Tivoli Gardens is a small amusement park located at the centre of Copenhagen. It is one of the oldest theme parks in the world to still be operating, it is only bettered by Bakken park located north of Copenhagen. The park was made world famous by Walt Disney’s visiting in the 1960’s, and is often referenced as the inspiration behind Disneyland.
We visited Tivoli Gardens in an extremely cold December and stayed for 3 nights in the Tivoli Hotel.
Tivoli is located opposite Copenhagen’s main train terminal and is a short 30 minute direct train journey from the airport. The hotel is a bit more out of the way, roughly 20 minutes from the train station.
We bought a Copenhagen card which covered one entry into Tivoli per day, alternatively it would cost 110 DKK (~£13) for an entry ticket. The ticket allows you entry into the park, however rides are an additional cost. The rides operate on a token basis which you buy from the nearby machines. You can buy an all-in wrist bands which will give you unlimited rides for 230 DK (~£27) well worth it if you are planning on riding more than a couple of rides.
We use the Copenhagen Card while we were visiting which provides entry into lots of attractions within Copenhagen and also includes free public transport.
Where to stay
There are a lot of hotels located around Tivoli Gardens and central Copenhagen. We decided to stay in the Tivoli Hotel, which actually isn’t that close to the park. It’s a 20 minute walk through what appears to be some sort of industrial/hotel district.
The hotel itself was lovely. On arrival we were greeted by Father Christmas, who could pass as the real deal - there was no expense spared. He was handing out chocolates to everyone and provided a meet and greet for the kids. The rooms were slightly on the small size but had everything you needed and where decorated with classic Tivoli attraction posters.
Tivoli has a collection of classic fair ground rides alongside custom built rides. It’s amazing how many rides that have managed to fix into a small space. The rides work on a ticket system which costs around 40DKK per ride, see more about the wristband above if you are riding more than a couple rides.
The Rutschebanen is the oldest operational wooden rollercoaster in the world. Built in 1914 It’s a mountain based rollercoaster where an operator rides the train with you to help brake. It’s slightly odd, but luckily it doesn’t go fast enough to be worrying.
Tivoli also features more extreme rides including Vertigo where you can experience up to 5G going 100km/h in a loop.
Tivoli has a large and diverse mix of restaurants and snacks, much like the rides, these seem to be a mix of independent restaurants mixed with stalls selling all kinds of food.
At the centre of Tivoli there is the food hall, this contains around 10 independent restaurants and bars. Dotted around the park you can find a mixture of other sit down restaurants serving a variety of food which includes Wagamama’s.
The food, a bit like everything in Denmark, is very expensive but the portions large. While we were in the park we mostly stuck to the Churros, which were so good for had them every night.
Tivoli Gardens is a beautiful park and you can see why Walt Disney was inspired when visiting the park. If you would like to read more about Walt Disney and Tivoli Garden you can read my in depth article.
Tivoli really shines at night, it has thousands of beautiful lights which illuminates the park. The park a beautiful and fun atmosphere. We visited around Christmas time and the park had a Christmas market. All the stalls where beautiful, though they sold a very limited selection.
There is a great family friendly atmosphere for the park and because of the way you pay for the rides there wasn’t really any queues. However, this doesn’t mean the park doesn’t get packed. Our first night there, which was a Saturday the park was rammed. There were a lot of people there visiting the Christmas market.
Tivoli is a beautiful, clean park and is well worth a visit. It has a regular program of different activities through the year and in 2018 it will be the parks 175 celebration, were Walt Disney World has contributed a ‘it’s a small world’ float to the parade.