When you think of Denmark I’m sure amusement parks are not one of the first things that pop into your mind. But did you know that 2 of the oldest amusement parks in the world are actually in or near Copenhagen?!
Bakken is located in Dyrehaven, the deer park about a 10 minute drive north of Copenhagen which opened in 1583 and is officially the oldest amusement park in the world! What makes this amusement park great is that it has free admission and does not get nearly as busy as Tivoli does during the summertime because it’s just far enough out of the way that most tourists don’t know about it. At Bakken you can ride a number of rides including a wooden roller coaster called Rutschebanen which opened in 1932 as well as a log ride, bumper cars, and go carts. Plus, there’s also tons of carnival games that you can play to win prizes from chocolate bars to teddy bears.
Bakken reminded me of county fairs I’ve been to in New York where there’s carnival games, balloons, and tons of sweet treats to eat while walking around. It was also great to get outside of the city for a bit and explore the deer park even though it started to hail while we were walking around. Luckily it stopped hailing after a few minutes and my friend and I ended our day with some delicious ice cream!
Tivoli opened in 1843 and is one of the most visited amusement parks in Europe and it’s easy to see why. Located quite literally in the center of Copenhagen its just across the street from the central station where buses, trains, and bikes are constantly zooming in and out. When I visited Tivoli with my parents on Easter Monday we were lucky to find the park relatively quite despite the holiday.
For those of you who have been to any Disney park, especially Magic Kingdom, it’s easy to see the resemblance once inside Tivoli. The park has multiple stages and auditoriums for performers, a Pirate ship restaurant, gorgeous flowers, and colorful decorations around every corner. When we visited, the park was set up for the Easter holidays but in October and December the park goes all out with Halloween and Christmas decorations (definitely check this out if you visit during the fall).
What was great about spending the morning in Tivoli is that at times it doesn’t feel like an amusement park. Unlike American theme parks that seem to commercial everything, the atmosphere at Tivoli was very relaxed which allowed for some nice walks strolling along the garden and through the games alleyway. Plus, the H.C. Anderson ride we went on was a great way to get a glimpse of his classic fairy tales from the seat of a flying trunk!
But if you visit Tivoli during the day consider buying a return pass before you leave the park. Throughout the park you’ll probably see thousands of light bulbs in all shapes and colors which are illuminated at night to create a spectacular sight that you definitely don’t want to miss!