Byens Bro Architectural landmark connecting city and harbour has the best new views of both

Byens Bro
Sights, Parks, Nature & Activities | Østre Stationsvej 35, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | 4 recommendations

Get up high and take a view of the harbor from “Byens Bro”, Odense’s newest landmark connecting the city and the harbour giving both pedestrians and cyclists a different view of the city.

A few times a year I find myself in a situation where I don’t feel like it is my responsibility to create the city Odense deserves to be; where I can relax and enjoy the city-moment. This happens during the film festival and Phono festival. But it also happened during this year’s harbour culture festival, when I was standing on “Byens Bro” admiring the dramatic thunder lit sky and the sun setting low behind the clouds cutting a brutal silo landscape in the harbor. Dramatic and rich and yet so peaceful.

Something happens when you see a city from up high. Your perspective changes. It is like seeing a landscape from your childhood as an adult for the first time. Your view is different; you notice new gaps and spaces, you are forced to reinterpret what see. The view from “Byens Bro” is an experience.

The bridge is more than just a look-out post and a practical link for pedestrians and cyclist, it’s an experience in its own right. With its 135 swirling organic meters spanning the tracks, it seems to be challenging the functionalism and modernistic mantra that straight ahead is the fastest way forward. On the southern side of the bridge, 40 meters of vertical glistening pylon rises towards the sky. A vulgar manifestat for the city's transformation, crying out to passing jutlanders and copenhageners that here is a good reason to get off the train here.

  • Mon - Sun: 0.00 - 24.00
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Nordatlantisk Hus A must-see architectural gem by the harbour, home to an worthwhile restaurant serving New Nordic cuisine with a North Atlantic twist

Nordatlantisk Hus
Eating | Nordatlantisk Promenade 1, Odense C | Written by: Brian Lindskov Larsen | Photo: Hannibal-Bach | 20 recommendations

You can’t say you’ve been to New Odense until you’ve made your way to the harbour. Odense Harbour is not only a pretty sweet spot, it is also home to several major attractions of the city. And Nordatlantisk Hus is one of them. From afar it looks dangerously cool and un-Odensian and once inside you’ll find a remarkable restaurant serving up a slice of the North Atlantic at a reasonable price.

Grey cliffs and luminous icebergs have inspired the shape of this architectural gem, where icy blue glass birds circle above your head. This striking building was built in collaboration between Greenland House and Odense Municipality and houses the city’s finest student accommodation on its upper floors. Below, in an unbeatable setting, you’ll find a very special restaurant serving delicacies from Greenland and the Faroe Islands in the spirit of New Nordic cuisine. It may not be Noma, but it is delicious and affordable.

Go there for their abundant brunch with the best home-made Nutella you’ve ever had and a harbour view. Eat inside, on the terrace or take away.

Apart from the restaurant, Nordatlantisk Hus also offers occasional concerts and exhibitions with a North Atlantic twist. Their gift shop is open Thursdays and Fridays 1 pm – 6 pm, Saturdays 11 am - 2 pm.

  • Mon - Fri: 11.30 - 23.30
  • Sat: 10.00 - 23.30
  • Sun: 11.30 - 16.00
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Danmarks Jernbanemuseum Give in to your childlike love of trains and wear tweed to the museum

Danmarks Jernbanemuseum
Culture | Dannebrogsgade 24, Odense C | Written by: Mikkel West | 18 recommendations

My childhood fondness for trains always flares up when I see a proud steam locomotive. I sense the presence of history and am reminded of the formerly all-important role of railways in Danish infrastructure.

At The Danish Railway Museum, they are having a ball paying tribute to railway culture - that is, to art paying tribute to railway culture. Recently, a symphony orchestra played Lumbye's "Steam Railway Galop" there and later that same season, the museum screened Lars von Trier's "Europa" among the trains.

