The Oceanografic Aquarium
The Oceanogràfic Aquarium is one of Europe’s largest aquariums. The expansive complex is divided into multiple areas, each representing one of the world’s primary marine ecosystems. In addition to seeing beluga whales, sharks, walruses, penguins and hundreds of other species, enjoy entertaining activities that allow interaction with the animals in unique ways.
Admire the architecture of the complex, which has an upper level and a lower level. The upper, or “surface,” level consists of several buildings and landscaped areas surrounding a lake. Designed by Félix Candela, the Underwater Restaurant is the most striking building; it resembles a water lily. Candela also designed the Access Building, which is where you will find the information desk and shops. The lower level has the majority of the animal exhibits. The whole complex houses more than 45,000 underwater creatures.
Investigate the Red Sea, an enormous auditorium where you’ll find an aquarium of species typically found in the Red Sea. Look closely and you’ll notice the roof of the auditorium is shaped like a scallop shell. Try to attend one of the demonstrations, during which you can watch divers feeding the animals in the aquarium.
Don’t miss the Dolphinarium, touted as one of the largest in the world with five swimming pools and a viewing capacity of 2,000 people.
Take advantage of one of the aquarium’s fantastic additional activities. Certified scuba divers can swim in an aquarium containing bull sharks, nurse sharks, sunfish and dozens more species in “Shark Encounter.” Children are invited to spend the night camped out in an underwater aquarium tunnel in the “Sleep with Sharks” exhibit.
Have a meal at the enchanting Underwater Restaurant. Eat on the upper level set on an island in the middle of the man-made lake or on the lower level surrounded by the aquarium and its colorful fish.
Reach the Oceanogràfic Aquarium by bus or metro from Valencia Old Town. Admission to the aquarium is included in combination tickets for the City of Art and Sciences.