Known for crunchy baguettes, world-class wines and the enigmatic beret, you would think the entertainment area is covered in France. However, no matter where in France you find yourself, the theme park scenery is rich in various attractions, themes and exciting adventures that include more than just Disneyland. Read along for ideas on where to take your friends, family and loved ones for guaranteed laughs and thrilling experiences. These are our suggestions:
- Puy du Fou
- Parc Asterix
- Terra Botanica
Puy du Fou - An exciting trip down history lane
Having won multiple prestigious international awards since 2012, Puy du Fou is an epic and immense historical theme park in Western France. This park attracts visitors not through rides and rollercoasters (seriously, there are none), but through depiction of 700 years of history right before your eyes.
Enter during the day and you will see gladiators fighting for their lives, musketeers engaging in sword fighting, and Vikings attacking neighbouring villages, even a Viking ship in flames. At night, The Cinéscénie, the biggest night-time show, dazzles you with its award-winning pyrotechnics and exquisite choreography of 1,200 actors on a 23-hectare stage, and promises to whisk you away from reality.
If you are in the Poitiers area, it is a dream visit for children and adults alike who love everything to do with knights and castles. Be one of the two million visitors every year and get your entrance ticket for Puy du Fou here.
Address: 85590 Les Epesses, France
Parc Asterix - Meet your favourite childhood comic book character
Embark on another time travel adventure, this time with France’s most famous comic book character, Asterix. This state-of-the-art amusement park has a bit of everything to keep you well entertained for the whole day. Start your visit with Egypt’s Ozlris roller coaster (or the child-size one, SOS Numérobis to cater for all ages), and continue by experiencing a day in the life of a Gaul.
Choose between Gallic, Roman, or Ancient Greek god rides to fill up your day. Or just do all of them - everything is possible in the land of Asterix. Finish your day with some meet-and-greets or relaxing at the lakeside Viking playground. Get your ticket to meet Asterix here.
Address: 60128 Plailly, France
Terra Botanica - A day in the most magnificent garden
More of an unusual attraction but still definitely worth the visit, is Terra Botanica. This park’s theme might sound odd, as a plant-life theme park, but it is great fun outdoors amongst beautiful greenery and has a really fun atmosphere.
This 110,000m² of gardens and the 40 attractions are at your disposal to explore while you can learn interesting things at the 4D cinema. Be greeted by an ogre's head at the entrance and be sure to encounter one of the elves riding around the park on bicycles.
Address: Route d'Épinard, 49000 Angers, France
Futuroscope - Roller coasters from the comfort of your seat
Settle in for this amazing cinematic experience. Based on multimedia, cinematographic futuroscope, and unbelievable audio-visual techniques, Futuroscope is one of the best attractions France has to offer.
Encompassing several 3D cinemas and a few 4D cinemas, boasting unique media attractions and interactive shows, some of which have even been awarded with THEA awards. Continuously changing attractions include underground Cyber Avenue, Under the World’s Seas, Travel by Air and Sea, Cosmic Collisions and even Dances with Robots.
If your idea of a great day with the family includes heart-pounding rides, jaw-dropping 3D flicks, and 4D effects housed inside ultra-modern buildings that sit in 60 hectares of tranquil countryside, then Futuroscope is your ultimate French destination.
Address: Avenue René Monory, 86360 Chasseneuil-du-Poitou, France
Located in Auvergne, Vulcania is an unusual theme park in the vicinity of the dormant volcanoes of Chaîne de Puys. The majority of the attractions take place underground, but you are welcome to explore the outside world in a VolcanBul.
The park’s main theme is exploring the local volcanoes that created the stunning landscape long ago, with surprising features like geysers and heaps of water activities. Various science experiments and educational films will also help you understand the planet and all its fascinating forces.
From exploring the heart of molten lava, in the Magma Explorer, taking a trip in the “Magical Odyssee” or even flying over a supervolcano, definitely don’t miss out on the Dragon Ride and face the harshest elements in the Angry Earth series.
Address: Route de Mazayes, 63230 Saint-Ours, France
Nausicaā - The biggest aquarium in Europe
The biggest aquarium in Europe is located in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Nausicaā Centre National de la Mer is much more than a sea life centre and aquarium, it houses 34,000 animals bobbing around in 4.5 million litres of water, representing all the seas on earth. It is more than just entertainment, it is a unique centre for discovery of the marine environment largely focusing on the relationship between mankind and the ocean.
Conveniently located less than 30 minutes from Calais, Nausicaā is just across the channel, making it the easiest park on this list to reach from the U.K. by ferry and a viable day out for anyone based in the UK.
Address: Boulevard Sainte-Beuve, 62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Disneyland - A dream is a wish your heart makes
Last but not least, we couldn’t not mention Disneyland Paris when talking about French theme parks. Every kid’s (and adult’s) dream is located just outside Paris. The area covers two separate parks - Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios® Park.
Explore the five different worlds of the park - Main Street U.S.A.®, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Adventureland and Discoveryland (Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones and Peter Pan are just a few of the attractions awaiting you here). Then head over to Disney Studios® where you can discover the excitement of the movie industry through various shows and attractions put in place to demonstrate the art that is filmmaking.
In the evening witness the magical light show that lights up Sleeping Beauty's castle (inspired by the Château d'Ussé located in Loire Valley) and get to meet your favourite characters. Get your ticket to your Disneyland for your dream come true here.
Address: Boulevard de Parc, 77700 Coupvray, France