We have been to loads of oceanariums over the years. Some of them feel like it is all about exploring the fishes and animals for our amusement. Some of them feel like they are trying to make a change – to educate people! The oceanarium is Lisbon is such a place, they will educate you!
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The Oceanarium in Lisbon – a learning place
Having 7 500 000 liters of water shows how huge this place is. To keep this place going they have to take 200 water tests each day and there are several “chefs” that work there just to prepare the food for all the fishes.
There are 15 different types of sharks here. My favorite was by far their Zebra Shark. I have heard of tiger sharks but it was the first time I saw a Zebra shark. It turns out that they are bottom dwellers and slow swimmers that spend most of their time at the bottom. No need to fear a Zebra shark attack! And since Mini and I both are divers – we both felt the urge to book some diving soon!
Seeing the Sunfish for the first time
At a first glance, I was sure that I was looking at a fish that had been through something dramatic and traumatic. It had survived and was now swimming inside the aquarium without a “but”. Turned out that I was wrong. I was looking at a sunfish and that’s just the way their look!
Ocean Sunfish are the largest bony fish in the world. They can become more than three meters in length and weigh more than two tons (2 000 kilograms). This fish often lies on its side on the surface to sunbathe. This behavior helps it to adjust the body temperature and it also allows birds to pick parasited of its skin.
Information from a sign at the oceanarium.
The sunfish that was in the aquarium was not that big (obviously) but it was so strange-looking that it was hard to grasp what you were seeing! Note to self: Find a sunfish while diving!🦂
Educating children and learning us about the ocean
How awesome would it be to spend a night at the oceanarium? I would love to get my sleeping bag and spend a night in front of the huge aquarium. And if you are a child you can do it. The Oceanarium in Lisbon arrange sleepovers for children. I can’t even imagine how peaceful I would feel if I got to spend a night there
but not with the children.
When you walk inside the oceanarium you hear the sounds of the ocean. I love when they put the perfect sound effects – not to loud and not to much. It makes the walk around a lot better even if it’s a small detail that I believe a lot of people don’t even notice.
A huge aquarium in Lisbon
The whole oceanarium is built around one huge aquarium that you circle around during your visit. Since this place is very popular and it often has loads of visitors we will give you a tip. Don’t wait in line to see the huge aquarium when you enter. There are a lot of people there and since you will see the huge aquarium from all different angles there is no need to stand in line here. Even if the place often is crowded you will find your quiet place near the great aquarium where you can sit down and just watch the beauty of whats in the water.
You will also find some penguins, birds and critters like frogs. However, you will not find any dolphins or animals that should not be kept captive! They have the cutest toad that looks like a cat. It was way to dark there to get a good picture but be sure to check it out during your visit.
Visit the temporary exhibition
Temporary exhibitions are a very common thing in a museum. But we have never heard of a temporary exhibit at an oceanarium. But they have one and it is awesome! It was called Forests underwater by Takashi Amano and this was where me and my mom found paradise. Music and an aquarium that covers a whole room made me want to put on my wedding dress and just walk around in there.
In the commercial for the temporary exhibit there is nothing about walking around in wedding dresses but I guess “to each his own”.
Presents nature in a unique setting. Stray into a masterfully crafted natural world, the visitor will perceive the balance within the tropical forests universe. The masterpiece aquarium assembled by Takashi Amano combined with sounds of the forest and the most beautiful music composition by Rodrigo Leao, recalls to the origins of life, reviving memories and awakening emotions.
From the information about the temporary exhibition Forests Underwater.
What we loved about the Oceanario de Lisboa
Our favorite part was by far that this place has focused on fishes and don’t trap dolphins, whales or orcas for our amusement. They have a huge section that we are not allowed to see and they breed different fishes and jellyfish. You come here to watch the aquariums but you end up learning while here. Make sure to watch the movie that is played there because it is really interesting and informative.
And yes the entrance fee is quite expensive. A regular ticket will set you back 18 euros for both the permanent and the temporary exhibition but it is well worth it.
Information about Oceanario de Lisboa
Address: Esplanada Dom Carlos I s/nº, 1990-005 Lisboa, Portugal.
Opening hours: During the winter 10.00 – 19.00. During the summer 10.00 – 20.00. Last entry is one hour before closing but you will need more than an hour to see everything.
Entrance fee: 18 euros per person (2018).