Take a Trip to the World’s Weirdest Theme Parks and Attractions

Theme parks and attractions are a fun way to reveal your inner child and escape the daily hustle and bustle of everyday life. In fact, when asked about a trip they’d like to take in 2018, over a quarter (28%) of global travellers said that they’d visit like to visit a theme park[AK1] *. To celebrate these thrill seekers in every corner of the world, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, shares some weird and wonderful theme parks and attractions from around the world and, of course, the best places to stay.

Florida, USA

Take a trip to Weeki Wachee Springs and meet a real life mermaid! This amazing park offers kayak rentals, paddling adventures, river boat cruises and mesmerising mermaids who swim in cool, crystal clear waters. Also featuring the Buccaneer Bay, Florida’s only spring-fed waterpark, with a sandy white beach, swimming area and thrilling waterslides. Or take a trip to the educational Animal Show or the 400-seat submerged Mermaid Theatre.


Where to stay: Offering an outdoor pool and fitness centre, the Microtel Inn & Suites are located in Weeki Wachee, perfect for taking a trip to the Mermaid Park. Other nearby sites include Hernando Beach and the Weeki Wachee Springs.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Take a trip to Tierra Santa for a religious theme park in Buenos Aires with large reproductions of biblical scenes, including the amazing Noah’s Ark and the streets of Jerusalem. Plus make sure you look out for the 18 metre Jesus statue which rises from beneath the rocks every hour!

Where to stay: Relax at the Villa San Gimignano and sip on the perfect coffee while sat in the garden or sun terrace. Chill by the pool during the day and sample the delicious food made by the hosts in the evening. The villa is a short drive away from popular landmarks including the Hippodrome and Colon Theatre.

Dusseldorf, Germany

Dusseldorf is home to Wunderland Kalkar – a theme park built on an abandoned nuclear plant, where even the cooling tower has been turned into a giant swing. This impressive theme park includes more than 40 rides and customers will be pleased to know that fries, ice cream and drinks are all included in the ticket price – so eat to your heart’s content! The Dusseldorf city centre is also perfect for the budding fashionista or culture vulture, with its array of shops and rustic architecture. Some of the top nationalities who have booked to visit Dusseldorf over the past year are the Dutch, Germans and British and the top endorsements from Booking.com travellers are shopping, food and city walks.

Where to stay: Dusseldorf has a place to stay for every budget, from bed and breakfasts, to grand castles. We recommend an incredible castle stay at Romantik Parkhotel Wasserburg Anholt which is just a short drive away from Wunderland Kalkar as well as other landmarks such as Moyland Castle. Guests will also be able to enjoy the stunning views of the castle’s grounds while dining in the restaurant or on the terrace.

Kyushu, Japan

Japan’s Kyushu is not only home to Japan’s most active volcano, it also features Harmonyland – a theme park dedicated to the characters of Sanrio, including the much loved Hello Kitty. Along with shows and parades, you can also immerse yourself into the true Hello Kitty experience by visiting the Kitty Castle and taking a ride on the Sanrio Boat.

Where to stay: GAHAMA Terrace is a traditional Japanese Inn (ryokan), based in the heart of Kyushu, which is a perfect destination for a relaxing holiday or spa break. The ryokan is complete with a hot spring bath for guests to unwind after a day of riding rides and you’ll also be able to sample the local cuisine by enjoying the traditional Asian breakfast.

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi offers the best of both worlds as it’s a great destination for both a city and beach break, and is full of things to do, including a visit to Ferrari World. Ferrari World is not just for the car buff but is for all members of the family with rollercoasters, simulators and optical illusion shows bringing the Ferrari world to life. The top endorsements for Abu Dhabi by Booking.com travellers are relaxation, shopping and a trip to the beach. British and Americans were the nationalities who booked to visit to Abu Dhabi in 2017.

Where to stay: Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi is set half on land and half on water and is perfectly located for sightseeing in Abu Dhabi with a selection of attractions within walking distance - including the Formula 1 circuit which can be seen from your room. If you want to have a pool or activity day you can benefit from the wide range of treatments on offer at the spa as well as a beach club, golf course and two rooftop pools, with an incredible eleven restaurants and cafes serving international dishes.

Darwin, Australia

Experience a taste of the Australian outback by taking a trip to Crocosaurus Cove to feed the crocodiles (or even swim with them!) as well as a trip to the reptile house. There’s even an aquarium and a “World of Crocs” which is full of crocodile wax works to enable visitors to learn more about the species. Last year, the top nationalities that booked a trip to Darwin included Germans, French and New Zealanders and the top endorsements were for sunsets and warm weather.

Where to stay: Darwin Waterfront Luxury Apartments are ideal for appreciating the scenery. All apartments are available with a private balcony and there is a restaurant onsite for convenient dining. The apartments are in walking distance to the beach and a short drive away from a casino, Water Park and museums with plenty of scenery to take in along the way.