If you’re planning to visit Spain, you can’t miss the iconic PortAventura World – not only is it the biggest resort in the south of Europe, but it also sees about 4 million visitors every year. What started out as a joint effort by a Spanish Consortium and Anheuser-Busch, was eventually bought up by Universal, and rebranded as Universal’s PortAventura. It is now owned by the La Caixa banking group’s investment vehicle Criteria. PortAventura World also includes a second theme park, Ferrari Land, PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park and 6 lavish hotels. It also has two airports within thirty minutes of it, making it incredibly accessible and easy to visit for international tourists. PortAventura Barcelona is a hugely popular tourist destination, and one that’s perfect for kids and adults alike!
PortAventura Park in a Nutshell
The PortAventura Park is a must-visit if you’re in Barcelona with children. Not only is it a mere 100km from Barcelona, but it also offers innumerable options for dining, stay and fun! PortAventura Barcelona is designed around five featured theme areas built around civilizations: Mexico, Polynesia, China, the Far West, and the Mediterranean. Significant attractions here include Furius Baco, an accelerator coaster with a top speed of 135 km/h; Hurakan Condor, one of the tallest free-fall rides in the world at 330 ft; Dragon Khan, the incredible roller coaster ride that has an astonishing 8 inversions and has consistently ranked as one of the best rides in the world; and Shambhala, the fastest and tallest roller coaster in the world.
If you’re hungry after all that fun, stop by at one of the many multicultural A La Carte restaurants spread throughout the resort, or grab a quick bite at one of the snack bars available. With 40 thrilling rides, 100 daily performances and 76 bars and restaurants, PortAventura Barcelona is the place to be!
Avoiding Crowds at PortAventura Barcelona
PortAventura sees over 4 million visitors every year, so it would be useful to plan ahead and buy skip the line tickets online to avoid standing in long lines with your kids.
- Make sure that you avoid visiting during major holidays and during the summer, since the number of people visiting are likely to be the highest during these times.
- Go early in the day to skip the lines! After all, its first come, first served!
PortAventura Tickets - Best Prices Online
PortAventura Park Zones - Plan Your Visit
The park is divided into 6 main areas based on the theme of ‘civilizations’. Each of these have rides named after elements from the civilization. To navigate around the PortAventura Park, here's a handy guide that might come of help.
This part of the park is decorated as a mediterranean fishing village. Take a heart-stopping ride on the famous Furius Baco, an accelerator coaster with a top speed of 135 km/h, or take a peaceful and tranquil trip down the river to imperial China on the Port de la Drassana ride.
Prepare to be engulfed by the rich, lush vegetation in PortAventura’s Polynesia, and add a little excitement and thrill as you escape the volcanic eruption on the Tutuki Splash ride, and fight your way through a turbulent storm on the ride Kontiki. There are even special Canoes for children!
Experience imperial China as it was, and make sure you don’t miss Shambhala, the 76-metres-high roller coaster, or the mighty Dragon Khan, the iconic roller coaster with eight loops! Shoot down enemies with your water gun at Angkor, and emerge as the hero of imperial China.
Decorated with temples and sculptures from ancient Mexico, this area hosts fun and exciting shows like Viva Mexico! And Templo del Fuego. Take your kids for a spin on the friendly armadillo ride, or try out the Hurakan Condor, the 330m tall ride – if you’re brave enough.
Conquer the wild wild west on the Buffalo Rodeo, or Stampida, an original wooden roller coaster. This section includes authentic American fare (steak and hot dogs, anyone?) and also features shows like Bang Bang West and the Can Can Show.
Though this is not named after a civilization, this area is dedicated to kids and named after the famous ‘Sesame Street’. You can take your little ones to meet Big Bird and Elmo in this family-friendly section!
The park also has an aquatic water park, called the Caribe Aquatic Water Park, which is sure to help you cool off on a hot but fun day!
We've just recently returned from a stay in the Hotel Portaventura with access to Portaventura for the duration of our stay. Portaventura Park is excellently themed with some great rides, food outlets and shows, it's well laid out with plenty to see and do. We spent 3 and a half days in the park so we could just relax, take our time and enjoy the rides and attractions without feeling we need to get on everything as quick as possible. The theming is great and the park is divided into different lands...Far West, China, Polynesia, Sesame Street Land and Mediterranean. We highly recommended going to the Cantina food outlets, it's counter service but great Mexican selections and the seating area is themed like a Mexican village fiesta so make sure you get there during show times.
Went to PortAventura for 2 and a half days and did half a day in Ferrari Land. We had the best time! I personally hate queuing and was ready to splash the cash on fast track tickets but there was no need. Longest queue was 20 mins which was incredible considering this was during the Easter school holidays. I did single rider sometimes and got straight on which was particularly awesome when riding Shambala. Ferrari Land you only need to spend half a day in but I fully recommend going on Red Force as much as possible because it is class! Again only a 10 min queue although I did single rider and got straight on and on the front row! Best thing about Port A is the theming. Really good attention to detail with the different areas which really adds to the full experience of the park. Food is reasonably priced and if you like frozen yogurt, do get one! Yummy! Overall great few days and looking forward to coming back in the future!
Read what others have to say about PortAventura World on TripAdvisor.
PortAventura Rides - You Cannot Miss These!
PortAventura has forty exciting and thrilling rides to experience. Here are seven that you absolutely shouldn’t miss!
Ever gone from 0 to 135 km/h in less than 3 seconds? That’s Furius Baco for you – cross ditches, hurtle through tunnels and even skim the lake as the catapult soars through 850 m of pure thrill and excitement. You need to be atleast 140 cm to ride, and disabled access is available.
Legend has it that Dragon Khan is actually Prince Hu, who, after trying to dethrone his king, was turned into an angry dragon by the Gods. Hurtle through 8 loops at a speed of 110 km/h in only 69 seconds on Dragon Khan, one of the most symbolic rides in PortAventura. You need to be atleast 140 cm to ride, and disabled access is available.
Visit the mystical city of Shambhala, nestled in the Himalayas and ruled by a King connected to every continent in the world via secret passages. Experience the longest drop in PortAventura (and the tallest!), five camelbacks and thrill like you’ve never felt before. You need to be atleast 140 cm to ride, and disabled access is available.
The Tomahawk is a symbol of strength, skill and bravery, and only the bravest kids take on this ride – its tumultuous climbs and drops weave around the tracks of the Stampida ride. Don’t worry! This ride is completely safe and suitable for kids above 105 cm.
Fight off angry waves of the French Polynesian waters as your Kontiki catamaran slices through the water, tumbles and even becomes perpendicular to the ground! You need to be 130 cm to ride with an adult, and 140 to ride alone. Disabled access is available.
Grand Canyon Rapids
In a perfect replica of the rapids of the Colorado River, this high-speed ride requires you to dodge lush vegetation, powerful waterfalls and rocky walls in a nine-seater boat that is essentially the vessel of fun! You need to be atleast 130 cm to ride alone.
Travel to the outskirts of the town Penitence and climb aboard the wooden roller coaster built by the Connery and Cranberry families, and race at breakneck speeds of 70 km/h through immense climbs and descents. This thrilling ride requires a minimum of 120 cm. Disabled access is available.
PortAventura Dining Options
Treat your tastebuds at one of the many A La Carte restaurants and snack bars at PortAventura’s multicultural cuisine scene. Some of the best places to eat include:
- Raco de Mar Sample some delectable Mediterranean food, pizza and rice dishes at this terrace restaurant, right in front of the fishing port. Not only do they have a special kids menu and a gluten free menu, but you can also make reservations if you’re the kind to plan ahead.
- La Cocina de Epi Visit this establishment owned by Ernie from Sesame Street, and sample a wide variety of pizzas, burgers, chicken, salads and desert!
