Filled with cobbled streets, colorful townhouses, fantastic restaurants and cafés, and plenty of hygge—which generally translates to coziness—Copenhagen is one of the best destinations in Scandinavia and Europe as a whole. The city is consistently ranked as the happiest city in the world, and it’s not hard to understand why.

Copenhagen also happens to be a great destination for circus lovers. The city’s world-famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park was the site of William Torp’s flea circus (yes, those were actually a thing) and these days, in addition to its many rides, the park is a venue for various performing arts including pantomime and classical Italian commedia dell’arte. Travelers in Copenhagen can also see circus performances at the Wallmans Circus Building, catch an improv comedy show, and visit the Circus Museum.

So grab your unicycles and clown noses and join us on this journey through Copenhagen’s circus-themed offerings.


Day 1

Visit Tivoli Amusement Park

Photo credit: Joe deSousa/Flickr

First things first, find lodging near the Copenhagen Cultural District to be in the middle of the action.  There are many great options through AirBnB, as well as boutique hotels such as the colorful Anderson Boutique Hotel and stylish Hotel Avenue.

Then hop on the subway and we’re off to Tivoli Amusement Park, which was built in 1843, making it the second oldest amusement park in the world. At this park, visitors can ride one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters, watch theatrical music and dance performances, or visit an aquarium and arcade, and more. There are plenty of kiddie rides too! Tivoli also has its own hotel.

Entry for persons 8 years and older: 120 DKK ($18.08) for a day pass; 160 DKK ($24.10) Friday evenings after 7PM.

Take a walking tour

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Alternatively, if you’d prefer seeing the city first, consider taking a walking tour with SANDEMANs, just five minutes away from the Tivoli Gardens. There are free tours at 10AM, 11AM, and 2PM. Tivoli’s hours of operations are 12:00 AM- 12:30 AM on Fridays so there is wiggle room if you’d like to explore the city first.

Get in the spirit

Check out some costume shops such as Fest og Faver or Buttericks to get in the spirit of the city (and prepare for a night of dancing tomorrow). At night, be sure to walk the town. You’re bound to see some Buskers amongst other performers in the Center of Culture and Commerce.

Eat

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Try open-face sandwiches, french fries with mayonnaise, and some decadent pastries throughout the city. There are all kinds of unique food trucks to visit and indulge at. Give Copenhagen’s street food a try, or hit the Street Food Market for more of a restaurant setting.


Day 2

Get cycling

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What better way to view a carnival fantasy city than to ride a bicycle around town? Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation for locals. Try Donkey Republic 24/7 Bike Rental, where you use an app to locate a bike parked out in the city that you unlock with your phone, or rent a bike the old fashioned way at Copenhagan Bicycles.

Bicycle rental cost for one day: 110 DKK ($16.50) including insurance +50 DKK ($7.50) for child seat.

Flex your acting muscles

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Try an improv class at Improv Comedy Copenhagen and learn about the commedia dell’arte, the first form of professional theater. Commedia dell’arte has had a huge influence on various types of theater and performances, including Shakespeare, Molière, opera, vaudeville, improv comedy, and even sitcoms. Classes are free and take place every Saturday at 5PM.

Catch a circus performance

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If you’d prefer to skip the improv lesson, visit Wallmans Circus Building, located just 10 minutes down the street from Improv Comedy Copenhagen. They also have a theater, diner, and night club, all under one roof! You can catch a circus act around 5:30 PM; check the website for more details.


Day 3


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Check out the Circus Museum before going home (which is only open on Sundays). The museum has many artifacts of Danish circus culture along with other international pieces. There are fun activities for the kids including face painting, juggling, and tightrope walking; the museum also offers live shows.

Entry: Adults are 50 DKK ($7.50); kids are free

Want even more circus action?

Consider going to Copenhagen during the Copenhagen International Improv Festival, Living Statues International Festival, Carnival, or when the circus (such as Cirque du Soleil) comes to town. Several of these take place in spring. Check out the websites below for details.

http://www.copenhagen.com/events
http://www.cphimprofestival.com/
https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/denmark/copenhagen/shows
http://www.masca.ro/teatru/en/living-statues-international-festival/

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