Most people like to eat fish, but some of us prefer to see them in their natural aquatic habitats at an aquarium. Europe is a big believer in showcasing the natural wonders hidden under the sea, which is why this continent is home to so many aquariums. They want to educate their fellow citizens about who we share the numerous waterways with, and they are a perfect way to spend a day of your vacation.
We have compiled a list of the best aquariums you could visit while spending time in Europe. They are unbelievable and their displays will take your breath away. Keep reading to learn about 10 must-see aquariums in Europe!
10 Moscow Oceanarium (Moscow, Russia)
This aquarium in Moscow, Russia is amazing as they house all different types of underwater creatures. They have over 3,000 types of fish and other animals like the pink-tailed triggerfish and black diamond stingray. It also has several animation programs for children to explore, as well as live shows that are fun for the whole family.
Guests also have the option of looking at the exhibits themselves or choosing to become a part of a tour and learn in-depth knowledge about all of these interesting underwater species. You won't be disappointed when you choose to see what this Russian aquarium has to offer.
9 Acquario di Genova (Genoa, Italy)
This aquarium in Spain is huge, so you can be sure to find at least one aquatic animal to make your day. They have over 12,000 specimens and they recommend you take at least two to three hours for the entire experience.
It will interest you if you crave to see some of the specimens that live in the Artic's cold waters, which includes plenty of fun-loving penguins. There are several sections to this single aquarium and you should plan on seeing them all, as well as taking a trip up in their panoramic lift so you can see the beautiful city of Genoa.
8 Sea Life Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland)
This aquarium has a family-friendly environment and the education of children in order to create a better world in generations to come. They have discovery pools, live fish feedings, and conservation areas where you can learn about efforts to save the oceans.
The closest water to this aquarium is the Baltic Sea, so they have an exhibit dedicated entirely to educating people about this body of water. They also have favorites like sharks, jellyfish, and stingrays to entertain and amaze guests with their beauty.
7 National Aquarium Denmark (Copenhagen, Denmark)
This aquarium has thousands of fish and sea creatures for guests to enjoy. The distinctive architecture of the building itself has won many awards, but what is kept inside is even more impressive.
They have several interactive exhibits as well as games to educate the public on these creatures, and there is also an app visitors can download in order to identify different fish while working their way through the museum. This aquarium has two close encounter experiences where you can feed some sea turtles, or if you are a certified diver, take a dip with the sharks.
6 Oceanografic (Valencia, Spain)
Oceanographic has a super long underwater tunnel that becomes the highlight of any international traveler's trip. They have over 100 sharks from 21 different species on display, so any shark enthusiasts should already have this added to their itinerary.
Their exhibits are separated by habitat and species, so you can visit the crocodiles in the preserve or see a show at the dolphinarium. This aquarium even has beluga whales, which you probably won't see anywhere else you go while vacationing in Spain.
5 Oceanario de Lisboa (Lisbon, Portugal)
You should consider taking a guided tour at this aquarium in Portugal to learn all you can about the 500 different species they have on display. They have several rotating temporary exhibits that are currently showcasing Forests Underwater by Takashi Amano.
This aquarium also has a program called Sleeping With Sharks where school groups or families can stay overnight and sleep beneath the glow of the shark tank. Their main aquarium holds 5 million liters of seawater and houses four different marine habitats, but the elegant way they have it staged makes it appear as if it is one single ocean.
4 The Sea Life Aquarium (London, England)
This aquarium has a whale sanctuary which currently houses two beluga whales within a bay that only they occupy. The aquarium itself has a shark walk where predators of the sea can be seen swimming by underfoot. You can also sign up for behind the scenes tours or a snorkeling experience in the shark exhibit.
They also understand the power of love and will help you pop the question by having a diver hold up a "Will You Marry Me?" sign, as well as give you a bottle of champagne to celebrate the occasion. No London aquarium would be complete without a River Thames exhibit, which shares the success of its rehabilitation over the years.
3 Bergen Aquarium (Bergen, Norway)
Norway bends toward the unusual with sea lions, crocodiles, and snakes on display for guests to learn about. It has been open since 1960 and has over 50 aquariums filled with different specimens of underwater creatures. They have several live feedings and shows involving otters, sea lions, penguins, and crocodiles.
You can also touch some underwater curiosities at their exhibit, or choose to watch a movie about your favorite species. They feature creatures from all over the world, but they do carry a special emphasis on those you might find on Norway's own beaches.
2 Nausicaá (Boulogne-sur-Mer, France)
They boast over 1,600 different species split between their two worlds called Journey on the High Seas and Mankind and Shores. Their goal is to make you feel like the explorer who is discovering these creatures for the first time, and it is a spectacular experience. There are several activities you should show up for like the sea lion training or lagoon fish feeding where you can learn all about the diets of different underwater creatures.
You can also touch some of them in the touch tank, including halibut, rays, cod, and turbot. They have a focus on conservation which is why several of their exhibits are geared toward educating the public, such as the mangrove swamp and the underwater observatory.
1 Antalya Aquarium (Antalya, Turkey)
This aquarium is known for its long tunnels which stretch about 430 feet. A special activity you won't see anywhere else is the hand feeding of sharks performed by professional divers. You can watch as these great predators of the ocean eat meals from human hands as you have never seen before.
There are three different sections to this aquarium and you should visit them all as they take you on a journey through the seas and witness a variety of sea creatures displayed in a unique way you won't see anywhere else.