Lisbon Oceanarium: best aquarium in the world
The Lisbon Oceanarium is one of the most interesting things to do in Lisbon, I advise you to stop by. The Lisbon Oceanarium got an almost perfect score of 4.7/5 from 36,000 people on Google, figures that speak for themselves. This aquarium is appreciated by children but also by adults and everyone will have a great time without any problem. The Lisbon aquarium is located in the Park of Nations, which is part of the area developed for the World Expo in 1998. Today it is the modern district of Lisbon, very pleasant to visit, which runs along the Tagus River and where the Oceanarium and the Lisbon Casino are located.
The Lisbon Oceanarium
It is the largest aquarium in Europe and has a capacity of almost 5000 cubic metres of water. It is well located, easily accessible by car or public transport and is perfectly integrated in the last district of Lisbon, the Park of Nations. If you are not yet convinced that you should visit the Lisbon Aquarium, then you can watch the video at the bottom of this page, I think you will be seduced.
And if you are convinced, then you will find on this page some practical information about tickets, prices and timetables of the Lisbon Oceanarium or the different ways to get there. The Lisbon Oceanarium was designed by architect and designer Peter Chermayeff of Peter Chermayeff LLC and Cambridge Seven Associates. He also designed the Osaka Aquarium, which is the largest aquarium in the world. The focal point of the Lisbon Aquarium is a huge water tank the size of four Olympic-sized swimming pools with a capacity of over 5 million litres of water.
The tank is surrounded by four two-storey sections, each featuring the flora and fauna of a different ocean. It is therefore possible to admire the life and environment of the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic oceans. The Lisbon Oceanarium has more than 16,000 different animals of 450 species in its collection. The main tank, whose walls are made of 27 cm thick acrylic glass, shows the diversity of life in the world’s oceans. You will see sharks, rays, barracudas and moray eels among others. The main tank of the Lisbon Aquarium can be seen from the bottom and the top can be admired from the ground or first floor.
How to get to the Lisbon Aquarium
Going to the Oceanarium by Bus
Below are the different buses that will take you to the Lisbon Oceanarium:
- Bus 705, 708, 725, 728, 744, 750, 759, 782, 794 (stop Oceanário de Lisboa or Estação Oriente)
- Bus 705 from the airport to the Estacao Oriente stop
- Bus 708 from Martim Moniz to Estacao Oriente stop
- Bus 725 from Prior Velho to Estacao Oriente stop
- Bus 728, direction “Portela” with Al (stop Mosteiro Jeronimos, next to the Monastery of Jerónimos), from Cais to Sodre, from Work to Comercio or from the Santa Apolonia train station to the oceanario de Lisboa stop.
- Bus 744 from the Marques de Pombal roundabout or the Saldanha metro to the Estacao Oriente stop.
- Bus 750 from Alges or Colombo Shopping Centre to the Estacao Oriente stop.
- Bus 759 from Plaza de los Restaurateurs, Plaza Rossio, Plaza de las Trabajadores to Comercio or Santa Apolonia Station to the Estacao Oriente stop.
- Bus 782 from Cais to Sodre, go to Comercio or Santa Apolonia Station to the Estacao Oriente stop.
- Bus 794 from Work to Comercio or from Santa Apolonia Station to the Estacao Oriente stop
You should know that there is the Lisboa Card in Lisbon. A card that will give you access to many discounts and even free entry for some visits to Lisbon but also for all public transport in the capital. Discover the main discounts and everything you need to know about the card by consulting the Lisboa Card guide, or click below to order it directly online.
Click on the Lisboa Card to order it online
Other transport to the Oceanarium
You can also get to the Lisboa Oceanarium by metro, train or car, the easiest in my opinion. (You can see this comparator to rent a car in Lisbon) :
- The Estacao Oriente stop is located at the Oriente station, which is only a 10-minute walk from the Lisbon Oceanarium. First go through the Vasco da Gama shopping centre towards the river, get to the river and on the right you will see the aquarium building in the middle of the water.
- By metro (red metro lines, Oriente station)
- By train (Oriente station), for example from Santa Apolonia station (there is no direct access to the Lisbon Oceanarium from Rossio or Cais stations to Sodre) and then about 10 minutes on foot from Oriente station.
- The easiest way to get there by car is to reach the centre of Lisbon by the Infante Dom Henrique Avenue, which runs along the Tagus River.
Parking at the Lisbon Oceanarium
If you are driving to the Lisbon Aquarium by car, you will have absolutely no problem parking. There is plenty of parking all around and the streets around the aquarium usually have free parking spaces. I have never had any problems parking my car.
- Parque do Oceanário – 274 spaces (closest to the aquarium, from 1€/hour)
- Parque da Doca – 700 spaces
- WIRE – 830 spaces
- Torre Vasco da Gama – 250 spaces
- Parque da Estação do Oriente – 2000 spaces
Lisbon Oceanarium: tickets, prices and timetables
- 0-3 years free admission
- 4-12 years 10 € / 12 € (permanent exhibition / permanent exhibition + temporary exhibition)
- 13 -64 years old 15 € / 18 € (permanent exhibition / permanent exhibition + temporary exhibition)
- +65 years 10 € / 12 € (permanent exhibition / permanent exhibition + temporary exhibition)
- Family ticket 39 € / 47 € (permanent exhibition / permanent exhibition + temporary exhibition) | 2 parents + 2 children up to 12 years old, each additional child pays 6,10 €.
