he lived in the house with his parents. It is not a house that shows signs of great wealth or prosperity. On the contrary, the author lived under simpler conditions in his childhood years. As an extra addition, in 2018 a cozy garden was created with flowers and plants, which were those described in Andersen's works.

H. C. Andersen's museum - H. C. Andersen's house

Not to be confused with H. C. Andersen's childhood home, we have H. C. Andersen's museum, which is also called H. C. Andersen's house. However, the museum is located right next to the small yellow half-timbered house, but takes up significantly more square meters. The museum's area covers a total of 5,600 square meters. Including an underground museum, with an associated garden and childrens play house. The museum building was designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The museum's exhibitions have been created in close collaboration with 12 artists from both Denmark and abroad. The sensory experience is made up in a unity between design, sound, light, art and architecture, which gives an insight into H. C. Andersen's works and life.

The gardens of Odense

In the city of Odense, you will encounter a lot of beautiful gardens, that are all worth a visit.

The Kings Garden (Kongens Have)

In the 1720s, Kings Garden was laid out as a baroque garden designed by architect Johann Cornelius Krieger. Today, large parts of the garden have been remodeled, but it is still possible to see elements from the old garden. Odense Castle is located inside the garden, and was built back in 1720 with inspiration from the French style. The garden was laid out in its time as a symmetrical axis garden. Barely 100 years later, the garden was transformed into an English romantic garden style. To this day, Kings Garden is often used for a lot of different cultural events, and is generally a hot spot for many visitors, especially during summer.

Fairy Garden (Eventyrhaven) - H. C. Andersen's Garden

By Odense Stream is the little Fairytale Garden located, which you reach by crossing a small wooden bridge that leads over the brook to the rotunda, which is a small round island located in the garden. The garden has a lot of beds filled with different plants and flowers. Since 1949, there has been a statue of H. C. Andersen in the garden - hence the name. Although most locals simply use the term: Fairytale Garden. The garden was laid out in 1876.

The Monastery Garden

Right next to the Cathedral is the Monastery Garden, which is geometric and detailed in a completely authentic style. The garden was designed by L. P. Sørensen back in the 1920s. The unique thing about the Monastery Garden is that you can find more than 125 different herbs.

The Romantic Garden Sanderumgaard

The romantic garden Sanderumgaard is an almost 200-year-old manor garden that has welcomed visitors since 2010 after a major restoration. During a visit to the beautiful garden, you will experience a romantic English style that was typical in the early 1700s. Sanderumgaard was actually the first of its kind in Denmark.

The Village of Funen - Open Air Museum (Den Fynske Landsby - Frilandsmuseet)

At the Open Air Museum you will be taken back in time to the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum consists of old village houses, which means that you as a visitor step into a time pocket filled with half-timbered houses, livestock, village idyll and a general feeling of being present in another age of time. The Open Air Museum tells the story of life in the countryside between the 18th and 19th century. It becomes even more authentic as volunteers both live and work in the village, where they each take on different roles that belong to the past.

Port of Odense

The port of Odense is one of the "newer" attractions, in the sense that the port area is still in the process of its recreational development, which should make the entire quay along the water a pleasant place for visitors to stay. Once a raw and industrial port, but since companies such as GoBoat, which rents out electric boats, and Mornsol, which hosts SUP courses and lets visitors drip candles, have moved in, it has already become a more vibrant area. There are a number of other companies that have moved into the harbor in recent years, and more will follow, with the aim of making the harbor a place worth visiting.

The port of Odense GoBoat

Odense Cathedral

Odense Cathedral is actually called St. Knud's church and was built back in the 14th century. The style is Gothic inspired and the building was started by Bishop Giscio. There used to be an older church, which burned down. Remains of the old church can be seen in the crypt. The church is named after Knud the Holy, who was in murdered in 1086 in Saint Albani Church, which was close to the current cathedral.

Visit Denmark's largest cities

If you are planning a visit to either Copenhagen or Aarhus, you can read more about the cities' attractions.


Which attractions do I find in Odense?

When you visit Odense there is a wealth of experiences, everything from exciting museums, beautiful gardens and interesting architecture. The city has a lot of history and is definitely worth a visit.

Is it possible to walk around between the different attractions in Odense?

Even though Odense is Denmark's third largest city, it is still easy to walk around the city to experience the various sights. Many of them are even located close to each other.

Is it free to visit the attractions in Odense?

In Odense there are many different sights. Some of them cost money, such as museums, while many are free of charge.