Tropical islands and Caribbean coastlines no longer have the market cornered on all things paradise. Naturally, in Germany, you can sip your piña colada in the palm-fringed surrounds of a formerly abandoned aircraft hangar 60km south of Berlin.
Tropical Islands is Europe’s biggest water park, housed in the largest free-standing hall in the world. So large, in fact, that the Statue of Liberty can fit comfortably inside, torch and all. The gargantuan, 66,000m² dome was originally developed in 1938 and overrun by the Red Army during WWII, but its latest form has been created by Malaysian developers.
The waterpark feature 198 guest rooms, a campsite, beaches, a lagoon, a tropical rainforest, a 27m-high waterslide complex (including a high-speed turbo slide that can reach speeds of 70km/h) and even a casual fake moon. Plus, it’s a balmy 27°C every day of the year, even when it’s the middle of winter outside.
Open 24/7 to the public, there are seven different zones inspired by seven paradisiacal regions of the world, including Thailand and Africa. You can find live entertainment and expeditions through the jungle, as well as bars, restaurants and cafes, a spa and sauna complex, beach parties, a golf course and a tropical sea the size of three olympic pools.
If this still all sounds pretty “standard weekend” to you, to appease the hard-to-please there’s the option of a free-floating balloon ride in this real life Truman Show.
(Photos: Tropical Islands)