4 Best Aquariums In Europe That Will Leave You Speechless

Both marine life lovers and casual tourists from all ages will enjoy these!

This image shows the Aquarium of Genoa in Genova, Italy. This is one of the best aquiariums in Europe.
Aquarium of Genoa in Genova, Italy. This is one of the best aquiariums in Europe. Photo by Chris Kristiansen on Unsplash.

Did you know that only 5% of the Earth’s ocean life is considered explored? Beautiful and terrifying at the same time, the large marine world is nothing less than fascinating. Fortunately, you can get close to some of the most enchanting ocean species without getting soaking wet. If you’re a marine life lover, you should know that the best aquariums in Europe are also among the best of the world. So visiting at least one of them is a must-do guaranteed to make for a unique experience for all ages.

So if you’re planning to visit Europe soon, here’s a list with the best aquariums in Europe:

4. L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia, Spain

This image shows the oceanarium called L'Oceanogràfic. It's located in Valencia, Spain, and it's one of the best aquariums in Europe.
L’oceanográfic, one of the best aquariums in Europe and a paradise for aquarium lovers. “Open-air oceanographic park, Valencia, Spain” by Rauenstein – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=784546

If you’re headed to Spain, specifically Valencia —lucky you! The biggest aquarium in Europe is located right there, at the cultural and architectural complex called City of Arts and Sciences. L’Oceanogràfic is the oceanographic aquarium (or oceanarium) and it’s contains more than 45,000 examples of 500 ocean species. It’s thematically divided into several areas in accordance with the main marine world ecosystems. Hence, you can walk through the Mediterranean area and see penguins in the Antarctic. Hang out with Patagonian Sea Lions in Islands section and then head to the Red Sea area, to watch the divers feeding the animals.

The tank in the Oceans section, with 7 million liters (1849204.3 gallons) of water, is the largest tank in Europe. It also has a 35-meter (114.8 ft.) underwater tunnel, along with the 70-meter (229.6 ft.) tunnel in the Temperate and Tropical area. But the most spectacular part of this park is, according to many, the dolphinarium, which can seat more than 2,000 people. Consisting of five large pools, it helds stunning dolphin exhibitions several times a day and they’re a must-see. Now, if you want to visit, check the opening hours and ticket prices on the link below.

Visit Official Website

3. L’Aquàrium Barcelona in Spain

This images shows L’Aquàrium Barcelona, one of the best aquariums in Europe
L’Aquàrium Barcelona, one of the best aquariums in Europe. By Paul Hermans – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7833725

Another marvelous aquarium in Spain that’s definitely worth a visit is L’Aquàrium Barcelona. The facility contains 35 aquariums with 11,000 animals conveniently grouped so you can easily find what you’re most interested in. Now, the real highlight of the facility is the Oceanarium, the largest in the park, with an 80-meter underwater tunnel. From there, you can take a close look at the aquarium’s stars: the sand tiger shark and the sandbar shark. Also, L’Aquàrium Barcelona is one of the few aquariums in the world where you can have the opportunity to see the ocean sunfish.

L’Aquàrium Barcelona is also ideal for children, offering a variety of educational and fun activities they’ll enjoy. From experimental workshops and theatre activities to sleeping with sharks, celebrating birthday parties and so much more. However, be aware that it can get very crowded, especially on weekends. So purchases your tickets online and print them before heading to the aquarium. This will help you escape endless queues that can take away up to, believe it or not, two hours. By clicking the link below, you’ll find the opening hours, tickets prices and other info you need.

Visit Official Website

2. Aquarium of Genoa in Italy

This image shows the Aquarium of Genoa in Genova, Italy. This is one of the best aquariums in Europe.
Aquarium of Genoa in Genova, Italy. This is one of the best aquariums in Europe. Photo by Chris Kristiansen on Unsplash.

Another fascinating journey through the marine world is located in Genoa, Italy. The Aquarium of Genoa is an architectural wonder both inside and out, designed by famous Italian architect Renzo Piano. Speechlessness is inevitable while you’re approach this glass building across the bridge. That’s why visiting the Aquarium of Genoa is by far the most popular thing to do in the city. It’s also number one on many tourists’ bucket-lists when visiting Genoa, with more than 1.2 million visitors each year.

In fact, this park has 70 water tanks with sharks, dolphins, jellyfishes, manatees, penguins and many more exciting ocean inhabitants. It also has a tropical garden with various species of plants, birds, reptiles and butterflies from Central America. The aquarium is very well laid out and easy to navigate, constantly reminding its visitors to be considerate with animals, which is a nice touch.

We’re sure that 15,000 examples of 600 species and dozens of activities are more than enough to keep you entertained. But if you want more, the Galata Sea Museum and the 40-meter, 360° panoramic viewpoint Bigo, are great options. Now, if you want to visit the aquarium, you should check the link below for more information.

Visit Official Website

1. Oceanário de Lisboa in Portugal

One of the top best aquariums in the world, The Lisbon Oceanarium (Oceanário de Lisboa) at Portugal.
One of the top best aquariums in the world, The Lisbon Oceanarium (Oceanário de Lisboa) is located in the Parque das Nações, Portugal. By Jose Manuel – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=391562

Hop to Spain’s closest neighbor’s capital city and you’ll find the second largest aquarium in Europe: Oceanário de Lisboa. The aquarium is absolutely spectacular, a must-see place while in Lisbon that guarantees fun for everyone. Named 2017’s World’s Best Aquarium by TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice, it’s still among the top 3 attractions to see in Lisbon.

Around 16,000 individuals of 450 marine species are living in this fabulous facility, including the very exclusive ocean sunfish. Now, the main attraction is the transparent 5-million liters (1320860.2 gallons) main tank, which you can examine from all angles. Although it’s actually one tank with four habitats, it creates the illusion of a single aquarium and an endless ocean.

Oceanário de Lisboa has numerous children-friendly activities, but it’s entertaining for all ages as well. Some sections have low lightning and the place can get crowded, so it’s not recommended to go if you’re claustrophobic. But besides that, this is a must-see attraction worth every penny and there’s no reason to miss it. Just check the opening hours, address, ticket prices and other info in the website below.

Visit Official Website


Aquariums are one of the best ways to spend a holiday, but also a great choice for a getaway. We wholeheartedly recommend it because it’s a fun and engaging educational experience for both kids and adults. It’s also a great way to connect with nature and get in touch with creatures you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Finally, visiting the best aquariums in Europe should be a no-brainer, since they’re among the world’s best options. So we hope you enjoy your time there and learn, see and experience things you’ve never before.

Do you have another suggestion for the best aquariums in Europe? Are you planning on visiting one of the best aquariums in Europe? If you have any other suggestions, let us know in the comments section below! We would love to hear your experiences.


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