Valencia Aquarium Review: The Largest Aquarium in Europe!
Although it is known as the Valencia Aquarium, its proper name is the Oceanografic, and it is part of Valencia’s City of Science and Art complex, home to over 500 species of marine life making it not only Europe’s largest aquarium, but one of those Valencia attractions you won’t want to miss.
The Valencia aquarium is housed in several different buildings and also incorporates outside areas with beautiful landscaping, a Californian kelp forest featuring aquatic birdlife and a central lake that is home to swans, ducks, pelicans and other bird species. Inside, all of the world’s main marine ecosystems are exhibited complete with the marine animals and fish that define that area.
Visit the Mediterranean area and you will see nine aquariums featuring over 7,400 different sea creatures, the Wetlands area where you can see American mangrove swamps, housed in a large sphere, or the Temperate and Tropical area which features a 70 metre long underwater tunnel, allowing you to ‘get inside’ the tropical waters and see colorful fish and corals.
As a Spain landmark, the Valencia Aquarium also boasts its largest area, simply called Oceans, which takes visitors on a journey through the Atlantic and the Islands area, located outdoors with a representation of the South American coastline. In the Antarctic zone, you can see the penguin encounter, while inside the large dome that is home to the Arctic zone, you can watch beluga whales and walrus going about their daily business. There is also an area dedicated to the Red Sea and its array of marine life.
If you’ve ever wanted to scuba dive with sharks, the Valencia Aquarium can let you do just that, with Europe’s largest saltwater aquarium that is home to several species of the interesting ocean creatures. There are even special nights that can be booked where you can spend the night ‘at the bottom of the ocean’– actually you get to sleep in the Tower of Oceans, where sharks glide in their glass enclosure above you. Other activities allow you to tour the behind the scenes areas or become a trainer for a day.
A visit to the dolphinarium, a 5 pool complex allows you to watch numerous daily shows and see and interact with several different species of this graceful mammal. It is a highlight of the aquarium and one of those special memory making things to do in Valencia Spain. Hungry? No worries, there are 6 different places to eat inside the Valencia Aquarium, one of which, the Submarino Restaurant is underwater, allowing you to eat amid the colourful creatures that adorn the oceans (a reservation is needed at Submarino).
If you are visiting Valencia with your kids this is one of those must places to stop, although you don’t have to have children to appreciate the sheer volume of what is on display. Where else can you see the world’s aquatic attractions all in one place? Coupled with a Valencia apartment rental or a great hotel in the area, the aquarium makes for a lovely and educational place to visit.