It’s summer in Barcelona, temperatures are pushing 35, and the list of wants is low:
Cool shade and a cold beer.
The kids chime in. Suddenly things heat up and sweat drips swiftly to the logic of your young one’s autopilot mind bent on an exciting alternative:
Why relax by the Med all day when you could be barreling down a big plastic tube at 40 mph?
Let’s answer that with my list of the best Barcelona water parks.
1 – Illa Fantasia
Tourists love Illa Fantasia because of all the water parks near Barcelona this is the closest to the city. It’s also arguably the water park with the greatest amount of amenities of the bunch.
The 70,000 m2 water park is home to 22 slides, 3 giant pools, and a massive picnic area.
The slides are great for kids or adults ranging from low to fast to extreme speeds.
- Great slides like the Kamikaze, Torpedo, Ràpids, and SuperTobogan.
- Short to no lines.
- Huge swimming pools that offer tons of space.
- 9 restaurants (burgers, pizza, ice cream parlour, café etc.).
- 900 open-air picnic tables.
- Mini water slides for children 2 to 10.
- Free bus shuttle from Barcelona with ticket purchase.
How to Get There
For those bent on driving: the address of Illa Fantasia is Finca Mas Brassó in the town of Vilassar de Dalt. It’s about 25 kilometers to the northeast of Barcelona.
There is a free shuttle to the water park departing from various points in Barcelona.
These shuttles run once a day at 10:00 am in June and September (return at 5:30 pm) and twice a day at 9:00 am and 11:00 am in July and August (return at 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm).
The most central pickup point is at Ronda Universitat 5-17 near the Universitat metro station.
You can find a pdf of pickup points and times here.
You can also get a 15 minute train from Sants Estacio to Premia de Mar where you’ll find a shuttle outside the train station – in this case tickets can be bought directly at Sants Estacio at any Renfe ticket window.
Rates at Illa Fantasia go by height – if you’re not sure they’ll measure you at the door!
- Adults > 1.20 m (3’9″) – €28.00
- Children > 0.90 m (2’9″) – €17.00
- Children < 0.90 m (2’9″) – Free
It is strongly recommended to buy Illa Fantasia tickets online as lines to get in can get up to 30-40 minutes long, especially at the beginning of the day.
You can buy your tickets in advance via the Barcelona Tourism Board clicking the button below (buying links will be suspended until spring 2018):
2- Water World Lloret
The best water park near Barcelona ranks second on my list only because it isn’t so near. In fact, you’ll need to travel a fair bit up the Costa Brava to reach this 140,000 m2 behemoth.
21 rides here include three for small children, eleven for families, and four ‘bold’ slides for adults.
This is a great day out from nearby party town Lloret de Mar.
- The biggest water park near Barcelona and one of the biggest in Europe.
- Modern facilities.
- Home of the super popular Speed Furious capsule ride (free-fall speeds).
- Multiple restaurants (pizza, BBQ, kebabs etc.) and a ton of snack bars.
- Free shuttle from various locations (not Barcelona).
- Picnic area to bring your own lunch.
How to Get There
The address of Water World is Carretera de Vidreres, Km 1,2.
In optimal driving conditions you can arrive in about 80 minutes from central Barcelona.
The other option is to take advantage of one of the free shuttles offered by the water park. Shuttle pickup points can be found in the towns of Lloret de Mar, Malgrat de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Pineda de Mar, and Blanes.
From Barcelona the most convenient town is Blanes which can be reached using the R1 from Barcelona Sants or El-Clot Arago. Journey time is between 75-90 minutes. Single water park tickets cost €5.40.
Again, it’s a bit far and best used in conjunction with a Costa Brava or Lloret holiday.
Water World prices go by height with just a few exceptions.
- Adults > 1.20 m (3’9″) – €33.00
- Seniors 65+ – €19.00
- Children from 0.80 m to 1.20 m (2’9″ – 3’9″) – €17.00
- Children < 0.80 m (2’9″) – Free
There are some discounted Water World tickets available through their website (10% online discount, 20% off if riding before July 17, 4 tickets for the price of 3 with 25% discount etc.).
For a list of all offers check out their website here.
NEW FOR 2017 – Repeat for only €5.00! With the receipt of purchase from a box office bought entrance you can come back the next day for a fiver (only valid one day per season per customer).
3 – Marineland Catalunya
This combination dolphinarium and water park has a bit of everything from chill out pools to adrenaline spiking slides that’ll get your heart pumping.
