Sometimes travel plans just don’t work out the way we think they will…and sometimes that means you get to spontaneously do something you would’ve otherwise missed. This is how Europa Park was for us. It was a completely unplanned stop during our 2015 backpacking trip through Europe. We had planned on spending a few days in Switzerland after getting to visit our friend Nicole in the Black Forest of Germany. However, due to poor planning and thinking that we could catch a good deal last minute on a train to Switzerland (p.s. that doesn’t exist!) we ended up spending more time with our friend than planned. We always roll with the travel mistakes we make and adapt how we can, so with some good advice from Nicole, we bought tickets to Europa Park on a whim. Even though it was off our beaten path, it should’ve been on it all along because it was worth the detour.
We booked a one way bus tickets through FlixBus, one of our favorite bus companies in Europe, especially for last minute fares. The bus dropped us right into the town of Rust, that is situated around the park – so we were close to not only our hotel, but the park itself. The bus system was the only public transit within a mile radius, although you can come from train into the Ringsheim train station and then take the 7231 bus into the Europa Park Bus stop. By car is the easiest way to get the closest to the park, although it’s really not hard to take the public transportation into Rust.
where to stay
Last minute we found the Pension A’Miro in the town of Rust and it proved to be a fantastic last minute decision. (You can find our discount code here to use at Booking.com!) It was a really awesome, big room, great staff, and cheap meal options.
We bought our tickets the night before we left our friend’s house and spent about $55 each for our admission tickets which at the time was a bit of a splurge for us, but every penny of it was worth it. We bought them directly from the site and printed them out before we left and had no problems.
Europa Park is sectioned into many different countries to explore, each having their own restaurants, shops, and rides to enjoy. We managed to make it to every area of the park and re-rode a lot of our favorite rides since the lines weren’t half as bad as amusement park rides in the States. For the most part, you could hop off a ride and hop right back on without any wait time, even on the more popular roller coasters. The most we waited in line was maybe 30 minutes, and that was because it was a brand new Mercedes-Benz/Jurassic Park ride so everyone wanted to experience it. Some of our favorite rides were the Euro Mir, the Timbercoaster, the Silver Star, and the Mega Coaster. If you’re feeling really risky, try your hand at a Rolfie or a Coastfie, selfies at the peak of the ride. Serious adrenaline junkies only!
where to eat + drink
Although we were only here for one night, we still got to try some local cuisine in the actual town of Rust. It might have only been one meal but we loved the one meal we had! We also passed a lot of really cute, inviting restaurants on our way to and from the park so had we gotten more time, we would’ve tried more. However, food inside the park is also very appetizing and cheap, nothing like how it is at theme parks in the States. Food and drink is priced exactly at how much you would buy it outside of the park so eating won’t break the bank.
◊ Bavarian Beer Garden – You can find this beer garden in none other than the Germany section of the park! Order yourself a bratwurst and a beer and chill in the garden listening to the Bavarian live music. We got a beer for $3.50 and a pretzel for $1.30 so it was a perfect and cheap snack to get us through until dinner.
◊ Mythos – This is actually a hotel restaurant but the dining area is sectioned off so you don’t feel like you’re in a hotel lobby. We sat on a little patio with a couple tables and enjoyed a Hefeweizen and a Dunkel with our very filling greek style meal. This was a really tasty and cheap restaurant, only costing us $21 altogether. And since they are a hotel, you can stay here and enjoy fine dining and lodging all in one!
Any adrenaline lovers out there who have also been to Europa Park? What are your other favorite amusements parks in Europe? Let us know in the comments below!