I enjoy getting recommendations from locals before I go on a trip, but they are not always easy to find, and thus I decided to write recommendations for my own country, Denmark, in this series, Guide to Denmark.
Funen is the the biggest Danish island besides Zealand. It is situated between Jutland and Zealand.Transport: It is easy to go to Funen. There are several trains a day from both Jutland and Zealand. By car you can also go from both Jutland and Zealand, as there are bridges. Going by Lillebæltbroen from Jutland to Funen is free, but from Zealand to Funen by Storebæltbroen costs 235 DKK for a regular car.
Middelfart: This is the first town you will see, when you come from Jutland. In Middelfart you can experience bridgewalking- a 2 hour walk on the old bridge connecting Jutland and Funen. You will be 60 meters above the water. Learn more and buy tickets at www.bridgewalking.dk.
Odense: Odense is the capital of Funen and situated aproximately in the middle of the island. Odense is an old town, as the name means “the holy place of Odin”.
One of the things to see in Odense is a church, Sct. Knuds Kirke. Saint Knud was a Danish king called the Holy Knud. He was murdered in Odense in 1086 AD. You can see the skeleton in the crypt as well as the tombs of King Hans and King Christian II. The altarpiece from 1500 is also famous for the wood carving of Claus Berg.
Of course Odense is mostly known for being the home town of Hans Christian Andersen. You can visit his childhood home as well as the Hans Christian Andersen Museum. In this museum you will learn everything about the fairy tales and the person who wrote them. In the childhood home you can see the small rooms in which the family lived from 1807-1819.
If you get hungry in Odense, do visit Den gamle Kro anno 1683, in English The Old Inn anno 1683. The inn is not far from the house of Hans Christian Andersen, and is an attraction in it self. The house is beautiful and the interior matches the house. You get Danish food made from local ingredients.
Svendborg: Svendborg is in the corner of Funen. Popular activities in Svendbog is shopping, diving and fishing. The town is famous for a tragic love story from 1889. The beautiful and famous circus princess Elvira Madigan and the nobleman Sixten Sparre was in Svendborg. The couple ended their lives in the woods on Tåsinge, where you can see their tomb. You can go from Svendborg to Tåsinge and further to Langeland. Read more about Langeland in GTD: Smaller Islands. But before you leave Tåsinge, swing by Valdemar Castle. Here you can enjoy tea and cake in the Pavillon or dinner in the restaurant after a visit in the historic living rooms and a walk in the park.
Nyborg: Nyborg is the first place you reach, when you go to Funen from Zealand. If you stay at the popular Nyborg Strand Hotel, you will have a view of the bridge between Zealand and Funen. It is possible to bring your dog to the hotel.
Nyborg is an old town and you can see the oldest house in Denmark in Nyborg. It is called Korsbrødregården and is build between 1425-1430 AD.
You can also visit Nyborg Castle. There has been a castle here since 1170 AD, and the castle has been very large and important as “Danehof” was held here. Danehof was the legislative and judicial assembly of Denmark. The first Danish constitution was also signed at Nyborg Castle. In a war with the Swedes in 1660 the castle was partly torn down. It is a museum now.
Egeskov Castle is another must see Castle on Funen! On this castle there is something for everybody -both children and adults. It is a renaissance castle and you find a collection of veteran cars, doll houses, old dresses, paintings and much more. There is also a beautiful garden with a maze, tree top walking and you can become a knight riding a segway!
Eat: On Funen you get the best “brunsviger”. Read more about that in GTD: Food.
Drink: The local breweries are Albani, Indslev and Ørbæk. Albani is located in Odense, and it is the biggest brewery on Funen. Albani is open to the public on special occasions. Indslev’s speciality is brewing with wheat. The brewery is located in Nørre Åby, where you can get a tour and a tasting. Book a tour throug Visit Middelfart. Ørbæk brewery is located in Nyborg, and it is open to the public.