In connection with Kulturnatten, the Railway Museum hosted a poetry slam in the high-ceilinged exhibition hall, where steam locomotives sit quietly among train accessories of yore The museum seems to like the juxtaposition of old iron and cultural events, and have launched the quite appealing concept JernbaneKULTUR (RailCULTURE).

The train's movement through the landscape, arrivals, departures, the roar of the engine, the random encounters with other travelers; all of this has fueled art since the dawn of time, or rather, the dawn of railways - trains are dynamos for music and literature and it actually makes a lot of sense to use this setting as a platform for art.

And railways deserve our tributes. Even if, after 132 years, it still seems to surprise DSB that leaves fall from the trees every other season, and the prices may be grotesque, but apart from that, trains are the most convenient and wonderful mode of transportation. Show up in your best set of 1930s tweeds and take a steam engine selfie.

  • Mon - Sun: 10.00 - 16.00
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Vognhjulet Have a beer and a song among real friends at this neighbourhood watering hole

Drinking | Skibhusvej 115, Odense C | Written by: Jakob Cæsius Krohn | 2 recommendations

The objective here is to enjoy a jolly evening with kegs and golden oldies in a pub in the Skibhus district. At Vognhjulet, lovable caricatures of house friends and classical Storm P. Beer-ads dress the walls. And when I looked up from the urinal in the men’s room – and thankfully avoided the prevalent bar jokes about not to patronise the long-term unemployed – the walls were covered in all the gun of the fair. But this does not change the fact that Vognhjulet has taken a leap forward.

This happened when Skibhusstuen opened with a speech from the chief inspector and whailing violins by, among others, Stig Stradivarius, although I only heard it through Den evige Terp’s cell phone. Since then, I have, without remorse, treated my kids to a soft drink on the way home from the allotment garden, to show them this noble attraction with its old photos from times where the Skibhus district had yet to house the creative class and still went by names like the Skarntyde (hemlock) or Sutsko (slipper) district.

This spirit is alive and well at Vognhjulet.

  • Mon - Wed: 11.00 - 01.00
  • Thu - Sat: 11.00 - 02.00
  • Sun: 12.00 - 01.00
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Ungarsk Vinstue Folk art adorns the walls and all-day drinkers are welcomed. A killer on the pub crawl

Ungarsk Vinstue
Drinking | Bredstedgade 2, Odense C | Written by: Jakob Cæsius Krohn | 1 recommendations

A city without a broad range of motley pubs cannot claim to be a true metropolis. So of course Odense offers a variety of these. ”Tinsoldaten” (or simply ”Tinneren” to locals) and ”Tingstedet” are legendary. But just off the beaten track, in the Skibhus district, waterholes are strewn like pearls before drunken swine. And beyond comparison is the Hungarian tavern ”Ungarsk Vinstue”. The murals capture the spirit of hussars and gypsies, you can test your skills at local billiard games upstairs, admire inkeeper Arne’s cabinet of curiosities and arcade of abominations, and listen to the evergreens of Rock Nalle on the jukebox.

On special occasions, you might even persuade them to throw a tablecloth on the pool table, as it was the case when this spectacle celebrated its 3 x 15 year anniversary. Live concerts and other exciting events are a frequent feature and, if alewife Connie allows it, Arne is glad to participate in the shenanigans.

Mind the chicken run on your way to the men’s room.

  • Mon - Wed: 09.00 - 19.00
  • Thu - Fri: 09.00 - 22.00
  • Sat: 11.00 - 22.00
  • Sun: 11.00 - 18.00
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Oktober Bogbutik Specialist bookstore for those who find Rosa Luxemburg and Antonio Gramsci to be a little on the soft side

Oktober Bogbutik
Shopping | Skibhusvej 100, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen

Skibhus is Odense's old working class neighborhood — once rough, sooty, and filled with machine operators and dock workers, now with rising rents and more red wine than beer and caramelized onions. Nowadays, it is hard to imagine that the neighborhood was incorporated in Odense only in 1932, and with the city council's absolute reluctance, as it did not please the conservative majority to let poor people (and their unwelcome social democratic political tendencies) into the city limits. Here, in the hotbed of dissent, Oktober Bogbutik (The October Bookshop) lives on undaunted, as if it was 1848 or 1917 or 1968 again. A red-as-Mao small stain on a still more blue and black city map.

