La Rochelle aquarium visitor guide

Photo of La Rochelle aquarium

Visit La Rochelle aquarium, France

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A visit to the aquarium is one of the highlights of your visit to La Rochelle. It is housed in a modern glass building on the harbour. Within the aquarium there are 70 separate sections containing 12,000 marine animals and - most exciting for visitors - 20 species of shark.

Explore the aquarium of La Rochelle

Your tour starts with a descent in a large elevator that judders along in a slightly alarming fashion. This takes you into a corridor next to a tall narrow aquarium containing tiny jellyfish: this is a very artistic start to the tour!

You then walk through a glass tunnel surrounded by water and fish, really quite an extraordinary experience.

As you proceed through the different sections of the La Rochelle aquarium you discover life in the different seas and oceans of the world: the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Pacific, Caribbean.

Along the way you see a wide range of sea life including stingrays, murray eels, shoals of sardines, numerous brightly coloured tropical fish, sea urchins, starfish, etc. A personal favourite was the numerous species of seahorses.


The highlight of your visit is, of course, the massive tank containing the large sharks, looking every bit as coldly scary as they do in the movies.

After previous disappointing visits to other aquariums in Europe I almost didn't visit this one - but I can now confirm it is one of the unmissable attractions of the region!

The visit as a whole takes approximately two hours. After your journey through the aquarium you will find is a cafe / bar on a terrace on the roof of the modern building, with great views across La Rochelle.

Attractions nearby

There are numerous monuments and places of interest in La Rochelle. The one with th most dramatic contrast to the aquarium is perhaps the stuffed animals of La Rochelle Natural History Museum!

You can find more travel ideas in the Charente-Maritime guide and the Poitou-Charentes guide.

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La Rochelle

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La Rochelle harbour

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La Rochelle Natural History Museum

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The French version of this page is at La Rochelle aquarium (Francais)