What is more fun than watching sharks, sea turtles and dolphins in the biggest aquarium of Europe? One of the six buildings in Ciudad de lasArtes y lasCiencias (City of Arts and sciences) is L’Oceanogràfic. When you are in Valencia with (or without) kids it is recommended to visit this amazing aquarium!
Maybe you were thinking that L’Oceanogràfic is, just as the other buildings located in Ciudad de lasArtes y lasCiencias, designed by Santiago Calatrava, but that is not true! The real designer of the aquarium is the Spanish-Mexican architect Félix Candela Outeriño. He was born on 27 January 1910 and he died 7 December 1997. Candela became well known in the world of architecture when he moved from Spain to Mexico. He had to move, because he was fighting during the Spanish civil war and General Franco banished him from the country. Candela was already studying architecture, but when he lived in Mexico he built more than 300 buildings for more than 900 projects (hotels, churches, markets, nightclubs). L’Oceanogràfic was his last project before he died in 1997. In 2002 the building was finished.
As said before, L’Oceanogràfic is the biggest aquarium of Europe. There a more than 500 species and 40.000 animals! You can imagine that you will spend a few hours between all these fishes and other sea animals. The park is divided in twelve habitats:
Océanos: in this habitat you walk through a tunnel underneath big sharks. The journey goes through the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands until the Bermudas. Funny fact: in this aquarium is seven million litres water and hereby one of the biggest in the world! A few animals you will see: Sand Tiger shark, Common eagle ray, Guitarfish.
Antártico: a rocky cliff, a lot of ice and of course penguins. It is just like you are at the North or South Pole. A few animals you will see: Belugas, Gentao penguin, Seals, Sturgeons.
Mar rojo:‘Mar Rojo’ means ‘Red Sea’. This part of the aquarium is nowadays the biggest 4D cinema in Europe with seats for 477 people, but you will also see some species. A few animals you will see: Hump head Wrasse, Blacktip shark.
Delfinario: have you always wanted to see dolphins? It is possible in L’Oceanogràfic. With 26 million litres water, a grandstand for 2.000 people, five pools and thirty dolphins is this dolphinarium the largest one in the world. Everyday there are demonstrations with the dolphins. You can see the time schedule in the park.
Ártico: take a look at the Artic ecosystem with animals that are only at two aquariums in the world (the other one is the DolfinariumHarderwijk in Holland). A few animals you will see: Walruses, Beluga whales.
Mediterráneo: in this habitat are nine aquariums that represent the Mediterranean Sea with more than 7.400 species of fish and invertebrates. A few animals you will see: Sea Cucumbers, Hermit Crabs, Octopus, Red Coral.
Templados y tropicales: the tropical seas have around 25 degrees Celsius water and this allows for the biggest biodiversity in the world. A few animals you will see: Seals, Sea Horses, Jellyfish.
Islas: over here you will see the friendly and intelligent Sea Lions, which are family of seals.
Humedales: under a sphere of 26 metres high you are in one of the richest and most productive ecosystems in the world; the wetlands. There are animals from the American mangrove and Mediterranean marshes. A few animals you will see: Cormorant, Roseate Spoonbill, and many more birds.
Cocodrilario: sometimes the crocodiles hide themselves. Can you spot them?
Mariposario: walk between a garden full of butterflies. The butterfly house is closed from 2 November 2017 to 1 March 2018.
Medusas: take a look at the many jellyfishes. Did you know jellyfish consists 95% of water?
Trainer for a day
Have you always wanted to be an animal trainer? This activity starts with a tour through the Artic habitat where you learn a lot about the Beluga’s and Walruses. Then you will go to the kitchen and make food for these animals or you are going to the dolphinarium to train the dolphins. At last you go to ARCA del Mar where you can work with turtles, seals and sea lions. There is a maximum of two persons per day (13 years or older) and the price is €225 per person. To make a reservation, call +34 960 470 647.
Behind the scenes
It sounds like the perfect job; zookeeper. Get to know technical aspects of the aquarium, take a look in the kitchen and see several animals really close. This activity is for a minimum of two people and a maximum of fifteen people. The activity costs €12,00 per person and the spoken language is English. For more information, you can call +34 960 470 647.
Swim with sharks!
This is an amazing experience between these big animals in the greatest aquarium of Europe. While diving you are surrounded by 1.350 animals from 51 species. This activity is possible at Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 9.00-13.00 hour. There are some conditions: you have to be 16 years or older and you need a diving license (with ten previously made dives). The price is €290 per person. You can make a reservation by calling +34 960 470 647.
Skip the line
On busy days in L’Oceanogràfic you it is possible you have to wait very long until you have your tickets, because of the queue. Do you not want to wait for a few hours? Then it is recommended to buy your tickets in advance. You can order these tickets here and they will be send to your e-mail.
Seniors (65+) and kids from 4-12 years old: €21,85
Groups (15+ persons): €19,40
Kids until 3 years old: free access
Order your tickets here!
Calle Eduardo Primo Yúfera (without number)
Monday until Sunday: 10.00-18.00/20.00/1.00 hour (depends on which day and month)
A few days per year: 12.00-18.00 hour
Look at this page for current opening hours