I am a travelling nerd. Apart from the joy of experiencing new places, I take great pleasure in learning more about the world in a deepr sense. How things funciton, what is the history of a certain place, why an exciting natural phenomennon looks this way? Biology was one of my all time favourite topics: especially when it comes to marine life. If it has to do with water, seas, oceans: I love it. So naturally: it was on my Bucket list to visit one of those great acquariums where you walk beneath the glass floor and can see all kinds of great ocean creatures roam above or around you.
The Largest Marine Complex in Europe
So when we chose to visit Valencia a couple of years ago, I was more than excited to see the famous El Oceanografico: the largest marine complex in Europe which represents all major water ecosystems in the planet: from the Mediterranean to the Artcic.
There are several parts of the complex dedicated to different geographic regions plus a dolphinarium, auditorium for lectures and short documentary screenings, a sphere with exotic bird species, and many more.
Like a kid lost in (underwater) candy shop
If you are about to visit the museum, don’t plan to mix it with many other activities during the same day: the plkace is really exciting to explore and if you want to enjoy it fully, it will take at least 4-5 hours.
If you want to truly make the most of it, there are also other really intriguing opportunities:
1.Sleep with the sharks
If you think school trips are dull, think again. The Oceanographic offers the opportunity to spend the night at the shark tank and get some thrills while you are learning more about these magnificent creatures
2.Dive with the sharks
If you want to up the stakes, you can actually have a (carefully controlled and supervised) dive and get your blood running on a whole new level of excitement
3. Become a trainer for a day
If you are really into marine life and love animals, the museum even offers you the option to become a Trainer for a day. You are trained by the staff to work with the animals, get a free dinner with your trainor, certificate for participation and a visit to the museum after you are done with your activities. It costs 225 EUR which is quite a lot for a casual interest, but if you are planning on working in this field or you are less price sensisitive my guess is that it will be a really exciting experience
Enjoy the wildlife outside in the bird sphere
There are also beautiful bird species and amphibians outside the acquarium so make sure your camera battery is fully charged: you will be taking quite a few shots.
✓Spring and Summer are quite busy and there are major queues in front of the Oceanographic museum so it is a good idea to come early or to book a ticket/visit online
✓Tickets are pricey (28.50 EUR for adults/24.50 EUR for students/21.50 EUR for children (4-12 years old) but the visit is really worth it, so plan to spend more time there to make the best of it
✓The whole City of arts and sciences is a great and exciting place to visit: the Museum of Science and the Hemispheric are worth visiting so a combined ticket for all three or 2/3 attractions might be a better option if you want to see the whole complex.
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