Awesome Aquariums To Visit Around Korea

Most people, especially kids, have some interest in exploring the world around them and that includes the depths of the seas. What better way to cultivate that interest and learn about our sea friends than to visit a nearby aquarium? There are aquariums around Korea and they are pretty easy to tack on to most itineraries and really provide hours of fun for children and the adults that they bring along. From the smallest of crabs and marine life to the whales and sharks, you’ll be astounded at what you can find here. An aquarium is always a great addition to any day that is maybe too hot and humid or rainy. Or, if you just want something new and different that you haven’t seen yet, then head to one of these great aquariums in South Korea. Watch the fish swim by or maybe see a mermaid performance. See a shark eat its meal or maybe feed a sea creature. Whatever you do, you’ll enjoy a stop at any one of these aquariums.
COEX Aquarium, Gangnam, Seoul, Korea

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Aqua Planet Ilsan (아쿠아플라넷 일산)

Set just outside of Seoul, this has been our favorite aquarium since we first took our little one there when she was just one. We’ve since been back numerous times and plan to keep going. Aqua Planet is a company that promotes the preservation of the ecosystem and through their aquariums, of which there are three in Korea, they hope to foster a healthy interest and respect for the creatures that aren’t readily accessible in everyday life. Head in to the first section to see jellyfish that reflect the neon lights in the tanks and walk through a tunnel tank and look up to see sharks, sting rays, and manta rays. From the first section, you’ll walk up to find the massive “Deep Blue Ocean” tank. Various lectures and educational classes are held here so the space is large fitting to the tank. There is a lot to see but of course the kids love the touch pool the best and from there, yyou can actually head to a petting zoo which has more than just the marine life. There are birds to feed and farm animals on the roof space as well. There’s even a pony that the children can ride.

Another great thing about this location is the surrounding area. There’s an outdoor mall nearby with a ton of food options, a great park with gardens and just so much more so be prepared for a day in the area. There is plenty to do.

Tickets: Buy tickets here for a discount.

What to See Nearby: Ilsan Lake Park, Zoolung Zoolung, One Mount Snow Park

Address: 282 Hallyu world-ro, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 고양시 일산서구 한류월드로 282 (대화동))

Where To Stay Nearby: Stay Ilsan


Aqua Planet Yeosu (아쿠아플라넷 여수)Aqua Planet Ilsan, Ilsan, Korea

Aqua Planet Yeosu is the second largest aquarium in Korea and is a prominent tourist spot in the southern province of Jeollanam-do. The aquarium has had a record million visitors each year since it opened. There are around 34,000 marine creatures from 280 different species including a beluga whale and a Baikal seal, both of which are quite rare to see here. Visitors can walk through the Aqua Forest which is a display of Amazon forests under natural light and using eco-friendly solar energy. Children can find the touch pool and Archer fish experience zone here. From there find the Ocean Life themed area and head into the 360 degree dome tank.

The facility in Yeosu provides fun for everyone in a variety of ways. Visit the aquarium but also don’t miss a visit to the Alive Museum. Outside, visitors can see the Hanwha Group’s photovoltaic power generation and then head up to the Aqua Terrace food court to eat indoors or outdoors. You could also choose to head down to the Beans & Berries cafes that provides a front row seat to the fish in their tanks RIGHT NEXT to the tables.

What to See Nearby: Yeosu Maritime Cable Car, Hyangiram Hermitage, Odongdo

Address: 61-11 Odongdo-ro, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 여수시 오동도로 61-11 (수정동))

Where To Stay Nearby: Hotel Matthieu Yeosu


Aqua Planet Jeju (아쿠아플라넷 제주)Aqua Planet Ilsan, Ilsan, Korea

Aqua Planet Jeju features the largest aquarium in East Asia and is home to over 5,000 marine creatures. Enter the aquarium to meet marine life typical of the area and then head further in to see fish from all over the world. There are sea creatures and marine mammals, giant crabs, eels, and whale sharks for kids (and adults) to enjoy. After checking out the spacious tanks, visit the performance hall to learn more about harbor seals, dolphins, and walruses and meet some of the famous “diving women” that Jeju is known for. From there you can head to a petting zoo where the kids can get a little wet in the petting pool, watch the playful otters in their tunnels, and waddle like the penguins.

Tickets: Buy tickets here for a discount.

