Visit l’Oceanografic, Spain’s largest aquarium, in Valencia

Visit l’Oceanografic, Spain’s largest aquarium, in Valencia, says Colin Duncan. He was mesmerised by his visit and can’t wait to return…

Visit l’Oceanografic, Spain’s largest aquarium, in Valencia. Valencia Life did so and was in awee at the marine world it presents.

The Oceanogràfic at the City of Arts and Sciences, located on the dry Turia riverbed, is the largest aquarium in Europe. It’s also the fourth largest in the entire world. It opened on February 14, 2004. Félix Candela designed the magnificent structure, and the structural engineers were Alberto Domingo and Carlos Lázaro. It owner is Avanqua Oceanogràfic SL.

This vast complex spans 110,000 square meters (1.2 million square feet) and has a holding capacity of 42,000,000 liters (11 million gallons). There are 45,000 specimens from around 500 different species, including sea lions, tortoises, dolphins, birds, beluga whales, walruses, penguins, sharks, reptiles, invertebrates, and other fish. The park comprises ten areas. These are the Arctic Ocean, the Arctic islands, the temperate seas, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, the tropics, a dolphinarium, swamps and marshlands, and a garden with more than 80 different plant species.

Prices depend upon what you would like to do or see but overall the tickets range from 23€ to 45€. They have different experiences that you can add on. These include: “Who 4D” (the largest 4D cinema experience in Spain that shows short films such as The Turtle Odyssey and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). A digital audio guide, and a “Sleep with Sharks” experience (where kids stay overnight, sleeping inside the shark tunnel).

Choose your Experiences

“The Sea in your Hands” is a visit to the contact aquarium where you can get up close and personal with denizens of the deep. The sea turtle recovery area is where you learn about the daily work of the marine rescue team and get to be a part of it. There’s also a backstage tour (fish kitchen, quarantine area, and a walk over the shark tunnel).

They also offer many tours for all different age groups and group sizes. If you would like an unlimited pass to be able to visit the Oceanogràfic as many times a year as you would like, there are two options: the Explore pass (69€ to 98€) or the Investigate pass (107€ to 152€).

There are many stores that sell anything from merchandise to pictures to candy including the Main Store, the Marine Corner, The Dolphin’s Backroom, the Artic Bazaar, the Candy Store, the Photo Aqua, and the Photo Fantasy. There is a restaurant within the Oceanogràfic, the Submarino, which serves Mediterranean cuisine and many different wines.

The aquarium also offers a summer school for teenage students. It is a four-day long program that spans from July 1 to July 5 or July 8 to July 12. It is open to all aged 12 to 16 years old. They also offer courses through the Oceanogràfic such as an Advanced Shark course. Or, an Environmental Education course for Aquarium Conservation. A Marine Aquarium and Corals course for budding conservationists. A Water and Seabird course, and a Sea Turtle course. Or there is a Jellyfish course, a Seahorse course, and a Marine Mammals course. All of these courses are now full for the current year but they will release new dates soon.

The Oceanogràfic is one of the best spots you can visit in Valencia and is a must-see.

Oceanogràfic is open 10:00 to 18:00, 10:00 to 20:00, or 10:00 to 21:00 depending on the day and week; for more information, visit

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