- Canton Watch your noodles being cooked before your eyes (according to your preference, of course) as you eat delicious spring rolls, kebabs and much more at this Chinese fast food establishment, located in China square.
- Bora Bora If you’re one for international cuisine, this is the place for you. Salads, fish, grilled meats, deserts, coffee – all this with an international twist, and even a gluten free menu, can be had at this tropical restaurant.
- La Hacienda El Charro Craving for Mexican food? Indulge in nachos, fajitas and burritos at this Mexican restaurant. There is a gluten free menu available, and you can make reservations as well.
- The Iron Horse Located right in front of the Silver River Flume, this American restaurant serves up typical American fare – steaks, pork chops, and even brownies! There is a gluten free menu available and you can make reservations.
PortAventura World - Know Before You Go
PortAventura Park Timings
The park opens at 10 AM on the days it is open, which are:
- 23 March to 4 November - Monday to Sunday
- 5 November to 7 January - Park is open on weekdays and select days
- 7 January to 22 March - The park is closed
Tickets can be bought on the website for the parks PortAventura, Ferrari Land and Caribe Aquatic Park, as:
- Combo tickets These are available in a range of combinations from 1 day/2 parks to 7 days/1 park. Other options include 2 days/2 parks, 3 days/2 parks and 3 days/3 parks. Prices range from 55 Euros for 1 day/2 Parks (adults) to 115 Euros for 7 days/1 park (adults).
- 1 day tickets These are priced according to the season. The high season price is 49 Euros, and the low season price is 48 Euros. Night tickets are also available, which are 23 Euros.
- Special Tickets Discounted rates are available for large groups, visitors with special needs, disabled visitors and large families
Getting To PortAventura
- Renting a car in Barcelona and driving, as the journey is only a 100 km
- Train from Vila-Seca or Salou and then taxi from there to PortAvenura.
- Transfer service from Barcelona’s city centre to PortAventura with HeadOut
- Guided Visits This option includes a guide who will explain the history of the park and information on height restrictions, rides, restaurants, hotels, etc. It also includes access to rides without having to wait, free parking, and restaurant reservation management.
- Parking. The theme park has got a wide parking for your vehicle. The rates of PortAventura's parking are the following: car €12, car in the preferential zone of the parking €14.50, campervans and trucks €12 and motorcycles €3.50.
- Services for visitors with special needs These services include special rates for ticket purchase, access to rides without architectural barriers, special menus (gluten-free and others), and bookings at restaurants free from architectural barriers.
- Locker Facility Lockers are available to be rented at 6 Euros. Special lockers can be rented for 1 Euro. These are available between Shambhala and Dragon Khan, at the entrance of Furius Baco, next to Tutuki Splash and at the access to Silver River Flume.
- Kennel on rent Kennels for your pets are available at the rate of 6 Euros per day.
- Photo Souvenirs If you want photographs of your time at PortAventura, they can be printed in many ways: paper, magnets, key chains or also in digital format in convenient USB wristbands. In the attractions with Videoride service you can also buy the DVD of your fantastic trips.
- Start early, book online, and plan ahead to skip the queues. After all, PortAventura sees over 4 million people every year! You don’t want to spend your day standing in line instead of having fun. Check out The Express Pass, PortAventura's Fast Pass. While expensive, they do buy you access to priority queues, which means you'll get lots more rides. There is also a separate queue for ‘single riders’ who want to nab single seats, so make use of this wisely.
- Plan your route! Reach the park early and start at the back of the park (China) and experience Shambala and Dragon Khan while the queues are still short.
- If you’re bringing children, be aware of the height restrictions each ride has.
- Make sure to pack sunscreen, hats and shades. Also, while drinks and food from outside aren’t allowed in, you can bring a water bottle to fill up at one of the many water fountains inside the park.
- There are many hotels available in PortAventura World, which have great amenities and also include access to the park in the rate of the room. Staying on-site guarantees early entrance, and also cuts out any tiresome travel.
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