Denmark is a country with roots based in pagan Viking traditions. The old country is now beginning to embrace
American traditions such as Black Friday, Valentines Day and not to mention Halloween.
Halloween in Denmark has given this old country something to celebrate in autumn. It has renewed retail life in shops and malls and infused new deco. With it came new experiences and creative ways to celebrate it.
Although, the older generation thinks it is weird and cannot understand why Denmark need this Halloween-stuff. The younger generation embraces it. They have a great time with costume parties and trick or treat samples.
“Halloween” in Denmark
Denmark actually has its own costume-tradition. It is called “Fastelavn” and is a tradition that has evolved through history. Originally, “Fastelavn” was a pagan tradition going way back in history. The celebration was held precisely 7 weeks before Easter.
It was a time where you would dress up and be masked. This meant that the normal social hierarchy was removed for a short while. Nobles and peasants could actually dine and feast together. Something that would have been unheard of otherwise.
In addition, people were very superstitious. Not only in the cities but also in the rural countryside. They firmly believed you could avoid plagues or illnesses if you killed a black cat.
In fact, they had an event in each town where they smashed a barrel to pieces using clubs and sticks. Inside the barrel was a living black cat. The symbol of evil and all dark things.
‘Fastelavn’ as a tradition today
Today, the tradition of “Fastelavn” is still held on the very same day. It is a children’s celebration mostly. We still arrange for barrels to be smashed to pieces. Is there still a black cat inside you wonder? Nope, the barrels are filled with candy and all sorts of treats instead.
The barrel can still have a black cat painted on the outside. This is a legacy from the pagan version of the tradition. We also use the saying: “We are going out to hit the cat out of the barrel“. What a mouth full!
Besides the barrel smashing and candy eating, children dress up in their best Halloween costumes. They walk through neighborhoods ringing doorbells and sing. The song reminds of ‘trick or treats‘ but is about buns if you can believe it. If the resident fails to conjure up some candy kids are usually given a coin or two instead.
All in all, Halloween and ‘Fastelavn’ traditions are just a bit of fun. Days are quickly getting darker and it is a welcoming chance to prepare for the dark season over winter. Some like it, others ignore it. You can find one particular place in Copenhagen that embraces the Halloween and ‘Fastelavn’. The Tivoli Gardens.
Halloween in Tivoli Gardens
The famous old garden, The Tivoli Garden, situated in the heart of Copenhagen has embraced the American tradition as well. Since 2006 it has opened its doors to this spooky and colorful tradition. For 3 weeks, beginning from mid-October, you will be able to experience Halloween in Tivoli Gardens.
Tivoli Halloween Dates
The dates for Halloween in Tivoli Garden for 2019 are from 11th October to 3rd November. (2019)
Tip: The first week of the period is a holiday in Denmark and many families are visiting the park this week.
Decorations can be different from year to year, but every year you will see the large Halloween Pumpkin welcoming you from above the main entrance.
You can see the fine decorations with spiders, pumpkin men, spider web, witches and everything else belonging to Halloween during the daytime. When darkness falls, more scary creatures emerge.
Approx. 5 kgs (10 lbs) of spider web decorates the gardens along with over 20.000 pumpkins. It really is rather impressive.
Tivoli Garden is actually an amusement park. In fact, it is the second oldest amusement park in the world. The rides and fairs consist of a broad spectrum of calm and cozy merry-go-rounds to wild and adrenaline evoking trips and rollercoasters. Some are not for the faint of heart.
All the rides are open during Halloween in Tivoli Gardens. Some of them are even dressed up to the occasion. Halloween style. You will have plenty of opportunities to take a trip up in the balloon swing with the smiling pumpkins or take a trip in the Sky Ship, flying on brooms 363 feet above the ground. Are you afraid of heights?
Explore the Halloween market in Tivoli
Around the old gardens, you will find small stands. Explore the park and find the small huts and stands. They are filled with all sorts of trinkets and items related to autumn and Halloween.
The weather in Denmark during October is definitely getting colder. Tivoli has you covered. It is possible to find coats and jackets, warm clothes, knitted hats, and gloves. There is no excuse to not enjoy the park.
You can find cozy small houses and stands with all sorts of entertainment and not to mention Halloween stuff. Tivoli Gardens is going all-in. There is not a single shop where you are not reminded that it is in fact Halloween.
