“ Explore the life underwater and learn about it's inhabitants. „
I recently visited the L'Aquarium which is situated at the harbour region of Barcelona and is easily reached by walking down the main La Rambla towards the sea or by getting the tourist bus which drops you off right at the door. The building itself is a large circular shape and it looks very modern and well maintained. As it's next to the harbour it overlooks the water and the many boats and yachts so it's a nice setting.
It cost 18 euro to get in but as we had bought the tourist bus pass we were given a booklet which entitled us to discounts in the city attractions so I paid 16 euro instead. Children get in a at a reduced rate of 10-11 euro and students can also get a 10% discount. Tickets are purchased at a booth next to the entrance.
When you walk into the aquarium there are lockers which cost 1 euro and allow you to leave anything you don't want to carry round with you. You then head down a leafy walkway into the darker aquarium area. The first section consists of a long hallway with tanks of sealife at either side. They have a reasonable selection of fish, shellfish, starfish, seahorses and rays with information plates next to each tank describing the creatures inside. I was a little concerned that the tanks were a little on the small side with not a lot of room for them to move around but I'm sure they have marine biologists working there who design the habitats so I'm sure they're quite happy. The hallway is quite dark with the tanks lit up but the kids in there seemed to be enjoying it. You may take photographs but are asked to not use the flash of your camera so as not to frighten the animals (which 60% of people ignored and had their cameras flashing right into the tanks). You will aso find a little screening room where you can watch documentares on sea animals which is free to do.
Next, you move through to the main part of the aquarium which is the glass tunnel. It goes round a huge tank in a circular shape and you step onto a little travelator belt which slowly takes you round the tank. Inside are sharks, sting rays, and a variety of large sea fish. They had a good 4-5 large sharks in the tank so you're guaranteed to get a good look at one. This section takes around 10-15 mins to go round.
After this you move through to a large darkened room which contains a penguin section and tanks containing piranahs. There is a lot of interactive things for kids to learn about the environment and keeping the sea clean and they seemed to be enjoying it. Once walking through this you are brought out to the cafe area which has a fast food section and a small kids play area. They will also have a photo of your group which was taken upon walking into the aquarium that you can choose to purchase if you wish.
As with all attractions such as this, to get out you have to go through the gift shop which sells a variety of soft toys, keyrings, pens, magnets and other small trinkets.
Overall I think that this attraction was a bit overpriced at nearly 50euro for 2 adults to enter but it was enjoyable. If you have never been to an aquarium before or you have kids who haven't then I'm sure it would be an enjoyable experience but to be honest it was very similar to other aquariums I've been in. I wouldn't say it was a must visit and there are plenty of other things to see in Barcelona which I would rather go to but it's definately one for the kids.
I visited this aquarium whilst visiting Barcelona for the day on an Ocean Village Cruise with my husband and my daughter who was 11 months old at the time. We actually paid more than the admission price as we were on a full day trip where we visited Barca FC in the morning then had a guided tour of Barcelona itself and then went on to the Aquarium in the afternoon, however the usual prices are Euro17 for an adult and Euro12 for a child admission.
On entering the foyer area is very spacious and after entering you walk down some platforms. When we visited, you had to do the touristy thing of getting your photo taken when entering, which they then try to sell to you when you go to leave. I disagree with this, however it was not optional and with a gigantic queue behind me, I wasnt going to waste my time complaining about it.
On entering the aquatic displays I was pleased to see how large, clean and visible they were. My daughter could see everything perfectly and absolutely loved being able to get up close to the large windows and staring at all the amazing varieties of marine life.
There are numerous fish displays ranging from Mediterranean fish to Tropical fish. There is a spectacular Oceanarium which is the largest in Europe and feature a diverse range of species. If features a transparent tunnel which is over 80m long and crosses under it enabling you to have a fantastic view of everything swimming around you as if you were actually under the sea.
If you are really brave, you can also have the opportunity to dive with sharks though you need to be a qualified diver to do this as well as have Euro300 euros spare in your pocket.
