The first place we go in Copenhagen is to Tivoli Gardens — a must-see!

We arrived in Copenhagen yesterday at about 12:30 p.m. (their time), which was 6:30 a.m. E.S.T….we had both managed to get about four hours sleep on the plane so thought we did pretty well.

Copenhagen Airport is very efficient and by the time we reached the baggage carousel our bags were already coming off…so we caught a taxi and were into our hotel by about 1:30 p.m. There is excellent service into the city via public train or bus, but being tired and carrying three bags we opted for the more expensive taxi. As the airport is only 6.5 miles from city center, the $50 cab fare did see a bit stiff.

We checked into the Hotel Kong Arthur, a smallish family-run hotel. Our room is small (by U.S. standards) but plenty adequate. It was a bit hot, so we opened the windows (no A-C, which is typical of most hotels)…and soon the room was fresh.

Because it was now early afternoon, we decided not to nap but to “power through” the day and so decided we would walk to Tivoli Gardens, the city’s major tourist attraction. It was a pleasant 20-minute walk in glorious weather.

Tivoli was a good place to start our first visit to this lovely compact city. Built in 1843, it is one of Europe’s longest running attractions. Set over about 10-12 acres, it is a combination of gardens, amusement areas, shopping and restaurants. When Walt Disney visited here in the early 1950’s it is said that Tivoli inspired him to create Disneyworld.

As I said the weather wis lovely, sunny with just a slight chill in the air, and so perfect for a stroll. The bells were tolling the quarter hours, toddlers were playing with their grandparents in the children’s areas while teens were riding the thrill rides in another section of the park. Seniors were dozing on benches in the still-lush gardens. Workers were setting up barricades in preparation for a concert later in the evening.

Tivoli is constantly recreating itself. Right now there is a large exhibit on the Titanic in one of the historic buildings. The Michelin-starred restaurant Paul is about to close after a nine-year run as the British chef has decided to retire. At the entrance, there is a Build-a-Bear store and a Hard Rock Café. There are also shops for Bodum and Ord Nin G7R EDA, both well-known Scandinavian brands. (I discovered that the Bodum products sold here are actually significantly cheaper on the website.)

We met Bo Larsen, head of Cruise Copenhagen and Cruise Baltic, for drinks and dinner. He was full of information about the area and, of course, a great promoter of pre-stays such as ours. I will share more info on his comments in my next post. All  of the lights of Tivoli were a-twinkle as we strolled out to catch a taxi back to our hotel. A magical start to this trip.

Today we are off to explore the city further….and I will post some photos later, too.


About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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