If you’re looking for the biggest water park in the world, Germany likely doesn’t come to mind.
But 30 miles south of Berlin, inside a former airship hangar, which is frosted in snow in the winter, is an unexpected vacation destination. Tropical Islands Resort is the biggest indoor water park in the world, and manages to keep its visitors warm (though not dry) all year.
The world’s largest indoor water park covers an area of more than 16 acres—that’s more than the size of six city blocks—and can host up to 6,000 guests at a time. The water park caters to vacationers of all kinds. For kids, there’s a paddling area with toys, as well as a waterslide and a water play table.
There’s also Tropino Club which offers bumper boats, miniature cars, and air hockey. There are also bigger waterslides means that even parents are guaranteed not to get bored.
Although traditionally water parks are thought of as family zones, Tropical Islands Resort offers plenty of options for adults, too. A lagoon modeled after one you might find in Bali is a good place for to soak in the sauna, and the “tropical sea” covers the area of three Olympic-sized pools, is kept at a balmy temperature, and is located under a clear roof so guests can feel the sun.
In case lounging by the pool under a sunny sky isn’t relaxing enough, there is a full service spa in the park. The resort also recently opened an outside area, called Amazonia, which is open year-round. Since temperatures in Berlin dip below freezing in the winter, this feature is probably best left for the brave-hearted, or for the summer.
For visitors who want to make a vacation out of it as opposed to simply visit for the day, there are several options for overnight stays. The themed lodges provide an extra level of comfort and a tropical vacation feel, as do the rooms at a slightly lower cost.
For those chasing a true outdoor beach holiday, tents in the sand—equipped with mattresses and linen—are a great option.
If an outdoor water park is more your style, there are plenty of even bigger options, although there is no definitive answer as to which ranks the largest. Two of the biggest are Ice Land Water Park, a sprawling series of crystal blue pools in the United Arab Emirates, and Caribbean Bay Water Park in South Korea, which has indoor and outdoor areas and a diving pool. South Korea is also known for its bathhouses, and offers plenty of the typical features, including a sauna, spa pool, and beauty treatments.
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