Europe, a continent renowned for its rich history and vibrant cultures, also boasts some of the world’s most spectacular aquariums. From the mesmerizing underwater tunnels in Portugal to the cutting-edge marine research centers in Scandinavia, Europe’s best aquariums offer a glimpse into the mysterious depths of the oceans. These aquatic havens are perfect for families, marine life enthusiasts, and anyone looking to experience the wonders of the sea up close.

In this article, we will take you on a journey through Europe’s best aquariums. Each destination is a unique blend of education, conservation, and sheer aquatic beauty. Whether you’re planning a trip to the Mediterranean or the icy North Atlantic, there’s an aquarium that will captivate your imagination and deepen your appreciation for marine life.

Oceanário de Lisboa, Portugal

Located in the heart of Lisbon, the Oceanário de Lisboa is one of the largest indoor aquariums in Europe. It features a massive central tank that simulates the open ocean, surrounded by four smaller tanks representing different oceanic habitats. Visitors can marvel at the diverse array of marine life, from majestic manta rays and sunfish to playful sea otters and penguins.

The Oceanário’s commitment to conservation and education is evident in its various programs and interactive exhibits. Families will enjoy the touch tanks and the opportunity to learn about marine ecosystems through engaging displays. A visit to this aquarium is not just an entertaining outing but also an enlightening experience that fosters a deeper appreciation for our oceans.

Entrance Fees: Adult – €19; Child (4-12 years) – €13; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – €54
Address: Esplanada Dom Carlos I s/nº, 1990-005 Lisbon, Portugal
Website: https://www.oceanario.pt/en

L’Oceanogràfic, Spain

Situated in Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences, L’Oceanogràfic is Europe’s largest aquarium and a marvel of modern architecture. Its avant-garde design houses habitats representing the world’s major marine ecosystems, including the Mediterranean, the Arctic, and the Red Sea. The dolphinarium, one of the largest in the world, is a highlight, featuring spectacular dolphin shows.

L’Oceanogràfic is dedicated to research and the preservation of marine life. It offers educational workshops and behind-the-scenes tours that provide insight into the daily operations and conservation efforts. With its blend of entertainment, education, and cutting-edge design, L’Oceanogràfic is a must-visit for anyone passionate about marine life.

Entrance Fees: Adult – €32.20; Child (4-12 years) – €23.30; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – €89.90
Address: Carrer d’Eduardo Primo Yúfera, 1B, 46013 Valencia, Spain
Website: https://www.oceanografic.org/

SEA LIFE London Aquarium, United Kingdom

Located on the South Bank of the River Thames, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists. It boasts a diverse collection of marine species, including sharks, rays, and a colony of Gentoo penguins. One of its standout features is the Shark Walk, where visitors can walk over a glass platform with sharks swimming just inches below.

SEA LIFE London Aquarium emphasizes conservation through its breeding programs and partnerships with wildlife organizations. Interactive exhibits and feeding demonstrations offer an engaging way to learn about marine conservation. A visit here promises a blend of excitement and education in the heart of London.

Entrance Fees: Adult – £30; Child (3-15 years) – £24; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – £96
Address: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom
Website: https://www.visitsealife.com/london/

Nausicaá – Centre National de la Mer, France

Nausicaá, located in Boulogne-sur-Mer, is the largest public aquarium in Europe. It offers a comprehensive journey through the marine world with exhibits that recreate various oceanic environments. The Tropical Lagoon, with its vibrant coral reefs and colorful fish, is particularly captivating.

Nausicaá is not just an aquarium but also a center for marine research and conservation. It hosts numerous educational programs aimed at raising awareness about the importance of ocean preservation. For those interested in marine biology and conservation, Nausicaá provides a rich and immersive experience.

Entrance Fees: Adult – €25.50; Child (3-12 years) – €19; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – €79
Address: Boulevard Sainte Beuve, 62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Website: https://www.nausicaa.fr/

Acquario di Genova, Italy

Situated in the historic port city of Genoa, the Aquarium of Genoa is Italy’s largest aquarium and one of the largest in Europe. Its impressive collection of marine life includes dolphins, manatees, and a wide variety of fish species. The Biosfera, a giant glass sphere housing a tropical rainforest, adds an extra element of wonder to the experience.

