Tivoli Gardens

 Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark is the second oldest amusement park in Europe and the second most visited in Europe - after Disneyland Paris - graced by a languid expanse of manicured lawns entwined with row after row of the country’s famed flowers. There are a number pockets of quiet park grounds and gardens (in fact, over 75 percent is open spaces), but the Tivoli Gardens are closer to an amusement park than anything else. A vast array of bright lights, roller coasters, and open air cafes and beer gardens, there is something for everyone here, from families to teenagers to couples. It’s the combination of flowering meadows with arcades and live symphonies that give the most visited attraction in Copenhagen an egalitarian feel.

Originally part of Copenhagen’s fortifications, in 1841 it was converted into an amusement park and pleasure garden by King Christian VIII in hopes of providing his subjects with a wealth of entertainment and fun. And five million visitors per year have proved that the Tivoli Gardens have been successful in that aim (the family discounts don’t hurt, either). Tivoli Gardens is often one of the first things one sees when exiting from Copenhagen's Central Station, and its location nearby one of Denmark's main shopping areas makes the gardens hard to miss.

One thing they definitely have a lot of in the Tivoli Gardens in Denmark is flowers. Hundreds of thousands, even - a beautiful sight from spring through the early autumn. During the day they are the real draw, greeting visitors with welcoming swaths of pink and red and white. When night falls, though, it is the lights that make the Tivoli Gardens in Denmark one of the top things to do in Copenhagen. After the children clear out, the grounds seem more reserved and more romantic - more designed for adults seeking fun. The beer gardens become more alive, and laughs and music spill from the cafes and the roller coasters continue to run. At midnight, fireworks explode into the night sky, the gardens bathed in a festive sheen.

Another of the main tourist draws are the amount of restaurants that can be found, some of them among the most celebrated in all of Denmark. Sophisticated and trendy, it’s hard to go wrong with any of them. The Tivoli Garden Concert Hall is also a huge draw, as over one hundred free concerts take place on the stage during the garden’s operating hours. From symphonies to jazz to pop stars, the concert plays host to all genres, though they are known most for their very own orchestra, churning out standards and classical pieces throughout the summer.  Tivoli Gardens are often one of the first things one sees when exiting from Copenhagen"s Central Station. This attraction is one of the defining attractions of Denmark and one of the world's most enduring summer amusement parks.

Top image: Stig Nygaard (flickr)

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