I’ve been asked many times on the tours if is worthy visiting the famous Lisbon Oceanarium or if is an attraction just for families with kids. To be honest, I also had my doubts and haven’t visited it until I had my own child and actually regretted I haven’t visited it earlier. I’ve been there twice in six months and honest, would definitely visit it again.
From the moment I’ve walked in to the last tank, it really impressed me not just for the number of different species, but also for how organized, clean, modern and the good information it provided along all the experience.
Lisbon Oceanarium has also been voted the number 1 attraction in Lisbon on Tripadvisor for the last 4 years.
Lisbon Oceanarium is located at Parque das Nações, the most modern area of Lisbon and totally built to host the EXPO 98 (including the Oceanarium, which was one of the stars from the very beginning). This event was very successful and brought Lisbon to the world scene.
The Oceanarium is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe and is visited by more than 1 million people every year. The total are of the premises are about 20.000 m² and hosts more than 500 species, divided in 30 tanks.
The main one is a massive aquarium with more than 5 million litters of salty water. It allows you to go around and see it from different perspectives and levels.
There are another four tanks around the large central tank, hosting animals according to their habitats with its native flora, adapting the different climate conditions to the species and separated only by large sheets of acrylic to provide the illusion of a single large tank. The effect is incredible and will blow your mind.
The habitats they reproduce are: The North Atlantic rocky coast, the Antarctic coastline, the Temperate Pacific kelp forests and the Tropical Indian coral reefs.
Among the many species, you’ll find sharks, massive manta rays, sting rays, cod fishes, sea horses, jelly fishes, clown fishes, eels, corals and many more. The one that has really impressed me was the Sunfish. This rare fish looks like a pre-historical animal and really hard to find in aquariums around the world because of their unique and demanding requirements for care. You’ll also have the opportunity to see some beautiful penguins, seagulls and a family of cheeky sea otters playing around all the time.
How to get there: The easiest way to get to the Oceanarium is by metro. You can take the red lane towards Aeroporto and get off at Oriente Station.
Price: The tickets for the Oceanarium cost:
0-3 years old – Free of charge
4-12 years old – 10,00 euros
13-64 years old - 19,00 euros
+65 years old – 13 euros
Family ticket* - 47 euros (2 adults and 2 children)
Tickets can also be bought online at https://www.oceanario.pt/
Opening hours: From 10:00 until 20:00 (last entrance at 19:00)
If you really want to take your time to appreciate the collection and enjoy the most of your visit, I’d recommend spending at least 2 hours.
The best time to visit the Oceanarium is in the morning. Be aware that in the summer months, it’s better to avoid weekends as it gets very busy and the lines can be quiet long.
If you are coming to the aquarium we recommend sparing some time to visit the Parque das Nações neighborhood. You can ride the cable car, visit the Science Museum, enjoy the view of Vasco da Gama Bridge (the longest bridge in the European Union with more than 12km), visit Vasco’s da Gama mall and have a nice meal or drink in the many restaurants, cafés and bars in the area.
Hopefully I’ve given you enough reasons to visit Lisbon Oceanarium. Enjoy it!