The silence in space can overwhelm us and make us feel terribly lonely. In contrast, the silence prevailing under water is, paradoxically, full of life - even in a situation where we dive very deep, and we are surrounded only by cold and darkness. However, we can see the vibrant, colorful world under the water surface not only in a scuba diver's outfit. It can be just as exciting to stand in front of giant shafts in one of Europe's many oceanariums. The largest and most famous ones offer tourists contact with the calmness of the oceans and the opportunity to observe the intense life of hundreds of marine creatures.
Number 3 - Oceanário de Lisboa
One of the most popular oceanariums in Europe is located in Lisbon. Oceanário de Lisboa was founded in 1998 and is visited by over a million tourists each year. As befits such a modern project, the aquarium is actively involved in educating the public - each visitor can not only admire the fauna and flora of the underwater world, but also learn how to care for nature. The building is divided into four zones around the central aquarium, each with two floors. Thanks to this, tourists can admire the beauty of fauna and flora from above and from under the water level. For example, in the part devoted to the Pacific Ocean we will see happy otters, Antarctica - penguins, and the Indian Ocean shows us a fabulously colorful landscape of coral reefs with amusing Fugu fish.
The biggest attraction of the aquarium is a gigantic reservoir (1,000 m² and 5,000 m³) with four massive shafts (49 m²). About 100 species of sea creatures from all over the world live in it. The temperature in the tank is kept at a level that allows the coexistence of tropical and moderate-temperature fish. We will see here, among others airy rays, pulsating shoals of tuna, looking like a single organism scattered in the water, and the outline of a shark silhouette gliding in the background. Not only the permanent inhabitants of the seas can swim in the reservoir, but also divers who want to feel like in a real ocean. For a ticket for a person aged 13-64 you have to pay from 13 to 16 euro (depending on whether you want to see all or only permanent exhibitions).
Number 2 - The Blue Planet
Another place that will delight every sea lover is the Danish aquarium The Blue Planet . It was established in 2013 near Copenhagen and is respected by its size - it consists of 53 aquariums in which 450 species of fish swim. The largest reservoir is a giant 8 meters high and 16 meters wide. Like its predecessor from Lisbon, its windows are made of extremely strong acrylic glass. The building itself catches the eye with its structure - its amazing shape resembles a ship of visitors from another planet.
We can also feel like we are on board a ship of aliens when we walk the corridors of a huge building. Streaks of light, playfully cast by shimmering water, move along the steel walls, and the dignified shapes of large fish move between the flickering petty items. Thousands of fish glide at the eye level of the onlookers, and also over their heads - some of the aquariums are located in the vaults of the exhibition halls . Observers can see for themselves how small they are compared to, for example, sharks.
Experts estimate that the aquarium's offer will attract approx. 700 thousand people each year. tourists. Tickets for adults cost DKK 160 (about PLN 90), and for children - DKK 95.
Number 1 - L'Oceanogràfic
The Spanish L'Oceanogràfic proudly holds the leading position on the list of the largest oceanariums in Europe. We can find them in Valencia, and in addition to the aquariums themselves, the complex also includes a dinosaur park, a cinema and the Science Museum. Opened in 2002, L'Oceanografic fully deserves to be called a giant. It consists of nine two-level towers inhabited by 500 species (45,000 animals). There are ten thematic areas - including the Antarctic, Arctic, Red and Mediterranean seas. In addition to fish, we will see sharks, walruses and penguins there.
The queen of oceanariums tempts not only with the richness of flora and fauna in her aquariums. Tourists are also attracted by a huge dolphinarium and an underwater restaurant . It is located in the middle of the lake and consists of two levels. In the lower one, the "hall" is made of huge glass panes, so you can eat dinner in front of a thousand sea creatures.
A trip to L'Oceanogràfic is not cheap but definitely worth the money. Admission costs range from 21.00-27.90 euro. Tickets are valid for 1, 2 or 3 days, and it is best to make reservations about 2 days before the planned visit - this is especially important in the season, when the aquarium is crowded with tourists.
The underwater world behind the glass
If, due to lack of time or other reasons, we cannot afford to visit the aquarium, during a visit to Berlin, we can take advantage of the opportunity to see the world's largest cylindrical aquarium. We are talking about the stunning AquaDom at the Radisson Blu Hotel Berlin in the Mitte district. In the middle of the structure, an elevator glides, so you can combine business with pleasure and take a ride, while admiring 97 species of fish swimming behind the glass.
There are a few more, maybe not as impressive as the three described above, but also wonderful oceanariums in Europe. It is worth getting acquainted with them, because thanks to this, we will be able to relax in front of huge windows, calm down and forget about the busy world outside the walls of the building.
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