Aquarium de Paris
This fascinating underwater world is home to 13,000 fish and invertebrates. The shark tank is massive (33 metres x 10 metres) and the jellyfish exhibit is the largest in the whole of Europe, with 50 different species to try and spot. And finding Nemo won’t be a problem here either!
The aquarium is honestly huge! It’s actually hard to believe just how many species of fish and other underwater creatures live here. Children and grown-ups alike are sure to be captivated by this underwater world.
The text on the signage is only provided in English, French and Spanish, while the aquarium website is still only available in French. And it’s such a shame that there aren’t any official feeding times.
If you don’t want to miss the mermaid shows, make sure you keep an eye on the website before your visit.
Trocadéro is the closest metro station, just a few metres away from the aquarium. You might as well make the most of the opportunity to take a nice photo of the Eiffel Tower before you dive in ;)
Last Modified: 31.01.2023 | Céline & Anne
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at a glance
EUR 19 for seniors, people with disabilities, students (present documents)
EUR 15 for children from 3 to 12 years
free admission for children under 3 years
*Official website: Morning tickets from €13. Booking in French.
EUR 26 from 13 years and adults
EUR 18.50 for kids aged 3 to 12 years
The activity’s program is geared towards children (mermaid show, movies with Simon Superbunny – who my kids love 😀 etc.).
You can find the current program on the aquarium’s website and Facebook page. Films are shown continuously in the children’s cinema.
What is there
There’s no question that the highlight is the massive tank slap bang in the middle of the aquarium. Measuring in at 33 x 10 metres, it holds three million litres of water and is home to five species of sharks in all shapes and sizes. As you walk around the aquarium, you’ll be able to see this main attraction from all different angles. The tunnel towards the exit is incredible. Don’t forget to look up and see if you can spot any sharks swimming over your head. There are clusters of smaller tanks all the way around the main tank, where you’ll find all kinds of sea creatures.
13,000 fish and invertebrates from all of the world’s oceans call the aquarium home, including 38 large sharks and 700 coral colonies.
The sharks aren’t the only star of the show, though. They have to share the stage with the jellyfish! After all, the Médusarium is the largest jellyfish exhibit in Europe, starring 50 different species and 2500 individual creatures. Have you ever seen these strange marine animals up close? Prepare to be amazed, especially since many of them glow under UV light. The comb jellyfish may look like they’ve been lined with LEDs, but they actually generate their very own rainbow of light as they float through the water.
And none of the other tanks disappoint either! Watch out for the moray eels, beaked salmon and flatfish, which blend in with the sand on the bottom of the tank so well that you can only really spot them when they move their eyes.
You might notice little rectangles hanging from bars or brackets in some of the tanks. They may not sound very interesting, but they are actually shark eggs! If you look more closely, you’ll be able to spot movement on the inside. Sometimes, you might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of freshly hatched baby sharks on the bottom of the tank.
Don’t worry about finding Nemo and Dory – there are schools of them around here. The tanks around the edge are home to loads of other brightly coloured fish, starfish and aquatic plants. It’s enough to have you dreaming of taking a dip in the tropical waters of the Southern Pacific Ocean. Don’t forget to look out for the cleaner fish – they’re the ones with long feelers. In the wild, they swim into the mouths of big fish to clean their teeth and gills. It’s an incredible symbiosis really when you consider that the cleaner fish don’t get eaten. In fact, marine biologists have observed queues of bigger fish waiting patiently for their turn at cleaner fish spots.
A bit of History
The Aquarium de Paris is the oldest aquarium in the world, having been built in 1867 for the Exposition Universelle. Before that, the space was taken up by quarries that once provided some of Napoleon’s troops with temporary accommodation.
The aquarium was originally underneath the Jardins du Trocadéro with an outdoor area. In fact, it was known as the Trocadéro Aquarium for a long while. It’s even said that this is where author Jules Verne got the inspiration for his book ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’. The aquarium was renovated in 1937 ready for the next Exposition Universelle.
For a long time, it was the largest aquarium in Europe, a title that has since been taken by the Monaco Aquarium. In 1984, the aquarium was forced to close for an extended period due to its worsening state of disrepair. Extensive renovation work was finished in 2006 and the aquarium spanning 3500 square metres now welcomes around 700,000 visitors every year.
Official website of the aquarium (FR): www.aquariumdeparis.com
Text and image rights: © Céline Mülich, 2020 – 2023
With the support of Anne Okolowitz