Living in Odense as an expatriate

Caffeinate Your Odense Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today

Image of Odense

Welcome to Odense, the fifth largest city in Denmark and a thriving center of industry and innovation. With a population of around 180,000, this city is located on the island of Funen and boasts a rich history and vibrant modern-day lifestyle. Odense comprises over 60 residential neighborhoods, and the city is surrounded by picturesque landscapes and villages that attract tourists year-round. With excellent healthcare, job opportunities, and cultural institutions, Odense is an ideal destination for expats looking to relocate.

Tips for expats in Odense

Visa requirements

Denmark has strict visa requirements for foreigners. Expats from visa-exempt countries can stay up to three months, and for more extended stays, they must apply for a residence permit. Except for EU citizens, all other foreigners must apply for a work and residence permit, which can take several weeks to process. It is recommended that expats should discuss their specific visa requirements with the Danish embassy in their home country.

Language resources

Danish is the official language of Denmark, and although English is widely spoken, it is imperative to learn the local language to integrate into the community. Odense has language schools, such as Odense Kommunes Sprogcenter, as well as online resources such as Duolingo and Babbel for those on a budget. Additionally, most shops, restaurants, and public transportation displays their menus and signage in both Danish and English.

Cost of living for expats in Odense


The cost of living in Odense varies based on the type of accommodation and personal preferences. A room in a shared house costs around DKK 4,000-6,00 (USD 645-968) per month, while a one-bedroom apartment can range from DKK 8,000-14,000 (USD 1,291-2,234). For families, a two-bedroom apartment costs around DKK 12,000-18,000 (USD 1,942-2,863), and a three or more bedroom house costs approximately DKK 20,000-35,000 (USD 3,172-5,517).


Odense has plenty of supermarkets and grocery stores, and prices are reasonable. A pack of bread costs around DKK 8 (USD 1.29), fresh fruits and vegetables range from DKK 15-30 (USD 2.48-4.97) per kilogram, and meat costs around DKK 150-350 (USD 24.80-55.17) per kilogram. Monthly grocery bills for a family of four can range from DKK 4,000-6,000 (USD 645-968).


The cost of transportation is relatively low in Odense. A monthly public transportation pass costs around DKK 525 (USD 83), and a single ride costs around DKK 28 (USD 4.50). Bicycle rentals and purchases are affordable, and a shared bike service called bycyklen offers a cost-effective way to explore Odense's neighborhoods.

Climate in Odense

Odense has a moderate oceanic climate, typical of western Denmark. Summers are mild, with temperatures averaging around 18°C (64°F). Winters are colder, with an average temperature of 1°C (34°F). Precipitation is abundant year-round, but summers are generally drier than winters. Snow is common from December through February, although the city has sophisticated snow-clearing technologies that keep roads and sidewalks clear.

Job market in Odense

Odense has a dynamic business community with a expanding job market in fields such as engineering, biotechnology, and technology. Prominent employers include Novo Nordisk, a global pharmaceutical company, and the national innovation hub, MedTech Innovation Centre. Odense University Hospital is a major healthcare employer, and there are plenty of opportunities in education, tourism, and finance. The city is also known for its strong startup culture, making it an exciting place for entrepreneurs.

Healthcare in Odense

Denmark has a world-class healthcare system, and Odense is home to Odense University Hospital, one of the largest and most advanced hospitals in Scandinavia. The hospital treats a range of medical conditions with high success rates. International patients are served at the Odense International Patient Centre, where multilingual staff provides healthcare services in English. It is vital to have proper health insurance coverage when moving to Odense.

Transport in Odense

Odense has a comprehensive public transportation network comprising buses, trains, and bicycles. Most residents prefer cycling around the city as it is an affordable and eco-friendly option. However, the city has an extensive network of bike lanes, and cyclists enjoy plenty of safe parking facilities. Buses connect various neighborhoods, and they operate on fixed schedules. Trains from Odense connect commuters to nearby cities, making it easy to travel in and around Denmark.

Safety in Odense

Odense is considered a safe place to live, with low crime rates compared to many other European cities. Violent crime is rare, and theft is mostly petty. Residents should take precautions, such as locking doors and windows, leaving valuables at home, and avoiding isolated and poorly lit areas late at night. Expats are advised to ensure they have adequate home insurance to protect against theft and damage to their property.

Neighborhoods in Odense

  1. Lundsbro

    Lundsbro is a central and bustling neighborhood in Odense, with easy access to the city's main cultural, commercial, and educational centers. The neighborhood comprises several narrow streets, lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, many of which offer homemade Danish pastries. Lundsbro is also conveniently close to Odense Zoo and the popular Fruhøjg park, making it a perfect location for families.

  2. Rudekro

    Rudekro is a green and vibrant neighborhood, encompassing many of Odense's most attractive modern buildings, as well as the serene Odense Fjord. The neighborhood offers easy access to the city's major business districts, shopping centers, and sports facilities. Rudekro also has plenty of parks and green spaces, making it perfect for outdoor activities and leisure.

Attractions in Odense

  1. Odense Zoo and Tropical House

    Odense Zoo and Tropical House is a popular attraction in Odense, hosting over 1,200 animals from around the world. The Zoo features diverse species, including Asian lions, African elephants, lemurs, and a vast array of birds. The Tropical House recreates a tropical rainforest ecosystem, complete with waterfalls and various exotic plants and animals, providing an ideal climate for the flora and fauna. The Zoo features several animal feeding sessions daily, providing an interactive and entertaining experience.

  2. Odense Cathedral

    Odense Cathedral is a historic architectural landmark, dating back to the 13th century, and is one of Denmark's cultural treasures. The Cathedral houses stunning stained-glass windows, ornate frescoes, and beautifully decorated interiors. Its exterior features a charming Gothic architectural style, captivating visitors with its walls of rust red bricks, and tall pointed arches with finely carved details. The Cathedral hosts regular concerts and classical music performances, making it an enchanting place for art lovers and music enthusiasts.

International Schools in Odense

  1. International School Odense

    Dagmosevej 106, 5250 Odense N

    International School Odense is an English language school for students aged 3-18. The school follows the International Baccalaureate program and caters to students coming from over 15 countries. The school has classes from pre-school to end of high school, with small-sized classes that allow personalized learning experiences for each student. International School Odense has a team of experienced teachers and a diverse extracurricular program, including sports, music, and art.

Useful expat resources in Odense

Expat destinations in Denmark