South Korea is home to endless fun attractions for tourists and residents alike. However, the Lotte World Aquarium is an absolute must-see spot. It is associated with the Lotte World Amusement Park, Seoul’s most popular theme park. However, the aquarium is located within a popular shopping complex. The aquarium is a spacious and engaging environment for both the guests and its marine residents!
Aquarium at a Glance
A grand day of adventure at the Lotte World Aquarium starts with the gorgeous layout. The entire premise is filled with thoughtfully designed tanks for the preservation of marine life and viewing for visitors. Standing at about 82 feet tall, their grand tanks give the most optimal view of all the sea creatures they house.
The tanks throughout the aquarium are home to over 600 different species and over 50,000 different marine lives. The variety of sea creatures will ensure that you have plenty to observe and learn about. While the aquarium is funded by visitors, they are committed to ensuring a safe environment for their resident creatures. The aquarium holds a 365-day clean water guarantee. This provides clean and safe environments for its exhibits.
Overall, there are 14 different themed adventures to explore and tons to learn in the process. With a two-story structure, the exhibits are seemingly flowing all around the guests. Even with the themed areas, the 10-star animals on display are the cow-nose stingray, Humboldt penguin, Asian small-clawed otter, pirarucus, piranha, sardines, electric eels, anemone fish, sea horses, and sea turtles.
With 14 different themed areas to explore, there is something for everyone at Seoul’s most popular aquarium.
1. Nature Zone
This zone is nature at its best. Its main attractions are the chameleon and the discus fish. Both of these creatures bring a zest of color and show the true beauty of mother nature. Chameleons have the unique ability to blend into their environment. Nothing compares to their camouflaging abilities. This is a protective measure for them in the wild. They are slow-moving reptiles, with feet like salad tongs that grasp each surface they crawl along.
2. Tropical Rivers
Surrounded by forestry and tropical music all around, this trip to the tropics will be one to remember. Guests can expect to see many prehistoric animals here, such as the crocodile and the piranha. All the creatures here are mystics to behold as their ability to withstand the hands of time has always been a topic of fun conversation. Piranha is often mistaken for being bloodthirsty fish, but in reality, they also feed on plant life as well. The crocodile is probably the most extraordinary on the list, due to its rich history in the Earth’s timeline. They have even been found mummified in Egyptian tombs! These large reptiles can get up to 2,200 lbs.
3. Amazon River
The Amazon River is possibly the most magnificent river on Earth. It is a place of wonder like the tropics and features beautiful fish and animals. Here, visitors can expect to see the largest freshwater fish, pirarucu and the arowana fish.
4. Sea Lion Zone
Featuring an American animal, the sea lions are a delight to see. They are active and do many swimming tricks for visitors. No one can resist their cute eyes and big eyelashes! In a zoo-like environment, they can live up to 25 years. They are incredibly social animals and are known to do tricks as penguins do. They are literally the life of the party.
5. The Ocean
As the main tank in the aquarium, the ocean gives the appearance of the guests being right alongside the ocean. This truly immersive experience gives up close and personal views of gorgeous sea life, otherwise unseen by the naked eye. The cow-nose stingray swims through this tank a lot. The cow-nose stingray is called as such due to a nose on its front, much like a cow nose. Of all the stingray species, the cow-nose species is the most docile. Rarely will one ever use its stinger, unless the sea creature is in extreme danger.
6. Coral Reef Garden
Coral reefs are known for their vibrant coolers and species-specific fish who love swimming among them. The coral reef garden is a boutique of color from with the reefs and its tank buddies. The construction of this garden helps preserve the coral reef, which is endangered in places like the Great Barrier Reef. Coral farming or gardening has expanded the life of these underwater aquatic reefs.
7. Play Ocean
The play ocean is an interactive display of species like starfish and conchs that can be physically touched. It is a great opportunity for a learning encounter that is truly one of a kind. The tanks sit low and provide access to feel the textures of the sea creatures. Adults and children alike can appreciate sea life at its finest.
8. Polar Region
This exciting display will show visitors penguins, who are known for their playful attitudes and talented swimming techniques. Their ability to walk on land gives them, even more, playtime to really show off the aquarium’s guests.
