Admission prices, location, exhibited species, feasible activities, hours of work.
The Barcelona Aquarium is the most frequently attended attraction in the city. It can be proved by statistic data – annually more than two million people prefer to contemplate the marine inhabitants than, let’s say, to visit the museum of history or archaeology. We have nothing against either Picasso or Dali but even these highly respected Barcelonans give way to the popularity of the Oceanarium. The reason for this is the following: the Oceanarium contains over 8 thousand underwater species from all the seas and oceans of the world. It is even hard to imagine that the visitors can observe here 36 (!) types of sharks! Among the displays, there are electric skates, a moonfish weighing 900 kilos, molluscs, sea horses, different sea serpents and vile creatures. We do not exhibit only whales, killer whales and cachalot (sperm whales). Perhaps the project how to demonstrate these marine animals is maturing in the inventive Catalan minds.
The secret of the attractiveness of the Barcelona Oceanarium is not only in the richness of the exhibited marine fauna but also in the conditions, one can observe them. That’s why to enable the visitors to walk within the biggest aquarium, the architects constructed an 80-meter transparent tunnel provided with a special moving floor – revelator. The created effect makes us feel that it is not we who observe the sharks but the sharks observe us. One may fancy that the glass might break and the 50 thousand tons of water would wash people away. However, one needn’t worry – the strength of the oceanarium walls can weather the rush of a 25-meter-high tsunami. And as far as the oceanarium is located exactly in the harbour, the architects have put forward a unique way out of such hypothetical emergency situations. In case a 30-meter-high wave crushed the aquarium, then its marine inhabitants would be washed away not into the streets of Barcelona but they would swim away into their native habitat – seas and oceans. It shows that the Catalonians even in such catastrophic for humanity situations would think how to save their sea charges.
However, let’s not imagine such unreal cases. It would be better to admire the aquarium itself and to learn a few facts about its specifications. For example, it is known for certain that the oceanarium consumes as much electric energy as two such cities as Barcelona is. The continuously working generators, which create artificial waves should be fed, moreover, electric energy is needed to maintain adequate temperature and to feed musical equipment. It means that the upkeep of this huge construction is rather expensive and it directly affects the admission prices. Therefore the admission fee is for adults – 18 euros, for children from 5 to 12 years – 14 euros.
By the way, there is a special photo service: while the visitors are walking around the aquarium, hidden cameras take pictures and at the exit, one may buy photographs.
Besides the aquarium, there is an exhibition hall, all kinds of auditoriums and classrooms for lectures and instruction, a conservatory, a gift shop that is located on board the ship, which looks like Christopher Columbus’s one, and even a theatre for kids where they stage favoured by children the sea version of “Romeo and Juliet”.
Many people try not to miss the chance to visit the aquarium on the days when the sharks and other big sea animals are fed. The feeding process is rather a captivating sight but it happens once in three days, on the other days the fish digest the food.
For diving-fanciers (for 300 euros), they organize submerging into an aquarium with live sharks. While observing the sharks, one feels a more intensive splashing out of adrenalin than during a parachute jump, or while staying in a cage with a lion. However, this is another story, which may happen in another country. And as far as you are in Barcelona then enjoy the local sea-zoo and don’t feel scared of anything.
on week-days: 9: 30 – 21: 00
on days-off, also in June and September: 9: 30 – 21: 30
in July and August: 9: 30 – 23: 00
Moll d'Espanya del Port Vell, s/n
Tel.: (+34) 93 221 74 74
(+34) 628 26 59 08
Fax: (+34) 93 221 92 26