Thursday, January 23, 2014

Better than Disney: Christmas in Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens

Did you know that Disney took a lot of ideas from Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens? In my opinion, Tivoli is a Disney theme park done right. Whimsical and charming without being fake and smarmy, magical without being annoying, and there's no annoying mouse demanding your money at every turn.

Sorry, Disney. 

Tivoli Gardens is on everyone's top 10 Copenhagen list, and its famous Christmas market popped up on 5 of the top European Christmas market lists I googled. I was excited to check it out, but I was amazed by how much I really enjoyed the whole experience. If you want some serious Christmas ambiance, go to Tivoli Gardens!

The first stop at any Christmas market is the gluhwein stand. In Denmark, gluhwein is called Glogg (appetizing, right?) and is a little sweeter than the German kind I'm used to. It's also served with sliced almonds and raisins stirred in, which was a surprise!

The Tivoli Gardens are broken up into different sections, each with a country theme. First, we wandered into India...

But before long, we'd hit Russia! We stopped there for an amazing chicken sandwich with red cabbage and pickels. It was kind of like if a Chick-fil-a sandwich and a Doner had a baby. It was pretty dang delicious.

The next stop was China. As you walk through the park there are lots of food and shopping options, though this time of year most of it was Christmas hut themed. There are also rides in each "country", from kiddie appropriate to scare-your-pants-off roller coaster with loops. Nein, danke.

When you get to China you can either continue to the Arabian themed area or the Tomorrowland section. Both were cool but I liked the Arabia part better. As you continue you'll find a kid friendly section with giant whales, a floating pirate ship restaurant, and giant sea creatures you can climb on. The other side of the park has a German themed area where you can play games and win prizes. Even if you didn't come for the Christmas market, this would be a fun place to check out if you're in Copenhagen!

Tivoli at night is just magical. The twinkling lights, the lack of crowds, and the photo opportunities? I felt like I was in a movie.

We wrapped up our night tour of Tivoli as the park started to close around 11 pm. If I'm ever in Copenhagen, I would definitely go back!

How about you? Ever been to Tivoli? If you'd like to plan a trip, check out their website here.


  1. It looks SO beautiful! Wow! Though Glogg really doesn't sound appetizing, the rest looks so magical!

  2. This looks amazing! I may have to schedule a trip up there to check it out this year. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos!