If you want to escape the bleak Berlin winter, you should head for the beaches and rainforests inside an aircraft hangar close to Berlin. This place is called Tropical Islands, and we spent some time there and wrote why you should visit this weird and wonderful place an hour’s drive south of the German capital.
When you think about it, Tropical Islands seems to be something out of a Hollywood movie. Something similar to the Truman Show, where a dome surrounds a different world where everything is under control.
This happens in this tropical paradise, with steamy grottos and waterfalls leading to pools and artificial beaches. Everything is surrounded by a rainforest that, sometimes, seems to be from Southeast Asia and, other times, straight out of South America.
Early in January 2017, I took a train from Berlin Ostkreuz to the Tropical Islands. The weather was typical of Berlin in the middle of winter, and I felt like going somewhere to swim and enjoy the warmer weather. I didn’t want to travel far away, so Tropical Islands were my place of choice.
The first thing I saw when I left the bus that drove me straight to the door was the immense dome where the park is located. This is the biggest self-supported hall in the world, and it looks even more prominent once you are inside it. It is so big that it could fit the Eiffel Tower on its side!
Inside the dome, the temperature is always around 26º, and it made everything somehow familiar to my childhood growing up on the beaches of Brazil.
But this place is different. Barefoot people wear swimsuits, but you can see where the blue sky backdrop changes into gray tiles that go up into the hangar. This contrast is entertaining and comical at times, and this is one of the many reasons why I loved the day I spent there, exploring the pools and waterfalls of the largest waterpark around Berlin.
After I arrived at the Tropical Islands, I changed my clothes into something more comfortable and decided to explore the area. There are cute little beach huts that seemed straight out of a Beach Boys movie. Lush vegetation is all around you, and even birds are there!
Inside Tropical Islands, I felt like a child again, going down the water slides and back up again. And be aware that this is where you can find the highest waterslide tower in Germany, 27 meters high! There is even a hot air balloon that you can ride over the entire park. Of course, the balloon is not proper but, as you can see in the pictures, the view is fantastic!
Between everything I saw inside Tropical Islands, my favorite part was the outdoor area called Amazonia.
This outdoor area features ample open space, filled with hot water in the winter, where you can enjoy a jet stream that takes you around the pools. I spent over half the day enjoying the hot water while everything around me was covered in snow. An experience that was quite surreal for me and that everybody should have.
For me, Tropical Islands is the best place to escape Berlin’s dark and cold winter season. But I believe the area must be equally interesting during summer but, since I have never been there during it, I cannot say anything about it. Maybe one day I will get back there, and I will let you know here.
Some Essential Information about Tropical Islands
How to get there
You can drive to Tropical Islands all year round, but I think the easiest way to get there is by train. There are hourly trains between Berlin and Brand/Tropical Islands.
Tickets and everything else
You should check their website for prices. And keep in mind that there are different tickets for the saunas and the spa complex.
Overnight stay at Tropical Islands
You can stay overnight at Tropical Islands and enjoy the pools during the entire day.
Food, drinks, and everything else
The prices of food, drinks, and beer inside are fair for a park like this. You can have a meal for two, and I loved the Thai food I had there. You don’t need to carry cash inside the park since you will have a wristband that you will pay for in the end.
Tropical Islands: Swimming in a tropical paradise inside an aircraft hangar close to Berlin
15910 Krausnick, Germany