Spain has a lot of interesting sights. One of them is the Barcelona Aquarium, which combines the educational and research side. The huge complex is considered one of the world’s important centers for the study of the flora and fauna of the Mediterranean basin.
Sections of the Barcelona Aquarium
The underwater world is hidden from human eyes. You can only look at a small part of it. The main secrets are hidden in the depths, underwater grottos, thickets of algae. A research center was established to study and conserve Mediterranean Sea representatives. It opened in 1995.
The Barcelona Aquarium consists of 14 separate segments that recreate the conditions of individual ecosystems:
- coral reef;
- sandy coastline;
- rocky coves;
- underwater grottos and caves.
Seven hotel aquariums feature tropical residents in their natural habitat. Mini aquariums are equipped for the little inhabitants. They became the most interesting part of the composition. In them live seahorses, small translucent fish, sponges. You can watch them for a long time, because the water is transparent, there is almost no algae, visibility is good. Under normal conditions, these babies are difficult to see, so well they know how to hide from predators, using the ability to mimicry.
- Planet Aqua;
- Explora Zone.
In each of them there is an entertaining and educational program. There are no boring lectures or long documentaries overloaded with theoretical information and professional terms. All information is clear, presented in an easy-to-understand manner, taking into account the age of visitors.
Separate excursions and play activities have been developed for children.
The largest section is located on the 1st floor. Large and small containers are interspersed with stands with information about the inhabitants, descriptions of climatic conditions, ways of eating and diet, interesting facts. The Oceanarium in Barcelona gives you the opportunity to see rare invertebrates, predatory fish, mollusks, inhabitants of shallow waters and underground caves up close. A separate aquarium is dedicated to unique fish that have adapted to the conditions of abrupt changes in water salinity. These are dorad, carp, catfish.
The inhabitants of pre-coral lagoons in normal conditions are difficult to notice, they have become over the centuries true masters of camouflage, completely merging with the surrounding landscape.
The inhabitants of the sandy shallows admire the bright colors and unusual shapes, making it clear that the inhabitants of the sea are dangerous. It is better not to meet with moray, purple sea urchin, stingray in the ocean expanses. It is safer to watch them from behind the thick glass.
The Aquarium in Barcelona is remarkable for its long tunnel stretching 40 meters. It creates an imitation of the seabed, with sharks, stingrays, octopuses, colorful fish and other sea creatures swimming around. Walking through the tunnel, equipped with a moving walkway, you can see most of the inhabitants, which in the aquarium more than 400 species.
The section is on the second floor of the complex. It is also divided into several compartments. The most popular is the corner where the penguins live. The Oceanarium in Barcelona is studying the living conditions of these birds, which will save populations of the rarest species. Visitors are invited to observe their habits, sharp jumps into the water and graceful movement in the native element. The penguins quarrel, care for the female, build nests, and even steal pebbles from their neighbors. The process of feeding is also very interesting, especially for children.
Around the aviary with Antarctic inhabitants are aquariums with piranhas, poisonous fish, which nature has rewarded with a terrible weapon in the struggle for survival.
Most visitors congregate near the pool with cheerful and friendly dolphins.
The play center offers an introduction to the flora and fauna of the Mediterranean Sea. There are about 50 interactive activities for children to explore the wreck, find hidden treasures, guess what fish live in a particular area, explore the coral reef. Visitors are invited to take part in themed games, take a ride on a tube with a gurgling stream, take a picture with a turtle.
Cognitive and entertaining programs
The Aquarium of Barcelona together with the educational institutions of the city holds themed events for children of different ages. They learn a lot about sea creatures by observing them and discovering the secrets of nature with the help of experienced mentors.
The “Spend the Night with the Shark” event really starts after sunset, at 8 p.m. and lasts until 10 a.m. Children observe the nocturnal rhythm of fish life, accompanied by a teacher and center staff. Participants ages 8 to 12 years, the ticket price is 90 euros.
For teenagers there is a program with immersion in one of the aquariums. The program is called “Become an Underwater Observer” and is designed for boys and girls from 12 to 17 years old. Scuba training is conducted in advance. The dive is accompanied by two experienced scuba divers.
Adults with a diver’s certificate are offered to feel like a hero of a sci-fi movie and feel the powerful adrenaline rush of diving into an aquarium with ruthless marine predators. Places must be booked in advance, since the dives are only on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and there are always a lot of people who want to dive, despite the cost of 300 euros.
Programs for children and teenagers show marine life in direct contact, instilling responsibility for life on the planet, stimulating an interest in the study of natural sciences, introducing the work of experts in the study of flora and fauna. In the cinema they show documentaries about the inhabitants of the Mediterranean basin.
Many visitors are willing to devote an entire day to the oceanarium. For lunch or just to reflect on the experience, it is worth visiting the café and self-service restaurant. The menu is varied, there is a wonderful view of the sea and the port, yachts sliding along the sea surface and powerful cargo ships standing at the quay.
Upon request, the cafe organizes children’s parties and birthdays.
Opening hours of the Barcelona Aquarium
The Oceanarium is open to the public daily throughout the year. Opening hours vary slightly depending on the season.
- Weekdays: 10:00 to 19:30 or 20:00;
- on weekends and holidays: from 10:00 to 20:00 or 20:30.
- June, September – from 10:00 to 21:00;
- July, August – from 10:00 to 21:30.
How to get to the Barcelona Aquarium?
Information on how to get to the Aquarium of Barcelona, the address are listed in the tourist brochures, on the official website and stands at the entrance to the complex. The Oceanarium is located near the port at the end of La Rambla. You can get there by subway, city bus, cab.
According to reviews of tourists who visited the aquarium, the easiest way to come as part of a tour group. There are no problems with tickets and entertainment program. The disadvantages are a large number of people in the group, the inevitable crowd around the most interesting exhibits, the restriction of time to visit. On your own you can visit the aquarium in Barcelona all year round from 8 to 19.30. During the summer, the aquarium closes 30 minutes later.
The ticket price for adults is 20 euros, children’s ticket is cheaper by 5 euros, admission for kids is 3 euros, guests under 3 years are free.
Online purchase of the ticket will cost 10% less.
A visit to the oceanarium will long be remembered with vivid impressions and new knowledge about the inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea.