Are you ready to dive into the depths of the world's best aquariums? We've scoured the globe to bring you the top 13 spots to experience sea life like never before. From mesmerizing jellyfish displays to the majesty of enormous whale sharks, each aquarium offers something unique and breathtaking. Imagine wandering through a submerged tunnel, surrounded by shimmering schools of fish, or getting up close and personal with playful dolphins. If you're a lover of marine life, then visiting the best aquariums around the world should be on your bucket list!
1. Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta
📍 Georgia, USA
Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium is among the world’s largest aquariums featuring more than 11 million gallons of water and over 500 different species. You can see whale sharks, beluga whales, and manta rays up close in the Ocean Voyager exhibit. The aquarium also offers behind-the-scene tours, animal encounters, and even sleepovers for a truly immersive experience. Georgia Aquarium also features the largest aquatic habitat in the world, the Ocean Voyager. You can also watch the sea otters and penguins who are so playful.
2. S.E.A. Aquarium
S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore is not only one of the largest but also one of the most impressive aquariums in the world. The aquarium is home to over 100,000 marine animals, including more than 1,000 species from different regions across the globe. It boasts of 45 different habitats that give visitors a glimpse of the underwater world like never before. The aquarium has 10 different zones, each with a distinct underwater environment that ranges from the tropical coral reefs to the chilly Antarctic ocean.
3. Dubai Aquarium
📍 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is a must-visit when in Dubai. It houses over 140 species of aquatic animals, including the world's largest collection of sand tiger sharks, and boasts a 10 million liter tank with over 400 sharks and rays. The aquarium also features three large ecological zone exhibits, each with unique marine life. However, the highlight of the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is the 48-meter-long aquarium tunnel that takes visitors on a mesmerizing journey 11 meters below the aquarium's surface.
4. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
📍 Osaka, Japan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan in Japan is one of the most impressive aquariums in the world and is worth a visit for any tourist. The aquarium showcases the aquatic animals of the Pacific Rim in amazing recreations of their natural habitats. The aquarium houses 620 species of marine animals, including hammerheads, octopuses, loggerhead turtles, and the world’s largest fish, the whale sharks. The aquarium offers an unforgettable experience through its 16 main exhibits and 27 tanks, which recreate specific regions of the Pacific Rim.
📍 Valencia, Spain
As the largest aquarium in Europe, Oceanográfic in Valencia, Spain offers tourists an unparalleled opportunity to explore the world's major ecosystems and see unique marine animals up close. With over 45,000 animals and 500 different species, the aquarium spans an impressive 110,000 square feet in size, comprising nine two-tiered underwater towers. As tourists walk through the aquarium, they will witness diverse marine life, including belugas, sea lions, penguins, rays, jellyfish, and the rare oceanic sunfish. The aquarium even has a walk-in see-through shark tunnel, which is one of the best in the world.
6. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
📍 Okinawa, Japan
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium massive aquarium is the ideal destination for travelers who enjoy experiencing the magic of the ocean. where you'll witness some of the most fascinating marine life creatures on the planet. Here you can witness up to 740 species, including the majestic whale shark, along with manta rays and dolphins. The Kuroshio Sea exhibit is a must-see, where you'll witness the peaceful movements of whale sharks and manta rays in their natural habitat. If you're a turtle lover, don't miss the Sea Turtle Museum, where you can get up close and personal with hawksbill and loggerhead turtles!
7. The Monterey Bay Aquarium
📍 California, USA
Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of California's top attractions that should be on every tourist's bucket list! As you walk through the doors, you'll be transported to an underwater paradise filled with mesmerizing creatures from the deep. With over 35,000 animals on display, including sea otters, sharks, and penguins, there's something for everyone here. Don't miss the Kelp Forest exhibit, where you'll witness one of the tallest aquarium exhibits in the world! And be sure to catch the 'Into the Deep' exhibit, where you'll be amazed by the bioluminescent creatures living in the depths of the North American oceans.
8. Nausicaá Aquarium
📍 Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Nausicaá is one of the largest and most amazing public aquariums in Europe! Located in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, Nausicaá is home to at least 1,600 species of animals and 60,000 animals in total. With its mission of bringing ocean life to society, Nausicaá offers an entertaining, educational and scientific visit, raising public awareness about the need to act responsibly towards the world's seas. The aquarium's 18-meter-long submarine tunnel has a panoramic and immersive view of fascinating wildlife. You can admire the immense variety of sea life, including giant manta rays, penguins, sea lions, and more.
9. Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
📍 Toronto, Canada
Ripley's Aquarium of Canada is located in the bustling city of Toronto. As you enter, you will be mesmerized by the underwater world of over 450 species of exotic sea and freshwater creatures from around the globe. The aquarium houses a staggering 5.7 million liters of marine and freshwater habitats, so prepare to be amazed! Wander through ten galleries and experience firsthand the different ecosystems, from Canada’s rocky shores to the magical reefs of the tropics. Don't miss the mesmerizing jellyfish exhibit or the vibrant neon-colored fish in the Rainbow Reef Gallery.
10. Blue Planet Aquarium
📍 Ellesmere Port, England
This sprawling aquarium that first opened to the public in 1998 is the largest of its kind in North West England and is home to an impressive array of marine and freshwater fish species. With immersive exhibits, talks, and demonstrations, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience underwater. One of the highlights of the aquarium is the 71-meter underwater tunnel, where you can walk through and admire the stunning sea creatures swimming all around you. From tropical rivers, lakes, and ponds to seas and oceans, each themed area has something unique to offer.
11. Barcelona Aquarium
📍 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona Aquarium is where you can discover the rich biodiversity and conservation efforts of marine ecosystems. You'll be amazed by the diverse collection of over 11,000 sea animals representing 450 species. The famous oceanarium, with its 80-meter long underwater tunnel, is an unparalleled encounter with sharks, rays, morays and other species. But that's not all, our aquarium features 35 aquariums each dedicated to the different habitats, animals and plants that are characteristic of each bathymetric zone. You'll also find a gallery of tanks featuring the most representative tropical seas of the planet.
12. Aquarium de La Rochelle
📍 La Rochelle, France
With over 73 displays and more than 12,000 marine animals from the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Tropics, this private aquarium is a must-see for anyone who loves nature. Founded in 1970 by René Coutant, and developed by his children, Roselyne and Pascal, the aquarium has become a true institution. This place is perfect for a family outing or a solo adventure, with so much to see and learn. Take a two-hour journey into the heart of the ocean and be mesmerized by the diversity of sea life.
13. Sydney SEA Life Aquarium
📍 Sydney, Australia
Sydney SEA Life Aquarium, located in Darling Harbour, is not only a research center but also home to over 700 different species of aquatic animals. With so much to explore, you could easily spend an entire day here. While there are plenty of attractions to explore at the aquarium, the resident dugong named Pig is undoubtedly one of the main highlights. These mammals typically reside in warm, shallow waters, making them difficult to spot in the wild. But here at the aquarium, you'll be treated to an up-close-and-personal encounter with this unique creature.