Germany’s Theme Parks

May 8, 2015

Theme parks have been entertaining, terrifying or thrilling people for centuries. New York’s Coney Island is often regarded as the first of its kind, but theme parks of various descriptions have existed across Europe for far longer, such as Bakken in Denmark which was built in around 1583.

For a country with such a proud history of manufacture, it’s no surprise that Germany’s biggest theme parks are specific to the country, and not an import such as Disneyland Paris. The country’s two biggest parks are Europa Park and Phantasialand, but there are five other parks which regularly attract more than a million visitors per year – Europa Park, Phantasialand, Movie Park Germany, Heidepark, Legoland, Hansa-Park and Holiday Park.

Europa Park is the 2nd biggest theme park in Europe and, as you can probably guess by the name, includes distinctive features from 13 of Europe’s biggest countries. Drive London taxi dodgems and visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in the English zone, or experience the wrath of Poseidon in the Greek zone, and plenty more to discover in the 95 hectare park.

Phantasialand, near Cologne, is a little bit more exotic, with a romantic take on the history and lifestyle of China, Mexico and other countries. Like Europa Park, Phantasialand is worth an overnight stay to guarantee you can see the whole park without rushing.

Hansapark is more rooted in Germanic history. Located near Lübeck, it uses the history of the Hanseatic League as its theme, including Hanseatic trading towns such as Lübeck itself, Gdansk, Rostock and Bruges. However, it also has classic theme park staples like the Wild West adventure parks, a Mayan temple and log flume rides.

Thrillseekers should head to Heide Park, south of Hamburg, which is home to fast rollercoasters and wet and wild rides, while film buffs should check out Filmpark Babelsberg in Potsdam, where you can enjoy stunt shows, record yourself as a newscaster and explore recreations of famous film sets.

For families with younger children, try Ravensburger Spieleland, located in Liebenau near Lake Constanz. This theme park is based on the creations of the Ravensburger group, which makes jigsaws, puzzles and games, along with additional cartoon characters like Captain Blaubär. German kids are the main target audience for this park, but there are still enough rides and outdoor climbing activities in this extensive park to wear out the whole family by the end of the day.

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