Most of us don’t have our diving licenses, nor do we have easy access to tropical coral reefs. Fortunately, the Paris Aquarium Cinéaqua is here to educate, entertain, and share in the great wonders of the world’s marine life. In this article, we’re going to cover some of the Aquarium’s history, list their programs and events, and share tips for visiting our aquatic friends in Paris!
Paris’ Aquarium was the first in the world, and was one of the main attractions of the Universal Exposition in 1887. It had both above and underground soft-water basins. Interesting to note, the grottos once housed some of Napoleon’s I calvary in the early 1800s. Also, it was a perfect location for Parisian mushroom production.
The Aquarium closed in 1985, as it had fallen into disrepair. Subsequently, it was demolished. However, a few original features still can be found today. For example, the outside kiosks and fountain date back to the late 19th century. Construction began on the new Aquarium in 2003, located on the same site as the old one. Paris Aquarium Cinéaqua opened in 2006, and has been delighting crowds ever since!
Interesting to note: Various species of marine fossils were discovered during the construction of the new Aquarium. In addition, large shark teeth were found. In collaboration with Paris’ Museum of Natural History, scientists determined that the fossils are over 40 million years old!!! Discovering ancient sea creature fossils at an aquarium is possibly the coolest thing ever! If you would like to see the fossils, they are currently on display at the Aquarium.
Located near the Eiffel Tower, the Paris Aquarium Cinéaqua houses over 500 species of fish and invertebrates, and have over 10,000 creatures. Also, there are 500 different corals and various species of plants.
However, it’s safe to say that the 38 sharks, of which there are 7 species, maybe the stars of the show. Divas always have special requirements, and these ones are no exception! They require a special tank with 3 000 000 litres of ocean water. The sharks can be viewed through the stunning ‘Shark Tunnel’.
In total, the Aquarium has 43 basins and large aquariums. To state the obvious, that’s a lot of H2O! Just to be sure, each window is 34 cm thick and weighs an amazing 12 tons!
The Aquarium is 3, 500 square meters (37, 673 square ft.) and is divided into different sub aquariums. The divisions are as follows: the Seine, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Indo-Pacific, the Coral Reef, the Bio-Diversity Zone, the Lounge, the Caress Basin (yes, you read that correctly! this is where you can pet the sea critters!), the Shark Tunnel, and the Guyanese River. It is certainly a lot of ground to cover!
Paris Aquarium Cinéaqua has an impressive amount of events and educational programs. For example, they host interactive workshops, live performances (one of them is very cute and pirate-themed!), and various educational lectures. You can even, ‘meet the divers’ and witness feeding time for the fish and sharks!
Looking for some zen? Then YogAquarium might just be for you! Enjoy a relaxing, one-hour yoga class in front of a 6-metre tall fish tank. Both children and adults are welcome! The yoga class is low intensity and designed for beginners.
Also, every Saturday evening from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., they host an after-hours soirée. Perfect for those who want to avoid big crowds! Why not enjoy a glass of champagne while you stroll through Aquarium? Seriously, why not? It’s included in the price of your ticket. How very elegant, and very French!
Paris Aquarium Cinéaqua has partnered with Vedettes de Paris river cruises and the Grevin Wax Museum to offer package deal tickets. They are inexpensive and definitely worth checking out!
If you are feeling hungry during your visit, the Zen Café, inside the Aquarium, is open daily from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. They offer a buffet-style meal option. But also have ready-made bento boxes. The restaurant’s decor is both chic and tropical! Did we mention that you can view the aquarium while you eat? Yes, it’s under the sea magical!
Address: 5 Avenue Albert de Mun, 75016, PARIS
Hours of Operation: Open seven days a week- 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Ticket Prices: 13 € per person
Free Entry with the Paris Pass!