I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting when I visited Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. I didn’t know it has the world’s oldest (1914) running wooden roller coaster. That tops my Coney Island Cyclone (1927). Here’s what else I discovered:

Although it has the requisite midway and traditional rides, it has its own Chinatown section.

Tivoli FairwayTivoli Bumper Cars

Chinatown at Tivoli

There are snack bars and stands, but also many elegant yet casual restaurants like Mazzoli’s, with its front-and-center carousel horse. If you want to dine on the water, there’s an eatery on a sailing ship.

Mazzoli's Interior
Tivoli Ship Restaurant
Speaking of water, there is plenty of it in the form of lakes, ponds, and fountains, making permanent residents very happy.

Tivoli GullsAnother local did not appreciate a foreigner crowding his style during lunch. The Goose Trusts Frampton

In addition to rides and restaurants, there’s a huge hotel on the premises. It also became quickly evident why it’s called Tivoli Gardens. Such care is taken with the grounds, it’s a delight to simply walk around.

Tivoli HotelTivoli GardenTivoli Flowers 2 More Gardens


As if all this weren’t enough, they draw top name stars to perform. This Monday Elton John will grace their main stage. But I’d hold out a couple of extra days for the next act. How’s this for a combo? Still time to catch a flight…

Tony Bennett & Lady GaGa at Tivoli