acquario di genova

Let’s visit the Genoa Aquarium together

Opened in 1992 for the Expo celebrating the 500th anniversary of the European discovery of America, known as the Colombiadi, the Genoa Aquarium has been one of the city’s most visited attractions ever since.

It is located in the Old Port area, which, among other attractions, houses Galata, the Sea Museum and the Pirate Galleon.

With more than 400 species of marine fish and 27 thousand square meters of structure, the building, designed by architect Renzo Piano, was conceived to be a natural habitat for these creatures.

In fact, the different chambers are purpose-built to replicate the types of environments found in the world’s oceans, such as tropical waters, Mediterranean waters, and the seabed.

We will help you find out which areas are a must-see during your visit to the Genoa Aquarium. When tackling the approximately three-hour route, it is recommended to dress in layers or “onion suit,” as the indoor environments and different microclimates reproduced in the facility can cause unexpected temperature variations.

Genoa Aquarium’s first hall: potbellied, Mediterranean seahorses

Cute seahorses are among the first species you’ll encounter during your visit to the Genoa Aquarium (rooms 2 and 5), small, shy creatures dancing among the marine vegetation.

The Genoa Aquarium is responsible for monitoring the breeding and conservation of the two Mediterranean species Hippocampus Guttulatus and Hippocampus Hippocampus, although some years some potbellied seahorses have also been included.

Shark Bay

The Shark Bay (Room 8), especially popular with families and children, offers a chance to see the quintessential marine predator up close.

In fact, the very large tank is home to several species: the gray shark, nurse shark, and zebra shark.

Two sawfish specimens can also be seen near the seabed, easily recognized by their serrated snouts.

Seal Island

On Seal Island (Room 14) you will discover several specimens of common seals from the coastal areas of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the North Sea.

Some of the seals featured were born in the Genoa Aquarium itself, while others were rescued and cared for by humans as infants after being abandoned in the wild by their mother.

Thanks to a pathway on the upper floor of the Aquarium, this room can be visited from a dual perspective: underwater and emerged. From the latter it is possible to admire the seals as they come out of the water.

Antarctica Hall

An abrupt drop in temperature accompanies us on our visit to the Antarctica room (Room 15): a cold climate, and tanks with ice-white walls reproduce the ideal habitat of the Magellanic and Papua penguin. And these friendly friends of ours can be observed as if we were seeing them in their Falkland Islands: strolling or relaxing in groups, cooling off on the ice shelf or diving off the rocks between swims.

Cetacean Pavilion

Designed by Renzo Piano between the main body of the Aquarium and the Great Blue Ship, the Cetacean Pavilion (Room 17) houses bottlenose dolphins, an endangered species, in the four open-air tanks. As in Seal Island, we could admire these fantastic creatures from both the upper and lower levels, sometimes finding ourselves face to face with them.

The upper floor is dedicated to various cetacean species from the Pelagos Sanctuary, the marine triangle that touches the coasts of Italy, France and Monaco.

Downstairs, however, a glassed-in tunnel about 15 meters long offers a thrilling view of dolphins swimming above visitors.

Biodiversity Pavilion

The Biodiversity Pavilion is located inside the large Blue Ship of the Genoa Aquarium, and is home to many sea and land creatures.

The touch tank in the first area contains sturgeons and ancient fish: here you can also admire and pet some sturgeon specimens. This will make many children happy!

Continuing on, you enter the tropical area, a coral lagoon that is home to numerous species, including the Napoleon fish, zebra shark, and puffer fish.In this area is a reconstruction of a coral reef, flanked by an educational area on coral biology and ecology.

Jellyfish Hall

The jellyfish room (room 34) is one of the most restful in the entire Genoa Aquarium.

Here, enveloped by soothing music and lighting worthy of movie sets, you can be transported by the slow, floating movement of jellyfish: divided by species, you can discover the stages of the life cycle of these ancient marine organisms.


The Biosphere is a steel and glass structure designed in 2001 by Renzo Piano: suspended over the sea and in close proximity to the Genoa Aquarium, inside is an “urban garden” with more than 150 species of animal and plant organisms from around the world.

You will find birds, turtles and fish, and plants such as the coffee tree and the rubber tree.

Where to stay?

Just under a kilometer from the city center and a hundred meters from Brignole train station, Urban Flora is the perfect place to visit Genoa.

With us you will experience a Scandinavian-modern look, where fresh and pleasant plants will make you enjoy as much relaxation as possible and for an unforgettable vacation. All rooms provide a private bathroom, smart TV and free Wi-Fi that will make you feel right at home. Book your room now or contact us to ask for more information.


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