Lisbon’s state-of-the-art Oceanário is not only the city’s top attraction but also the largest of its kind in Europe. Built as the centrepiece of the Expo ‘98 World Exposition, its aquariums represent the eco-systems of Antarctica, the Indian Ocean, Atlantic and Pacific.
The Oceanário de Lisboa houses some 15,000 living examples of marine flora and fauna from 200 different species, including devil rays, Queensland grouper and a variety of sharks (horn, leopard, whitetip reef, zebra, Port Jackson, sandbar, sandtiger and blacktip).
Visitors to the Lisbon Oceanarium are also promised a rare glimpse of the delightfully playful sea otter, the smallest marine mammal in the world and arguably the Lisbon Ocenarium’s star attraction.
The main tank holds enough water (5 million litres in total) to fill four Olympic-size swimming pools and can be viewed from both floors of the building through four curved panels, providing a 180-degree angle of vision that gives visitors the impression of being right inside the aquarium.
Built to an innovative design by American architect Peter Chermayeff, the building also houses an interactive exhibition related to all aspects of marine biology and underwater exploration.
To help people enjoy the very best that the oceanarium has to offer, the attraction’s management team runs an innovative entertainment programme with guided tours, birthday parties, concerts for small children, fado for kids and even a night’s sleep-in with the sharks available for locals and tourists alike.
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