Make Me a Star
In the middle of Copenhagen’s charming (if schmaltzy) Tivoli Gardens is a ride that has thrill-seekers clamoring for more: The Star Flyer sends riders streaking through the air at speeds up to 72kmph (45 mph) while dangling 78m (260 ft.) above the ground. It’s guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping in even the most jaded amusement park tourist.
Tivoli Gardens is located in the center of Copenhagen and is among its most cherished institutions. Since opening in 1843, millions of visitors have embraced the park’s artfully manicured flower gardens, Chinese tower, and musicians. When electricity became available, Tivoli Gardens outfitted itself with millions of light bulbs, making it an enchanting nighttime attraction. The wooden roller coaster—still in operation—debuted in 1914, and The Daemonen, the biggest roller coaster in Denmark, joined it in 2004. The newest ride in Tivoli Gardens is Vertigo, a flight simulator that launches passengers through the air at 97kmph (60 mph).
The Star Flyer is the world’s tallest carousel tower; riders board one of 12 passenger seats that are attached to a central star-shaped car. As the car ascends, it rotates on its axis, causing the 12 seats to lift into the air and spin around the tower. Not only is this a thrilling ride, but it’s also a great way to sight-see as the city of Copenhagen reveals itself below. There’s more to see on the ground, too: Live concerts featuring world-class musicians such as Sting, the Pet Shop Boys, and Smashing Pumpkins occur during summer months. The amusement park’s Concert Hall and Pantomime Theater also host performances, plays, and classical concerts, and there are dozens of places to eat, drink, and relax after all your thrill rides are over.
Tivoli Gardens ( 33/75-03-38; www.tivoli.dk).
When to Go: May–Sept.
$$$ First Hotel Vesterbro, Vesterbrogade 23–29 ( 33/78-80-00; www.firsthotels.com). $$ Hotel Fox, Jarmer Plads 3 (33/13-30-00; www.hotelfox.dk).