1. Europa-Park | Rust (Stuttgart)
Experience What It’s Like to Be an Astronaut
Germany’s largest amusement park is divided into several themed areas, representing different countries. The segment representing Russia showcases the training module of the Mir Space Station. Here one can learn about the daily life of the “conquerors of the universe,” including the most intimate details. One of the park’s most popular attractions, despite being located in the “Iceland” section, also has a distinct Russian accent. It is called the “Blue Flame,” and it is not hard to figure out who its sponsor is – at least for the Russians.
Europa-Park is the second most visited amusement park in Europe. Its collection of attractions is constantly growing, and there is a good reason for that: The place is owned by a large manufacturer of attractions, the Mack family. The park operates almost year round: from late March to early November and from late November to early January.
2. Klotten | Cochem (Frankfurt)
Tame the Falcon
Though the selection of attractions at Klotten is quite traditional, its Zoo fits the romantic environment of the place so gracefully that a visit to this park leaves a lasting impression. The local show of prey birds is one of the Zoo’s highlights – as well as an opportunity to hand feed the adorable deer, which only the rare visitor would pass up (special food for the animals is sold right on the spot).
The fact that the park is located on the Mosel Wine Road adds to its value. In addition to a score of wineries, the region’s landscape is dotted with ancient castles. One of them is seen from the top of the roller coaster.
3. Legoland | Günzburg (Stuttgart)
Create a Monster
When you see an impressive monster built from tiny Lego pieces coming to life, the first thought that immediately crosses your mind is “where is its start button?!” These creations are not made just to adorn the landscape. Some of them can move and even sing. While young designers and inventors are learning how to build and program robots at the design center, their parents can catch their breath in the famous Park of Miniatures before exploring together all of the attractions of the site.
To see the park in its entirety, it is best to spend here a couple of days. You can book a room in the toy-like knight castle (this is a comfortable variant) or you can sleep in a barrel, following the example of the ancient philosopher Diogenes (this option offers only public conveniences).
4. Bayern-Park | Reisbach (Munich)
Zip Down a Track
This scenic park gently reminds of sports glory of the eponymous region, which has hosted two Olympic Games. Anybody can feel like a brave Olympic champion zipping down one of the two summer toboggan tracks. However, those who are not looking to break records will also feel comfortable, as there are options of adjusting the speed and distance, as well as selecting companions. The track for a single-person sleigh is 350 m, and the track for double-person sleighs is 600 m long.
When planning an itinerary, mind that the Bavarian thermal spas of Bad Fussing, Bad Griesbach and Bad Birnbach are located about an hour drive from the Bayern Park – just in case you do not want to miss an opportunity to relax a bit.
5. Hansa | Sierksdorf (Hamburg)
Swing a Bell
Though some Hansa’s amusement structures offer nice views of the sea, visitors riding “the Bell” will be too thrilled to notice them. Creators of the ride claim that its design is unique. While the Bell rotates at a crazy speed of 70 km/h and at a 120 angle, the “bell ringers” are sporadically splashed with water coming from the fountains located under the structure.
Hansa’s medieval style was inspired by the rich trading past of the area. An impressive roller coaster “the Novgorod Curse” reminds of the ties that once connected merchants of the Hanseatic League with this ancient city.
6. Phantasialand | Brühl (Düsseldorf)
Have a Party
The Phantasialand is famous for its unique atmosphere. The park owners do not pinch pennies when it comes to paying for costumes or hiring performers. They do whatever it takes to create an illusion of a full immersion in the world of fairy-tales. This amusement park is especially famous for its large-scale musical shows, appealing to all ages and tastes, as well as for its theme quests.
Fantissima, where dining and entertainment go hand in hand is one of the Park’s hallmarks. Visitors are treated to a delicious four-course dinner while enjoying a diverse evening show.
7. Fort Fun | Bestwig (Düsseldorf)
Spread Your Wings
If you read The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by Selma Lagerlöf in your childhood, you would jump on the great opportunity to fly with geese just as the main story character did. Fly on Wild Eagle, a zip-line hang glider taking off the top of a 700-meter hill and accelerating to 80 km/h, which approximately corresponds to the speed of a flying wild goose.
The theme of this amusement park was inspired by its location in the Western part of Germany. The park features a goldmine in the best traditions of the Wild West, riding lessons for amateur cowboys, a sheriff, a saloon, hamburgers and other habiliments of the American western style.
8. Serengeti | Hodenhagen (Hamburg)
Go on Safari
Get your cameras ready: there are more than fifteen hundred wild animals, from lions to white rhinoceros, in Serengeti, and you will have plenty of chances to encounter them riding along the ten-kilometer route. Visitors of the park can travel across the savanna by tourist buses or open Jeeps. If you are a fan of interactive communication, go to the local “jungle.” Some two hundred monkeys will be more than happy to socialize with you (watch your pockets, though).
The park arranges rich adventure weekends featuring all kinds of activities ranging from archery to speed boat safari for those looking to fully disconnect from civilization and go into the wild.
9. Heide Park | Soltau (Hamburg)
Count the Rapids
Those participating in a highly convincing imitation of a white-water mountain rafting trip have few chances to remain calm and dry after an unforgettable six-minute trip down an artificial turbulent river. Having screamed your head off and experienced an adrenaline rush, try another type of entertainment. Forget about rafts and whirlpools by switching to calm backwater. Get on a raft, relax and enjoy the views of the passing-by rural landscapes, while drifting down a slow-moving river.
One of the most anticipated novelties of the 2017 season in Heide Park is the 5D attraction “Ghost Hunters”. Upon entering the premises imitating an abandoned warehouse, daredevils will be armed with laser guns and 3D glasses.
10. Miniatur Wunderland (Hamburg)
Become a Gulliver
The history of the Wonderland dates back to 2000, when twin brothers Frederick and Gerrit Braun decided to fulfill their childhood dream by building the largest model railway in the world. Today the length of the railway network is about fifteen km, and the railway has a fleet of over one thousand trains. And “life” along the track is hustling and bustling. Thousands of tiny toy men are scattered here and there, telling their own story full of humor or drama.
Park keepers make no secret of their work, and visitors may not only witness the creation of new theme ares (and the park is constantly expanding), but also chat with designers and craftsmen. The most curious visitors can also go on a backstage tour.
Text: Alena Tveritina
Published on: January 24, 2018