We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“pretty good but would recommend these tips” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
Ranked #31 of 1,310 things to do in Shanghai
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Delightfully spacious and well-lit aquarium filled with a great selection of Asian fish. The highlight is the impressive tunnels where you under the tanks and surrounded by fish.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Stairs / lift, Activities for young children
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“pretty good but would recommend these tips”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2012

I won't rehash what's already been written. Lived in Shanghai for 4 years and have been here a lot with my kids. Always a good time unless we make the rookie mistake of going when it's crowded (national holidays, weekends, etc). Unlike say a zoo or park, when things get crowded, the enjoyment factor goes WAY down (can't even get close to the tanks to see anything without a lot of elbowing and pushing). So you've been warned (you should know better anyways if you live here). But otherwise, clean, well laid out (for the most part, more later) and well stocked with lots of bilingual posters. Not sure I would agree with the review that this ranks up there in the top 6 in the WORLD (crowd control is an issue on busy days), but it's one of the best in China for sure. With that out of the way, some tips:

1. For the price (currently 160/adult, 130/kids above 1meter high= a family of three is over 400rmb for one visit), I'd recommend if you are living here or nearby, to get an annual pass (883 for family of three). You just have to go 3 times in one year to make it worth it. For us (3 young kids) we do that easily. For the younger crowd its a place you don't really get tired of, and for the adults, knowing you have unlimited entry means you can go for just a morning without feeling you have to see the whole thing to "get your money's worth".
2. One drawback to the layout is that once you leave each floor (it has 3 floors) there's no going back. Lots of one-way traffic with some bad choke points, so make sure you see everything and take your time before continuing. I've found that this strategy also helps alleviate a bit of the "China mobs" since many people are just pushing forward and the crowds seem to come in waves. So don't be intimidated by a crowded exhibit (unless you have gone on a holiday), if you give it some time, you should catch a break and be able to enjoy the exhibit without four people breathing down your neck.
3. Because of #2 above (one-way traffic) there isn't really anything to eat until you get to the end (but then can't go back). So make sure to bring snack and drinks for the kids. I am not sure if this is in violation of any "official" rules but you'll see almost everyone munching and drinking and I've never seen anyone scolded- probably don't want to lay down a picnic blanket and take out a pot roast though.
4. Do NOT eat at the cafeteria, I and my friends have had some bad stomach issues. But why would you anyway? Like I wrote, once you get to the cafeteria you're at the end of the aquarium anyways, it's not like you can eat their overpriced and poor quality food, and go back to see some more. So just leave the building and munch at the numerous fine restaurants and eateries in the area (Superbrand mall is just a short walk away with dozens of great options).

Hope this helps!

Visited June 2012
13 Thank bearfamily777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

775 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“awesome day for little ones”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2012

our son loved it here! he especially loved the travelator throught the underwater viewing tunnel! another great day in shanghai!

Visited July 2011
1 Thank H37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
37 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Nice morning trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2012

Not the best aquarium I've visited, but certain areas did make the entire trip worth it. For example, the underwater tunnel and the Jellyfish isle.

The tunnel is known as the worlds' longest underwater tunnel while it carries you on a conveyor belt underneath Great White sharks and other marine animals.

The Jellyfish isle has a wide variety of different species and the area is nicely decorated with colour changing lights in the tanks so the jellyfish change colour with the lights.

A very nice trip - I'm returning with my guests soon.

Visited January 2012
1 Thank Jirmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
157 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Not really wow”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2012

My three kids were more interested in the statues of the polar bears then in the exhibits...but have to say the tunnel was pretty good.

1 Thank ShanghaiGourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Good for kids, a little pricey”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

I took my 2 yr-old and he absolutely loved it! The layout of the aquarium is quite nice and it seems to be in good shape (all the animals looked ok, too). We spend a good 2 hrs there and it was worth the money, though it was a bit pricey. I have seen worse aquariums around the world and this one is definitely a good place to take the kids and educate them about the ocean etc. A big plus for this one: it wasn't crowed when we visited (on a Friday morning)!!

Visited April 2012
1 Thank Have_kids_Will_trave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Shanghai Ocean Aquarium also viewed

Shanghai, Shanghai Region
Shanghai, Shanghai Region

Been to Shanghai Ocean Aquarium? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing