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A Sea and Land Adventure at the Beijing Aquarium and Zoo



The Beijing Aquarium is hailed as the largest inland aquarium in the world. Whether its reputation is accurate or not, it takes up an impressive amount of space on the Beijing Zoo grounds. And when visiting Beijing, it’s worth spending a day visiting both.


The Aquarium is accessed from the north of the zoo and admission to the Aquarium always includes the zoo. Start at the aquarium, which has a clearly marked 7-part visiting tour. It starts with the Rainforest, which is a welcome escape from the climate, weather and bustle of Beijing. There are large pools of fish that you can spend some time to feed (CNY 10 per bag). Some of the displays contain some impressively large fish.


The Rainforest is followed by a small seaside exhibit with the third section holding two large White Dolphins. These are rather impressive and you can pay to get your picture taken with them. After walking through a section of mostly video screen fish you will get to the Coral fish. You go up a level to get to this deep sea section. There is an impressive variety of jellyfish and seahorses. Do a loop and take the escalator down and watch the fish through a glass tunnel.


The Aquarium tour ends with the show area. But check the show times when you enter and plan your stop there to allow time to get a good seat. 


After you leave, take some time to visit the zoo. During winter there are fewer animals outdoors and more in the very sad looking and tiny cages. The llamas and southern raccoons are entertaining, but avoid the crowds in the indoor displays with the hippos and rhinos living in squalid and cramped conditions.


Both the Zoo and Aquarium are suitable for any age and you can spend as much or as little time as you want. There are plenty of places to stop for a snack or lunch. Outside the aquarium is an affordable inside cafeteria with nuggets and French fries- as well as more Chinese fare.


Admission to the Zoo alone is CNY 15 (special exhibits not included). The Aquarium/Zoo combo is 130 at full price. CNY 70 for students and children. The Zoo is easily accessed by Subway on Line 4. The Aquarium is best accessed by bus or taxi.


Recommendations: Spend more time at the Aquarium than the Zoo. If you want to see more fish and animals than people, go during off days or seasons! 


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