Walking through Tivoli Gardens is like walking into a storybook. The life size toy soldiers (the Boys' guard) marches by escorting a child prince and princess in a carraige. There are brightly coloured signs and statues, there are rides and music, pantomime and a lot of happy people. You can shop, eat, and play. You can row a boat, watch a concert, throw a ball and take a chance on winning. You can get scared on one of the rides or wait for the nightly fireworks shows or just walk around and soak up the atmosphere.
Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park in the world, opened in 1843 and is purportedly the inspiration behind the original Disneyworld theme park. And it's not just rides and arcade games, either, it's concert halls and stages, landscaped gardens, a small aquarium and special seasonal events. There are options for food from budget takeaway to fine dining.
There's a base entry fee but that doesn't cover rides which are extra. There are ticket machines around the grounds where you can get tickets for the rides. Each ride takes 1 - 3 (20DKK each) tickets or you can buy a multi-ride pass that will let you ride as many as you want for that visit. The rides range from tame and safe for young kids right up to scary stuff for adults. The entrance fee does cover many of the entertainment events including the pantomime and concerts though some may require separate tickets.
With the entrance fee (95DKK per person, cheaper for children), rides, food and other things like games, bets, snacks and any shopping, it might end up being a pricey visit but it's one of the Must See things to do in Copenhagen. I met someone that worked there for a couple of years in school and she said it was really a magical place to work and you can see the smiles on all the visitors. I guess the magic is catching!
We enjoyed the evening though we didn't try any of the rides. We were greeted by the Boys' Guard Parade, then we walked and talked and looked around, taking in all the sights, sounds and colours. We got a bite to eat and caught a pantomime show. We went to the little aquarium in the Concert hall (20 dkk extra). We didn't stay late enough to see it all lit up but it has to be spectactular when it is!
Tivoli has something for everyone. My 14 year old daughter and I loved the double loop Rollercoaster but we weren't so sure about the long drop tower. Despite the holiday season being in full swing there were no long queues for either of these rides. In fact we probably waited no more than 5 minutes for any ride. My wife and son, neither of whom are keen on rides, enjoyed watching us but they enjoyed the aquarium even more. Apparently this has the longest single glass front in Europe but that is it - just the one tank. It's very good but not particularly representative of a coral reef, for example I didn't see any invertebrates.
You can get pass outs so rather than eating in the numerous food outlets ( all of which were very expensive) we went out of the Park for our evening meal ( see my restaurant tip about Butterfly). The park's central location is an added bonus here as it isn't far to walk to the main street.
We enjoyed the classical mime pantomime in the Chinese open theatre.
Later on in the evening there was a jazz band to sit and listen to whilst you could sit down and enjoy a drink.
To round off the day we stayed for the Sound and Light show over the lake. It was a great way to end a really memorable and thoroughly enjoyable day.
The day entrance fee isn't particularly overpriced ( compared with standard prices for theme parks in the UK ) and, if like us, you avoid buying food in the park you can get a really full, fun day out relatively cheaply. In 2009 adults for a multi ride pass pay 200DKK and children up to the age of 12 years pay 160DKK on top of the admission price for adults of 85DKK
Tivoli, along with Little Mermaid, is one of Copenhagen's landmarks and is featured in most postcard images. It is a famous amusement park, built in 1843, both during the day and all lit up at might. Due to Copenhagen's weather conditions, it isn't open all year round, being that the season begins around mid-April. We visited Copenhagen in early April so we couldn't visit Tivoli Gardens since we were a couple of weeks ahead of its opening season. Even if it would have been opened when we visited Copenhagen, I'm not sure we would have visited it due to extremely cold and wet days when we visited.
Tivoli isn't just for toddlers and small kids; the one in Copenhagen is really fun for a bit more mature audience too. Apparently the other tivoli in Copenhagen, Bakken (Dyrehavsbakken), is more popular with the locals, but I certainly won't complain about the atmosphere in this one either! There are a lot of restaurants, shops and rides for pretty much everyone, and different types of music and entertainment as well. What I especially liked was the recycling of drinking cups: if you buy e.g. a cup of coffee, you pay a small deposit, and when you return the cup to this machine it gives the deposit back. Pretty clever, and it works too!
