Odense with Andersen museums may be visited on a day trip from Copenhagen – trains are the fastest but buses are often the cheapest and a car the most convenient.
Trains are generally the best way to travel from Copenhagen to Odense to see the Hans Christian Andersen museum and sights. Trains are fast and comfortable with advance reservation DSB Orange tickets often the cheapest deal. Long-distance buses (Flixbus and Rødbillet) are cheaper than full-fare railway tickets but slower and stopping outside the city center in Odense. Driving by car is generally more expensive (with bridge toll fees and parking added to the normal running costs) but allows for full flexibility and the possible to stop at more sights en route – a great option for a long weekend of sightseeing.
Odense is around 150 km / 100 miles from Copenhagen. Odense is on the island Fyn (Funen). Odense is famous as the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen and sights associated with Denmark’s best-known writer is for foreign travelers the main attraction.
Travel by Train to Odense from Copenhagen
Trains are the fastest way to travel from Copenhagen to Odense and probably the best way to travel when seeing the Andersen sights from Copenhagen on a day-trip excursion. Trains are fast but expensive. However, with a bit of planning and advance reservations, a DSB Orange ticket may be the cheapest transportation option from Copenhagen to Odense.
Trains connect Copenhagen main train station (København H) and Odense St. two to three times per hour. Journey times may be as fast as 1:14 but around 1:40 is more common and especially on weekends may be as slow as 1:50.
The full, one-way fare is a rather pricey DKK278 (DKK428 in First Class) for the ride from Copenhagen to Odense. However, DSB Orange tickets may be as cheap as DKK79 for advance reservations.
Families also save on Danish railways. Up to two children under 12 travel for free with an adult using a valid full-fare ticket. Children 12 to 16 pay half the adult fare.
DSB Minigruppe tickets give savings to 3 to 7 traveling together.
Over 65s may save up to 50% when traveling on Danish railways. A saving of 25% is given on the full fare with savings up to 50% available for travel from Monday to Thursday. Proof of age is required. DSB Orange tickets may still be cheaper.
Save with DSB Orange Tickets on Danish Railways
All travelers may save on Danish railway tickets by using DSB Orange tickets. These discount tickets need to be reserved in advance and are only valid on the specific train and the specific seat booked. (Seat reservations are always included in DSB Orange tickets – otherwise DKK30.)
The price of DSB Orange tickets depend on the popularity of the travel time and route – advance reservations and expected quiet times give the best discounts. Usefully, the best time for leisure travel often does not coincide with the busier commuting or business travel times.
DSB Orange tickets may be booked up to two months in advance but good savings are often available even on journeys at unpopular times when reserved two or three days in advance.
Free accompanied children, except under 2 years old, are not allowed when traveling on DSB Orange. Senior and youth discounts are no applied, although children under 16 still pay only half the train fare (but no discount on the DKK30 seat reservation).
Orange tickets are not really promoted or explained on the English version of the DSB website but DSB savings tickets will show up when ticking the “Show me Orange tickets” box when searching journeys.
For tourists and short-term visitors to Denmark, buying the tickets online from DSB in English is generally the easiest way to buy Danish railway tickets. The app and other options generally work only in Danish – prices are the same though.
Travel by Bus from Copenhagen to Odense
Long-distance coaches may not be the most glamorous way of traveling but buses are often the cheapest way to get from Copenhagen to Odense (and other cities in Denmark).
Two bus companies with frequent buses (5 to 7 per day) to Odense are Flixbus and Rødbillet. Traveling times range from 2 to 3 hours from Copenhagen to Odense with tickets as cheap as DKK79 and even regular tickets available for DKK120.
Regular prices on Rødbillet buses are DKK220 from Copenhagen to Odense but falls to DKK120 when bought online. Further savings are available for children under 16 (half price), students, seniors and families (two children under 12 for free per paying adult).
Flixbus prices vary with demand but are often the cheapest deals around, especially when booked a few days in advance. Prices range from around DKK79 to DKK170.
The main problem with using buses from Copenhagen to Odense on day trips is that the stops in Odense are not all that convenient. The occasional – usually late night – bus may stop near the train station but most buses stop to the south of the city center near to the highway exits.
In Odense, Rødbillet buses stop at Svendborgvej/Sivmosevænget in Hjallese to the south of Odense. The Flixbus stop is slightly closer to the center at Dalumvej 32 near the Odense Zoo. From both bus stops travelers need another local bus journey (frequent and taking around 15 minutes to the town center) to reach the sights of Odense.
In Copenhagen, the Rødbillet (and some Flixbus) buses stop in Ingersievsgade to the west of the main train station. Most Flixbus buses depart only from the airport or from Valby Station (4 minutes on very frequent trains from Copenhagen station or buses from other parts of Copenhagen).
Driving from Copenhagen to Odense
Driving from Copenhagen to Odense is easy along good motorways. The distance is around 150 km with the traveling time once on the highway around 1h30. Driving in both cities is slow and parking expensive.
En route, drivers cross the very impressive Storebælt Bridge – DKK240 toll payable both ways. Small discounts are given for return journeys on weekends – simply pay with the same credit card on the return journey or show the first ticket when paying with cash.
The pylons of this bridge are at 254 m the highest points in Denmark. The pylons are also the highest building structures in Scandinavia. At the time of completion in 1998, the span of the bridge was the longest in the world – since fallen to third. The East Bridge is 6,790 m in total including a free span of 1,624 m between the two pylons with a further 535 m on each side between the pylons and anchor block. No stopping on the bridge but use the first highway exits on either side of the bridge for short drive to fine viewing points.
A great stopover when driving from Copenhagen is the Trelleborg Viking ring fortress – it is just off the highway near the bridge on Zealand. It is an important site but probably not of sufficient interest to warrant a full day trip on its own from Copenhagen.
The top sights to see in Odense include the two Hans Christian Andersen museums (note that the main one will be closed for rebuilding from December 2017 to 2020), the Danish Railway Museum, the Brandts (art and culture), Odense Zoo and the Funen Village (open-air museum).