Vancouver Aquarium is one of the city’s most popular family-friendly attractions, with many visitors coming as part of a day out in Stanley Park. More than 50,000 living creatures—from sharks to sea otters to sea stars—dart, dive, and splash around the nonprofit aquarium, the largest in Canada. As well as marine life exhibits, the aquarium also stages shows, feedings, animal encounters, and trainer talks.
Time-tight travelers can pre-book tickets for fast entry. It’s also possible to combine admission to the aquarium with a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city. Daily shows, including 4D experiences in its theater, trainer talks, touch pool sessions, a BC Waters Dive (during which a scuba diver helps introduce visitors to the inhabitants of British Columbia’s waters), and dolphin training sessions, are included in the price of admission. Additional feels apply for encounters with creatures such as penguins, stingrays, dolphins, and sea turtles.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The aquarium is particularly well-suited for families, with engaging and informative kid-friendly displays.
- Allow 2.5 to three hours to properly explore the facility.
- Bottled water is not sold at the aquarium. Bring along a reusable water bottle to fill at stations around the site.
- The aquarium facilities are accessible to wheelchair-users.
How to Get There
Vancouver Aquarium is located in Stanley Park in the city of Vancouver. Ride the 19 bus to the park; the aquarium is just a 2-minute walk away.
When to Get There
The aquarium is open year-round and a wide array of shows and talks take place daily. Mornings are quietest. In summer, consider bringing along a picnic to enjoy after strolling along the seawall at Stanley Park.
Amazing Animals in the Aquarium
The aquarium is split into zones that focus on different marine habitats. The Tropic Zone hosts blacktip reef sharks, endangered seahorses, and pajama cardinal fish, while Penguin Point is home to a colony of waddling African penguins. Treasures of the B.C. Coast highlights the diversity of British Columbia’s coastal habitats, the Pacific Canada Pavilion showcases life in the Strait of Georgia, while Canada's Arctic gallery focuses on the cold waters of the frozen north. The Graham Amazon Gallery—a recreated rain forest habitat where simulated thunderstorms occur hourly—not only houses marine life but also sloths and scarlet ibises.