The aquarium of Genoa, ideal for a family outing and for all lovers of the marine world, it is first in Italy and second in Europe, only after the one in Valencia.
It offers visitors aextensive exposure of marine biodiversity and inside there are 70 tanks, 15.000 animals belonging to 400 different species and two large outdoor pools belonging to the Cetacean Pavilion designed by Renzo Piano.
Here is everything you need to know if you are considering organizing one visit to the Aquarium of Genoa: how to get there, prices and advice.
- Hours and prices
- Online tickets and guided tours
- What to see and how to visit Genoa Aquarium
- Where is it and how to get there
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Hours and prices
- January-February and November-December from Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 20:00, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 to 21:00; from March to June and September-October from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:00, Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 to 21:00; July, August, Easter and holidays from 8:30 to 21:00; 31 December from 9:30 to 16:30
- Best time to avoid queues: in the morning when it opens or around 15:00. It is also advisable to purchase the priority ticket to skip the queue
- there are many types of tickets at different prices based on the type of visit, also in combination with the other exhibition centers (Galata Museo del Mare, Nazario Sauro Submarine, Biosphere, Panoramic Lift); it starts from € 18,00 up to a maximum of € 44,00 for the ticket which also includes admissions to other attractions
- Reductions: children aged 4 to 12 pay a ticket of € 15,00; cumulative tickets are available for families with two children; There are reductions for the military, the over 65s and the disabled with certification
- Free: children from 0 to 3 years do not pay admission
- Aquarium of Genoa: priority ticket
Online tickets and guided tours
What to see and how to visit Genoa Aquarium
The Aquarium of Genoa is part of a path named "Acquario Village", which brings together different museums and attractions according to the edutainment style that combines information on marine ecosystems with play and fun.
Among these we find: the aquarium, Galata Museo del Mare and the Nazario Sauro submarine, The National Museum of Antarctica, Biosphere, Bigo the Panoramic Lift.
To visit the Aquarium yes follows a path structured in macro-areas which include the species of the Mediterranean Sea, Tropical Seas, Cold Seas, Brackish Waters, Tropical Fresh Waters and Tropical Forests; finally, you enter the Cetacean Pavilion.
Here is a list of areas not to be missed:
- Bay of Sharks: Many species of sharks live within this immense tank. Lights and sounds that muffle the room make this part of the itinerary very exciting.
- Isle of Seals: You can access this room from both the lower level which allows the underwater perspective and from the upper level to admire the seals as they come out of the water. Here live several specimens, some of which were found in the sea, others born in the aquarium.
- Room of Antarctica: Upon entering this room, the sensation is that of cold and frost since the walls are ice white and the pool reproduces the habitat of the Falkland Islands. Here live specimens of Gentoo penguins and Magellan penguins that dive from the rocks or walk with the typical funny pattern.
- Room of the Jellyfish: This room is characterized by circular tanks where jellyfish of different sizes, types and colors live.
- Seahorse tank: In this pool live the seahorses that hide in the aquatic vegetation.
- Hall of the Abyss: This room houses a permanent virtual reality installation that simulates the descent into the depths of the sea aboard a submersible. Just sit in an armchair and wear a visor to enjoy the dive.
- Pavilion of the Cetaceans: 4 pools structured on two levels that allow you to have an underwater view (and come face to face with the dolphins) and one from above.
This pavilion is located outside the Aquarium in a spherical glass structure, designed by Renzo Piano, which houses many marine and terrestrial species typical of the Mediterranean.
Inside is also the large tactile basin, where children and all visitors can pet the stingrays without harming these marine animals.
Galata Museum of the Sea
This museum is dedicated to the sea and the world of navigation; in the entrance, reconstructed like the old rooms of the Port of Genoa, precious documents and the famous portrait of Christopher Columbus are kept.
The route then continues in the armory of the Darsena where there is a faithful 1: 1 reconstruction of a Galea of the '600, on which you can climb to discover the life on board of slaves, convicts and those who formed the crew.
On the second floor is present the original raft where Ambrogio Fogar and Mauro Mancini remained at the mercy of the ocean for 74 days and here you can living in 4D a storm aboard a lifeboat.
Finally, on the third floor it is possible to "wear" the clothes of an emigrant through reconstructions of the environment, photographic testimonies, films and interactive stations.
Outside the Galata Museo del Mare, the submarine S 518 Nazario Sauro is moored inside the Darsena and can be visited in the water with a surcharge compared to the museum.
