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Comprehensive Guide to Genoa Aquarium | History, Exhibits, Visitor Information

Genoa Aquarium, Europe's largest marine museum, showcases 10,000 marine marvels across 71 tanks. Explore stunning biodiversity, from playful dolphins to majestic sharks, and journey through diverse underwater...

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3 hours




30-60 mins (Peak), 0-30 mins (Off Peak)

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Fun facts

Originally, the Genoa Aquarium was built for the 1992 World Expo to celebrate 500 years since the sailor Christopher Colombus discovered the New World.

The Aquarium's design is inspired by the nautilus shell, a beautiful seashell with a spiral chambered interior. This reflects the building's focus on showcasing the ocean's wonders.

The aquarium isn't entirely built on land, but partially also on a boat which is connected to the main building by a walkway.

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Entry tickets to the Aquarium of Genoa + The City of Children & Youth
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Aquarium of Genoa | Largest Aquarium in Italy

The Aquarium of Genoa is Italy’s largest aquarium, covering an area of approximately 33,000 square feet. The aquarium was first built for the Genoa Expo held in 1992, celebrating Christopher Columbus’s expedition to discover the world. 

Currently, it is one of the most popular attractions in Genova and sees over 1.2 million visitors every year.

Knowledge Graph

Genoa Aquarium
  • Type of Attraction: Aquarium
  • Location: Genova, Italy
  • Founded: 1992
  • No of species: 600
  • Total no of animals: 12,000
  • Number of visitors per year: 1.2 million

Why Is Genoa Aquarium A Must-Visit Attraction?

  • Visit Europe’s largest aquarium: Spread across a massive area of about 33,000 square feet, featuring the largest range of aquatic biodiversity in all of Europe.   
  • Over 500 species: See over 600 species of aquatic creatures and over 12,000 animals from across the world at the Genoa Aquarium.
  • Admire the Ship: Guests can visit a massive 100-meter-long ship that is connected by a walkway from the aquarium. 
  • Explore 13 Exhibits: Featuring 13 exhibits covering a range of habitats and environments, you can have a thoroughly enjoyable visit. 
  • Something for Everyone: From young children to adults, the exhibits are designed to attract and entertain guests of all ages!
  • See rare species: See rare sea creatures such as jellyfish, manatees, seahorses, and more!

Plan Your Visit to Genoa Aquarium

Where is Genoa Aquarium Located?
What’s Genoa Aquarium Opening Hours?
Genoa Aquarium

Address: Ponte Spinola, 16128 Genova GE, Italy [Find on Maps]

The Aquarium of Genoa is located on Ponte Spinola. It is located very close to the Ligurian Sea, in the port area of Genova. 

Genoa Aquarium

History of the Genoa Aquarium

Genoa Aquarium

The Aquarium of Genoa was originally built as part of the International Exhibition Genoa ‘92 - Colombo ‘92. The expo was to celebrate 500 years since Christopher Columbus’s expedition to discover the world. The aquarium is designed in the shape of a ship that is about to head out to sea. The aquarium was designed by renowned Genoese architect, Renzo Piano. The interiors of the building as well as some of the early exhibits were designed by Peter Chermayeff and his team from Cambridge Seven Associates. 

The original exhibit aimed to showcase the Ligurian Sea, as well as the Caribbean and North Atlantic reefs. Additionally, it also aimed to cover these areas over two time periods, one during Columbus’ expedition in 1942, and the second, a more ecological awareness from 1992.  

Exhibits at Genoa Aquarium

People watching dolphins in blue aquarium

The Blue Planet

The Blue Planet shows a sequence of breathtaking images, which show marine creatures from across the world. It highlights the importance of water, which is crucial for life. The video projects onto a massive map of the world, and talks about water distribution, oceans, and seas. The video highlights how water has been a crucial mode of communication for us to link with new civilizations.

The Morays Cave

The Morays Cave

A cylindrical tank that is 6 meters in height, the Moray Eel Cave is named after the menacing fish that live here. The tank also features some scorpion fish, which are lying at the bottom of the tank. You can also catch some incredible invertebrates - an octopus and seahorses!

The Mermaids Lagoon

The Mermaids Lagoon

The Mermaids Lagoon is home to incredibly friendly manatees. This section is named the mermaid's lagoon since it is quite likely that the manatees were what inspired the myth behind mermaids. These creatures are highly endangered and the Aquarium of Genoa is one of the few in Europe that houses this species. 

The Aquarium of Genoa - This is a Photograph of Sleeping with the sharks

The Sharks Bay

As the name suggests, The Sharks Bay is home to the largest predators of the sea. You can see numerous species of sharks from across the world, as well as many other types of fish. You can find sawfish native to the Western Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean on the seabed.

