There are few countries in Europe better suited to family holidays than Spain, and with good reason. Boasting affordability, excellent weather and plenty of entertainment options, no trip to this magical corner of the Mediterranean is complete without an exciting, invigorating or downright refreshing trip to these famous theme parks in Spain.
With COVID-19 still an ongoing issue across Europe, opening hours and conditions of entry across these different spots may vary. That doesn’t mean attractions are closed, necessarily. Make sure to do your research by checking out any specific rules for the theme park or water park of your choice, pre-booking your entrance before you go and making sure your family are masked, socially-distanced and ready for action. After all, theme parks set the gold standard for fun and safety – if they didn’t, rollercoasters would be significantly less beloved by everyone, don’t you think?
Adventure in Andalucia with the best water and theme parks in Spain
1. Isla Magica in Seville
The 1992 World Expo in Seville catapulted this long-ago cosmopolitan capital of the world back into modern popularity, making the city one of the favorite destinations in Spain for those seeking historical Spanish culture, delicious tapas and the luxury life on an affordable budget.
Isla Magica, built on the exact site the Expo took place in ’92, brings a new level of aquatic fun to Spain’s hottest city; it’s arguably the best water park in Spain, making Seville one of the best places to visit in Spain with family.
Divided across themed areas for different age groups, interests and themes, Isla Magica offers something for everyone. Take a sail through history with the Doorway to the Indias, named in homage to Christopher Columbus’ 16th Century journey from the Port of Seville to (what was meant to be) India, but what was actually what we know today as the United States of America. Or, if your little one would rather knock about somewhere with kids their own size, there are playgrounds and sprinklers aplenty at the Fountain of Youth.
Your whole family can enjoy a swashbuckling adventure in the Pirates’ Lair or you can all get your pulses racing in El Dorado by careening down rapids or swinging through the sky. Isla Magica is also the ideal theme park in Spain for anybody who had (or still has) a love-hate relationship with Goosebumps ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books.
Isla Magica’s live shows are well worth catching, with offerings ranging from Andalucian-themed cowboy and flamenco acts, acrobatic stunt people, grand-scale illusionists and dramatic performances depicting Seville’s history that are as entertaining as they are educational.
With plenty of traditional tapas restaurants and take-away dining options, your trip to Isla Magica is a surefire way to combine authentic Andalucian dining with modern theme park adventures in Spain with kids.
2. Sould Park in Fuengirola
Showcasing plenty of rides for families with younger children, Sould Park is a pleasant and easy way to break up the endless relaxation and seafood feasts if the kids are starting to get restless on your family holiday to the Costa del Sol. A stone’s throw from the Fuengirola Harbour District, Sould Park has fantastic opening hours relative to the age group they cater to the most – in true Spanish form, gates close as late as midnight in the summertime.
Sould Park has its fair share of slides, rides, and attractions, ranging from child-proofed trampoline zones and mini-carousels to water dodgems (bring your own change of t-shirt!), making it one of the most crowd-pleasing theme parks in Spain.
For older children who may or may not be experiencing video game withdrawal, the arcade games are abundant and affordable. There’s motorbike racing, pew-pew laser games and even virtual reality 5D roller coasters, all from the safety of your seat.
If there’s one thing Spain does better than anywhere, it’s making sure child-friendly spaces are sufficiently suitable for adults, and Sould Park is testament to it. There are plenty of places for adults to sit and enjoy a drink or refreshment as the kids do their thing, as well as a number of retail stores, restaurants and bars just outside of Sould Park where even the teenagers can wander off without getting into too much trouble.
3. Feria de Abril in Seville
Forget what you think you know about theme parks in Spain, because this is so much more than that! The April Fair (known simply as Feria) in Seville is a pop-up amusement park experience with no equal, because in addition to the amusements and abundant cotton candy, this is a cultural celebration dating as far back as 1846.
Originally a market to trade livestock in Spain’s Basque country, the Spanish flair for a fiesta meant that trading soon became interspersed with celebrations that, almost as quickly, turned into the highlight of the whole affair. In 1973, the Feria moved officially to Seville, where today it takes the form of a week-long party where men wear suits, women don traditional flamenco dresses, and people ride around on horseback dressed as jitenes (the original Spanish cowboys and gals). Families share sumptuous meals in the casetas (which range from open to the public or members-only) before making their way to the theme park to ride the rollercoasters, wander valiantly through the Ghost Train, or win a prize for their sweetheart. The daytime events are all about bringing together different generations to pass the day (or week) together, making this the best place to visit in Spain with family… until the sun sets.
At night, this sensational theme park in Spain flicks on the neon lights, illuminates the sky with fireworks and the children are whisked home to rest to give way to the adults, who come out to Feria to party all night – and no, that’s no exaggeration! At night, Feria-goers dance to live music and jump onto the amusement park rides before enjoying a drink or two of the iconic Andalucian cocktail, the rebujito.
The official dates of Feria change annually to ensure it takes place 2 weeks after Easter, which is about how long Seville needs to rally from the festivities of its internationally-renowned Holy Week. During Holy Week, too, Seville is also the most famous destination in Spain, with people coming from across the country to witness the processions from the city’s numerous Catholic Brotherhoods.
That one city can somehow host a staggering two weeks’ worth of events in just three weeks is probably mind-boggling for those who know how much work it takes to arrange an event, but the city of Seville does it in style. Turns out the Spaniards have endless energy and enthusiasm to get down… regardless of whether it’s at the pews or on the dance floor.
You’re Tarragona-have-a-good-time at these award-winning theme parks in Spain
4. PortAventura World
Just outside of Tarragona is PortAventura World, one of the largest theme parks in Spain and easily one of the most popular. Welcoming some 4,000,000 visitors a year, PortAventura World is the ideal destination if you’re looking for all-encompassing PortAventura holidays – after all, there’s even a number of fabulous hotels if you’re interesting in on-site accommodation.
With 43 rides divided by regions of the world, you can ride a lava-free volcanic wave down the Polynesia-theme Tutuki Splash, tumble down the record-holding (and record-losing, but more on that below) 76-metre drop of the Shambala rollercoaster, both of which can be found in in the Chinese quadrant.
Adrenaline enthusiasts can’t miss the Mexican Hurakan Condor, which will winch you 100-metres into the sky before sending you down a giddying free fall. In the Far West, you can ride around the park on a vintage train from Penitence Station or step into the Labertino Blacksmith maze to test your interpretation of ‘true north’.
Sesame Adventure is the perfect kiddie corner for little ones, with plenty of pleasant rides that will have your children beaming with joy all day long.
No matter which parts of the park are calling your name the loudest, don’t miss the PortAventura Parade, the largest of its kind in the Mediterranean. Learn the traditional dances of the Pacific at the Bora Bora show or take your children to dance and sing with their favourite Sesame Street Characters at Let’s Dance, where the audience is guaranteed to be composed of some of the cutest tiny tots you’ve ever seen. PortAventura holidays, here you come!
5. Ferrari Land
Revheads looking for good theme parks in Spain, welcome to Paradise!
The sprawling, 70,000 m2 Ferrari Land certainly puts the emphasis on ‘theme’ when it comes to theme parks in Spain! Adjacent to the entrance of PortAventura World, Ferrari is an immersive, multi-sensory celebration of the world’s most beloved race car brand in its signature colour: racing red.
Ferrari Land’s big draw is the Red Force, a 112 metre-high vertical accelerator renowned for its daring slogan: “Challenge the wind.” Going from 0 to 180 km an hour in just 5 seconds – with a g-force of 1.3 – the Red Force is responsive for stripping the first-place trophy from the Shambhala roller coaster at PortAventura World next door as the tallest in Europe. To add insult to injury, it also claims the title of the fastest rollercoaster in Europe.
Ferrari World is the ideal destination for those who love a little danger to their day out. The swinging pistons of the Thrill Towers will hoist you every which way possible to confuse your inner ear, while the Free Fall Tower guarantees to leave you giddy… and maybe a little relieved to safely return to solid ground.
Race your family on the 570-metre Maranello Grand Race track or settle on something a little more sci-fi on the authentic virtual racing simulator, the Pole Position Challenge.
In a tactical move that guarantees nobody can dispute Ferrari Land’s viability as a candidate for ‘best place to visit in Spain with family’, many of the rides are duplicated in kiddie-size – with even a chance for your children to pilot their own tiny planes (emblazoned with Italian flags, of course). And with PortAventura World right next door, doubling the fun with Tiqets PortAventura + Ferrari Land: Direct Entrance offer is practically a must!
