Valencia is home to one of the best Aquariums in the world and definitely the best aquarium in Europe. The park is segmented into 15 different habitats with everything from freshwater fishes, to wetlands, to the open ocean. One of the most significant things that this aquarium boasts is the longest viewing tunnel in Europe at 114 feet, or 35 meters. While walking through the tunnel you can see over 20 different species of sharks, plenty of rays, and some massive fish. They even have a battle worn tiger shark which is quite impressive when it is just inches from your face.
The park itself is gorgeous. The buildings were designed in the Avant-garde style by Felix Candela, and is easily one of the most beautiful aquariums I’ve been to. What is interesting about this park is that it is not just disjointed buildings spread out over the place, but rather a multi level habitat experience. For example with wetlands you can be walking around it at ground level and see treetops and birds, and then go down a ramp and see the fishes and frogs the live in the water under mangrove roots.
In the Arctic exhibit you can view from the top the beluga whales and walruses; watching them float and jump from above. Then head down (quite a few) stairs and watch these beautiful creatures through large viewing windows. During our visit, they had three belugas, seemingly a mommy, daddy, and baby beluga.
You are able to see many things at this aquarium, but one of the coolest things to see is the dolphin show. I know some people like to complain that having dolphins do tricks for people is unethical, but some people just like to complain. The show is a half hour long and they teach you a lot about dolphin behavior along with showing you the tricks. There are only 3 shows a day, so I suggest getting to the Dolphinarium 15 minutes early to get a good seat.
One of my favorite parts of the park is the sea turtle rehabilitation exhibit. You can only view this one from above, and you can see some quite large sea turtles swimming around. These are all turtles that have been injured by fishermen or boats in the sea, and when they have recovered the aquarium releases them back into the wild.
The penguin exhibit is also beautifully done. It is completely underground and the large viewing window lets you see dozens of penguins playing around in the snow and the water. It caught me off guard at first when they started diving and racing and jumping in the water, but they are really fun animals to see up close.
Finally, the open ocean exhibit. This is the largest exhibit in the entire park, and it is also the one with the long viewing tunnel mentioned earlier. Inside you can see everything from sharks and rays, to skates and other fish. They even have a giant ocean sunfish! The only thing I wish they had would be a Whale Shark. Unfortunately, other than the Georgia Aquarium in U.S.A. all the whale shark aquariums are located in Asia, so the Valencia aquarium does not have one. That being said, there are other things that are cool to see such as a large tiger shark. You are able to get so close to them in the tunnel it is really amazing to see them up close.
Let’s talk about food. To be honest the food at L’Oceanografic is not that impressive. It is in line with offerings at most amusement parks I’ve been to, but I was hoping it would be a little better for the price. Cody and I ate at a burger place near the Dolphinarium and while the burger was satisfying enough, it was about 12 Euro for the set which seemed a bit much. They do have a supposedly nice restaurant on site which has a large aquarium viewing panel, however we were not able to eat there during our trip. I would assume it is much better food as it is an actual restaurant, however it is about 50 Euros a person for the meal. I guess I was sort of hoping it would be like Ocean Park in Hong Kong, which actually had a great selection of decent food throughout the park, but I do understand that L’Oceanografic is not an amusement park, but rather just an aquarium.
The Valencia aquarium is easy to get to, as it is located in the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències which is just a beautiful complex bordering the old town of Valencia. The Ciutat de les Arts I les Ciencies is also home to the science park.
The price for L’Oceanografic is 30,70 Euros per person, and tickets should be bought online. You can go directly to their website, oceanographic.org and buy tickets. I would recommend coming to the aquarium when it opens, as it took us about 4-5 hours to see everything in the park.
Address: Carrer d’Eduardo Primo Yúfera, 1B, 46013 València, Valencia, Spain
Ticket Price: €30.70
Working Hours: Saturday 10 AM – 8 PM; Sunday to Friday 10 AM – 6 PM
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