Let me introduce you to Tivoli Gardens, which is a combination of a unique mini vintage theme park, botanical gardens, an inner city park and indoor and outdoor dining that is suitable for all age groups and attracts locals and tourists alike. Based at the very centre of Copenhagen at Vesterbrogade 3, 1630, Tivoli Gardens has a vibrant and fairytale like feel to it; it inspired many Walt Disney movies and a number of famous individuals have visited it and performed there.
As it is a little world within Copenhagen that should be experienced not only in the daytime but also at night, I want to share with you how you could maximise your experience there. There is so much on offer and certain magical moments can only be truly appreciated at a certain point in the day — so you really should stick around for at least 12 hours!
Inspiration for Walt Disney and Hans Christian Anderson
Being an authentic vintage amusement arena, Tivoli Gardens is filled with an abundance of history, which I must tell you a bit about. It was opened on 15 August 1843 by Georg Carstensen, who was inspired by the parks and gardens that he had visited outside of Denmark, and in turn he inspired many famous and internationally known artists with his creation. For example, one of the earliest guests to the enchanting realm of Tivoli Gardens was the one-and-only Hans Christian Anderson, who was famous for the many fairy tales he wrote. It is no guess what inspired him. In addition, in 1951 Walt Disney paid Tivoli Gardens a visit and was so inspired that he opened Disneyland in California in 1955.
Stepping through the arch of Tivoli Gardens has inspired real greatness, so make sure you don’t miss out and purchase your ticket to this life changing cultural wonderland. Admission to Tivoli Gardens costs 100-110 DKK (approximately 15-16 USD) and if you want to be able to ride all of the rides, then I would recommend that you purchase the unlimited ride ticket which costs 220 DKK (approximately 33 USD) as it is worth the price.
Lush gardens and satisfying your taste buds
Once you have passed through the arch of Tivoli Gardens and taken a few steps forward, it’s hard to decide exactly which way to go and what to do first in this phenomenal and remarkable little heaven of fun. This is exactly why you should consider taking the Tivoli Tour on the Trolley Bus, which will take you on a lovely ride around the gardens whilst telling you about the many stories of Tivoli Gardens. The start of the tour is from the Peacock Theatre where you will find the first sign on it.
Through the Tivoli Tour, you will get a real insight into how many different types of gardens are in place and no doubt you will be enticed to walk around and see all of the noteworthy areas of the grounds. You can spend your day strolling through the immaculate parks that are well maintained and covered with beautiful flowers. It is a wonderful place to wander; amongst the blooming flowers, you will see lots of birds chirping around. You will find locals and tourists enjoying the ambience and it is definitely a splendid place for both children and adults.
Spend your time with your sunglasses on, sitting on the lawns and listening to live music being performed around you, whilst you sip a cool drink and enjoy the sunshine and surrounding gorgeous gardens and attractions. Alternatively, embrace your surroundings whilst sitting in a Dragon Boat, which is a real Tivoli classic. You can sail around all of Tivoli’s coasts in the Dragon Boats and get a real eye-full of how beautiful it is.
After you’ve finished lounging or sailing, explore the multitude of restaurants, which suit all tastes and budgets and make yourself at home in this ace environment. With Danish, French, Italian, Chinese and American food on offer, Tivoli Gardens will ensure that you don’t leave hungry! I would have to recommend that you visit the outstanding Nimb Brasserie, which serves the most fabulous French cuisine and has nailed fine-dining in comfort to a tee. The Nimb family are legends of Tivoli Gardens as they were originally tenants of a restaurant in Tivoli Gardens in 1909 and their legacy still lives on.
Pharrell Williams on The Open Air Stage: 6 July 2016
Whether it be day or night, Tivoli Gardens has performances indoors and outdoors for its visitors. It is especially known for The Pantomime Theatre, which was erected in 1874 and is the only theatre in the world where pantomime is still presented as an independent art form! It’s exterior and interior is beautiful and striking, and you can’t miss it because of the peacock that is perched at the front, which is also why it is sometimes referred to as the Peacock Theatre.
The Tivoli Concert Hall is also quite special because it is the Nordic region’s largest concert hall facility with nearly 2,000 seats. In addition, there is The Glass Hall Theatre where a number of famous celebrities have appeared to perform on stage.
My favourite; however, has to be The Open Air Stage where rock, pop, jazz and other popular music are performed to locals and tourists. It is the central point of Tivoli Gardens and plays host to some fantastic performers such as Pharrell Williams, who will be performing there on 6 July 2016!
