7 Top Theme Parks in Europe for a Memorable Vacation

Efteling Theme Park Netherlands

Theme parks have always fascinated me. The colors, the sounds, the rush of cruising on the thrilling rides always bring the kind of joy that I’ve never found anywhere else. My love-affair with roller-coasters began when I visited Disneyland (California) as a ten YO. At that time I didn’t know that I had a planet-full of possibilities to quench my thirst for adventure. I made a list of the best ones I could find. All I need to do now is book some cheap airline flights and embark on the most awaited journey of my life. These are the ones I chose for my escapade-

1. Efteling

The intriguing entrance of the park is an indicator of the magnificence found inside. A fantasy-themed amusement park with aspects of fairy-tales, myths and fables; the park entertains both, kids and adults. Inaugurated in 1952, it is one of the oldest theme- parks in the world. With features such as talking trees and giant mythical creatures, you can’t help but get into that other-worldly vibe.

The park, located at Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands, is mostly popular amongst the Dutch. If more people come to know about this park, it would be thronged with Cosplay enthusiasts from around the globe. During winter, the park gets covered by a blanket of snow, turning everything even more magical.

2. Port Aventura

This fun wonderland located at Tarragona, Spain, features five themed- areas. These themes are based on the civilizations of México, Mediterrània, China, Polynesia and Far West. It is also a popular resort comprising of four hotels and the Costa Caribe Aquatic Park. Dragon Khan, which moves at the speed of 65 miles per hour is something that I’m really looking forward to. Consisting a total of 36 rides with 8 amazing roller coasters, Port Aventura is the most visited theme park in Spain.

3. Futuroscope

An exciting theme park that gives its visitors the complete 3D and 4D experience, Futuroscope is the only park of its genre in entire Europe. Equipped with the latest technology, the park offers a beautiful blend of audio and video marvels that appeal to your senses. Films on giant screens, crazy rides, live shows, observation tower, and the most amazing virtual-reality experience– that’s what you get on a visit to this park. Robocoaster, a giant mechanical arm that swings you around, is one of the attractions that I don’t want to miss. Located at Poitiers, France, this is a must-see, must-experience spot when you’re traveling in Europe.

4. Legoland Windsor

Anyone who’s ever played with Legos—so, all of us—need to visit this theme park that draws huge crowds each year. Building workshops, replicas of celebrated landmarks and lego-themed rides make the park a ‘dream come true’ of every kid. The ingenious theme-park is located is Windsor, England and holds the record of being the most visited theme park in the UK in 2015.

5. Europa-Park

Europa Park Germany

Divided into 16 different themed areas, it is the largest theme park in Germany. The rides in each of the areas are in accordance with the theme it showcases, such as, Hansel & Gretel House and Sleeping Beauty Castle in the ‘Enchanted Forest’ area. Other areas are themed Ireland, Russia, Austria, Iceland, Greece, Italy, France, England etc. ‘Cassandra’s Curse’, an indoor madhouse-illusion type ride, is one of the most favorite attractions of its visitors.

6. Parc Astérix

When a person visits this theme-park, it is as if they’ve stepped into the world of Astérix and Obelix. For people like me who was raised on a steady fodder of Astérix comics, it can’t get better than this. Located in France, its most popular rides are Tonnerre de Zeus, Transdémonium and OzIris. This delightful place has entertained generations since it opened its gates in 1989.

7. Tivoli Gardens

One mind-boggling fact about Tivoli Gardens is that it was inaugurated in 1843, making it the oldest theme park in the world that’s still open to the public. Along with having a number of exhilarating rides, it is also used as a venue for the performing arts. It contributes towards the cultural scene of Copenhagen with shows like The Tivoli Youth Guard and music concerts. The one ride that I’m waiting for is the Dæmonen, a floorless steel sit-down that reaches the speed of 48 miles per hour.

The high-speed adrenaline-pumping rides, delicious food and carnival-like ambiance make theme-parks a thrilling place for everyone. This holiday season, choose one or all of the above for your travels. Hop-on one way flights and explore each spot, taking your own sweet time. Browse online for the best travel deals available.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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