On our second day in Malta, it is storming and raining. After we luckily made it to the Malta National Aquarium in the dry, dark clouds roll in and the rain starts.
We are greeted very kindly at the ticket office. It’s almost 10:30 and a chance for us to take a look behind the scenes of the aquarium. A guided tour is offered at 10:45 am (children not allowed). And we spontaneously decide to risk a look.
Guided tour “behind the aquarium tanks”
For an additional €5, you are taken in a small group (we were 7 people) to the aquarium staff’s working area.
I found this visit very interesting, as not only the feed kitchen and the laboratory were shown here. The very competent staff member explained a lot to us. For example, we learned about the feeding rhythm of sharks and the death of corals. He also put a lot of emphasis on environmental protection and explained very roughly the consequences of plastic pollution of the oceans. Once again, I was amazed at how ignorant people can be, since for other visitors the topic was apparently hardly present.
My personal highlight, however, was the view into the largest tank in the Malta National Aquarium. We were able to look into the tank from above and some of the special features of the fish swimming around were explained to us. Later, when we visited the aquarium, we could experience the same tank from the other perspective. It was a completely different impression.
The little tour took about 30 minutes and we really liked it.
Tour of the Malta National Aquarium
After the tour, we had plenty of time to explore the entire Malta National Aquarium. In the meantime, there were a lot of families in the rooms, but it was still easy to get to the tanks and see everything. We stopped at some of the tanks for a long time and watched the fish in peace – this often has something meditative about it.
The aquarium is divided into 6 different zones. Each zone offers a wealth of information and great tanks where you can discover a lot.
Zone 1: Malta’s West Coast
Visually, some of the most beautiful stretches of water on the Maltese coast are presented here: Blue Grotto, St.Paul’s Island or the Dingli Cliffs. In the pools of this zone you can discover, for example, Mediterranean fish such as the gilthead sea bream, the European sea bass or the mullet.
Zone 2: Valletta Harbour
Here one has the impression of discovering the Harbour of Valetta. Here you can see native fish such as the speckled grouper.
Zone 3: Tropical Oceans
A tunnel leads the visitor across the main pool of the Malta National Aquarium. You have the feeling of being underwater and can watch the fish around you. Or are the fish rather watching us in the glass tube?
Not only schooling fish like the pompano fish or the bat fish swim here, but you can also discover rays and sharks. I found it very exciting to just stand there and watch the fish. Don’t you think that the ray almost looks like a grinning ghost from below?
Zone 4: Roman era
Underwater, you will discover a wreck and a statue. All around swim damselfish, clownfish, …
Zone 5: Gozo and Comino
In 4 basins you can admire very different sea creatures here.
Zone 6: Reptiles and amphibians area
In this area you can discover animals from all over the world. My favourites were geckos, axolotls and lizards.
We were in the small aquarium for almost 2 hours and saw a lot. I think that even though there are not mostly brightly coloured fish to be seen here, the visit is very worthwhile. Here you can discover the underwater world of the Mediterranean region and see native fish. We definitely enjoyed it!
Malta National Aquarium
Qawra, San Pawl il-Bahar SPB1500
- Airport: X3
- Valletta: 45, 48, 31
- Mellieha: 221
- Sliema: 212
- Rabat: 186
There is a car park with 140 parking spaces which can be used free of charge by visitors to the aquarium.
Monday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm (last entry 5:30 pm)
Children (4-12 years): 7€
Further discounts are offered. A 10% discount is offered for online ticket purchases.
Guided tour behind the scenes: 5,-€ (Not always offered!)