The aquarium’s commitment to conservation and education is evident in its various exhibits and programs. Visitors can learn about the importance of marine ecosystems and the efforts being made to protect them through interactive displays and educational workshops. A visit to the Aquarium of Genoa offers both entertainment and enlightenment.

Entrance Fees: Adult – €27; Child (4-12 years) – €20; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – €85
Address: Ponte Spinola, 16128 Genoa GE, Italy
Website: https://www.acquariodigenova.it/en/

AquaDom & SEA LIFE Berlin, Germany

Berlin’s AquaDom & SEA LIFE is renowned for its spectacular AquaDom, a towering cylindrical aquarium that is the largest of its kind in the world. Visitors can take an elevator ride through the center of the tank, surrounded by over a thousand tropical fish. The experience provides a unique and immersive view of marine life.

SEA LIFE Berlin features a variety of exhibits showcasing marine ecosystems from around the globe. Interactive touch pools and feeding sessions offer hands-on learning opportunities, making it an ideal destination for families. The combination of the AquaDom and the diverse exhibits makes this aquarium a standout attraction in Berlin.

Entrance Fees: Adult – €20; Child (3-14 years) – €15.50; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – €62
Address: Spandauer Str. 3, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Website: https://www.visitsealife.com/berlin/

Den Blå Planet, Denmark

Den Blå Planet, or The Blue Planet, located in Copenhagen, is Northern Europe’s largest aquarium. Its striking architecture, designed to resemble a whirlpool, houses diverse marine habitats, from the Amazon rainforest to the cold waters of the North Atlantic. The Ocean Tank, home to hammerhead sharks and rays, is a visitor favorite.

The Blue Planet emphasizes marine research and education, offering a variety of programs for schools and families. Interactive exhibits and behind-the-scenes tours provide a deeper understanding of marine conservation efforts. A visit to Den Blå Planet is both an educational and visually stunning experience.

Entrance Fees: Adult – DKK 170; Child (3-11 years) – DKK 95; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – DKK 485
Address: Jacob Fortlingsvej 1, 2770 Kastrup, Denmark
Website: https://denblaaplanet.dk/en/

Haus des Meeres, Austria

Situated in a former anti-aircraft tower in Vienna, Haus des Meeres is a unique aquarium with a fascinating history. It features over ten floors of exhibits, including a tropical house, a Mediterranean section, and a panoramic terrace offering stunning views of the city. The aquarium’s diverse collection includes everything from piranhas to sea turtles.

Haus des Meeres is committed to conservation and education, hosting numerous programs to raise awareness about marine life. Interactive exhibits and feeding demonstrations engage visitors of all ages. The combination of its historical setting and rich marine exhibits makes Haus des Meeres a distinctive and memorable destination.

Entrance Fees: Adult – €18.50; Child (4-15 years) – €9.50; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – €41
Address: Fritz-Grünbaum-Platz 1, 1060 Vienna, Austria
Website: https://www.haus-des-meeres.at/en/

Palma Aquarium, Spain

Located in Palma de Mallorca, the Palma Aquarium offers a deep dive into the marine ecosystems of the Mediterranean and beyond. Its vast tanks house a variety of species, including the largest collection of live coral in Europe. The Big Blue, a tank that holds 3.5 million liters of water, is home to majestic sharks and rays.

The aquarium places a strong emphasis on conservation, running several programs aimed at protecting marine life and habitats. Interactive exhibits and educational workshops provide visitors with an engaging and informative experience. Palma Aquarium is a must-visit for anyone interested in the beauty and diversity of the underwater world.

Entrance Fees: Adult – €27; Child (4-12 years) – €18; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – €76
Address: Carrer de Manuela de los Herreros i Sorà, 21, 07610 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
Website: https://palmaaquarium.com/en/

SEA LIFE Istanbul, Turkey

SEA LIFE Istanbul is one of the largest aquariums in Turkey, located in the Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall. It features a 47-meter-long ocean tunnel, providing an immersive experience with sharks, rays, and other marine creatures swimming overhead. The aquarium’s diverse habitats include a rainforest section and a touch pool area.

