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The Ultimate Guide to visiting the Sea Life London Aquarium

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Open: Mon - Fri: 10:00AM to 7:00PM
Sat - Sun: 9:00AM to 7:00PM

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Price: £19.95

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Time Needed: 2 hours

Have you ever wished you could swim to the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean to see some of the rarest marine life in the world? Or even take a trip to the icy terrain of Antarctica and snap photos of a family of penguins in their natural habitat? Well luckily for you, the SEA Life London Aquarium allows visitors to do just that – and it’s located right on South Bank’s doorstep.

Originally opened as the London Aquarium in 1997, SEA LIFE attracts more than a million visitors each year, and is the largest aquarium in London. Not only does the SEA LIFE London Aquarium provide hours upon hours of entertainment for visitors as they watch sharks, turtles and tropical fish swim over, under and all around them, it’s also one of the UK’s leading centres in marine management, conservation and preservation in marine animal welfare.

The aquarium has different zones dedicated to specific areas of the world and the marine animals that reside in them, such as “Pacific Wreck,” “Rainforests Of The World,” “Seadragon Kingdom,” “Shark Walk,” “Penguin Point,” “Ocean Tunnel,” “Dive Discovery,” and much, much more.

Besides being home to countless sting rays, turtles, catfish, crabs, piranhas, and crocodiles, the aquarium also houses some of the rarest and most beautiful marine animals in the world, such as the bowmouth guitarfish, lionfish, blind cave fish, and even poison dart frogs.

 

Sea Life London Aquarium  Alligator
Sea Life London Aquarium  Exterior
Sea Life London Aquarium  Exterior
Sea Life London Aquarium  Stingrays
Sea Life London Aquarium Ticket Desk
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Highlights The Sea Life London Aquarium

From walking over a glass window and watching sharks swim under your feet in the Pacific display, to gawking at sand eels, snails and octopus in the Atlantic Zone, strolling through the SEA LIFE London Aquarium will make you feel as if you’re diving into the depths of the world’s biggest oceans.

Visitors can snap photos of some jellyfish, pipefish and coloured gurnards in the Tidal Reach zone, and even watch sting rays glide over them through waters near a lagoon in the shallow Atlantic waters. Young children will especially enjoy stroking starfish and tickling sea anemone at the Rockpools section, and even get the chance to feel the shell of a crab as well (with the assistance of the aquarium staff, of course)

Special Tips

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If you plan on visiting The London Eye and the London Dungeon as well as the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, make sure you take advantage of the discounted combined tickets (available on any of their official websites).

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It can get quite warm inside the aquarium (even during the colder months) and cold in the penguin area, so you might want to dress in layers during your visit.

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Because some of the areas of the aquarium are quite narrow with smaller enclosures, you may want to avoid visiting during the busier periods (especially if you don't want other people blocking your view of the exhibits)

Getting There

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Address

County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom (See map).

getting there

On foot

You can easily walk to the SEA LIFE London Aquarium from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (a ten-minute walk away) and the London Eye (a two-minute walk away)

getting there

By Tube

The nearest stations to the aquarium are Westminster (a six-minute walk away) and Waterloo (also a six-minute walk away).

getting there

By Trail

The nearest station is Waterloo, which is a six-minute walk away. Once arriving at the station, follow the exit signs for the South Bank, and walk towards the London Eye.

getting there

By Bus

You can reach the aquarium via routes 12, 53, 59, 76, 148, 159, 211, 341, 211, 77, RV1 and 381.

getting there

By Car

There is a Q-Park Westminster car park located within walking distance to the aquarium, and there are 15% discounts if you pre-book your parking from the aquarium's official website beforehand.

Visiting The Sea Life London Aquarium

Recommended visiting time to the aquarium is around two hours.

There are toilet facilities and baby-changing facilities located on every floor, as well as lifts to all of the levels in the aquarium.

There are no cloakroom facilities available, so all large items will need to be stored at Waterloo Station, which is a six-minute walk away.

Both Food and drink are strictly forbidden at the aquarium, and all children under the ages of 15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Ticket prices and Opening hours

The SEA LIFE London Aquarium is open seven days a week (except December 25th), and its opening hours are:

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (with last entry at 6 p.m.) from Monday to Friday
  • 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (with last entry at 6 p.m.) on Saturdays and Sundays

During the months of August and September, as well as during the Christmas holidays and October half-term, the aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (with last entry at 6 p.m.).

If you want to organize your visit according to when all the animals and fish are being fed at the aquarium, the feeding times are:

  • 11 a.m. for the octopus
  • 11:30 a.m. for the sting rays
  • 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. for the penguins
  • 12:30 p.m. for all the animals living in the Rainforest zone
  • 2:30 p.m. (only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) for the sharks
  • 3:30 p.m. for all the animals in the Coral zone
  • 4 p.m. for the seahorses
  • 4:30 p.m. for the terrapins

Tickets cost £19.95, but there are a variety of ticket options available, depending on how much of the aquarium you want to see:

  • If you want to get faster entry into the aquarium and avoid the queues, there are “Anytime Priority Entry” tickets available for £25.
  • If you want to see the London Eye as well as the aquarium, there is a “Sea Life and London Eye Package” for £39
  • If you want to snorkel with the friendly sharks in the aquarium, there is a “Shark Experience” package which costs £89.
  • If you want to get priority entry and even do a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium, tickets cost from £32, but the price may vary depending on when you visit.
  • If you want to do a behind-the-scenes tour and even act as a marine biologist for the day, you can purchase an additional ticket for £7.05.

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