An elderly lady biking through a park in Fyn
Uncovering Islands: Colourful houses and castles in Denmark’s Fyn
Written by Ornella Bressan
On 23 May 2024

Nestled between Copenhagen’s home island, Zealand, and Jutland, you’ll find Fyn (pronounced ‘Foon’), calling for cycler lovers who would enjoy cycling around the cobblestone streets or visiting the nearby smaller islands found along Fyn’s coast. 

Global Odyssey spoke with Sergiu Leustean, a 31 year old photographer who moved from Romania to Denmark 12 years ago in pursuit of his degree before relocating to Fyn’s capital Odense in February 2024. 

“Compared to Copenhagen, Fyn cost of living is a lot cheaper and Odense [Fyn’s capital] is the third largest city in Denmark. It is the best place if you have business from the East and West side of Denmark due to its geographic location,” he said.

With a population of nearly half a million people, we discovered that there are actually more houses in Fyn, in particular Odense, than Copenhagen compared by population because of the larger area.

When it comes to Odense, your best transportation to see the third largest city of Denmark are your feet – for instance, from the train station to one of its biggest parks is a 15-20 minutes walk where you will see the city’s beauty on the way. 

Other forms of transportation recommended by Sergiu to fully enjoy Fyn are either a bike or scooter. 

A woman biking in Odense with her child

So what else did he tell us about?

LOGISTICS

Keterminde

There are three ways to reach Fyn:

  • From Copenhagen airport you can take a train to Odense
  • From Billund airport you can take a bus to Odense
  • From Aalborg airport you can take a train to Odense

There are no direct flights but a majority of trains do pass through Fyn stopping at Odense in a 2 hour journey from the mainland.

PLACES TO VISIT

Ærø 

A smaller island reachable via train from Odense to Svendborg where you will have to walk for a few minutes to catch a ferry that will take you to the small city within an hour. 

During your ferry ride you will get a scenic view of the smaller islands around Fyn, Svendborg coastline and notice the house arrangements from that coastline from afar.

It is filled with colourful houses in the classic Danish style with most of them showcasing through their windows toy miniatures or stickers. 

Kerteminde 

It is not uncommon in Fyn to see houses have either toys or stickers through the windows

Depending on your trip and your luck, you could also stumble upon the opportunity of seeing the inside of Ulriksholm Slot castle, which is currently privately owned and is open to the public only when Herregårdsspillene, a theatre company, performs there. 

Ulriksholm Slot castle

Odense

Odense

The capital of the island which has more houses than Copenhagen, calls out a more romantic vibe with the narrow streets and bohemian style.

An interesting fact about this town is that classic Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, famous amongst children for The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, and The ugly Duckling, used to live there.

Today, it is possible to visit his house as well as the new museum, Hans Christian Andersen Museum, which was built near the author’s house where you can experience his life and art through visuals, sounds, lights and scenography.

When craving to have a taste of the local cuisine, aim to ask for the smørrebrød, which is a traditional Danish open face sandwich. Moreover, less than a 10 minutes walk from the train station you will find Storms Pakhus, a food court in Odense. 

“When I went there I ordered Greek food and I loved it. The bread was fresh, as if it was baked from home, but also all the ingredients felt new and fresh,” said Sergiu when recalling his visit to Storms Pakhus. 

“In Denmark, the quality of restaurants is usually quite high, and many people go to Storms because there’s a competition between restaurants, which makes them want to provide the best quality food since there are many restaurants in such a small place.”

Museums

  • Danmarks Jernbanemuseum where you get to experience Denmark’s trains throughout time
  • Den Fynske Landsby, known as Funen Village, is an open air museum where you can dive into the past as you walk around the 19th century village and get a glimpse of how life used to be like

Specific places to visit

  • Egeskov Castle, located a 40 minute drive away from Odense’s train station, is a water castle, known as Europe’s best preserved water castle, that offers a variety of things to do and see, such as the large park in front of the castle or even a playground for children to play
  • Munke Mose, a park surrounded by the Odense river
  • Assistens Kirkegård, or Assistens Cemetery, is not only a burial place but also a green space — even though you will see tombs, due to the distance between each tomb but also the resemblance of a park, it is common for locals to go on walks there and spend quality time with friends, family and their partner
  • Walk through these three different streets to see the mix of modern and vintage architecture of the houses but environment as well:
    • Vintapperstræde
    • Brandts passage
    • Gråbrødrepassagen

What you can expect from the locals

The new Fyn resident said: “Compared to Copenhagen, people in Odense are a lot more approachable because it’s a smaller city and people have a slower pace of life. 

“If you stop them on the street, they can spend time with you so you get this village type of vibe even though it’s one of the largest cities we have.”

Odense is also home to a University which means there are a lot of students around, making the weekends busier but the rest of the week a peaceful quiet.

Credit: All pictures belong to Sergiu Leustean

Check out our related stories

Bangladesh, a country rich in culture and hotspot for biodiversity

Bangladesh, a country rich in culture and hotspot for biodiversity

Bangladesh is a country in South Asia and one of the most densely-populated countries in the world with a population of over 170 ...

Suzhou, the Chinese city of embroidery with Yao Jianping

Suzhou, the Chinese city of embroidery with Yao Jianping

Suzhou, is a major city in Jiangsu province, China. As part of the Yangtze Delta megalopolis, it is a major economic centre and focal ...

Exploring the cultural roots of Fiji’s Kava Ceremony

Exploring the cultural roots of Fiji’s Kava Ceremony

Kava, also known as yaqona, is Fiji's national drink and holds deep significance within the local customs and way of life.

Egypt’s iconic pyramids, insight into ancient beliefs and society

Egypt’s iconic pyramids, insight into ancient beliefs and society

These towering ancient monuments are not only architectural wonders but also repositories of the rich cultural heritage and fascinating history of the Egyptian civilization.

The timeless traditional Korean Hanbok

The timeless traditional Korean Hanbok

At the heart of Korea's rich culture lies the eternal tradition of the hanbok - a traditional garment that has attracted both locals and visitors for centuries.

Prague and its alchemist secrets

Prague and its alchemist secrets

Prague is well-known for its ancient bridges, fairy-tale architecture and thriving cultural scene. But if you explore around a little, ...

Anime: iconic locations to get immersed in the Japanese culture

May 22, 2024

Japan's anime culture has captured the hearts and imagination of audiences worldwide. By visiting some iconic landmarks, exploring themed cafés and shopping for exclusive merchandise, you can enjoy an exciting anime-inspired adventure in Japan....

GET ON BOARD WITH OUR NEWSLETTER

For our cultural travellers looking for a deeper and detailed insight, this is for you.

Join our mailing list to receive our first newsletter edition filled with exclusive features. From local events in Corsica, to Hong Kong best hiking spots.

Welcome on board the Global Odyssey flight