The Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is a world-famous amusement park full of traditions, original ambience and historical elements – and at the same time a modern amusement park with top attractions, a venue for live performances, diverting activities for all ages and awesome rides that adapt to current trends and constantly undergo renewals to meet the visitors’ demands.
Where to stay in Copenhagen? Steel House Copenhagen (budget) private rooms & indoor pool, Ascot Hotel (mid-range) charming 19th-century hotel near Tivoli, Copenhagen Island Hotel (top) near Tivoli, Nimb Hotel (deluxe) inside Tivoli Gardens.
Take a tour: Tivoli Gardens and Unlimited Rides Combo Ticket
The spectacular Tivoli Gardens was founded by Georg Carstensen (1812-1857) in 1843. In the beginning, the amusement park was named Tivoli & Vauxhall. It soon became a blossoming flower park featuring enticing attractions, musical events and other popular entertainment, as well as favoured restaurants to complete the Tivoli experience.
It was none other than the Danish King Christian VIII (1839-1848) who provided Georg Carstensen with the necessary license to found the amusement park on a suitable piece of land right at Vesterport in Copenhagen.
A wooden roller coaster was also introduced that same year, and it soon became a great success! It was replaced by a new one in 1914, and this is remarkably the very same roller coaster being in operation today!
The oldest building parts that still exist are the iconic main entrance portal at Vesterbrogade, and the outstanding Pantomime Theatre, dating from 1874. Traditional characters playing at this small theatre include Pierrot, Harlequin and Columbine.
Another iconic element in Tivoli is the Pierrot statue from 1896, sculptured by Aksel Hansen. It commemorates the first human Pierrot, Niels Henrik Volkersen, who played the Pierrot part at the Pantomime Theatre from 1843 until 1893. Today the monument is a preferred meeting point inside the Tivoli Gardens.
Also, the Tivoli Boys Guard, dating back to 1844, is an iconic feature in the Copenhagen amusement park.
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The Tivoli amusement park is much more than attractions, exhilarating rides and dining places. Tivoli is also the place in Copenhagen where you will stroll around in the picturesque gardens to enjoy the flowers, the fountains and even a boat ride on the Tivoli Lake.
In fact, the Tivoli Gardens is a nearly magical garden characterised by decorative flower arrangements, small fountains, and, not least, thousands of lights enchanting the park as darkness falls. An absolute highlight is the Tivoli Lake illuminated at night – with the midnight fireworks as the icing of the cake!
Scenic water arrangements can be found in several parts of the park. One of the most eye-catching and iconic fountain setups is the fountain in front of the Tivoli Concert Hall (dating from 1956).
The idyllic setting everywhere in Tivoli emphasises the fairy-tale elements and Tivoli’s historical background from a time when artistic entertainment became a public and very popular thing in Copenhagen.
Still today Tivoli contributes considerably to Copenhagen’s music and theatre scene – brimming with rock, jazz, classical dance, ballet and theatre performances.
First and foremost hop on the old roller coaster from 1914. It is in fact among the oldest roller coasters in the world and is definitely among the most popular rides in the amusement park.
The traditional Chinese-style Pantomime Theatre has a decorative peacock tail serving as a curtain which folds to each side like a fan. It is therefore also known as the Chinese Peacock Theatre, erected in 1874 by the architect Vilhelm Dahlerup. Do include watching a performance here during your Tivoli visit!
The Pierrot statue, which you will most likely pass several times when strolling around the gardens, is unique. Use it as a meeting point which is easy to locate in the myriad of attractions.
When looking for panoramic views of the city, jump on the Ferris Wheel, Ballongyngen, where you from the cabin positioned at the very top will be able to enjoy scenic views of the Copenhagen cityscape.
The Flying Trunk, Den Flyvende Kuffert, having Hans Christian Andersen and his fairy tales as a theme, is a gem of a fairy-tale world. Discover over 30 of the author’s world-famous fairy-tale universes during the ride. By the way Hans Christian Andersen found inspiration here in Tivoli to write the fairy tale The Nightingale.
When hungry, head for one of the iconic restaurants such as The Chinese Tower, the Nimb Hotel and Restaurant, the Brdr. Price restaurant, or Grøften – where you may want to try some Danish open sandwiches ‘smørrebrød’.
In case you have young children, a must-do is the Classic Carousel where you can ride on an elephant or a giraffe. And if you are a bit older, one of Europe’s highest carousels, The Star Flyer from 2006, is an awesome experience which swings you thrillingly around 80 metres above the ground!
If you are up to a wild ride, The Demon will be another good option – it is definitely not for the fainthearted!
Of course there is so much more: the Bumper Cars, the Vintage Cars, the Galley Ships, the Milky Way Express, the Mine, the Dragon Boats on the Tivoli Lake etc.
In the evening, attend a concert or other event on Plænen, the central open-air stage in Tivoli. The open-air performances are popular and you should arrive early to ensure that you get a chair on the lawn. During the last decades the popular Friday Rock has been a great success here.
Finally, watch the nocturnal Tivoli fireworks – a spectacular show on the sky above the city of Copenhagen.
The summer season in Tivoli is between April and September. Nevertheless, Tivoli now operates with four seasons. In recent years Tivoli has added an Easter season in spring, a Halloween season in October and November, as well as a Christmas season in November and December.
The Tivoli park is really a unique experience in Copenhagen around Christmas where it is converted into a Christmas theme park with a cosy Christmas market. This includes an encounter with ‘Father Christmas’ at the Pantomime Theatre, and ‘The Snow Queen’ at the Tivoli Concert Hall.
Moreover, there are lots of entertaining events, concerts, performances, workshops, gift shops, as well as a variety of enticing restaurants with a very Christmas-like atmosphere around the long-established garden. It is the perfect place to go to get a taste of Christmas in Copenhagen!
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Visit Copenhagen Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park