6. Caribe Aquatic Park
If you’re contemplating going to Spain with kids this summer, PortAventura’s Caribe Aquatic Park is the best place to visit in Spain with family to keep the energy high, and the fun, incessant.
Offering more than 50,000 m2 of fun and situated within the PortAventura World complex, Caribe Aquatic Park ranks among the most unmissable water and theme parks in Spain for all ages. Navigate the turbulent waters of El Torrente or slide down the 15-metre-tall twin slides at El Tifón. Pop the children down for a paddle at Woody’s Lagoon or let their imagination (and their limbs) fly on the Junior Body Slides.
The 31-metre tall Big Kahuna free fall is the star attraction of this water park in Spain, with its brave visitors reaching a speed of as much as six metres per second on their way to the blissfully deep pool below.
For those who prefer a more leisurely day at this water park in Spain, Playa Paraíso offers comfortable waterbeds to stay cool whilst enjoying the sun, while Bahama Beach has plenty with sunbeds for you to splay across and work on your tan.
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7. Siam World in Tenerife
Rated #1 water park in the world seven years running by the famously hard-to-please connoisseurs of Tripadvisor, Siam Park is the water kingdom for any sun-seeking family looking to play royalty for a day – and undoubtedly one of the best theme parks in Spain.
Siam Park is a perfectly curated jungle of palm trees and Thai-inspired architecture, interspersed with a range of rides, slides and pools across three themes: Relax, Family and Adrenaline.
If you’re looking to ride the biggest artificial waves in the world, the Wave Palace is the star attraction. Rising up to 3 metres in height, there’s no shortage of ways to crash into, dive through or haul over the waves. Or if you’d prefer a slide with a little extra zip, The Giant is one of the largest slides in the world – but be careful, there are some long, dark stretches where you can’t see even a few centimetres in front of you (which makes it all the more fun for some.)
If you prefer something even more rapid, don’t miss the Singha, which is part towering slide, part water roller coaster, and comprises some 14 dizzying direction changes. Ascend at a rate of six metres a second only to descend at a dizzying three times the speed.
For those who believe adrenaline rushes are best shared with others, The Volcano is a bonding experience for the ages. Perch on a (hopefully lucky) clover-shaped dinghy and slide down into the pitch-black heart of the volcano, where a spectacular laser light show awaits you.
When you’re starting to feel a little worn out from all the excitement, bob along the Mai Thai River in a rubber ring, selecting faster or gentler paths as you please, or loiter in the selected relaxation area to simply soak in la vida buena. Or, if you need a bit of shade from the hot Canary Islands sun, splay on a luxurious Balinese bed at the Champagne Club and enjoy a fancy drink with a dreamy view. Smaller children are guaranteed hours of entertainment at The Lost City, a fun-sized kids’ playground with fountains, nets, playgrounds, waterfalls and not one, not two, not three, but 15 waterslides to choose from.
8. Holiday World Masplomas Centre in Gran Canaria
Fun, fitness, food, and lifestyle converge at Holiday World Masplomas Centre in Gran Canaria, the most comprehensive leisure space on the island. There are more than 30 attractions in Masplomas Centre’s famous Wooland Fun Park, alongside shows, pastimes and a wide array of culinary options. Consequently, Holiday World Masplomas Centre is well-equipped for your family holiday in Spain.
Drink in the spectacular vistas of the island from the 26-metre Ferris Wheel or flip your positioning of the sky and the sea on the topsy-turvy Aerobat. The kids can cruise on the Carousel while adults valiantly battle to stay on the mechanical bull for more than a couple of seconds (olé!).
There are plenty of family-friendly indoor alternatives to the rides for those sorely lacking in greatest asset required for the amusement park’s rides: an iron stomach. Score a strike on one of the 16 professional lanes at Swing Bowling or belt out your favourite non-Bohemian Rhapsody number at Bamm Karaoke. Covertly test the theory that your kid may be a genius by puzzling your way out of the Escape Room or take a trip to the XD Cinema for a virtual spin on the Cosmic Coaster, Ravine Racer, Canyon Coaster or the Jet and Jim.