The admission fee for everyone over 12 years is DKK 95, and this doesn't include any ride tickets. Those are DKK 20 each, and depending on a ride you need 1-3 of them. A season pass is DKK 240 for everyone over 12 years of age (meaning you get in more than once during the season). There are also multi-ride tickets (DKK 250 for those over 12 years).
Tivoli is a great place to visit during any trip to Copenhagen and an absolute must for anyone's first visit to Denmark. The reason I say this is that it holds an almost mythical spot in Danish culture and is an important part of the Danish psyche. As the second oldest amusement park in the world (and Walt Disney's inspiration for Disneyland), its a true Danish national treasure and spending some time strolling around and watching Danes enjoying ice cream, rides and food is an important cultural experience.
The atmosphere is great any time of year (where else can you walk through an amusement park and look up to see the ancient town hall and clock tower looming above you, while kids howls of excitement from a roller coaster act as the background noise), but during Christmas, that atmosphere is taken to a whole new level. The entire park is strewn with lights (more than usual), filled with nisser (elves), and everywhere you look there are stalls selling ornaments, crafts, glue wine, beer, candy, ableskivers, and polser (hot dogs).
If you're in Copenhagen during December, definitely spend a night at Tivoli. Its a great experience. Just remember to wear some seriously warm clothes, gloves and ear muffs!
After we did the Ferris Wheel, we took the Mine ride. I really wanted to take one of the original roller coasters that I had taken in 1950, but I didn't know which ride that was - all I remembered was that it went inside at one point. It wasn't this one. I was a good ride to take in that it was starting to rain, and most of it was inside. It was mostly little boats on water, and some scary things popping out - there wasn't much of a roller coaster to it. It was a two ticket ride (40 DK)
From outside Tivoli you can see the top of this ride (photo 1 and 3) which is called the Spinning Top. People sit in swings, and the center starts to spin and the swings spin out to the side as the center that they are attached to goes up to the top of the tower, and then comes down again.
My granddaughter took several pictures of this ride from outside the park, so when we went in, she wanted to ride on it. This ride isn't the most expensive (it only takes two tickets) or the newest ride - that is call Vertigo and takes four tickets. Each single ticket is 20 DK.
Photos 2 and 4 are of the front entrance.
Like the big child I am, I had to go visit Tivoli gardens and ride the roller coasters! And I rode all 3 of them :) Because I wasn't interested in riding everything, I only paid the entrance and bought tickets for the attractions I wanted to ride. The one thing that disappointed me a little bit is that the roller coaster's ride called "the daemon" (Dæmonen) was like 30 seconds!!!! The ride had a lot of ups and downs and twists and turns but just as I was enjoying myself to the fullest, the ride had to stop :P
I also liked the scenery and the interesting buildings.
The park is located in what was originally Denmark's countryside, just outside the fortified walls of Copenhagen and along the city's moat (part of which was used to create a lake in Tivoli). But by the 1880's, Copenhagen had outgrown its own walls and Tivoli became part of the city.
The 160-plus-year-old park was created in 1843. The original, an amusement park, restaurant Mecca, and cultural hot spot all tied up together in one package is still here.
Its admirers call it as flower garden, but some critics suggesting that it's only a giant beer garden.
It is said that Walt Disney got the idea to build Disneyland, his first amusement park, after visiting Tivoli Gardens.
Even Michael Jackson tried to buy the entire complex but the Tivoli is not only an icon of history but also the virtual symbol of Denmark, and no Dane wants to see it go to foreigners.
Tivoli is magically Danish; it doesn't try to be Disney.
Beyond its storied history, there are many more relevant reasons for today's travelers to experience Tivoli -- Danes of all ages, from families with young kids to couples in love, also consider Tivoli a worthy hangout. By day and night it is a mellow place.
Admission DKK 85,-
IF you are in Copenhagen, a visit to the Tivoli Gardens is a MUST. Its situated in the centre of the city. There is a good combination of flower gardens, food pavilions and open air stage shows. There are also roller coaster rides.
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