VR Aquarium - Deep Sea Room

Deep Sea Room

Experience virtual reality at its best in the Deep Sea Room and learn about the numerous animals that live in the depths of the ocean. The room features 8 seats with a Samsung Gear VR headset and a display, and you can experience 3 minutes of VR immersion. You will find yourself diving into the sea, and seeing different types of deep-sea organisms around you. 

young visitors enjoying virtual tank

Fish Making

Targeted at young visitors, Fish Making is a digital learning game. The room features 9 stations where visitors can choose from a range of colors, mouths, and fins, and then add a fish into a virtual tank. You will then find out if the fish is suited to its environment and learn about the various types of fish and their suitable habitats. 

The Seals Island

The Seals Island

You will find numerous species of seals from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the North Sea. Many of the seals were born in the aquarium itself, while others were rescued from the wild after being abandoned y their mothers. A small bridge is also present here, which is great for the seals to spend some time out of the water. 

Touching some species of skate

Biodiversity Pavillion

Guests will enter the Grande Nave Blu of the Aquarium, where you will first see the Blue Safari. Here you can touch some species of skate. You can also find sturgeons, which are an ancient species of fish. A learning space is also present here, where you can learn about the ecology and biology of corals with the aid of 3D reconstructions, videos, and animated films. 

Gecko in Tropical Forest

Tropical Forest

Tropical forests are home to more than half of the animal and plant species on earth. Located in the biodiversity pavilion, the African tropical forest exhibit has geckos, tortoises, frogs, and fish. You will also find the first plant wall that was made in Italy, which was created by architect Patrick Blanc. The wall consists of more than 150 topical plants that have been placed in cavities. 

Clown Fish or nemo in Genoa Aquarium

Tropical Routes

This is the last exhibit of the biodiversity pavilion and is dedicated to the naturalists and explorers of the past, such as Darwin, Humboldt, and Columbus. You’ll find freshwater and seawater habitats here. A tank featuring species of fish from the popular animated film Finding Nemo can also be seen here. 

Sparkling violetear

Tropical Garden - Wings flapping

Complementing the marine environment, the Tropical Garden is home to numerous tropical birds, amphibians, reptiles, and butterflies from Central America. You can walk through this area, and experience life as it would be in the heart of a tropical forest. 

World of Corals

World of Corals

Explore one of the most endangered marine ecosystems in the world - coral reefs. This exhibit features 3 small tanks. The first one depicts the fluorescence of corals, with the help of special lamps that imitate the conditions of a full-moon night. The other tanks have baby clownfish and cardinalfish, which are born in the aquarium itself. 

Dance of the Jellyfish

Dance of the Jellyfish

Discover the ancient secrets of the underwater world - jellyfish. This exhibit features 9 tanks with jellyfish species from across the globe. You can observe the first few stages of life of these ancient creatures while listening to an intriguing soundtrack and an eye-catching light system.

Frequently Asked Questions About Genoa Aquarium

Q. What is the Genoa Aquarium?

A. The Genoa Aquarium is the largest aquarium in Europe that is home to over 12,000 creatures.

Q. Why was the Genoa Aquarium built and for what purpose?

A. The Genoa Aquarium was built for the Genoa Expo held in 1992. It was built to celebrate 500 years after Christopher Columbus’s expedition to discover the new world.

Q. When did Genoa Aquarium open?

A. Genoa Aquarium opened in 1992.

Q. What is Genoa Aquarium famous for?

A. Genoa Aquarium is famous for being the largest aquarium in Italy, and for hosting over 12,000 animals of over 500 species. 

Q. What’s inside Genoa Aquarium?

A. Genoa Aquarium features numerous exhibits that house sea creatures, animals, plants, and birds from across the world.

Q. How do I book tickets to visit Genoa Aquarium?
Q. How much does it cost to visit Genoa Aquarium?

A. Tickets to Genoa Aquarium cost between 22 and 31 Euros depending on the exhibits you want to visit. 

Q. Where is Genoa Aquarium?

A. Genoa Aquarium is located at Ponte Spinola in the city of Genova. 

Q. What are the Genoa Aquarium opening hours?

A. The Genoa Aquarium is open every day from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Q. Is it worth visiting the Genoa Aquarium?

A. Yes, visiting Genoa Aquarium is definitely worth it. The chance to see over 12 exhibits and hundreds of species of sea creatures, animals, plants, and birds is a great experience!

Q. Is the Genoa Aquarium the biggest aquarium in Italy?

A. Yes, Genoa Aquarium is the biggest aquarium in Italy, as well as Europe. 

Q. How big is the aquarium in Genoa?

a. The Genoa Aquarium covers an area of 33,000 square feet.