There are also several other facilites on the premises which include a cafe which serves drinks, fast food, convenience food and snacks and it is self service. I cant remember the price we paid for some food at the time though I can remember thinking that it was reasonable. In addition, there is also a well stocked shop full of the usual gift shop adornments and novelty gifts and of course soft toys galore of all things fish like. Again the prices were reasonable, but obviously this is dependent upon the exchange rate when you travel. All the facilities are adapted for disabled persons and there are ramps and lifts on all floors. We found the aquarium to have great accessibility and didnt struggle at all pushing a pram around the premises. I was also 6 months pregnant at the time and didnt find walking around the aquarium strenuous at all.
This attraction is open all year round, and would definitely recommend it for a visit if you are in Barcelona. In addition for convenience, tickets can also be purchased online from their website.
Overall it is a great fun place to visit for people of all ages and would love to visit here again in the future.
My last holiday abroad was to Barcelona, Spain. Whilst I was there I visited L'Aquarium Barcelona.
L'Aquarium is situated in Port Vell which if you know Barcelona is near the end of Las Ramblas. It is next to Port Vell shopping centre, marina and seafront. There are good transport links to and from the aquarium which include buses, coaches and metro. The nearest metro station is Barceloneta.
The building is large and has a colourful mosiac style wall alongside it. It is hard to miss.
The ticket booth is opposite the main building. We paid 34 euros for 2 adults and our little girl was free because she was under 4. Ticket prices are 17 euros for adults, 12 euros for 4-12 year olds, 14 euros for over 60 year olds and free for under 4 year olds. I personally thought that it was particularly expensive and wouldn't expect to pay that amount for an Aquarium back home. Then again aquariums back home aren't half as exotic. On top of that we had to pay 3 euros for a guide. We visited at about midday but it opens daily from 9.30am.
We made our way into the main building and down a ramp. There were a few people waiting in front of us and we weren't sure why. When we moved down abit there was a photographer taking photos of everybody entering the aquarium! They took it inside a huge sharks jaw and you were able to view and purchase it at the end for a further 5 euros. We did as it was quite a nice souvenear and because we didn't manage to take any photos of our own.
It was very crowded when we visited and hard to get close to tanks without having to wait around.
I found all the marine life and tanks to be good, clean and hygienic. The tanks all seemed the adaquit size for the maine life it was home to.
They were 14 tanks of mediterranean fish and marine life (Barcelona is based next to the mediterranean) which included rays, scorpion fish, moray eel, comber, dogfish, sea urchin, mackerel, ocean sunfish, cuttlefish, starfish, lobsters and octupus. There were also 7 tanks of tropical fish and marine life which included blacktip reef shark, whitetip reef shark, clown fish, bannerfish, stonefish and lionfish. There are also mini tanks scattered around which are home to invertebrate such as anemones, sea cucumbers and lobsters.
One of the things we all enjoyed the most was the oceanarium. The oceanarium was a large glass tank which you could pass through on a travelator. The travelator was a great idea because it was quite slow so you could see everything and take everything in but people weren't stopping for ages and clogging up the walkway and views. I have been through a number of walk through tanks in the past but was particularly impressed by the size and species which this one held. It had a diameter of 36 metres and contained a number of large rays, eels and sharks (tiger and sandbar) to name but a few.
At the end of the oceanarium we came to an escalator which took us upstairs where we were greeted by a childrens play area. There were a lot of activities to help and encourage children to learn and get a better understanding of marine life. There was a giant whale which was pitch black inside, we went inside and saw different marine life that lives in darkness (such as jelly fish and cave fish). There was also an open pool of stingrays to get up close and personal with.
The last part of the aquarium and the least expected part of the Aquarium was a tank full of Penguins! It was really nice to see them gliding through the water, my little girl loved it.
Before exiting the aquarium there is a big souvenear shop that you have to pass through. It sold everything from toys and mugs, to ornaments and glossy photos.
Overall a nice few hours out, if not a little pricey. Recommended if you're interesting in marine life, have kids and best suited if you haven't been to many aquariums recently (aquariums generally feel a bit the same if you visit too often).
Over the last year or so Jenny and I have visited a number of different Zoos and Aquariums. So it seemed only right that while we were in Barcelona we decided to visit the local aquarium. I've been to Barcelona a few times before and while I had passed the aquarium a few times I'd never actually been in. So this time, on my 4th trip to the area we decided to pay it a visit as most of the attractions near our own resort of Lloret De Mar were closed.
