The Best Theme Parks in Europe
If you’re taking a trip to Europe with kids, don’t just drag them around to the major cities. Spice things up and make a stop at one of the continent’s favorite theme parks.
It’s a surprisingly cultural experience to see how Europeans truly relax and put their unique spin on thrill-seeking rides, merry-go-rounds, and carnival food.
To help you select a destination, TripAdvisor recently released its ranking of the best theme parks in Europe, as voted on by TripAdvisor reviewers.
There are a variety of parks to choose from: You can go for historic parks that have become a part of a national legacy, see how Europeans interpret American classics, step back in time at a history-themed park, or escape to a fairytale land.
No matter which country you end up exploring, you’re likely to discover something deeper about the culture by visiting a theme park. The French, for example, are surprisingly good at parks. Four of the top 10 parks as voted on by reviewers are located in the land of baguettes.
Scroll through to discover the top theme parks to round out your next European vacation.
1. Le Puy du Fou — Les Epesses, France
This amusement park takes the Renaissance festival to the next level. The 140-acre theme park in Western France is a rollicking ride through history, with attractions based around the Vikings, the Middle Ages and the Romans.
2. Tivoli Gardens — Copenhagen, Denmark
Located smack dab in the center of Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens is a family-friendly attraction with rides and historic gardens. It’s become a storied part of Danish culture. (In fact, it’s rumored to have been the park that inspired Walt Disney to make his own wonderland.) The park has been in operation since 1843, making it the second-oldest operating theme park in the world.
3. Europa-Park — Rust, Germany
One TripAdvisor reviewer called Europa-Park the “benchmark for theme parks.” It’s the largest theme park in Germany with 15 Europe-themed areas, including Portugal, Scandinavia and, of course, Germany. It’s got 13 roller-coasters and a water park so there’s plenty to keep you occupied all throughout your visit.
4. Disneyland Paris — Marne-la-Vallee, France
This is the most popular theme park in Europe, attracting almost 15 million visitors every year. People come for the chance to see “Ratatouille” on its home turf or visit the famous Sleeping Beauty castle.
5. Leolandia — Capriate San Gervasio, Italy
Leolandia is a theme park created expressly for the enjoyment of kids under the age of 10 (although anyone older is welcome, too). Kids can board Thomas the Tank Engine, pet animals at the Educational Farm, and ride age-appropriate rides. And if you don’t have time to see all of Italy, stop at Minitalia where 40 of the country’s most famous monuments are recreated in miniature.
6. Efteling — Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands
Leave it to the Dutch to create the most charming theme park imaginable. This fairytale-themed land has winding roads, stone cottages, and castles overgrown with ivy. But don’t worry: there are also roller-coasters for those who want to add some adrenaline to the day.
7. Walt Disney Studios Park — Marne-la-Vallee, France
So nice it made the list twice. The second of the two Disney theme parks outside of Paris opened in 2002 and is dedicated to all things show business, movie production, and behind-the-scenes. The park is currently undergoing a multibillion-dollar transformation to prepare it for visitors of the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
8. Paultons Park — Romsey, United Kingdom
This British theme park is on the map mostly for its Peppa Pig theme park area. As the leading character may hint at, this park is mostly aimed for young children — but there are 27 animatronic dinosaurs that will delight visitors of all ages.
9. Parc Asterix — Plailly, France
Asterix the Gaul is one of France’s most beloved cartoon characters. He’s a Gaul holding out against the Roman invasion, lending the cartoons a distinctly historical air. The theme park follows this tradition, with roller-coasters based off the culture of the Romans, the ancient Greeks, and the Egyptians.
10. The Milky Way Adventure Park — Clovelly, United Kingdom
You can visit this theme park near the Cornish coast any time of year. It’s an all-weather attraction, complete with Santa’s Grotto in the winter. There are roller-coasters, giant trampolines, and even an extensive Sci-Fi memorabilia collection.