Must Visit: Odense – The Fairy Tale City


I like to call Odense the Fairy tale city of Denmark. It is the 3rd largest city in Denmark with a population of 175,245 (2016) and the birthplace of one the world’s most famous fairy tale authors, Hans Christian Andersen.

His fairy tales have been translated into some 160 languages and he wrote the famous words to travel is to live.

A  visit to the (new and improved) Hans Christian Andersen museum is a definite must. Learn about the author’s (troubled) life and career and walk through the small yellow house where he was born in 1805.


Hans Christian Andersen (or H. C. Andersen as he’s commonly called in Denmark) also wrote poems, novels, travelogues and plays, but he’s most famous for his fairy tales, which include The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor’s New Suit, The Nightingale, The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling, and The Little Mermaid.

He wrote hundreds of fairy tales, and it’s probably safe to say that there isn’t a child in Denmark who doesn’t grow up hearing and reading a great number of them.

In the summertime you might also catch a free theater performance on the permanent stage located in the garden by the museum’s entrance. The cost of the entrance also includes the entrance to H. C.’s childhood home, just a few minutes walking distance from the museum.


You might also want to stop by the old white and red building that was once the city’s poorhouse and also the place where H. C. went to school from 1813-1819. It’s tucked away on a small street of Paaskestraede, right where the streets Overgade, Nedergade and Paaskestraede meet), and is now a residential building. But there’s still a small sign on the front reminding the world that this is where the author once went to school.

As you walk through the city center, make sure you take some time to look around and to notice the beautiful statues inspired by the author’s life and stories, making Odense a truly unique fairy tale city.


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