Almost every major city has zoos, oceanariums, and planetariums, but the Barcelona aquarium (l’aquarium de Barcelona) vividly stands out among all of them. During excursions, many tourists and local residents describe this breath-taking place as a unique, fantastically designed space. This prominent landmark in the Catalonian capital was created in 1995 on an artificially constructed platform at the end of the most famous tourist street–la Rambla. It is quite easy to access l’aquarium de Barcelona by metro; one can reach the aquarium from metro stations Barceloneta (L4) or Drassanes (L3). Even if you have never been here before, it will not be difficult to guess which building houses the largest European aquarium—the huge structure stands out with its cylindrical roof. The precise address of l’aquarium de Barcelona is as follows: Moll d'Espanya del Port Vell, 08039 Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona’s aquarium differs from the numerous other oceanariums in Spain, not only due to its gigantic size and the number of animals and plants that it hosts, but also due to the function it performs. Its mission is not just to entertain (even thought it is extremely popular among tourists and children), but also to carry out research activities. The aquarium is a vast research center in which dozens of scientists study and attempt to preserve the diverse flora and fauna of the Mediterranean Sea.
L’aquarium de Barcelona in numbers:
- Its territory accommodates 21 aquariums that are built into a complex system, creating a massive educational and, at times, interactive space;
- 11,000 sea animals of 450 different species from the waters and shore of the Mediterranean region live here;
- The aquarium holds an 80-meter long underwater tunnel (the longest in the world) with a ‘full submersion effect’ to the bottom of the ocean, equipped with moving tape for a greater effect. The tunnel can accommodate 100 people at once;
- 4 million liters of water fill all the reservoirs of the aquarium;
- Every year, over 1.5 million people visit L’aquarium de Barcelona. Since the day it opened to the general public, September 8th1995, it has received more than 16 million visitors;
- The aquarium is ranked as the fourth most popular landmark in Barcelona.
The concept for the aquarium’s structure and its sections are worth discussing separately. The main part, and largest section, is the oceanarium, with a tunnel famous for being the longest in the world. Unique in its construction (36 meters in diameter and 5 meters in depth), the oceanarium serves as a home for many fish species. The protagonists of this space are white sharks and stingrays (which can be up to 2 meters long), as well as small pilot fish and many other mysterious animals that can be seen perfectly from a short distance.
L'Aquarium de Barcelona from the outside
A glass tonnel inside Barcelona Aquarium
When you purchase tickets to l’aquarium de Barcelona, you also get access to fourteen other Mediterranean aquariums, each of which represents a separate ecosystem. These aquariums hold flora and fauna from rocky and sandy coasts, underwater caves, and coral reefs. This group of aquariums enables you to view the amazing diversity of the Mediterranean region. Through this ‘mini-submersion,’ you can learn to distinguish among the various types of fish, algae, and rocks of the Spanish coastline.
Admission to l’aquarium de Barcelona also includes a visit to seven tropical aquariums. This system of reservoirs represents a sample from tropical natural areas with coral reefs, rare fish species, and amazing, brightly colored sea animals native to the Red and Caribbean seas. Here, you can view black sharks, white tip sharks, Napoleon fish, yellow-headed ‘butterflies,’ and surgeon fish with bright orange spots.
Not long ago, the aquarium of Barcelona was equipped with several thematic mini-aquariums that allow the closer observation of small details not normally visible to the human eye in large reservoirs (including the details of mollusks, microscopic fish, scallops, etc.). Interactive modules help visitors to see and better understand the lives of these small species.
On the second floor of the building is Planet Aqua zone, where you can learn how sea creatures adapt to extreme weather conditions: for example, Humboldt’s penguins to freezing temperatures, jelly fish to eternal darkness, whales to extreme depth, piranhas and turtles to the scorching heat of tropical seas, and so forth.
L’aquarium de Barcelona: information for visitors
- Aquarium workers and biologists prepare 150 different menus for the sea animals, together with daily monitoring of their overall conditions and non-stop research. On any day, it is possible to witness the process of feeding and experience unforgettable emotions. In the oceanarium area, the sharks are fed fatty fish and squid by hand every day from 12:00 until 13:00. In the Planet Aqua zone, the penguins are fed twice daily, at 11:30 and at 16:30. Visitors can also watch the feeding of a ‘beam fish,’ which takes place in the Oceanarium tunnel every day at 12:45.
- “Explora!”, the special space designed exclusively for kids, will introduce young visitors to l’aquarium de Barcelona to the world of the sea. This informative excursion includes more than fifty interactive desks and allows kids to touch, listen, study, and enjoy the natural world.
- A splendid option for children aged 3-12 years allows them to stay in the oceanarium all night long. This event requires the purchase of a special ticket at l’aquarium de Barcelona. By staying all night, children can study the sharks, have dinner in the presence of these creatures, and observe the sharks’ behavior during the night hours and early in the morning.
- The average duration of stay in the aquarium is 2 hours. The ticket office closes 1 hour before the aquarium closes.
Address: Moll d'Espanya del Port Vell, 08039 Barcelona, Spain.
L’aquarium de Barcelona’s opening hours:
- Monday-Friday: from 10.00 to 19.30 (or until 20:00 in April, May and October);
- Holidays and weekends: 10. 00 to 20:00 (or until 20:30 in April and October);
- Every day in July and August: from 10:00 to 21:30
L’aquarium de Barcelona’s ticket prices:
- An adult ticket is 20 euros when purchased in the ticket office and 18 euros if bought online.
- Children (5 - 10 years old): 15 €
- Children (3 - 4 years old): 7 €
- Adults + 65 years old: 18 €
The best times to visit l’aquarium de Barcelona are the first hours after opening and evening hours (2 hours before closing).
In order to make your journey unforgettable and be sure to include all the most popular and beautiful landmarks in your itinerary, it is a helpful idea to consult an expert for advice. The professionals of INEEDSpain service center will help you organize a tour or journey in a quick and productive way. In particular, should you prefer any assistance in purchasing a ticket to l’aquarium de Barcelona, INEEDSpain is always here to help you!