The Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is a 350,000 sq. m leisure space that focuses on three main themes; art, science and nature. As well as the Oceanogràfic the site also includes the Hemisfèric, the Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe, the Umbracle and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía.
The Oceanogràfic is the largest complex of its type in Europe and it houses more than 45,000 specimens of 500 different species. They populate nine under water towers, structured on two levels that represent the most emblematic marine ecosystems on the plant.
The main areas of the Aquarium are:
Mediterranean - this shows the marine life of the Mediterranean in seven different aquariums.
Temperate & Tropical - Two huge aquariums show two ecosystems of temperate seas; the Californian coastal forests of kelp and the depths of the Izu peninsula in Japan. You can see numerous species as you walk through a 70 m underwater tunnel that joins the tropical and temperate areas.
Wetlands - A 26 m diameter sphere hosts two transitional ecosystems between sea and land; the tropical mangrove swamp and the Mediterranean marshland. A guide takes you into this area for a 10 minute tour where you can get close to the birds.
Central Lake - The central lake is clean and bright and it is home to cormorants, pelicans, ducks and swans.
Islands - Rocky islands are the home to South American Sea Lions.
Arctic - A huge igloo that is 12 m in height is the home of walrus and beluga whales.
Antarctic - Rocky cliffs are recreated here to provide a habitat for a colony of humboldt penguins.
Oceans - Two underwater towers joined by a 35 m underwater tunnel and filled with 7 million litres of water features bull sharks, grey sharks, various species of rays, sun fish and much, much more.
Red Sea Auditorium - It can house more then 400 people and it pays tribute to a sea that is considered one of the greatest marine treasures of the planet.
Dolphinarium - This is the largest in Europe and it has 5 pools that are filled with 26 million litres of water. The bottle-nosed dolphins are fabulous and the show is not to be missed. Have a look at the daily programme for the times and ensure you arrive early to get a seat.
The park is well laid out, the map is easy to follow and there are plenty of signs. All areas are clean and tidy and the animals are well kept.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the aquarium and would recommend it as a fantastic day out.
The aquarium is open Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00.
The tariff for the aquarium for 2008 is:
General € 23.30
Under 18s €10.90
You can pay in cash or with a debit/credit card.
If you purchase tickets for one of the other attractions on the site, eg the Hemisfèric, at the same time as you buy them for the aquarium, then it is better value for money.
When you purchase a ticket it includes a leaflet which details all the information about the park, the different exhibits and a map.
Restaurants - there are several restaurants/eating areas around the aquarium that cater for all tastes and budgets. The Submarino restaurant requires you to pre-book (Tel: 00 34 96 197 5565), the Océanos restaurant can seat you on the day, there is a self service area, a pizzeria and a hamburger bar.
Toilets - they are all clean and are situated at several locations around the aquarium. They include facilities for the disabled and nappy changing.
Information - there is an information desk situated in the entrance building.
Medical Service - medical assistance is available in the entrance building.
Cash Machines - there are three cash machines situated in the entrance building.
Lockers - lockers of various sizes are available with individual keys should you required one.
Telephones - telephones are situated in the entrance building.
Audioguides - audioguides are available from the information desk in the entrance building.
Lost Property - Should you lose or find anything, there is a lost property area in the entrance building.
Photo Souvenirs - these are available in the entrance building.
Digital Photo Printing - this is available in the entrance building.
Gift Shop - the gift shop is full of things you can purchase as a reminder of your day at the aquarium.
Dolphin Shows - there are various dolphin shows throughout the day, times depend on the season. Consult the daily programme and ensure to arrive in plenty of time to get a seat.
Animalia Passport - at weekends only you can get to know the dolphins and sea lions with the help of their keepers. It is from 11:45 am on Saturdays and Sundays and it lasts for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. A maximum of 10 people can take part and it costs €30 for adults and €15 for children. It is not necessary to purchase a general ticket for the whole park, but the price of this activity (without a general ticket) does not include a visit to the aquarium. Enquire for availability at the ticket windows and the information point or telephone 00 34 96 197 5500.
You are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, touch the aquariums, run or shout within the installations.
The use of a camera with flash is not permitted in the aquariums.
You are not allowed to enter the centre with food.
You are not allowed to throw food or objects to the animals.
Wearing a swimsuit or being bare-chested is not allowed.
You are not allowed to swim in any of the centre's installations.
Animals are not permitted into the centre, except for guide dogs.
No chewing gum is allowed.
If directed by one of the centre's staff, always do as they say.
Those in charge of organized visits, eg school groups, must keep the visiting group together and supervise them at all times.
The organization reserves the right to modify the films, activities or exhibitions programme.
If the maximum capacity of any of the facilities at the aquarium is exceeded, ticket sales will be discontinued.
It is recommended that you keep hold of your ticket throughout your visit to the complex.
If you wish to leave the aquarium and then return, go to the information point and you will be given an access bracelet.
All installations have elevators, ramps and/or stairs.
The centre does not accept any responsibility for objects lost inside the installations.
The installations are not connected inside, apart from the underwater tunnel areas.
Visit the aquarium's website. Continue>
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