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Lisbon Oceanarium: The Best Aquarium in the World!

O Lisbon Oceanarium in Portugal was elected in 1st place in the Best Aquarium in the World Category for Travelers Choice, from the Trip Advisor website in 2018 and also in several other years. You can already tell that it needs to be in your script, right?

Lisbon is a city with attractions that will fill your itinerary for many, many tips. Check out our article main tourist attractions in Lisbon and discover other must-see tours in the city.

Oh and if you’re enjoying the city with your kids, Find out more what to do in Lisbon with kids.

The Oceanarium has an area of ​​20,000 mtwo. It has more than 30 aquariums with more than 500 different species. Besides aquarium is a research institution on marine biology and oceanography.

It contains an extensive collection of birds, mammals, fish and other marine inhabitants. There you will find Inca tern, puffin, Magellanic penguin, Rock jumping penguin, puffer fish, cod, croaker, frogs, salamander, sea otter, shark, eel, clown fish and the weird and beautiful Moonfish , among many others.

The Oceanário’s mascot is the doll Vasco, his name is a tribute to the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama, see in the photo below:

Oceanário de Lisboa: The Best Aquarium in the World !

This was our first in Lisbon, as it was raining a lot and we took the opportunity to visit the Oceanarium. We love it!!! Many people also had this idea, because it was packed there!

The oceanarium is huge and for you to get to know the permanent and the temporary exhibition you will spend at least three hours, but to appreciate the wonders of the place you will need more time.

We got there and the queue was huge! We waited over half an hour to get tickets. There is the possibility of buying tickets online and speeding up this process. To learn more visit here.

Visit to the Oceanário de Lisboa

To buy the ticket, you must choose whether to visit only the permanent exhibition or the permanent and temporary exhibition together. We visited both. We start with the temporary.

Today, in May 2016, the temporary exhibition is “Submerged Forests by Takashi Amano”. It showcases the rainforests through a stunning aquarium. An experience that stimulates the senses through the smell and sounds of the forest.

Oceanário de Lisboa in Portugal

The main attraction of the Oceanarium is its central aquarium, with 5 million liters of salt water that imitates and represents the oceans.

The four oceans are represented: Atlantic, Antarctic, Pacific and Indian, with their species of fauna and flora. They are separated from each other by acrylic panels. But looking at it, it all seems to be one ocean. It’s beautiful!!!

Aquário de Lisboa

From the photos you can see the quantity and variety of fish. The place has low light, but noI have no idea how many photos my husband took, he even killed the battery of not only the camera but our phones.

Oceanário de Lisboa, fish

I had never seen penguins and I loved seeing them! They are so beautiful! There were so many, I was impressed! It was so cold there…

A curiosity: the Oceanário penguins came mostly from the San Francisco Zoo, in the United States. They live for about 20 years.

Pinguins from the Lisbon Oceanarium

The otters that live in the Oceanarium came from Alaska and they put on a show! When we see her we discover why her skin is so coveted and expensive.

Lontras, Oceanário de Lisboa

Among so many attractions, the one that caught our attention was the Moonfish. A creature that can reach over 4 meters and weigh over 1 ton, with large eyes and small fins, its almost circle shape and color gives it its name.

It’s quite a spectacle to see a huge creature move with such grace and to know that he is very docile. Unfortunately I couldn’t take good pictures of him. But you can read a really cool article about this wonderful fish clicking here.

Oceanário de Lisboa
Photo from Wikipedia – Per-Ola Norman – Public Domain

On the way out of the Oceanarium we stopped by the shop and I had the greatest difficulty in choosing what to bring as a souvenir! There were so many beautiful things… I wanted to buy everything! Don’t miss going there. It is worth it!

We left the Oceanário and went to have lunch at Shopping Vasco da Gama, which is close by!



Hours of Operation: from 10 am to 8 pm, As of October 30, winter hours begin, which are from 10 am to 6 pm.

Address: Doca das Olivais, Parque das Nações.

Nearest Metro Station: Red Line – Oriente Station.

Value: €19 for adults, €10 for children from 4 to 12 years old and free for children up to 3 years old (prices updated in October/2020).

Attention: You have the option to buy tickets online to avoid queuing. On the day we went, we were in line for over 30 minutes!

If you’re looking for day trips from Lisbon, check out Andrea’s tips on the charming cities of Cascais and Estoril.

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