Submarine Nazario Sauro
The Nazario Sauro submarine, 64 meters long and 7 meters wide, is the war vessel launched in 1976 which has been in service in the Italian Navy since 1980 but you have never participated in actual war actions.
Since 2010 it has been located in the Darsena del Porto di Genova, in front of the Galata Museo del Mare, to which it belongs, and can be visited inside.
La visit begins with a Pre-Show on the third floor of the Museum that allows you to discover all the secrets of the submarine and interact with some instruments that are only partially usable or inaccessible on board.
Then, with a helmet on his head and an audio guide, you enter the submarine "parked" underwater in which the original noises and sounds are reproduced. You visit the stern with the engine room and the Marshals accommodation with 8 berths placed on two sides and, on the walls, some ravines where books and cassettes are stored for free time.
Going down a staircase you arrive in the mess hall, in the control room, in the officers 'and commanders' quarters and in the small meeting room. Finally there is a room with showers, toilets, torpedo tubes and an MK48 torpedo.
Please note:: the visit is forbidden to children under 4 years, to pregnant women and to people in wheelchairs.
Bigo the Panoramic Lift
This panoramic lift was designed by Renzo Piano taking inspiration from the cranes that load and unload goods from ships. The Bigo allows you to have a 360 ° overview of the city of Genoa and with the help of some photographic panels and an audio recording it is possible to admire the beauty of the "Superba".
On one side you can see the city, with its ancient buildings, the typical alleys and the bell towers that rise above the slate roofs; on the other hand, the port and the various piers.
The lift is open every day and goes up every 10 minutes, leading very slowly to a height of 40 meters.
Where is it and how to get there
- On foot: 17 minutes walk from Piazza Principe Station (1,3 km) and 9 minutes walk from Piazza De Ferrari (the city center, about 1,5 km) - Get directions
- By bus: from Genova Brignole station with bus numbers 12 and 13, which stop at Piazza Loading, near the Aquarium; for those arriving from the west, instead, it is necessary to take line 1
- By metro: the metro towards "De Ferrari" stops at San Giorgio station, 3 minutes walk from the Aquarium
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the entrance by 9:00 am to avoid queuing
- Buy the city card: if you are interested in visiting other museums or attractions in the city, you can buy the City Card and save on admissions - buy online
- Online ticket: buy the priority ticket to avoid the endless queues at the tills and also get some discounts
- Restrictions: dogs are not allowed to enter, the flash must not be used to take photographs, animals must not be fed, it is forbidden to knock on the glass of the tanks and it is strictly forbidden to smoke
- With small children: you can also enter the aquarium with strollers and prams and the bathrooms are equipped with changing tables for the little ones
- Minimum time: for the visit we recommend a minimum time of 2 hours and 30 even if in our opinion it takes half a day to enjoy this underwater world
- Bars and restaurants: inside the aquarium there is a well-stocked bar but those who want to bring something from home can consume it in the special areas
Curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
At the Aquarium of Genoa it is possible have several interesting experiences. Among these, surely the "Face to face with the dolphins" and the "Face to face .. with the penguins" are to be mentioned, where you can learn more about these fantastic animals and get closer to them. For the whole time of the experience you will also be accompanied by an expert guide ready to answer all your questions.
Do you want to give a special gift to someone special? At the aquarium it is possible to participate in romantic dinners with an exclusive menu and a spectacular location to say the least!
You can find information and prices on all experiences on the official website. Remember to book well in advance to ensure availability! Here are the main ones:
- every weekend and public holidays, every half hour from 10:30 to 15:30 it is possible to follow the "behind the scenes" path, where in the company of a guide you can learn about many curiosities about the life of the Aquarium of Genoa (additional cost per ticket € 8,00, € 5,00 for children).
- Upon reservation it is possible to take a 2-hour guided tour called "Face to face with the penguins" to discover the life and secrets of these funny animals.
- "Face to face with the dolphins", however, is the experience that allows you to have a close encounter with these cetaceans accompanied by expert personnel. You can access restricted areas and learn training notions and then actively participate in "game" sessions with animals (cost from € 99,00, by reservation).
- The Aquarium organizes "Emotional Dinners" on a Saturday a month: between the notes of a soprano and the sympathy of the dolphins, dinner is served in the cetacean room (cost € 80,00 per person).