The Barcelona Aquarium (L’Aquarium de Barcelona), one of Europe’s largest, sits right on the harbor in the heart of the old city. The exhibits within provide a habitat for some 11,000 sea creatures representing 450 different species, and house one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of sea life from the Mediterranean.
A highlight of the Barcelona Aquarium is the Oceanarium, a 1-million-gallon (3.8-million-liter) tank housing sunfish, moray eels, rays, two types of sharks, and more. Pass through an underwater glass tunnel to see these creatures from all angles. Planeta Aqua, on the second floor, houses guest-favorite Humboldt penguins.
If you’re pressed for time, opt for a skip-the-line ticket to the aquarium. If you’re more budget-minded, get discounted admission to the aquarium and numerous other attractions with the Barcelona Card.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Barcelona Aquarium is a must-see for animal lovers and families with kids.
- Book your ticket ahead of time to skip the admission line when you arrive.
- Lockers are available for storing bags and other items.
- All aquarium facilities are accessible to wheelchair users and strollers.
How to Get There
Situated in Port Vell at the base of La Rambla, the aquarium is easy to reach on foot from just about anywhere in the old city. You can also get there by taking the metro to Barceloneta (Line 4) or Drassanes (Line 3) stations, or by taking the hop-on hop-off bus to Port Vell.
When to Get There
The aquarium is open throughout the year, with extended hours during peak tourist season (July and August). Should you choose to visit during these busy months, plan on arriving first thing in the morning or later in the evening to avoid crowds.
Lunchtime at the Aquarium
Lunchtime at the Barcelona Aquarium is a complicated affair, with 150 different types of meals prepared for its inhabitants. To learn more about how the animals are cared for, don’t miss feeding time for the sharks, penguins, rays, and moray eels.