Tivoli Gardens, just outside of Copenhagen’s old town, is one of Denmark’s most venerable and beloved institutions. Founded in 1843 as a diversion for Copenhagen’s hard-working citizens, it is the world’s oldest operational theme park. A unique concept in its inception, Tivoli combined beautiful landscapes, exotic architecture, live entertainment, restaurants and even a few primitive rides, and became an overnight sensation to the enchanted Danes. The park has now outlived its original, temporary five-year charter by one hundred and sixty years.
During the 1990s, someone came up with the brilliant idea to begin hosting an annual Christmas market inside of Tivoli Gardens. The fusing of Denmark’s biggest annual celebration with Copenhagen’s made-to-order fairytale amusement park has resulted in the most enchanting Christmas market on the planet. The entire park is now incorporated into the festival, with every square foot of the place draped in festive Christmas lights, including the now famous fairy lights, designed by the Tiffany company.
The thing that really sets the Tivoli Christmas Market apart from others is that it is also a fully-functional amusement park. Many of the attractions are open for the market, including the famous vintage carousel and other thrills for children. Of course, it is winter, and this is Scandinavia, so if the roller coasters are open, it might be best to enjoy them from the ground with a hot drink in hand. Also in full gear for the Tivoli Christmas Market are several of the garden’s entertainment venues, with live music to add to the festive atmosphere.
Tivoli Gardens is located on the south side of Copenhagen’s old city center just across the street from the train station, making it incredibly easy to reach on foot from downtown or by train from elsewhere in Denmark. The dates of the Tivoli Christmas Market vary annually, but generally run from late November through late December from 11:00am-10:00pm. The cost of admission is DKK95.00 and does not include the price of rides. Web: www.tivoli.dk (official website of Tivoli Gardens)