Did you know that Valencia can boast of having the largest aquarium in Europe? It’s a fact, and this has made it quite popular with students of marine biology, as well as visitors from all over the world. This marvelous place has delighted millions of visitors since its 2003 opening.
The Valencia Oceanographic Is Joyful For All:
A visit to the Oceanographic is without a doubt one of the top things to do in Valencia. It’s big, it’s architecturally stunning and oh so avant-garde. It’s also fun, and a good time is guaranteed for children of all ages. What’s not to love? Discover just some of the things at the aquarium, one of the treasures of Valencia, and you’ll soon see why it’s considered a must-visit.
Oceanographic in Valencia:
The Oceanographic is part of the gigantic City of Arts and Science that is located along the old Turia River bed just south of the Valencia center, which makes it easy to visit. The grounds of the Oceanographic itself holds roughly 45,000 specimens from approximately 500 different species, so yeah, pretty big. The management of the whole complex is actually outsourced to the Vancouver Aquarium.
The different sections of the grounds totaling 10 will allow you to experience animals in different settings such as:
Built to resemble an igloo and over 12 meters high. You can find the family of Beluga whales constantly chattering. Fun fact, Baby Kylu, only the first baby Beluga was born here in November of 2016. It is freezing in there, so be aware.
You can just imagine the variety of fish and flora present in this section. Jelly-like looking beings that look more like flowers, castanets, lobsters, rock octopus and so many more., all enveloped in their own little ecosystems.
Oceans and More:
The tortoises are always a big hit with kids and adults alike. Other sections host families of geese, seabirds. Another popular spot was where the various sharks were, including the Whitetip, Blacktip, Gray, and Zebra shark to name a few. .
Dolphinarium of the Valencia Oceanographic:
There is also a dolphin show that takes place two to three times a day and lasts about half an hour. No matter how you feel about animal captivity, the dolphins and other animals look well cared for and they serve an educational purpose through the numerous courses offered by the Oceanographic to students.
The Oceanographic Foundation:
The Foundation run by the Oceanographic serves a veterinary hospital that takes care of stranded animals and mammals that are eventually returned to their natural habitat post-rehabilitation. There are several other concurrent initiatives being carried out by the organization, including a sustainable seafood program, and of course research.
How long will you spend at the aquarium?
It is quite possible to make this a whole day outing, especially when you have kids in tow as they will surely love the animals and beautiful flowers. As adults, we spent almost five hours wandering the grounds. There are activities for kids throughout the day. What kid wouldn’t want to sleep with sharks? I would allow at least four hours minimum to really experience most of it.
Where To Eat:
After a full day of wandering around the grounds, it’s understandable that you would be feeling hungry. There are three or four restaurants serving anything from burgers to pizza in a family and casual atmosphere.
For a more unique experience, there is the Submarino Restaurant, which as its name suggests, you can dine with the fishes. A bit pricey, with set menus ranging from a wallet-busting €35-45 per person on weekdays, drinks not included. Nonetheless, it’s a once in a lifetime experience for many, so might be worth it.
One man’s vision:
The Valencia Oceanographic was designed by a Spanish architect by the name of Félix Candela and it fits right into the whole aesthetic of the cultural site namely the City of Arts and Science complex effortlessly. He is now a citizen of Mexico.
How to get to the Oceanographic in Valencia:
The bus numbers 35 and 95 lines will get you there from the city center area.
The metro lines 3, 5, 7, and 9 will get you close to there from the center, and you can walk the rest along the Turia. The stop is Alameda Station.
There is a dedicated parking structure, but it gets full during the busy seasons, so l wouldn’t recommend it, especially as parking can be up to €24 per day. Better to take a cab for less than half that amount.
Another option is to rent a bike from any one of the Valenbisi bike stations or bike rental shops that dot the landscape of the city. Ride along the nearest bike path for a scenic ride to the complex. The total cost per day is approximately €9. It’s a nice way to check out the city.
Oceanographic Entrance Fee:
The normal entry fee for the Oceanographic is €31.30, but it’s possible to get discounted tickets, either on Groupon or on their website with advanced purchase. All in all, it’s a good deal.
It’s free entry for children under 4 (and yes, you must prove it).
There is a discount of 15% for students and those over 65 or single parents and large families.
You can find other ticket options and combination ticket information on this website page.
You will find a visit to the aquarium quite pleasing. Valencia is a very family-friendly place and this is just one of the examples of the best places to visit. IVAM Museum is another wonderful place to spend some time. Another way to spend the day in Valencia is a visit to see the wonderful ceramic artistry in Manises.
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