When you have enjoyed the park, shopped a lot of cute (or scary!) Halloween items it is time for treats. Warm waffles, flapjacks, and churros with extras can be enjoyed almost everywhere in the park.
A little hint: The hot cocoa with whipped cream is delicious!
Restaurants in Tivoli Gardens
You will be able to find all kinds of food in Tivoli Gardens. There is plenty of variety and with different price tags. From Chinese and Italian to more exquisite restaurants.
The restaurants in Tivoli Gardens we can recommend are:
- ‘Søcaféen’ – ‘The Lake Café’ has a specialty in high quality Danish open sandwiches. They also offer á-la-carte service. You can sit and enjoy your dinner, an ice-cold beer or a delicious Irish coffee in the bar while looking across the Tivoli Lake.
- ‘Promenaden’ – ‘The Promenade’ is a cozy two stories restaurant offering a relaxed and accommodating atmosphere. The top floor has an amazing view of the performances on the great lawn. They serve barbeque buffet with a large salad bar on the side.
- Pirateriet – ‘The Piracy’ is a somewhat different restaurant. You are eating on a real size pirate ship anchored in the lake. Their tasty food is inspired by the Spanish kitchen. You can get barbeques, steaks and much more. Well suited for both adult and children pirates.
- Grøften – ‘The Ditch’ was one of the first restaurants in the park. It opened in 1874 and to this date still offers traditional Danish food. Go crazy in the all-you-can-eat fried pork and parsley gravy, served with steaming hot potatoes. Add a Danish beer and you are set!
- Letz Sushi – Situated in the Japanese Tower in the center of the park. You have a nice view of the Tivoli Lake. Enjoy everything from the classic sushi favorites to yaki-spears and tempura.
- La Vecchia Italia – Solid Italian cuisine in cozy surroundings. You get that sense of Italy in the middle of the Tivoli Garden.
- Viften – ‘The Fang’ is a place we have dined at several times. They offer traditional Danish cuisine to very fair prices.
Entrance to Tivoli Gardens
The price is 130 DKK / approx 17 EUR per person over the age of 8 (Age 3-7 the price is 60 DKK / approx 8 EUR). (2019) This is only for the entrance!
You need to buy a wristband if you want to enjoy the rides as well. There are 3 different kinds of wristbands:
- ‘Turpas’ – This is the normal band for children (over 8 years) and adults. The price is 240 DKK / approx 32 EUR per person. (2019)
- ‘Turpas Plus’ – The normal band, plus the ride in The Demon with VR (height min. 132 cm), entrance to Tivoli´s Aquarium and unlimited ride photos on your mobile. The price is 295 DKK / approx 40 EUR per person (2019)
- ‘Turpas with an accompanied adult‘ – This option is for children aged 1-7 years who want to enjoy the rides. You purchase two wristbands and the child has to wear them both and then the child can bring an adult above 14 years along on the rides. The price is 480 DKK / approx 65 EUR for this option (2019)
You can buy your wristband online here or you can purchase them when you buy your entrance ticket. The entrance queue is usually fast-moving and the staff will be happy to help or answer any question you might have.
Tivoli Gardens openings hours
During the Halloween in Tivoli Gardens, the park is open Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to 11 pm (11-23). Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 12 pm (11-24) (2019)
Tivoli Gardens is a really cool and cozy garden. We recommend you spend an entire day here to experience the park, the rides,
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Where to stay near Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens is situated in the very center of Copenhagen. You will have a great opportunity to explore not only Tivoli Gardens but also the city by foot, bus or metro.
- Cabinn City – 2* hotel, Good reviews. 5 minutes away from Tivoli Gardens.
- Grand Hotel – 3* hotel, Good reviews. Only 200 meters from Tivoli Gardens.
- Copenhagen Plaza – 4* hotel. Good reviews. On the other side of the street from Tivoli Gardens.
- Radisson Collection Royal Hotel – 5* hotel. Fabulous reviews. Situated next to Tivoli Gardens.
There is a Tivoli Hotel but it is located almost 1 km away from the park. It is a 4* star hotel with very good review.
We truly hope this guide will help you to have an awesome time in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. If you have any question, comments or just think this article was useful, please write us a comment below – we would love to hear from you.
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