Found at the University of Dubrovnik Institute for Marine and Coastal Research in St John’s Fortress, Dubrovnik Sea Aquarium is part marine zoo and part research center covering the sea life of the Adriatic Sea. This is a small, recently revamped aquarium showcasing the diversity of Croatia’s local marine life in 31 softly lit sea tanks containing turtles, groupers, eels and spiny lobster as well as tiny sea horses, starfish and sea sponges in small pools. Kids love the walk-through glass tunnel underneath the water, which gives glimpses of rare corals and sea urchins, plus bigger species of marine life such as octopuses, sea bass, darting eels and ugly dogfish.
The aquarium’s spectacular location among the stone halls of St John’s Fortress is part of the attraction of a visit; the medieval fort was built in the mid 14th century and forms the south-eastern corner of the defence walls built around Dubrovnik’s Old Town to fend off invasion from the sea. On the upper floors of the fort is the Dubrovnik Maritime Museum, also worth visiting for its study of the city as a maritime trading power in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The aquarium is found in St John’s Fortress and is best accessed on foot through the pedestrianized Old Town of Dubrovnik or as part of a walking tour of the walls.