As for the second story, or B2F as the aquarium calls it, there are only a few more additional levels. The Sea Lion zone and the ocean both spans to be displayed on both floors. This gives optimal room for more species and offers the guests more exciting things to spot. The additional displays on floor two are as follows:
1. Marine Gallery
The marine gallery showcases the ocean’s prized smaller marine life, like shrimps, anemonefish also known as the clownfish, and blowfish. It is truly a sight to see the bright colors against the vibrant blue of the waters.
2. Jellyfish Gallery
Jellyfish are very trance-like in their swimming patterns. At this display, guests will be mesmerized by their translucent skin and elegant long tentacles. They are genuinely memorizing to watch.
3. Ocean Tunnel
The ocean tunnel is a walkway that surrounds visitors with marine life. From all sides, they can seemingly be swimming among sea life. This is just another example of Lotte World’s dedication to giving guests the best view of under the ocean as possible.
4. Sardine Zone
Sardines are not usually considered beautiful, but when viewed from behind a tank, that would change anyone’s mind. The sardine is a stark silver, and they travel in groups or schools as the fish world calls them, that is quite impressive. These schools of sardines in the ocean are estimated to have around 250 million fish swimming in them. They swim in unison and perfect form, so the display is always a delight to see how they follow each other.
The Stars of the Aquarium
While each zone provides a wide variety of sea life to watch, there are certain marine species that will completely leave the guests in awe. There are the 10 stars of the show, but the most prominent sight to see at the aquarium are the beluga whales. They have a tank that spans both floors. This creature is the largest at the aquarium to see. They are beautiful sea creatures that have a unique look for being whales. The beluga whale is white with a bulge on its forehead. They do resemble dolphins in their facial features. The aquarium is excited to have this creature at their feature exhibit. They even have ice cream themed after the beluga as well as souvenirs from the gift shop.
While the beluga whale is the key attraction, each zone that visitors pass through will bring them distinct experiences. The aquarium assures that each section makes the guests feel as though they are truly experiencing that area of the world. Next to the belugas, the penguins are possibly the most favored exhibit. They are such playful animals, and as expressed before, they will interact with guests and put on little shows within their environment.
Learning Programs at the Aquarium
All the displays of aquatic life are fabulous to marvel at. However, one of the critical components of any aquarium is the learning experience. Each exhibit is presented as an ecosystem, because well, it is. The whole point of an aquarium is to replicate the ecosystem of the species. So each one is introduced and explained by educated persons of the aquarium.
The aquarium encourages guests, especially children, to ask questions about the sea life on display. They have interactive groups to answer these questions. They make learning to a fun level as to not bore the children or visitors.
Information Desk and Children’s Lounge
As you walk into the aquarium, there is an information desk and a children’s lounge available to guests. The information desk is a means of getting information about the attraction. They also take any questions or complaints guests may have.
The children’s lounge is a play area for kids. This is also a place where parents can rent audio tapes for tours, maps for the layout of the aquarium, and is where the lost and found is located.
Sea Table Cafe
Continuing on their family-friendly vibe, the aquarium has a cafe that serves animal character cookies, ice cream, lemonade, etc. They pride themselves on using eco-friendly ingredients in every bite. This is also where visitors can find beluga ice cream.
Serving as the aquarium’s gift shop, visitors can pick up a cool souvenir for themselves or a friend. From stuffed animals to other various gifts, surely there’s something for everyone.
At the end of the aquatic adventure, guests can stop by the Smile photo booth and get pictures to document their day together! Professional photographer fees do apply and vary depending on the photographer.
Fees and Operating Hours
Address: 300 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 6(yuk)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Adults can be granted admission to the aquarium for around 31,000 won, or about $26. Children can be admitted for 27,000 won, or about $23. Children under 36 months get free admission, but proof of age must be provided. Adults over 65 get access to the children’s fee, also with proof of age. The aquarium’s hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
The aquarium is a great place to see things from the ocean that isn’t otherwise possible. Lotte World strives to bring that experience to each and every guest.