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“Crowded coveyor belt”

Aquarium La Rochelle
Ranked #2 of 80 things to do in La Rochelle
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Winchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Crowded coveyor belt”
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Okay, we did visit on a rainy August Friday morning, but even with relatively short queues at the ticket desk (at least compared to later in the afternoon, when they were stretching at least 150m back), the experience felt like a crowded conveyor belt. Although the exhibits were impressive, and information good (in French and English), it was difficult to get to see any of the tanks unless you elbowed your way past, and the huge numbers of people taking photos (some with flash, despite regular announcements reminding that flash was forbidden) really spoiled the experience, and pushchairs / buggies / backpacks seemed to be everywhere. The aquarium management should consider banning cameras (it is difficult to take a good photo anyway due to low light conditions), buggies (most were empty anyway) and backpacks (take up too much room).

Visited August 2014
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1 Thank 63SalandMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Hot and over crowded”
Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

Don't waste your money or your time. La Rochelle is a beautiful town. The aquarium is no different from any other one in the uk except it is hot and jam packed. It is hard to see any fish as you have to push through the crowds. Total waste of money and time. If you want to go get tickets from tourist info but don't queue outside as it will take over an hour to get in and thenyouhave to queue for the tiny lift.

Visited August 2014
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1 Thank Staffordsandskids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aquariumlarochelle, Responsable relations clients at Aquarium La Rochelle, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Dear Staffordsandskids,

We truly regret that you didn’t appreciate your recent visit at the Aquarium La Rochelle.
Maybe you chose to visit us between 11:00am and 6:00pm on a rainy day?
Traditionally, due to bad weather conditions, the Aquarium can get really busy and visitors may need a little bit longer to discover all of the 12 000 animals displayed in our 78 aquariums.
Buying your tickets before your arrival can be a way to save some time, besides, you will find tickets online on our website; but the one thing that we encourage to avoid the crowd, especially on rainy days, is to visit early in the morning or after 07:00pm (in July and August, the Aquarium La Rochelle is open from 9:00am to 11:00pm).
Our team is always available to advise visitors about the best hours to enjoy the full discovery of the Aquarium.
We do hope that you’ll visit us again with your family and that you’ll fully appreciate why the Aquarium La Rochelle has been voted the best in France by TripAdvisor reviewers.

Looking forward to welcoming you on your next trip to La Rochelle,

Best regards
The Aquarium La Rochelle Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great attraction but crowded”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

We've been twice to this aquarium over the past few years. It really is a fabulous attraction for adults and kids. It's really well laid out with tons of information on the different oceans of the world. The shark room is great, really up close to some big ones circling around. With small kids it can be tiring so wear comfortable shoes and light clothes as it is very hot as other reviewers have mentioned. It took us about 2 hours to do the whole thing.

It is really crowded and there were a lot of people pressed up against the tanks taking photos of fish. I couldn't understand this - why not go scuba diving if you want photos of fish? It does take away from the experience as you're pressed up against elbows for the exciting tanks trying to peer in. I would advise going as early as you can and maybe avoiding the crowds.

Visited July 2014
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Thank ElvaDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Educational”
Reviewed 4 August 2014

A well-laid out aquarium taking you through the different seas and oceans of the world. Lots of glass-sided tanks to see many different fishes (and turtles); I particularly liked the larger rooms with banks of seating to the back where you can sit and look at a more panoramic view (when there are not hordes of people clustered at the front, that is). Probably best to go early, lunchtime or late to avoid the crowds as it does get very busy in "prime time" morning and afternoon.

Visited July 2014
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Thank Philip d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Overcrowded and hot - disappointing.”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

We visited the aquarium on a hot, late afternoon in July. Unfortunately it seemed like half of La Rochelle had the same idea as us and consequently the aquarium was ridiculously busy and incredibly hot and stifling inside with squashed queues to look at each tank. This vastly spoilt of our experience which was rushed due to a combination of the extreme heat in the aquarium, number of people around each tank, and the lack of opportunity to buy a cold drink or take a break from viewing and go back in. If you are planning to visit in high season I'd recommend contacting the aquarium to ask when their quietest period is (5pm is not it) and going with a drink in your bag.

What we did see of the aquarium itself was lovely with some interesting fish/sea creatures that we haven't seen anywhere else. The tropical rainforest section was unexpected and delightful. I suspect if we'd timed it differently then I'd have given the aquarium 4, if not 5 stars, as with some time, space, drinks and air conditioning it would have been an entirely different experience.

Visited July 2014
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Thank catchingflies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aquariumlarochelle, Responsable commercial at Aquarium La Rochelle, responded to this review, 6 August 2014
Dear Catchingflies,

Thank you for sharing your recent experience at the Aquarium La Rochelle.
We truly regret that you didn’t get the chance to enjoy your visit. As you mention in your comment, the Aquarium is a main attraction in La Rochelle and some days can be really busy.
That’s why in July and August the Aquarium is open from 9:00am to 11:00pm, so that everyone can get a chance to discover the 12 000 animals displayed in the visit. During the busiest days, we highly recommend a visit after 7:00pm.
As you nicely advise other visitors to do, our team is always available to recommend the best time to enjoy the discovery of the Aquarium.
Thank you for your positive comments about our rainforest section and the beautiful species presented in the Aquarium.
We do hope you’ll offer us a second chance to get these 5 stars you wanted to give us!

Looking forward to welcoming you on your next trip to La Rochelle,

Best regards
The Aquarium La Rochelle Team
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