“That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up.” Walt Disney
Last summer, our family went on a Baltic Cruise that started in Copenhagen, Denmark. We arrived in Copenhagen the day before the cruise departed and had the absolute pleasure of exploring this amazing city. While our time in Copenhagen was short, we saw so many things and fell in love with the city. Of the many things to do in Copenhagen is visit Tivoli Gardens.
What Is Tivoli Gardens?
Tivoli Gardens sounds like it would a park-like setting full of gardens, right? And there are beautiful gardens throughout the park, but it’s an amusement park! Actually the second oldest amusement park in the world. The oldest amusement park is Dyrehavsbakken, also in Denmark. Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen has been in operation since 1843 and is incredible to me since it feels very retro, yet modern.
According to Wikipedia, Tivoli’s founder obtained a charter to create the park by telling King Christian VIII that, “when people are amusing themselves, they do not think about politics.” Seems like we could use more amusement parks these days. Just saying.
In addition to amusement park rides and roller coasters, the park is beautifully landscaped and features lush, whimsical gardens at every turn. Tivoli Gardens served as inspiration for Walt Disney when he was creating his Disney Parks and that is evident as soon as you walk through the gates. This is Disney before there was a Disney.
Our day had been busy with exploring the city and we didn’t make it to Tivoli until early evening. Located in central Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens is easy to get to. We probably could have walked but we had already logged a lot of steps and decided to take a quick bus ride from our apartment to the park. Public transportation in Copenhagen is easy to use, and as I’ve shared before, we like using public transportation.
My journal entry about our visit starts by saying the best word to describe the park is magical. How often do you get the chance to visit a place that is truly magical? And magical it is. There is something charming everywhere you look. Amusement park rides from the whimsical to scary, colorful gardens, water features, and incredible lights strung throughout the park create a magical, whimsical and charming experience. I felt as if I had stepped into another world completely. One full of innocence and laughter.
What To Do
I wish we had arrived earlier and that I had ridden a few rides. Laughing and screaming on an amusement park ride is a great way to shake off any stress and tap into that place within each of us that truly is just enjoying the moment. But my husband and daughter aren’t much for rides so we just wandered around the park oohing and aahing at the many attractions. It was actually the perfect evening for our jet-lagged bodies. Next time, I will be enjoying some of the rides!
We loved our Baltic Cruise, and Copenhagen was one of my favorite stops on the itinerary. Which is saying something because the itinerary was incredible and included stops in St. Petersburg, Berlin, Stockholm, Helsinki, and Tallinn. Of all of those places, Copenhagen would be my number one choice to return to. And when I return, I plan on visiting Tivoli Gardens again. It’s that special!
Tivoli Gardens restaurants run the gamut from sit-down restaurants to amusement park fare. You won’t go hungry here! We grabbed some simple toasted sandwiches from one of the food courts. Food was expensive here, but Copenhagen is an expensive city in general. We struggled with trying to figure out the exchange rate from Danish Kroner to USD so we never really knew what we were paying for anything. Probably for the best!
Tivoli Gardens is located at Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 Kobenhavn V. A spring to fall operation, the park is open from sometime in April to sometime in September. It is also open around Halloween and Christmas. Europe knows how to do Halloween and Christmas and visiting during one of these holidays has got to be an amazing experience! I’ve heard there’s even a Christmas market at the park. The open dates and hours can be found on their website HERE.
Ticket prices vary depending on age and whether you want a ticket that includes rides. Tickets can be purchased online or onsite. I found the entrance fees to be comparable with amusement parks in the US and well worth the cost. Ticket pricing and additional information can be found HERE.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Copenhagen and looking for things to do, a visit to Tivoli Gardens will appeal to everyone in your family. It’s a must-see in Copenhagen!