By the time I had taken a few steps inside Tivoli I had fallen in love.
Going to Tivoli during the Christmas season was one of my main reasons for visiting Copenhagen so late in the year and I was happy to find it was as wondrous and magical as I hoped!
From the illuminations over Tivoli Lake, warm gløgg and other sweet treats, to the seemingly endless variety of winter decorations throughout the park, visiting Tivoli is the perfect activity to bring out the Christmas spirit in everyone. The Danes and other visitors around me were downright jovial!
The main entrance of Tivoli Gardens is on Vesterbrograde. There’s another entrance across from Central Station on Bernstorffsgade and a third entrance that’s just for annual card holders.
You begin feeling the Christmas spirit immediately when you’re inside Tivoli. Just look at the decorations everywhere!
Like any amusement park, there are rides and games for all ages. Vertigo seems to be a favorite – even for people watching the screaming riders from the ground.
There’s a variety of food options inside Tivoli (with different types of food, service levels, and prices). I would go so far as to say it’s the best place in the city for a visitor looking for dining options (i.e. it’s great for people who haven’t read restaurant reviews and made dining reservations before arriving). There are full service restaurants, stalls with typical amusement park food, and pop-ups representing popular restaurants located elsewhere in the city – there’s even a restaurant on a ship (Pirateriet)! If you’re visiting Tivoli at Christmas you can’t pass up on a warm cup of gløgg and I never pass up ice cream. Vaffelbageriet (The Waffle Bakery) was #9 on National Geographic’s list of the Top 10 Places to Eat Ice Cream – although that ranking may be more about the setting than the ice cream itself. At Tivoli, it’s not just the food that’s fun – there are tables that look like sleighs and neat cup return machines.
The weather was quite pleasant when I visited (any snow you see in the photos is artificial) but if you get cold there are hand warming stations throughout the park.
Tivoli is a great place to shop! Besides the fact that it’s one of the few places open to shoppers in Copenhagen after dinner, there’s a good range of shops including the well established Illums Bolighus and many stores selling Christmas decor and other products. I just wish there were more stalls with handicrafts and locally made goods.
Don’t miss your chance to meet Santa Claus! His “cozy sleigh” (that I would call a sofa) is in the Peacock Theatre, which, like many parts of the park, is Chinese inspired. I found the Chinese inspired elements sometimes a little odd and jarring.
One of my favourite things about visiting Tivoli was watching the Christmas Illuminations. The light and water show is inspired by The Nutcracker (playing at Tivoli’s Concert Hall this Christmas) and plays five times a night. These photos really don’t do it justice.
Tivoli was a winter wonderland that was better than I expected. Although visiting Copenhagen in the late fall/winter can be difficult, with the limited daylight and sunshine, I would recommend a Christmas trip to Tivoli Gardens to absolutely everyone!
Tivoli | Open this Christmas season until January 4, 2015
Entrance is 99 DKK, a multi-ride ticket is 199 DKK. Entrance is included with the Copenhagen Card – and if you want to visit more than once, it makes a multi-day Copenhagen Card a better value.