Destination Attraction: Tivoli Gardens, Denmark

Tivoli Gardens

If close to 5 million visitors every year make a trip to the place that inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland, it must be quite a magical destination.

Indeed, Tivoli Gardens has been one of Copenhagen’s star attractions for over 160 years. Despite its name, Tivoli Gardens is more an amusement park than just gardens, as many are surprised to discover. It caters to people of all ages and inclinations and aside from a combination of new and classic rides, it also houses a number of performing arts venues and showcases a spectacular light show in the evening.

During Christmas, New Year’s, Halloween and other special days, its grounds resemble a wonderful playground in keeping with the theme of the occasion. International performing troupes and music concerts pepper the Tivoli Gardens calendar.

Tivoli Gardens has constantly reinvented itself over the decades, drawing inspiration from the world over from real buildings and fantastical stories alike; besides classic European architecture, there are Oriental pagodas, dragon boats, galley ships and a re-imagination of Jules Verne’s Nautilus.

The rides are one of the highlights of Tivoli Gardens and there are close to 30 from which to choose, including the world’s oldest wooden roller coaster and Vertigo, which in 2014 was voted Europe’s Best Ride for hurtling thrill seekers in loops and spirals at over 100 km/h. A fan favorite is The Demon, on which you are subjected to 4 Gs of acceleration – that is more than astronauts experience during a shuttle launch!

One of the huge draws of Tivoli Gardens is its location – right in the middle of the city, within a short walk of City Hall and close to Copenhagen’s Central Station. Finding your way there is a breeze.

There are a number of eateries within the grounds, with the offered fare as diverse as Danish society. From classic local dishes to American fast food type joints, and from French to Asian dishes, the most choosy eater will have their fill here. Most of the venues have vegetarian options and also provide children’s menus.

If you want to make Tivoli Gardens the center of your Copenhagen trip, you can stay at the on-site hotel, Hotel Nimb. That way, you have ample time to discover the myriad of treasures spread across these twenty acres of land.

Tivoli’s founder, Georg Carstensen, proclaimed that the Gardens ‘will never be finished’ and that philosophy has always been embraced by the management, meaning that no two visits will be exactly alike and Tivoli Gardens will continue to mesmerize visitors for many years to come.