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Tivoli Gardens: The Fairytale Amusement Park in Copenhagen

copenhagen amusement park

Look up or you’ll miss something at Tivoli, the amusement park in the center of Copenhagen.

Tivoli Gardens, the fairytale amusement park in the center of Copenhagen, certainly isn’t Disney World. It’s not even Disneyland Paris. Founded in 1843, it’s decidedly old fashioned and Old World. This is the Copenhagen of Hans Christian Andersen, not Arne Jacobsen. And that’s what makes it ooze with charm.

Tivoli isn't huge, but it's big enough to deserve a trolley.

Tivoli isn’t huge, but it’s big enough to deserve a trolley.

Tivoli Gardens is whimsical, sweet and in a bit of a time warp. It’s always been a stronghold of Copenhagen life, and was occupied by the Nazis during World War II because they knew how important it was to the Danes. Tivoli isn’t huge, but it’s big enough to get lost in and large enough to warrant a trolley. We didn’t ride on the trolley, but it adds to the atmosphere of Tivoli being its own little world. But again, it’s no Disney World.

The Hans Christian Andersen ride at Tivoli is called "The Flying Carpet."

The Hans Christian Andersen ride at Tivoli is called “The Flying Trunk.”

There are rides for little kids and rides for big kids. There are some serious rollercoasters, none of which I even considered trying. I’m a big kid who’s a big wimp, so the Hans Christian Andersen ride was just perfect for the toddler and me. Excellent bonus for traveling with an 18-month-old! It was like a small-scale Danish version of Disney’s “Small World.”

We enjoyed the Dragon Boats at Tivoli Gardens.

We enjoyed the Dragon Boats at Tivoli Gardens.

There’s a lake in the middle of Tivoli, and you can drive little boats around it as one of the rides. We did that too. This was in a Chinese-themed section — there are different themes throughout Tivoli. It was so nice to go boating on that warm-ish July day in 2012. You only get a few minutes out there for your tickets, but it was worth it.

Another view of the lake at Tivoli Gardens

Another view of the lake at Tivoli Gardens

The lake at Tivoli Gardens makes the whole setting very relaxing and picturesque. There are several restaurants along the lake. And Tivoli Gardens really lives up to the “gardens” part, as there are a lot of flowers and trees. Many locals just come to stroll around and don’t go on any of the rides. There’s also a wonderful playground (with an instruments section) that doesn’t require any tickets.

How cute is this mail truck?

How cute is this mail truck?

It’s also a popular place to go at night in the summer. Supposedly the whole place lights when it gets dark (quite late since it’s Denmark). It must really look like a fairytale then! It’s quite a sight to see and there are frequently concerts. We didn’t get a chance to go at night, but I hope to one day! Till then, I’ll be trying to figure out what this giant book says…

If I was a Danish child, I'd probably really like this book.

If I was a Danish child, I’d probably really like this book.

9 Responses to Tivoli Gardens: The Fairytale Amusement Park in Copenhagen

  1. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    Twitter: sunshinesiestas
    April 15, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    I have a not-so-secret love of all things miniature, starting with the dollhouse my grandfather made me by hand. This place looks magical!!
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted..It’s all Greek to Me: A Case for All Inclusive Holidays in Greece

  2. Larissa
    Twitter: changes_long
    April 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    I’ve always loved Tivoli-with all the flowers blooming everywhere it’s as pretty as it is fun :)
    Larissa recently posted..Jerusalem, it’s complicated

  3. Lisa Goodmurphy
    Twitter: GoneWithFamily
    April 15, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    We visited Tivoli Gardens when we were in Copenhagen before and after a cruise – and, yes, we visited it twice because the kids loved it so much the first time that they wanted to go again when we returned to Copenhagen after the cruise. It was raining the first time that we were there and that meant that there were no crowds so my daughters were able to ride over and over again without waiting. We stayed until the lights came on and it is beautiful lit up – our hotel room also faced the gardens so we could see the lights from our window!
    Lisa Goodmurphy recently posted..Book Review: Have Mother, Will Travel

  4. Sarah April 16, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    Great photos :)
    Sarah recently posted..The Top Activities To Enjoy In Indonesia

  5. wandering educators
    Twitter: WanderingEds
    April 16, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    oh!! i SO want to go. lovely!! i love that post box on the mini truck.
    wandering educators recently posted..Photography: Hands on vs Academic

  6. D.J. - The World of Deej April 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Looks like a fun afternoon. I’m a bit of a theme park nerd, so this is right up my alley..
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Gloria Estefan’s Costa d’Este Resort – Picture of the Week

  7. Lillie
    Twitter: WorldLillie
    April 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    What a neat-looking place!

  8. Terry at Overnight New York April 19, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    So Hans Christian Andersen beat Walt Disney to the punch. Cool!
    Terry at Overnight New York recently posted..Wythe Hotel: Kudos from Conde Nast Traveler

  9. Meredith@GreenGlobalTravel
    Twitter: GreenGlobalTrvl
    April 19, 2013 at 12:55 am #

    Man, I wish I had gone there when I was in Copenhagen!
    Meredith@GreenGlobalTravel recently posted..INTERVIEW: Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberté On His Water Charity, the ONE DROP Foundation

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