The Genoa Aquarium is the largest aquarium in Italy and one of the best we have visited around the world. We have been there three times, and I’d say it’s a must-stop for anyone visiting the city. The first two times when the kids were younger, and recently now that they are in their teens. On all three occasions, we had an amazing experience. Obviously, young children love the Aquarium (especially the touch pool section), and there are routes designed for the little ones, but it can also be an informative and fun experience for the whole family.
How much time you need to visit
The visit has no time limits, and you can stay there as long as you wish. However, if you plan on going through pretty quickly and not spending too much time watching, I’d say you need at least a couple of hours. The last time we were there, we spent a whole morning wandering around calmly, taking photos, and reading all the information in each section. Some of the tanks are huge and have excellent viewing, often from above water and below water. The visit itinerary is divided into pavilions and thematic sections, where you can see manatees, penguins, dolphins, sharks, seahorses, and many other aquatic species, as well as reptiles, birds, and amphibians.
I recommend visiting the Aquarium in the morning, as there are generally fewer people, and, if possible, avoiding weekends and peak times. If you leave in time for lunch, there are plenty of good restaurants and bars in the old port and nearby old city centre where you can try some of the delicious local dishes. If you have the afternoon free, you can visit the other attractions close to the Aquarium, such as the biosphere, museums, and the panoramic lift.
Tips for visiting Genoa Aquarium
An important tip is to try buying the tickets online, in advance, especially during the holiday season, where super-crowded days are common, and waiting in line can be quite exhausting. In addition to the standard entrance ticket, it is possible to book a whole series of guided tours in the company of Aquarium biologists to deepen your knowledge of marine species and the projects carried out by the Aquarium Foundation. We haven’t done any of those yet, but you can book and find all the information on their website.
If you have backpacks or heavy items you don’t want to carry around, you can always leave them in the locker room located immediately after the entrance. We brought a bottle of water with us as we knew we’d spend a long time there, but approximately halfway along the visit route, there’s a refreshment area with a bar and restaurant. Along the route, there are also several toilets and rest areas. It’s important to mention that it’s a wheelchair-friendly attraction with special lifts for disabled visitors.
Last but not least, the Genoa Aquarium team takes care of animals and protects species in nature, helping to promote environmental conservation. So by visiting the Aquarium, you will be able to help support all the initiatives for the protection and safeguarding of marine species, as well as the numerous research projects that the Aquarium conducts.
If you’re looking for further inspiration for travel in Europe, read all about London on the cheap!