One of the major benefits of living in Europe this time of year (besides the proximity to fun skiing options), is access to Christmas Markets :)
And yes, the purists will tell you that the German Christmas markets are the best. Yeah, yeah – they’re great.
But my favorite two so far – Prague and Copenhagen!
Last year was Prague (Click here to read more), and this year… some Danish adventures for the Christmas Markets.
First of – Copenhagen is an incredible city! Clean, organized, and I found the people friend… maybe that’s because they seemed to think I’m Danish! :)
All great – although I do admit that the Prague yummy savory treat options were better, the shopping options in Copenhagen are better – the Copenhagen glüwhein was great though, the hot dogs were on overdrive, the stalls had tons of cute purchase options, and the lights…
Let’s just say that those of you from San Diego will know what I mean when I say that these lights… kicked some serious Hotel Del Coronado ass!
Tivoli Gardens turned out to be my favorite – I was not sure what to expect of Tivoli since it’s an amusement park and not that big… but it was close to my hotel, and it was written up everywhere as worth the visit for the Christmas Market.
When I read up about it, I was more open and intrigued. Founded in 1843, it was a contemporary of other amusement parks of the Edwardian era… places that were actually consciously built to entertain the ‘working classes.’ (Look into the history of Vauxhall Gardens in London and Tivoli (also Tivoli) in Paris. All forerunners to later World Fair/Exhibition parks… and inspiration for folks like Walt Disney.) Tivoli – the Copenhagen one – actually likes to claim that Walt Disney found his visit SO amusing that he was inspired by it!
I went early in the evening (luckily it’s already dark by 4pm in Copenhagen in December) and figured I would have enough time to go somewhere else for dinner if I found the park boring.
Was I wrong!!!! What a place!!!!
I walked around for a couple hours, enjoying the atmosphere and the feel and taking pictures of the incredible lights – which turned out to be touted as the largest Christmas light installation in all of
I had an incredible dinner in a cute Micro-brewery and sat staring at the lights. I shopped at the stalls and specially set-up shops and drank glühwein and stared at the lights. I watched the laser-light show that happens every hour a la The Belagio hotel in Vegas and the hold Disney Light Fantasmic shows… this one was just more impressive as you stood there warming yourself up by stamping your feet in the snow and sipping your hot wine!
Part of what I loved – you buy your glühwein for an outrageous price… and then there are fancy recycling machines all over the park.. that allow you to help keep things clean and up to Danish standards… AND get a big chunk of money back! (The equivalent of almost a $1!!! Quite a motivator to help it clean!)