Ticket prices are updated regularly. There may be some variations but these are valid for 2019. Temporary exhibitions are organised periodically and are not always available all year round. To avoid queues, I advise you to buy a ticket to the aquarium via Internet. You can buy your ticket for the Lisbon Aquarium below. You will also find below a link to buy the Lisboa Card which will give you many discounts on visits, public transport and even free entrance to discover Lisbon :
Opening hours of the Lisbon Oceanarium :
- Summer 10.00 – 20.00 last entry at 19.00 hours
- Winter 10.00 – 19.00 last entry at 18.00 hours
Address of the Lisbon Oceanarium
Oceanário de Lisboa
S.A. Esplanada D. Carlos I – Doca dos Olivais
1990-005 Lisbon Portugal
Tel : +351 21 891 7002
Temporary exhibition at the Lisbon Oceanarium
The Oceanário de Lisboa has been offering temporary exhibitions since its creation. When I visited the aquarium, the temporary exhibition was entitled “the forests under water”. It was an exhibition by the Japanese artist and photographer Takashi Amano. It was really beautiful but I think it will be more interesting for adults than for children.
Takashi Amano was a photographer, designer, author and aquarist. The temporary exhibition building may seem small in front of the main one where the Lisbon Aquarium is located. It is a U-shaped room that is about 40 meters long and in which I could see less impressive animals such as grouse, freshwater shrimp and other small animals.
But this was not the aim of this temporary exhibition at the Lisbon Oceanarium, which focused on the different aquatic plants, the way they were arranged or how they contrasted with each other. The small inhabitants interacted with their environment and the picture was quite impressive. This temporary exhibition started in April 2015 and the artist died a few months later at the age of 61.
Takashi Amano believed that observing nature closely would allow us to better understand our world and learn how to preserve it.
The additional cost of the special exhibition was well invested on my part, but I can’t guarantee anything, it’s up to everyone’s taste.
Lisbon Oceanarium: additional activities
For those who will stay longer in Lisbon (If you wish, you can check here my list of ideas for hotels in Lisbon) or even live there, then you might have the chance to enjoy the different extra activities offered by the aquarium for children and grown-ups alike that you might like :
- Birthday parties in the presence of Vasco, the Lisbon Aquarium’s mascot.
- Private shows for children among the fish to arouse their curiosity.
- The Fado miudinho, a Fado concert in front of the main pool with sharks and fish in the background.
These are different activities that I haven’t personally tested but which allow the Lisbon Aquarium to stand out from other aquariums and which have most certainly contributed to its election as the best aquarium in the world.
Opinion on the Lisbon Aquarium
As for my opinion, I loved visiting the Lisbon Aquarium, at least once. Whether you have children or not, you won’t be disappointed. I am planning to go there a second time soon, so I think it’s fair to say that my opinion is positive. But it’s always interesting to note the opinions of people who are passing through to visit the city of Lisbon and who have come to the Aquarium. So you will find below the last 10 reviews on Google, which will convince you to visit the Lisbon Oceanarium!
- Nice aquarium. Reasonable price. The visit is around the central aquarium which is really beautiful. For shark lovers there are some very beautiful and impressive ones. The small otters are super cute.
- A great aquarium. The main tank is beautiful. What can I say about the theme tanks which are very well designed. You can feel that the animals feel good there and that they are well treated. My wife and I loved it! Watch out for the queue at the entrance and to see the different views of the main aquarium.
- Magnificent aquarium with a central pond that can be seen from every angle. The otters are simply adorable and so are the penguins. The section on frogs allows everyone to look for them in the large greenhouse where they are hiding. On the other hand, booking on the internet is strongly advised to avoid the long queue at the entrance.
- Very nice aquarium on the banks of the Tagus. A very large central aquarium allows us to admire sharks, rays, and many fish that live together. You will be able to admire the otters playing and bickering! A little expensive but it is worth the detour and the children love it. Small flat on the cafeteria where the price is abused and the quality is mediocre.
- A very pleasant place, the visit is fascinating, you can see animals from all over the world in very well designed enclosures, which will delight young and old alike. The main aquarium is really impressive.
- An aquarium that will take your breath away. This family outing saved us from the bad weather. The kids loved it and had a great time despite the crowd. A beautiful diversity of marine mammals, and a pit has an endless effect! Located in the modern district of Lisbon, we can also take advantage of the gondola lift to admire the architecture which is very different from the city centre but are all interesting.
- Really nice, the central pool is huge and many species of fish are present among sharks, rays and huge schools of fish. The other aquariums are modest in size with a few fish. The circulation is intuitive but almost in the dark.
- Very nice aquarium, which reminds me of the one in Nausicaa (maybe even better?). There are different aquariums for different climates, with a central that is beautiful. To do absolutely
- Magnificent aquarium with a central basin with many species including sharks and rays. In the other tanks you can find very cute otters and penguins. Almost all oceans are represented.
- In full immersion, a magical moment. Take your time,.sit on the corner benches, take the.time to observe this gigantic aquarium and see the spectacle when the caretakers feed the rays, and other fish, impressive. Nice moment !