This month, Valencia’s Oceanogràfic is celebrating! In honour of the 15 million visitors who have passed through its doors since the opening in 2003, here are 15 reasons to visit the Oceanogràfic in Valencia…
- It’s breathtaking… Spread across an area of 1,2000,000 square feet with 42 million litres of water, the Oceanogràfic is the largest aquarium in Europe.
- Animal magic… It’s home to 500 different marine species and more than 45,000 animals. Old favourites include penguins, dolphins, seals, turtles and sea lions, while more exotic species include belugas, sea urchins, starfish and wetland birds.
- The blue planet… You can visit the whole world without leaving Valencia. The aquarium is divided into ten key areas covering every significant marine ecosystem on the planet, including the Arctic and Antarctic, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
- Location, location, location… The Oceanogràfic is located within the City of Arts and Sciences Complex, itself one of Valencia’s top attractions. The site is also home to the Hemisfèric IMAX cinema and planetarium, the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía Opera House and the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum – an interactive, three-floor structure. From the Umbracle, visitors can appreciate the beautiful architecture of the complex via landscaped walkways lined with plants and sculptures.
- It’s good to look at, too … Celebrated architect Félix Candela contributed to the building’s futuristic, iconic design and avant-garde architecture, which befits the breathtaking nature of what is inside.
- Dazzling dolphins… The Dolphinarium really does justice to one of the world’s best-loved mammals, with behind-the-scenes areas for education, training and medical care. The daily shows welcome up to 2000 spectators, who will learn about the dolphins’ behavior and skills and see them in action.
- Entertainment galore… Spectacles include the Animalia Passport, where visitors get up close and personal with sea lions and dolphins and the Shark Encounter, when qualified scuba divers take a dip in the shark tank. Not for the faint-hearted!
- Nights are not for sleeping… When night rolls around, the entertainment continues. Sleeping with the Sharks is one of the most popular after-hours shows, giving visitors the chance to spend the night at the aquarium surrounded by the sharks.
- A good education… The Oceanogràfic is not just a great day out. As a dedicated marine and research centre, it is devoted to raising public awareness and understanding of marine animals and their diversity, as well as issues of conservation and environmental protection. Visitors can learn more at bio-educative seminars that are held throughout the centre.
- Memorable mealtimes… The Oceanogràfic has a number of places to eat, but by far the most exciting is the Submarino Restaurant where you will enjoy your meal surrounded by an aquarium with 10,000 fish.
- All at sea… The Oceans section is home to one of the biggest fish tanks in the world – with a 30-metre tunnel and seven million litres of water. A breathtaking and very colourful sight!
- Family fun! Thanks to its educational and entertainment aspects, the Oceanogràfic is fascinating for people of all ages and will entertain even the youngest of children.
- Be good to the world… Every one of the 15 million people who have visited the Oceanogràfic have done their bit to support the centre’s efforts to preserve our ocean species. With our sea life facing increasing threats, there’s never been a more important time to support the cause.
- It’s conveniently located… The Oceanogràfic is within easy reach of downtown Valencia. It’s a comfortable walk from the city or a short ride by car, taxi or public transport. Buses 1, 13, 14, 15, 19, 35, 95 and 40 all go to the Complex.
- The Promotion! On Saturdays and Sundays from the 15th to the 30th of this month, tickets to the Oceanogràfic will be priced at just 11 Euros. The aquarium is open from 10 in the morning until 7 at night (last entry is at 6pm), giving you the entire day to explore the underwater world. If you’ve got any time left, visitors who purchase the promotional tickets can also enjoy discounted entry to the Science Museum and the Hemisfèric.