Baltimore’s National Aquarium is the star of the Inner Harbor and home to close to 20,000 creatures and more than 700 species. See slithering reptiles, a giant octopus, and all kinds of fish, from rays to sharks, in habitats including reef, rainforest, ocean, marsh, and beach. The aquarium also promotes conservation initiatives.
There's much to do at the award-winning aquarium. Stop by the sensory 4-D immersion theater to experience high-definition 3-D film alongside special effects such as mist and wind; visit the Australian exhibit with crocodiles and kookaburras; and check out Shark Alley where the predators circle visitors inside a 225,000-gallon (852,000-liter) ring-shaped tank. Take advantage of animal-specific and behind-the-scenes tours, including a guest scuba diving experience and a sleepover with the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Allow at least 3.5 hours to explore Baltimore’s National Aquarium.
- Wheelchairs are available free of charge on a first come, first served basis.
- The aquarium hosts two Deaf Awareness Day events every year with sign language interpreters who narrate presentations, exhibit dives, and animal encounters.
- There are two cafes inside the aquarium. Outside food and beverages are not allowed inside, but there are picnic tables and benches outside.
How to Get There
The National Aquarium is on the north bank of the Inner Harbor in central Baltimore. It is accessible by subway, light rail, and train. The aquarium is also located on the orange line of the Charm City Circulator, Baltimore's free public bus. By car, take take Exit 53 off Interstate 95; parking facilities are available nearby.
When to Get There
Throughout the year, events and activities are offered, including talks, special animal encounters, and more; check the aquarium website for up-to-date information or download the app. To avoid crowds, visit on weekdays or before 11am or after 3 pm on weekends and holidays. In summer and over spring break and holidays, the aquarium may sell out. Skip the line and get guaranteed entry by buying tickets in advance.
Maryland Science Center
Another fun, educational activity, the Maryland Science Center features three floors of exhibits, hands-on activities, and demonstrations. In addition to its IMAX theater and planetarium, the center boasts several full-size dinosaurs, a journey through the human body, and an exhibit on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The center is also located at the Inner Harbor.