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Oldest roller coaster in the world!
For those of you that want an adrenaline rush instead of relaxing in the lush gardens, feast your eyes on the number of different rides that are on offer for both children and adults at Tivoli Gardens.
You won’t be able to miss The Gold Tower, which is a 53 metre (174 feet) tower and is one of the tallest rides in Tivoli and will give you fantastic views of the city whilst feeling the wind in your hair. Neither will you fail to spot Nautilus, which is a cute and quirky ride where you can sit in a fish or a giant octopus whilst controlling whether it goes up and down and splashes water or exhales smoke.
My favourite would have to be The Original Roller Coaster, which has been operating since 1914 and is the world’s oldest wooden roller coaster and it is also one of only seven attractions in the world that is operated by a brake man. Without the brake man on the ride, I would have been absolutely terrified as each drop made me feel like I would fly out of my seat and end up somewhere within the mountain in which it was housed!
The queues for each ride tend to move quite quickly and the longest wait that I had to endure was around fifteen minutes.
For those of you that aren’t so keen on the rides, you may be surprised at how fun it is to actually watch the rides in action. For example, the designs and artistic creations on the rides can only really be appreciated by those that are looking at them, rather than being inside of them, so you can truly enjoy the unusual and unique offerings. There were some rides such as The Demon, which is a wild ride roller coaster that has three loops and reaches 28 metres (92 feet) at its highest point, that was so petrifying that I refused to sit on it with my companion. However, that didn’t mean that I did not get pleasure from standing right under the ride and watching it whirl about over my head so closely; it was a surreal experience and to some extent, I felt like I was living the ride vicariously without my stomach churning like the participants strapped within it.
Brilliant rides for a night in Tivoli Gardens
With so many different types of rides to choose from, it can be hard to figure out which ones to do in the daytime and which ones to embark on during the evening, so I thought it would be helpful to point out which rides could be the most fun at nighttime.
On a warm evening, The Star Flyer, which is 80 metres (262 feet) tall and is one of the tallest carousels in Northern Europe has to be embraced. You get a real sensation of flying around whilst seeing the beautiful city of Copenhagen as the sun sets and the stars start to twinkle. The Ferris Wheel is also a great deal of fun and especially whilst your carriage (which is in the shape of a hot air balloon), swings as high as the treetops and you can see fantastic views of Tivoli Gardens and also a part of Christiansborg Palace.
On a more chilly evening, the arena in which The Bumper Cars are housed is covered and beautifully lit up, so perfect if you want to feel the heat whilst racing your friends and family and bumping into anyone with whom you have a score to settle! The Mine is also a brilliant ride to experience on an evening because it’s quite dark, humid and full of surprises; embarking on this ride at night time makes it a little bit more scary. You sit in a little carriage that sails through a river and a number of unexpected creatures pop out from one side to another. It’s the type of ride where you will feel a real fear of getting drenched but whether you actually will is another thing!
Spectacular Illuminations and fireworks
Whether you are sitting in one of the quaint restaurants or flying high from a ride, Tivoli Gardens at night time is a real sight to see. All of the rides are fantastically lit up and the many beautiful flowerbeds that decorate Tivoli Gardens are also highlighted and create a real picturesque environment.
On certain days, there is a Tivoli Illuminations event, which consists of an exceptional lighting show that illuminates the little world that is Tivoli Gardens by sparking out colours, music, lasers, fire, smoke and water at the glowing Tivoli Lake.
On some days there is also a spectacular Fireworks Show, which includes a mixture of low-flying fireworks, exceptionally thought out lightening and perfectly incorporated music to accompany the burst of colours in the sky.
The lights that sparkle in the night sky at Tivoli Gardens is something that you absolutely must witness. A real romantic setting filled with a lively atmosphere is on offer for those that want to have a memorable night with someone special to them.
Check the website and make an itinerary
You will find some reviews online that recommend spending a few hours at Tivoli Gardens; however, I have to urge you to think again and remember that Tivoli Gardens is full of not only rides, gardens and restaurants but so much history that can only be absorbed and truly appreciated if you stay there during the day and night time. I would suggest that you check out the Tivoli Gardens’ website before you visit and make a plan of what shows you want to see, what rides you want to go on and where you want to eat; I can guarantee you that you would have filled up an itinerary to make up a whole day as there is so much on offer!
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