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“Expensive disappointment with nicely displayed fish”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Grand Aquarium

Grand Aquarium
Ranked #6 of 61 things to do in Saint-Malo
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Ready to explore! Discover the seabed and meet the 10,000 fishes of the Saint-Malo Aquarium. From cold abyssal seas to warm waters of the tropics, over 600 species of all shapes and colours are waiting to delight and amaze both young and old. Discover the 360° ring of the seas, sharks to make your head spin ; the touch pool, to enjoy a unique sensory experience ; and get on board the ‘Nautibus’ submarine and immerse yourself in the fabulous decor of a natural marine world and navigate among 5,000 fishes. Dive head first into a deep sea exploration on board the Abyssal Descender, a true-to-life simulator and a unique worldwide new attraction. Discover deep abyssal fauna and flora, meet amazing sea creatures and enjoy the show. 2015, the tide of the century! Did you know that the bay of Saint-Malo is home to the highest tides in Europe? Enjoy a spectacular exhibition that will leave young and old wide-eyed with wonder.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Expensive disappointment with nicely displayed fish”
Reviewed 28 August 2013

Decided to visit while in St Malo for the day en route elsewhere. This attraction sells itself by advertising the submarine experience so we were very excited about our 2 year old daughter's impression of this, knowing how much she has always loved seeing fish swimming in an aquarium. Maybe we chose the wrong time and day to go - Saturday afternoon in mid-August is always likely to be busy. We had to queue to get in (but only 2/3 kiosks were open and it did seem to take an age to process each family entering). Once in, it was really busy and we often had to queue to get a glimpse of each tank, feeling that we then had to move on quickly to allow others to do the same. There is a lovely 360 degree tank, though, viewed from a platform within, that we found impressive, especially with the turtle and shark inside, and that seemed less squashed than some of the other areas. Outside, there was a hands-on area. Lovely, really, although it did not seem to be controlled in any way by a member of staff as I would expect someone on hand keeping an eye on things(not that I saw anyone mistreating the rays/starfish etc.) There was only water to wash hands after touching these creatures - no soap and no antibac, so take your own if you have youngsters prone to thumb-sucking and generally putting their hands in their mouths. The greatest disappointment for us came with the promised grand finale of a ride in a submarine - the bit everyone else on tripadvisor says is the best bit. The queue stretched back a long way so I went to the front to ask how long people had been queuing and was told they'd been there for an hour! Waiting in a queue for that long with a 2 year old simply is not an option, especially with other places to travel on to and a clockwork desire for dinner time!! We had to give up and leave (fortunately the two year old hadn't really cottoned on to what it was going to be and the disappointment of a more knowledgeable 4 year old was avoided). As we were leaving, I complained to a member of staff and was told "It happens" and that it was a "technical problem" but was given no apology, even when I pointed out that if that is the case, we could have been informed of this at entry. I also suggested timed ticketing for this part of the attraction, but was met with a chilled response. It was expensive to go in, irritating to have professional photographers wanting to photograph you and being excluded from areas because they were taking photos there, and our main goal was unachieved.

So, if you want to visit St Malo's aquarium, my advice to you would be:
1. Go on a week day and, if possible, not a holiday.
2. Do the submarine trip first, then go back and see the other exhibits.
3. Take hand gel for when you have finished handling the creatures in the touching zone.
4. Be prepared to pay quite a bit for entry - buy tickets in advance if you can.

Hope this helps!

Visited August 2013
5 Thank ncutts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“St Malo tourist attraction”
Reviewed 27 August 2013

This is listed as a MUST see attraction. I took my wife, daughter and 6 year old granddaughter to see what was on offer. Firstly it is not cheap and for 3 adults and 1 child circa €50 is a bit on the high side.
It is very suitable for young children who may not have seen other aquariums of a much better quality. The main part of the attraction is the Nautibus, listed as a submarine experience. It is again ok for youngsters but quite frankly did nothing for us 3 adults. The queue is approx a 20-30 minute wait.
The fish tanks where you can experience "touching the fish" was a disappointment; probably since the fish are fed up with being poked and prodded.
If you have sub 10 year olds maybe worth a visit. Food is very disappointing and expensive at the attached cafe/restaurant. Grubby tables to boot.
Don't forget that this is out of town and a taxi will be about €12 each way.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great day for all”
Reviewed 25 August 2013 via mobile

Great for all ages. Great value for money most aquariums are over priced with nothing to sew but this was quite the oppisite. Beautiful tanks of different under water animals amd even a submarine experience.
all staff were lovely speaking good english.
Food was a let down nothing seemed to be in stock good job we were only looking for a quick snack other wise wed have being legt hungry and disappointed.
Apart from this when visiting this activity is a must!

Visited August 2013
Thank Robyn1008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frome, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“a nice rainy morning”
Reviewed 8 August 2013

We had a great morning at the aquarium, it was bigger than others we've visited in Brittany, and took us a good two hours to walk around. Feel we probably missed the best bit as my daughter point blank refused to get into the submarine, but we still thoroughly enjoyed the sharks and stroking the rays. I would thoroughly recommend this as a way to get through a rainy day, and I didn't feel ripped off at the price for a family either. Be prepared for a massive souvenir shop at the end though, if you have shopping obsessed children like mine!

Visited August 2013
Thank mandyed76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
732 reviews
274 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 279 helpful votes
“Good but pricey”
Reviewed 5 August 2013 via mobile

At 16€ per head I think it is a little on the expensive side in terms of value but we had an interesting few hours and the staff on the submarine ride were very helpful in helping my wife, who uses a walking stick, to board the vessel.

Visited August 2013
Thank Viewlander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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