Neither Daniel nor I are the biggest fans of roller coasters. So why would we go to Tivoli Gardens – aka an amusement park – you ask? Good question.
We wouldn’t. Unless, that is, that amusement park is something really special. And Tivoli Gardens is just that.
Said to have inspired Disney Land, Tivoli Gardens is located in the center of Copenhagen and is home to the world’s oldest wooden roller coaster.
While we didn’t have any plans to ride that roller coaster, we did make our way to Tivoli Gardens on our first evening in Copenhagen with every intention of enjoying ourselves.
Since we had bought our tickets in combination with our canal tour, we were able to enter through a side entrance. I’m not sure if this saved us any time or not, since it was a weeknight in the shoulder season, but we appreciated the ease of it all nonetheless.
We got there just before 8pm. I had done my research beforehand and knew that there was supposed to be a pantomime happening at 8. So we rushed over to the pantomime stage to find that… there was no pantomime going on. We weren’t really sure why this was on their website if it wasn’t happening, but we decided that maybe it had been cancelled because of the cold.
With that initial disappointment out of the way, however, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
We found a series of fun mirrors, a wall of elephant heads, and a fake lion and elephant that were definitely meant as a photo op for kids. I excitedly climbed aboard anyway. (Just don’t ride an actual elephant guys, that’s super unethical). By now, I was fully in the spirit of unleashing my inner kid.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw some feathers flash. Was that… a peacock? Just chilling outside of a store? It was!
I had only just finished photographing the one lady peacock I found when I turned around to see three more birds. Giant birds roaming free is just Tivoli Gardens’ thing, apparently.
We spent an hour or so wandering through the rest of the park, our fingers slowly freezing.
Even though it was May, the lack of sunlight meant that Copenhagen got real cold, real fast. The hygge-like surroundings did their best to keep us warm, though.
From the quaint little sweet shops to the lights that started to appear as the sun went down, everything about Tivoli Gardens was absolutely charming.
I wanted to stay until it was fully dark out, to experience the lights of Tivoli in all their grandeur. Unfortunately, our survival instincts won out in the end and we called it a night before that could happen. It was really cold.
One of our new peacock friends waved goodbye to us from a balcony as we were leaving.
If there’s a better way to sum up Tivoli Gardens in a nutshell, I can’t tell you what it is. The place enchants you from the moment you step inside. There’s no wonder why it inspired Walt Disney all those years ago.
If you go
Visiting Tivoli Gardens is an absolute must while you’re in Copenhagen. Tickets are a little steep at 120DKK apiece (plus more for each ride), but I think they’re definitely worth it – especially if you have the time to spend a whole day there.
If you don’t have the time to spend an entire day at Tivoli, then I highly suggest going at night, like we did. The lights make it just that much more magical.