If you grab yourself tickets get ready for daily dolphin, exotic bird, and sea lion shows. Eat at one of the three restaurants or cool down at any of the ice cream shops.
Adults love the darkness of the Black Hole and the velocity of the Speed Boat slides.
- Easy access from many towns easily reached by train from Barcelona.
- More variety than other water parks.
- Home of the famous Boomerang 15 metre half-pipe.
- Great educational opportunities for youngsters via the animal shows.
- The best value water park tickets when bought with online discounts.
How to Get There
Marineland Catalunya is found in the town of Pallafols and the address is Ctra. Malgrat a Palafolls s/n.
It’s near Barcelona but expect about a one hour drive in optimal traffic conditions.
For those without a car you’ll have to grab one of the free shuttles from various points on the Costa Brava. Pickup points are at Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar, Lloret Fenals, Blanes, Callela, Pineda, Santa Susana, and Malgrat.
The closest town to Barcelona with free shuttle access is Callela.
For free shuttle info click here.
Another great option is to take the R1 train from Barcelona to Santa Susana – there the free shuttle departs from right outside the train station so it’s probably the fastest option.
For more info on the Santa Susana option click here.
Unlike other parks Marineland prices are based strictly on age.
- Adults (10 years and up) – €28.00
- Seniors 65+ – €17.00
- Children (5 to 10 years old) – €17.00
- Mini (3 to 4 years old) – €10.00
- Children under 3 – FREE
Keep in mind these are ticket window prices – buying online saves up to €4.00 a ticket and is highly recommended.
For a full list of prices including 2 day passes, group discounts etc. please consult their page here.
4 – PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park
Spain’s most visited theme park didn’t want to miss out on the action with this 50,000 m2 Caribbean-themed water park near Barcelona in the town of Salou.
Combining state-of-the-art roller coasters with Europe’s biggest drops and 16 water slides with dizzying descents is a dream come true for adults and kids alike.
It’s especially convenient for travellers flying in to Reus airport.
- Probably the most fun-packed into one space in all of Europe.
- Home of the King Kahuna – Europe’s tallest free-fall water slide.
- A wide variety of junior slides including the Woody Woodpecker play area.
- A much greater security/lifeguard presence than other parks.
- Shows and music done to a much higher standard than other parks.
- On-site hotels with attraction packages mean less travel for multi-day stays.
- Also home to the recently opened Ferrari Land amusement park.
How to Get There
The address of PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park is Av. Pere Molas, km 2.
With average traffic conditions expect to arrive there in about 90 minutes from Barcelona.
The resort is such a big player that it actually has its own train station on the R16 train line run by the company Rodalies. The stop is called ‘Port Aventura’ and is one stop after Tarragona and one before Salou.
Trains depart from Barcelona Franca, Barcelona Passeig de Gracia, and Barcelona Sants and take about 80-90 minutes. Trains cost €8.80 one way and €17.60 return.
You can find more train timetable info here.
Prices below are for water park entrance only and do not include PortAventura Park or Ferrari Land.
- Adults (11-59) – €29.00
- Seniors 60+ – €25.00
- Children (4-10) – €25.00
- Children under 4 – FREE
- Disabled visitors – €16.00
Again, the lines here get ridiculous so make sure you buy your tickets in advance.
If you’re staying in Barcelona and looking for a one day ticket you can save 5% buying your combined waterpark + bus ticket via the office of Barcelona Turisme by clicking the button below (links will be suspended until spring 2018):
If you just need Portaventura water park tickets without transport you can get them using the button below:
For those interested in visiting multiple parks 3 and 7 day ticket packages can be found here.
Barcelona Water Park Hacks
- Make sure to buy all attraction tickets online to save money and time (buttons above).
- All parks have picnic areas so bring food to save money.
- Always double-check free shuttle departure times to avoid mishaps.
- To be safe always add an extra hour travel time on either end before booking other attractions.
- Buy sunscreen in advance at home (or outside of Barcelona tourist areas) to save money.
- Arrive 20 minutes before opening to ensure locker/sun lounger of your choice.
- Bring flip flops because the hot concrete/artificial grass will burn!
- Bring ID to prove ages as they are very strict.
Slide Into More Info in the Comments Below
If you still don’t feel you’ve got the water park scene down pat then make sure you ask me about it in the comments below.
Also keep in mind I am here to answer any questions you have about your Barcelona holiday – or improve the blog based on any constructive criticisms you may have 😉
Photo via Visual hunt