The Aquarium is located down by the sea front next to the Port Vell shopping Centre. All of the cities tourist buses stop at the Shopping centre next door making the Aquarium reasonably accessible. If, however you prefer to walk it is approximately 5 minutes from the bottom of Las Ramblas across the Port Vell bridge. There is a coach park right next door where a lot of coach trips to Barcelona park up and a Car park on the other side of the Marina. While it's not particularly well signposted in the City itself, it is very easy to find once you are in the Port Vell area.
Once you find the Aquarium it will cost you Euro17 for an Adult, Euro12 for Children and Euro14 for Over 65's making it considerably more expensive than the British Aquariums. I was quite surprised at the cost to get in and with a souvenir guide costing a further Euro3 it worked out quite expensive for both of us to get in. The Aquarium is open all year round from 9.30am to 9.30pm and a little later till 11pm in July and August.
The ticket booth is located outside the Aquarium in a separate cabin and once you have purchased your tickets you head into the main building and down a ramp into the first exhibitions. Before you make it into the actual main aquarium exhibit there is a photo opportunity with a Megalodon Jaw. The picture is taken by a member of the staff and you can buy the photo at the exit of the main aquarium. These cost a further Euro5 each and came in a standard card frame like so many tourist attractions in this Country.
Having made it all the way down the ramp and into the main Aquarium the first section is split into 2 separate areas comprising of 21 tanks of varying sizes. Within these 21 tanks there are 11,000 different fish from around 450 different species. While the Aquarium didn't seem as cheap as those in the UK I felt that with that many different fish it was in fact value for money after all. In truth though there are only 20 tanks as the last one is something slightly different.
Within these tanks there is a good mixture of fish from around the world with particular attention shown to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. I particularly thought the focus on the Mediterranean was a good idea as the ocean was just outside the Aquarium itself. With the 20 traditional tanks there wasn't too much different to the Aquarium's I've been to in London and Portsmouth so it was starting to feel a bit samey, even though there were perhaps a few different fish on display.
The main difference though comes in tank 21. The main reason I enjoy visiting Aquariums is to see the Sharks and I've found myself judging Aquariums based on their Shark displays. It's in that Shark display that Barcelona really stands out. There is an 80 metre moving tunnel under the water of the Shark tank. The tunnel is split into two with one around the outside and one straight through the middle of the tank. It gives you a good opportunity to see all the fish up close, with Shark's swimming around over your head.
There are three different Sharks within the Oceanarium all taken from the Sea right outside the back door. It was perhaps one of the best exhibitions I'd seen in an Aquarium and from being slightly disappointed with the Aquarium to actually thinking the extra cost over the British Aquarium's was fully justified. If you happen to have your diving qualifications you can go for a dive with the Sharks for Euro300 but you have to book it in advance.
Once you reach the end of the Shark tank there is another photo taken from an automatic camera, although we didn't know where it actually was. Again like the photo taken at the start this costs another Euro5 but we still didn't particularly think that this was good value or even something we particularly wanted.
Having finished the Aquarium we assumed that was it and headed back up the escalator to the top floor. Once there however we discovered there was a couple more areas to have a look around. On this top floor there is a Kids play area to give them something to keep them amused. It looked quite a big area and had a couple of slides and other little activities for them. The final bit for everyone though is the Planet Aqua.
This is another very educational area of the Aquarium and one that Adults and Children will be able to get something out of and learn something new. There are a few more displays including Penguins and Seahorses and information about the environment and the impact human's have on it. This is a very interesting exhibit and something that I think most people will get something out of. Before you leave the Aquarium there is also a Cafe and a gift shop which were both very reasonable but we didn't have anything to eat so I can't comment on the quality of the food, but it did smell nice.
Overall I did really enjoy my visit to the Barcelona Aquarium. There were a number of displays that you see time and time again in Aquariums around the World but they were still interesting. I didn't really feel that the Aquarium justified the Euro17 entrance fee but it was a nice place to visit. Unlike a lot of the tourist attractions in Barcelona though I don't think I'd go back to the Aquarium, unless I was intending to do the diving with Sharks. It is worth a visit but just like the ones in this Country, unless you have Kids it'll only be worth the one visit.