When I was a kid, my parents would take us to museums, churches, castles and all other touristic attractions when we traveled. But they also took into account that we were just kids and took us to McDonald’s or amusement parks to play around. That took us to some quirky places, like a mini park at Casablanca where women were not supposed to ride alone or an incredible toy shop in Germany with christmas things all year long.
Nowadays, I still like to find those quirky places and enjoy amusement parks like a kid. But, since I don’t travel with kids, it’s kind of weird to add Disney to my travel itinerary. So, just in case you also feel like me, I made a list with some very fun places you can go to without kids and still feel like one.
1. The third man’s giant ferris wheel at Vienna’s Prater
One of my favorite films all time is The Third Man: Carol Reed, Orson Welles,… If you’ve ever watched it, you surely remember the giant wheel. It’s called Riesenrad, was built in 1897 and is 65 meters high.
Jus like also famous LondonEye the visit takes about 20-25 minutes and offers some fabulous views over Vienna. But the main difference is that the wheel is surrounded by some classic attractions at what’s known as the oldest amusement park in the world.
Pic from a_marga on flickr
Just an interesting note: you don’t pay a global entrance fee, you must buy your entrance at each different place (if you feel like going in).
2. Coney Island, a freak classic at New York
Located south of the City, Coney Island is yet another movie icon from New York. But its wilder environment, so different from the rest of the city, makes it an impressive attraction.
Freak-shows, burlesque, tattooed bodies, the beach, the Sirens parade and the hot dog eating competitions, make it a unique place, not always on your basic New York weekend route.
Pic from Brian Omura at Flickr
It isn’t a park managed globally either, so each ride has its own tickets and pricing.
3. Parc Asterix, the most gallic and anti-roman themed park
If you come from the US or Asia you probably never came across one of Asterix’s comics, it’s a pity. The french series, depicting the story of a small gallic town holding against the Roman empire, has been translated to over 107 languages and dialects, has sold over 350 million copies worldwide and is certainly one of my favourites.
The series is also the origin of a couple of movies and a theme park that is located north of Paris.
Photo from David Jafra at Flickr
The visit is really fun if you’ve read the comics from René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, but it is also a fun place less crowded than Disney and with rides for all ages and a french touch.
4. J-World Tokyo, the place for KameHameHa (the Dragon Ball one, not the Hawaiian king)
This small indoor amusement park in Tokyo is made for the lovers of japanese manga and anime. Although it tends to be outside the top ten for Tokyo, you can have some fan playing Naruto, Songoku and all others.
Photo from Guilhem Vellut at Flickr
That said, it is a bit expensive, but you can get some great pictures of you sending your own KameHameHa.
5. Tibidabo Barcelona, the fun park that looks over Barcelona
Tibidabo Park can be a fun ride from the beginning: you can go up there riding the last tram left in Barcelona and the funicular.
The park is an old amusement park (not a themed park) with some modern and classic rides. The best part is called “Camí del Cel” with some amazing views of Barcelona and a separate ticket, just in case you don’t feel like riding on the most modern attractions.
Pic from Adriano Amalfi at Flickr
So what do you think? Did I miss an important one? Which would you add?