Tivoli Gardens is the world’s second oldest Amusement park and the most popular one in Scandinavia. It is located in the heart of Copenhagen right opposite the central station. Tivoli Gardens is much more than a amusement park – it is a cultural institution, a national symbol, company listed on the Copenhagen Stock exchange and has inspired writers such as Hans Christian Andersen whose statue stands right outside the gate of Tivoli Gardens overlooking it.
Tivoli gardens has a variety of restaurants and rides catering to a wide range of audiences. It is also a popular venue for many concerts, especially on weekends. The all-ride pass cost about 260 DKK (about INR 2000). I got it from the vending machines. Unfortunately the instructions on the machine were not clear and I picked up the receipt but not the band which wraps around the wrist and acts as a ticket for the rides. Fortunately the guards helped me out and issued me one. As a rule the most easy looking rides are the most crazy fun. Like the Golden tower – It takes you to height of 207 feet and then you fall down (actually pulled down) at 1.5G-force. The fall seems like eternity. The experience for me was akin to bungee jumping. The first time you do not know how it will feel so you go along and hold on for dear life. The second time is the scariest as you know the fall is going to happen. I did the ride a total of 8 rides until I started feeling vertigo. The Education minister for Netherlands sat with a glass of water on the Golden Tower ride and during the fall, the water fell down later as compared to the glass as the fall is faster than the acceleration due to gravity (1 g-force). The views of Copenhagen lit in the night from 207 feet above are really magical.
I was lucky to be there on a Friday night as there was a rock concert in progress at the time. There is generally a concert scheduled there on weekends. Tivoli also has a pantomime theatre and the small ponds and different structures are lit up at night. It gives Tivoli a very fairytale feel. In fact, H. C. Andersen’s “The Nightingale” story was inspired by a play in Tivoli. I read several of H. C. Andersen’s fairytales as a kid and was totally fascinated by them. Copenhagen historic centre has changed little since the 18th Century and H. C. Andersen would feel at home even today. Walking around Copenhagen, it is easy to relate to some of his stories such as the “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” (the first thing that came to mind when watching the Change of Guards at Amalienborg Palace), the famous “Little Mermaid” statue and “The Ugly Duckling” (from the artificial lakes around Copenhagen). H. C. Andersen’s other famous stories are “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Thumbelina”. Even after so many years H. C. Andersen’s remains Copenhagen’s and Denmark’s most famous son.