A guided tour of Odense.
O-dense, Oden-se, Od-ense.
Yes, I know. Odense is not very easy to pronounce if you’re not a Dane. And just a friendly tip, Youtube is not your friend when it comes to guidance on the pronunciation.
However, once you’re here, you don’t really need to say it. Phew.
But now that you’re going to Codegarden in Odense, you’ve probably been wondering about this city - what happens here? Where do you need to go?
I know, and I’ve been giving the honour of telling you:
One of my favourite things about Odense...
When you get here you’ll soon discover that Odense is a fairly small city. The city center is close to everything; train station, the harbour, shops, parks, museums, and the Codegarden venue itself. And this is actually one of my favorite things about Odense, because this means that everything exciting is within walking or cycling distance, making it easy to do and see things and also notice when new things are happening.
And new things are happening. Because Odense is currently undergoing a big renovation. A whopping 4,5 billion Euros has been invested in the city over the next couple of years to make it more attractive for new businesses, students, visitors and residents. An investment that, among other things, includes a new tramline, a new super hospital and a concert hall. If you attended Codegarden last year, you’ll probably notice that a few new buildings have already popped up around the city and due to roadworks, you might not be able to walk along the exact same roads as last year.
...which brings me to:
One of my favourite things about Odense, part 2...
The mix of old and new. Romance and hipster. These mixtures that I think make Odense such a vibrant city.
You walk along the cobble streets with the old, small and extremely “hyggelige” houses on each side, near the museum of our famous fairy tale author, Hans Christian Andersen. And yes, I will use the cliche of saying that it’s almost fairytale-like. Because it is.
But then you look up and see a big crane and you hear the rumbling noises from machines, and as you get closer, you see men in orange clothes with helmets digging, welding and building all while locals as well as tourists walk or cycle right by, and you can really feel and see the contrasts of the city. Side by side.
However, it is not just through its infrastructure that these contrasts show. Throughout the year, Odense hosts a number of different events and festivals that cater for a wide range of interests: Tinderbox; a 3-day long music festival which this year welcomes The Killers, Kings of Leon, Pet Shop Boys and many more (I can’t wait!), a week-long magical Hans Christian Andersen Festival (inevitable, of course, and surprisingly enough, it never gets old), a Harry Potter Festival (“You’re a wizard, Harry!”) and many different and delicious kinds of food, beer and wine events. Mmmm.
Before I get too carried away, let’s get back to the things that you can actually do, try and taste while you’re in Odense during Codegarden:
Where you should go.
If you plan to join this year’s CG runners, I can assure you that a trip to Munke Mose will be inevitable. Just a few steps from the center of Odense you find this green get-away, right next to Odense river, it’s the perfect place for a run, stroll or relaxing hang-out. You can even rent a pedalo and paddle along the river banks with a cold beer or ice-cream in hand.
In these green surroundings, a small bike ride away from the city center, you’ll also find Odense Zoo. And no, you don’t have to bring your own bike. Around Odense you’ll find city bikes for you to unlock with a simple text message and rent for free for 24 hours.
A trip I love to do, along with all the other Odenseaners, especially in sunny weather (again, fingers crossed!), is the walking or cycling trip from Munke Mose along the path next to the river all the way out to Skovsøen (“The forest lake”). On this trip you walk right by the zoo and you’re actually able to see many of the animals right from the path. And after walking approx. 2.5 km, you get to Skovsøen where you’re able to reward yourself with a big ice cream or a Danish hot dog. Idyllic forest surroundings ✔️ Exotic animals ✔️ Exercise ✔️ Feeling like a local ✔️ Ice cream ✔️ - what’s not to like!
If you’re in the mood for actually learning a bit more about Hans Christian Andersen and his fairy tales this is the city to do it in. Visit the museum and take a walk around the lovely old cobble streets in Overgade.
Into art and photography? Then Brandts and Brandts 13 are well worth a trip. Also, just a walk in Brandts Passage is recommendable. An idyllic passage with many great restaurants, interesting shops and cosy cafes.
I’d also like to simply recommend a stroll around the city center. Great for shopping - perhaps you want to bring a small souvenir or present home for that special someone -, great for exploring and perfect if you need to quench your thirst or settle that rumble in your stomach...
Fuel up on delicious food and drink
We know that many of you are foodies. Foodies who like to try new things when visiting a new place and who also appreciate knowing where to go for that awesome burger, tasty sushi or that cold refreshing beer.
In Odense there’s so many nice places to go whatever your taste buds fancy. To guide you, we’ve made this video with no less than 17 tasty recommendations. Bon Appétit:
I hope you’ve enjoyed my guided tour of Odense and I hope you’ve now got a small or long list of places you’d like to visit while you’re here… or any other time you might visit Odense.
See you soon - in Odense, at Codegarden 😉
P.S. Here's the list and the location of all the restaurants and bars that we recommend in the video. A friendly tip: Remember to download the Odense area to your phone so that you won't get lost when you're offline.
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