The aquarium is dedicated to marine conservation, with breeding programs and initiatives to protect endangered species. Educational displays and interactive exhibits make it a fun and informative destination for families. SEA LIFE Istanbul offers a fascinating glimpse into the world beneath the waves.

Entrance Fees: Adult – ₺69; Child (3-12 years) – ₺49; Family Ticket (2 adults + 1 child) – ₺159
Address: Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall, Kocatepe Mahallesi, Paşa Caddesi No:5/5, 34045 Bayrampaşa/İstanbul, Turkey
Website: https://www.visitsealife.com/istanbul/en/

Istanbul Aquarium, Turkey

Another gem in Istanbul, the Istanbul Aquarium, is renowned for its thematic route that takes visitors through 17 different geographic zones, from the Black Sea to the Pacific Ocean. The aquarium’s impressive tanks house a variety of marine species, including sharks, piranhas, and stingrays.

The Istanbul Aquarium focuses on education and conservation, offering workshops and interactive exhibits to teach visitors about marine life and environmental stewardship. With its detailed thematic zones and commitment to conservation, the Istanbul Aquarium provides a rich and immersive aquatic adventure.

Entrance Fees: Adult – ₺130; Child (3-12 years) – ₺90; Family Ticket (2 adults + 1 child) – ₺310
Address: Yeşilköy Mahallesi, Atatürk Cad. 34, 34149 Bakırköy/İstanbul, Turkey
Website: https://www.istanbulakvaryum.com/

The Deep, United Kingdom

Located in Hull, The Deep is one of the most spectacular aquariums in the UK. Its futuristic design houses a diverse collection of marine life, including sharks, rays, and penguins. The Endless Ocean exhibit, one of the deepest in Europe, offers a mesmerizing view of marine creatures in their natural habitats.

The Deep is heavily involved in marine conservation and research, with numerous programs aimed at protecting marine ecosystems. Educational workshops and interactive displays make it an engaging destination for visitors of all ages. The Deep offers a captivating journey into the depths of the ocean.

Entrance Fees: Adult – £15.75; Child (3-15 years) – £11.75; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – £47.50
Address: Tower St, Hull HU1 4DP, United Kingdom
Website: https://www.thedeep.co.uk/

National Marine Aquarium, United Kingdom

Situated in Plymouth, the National Marine Aquarium is the largest public aquarium in the UK. It features a vast array of marine species, including the largest collection of sharks in the UK. The Eddystone Reef exhibit recreates a local underwater habitat, showcasing the rich marine life found off the coast of Plymouth.

The aquarium is dedicated to marine conservation and education, with numerous programs and workshops aimed at raising awareness about ocean preservation. Interactive exhibits and behind-the-scenes tours offer an engaging and educational experience. The National Marine Aquarium is a must-visit for anyone interested in marine life.

Entrance Fees: Adult – £18.25; Child (4-15 years) – £13.50; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – £52
Address: Rope Walk, Coxside, Plymouth PL4 0LF, United Kingdom
Website: https://www.national-aquarium.co.uk/

Aquatis Aquarium-Vivarium, Switzerland

Located in Lausanne, Aquatis is the largest freshwater aquarium-vivarium in Europe. It features exhibits that explore the diverse ecosystems of the world’s rivers and lakes, from the Amazon to the Congo. The aquarium’s innovative design and interactive displays make it a unique destination.

Aquatis is committed to education and conservation, offering a variety of programs to teach visitors about the importance of freshwater ecosystems. Interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations provide an engaging and informative experience. Aquatis offers a fascinating journey through the world’s freshwater habitats.

Entrance Fees: Adult – CHF 29; Child (6-15 years) – CHF 19; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – CHF 86
Address: Route de Berne 144, 1010 Lausanne, Switzerland
Website: https://www.aquatis.ch/en/

Aquarium Barcelona, Spain

Nestled in the heart of Port Vell, the Aquarium Barcelona is a popular attraction showcasing the marine life of the Mediterranean Sea. Its impressive Oceanarium, features a breathtaking transparent tunnel where visitors can stroll through an underwater world teeming with sharks, rays, and a myriad of colorful fish species.