The sign is hand-painted, the logo is a woodcut with solidary worker arm-in-arm on. And if you go by and think that it looks a little sectarian, you're partly right. The bookshop is indeed a physical manifestation of the October movement — not so much a political movement, but rather a critical revival movement that encompasses bookshops in Odense, Aarhus and Copenhagen, a publisher, a net-TV channel, a facebook page, free daily online newspaper and monthly magazines. In addition, Oktober is affiliated with Kommunistisk Politik (Communist Politics), which confusingly enough is not a political party, but rather a union that is committed to something best describable as popular media-activism

But Oktober Bogbutik is also just something as simple and unique as a specialized bookstore, which takes its historical role as social, intellectual, and political meeting point very seriously. Between two shelves with red fiction and scientific literature are a printer and a copying machine, so they can make flyers, and an open door with a couple of stairs up to a backroom with a meeting table. Plaster busts of Lenin and Marx keep watch. Here you can buy partisan kaffiyehs ("Made in Palestine") and posters with "Nuclear power/Fighter planes/Pollution of drinking water? No thanks!".

In reality, the shop's only true counterpart in (the gradually and sadly bookshop-lacking) Odense is Kristent Bogcenter (The Christian Bookshop) in Søndergade, which just as surprisingly survives to the passing of time, and year after year opens its narrow doors to both the initiated and the curious/possible converts.

Even if you find relief in noticing that the left wing's mouth is full of slogans and you consider communisms as a historical curio, it's nice to think that history does not die out so easily, even now that Skibhus' plethora of butchers, bakers, grocers, and snotty children with marbles at every corner has been replaced by studio apartments, café burgers, cheap haircuts, 24/7 candy shops, and to a even higher degree by wealthy families with children, gardens, and walking distance to the harbor, its promises, and the Odense of the future.

  • Mon: 13.00 - 17.00
  • Tue: -
  • Wed: 13.00 - 17.00
  • Thu: -
  • Fri: 13.00 - 17.00
  • Sat - Sun: -
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Havnebadet Outdoor pool by (and in!) the harbour. Sauna. Polar bear club. Admission and happiness is free

Sights, Parks, Nature & Activities | Gamle Havnekaj 1, Odense C | Written by: Mira Erik | Photo: Hannibal-Bach | 4 recommendations

Odense Harbour is not a harbour, which is why the public pool at Odense harbour is not really pools in the harbour. Odense Harbour is a mudhole, an appendix, a dead end of brackish water at the end of a canal. There is no flow in the water, and you can’t clean it enough to make it palatable swim. And swim is what the citizens of Odense long to do. It’s what citizens always want. Which is why there now is an island with a tub in the harbour; a real pool; a pure and chlorine-delicious pool.

I grew up on the water’s edge on Southern Funen, and sometimes I feel like an idiot to have moved to the centre; I couldn’t be further from the ocean anywhere on this island. The harbour pool helps a little. A dip is in sight. And there is going to be a Polar bear club and a sauna, and the whole thing’s free; that’s the point.   And it looks nice, too: classical bath cabins on one side and classical red-and-white observation tower on the other.

There are hopes and dreams invested in this pool. This pool is going to breathe life into the inanimate desert where no ice cream vendor or pølsemand have hithertho managed to survive. But now – now it’ll happen. The pool will make the harbour happen. I’m almost positive it will. The harbour is coming alive.

Summer and winter opening hours are different, so stop by the homepage to make sure.

  • Mon: 06.30 - 09.30
  • Tue: 18.00 - 21.00
  • Wed: 06.30 - 09.30
  • Thu: 18.00 - 21.00
  • Fri: 06.30 - 09.30
  • Sat - Sun: 08.00 - 11.00
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This Is Odense