Inside the award-winning German theme park with more than 30 rides – and you’ve probably never heard of it

FROM Alton Towers to Disneyland Paris, Europe is home to some amazing theme parks.

But there is one just a few hours from the UK that most Brits won’t have heard of, despite winning numerous awards.

Phantasialand first opened in 1967


Phantasialand first opened in 1967Credit: Alamy
The German theme park has more than 30 rides


The German theme park has more than 30 ridesCredit: Alamy

Located just outside of Cologne, Phantasialand first opened in 1967 as a puppet theatre with a few small boats.

Since it first welcomed park-goers nearly 60 years ago, the German theme park has significantly expanded to have more than 30 rides and attractions.

Spanning 28 hectares, the theme park is home to seven different themed areas, including Berlin, Mexico, China Town, Mystery, Fantasy and Deep in Africa.

Thanks to its themed zones, Phantasialand was named Europe’s most immersive theme park in 2023.

In Deep in Africa, park-goers will find colourful shops and marketplace and one of the park’s top rides, Black Mamba.

The inverted ride takes visitors past gorges, rocks and waterfalls at a lightning-fast speed.

There’s also the Mystery zone, which looks like a medieval village with its gloomy castle complexes and mystical atmosphere.

It’s also home to the theme park’s fastest rollercoaster – Taron.

Described as “rail spaghetti” on its website, the ride’s track crosses over a whopping 116 times.

Meanwhile, Fantasy is a child-friendly zone that has two indoor theme park rides inside Wuze Town.

First look at brand new water ride opening at UK theme park next month

One of those indoor theme park rides is Winja’s Fear & Force – a spinning rollercoaster.

Meanwhile, Colorado Adventure, a western-themed mine train, is located inside the theme park’s Mexico zone.

Also in the Mexico zone is Chiapas, a flume ride, and steep waterfalls.

In Berlin, guests will be transported back to 1920s Germany, with colourful plants, shop windows and more traditional rides.

There’s also China Town, which is home to authentic Chinese buildings and Gardens, and Rockburgh – Phantasialand’s steampunk-themed zone.

The theme park also has three hotels and several restaurants, including a tapas bar, a tavern, a bakery and an ice-cream parlour.

The park gets good ratings from the public with an overall score of 4/5 from more than 3,395 reviews on TripAdvisor.

One person wrote: “Amazing Food, amazing Rides, amazing Prices, and amazing Shows, this is such an amazing park and if you book early it’s also one of the cheapest for its size.”

Someone else wrote: “Phantasialand was an excellent park, with excellent rides, from F.L.Y to Taron and Chiapas and Winja’s Fear and Force, the park has loads of stuff to see and do.”

Tickets for adults cost €29 (£24.93), while tickets for children cost €27 (£23.21).

Phantasialand is a 37-minute drive from Cologne.

Ryanair operates direct flights from UK airports like London Stansted, with return fares costing as little as £29.

Little-known theme parks

There are plenty of other little-known theme parks dotted throughout Europe.

One of those places is Walibi Holland – one of the largest theme parks in the Netherlands.

The Dutch theme park has more than 30 rides and attractions, including its brand-new rollercoaster Untamed, which can reach a top speed of 92 km/h.

Walibi Holland is also set to open another new rollercoaster next year too as well as another new indoor area, which is expected to open between 2026 and 2029.

Entry tickets cost €42.50 (£37) for a full-paying adult, while tickets for children under the age of 11 cost €32.50 (£28).

Use these tips on your next theme park trip

Next time you visit a theme park, you may want to use our top tips to make the most of your adrenaline-inducing day out.

  1. Go to the back of the theme park first. Rides at the front will have the longest queues as soon as it opens.
  2. Go on water rides in the middle of the day in the summer – this will cool you off when the sun is at its hottest.
  3. Download the park’s app to track which rides have the shortest queues.
  4. Visit on your birthday, as some parks give out “birthday badges” that can get you freebies.
  5. If it rains, contact the park. Depending on how much it rained, you may get a free ticket to return.

Set in Zator in Southern Poland, Energylandia is thought to be one of the largest amusement parks in Europe.

Energylandia first opened its doors in 2014 and is now home to more than 123 rides and attractions, which sit across six different zones.

The rides are split across seven themed zones


The rides are split across seven themed zonesCredit: Alamy
Tickets for adults cost €29 (£24.93), while tickets for children cost €27 (£23.21).


Tickets for adults cost €29 (£24.93), while tickets for children cost €27 (£23.21).Credit: Alamy


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