What to See Nearby: Udo Island Submarine, Jeju Venice Land

Address: 95 Seopjikoji-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do (제주특별자치도 서귀포시 성산읍 섭지코지로 95)

Where to Stay Nearby: Golden Tulip Jeju Seongsan Hotel


Lotte World Mall Aquarium (롯데월드몰)

Lotte World Mall Aquarium - TravelStained

The aquarium at Lotte World Mall in Seoul’s Jamsil area is a massive 2 floor underwater world, sure to please visitors of all ages. It’s the city’s biggest and newest aquarium, with dozens of tanks containing over 55,000 marine animals from 650 different species. There are 13 different habitat zones, arranged along an 840 metre self-guided route. You begin in a Korean river habitat, continue on through tropical rivers, the Amazon, the oceans and finally, end up in Antarctica.

As you wander through the aquarium, you’ll see local fish from the Han River, playful sea otters, piranhas, neon jellyfish, turtles, stingrays, sharks, and sea lions housed in a huge array of underwater tunnels and tanks, with the two beluga whales and penguins from Antarctica definitely the stars of the show.

As a mother, I really appreciate the special areas dedicated to children. There’s an aquatic petting zoo, Play Ocean to burn extra energy, plenty of specialized photo zones for kids, and even a slide in the penguin area. If you live in the city, and have a child under 36 months old, consider purchasing an annual pass. The cost is approximately W100,000 per adult, and toddlers enter free until they’re 3. We started visiting the aquarium when my daughter turned 2, and have since been over 10 times (making each visit just 10,000 won). It’s a perfect rainy day activity that’ll keep your kids entertained for at least a few happy hours. (Info submitted by Shelley at Travel-Stained)

What to See Nearby: Lotte World, Lotte World Tower Seoul Sky

Address: 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 300 (신천동))

Where to Stay Nearby: Lotte Hotel World


Play Aquarium Bucheon (플레이아쿵아리움 부천)

Play Aquarium Bucheon is an experiential aquarium for visitors to see, touch, and feed rare animals that aren’t often seen in Korea. The program includes an underwater mermaid performance daily. (Shows not available on Mondays and Wednesdays, but are about every hour/ every other hour starting from 11:00am to 5:00pm Tuesdays through Sundays.) There is also a touch pool for children to learn more about starfish and other creatures using almost all of their five senses… not eating, no eating. You can also feed the colorful carp and put on some waterwear to walk through the water and actually “swim” with the fish. Walk through the aquarium’s various themed areas and see the sharks, jellyfish, mammals and learn more about some endangered species. This aquarium facility also has a reptile pavilion and jungle zone which delights visitors. This is an aquarium that doesn’t come up with English searching on Google, but did come up when I did some Naver searches. I haven’t been personally yet, but it’s definitely a spot now on our must-see list.

What to See Nearby: Wonmisan Azalea Mountain, Bucheon EcoPark

Address: 2 Jomaru-ro, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기 부천시 조마루로 2)

Where to Stay Nearby: Polaris Hotel


COEX Aquarium (코엑스 아쿠아리움)

COEX Aquarium, Gangnam, Seoul, KoreaThe COEX Aquarium is one of the most famous in Korea and due to it’s location in the world’s largest underground shopping mall, you’ll want to head to the area anyway. The aquarium is also one of Korea’s largest and features over 40,000 creatures from over 650 species. There are ninety exhibition tanks encompassed within fourteen “discovery zones” under the themes: Story of Korean Fish, Garden of Korea, Fish in Wonderland, Amazonia World, Marine Touch Lab, Mangrove and Beach, Living Reef Gallery, Ocean Kingdom, Marine Mammal Village, Deep Blue Square, Deep Blue Sea Tunnel, Garden of Jelly Fish, and the Penguin’s Playground. Walk through tunnels and be surrounded by the swimming creatures and then head into the exhibition tanks that house seals, penguins, and local birds. It really is fun… for kids and the adults they’re taking with them.
COEX Aquarium, Gangnam, Seoul, Korea
Tickets: Buy tickets here for a discount.

What to See Nearby: Bongeunsa Temple

Address: 513 Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 강남구 영동대로 513 (삼성동))

Where to Stay Nearby: L7 Gangnam by Lotte


Gyeongpo Aquarium (경포 아쿠아리움)

Aqua Planet Ilsan, Ilsan, Korea

Located near the Gyeongpo Wetlands, the Gyeongpo Aquarium offers both indoor and outdoor viewing and experiences. Outside, try your hand at catching fish by hand or sit on a boat and row yourself around the waters enjoying the natural views. Enter the indoor space and you’ll first be greeted by the freshwater tanks and then head into the large fish tanks to see piranhas, eels, jellyfish. There are undersea tunnels, seals playing games, and a touch pool. Children can learn about the colorful corals and see sharks and rays before learning about how nets can wreck reefs in the ocean. This is a great addition to a trip out to the east coast of Korea.

