Things to do in London

Explore an underwater world at the Sea Life London Aquarium

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Considered to be one of the top cities in the world for tourists, London draws around 20 million tourists every year owing to its dazzling blend of history and modernity. It houses a good number of attractions that are worth checking out including The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Tower Bridge, Madame Tussauds, The Shard, and many more. A relatively newer attraction in the city (just over a couple of decades old) is Sea Life London Aquarium. This is your chance to get up close with the marine life like never before when you’re in the city. Spread over 3 floors, check out several aquatic species such as seahorses, pipefishes, sea dragons, luminous jellyfish, and even anthropomorphic penguins with an opportunity to feed them too. Also, learn how you can do your bit to conserve 75% of the world’s coral reefs that are often under human threat. In this guide, we will discuss how you can purchase Sea Life London Aquarium tickets online, the different creature zones at the aquarium, and other essential information.

History of the Sea Life London Aquarium

Sea Life Aquarium London tickets

While the aquarium was officially opened in March 1997 and attracted plenty of visitors in its first decade of operation, it gained greater prominence in 2005 when it displayed three robotic fish designed and created by the department of computer science at the University of Essex. Merlin Entertainments bought the attraction in April 2008 and was closed for refurbishment works costing £5 million. When it reopened exactly a year later in April 2009, the additions included a brand new underwater tunnel, a renovated Pacific Ocean tank (and a total reroute of the exhibit), and Shark Walk, all of which were accomplished under the watchful supervision of architects Kay Elliott. Also, the attraction became a Sea Life Centre at the time of its reopening.

The month of May in 2011 saw the opening of a new penguin exhibit, with 10 gentoo penguins having been transferred from the Edinburgh Zoo. The aquarium took up a different location in County Hall in 2015, when Shrek’s Adventure London was opened.

Fun Facts About Sea Life London Aquarium

  • Sea Life London houses one of the world's largest collections of Cownose rays.
  • There are two classrooms at the aquarium (themed around the concept of conservation) which host around 40,000 children each year.
  • The aquarium also involves itself in various breeding programs including that of seahorses, jellyfish, Cuban crocodiles, and butterfly goodeids, amongst other species.
  • It is closely associated with quite a few conservation organizations such as Shark Trust, Save Our Seas, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

Sea Life London Aquarium Tickets - Available Options

Sea Life London Aquarium - Creature Zones

Shark Walk

Atlantic Coasts


Open Oceans & Ship Wreck

Nemo's Coral Reef

Seahorse Kingdom

Rainforests of the World

Penguin Point

Conservation Cove

Ocean Invaders

Polar Adventure

Sea Life Aquarium London tickets

Sea Life London Aquarium Tickets - Useful Information


Monday to Friday: 9:30 AM to 7 PM, last admission at 6 PM
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30 AM to 7 PM, last admission at 6 PM

Note: Timings are subject to change.

Getting There

  • By Bus: Get off at St Thomas' Hospital County Hall. The aquarium is a 3-minute walk from the bus stop.
  • By Subway: Get off at Waterloo Underground Station. The aquarium is a 6-minute walk from the stop.

Miscellaneous Info

  • Sea Life Aquarium is wheelchair accessible across all levels.
  • The aquarium follows a strict no eating & drinking policy. However, there are plenty of eateries in the vicinity that you can head to before or after your visit.
  • Photography is allowed for personal use although the use of tripods and flash are not permitted.
  • Purchasing Sea Life London Aquarium tickets online is the most viable option if you wish to save more time and skip queues.
Sea Life Aquarium London tickets

Sea Life London Aquarium - Reviews

As Merlin Pass holders we've visited a few sea life centres, and this was certainly a level above the other (admittedly smaller ones) we have been to. Loads to see, including penguins and a section on the Amazon as well as the usual suspects like the chance to stroke starfish. One critique: I do wish Sea Life centres would put all their species placards and descriptions in static writing around the tanks rather than on tv/iPad type screens that sometimes change and you have to power read though! We enjoyed this (admittedly we might not have quite as much at full, on the day price) and if you have kids that are into animals or marine life etc, they definitely will do too.


July 2019, TripAdvisor

Amazing attraction filled with aquatic life. The best for me was the array of jellyfish. The kids loved walking over the tank and seeing the sharks beneath them. The penguins are a nice addition with one reminding us of ‘happy feet’. Very busy though.

Karina G

July 2019, TripAdvisor

Read more Sea Life London Aquarium reviews on Tripadvisor and learn what other visitors have to say about the attraction.

Other London Attractions In The Vicinity

Looking to explore other nearby attractions? Here are a few detailed guides on a few other attractions in London that are located near Sea Life Aquarium. Check them out and have a great trip to London!

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