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How to choose a date
The best time to visit the Aquarium to avoid crowds is in winter (the low season is from November to February). It’s not the nicest time to visit Genoa, but hotel rates are cheaper and waiting lines will not bother you at all!
In spring and autumn tourist traffic gets higher, but the stay may be more pleasant overall with more events held. There’s a high probability of rain in April though.
Summer season attracts many more tourists, since Genoa is located on the coast, it often becomes an interesting spot for 1- or 2-days visits on the way to the beach. The peak falls in August, especially mid-month, when the waiting line for the Aquarium can snake out as far as you can see. June is the calmest of the summer months, prefer it to others if you plan your trip for the summer.
Avoid weekends and holidays. Check the Italian school holidaysbefore going, as Aquarium’s attendance depends on it in a huge way. During Easter holidays and Ferragosto (15th of August) the number of visitors doubles. If there are festivals, important exhibitions or events taking place - you should also expect to see the Aquarium’s line longer than usual, since it’s one of the main tourist attractions in the city.
How to time your visit
Don’t plan your visit for the morning unless you’re ready to come at the opening time. Tourist buses arrive in the morning, families with small children as well, even Italians who arrive by car for a day tend to go to the Aquarium first and spend time walking and shopping in the afternoon. Peak hours are therefore from 10:00 to 14:00. Afternoons are much calmer.
You won’t feel comfortable inside when the place is overcrowded. With children running here and there, people speaking loudly and blocking the view to the aquarium, you will be disappointed with your visit. That’s why it is important to come in the afternoon or during extended hours (usually July-August, check them here).
Photo credits to Wikipedia Commons
It’s highly recommended you buy your ticket online, you won’t need to wait in line then!
The opening hours vary a lot throughout the year, check them here before your visit.
The visit takes an average 2,5 hours but you can stay inside as long as you want.
There are different rooms and sections, each with a different entrance fee. You can either choose which ones you want to visit before going, or buy a complex entrance that will give you access to all.
It may be cold in some rooms of the Aquarium, take a jacket even if you go in summer.
All visitors follow the same itinerary indicated with signs, it goes through the whole Aquarium. There’s a snack bar, it’s in the middle of this itinerary.
You can see the animals during meal times:
sharks: on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (about 14.30-15.30),
dolphins: every day (at 8:30, 11:00, 12:30, 14:30 and 16:30),
seals: every day (at 10:30, 12:15, 14:15 and 16:00),
penguins: every day (at 09:00 and 15:00).
Photo credits to Gary Bembridge via Flickr