Organize with us your visit to the Aquarium of Genoa: all the info and tickets to immerse yourself in the wonders of the sea.
The Aquarium of Genoa is the largest aquarium in Italy and the second in Europe: inaugurated in 1992 on the occasion of the Expo and subsequently expanded with new tanks and animal species, it is undoubtedly one of the main tourist attractions of the city.
Located in the Old Port of Genoa, it is one of the richest in Europe in terms of aquatic biodiversity and hosts over 70 ecosystems and about 12,000 specimens from all the seas of the world. In this article we will tell you about the main curiosities of the aquarium, its main educational and conservation activities, and all the practical aspects to better organize your visit in this fantastic underwater world.
Aquarium of Genoa: useful information for the visit
The Aquarium of Genoa is located in the Old Port and is easily accessible by car, train, bus or metro: it is open every day at different times depending on the season, so it is advisable to inquire beforehand on the official website.
To reach the Aquarium by car: exit at Genova Ovest and follow the signs for the Centre. You will have to drive along Via Milano and Via Gramsci to the Area Porto Antico: before the underpass turn right to reach the parking lot of the aquarium.
To reach the aquarium by train: you can choose between the two main stations of Genoa, Piazza Principe and Brignole. From Piazza Principe, the aquarium can be reached on foot in about 15 minutes, or by bus 32, or the metro to San Giorgio station. From Brignole, the most convenient way is to take the metro towards Brin and get off at San Giorgio.
To reach the aquarium by bus: there are several lines that pass close to the Aquarium, one of the most convenient is the 1, which starts from the Maritime Station and reaches Piazza Caricamento, a few steps from the aquarium. Other lines that stop nearby are 13, 32 and 343.
The nearest metro stop is San Giorgio, on the green line (L3). From there you can reach the aquarium on foot in a few minutes.
You can buy your entry ticket online in advance: combined tickets are also available that include entry to other attractions in the Old Port, such as the Biosphere, the Lighthouse or the Galata Museum or that include participation in specific activities.
To visit the Aquarium of Genoa you must provide a minimum time of about two and a half hours.
Aquarium of Genoa: curiosities
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The Aquarium of Genoa houses over 15,000 specimens belonging to 400 different species, including Fish, Molluscs, Cetaceans, Turtles, Seals, Papua and Magellanic Penguins, Cuvier Dwarf Caimans, Sega Fishes and Piranhas. It is one of the main tourist and cultural destinations in Italy after the Vatican Museums, the Pompeii Ruins, the Doge’s Palace in Venice, the Monumental Complex of Santa Croce and the Uffizi Gallery.
The Aquarium was designed by the Genoese architect Renzo Piano, who wanted to create a work that would become an integral part of the city, breaking down the "borders" that kept the Genoese away from the docks for many years. Today the Port area has become an area to live, rich in cultural spaces and events.
The interior architecture of the Aquarium is the work of the American architect Peter Chermayeff, who wanted design an exhibition path to involve the visitor as if he were really underwater: for children have been designed special adventure paths that allow to discover the pools and animals from a different perspective.
The Biosphere is a spherical structure of glass and steel designed by architect Renzo Piano: its aim is to make known the biodiversity of tropical forests, delicate ecosystems threatened by human exploitation. Inside there are many plant and animal species: among the plants you can admire tree ferns, orchids, passiflore and rubber trees, while among the animals there are specimens of Cockatoo delle Molucche, Marsh Turtles, Scarlet Ibis and many other species of birds.
Genoa Aquarium, what to see around: Galata Museo del Mare e sottomarino Nazario Sauro
The Galata Museum is located in the heart of the old port of Genoa in Palazzo Galata, a historic building part of the ancient arsenal of the Republic of Genoa, and was inaugurated in 2004 on the occasion of Genoa European Capital of Culture.
Designed by Spanish architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, it is the largest and most innovative maritime museum in the Mediterranean. The museum tells the story and imagination of the sea navigation through objects, paintings, models and scenic reconstructions of boats which can be visited in an interactive way.
The museum also houses sections dedicated to migrations and the submarine Nazario Sauro, the only one in Italy that can be visited at sea: this diesel-electric boat of the Italian Navy, founder of the Sauro class, built in 1976 and abandoned in 2002, offers an immersive experience that allows you to discover the craft of submariners.
Cumulative tickets are available to visit the Aquarium, the Museum of the Sea and the Submarine with a single pass, avoiding wasting time in queues.
Aquarium of Genoa, experiences: the cruise to observe the whales
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Maybe you don’t know that the Aquarium of Genoa organizes many activities, both for adults and children, that allow you to know even better the sea and its wonders: one of the most exciting experiences is definitely the whale watching excursion in the open sea.
The Cetacean Sanctuary of Genoa is a protected marine area that extends for about 100,000 km² in the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, between France, Italy and the Principality of Monaco. It is home to a rich biodiversity of marine species, including 8 species of cetaceans: common whale, sperm whale, pilot whale, gramps, striped dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin and ziphium. Established in 1999 by the Pelagos Agreement between the three neighbouring countries, it aims to protect and preserve cetaceans and their natural habitat.
The whale watching cruises are an activity that combines a visit to the aquarium with a boat trip on the routes of marine mammals. The cruises leave from the Old Port of Genoa and have a duration of approximately 4 hours. During the trip, you can observe the cetaceans with the help of expert guides and acoustic detection instruments. Cruises are available from April to October, with departures every Sunday and some weekdays.