The Oceanário de Lisboa is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe and is located on the former EXPO site directly on the Tagus. The building is surrounded by water and was built on the occasion of the world exhibition, which had the theme of oceans in 1998.
What is special about this aquarium?
The heart of the Oceanários is the huge water basin, which has a capacity of more than 5 million liters of salt water and a depth of 7 meters. Around 100 different species of fish swim in this main attraction, which includes sharks, rays, barracudas and tunas. Those in charge of the Oceanários are particularly proud of the gigantic moonfish, which is kept in only a few aquariums worldwide. On two floors, visitors can observe the sea dwellers from all perspectives. The dimensions of the tank are so large that the opposite side cannot be seen. The floor-to-ceiling glass panes create the impression of being part of the underwater world yourself. In addition, the interior of the building is designed in such a way that visitors can withdraw into separate alcoves to view the fascinating and colourful world of fish in complete peace and quiet.
In total, about 500 different species of marine life live in the Oceanário. In addition to the main tank, fishes from all oceans are presented in smaller aquariums. Another part of the exhibition shows beside the underwater world also the animals that are typical for the different regions of the earth. For example, one section is dedicated to the Antarctic with its penguins, and other areas provide information about the flora and fauna of different climatic zones and habitats. Seabirds, amphibians and mammals cavort in the overwater world. The animal stars thus include puffins, frogs, salamanders and sea otters.
Ecology and environmental protection
The central theme of the Oceanários is the protection of the seas. For this reason, regularly changing special exhibitions are presented and interesting guided tours for children and adults are offered.
A few years ago a separate building was opened, which can be reached via a footbridge from the main building. Here there is an auditorium which is used for workshops and information events. There is also a restaurant in this part of the complex where visitors can enjoy culinary delights after a few exciting hours in the Oceanário.
The Oceanário de Lisboa is one of the most important sights of the city and should be on the sightseeing program of nature and animal lovers during a trip to Lisbon.