The most Christmassy place I’ve ever been. Thats the summarised version basically. The quaintest most surreal theme park and gardens that I’ve ever experienced are just ten times more of that at Christmas time. I knew it would be, but Christmas at Tivoli was every bit as festive as I hoped.
I got a glimpse of how cute it would be at Halloween, when it was starting to get really cold and the glog was on offer, but throw in a lot of Christmas trees and a light dusting of fake snow and you’ve got a real winter wonderland.
It was beginning to get dark as we arrived, so the twinkly lights made for a gorgeous setting as you wander through the gardens. It didn’t exactly allow for the best photos so bare with me! This post is basically so I can share the ones I did get – if you want the more practical info on Tivoli including prices etc, then the first post I ever wrote on it has all that info – summer at Tivoli.
As you enter the park, under the Christmas garlands and twinkly lights, one of the first things you’ll come across is the Tivoli hotel, which had the biggest tree of all right outside, covered in Swarovski crystals.
From here the park branches off into a number of different directions. On one side the sounds of music playing and Christmas songs were coming over the gardens from the stage where they hold Christmas shows, pantomimes and entertainment, and from the other direction the unmistakeable sounds of rollercoasters and fairground rides.
Straight ahead takes you through the gardens themselves, and around the lake which is the course we took. My preference is always just to wander the gardens, through the little houses and stalls done out like a Danish village.
If you’re not one for thrill rides, grab a glogg, an Irish coffee or a hot chocolate and do the same.
The Danish concept of hygge has really increased in trend the last few years, roughly translating to the ‘feeling of cosiness’, and I have to say it absolutely was exactly that.
I think a lot of people think the whole ‘hygge’ thing is just to do with interior decorating in that Scandinavian style, but it goes far beyond that and it’s unmistakable pretty much everywhere in Copenhagen at Christmas time. Especially Tivoli.
The tiny white huts selling Christmas decorations and souvenirs are my absolute favourite. They’re far from tacky, gorgeous ceramic tea light holders, personalised stockings, nutcrackers and lanterns fill the shops, as well as s wreaths, woolly knitwear and the occasional snow globe – ok so a bit tacky.
Of course there are multiple photo opportunities for families, friends or couples throughout the park – including Santa’s sleighs, and even a kissing bench under the mistletoe.
As we came around the lake, we stopped for a drink at one of the little bars, toasty warm with the fires burning and a view over the water. More glogg which we were taught is different to mulled wine due to the almonds served in it, Christmas beer which was a bit strange at first but surprisingly nice, and some incredible dough balls with jam and icing sugar.
The smell of Christmas just hangs in the air, either from roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, cinnamon or a mix of all of them. Usually at Christmas markets you’re pushed and shoved about and despite every attempt to make the experience enjoyable, it’s often not, and this is where Tivoli just works.
Essentially it’s got everything a Christmas market has, but with a lot more thrown in and spread over a much bigger, carefully curated and landscaped place. You can actually enjoy it without being herded along by the masses, and it’s for adults and children alike.
It’s impossible not to get overcome with Christmas spirit here, I just wish I’d been able to see it in the daytime as well as the dark.
Outside of Tivoli the Christmas market at Nyhavn is another good spot to visit, with little chalets lining the canal, the decorations overhead and all the bars have fires and blankets to keep you warm. Hygge at it’s most authentic.