I’m back from Scandinavia, once again. But although I went half a dozen times to Copenhagen, it was my first time being there in December. And there was nothing better for me to get into the holiday mood than a Nordic getaway!
What I was really looking forward to doing was visiting Tivoli, Copenhagen’s old theme park. I have been to Tivoli a few times, but never in December, when the park is specially decorated for Christmas.
Tivoli (or Tivoli Gardens) is a must when visiting Copenhagen. Even if you are not really fond of amusement parks or rides (like me), the place is so rich in history and so pretty that it is worth visiting (especially that it is possible to buy a ticket to enter only, without rides). Opened in 1843, it’s one of the oldest amusement parks in the world still in operation and the most visited in Scandinavia. Some of its buildings and rides are over 100 years old (this is the case of the Rutschebanen wooden roller coaster built in 1914).
Tivoli is usually open only during the summer period, but the park opens one week in October for Halloween, and during the month of December for Christmas. For this last occasion, Tivoli becomes a small magical place, perfect to forget the dullness of the Scandinavian winter: trees with a thousand lights, Christmas shows, hot chocolate kiosks, illuminated rides …
As I really like Christmas, I was completely delighted by the decorations. I had the impression of falling back into childhood, and the desire to constantly sing Christmas songs. My friend and I walked the many paths in the park while sipping a hot drink. This year, DSB, the public transport company in Copenhagen, is sponsoring the theme of the park. For the occasion, old locomotives and a replica of a train station are also part of the decorations.
My advice: since Tivoli is popular, if you want to avoid the crowds, do not go there on weekends or on a holiday. And if you want to avoid school groups or families with young children, go later in the evening (Tivoli closes at 11:00pm).
And another Copenhagen holiday classic is to admire the Christmas decorations of the Hotel D’Angleterre facade on Kongens Nytorv Square. The hotel tries to impress every year and I believe that one of Copenhagen’s favourite December activities is to discuss the decorations and decide whether or not they are more beautiful than those of previous years …