What to See Nearby: Gyeongpo Beach, Gramophone Museum

Address:  131 Nanseolheon-ro Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do (강원 강릉시 난설헌로 131)

Where to Stay Nearby: St. John’s Hotel


Alive Aquarium Daegu (얼라이브 아쿠아리움 대구)

This aquarium looks like quite the experience as it combines sea life with creative viewing. Walk across the “Daegu Sea Cloud Bridge” to look at the tanks from above and then go inside to the “Ceiling Water Tank”, a dome shaped panoramic water tank. From there find the “Sea Miro Water Tank” that combines sea life with colorful lights and mirrors for a truly unique experience. Visitors can see manatees, Humboldt penguins, sea lions, otters, and sting rays among other creatures on this 9th floor aquarium in the Shinsegae Department Store.

Tickets: Buy tickets here for a discount.

What To See Nearby: Seomun Market, Daegu 83 Tower

Address: 149 Dongbu-ro, Dong-gu, Daegu (대구 동구 동부로 149 신세계백화점 대구점)

Where to Stay Nearby: The First Snow Hotel


Danyang Danuri Aquarium (단양다누리 아쿠아리움)

This was also an aquarium that wasn’t on my radar until I searched in Korean. There are just so many things that aren’t promoted or translated enough in Korea still it seems. On my recent trip to enjoy various water activities in Danyang, this would have been a great addition. This aquarium has 127 exhibition tanks with around 22,000 creatures from 187 species. This aquarium is the largest freshwater aquarium in Korea.

What to See Nearby: Mancheonha Sky Walk, Guinsa Buddhist Temple

Address: Danuri Center, 111 Subyeon-ro Danyang-eub Danyang-gun (충북 단양군 단양읍 수변로 111 다누리센터)

Where to Stay Nearby: Daemyung Resort Danyang


Busan Aquarium / Sea Life Aquarium (SEA LIFE 부산아쿠아리움)

Busan Aquarium, Busan, Korea

Located right there near the shoreline of the most popular beach in Korea, Haeundae Beach, there was no way my sons would not have seen the Busan Aquarium. It was astonishing how we still needed to queue with a long line of visitors wanting to get in. One would think there was no need to be inside an aquarium while at the beach where nature presents itself raw. But no, the aquarium called not only us, but others and it didn’t disappoint. There are  more than 250 species within their substantial tanks. The tunnel walk, the touch tank area where kids can touch and feel starfish and other marine creatures and the live shark feeding were my sons’ favorites. There are a large variety of fish, amphibians, and other sea creatures as well as penguins and otters, too. I loved the look of amazement in the faces of my sons. This is one of the perks of innocence when everything is magnificent!

You can even take a glass-bottom boat ride to view the sharks and rays up close. This is definitely a great addition to any trip to Busan with kids and is easy to tack on to most itineraries. (Info submitted by Wendy at Wendyflor)

What to See Nearby: Busan Public Yacht Cruise

Address: 266 Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan (부산광역시 해운대구 해운대해변로 266 (중동))

Where to Stay Nearby: Fairfield by Marriott Busan


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2 Responses

  1. March 27, 2019

    […] you.. or your little ones love aquariums, make sure you check out all of the options here in Korea. There are quite a few around and they’re all a bit different and all the […]

  2. April 8, 2019

    […] There are few options for what to do to cool off if you have to stay in the city. In Seoul, there are riverside pools open to the public. Some of them can get pretty busy on the weekends, but my go-to is the Nanji River Park infinity pool. The Nanji Water Playground (난지한강물놀이장) is perfect if you’re not really interested in swimming, but just want to wade in, cool off and have some fun near the cool water. If this pool is a bit too far from you though, there is also the Mangwon Pool, Yeouido Pool, Jamwon Pool, Ttukseom Pool, Jamsil Pool and the Gwangnaru Pool. Head out a bit and visit the Caribbean Bay Water Park this summer. There are seven great water parks and pools to choose from along the river that flows across the city. Or, head to an aquarium if you want those water vibes, but don’t actually want to feel the summer heat. Aqua Planet Ilsan is my favorite in the city, but there are plenty more to check out. Check out this post with all of the aquariums around Korea you should check out. […]

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