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Lisbon Aquarium: Tips for Visiting the Oceanário de Lisboa

Last updated on August 22nd, 2022

The Lisbon Aquarium is a modern aquarium in Lisbon, Portugal. Since its opening in 1998, the aquarium has been visited by 1 million visitors annually, making it the most popular cultural attraction in Lisbon. Within the aquarium are more than a hundred species of marine life, including rays, sharks, penguins, and the rare sunfish. This guide will help you plan your visit to the Oceanário de Lisboa, including helpful tips, pricing, and how to get to the aquarium. 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of the Oceanário de Lisboa and the Lisbon Tourism Board. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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What is the Name of the Aquarium in Lisbon?

The name of the aquarium in Lisbon is the Oceanário de Lisboa. It is also known as the Lisbon Aquarium or the Lisbon Oceanarium. 

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About the Lisbon Oceanarium

The Lisbon Oceanarium is the largest aquarium in Europe, with millions of litres of salt water, and features one permanent and one temporary exhibit. There are tropical, temperate, and cold-water ecosystems to represent each of Earth’s oceans.

The aquarium opened as part of Expo’98 to demonstrate the bond between the city of Lisbon and the ocean. It marked the link between the past and the future and the importance of ocean conservation. 

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Lisbon’s Oceanarium consists of two connected buildings, the older Ocean building and the newer Sea building. You will find the permanent exhibit with the main tank in the Ocean building and the temporary exhibit along with the entrance at the Sea building. 

So, just how big is the Lisbon Aquarium? The main tank contains 5 million litres of salt water. Created by four marine habitats to create one sole ocean, the permanent exhibit features 8000 sea animals and over 100 species from four oceans. Since 2015, the temporary exhibit is Florestas Submersas, translating to Underwater Forest and designed by Takashi Amano. 

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Is the Lisbon Aquarium Worth Visiting?

In short, yes, the Lisbon Aquarium is worth visiting. Perfect for all ages, the oceanarium is worth a visit for those who adore marine life and ocean conservation. See the otters play, watch penguins waddle, and get lost in awe at the size of the main tank and its variety of marine life. And don’t forget to spot Dory and Nemo!

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Fun Fact: Focused on education and promoting ocean sustainability, the Lisbon Aquarium was the first aquarium in Europe to receive Quality, Environment, and Eco-management certificates. 

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Lisbon Oceanarium Price

An adult ticket for ages 13-64 is €19. There is a reduced price for those 65+ and under 12. Children under 2 are free. 

Oceanarium tickets can be purchased individually or as a combination ticket with the Telecabine Lisboa; this can save you money if you plan to visit both attractions. There is also an option for a guided tour of the aquarium for two people, available on their website; a guided tour must be pre-booked. 

Tip: If you have a Lisboa card, you will receive 15% off your admission to the aquarium. If you are inquiring about the Lisboa card, read my guide: Is a Lisboa Card Worth it? Review and What’s Included.

Oceanário de Lisboa – Hours of Operation:

Daily 10 am to 8 pm

Note: Last entry is at 7 pm.

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Do You Need to Book Lisbon Aquarium?

No, there is no reservation needed to enter the Lisbon Aquarium. Purchase your tickets from the ticket booth or pre-buy them online from their website.

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How Long Do You Need at the Lisbon Aquarium?

While people typically spend 1.5 – 3 hours at the Lisbon Aquarium, you can visit with more or less time. During my visit to the Oceanarium, I spent 2 hours exploring both the temporary and permanent exhibits. If you want to speed through, I would say it could be possible to view the whole aquarium in 1-1.5 hours. For a leisurely pace, allot 2-3 hours for your visit. 

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How to Get to the Oceanário de Lisboa from Downtown Lisbon

To reach the Oceanário de Lisboa from downtown Lisbon, you can take the metro, a taxi, or drive. It will take 20-40 minutes to get to the Lisbon Aquarium, depending on your transportation method. The best way to get there is by public transportation is by bus.

Bus Directions from Cais Sodré: 

  • Take the 728 – Avenida Dos Descobrimentos bus from Cais Sodré
  • Ride 21 stops
  • Exit at the Oceanário Lisboa stop
  • Walk about 5 minutes through the Park of Nations to arrive at the Oceanário de Lisboa

Oceanário de Lisboa

Address: Esplanada Dom Carlos I s/nº, 1990-005 Lisboa, Portugal

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Tips for Visting the Lisbon Aquarium

  • The best time to visit the aquarium is in the morning or late afternoon for a quieter visit. While the aquarium is enjoyable anytime during its operating hours, this is the best time to go for fewer people.
  • If you have a rainy day during your trip to Lisbon, the Aquarium is a good way to spend a day indoors.
  • Pre-book your ticket online to jump the queue, especially on a weekend. Weekends are the busiest days for visiting the Lisbon Aquarium, particularly in summer. There is a separate line for those with purchased tickets, so you can skip the buying line if you already have your entry ticket. 
  • Ensure your camera flash is off for photos. Flash photography is not allowed.
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Things to Do Nearby

Visiting the Lisbon Aquarium is a good way to spend an afternoon in modern Lisbon. Take a break from historic Lisbon, and see what’s going on in their beautiful modern waterfront area. Enjoy your visit.

Hope this information helped you plan your visit to the Oceanário de Lisboa – Lisbon Aquarium.

Happy travelling!

For more information on the Oceanário de Lisboa, check out their website

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