National Aquarium in Baltimore

Inner Harbor’s biggest attraction recreates the marine and terrestrial habitats of thousands of animals from many parts of the globe.

Journey deep into the ocean, walk through the bottom of a rocky river gorge and travel through a rainforest at one of biggest aquariums in the country. The popular National Aquarium in Baltimore also displays terrestrial animals and flying species.

In 2003, the aquariums in Baltimore and Washington D.C. joined as one National Aquarium. The Baltimore venue houses more than 16,000 animals representing over 660 species, spread out over three pavilions. They live in conditions that resemble their natural habitats, except for the bottlenose dolphins, which spend their time in a large pool.

Visit Animal Planet Australia in the Glass Pavilion at the entrance. This recreation of a river gorge contains about 1,800 animals. Meet typical animals from the Land Down Under, such as poisonous snakes, freshwater crocodiles, kookaburra birds and pig-nose turtles. Enter the main building and immerse yourself in the marine world of rays, jellyfish, eels and hundreds of other ocean dwellers.

Get in the middle of the donut-shaped aquarium that is Shark Alley to experience what it is like when nurse sharks and other predators encircle you. The rainforest exhibit in the glass pyramid that forms the roof of the building offers a very different experience. See if you can spot animals such as the golden lion tamarins, tarantulas and parrots.

The National Aquarium at Inner Harbor is open daily and often also on Friday nights. The attraction doesn't have an on-site parking lot but a garage next door offers paid parking. Hop on the Charm City Circulator shuttle bus to get there for free. Be advised that strollers can’t access the exhibitions, but baby carriers are available. It gets crowded, so book ahead for the popular dolphin show and try to visit on a weekday. Note that the admission fee is high and it is one-way traffic only, so take you time at exhibitions to make the most of your tour. You pay extra for the 4-D Immersion Film.

Some exhibitions may be temporarily closed as part of a major upgrade. Call ahead to find out how this affects your visit.

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