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“Terrible signage!”
Review of Acquario di Genova

Acquario di Genova
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US$29.91*
and up
Genoa Aquarium Entry Ticket
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US$17.95*
and up
Genoa City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #7 of 304 things to do in Genoa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Acquario di Genova was built on the occasion of the Expo ’92, a celebration of the fifth centenary of the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus, with the intention of restructuring and enhancing an area full of history and traditions, located in the heart of Genoa’s historic centre, the Porto Antico (the old port). It’s the biggest aquarium in Europe.
tirana
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Terrible signage!”
Reviewed 1 July 2014

We visited the aquarium some days ago. We went at 5:00 PM and some shootings were going on near the sharks tank that were really annoying.
I find the glass of the tanks particularly disturbing because of the refraction. It gave me headache after the third tank.
The biggest problem i found is that this space nearly lacks any signals at all. Hard to find toilets, hard to find the way. We went up to the penguins and only found closed doors further than that. We searched for other tanks, but useless. On the internet I see that we have missed a lot, medusas, rayas, caymans… I still don't know where they were, as we only found closed doors with no signs.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank odinmodvalsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Dolphins, penguins, seals - and it's bigger than it looks”
Reviewed 29 June 2014

A definite highlight of our recent trip to Genoa and one tip to note is that you do get a little off your entry ticket if you've purchased a Museum Card - which helps as it is a little steep to get in, especially if you've got children as well.

There is a huge variety of creatures in the attraction from fish, to dolphins, to penguins, to seahorses. The venue is well planned so you go in a rectangular, one way route, and it is much bigger than you expect from looking at just the front of the building. The tanks are clean and there is enough information about what you're seeing - but not too much so as to be over the top.

We went quite late in the day and found it lovely and quiet - we started to wander around at about 6pm and it closes at around 8pm, I think, and we were on our own, able to take our time, and most crucially get in to get a good view of the creatures.

I would highly recommend the attraction & commend the conservation work that they do here.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Munster02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Portugal
Level 4 Contributor
13 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Nothing special (with the plus of rude staff)...”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

We visited the aquarium on June 14th in the evening, with the "Happy Mundial" ticket. This is a ticket the Genoa's aquarium has available during the World Cup and allows you to visit the aquarium, have an aperitif at the bar and watch the night's match on a big screen. It costs 25€, so it's only 1€ more expensive than the regular ticket to visit the aquarium, so we figured that it was worthy to go for this option (more for the aperitif part, than for the purpose of watching the match). This ticket only allows you to visit the aquarium after 18h30, which is perfectly doable as, now in the summer, the place is open until midnight. We bought this ticket online and you have to acess the page in its Italian version, as this option doesn't appear in the English version of the website.

So, we arrived to the aquarium on saturday at around 20h30. The place was a desert, you couldn't see almost anyone in the surrounding area. We headed towards the ticket booth that was outside the aquarium with a man inside, that quickly pointed us to another direction and told us quite roughly that, with an online ticket, we had to go through a different entrance (shutting the door behind us as we started walking). We found the said entrance, where another employee was and he scanned our tickets and told us to go up the lift to the first floor to start the visit of the aquarium, where another colleague of his would be waiting for us. We went up and saw no-one, so it really seemed we were alone in the aquarium, as we proceeded to walk through the corridors in the expectation of finding this other staff member.

We proceeded to walk fast, as we also wanted to find the bar where the aperitif was going to be served, because we preferred to eat first and only after do the visit (as it was 21h already). After walking lots of corridors and finding no-one, we finally reached the bar where we could find more staff members. There we explained we wanted to eat first (and they were serving food already, as there were a couple of other visitors also eating the aperitif there), which seemed to cause some confusion on the employee, who asked for our voucher (for those who buy the "Happy Mundial" ticket on the aquarium, they give you a voucher separate from the ticket for the aperitif). We explained we bought the tickets online, so we had no voucher, and he kept insisting that then we had to pay an extra 1€ per person, because "we had bought the 24€ ticket and the World Cup offer was for 25€". I kept explaining him we had paid 25€ already and had bought that specific offer, showing him the ticket that proved so (it had clearly stated the price we paid and the reference of the offer), but it was only after some resistance and insistance from me that he aknowleged we had the right to the food, not even apologizing, looking cross and saying to the lady working at the bar she should serve us. Then she was the one arguing with him saying we needed to give her the voucher, after a while finally accepting to serve us with a grumpy face towards us.

The aperitif itself was nothing much: a small plastic plate with 3 little pieces of bread, pizza and chips, with a small drink of our choice (but I guess that for one extra euro, you can't complain much). Next to the bar there's the room with the big screen where the matches were being displayed, but we didn't enter (it was quite empty as well, even in the bar area there were only 10 people maximum, including staff).

We then proceeded back to the beginning of the aquarium and started the visit. We found that several tanks and areas had their lights off, so you could not see what animals/plants were on the inside. During the whole visit (approximately 2h) we only came across 2 other visitors, so I guess they consider no-one is doing the evening visits and just decide to turn off some areas. We did not come across any staff member during the visit, so there's no possibility of complaining, or even asking a question.

I didn't find the place to be nothing special (the aquarium area of Antwerp's zoo, in Belgium, which I visited recently, can be much more exciting), let alone the treatment from the staff and the lack of care to the visitors. If the shcedule of the aquarium indicates it's open until 24h, it has to be able to decently receive visitors until such hour. Another thing is that all this talking to the staff members was done in Italian, which I speak and understand a bit, because none of them spoke English. It would have been quite hard for a non-Italian speaker to prove to the employee he was wrong about the ticket issue, for example.

On the next day (sunday morning) we passed by the old port area and saw there were many people visiting the aquarium (rows outside, people lining to buy tickets, families with kids), so perhaps in these busier times the experience can be better. Overall I was displeased and regret having spent my 25€ for this attraction (even if everything was working, I think it's overpriced).

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Mariana D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“A Very Good Aquarium”
Reviewed 23 June 2014

I have visited many aquariums and this is a very good one.
It is located in the "Old Port".
My hotel had tickets for sale at full price of 24 Euro.
There was a very long line at the ticket purchase booth so purchasing a ticket from my hotel saved about 45 minutes standing in Que

I spent four hours in the aquarium. I looked at, read and watched most everything.
Very large offering – it was easy to get lost in the building.
A fun place for adults and children. Some displays were specifically designed with children in mind.
This aquarium was not specific to just the local area and included information on estuaries and rivers.
There was a good combination of live water tanks and static displays.
For the large tanks, it was possible to view from above, which made the visit more interesting.
Very educational and entertaining.

A nice view of the Old Port standing on the “roof” of the building.
Snack bar / restaurant. Souvenir shop.
Bring water to drink. Plenty of toilets available. Wear good walking shoes.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank mdculpepper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Aquarium”
Reviewed 15 June 2014

Large aquarium. Love the way it is set up. You don't have to fight with people going two directions. Everything is set up to move one way. The exhibits were great. Enjoy the dolphin exhibit and shark exhibit. Also, they have a ray petting tank that you can actually touch the rays. Great location, and don't forget to check out the Biosphere outside of the Aquarium.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank italianirishgrl32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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