Since we are living in Portugal we thought it would be a good idea to recount our adventures in an occasional series we call Portugal Day Trips. We will be continually adding to this feature, so please check it out and if you have any suggestions for more out of the way places to visit in Portugal, please let us know.

A fun way to spend a few hours when it’s too hot or raining or just for something different to do, head to Lisbon’s Oceanarium. Probably best to avoid weekends and if, like me, you are allergic to children, probably best to avoid school holidays too.

Selfie with Sharks at Oceanário de Lisboa (Oceanarium)
Selfie with Sharks at Oceanário de Lisboa (Oceanarium)

The Oceanarium is the second largest aquarium in Europe. What’s the first? I hear you cry, well that would be L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia, Spain. But back to Lisbon, the Oceanarium is located in the Parque das Nasções district which is easily accessible by car, bus, metro or boat.

Oceanário de Lisboa (Oceanarium)
Sea Otters Being Fed at Oceanário de Lisboa (Oceanarium)

Tip: Book your tickets online to avoid the long queues.

It features a gigantic central aquarium tank that can be viewed from two different floors and at various different angles and hosts hundreds of species including sharks, manta rays, and tropical fish. And when I say massive, it’s more than two storeys high and filled with five million litres of water. What I liked most about the Oceanarium was the way they focused on marine conservation and education. Refreshingly, you aren’t going to find performing dolphins or whales here.

See also:

Also, the Oceanarium features recreations of various ecosystems – the Antarctic featuring penguins, and it was rather chilly in there! Plus the oh so cute sea otters in the Pacific section.

Penguins at Oceanário de Lisboa (Oceanarium)
Penguins at Oceanário de Lisboa (Oceanarium)

Definitely worth a visit.

Click here for more information about Lisbon’s Oceanarium including operating hours and prices.

(Words by Sarah Wilson, Photos by Jonathan Look, Jr.)

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