The aquarium is committed to both education and conservation, offering engaging programs and workshops designed to raise awareness about marine ecosystems. Interactive exhibits and feeding demonstrations provide visitors of all ages with a fun and enlightening experience. A visit to the Barcelona Aquarium promises not only entertainment but also a deeper understanding and appreciation of the ocean’s marvels.

Entrance Fees: Adult – €21.50; Child (5-10 years) – €16.50; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – €67
Address: Moll d’Espanya del Port Vell, s/n, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
Website: https://www.aquariumbcn.com/en/

Aquarium de Paris – Cinéaqua, France

Located in the heart of Paris, the Aquarium de Paris – Cinéaqua is a unique aquatic center that combines traditional aquarium exhibits with multimedia attractions. Visitors can explore a variety of marine habitats, from coral reefs to tropical rainforests, and learn about the fascinating creatures that inhabit them. The aquarium’s central tank, surrounded by a 360-degree viewing tunnel, offers a mesmerizing underwater experience.

The Aquarium de Paris – Cinéaqua is committed to marine conservation and environmental education, with a focus on sustainability and biodiversity. Educational programs and interactive exhibits provide visitors with insights into the importance of protecting our oceans and the challenges they face. A visit to the Aquarium de Paris – Cinéaqua is an immersive journey into the depths of the sea.

Entrance Fees: Adult – €20; Child (3-12 years) – €16; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – €66
Address: 5 Avenue Albert de Mun, 75116 Paris, France
Website: https://www.cineaqua.com/

Antalya Aquarium, Turkey

Situated on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, the Antalya Aquarium is one of the largest aquarium complexes in the world. Its impressive collection of marine life includes over 40 thematic aquariums, housing everything from tropical fish to sharks and stingrays. The aquarium’s highlight is the world’s largest tunnel aquarium, offering an unforgettable underwater experience.

The Antalya Aquarium is dedicated to conservation and education, with a focus on raising awareness about marine ecosystems and the importance of environmental stewardship. Interactive exhibits and educational programs provide visitors with insights into the wonders of the underwater world and the need to protect it for future generations. A visit to the Antalya Aquarium is a journey into the depths of the sea, where visitors can marvel at the beauty and diversity of marine life.

Entrance Fees: Adult – ₺130; Child (3-11 years) – ₺75; Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) – ₺350
Address: Dumlupınar Bulvarı Arapsuyu Mahallesi No:502, 07070 Konyaaltı/Antalya, Turkey
Website: https://www.antalyaaquarium.com/en

Berlin Aquarium, Germany

Located in the heart of Berlin, the Berlin Aquarium is one of the oldest and most prestigious aquariums in the world. Its historic building houses a diverse collection of aquatic species, from colorful tropical fish to majestic sharks and rays. The aquarium’s innovative exhibits and educational programs provide visitors with a unique insight into the fascinating world of marine life.

The Berlin Aquarium is committed to conservation and research, with a focus on protecting endangered species and promoting sustainable practices. Interactive displays and feeding demonstrations offer visitors a hands-on experience, while behind-the-scenes tours provide a glimpse into the aquarium’s ongoing efforts to preserve marine ecosystems. A visit to the Berlin Aquarium is an opportunity to connect with the beauty and diversity of the underwater world.

Entrance Fees: Adult – €16.50; Child (4-15 years) – €9; Family Ticket (2 adults + up to 3 children) – €39
Address: Budapester Str. 32, 10787 Berlin, Germany
Website: https://www.aquarium-berlin.de/en

If you or your family are planning to visit aquariums this year, Europe’s premier aquariums offers not just a glimpse into the mesmerizing world beneath the waves, but also a chance to connect with nature and foster a deeper appreciation for marine conservation. Whether you find yourself marveling at the vibrant coral reefs of the Mediterranean or standing in awe before the towering tanks of the Atlantic, these aquatic sanctuaries promise unforgettable experiences for visitors of all ages. So, embark on a voyage of discovery and let the wonders of the sea captivate your senses as you explore these remarkable destinations.