There are plenty of adorable animal friends adorning the children’s rides (and a “How did this pass the approvals committee?”-themed pirate named Captain Morgan), as well as bumper car rings that come in both child and adult-sizes.
Feel free to cruise right on past the Ozone Gym (you’re on holiday, after all!) en route to the 400-plus culinary offerings at the Nomad Gastro Market or catch a game at The Harrow Sports Bar. Which game, you ask? Probably soccer – this is Europe, after all.
Hanging out in one of the country’s big cities? These theme parks in Spain are for you
9. Tibidabo Amusement Park in Barcelona
Tibidabo Amusement Park is the oldest amusement park in all of Spain, and the perfect family-friendly theme park in Barcelona if you or your kids are Gaudi-ed out.
Situated at the top of Barcelona’s highest peak, the name Tibidabo comes from the Bible (when in Spain, am I right?) which means “I will give it to you”. Sound generous? Don’t be fooled: those words were from the Devil to Jesus as they looked over the world from an exceedingly high mountain. You don’t have to be a biblical scholar to guess what Jesus thought of the deal.
Thankfully, the Devil also doesn’t have much clout when it comes to complex machinery (suck it, Final Destination films), which means that Spain’s oldest amusement park continues to merrily – and safely – trundle along like a neon-lit kingdom in the clouds.
For a sensational fusion of history and modernity, hop aboard the Avió airplane ride that was first brought to life in 1928 to enjoy an unparalleled sky view of Barcelona. For something a little closer to the ground, take a stroll along the Plaza of Dreams or split the difference on the undulating rollercoaster. If parts of the park seem a little familiar, that’s just your Cancel Culture Radar tingling: Tibidabo Amusement Park featured in Vicky Christina Barcelona, a critically-acclaimed film by a disgraced director.
Social justice commentary aside, Tibidabo has plenty more to offer. Beyond its 25 rides and attractions, this theme park in Spain is also home to fabulous play areas for little ones, live performances and shows, and even a restaurant with a panoramic view. Many people hike the hill for the view alone, but save the time and take public transport to the top to score the best view of all from Tibidabo Amusement Park’s star attraction, the ferris wheel which, at its highest point, sits 500 metres above Barcelona.
10. Parque Warner in Madrid
Perched on the south-eastern side of Madrid, Warner Bros. brings the movie magic to the Spanish capital with Parque Warner Madrid. With 42 rides, including six rollercoasters, this is one of those theme parks in Spain that can whisk your family into any slice of their favourite fandom.
Clink your spurs and practice your quick draw at Old West Territory, pencil on a sexy mole and stand over a subway grate on Hollywood Boulevard, or crack out your comic book collection at DC Super Heroes World. Kids will be right at home amidst the 2D-to-3D joys of Cartoon World, where all their favourite characters are ready to welcome them – but don’t worry, we have it on good authority that Wile E. Coyote doesn’t bring the giant anvil to work with him.
The rides range from intense to moderate to smooth – or, if you want proof that some words in Spanish sound uncannily like English-speakers pretending they know how to speak Spanish á la Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds: “Intensa, Moderada y Suave”.
If you’re feeling a little intensa on the day of your visit, turn “suppressing the urge to scream” into your very own personal superpower on rides such as Superman: The Iron Rollercoaster which goes as fast as 100 kilometres an hour, or the upside-down Batman: Arkham Asylum, where your first fall will send you careening from a staggering 31 metres in the sky.
For a more mentally-stimulating (or clothing-soaking) adventure experience, take a spin on the Wild Waterfall rollercoaster, or brace yourself to encounter a phantasm or two at the Haunted Hotel.
Small children will love a trip to ACME: Water Games, where they can splash and play with the Looney Tunes or join the Mystery Machine crew on The Adventure of Scooby Doo.
The whole family can learn about the magic behind the movies with a Cine Tour and catch their favourite characters in real life meet-and-greets. Strike a superhero pose with the Justice League, converge a child’s love of television with an adult’s love of the movie Space Jam with the Looney Tunes, or take a trip to Grandma’s House with Tweety Bird himself.
If at any point you need a breather, take a load off at Warner Beach, which spans 30,000 m2 and houses two wave pools (intensa?), two water play areas (moderada?), and a lazy river (suaaaaaave).