National Aquarium
National Aquarium
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Considered one of the world's best aquariums, the National Aquarium's mission is to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures. It champions environmental initiatives by engaging with visitors, volunteers, education groups and schools to actively participate in the preservation of the world's natural resources and living systems. The National Aquarium delivers meaningful experiences through its living collection of more than 20,000 animals from more than 800 species of fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, marine mammals and sharks, as well as through exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences like sleepovers and tours, science-based education programs and hands-on experiences in the field.
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Address
Neighborhood: Inner Harbor
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
7,174 reviews
Excellent
4,039
Very good
1,994
Average
760
Poor
235
Terrible
146

Ed C
Arlington, VA767 contributions
Apr 2022
We took two of our grandchildren to visit the aquarium. It was a very enjoyable visit.

The unexpected highlights of the visit were the Australian and jellyfish exhibits. Other highlights included the dolphins; the "petting zoo" with horseshoe crabs and one jelly fish species; and the puffins. My only complaint with all the lights and glass it was very hard to take pictures without unwanted reflections.

One comment on the "price" complaint. I would agree that for a single visit it is a bit much, but with a membership you can go many times at no extra cost. With several grandchildren coming to visit us this year, we bought a membership and expect to go back several times.
Written May 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joseph H
16 contributions
Aug 2022
The aquarium is very nice, it's quite packed, so it's hard to see the tiny fish tanks but the big tanks are easier to see, so most of the aquarium was still enjoyable. I especially loved the huge glass room where you walk down the spiral ramp and see so many different fish, you feel like you're immersed in the ocean. That is something I've never seen before, and it was the highlight of my trip. The 4D show was also very cool. Allow for 2-3 hours in this place.

The reason I took off a star is because no strollers were allowed, and there was no other stroller option to rent out from the aquarium since Covid. We took along our 20 month old, and without a stroller it becomes extremely hard, we had to hold him the whole time, it was very very hard for us and we couldn't really enjoy it, and if we would have known about it we wouldn't have gone here. We sent an email to the aquarium that if they don't allow strollers they should at least write that on their website and not mislead people. A manager called us back and was very nice and understanding and apologized and refunded back our money! We were very impressed with them, so I think I'm being fair for giving them four stars. Just beware before you go that you'll have to carry your toddler the whole time, if you can't do that, then this place is not for you.
Written August 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WVU2014
Buckhannon, WV182 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
We drove about 4 hours to get here and we were most excited for the Rainforest exhibit. To our major disappointment it is closed until the fall! I didn’t see anything about it in the website! In fact, there is a Golden Lion Tamarin on the very first page of the website. When we arrived an saw that it was closed, I double checked and still see the tamarin on the front page. It’s not until you click on that you see that the exhibit is closed. It just blends in. You would think that there would be an announced at the top of the page if one of your exhibits were closed!

Anyways, we enjoyed seeing the sharks, jellyfish and other fish. My little one enjoyed it as well. The sharks were probably our favorite.

There were just some really odd things about the place overall. You are not allowed to take in strollers. It would have been very difficult to do anyways with the escalators and steps. There were some elevators, but I’m not sure exactly where they were. They do have a free stroller check which we used and locker for rent. I also noticed they had sensory bags available at the stroller check and employed people with all abilities which made me smile. The person who scanned our tickets was very kind and talked to our kiddo. The lady working at the snack bar was nice. Expect $10 beers of course, but we expected that.

Another questionable exhibit is the dolphin exhibit. I was happy to see the shows were not longer being held and they could only be cured in their “natural” state. Nothing about a tank is natural for such an intelligent being, but I did see a sign that they were looking to relocate the dolphins to a better area. Fingers crossed it back into the ocean if possible!

Pros:
Variety of sea-life
Shark exhibit
Jellyfish exhibit
Friendly staff
Sensory bags available
Flexible entry time

Cons:
Confusing layout
NOT stroller friendly (and probably also difficult for wheelchairs)
Expensive food and drinks
Some tanks were very small and difficult to see (can you imagine living in them!)

Obviously I have an internal ethical dilemma about having animals in captivity, but it does seem like they are making positive changes.
Written March 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tesh13531
Hanover, PA6 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
The aquarium was a waste of 80$. We were here less than an hour. It was so overcrowded we couldn’t see any of the exhibits except shark galley, dolphin training, a water python and some of the jellyfish. To say that the aquarium was overcrowded is a severe understatement. They make you buy tickets for a specific time but this does absolutely nothing to help with the overcrowding situation. It was so crowded, people were beading sweat standing on the escalator. The entire place stunk like BO. Furthermore, staff does nothing to keep people moving. They don’t have employees stationed anywhere to keep people from “camping” out on exhibits. If you want to waste over $100 (parking is $25), sweat while standing still, only to see 4 exhibits while being herded through a crowded maze like cattle, then you will love Baltimore Aquarium.
Written August 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NoviceFlyer
Ridgewood, NJ17 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
I have been to this aquarium before and I found that it is a bit costly considering both the visit and convenience of parking at the closest parking garage. I say costly based on what you get to see in comparison to other aquariums I have been to before.

Nevertheless I decided that I would give it another chance and bring along other family members. All in all we were 5 adults, 2 children, 1 toddler and a 4 month infant.

Upon arrival I was shocked to find that strollers were not allowed in the building due to policy. So now to make a long story short the management was not able to grant an exception nor did they provide some compensation. We traveled 4-5 hours to spend 2-3 hours there. The only thing they were able to do was refund us and provide a discount for parking.

Now since they make exceptions for people with disabilities why can’t they grant this for infants?

I think they could have bargained with us and told us the toddler will have to be carried and we would have to store the strollers in the car. I am sure we were not the first who ran into this issue. Alternative is to refund us and offer us 50% tickets in the future or free considering situation.

If you dig deep you can find this policy they have so they are covering themselves. My position would be to state this on the website. Make it simple. No strollers, no food, no drink except for water bottles and baby food—something like that on the web page and ticket. It should be highlighted!

For this reason alone I downgrade them from 3 star to 1. We are very disappointed!
Written June 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We know that the fact we are unable to accommodate strollers inside the Aquarium due to space concerns and safety issues can be inconvenient for guests visiting with small children. The policy is noted on our website and in our email receipts and, to be fair to all our guests, we cannot make exceptions. Guests are always welcome to carry babies and toddlers through the Aquarium, or use child carriers, and we provide an area where strollers can be parked. As a nonprofit organization that relies on admission tickets and memberships to care for the animals at the Aquarium as well as support our animal rescue efforts, habitat restoration work and education programs, we appreciate your visit.
Written June 11, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

akat411
San Francisco, CA119 contributions
Jun 2022
I'll preface by saying that I work at a large museum/aquarium and understand crowds and steep prices. So yes, this aquarium is not cheap. However, as soon as we walked in (on a Saturday, Summer morning) the crowd was overwhelming. I feel like the layout is likely a big culprit in it feeling so crowded. There is a definite directional flow you have to follow, which makes taking time or changing directions virtually impossible. I really skipped over huge sections of animals and tanks because I didn't feel up for fighting for a view.

I liked the shark exhibit down the ramp on one side of the museum - pretty cool to see a few different shark species. Everything felt particularly dark and the tanks and coral are pretty lackluster.

The dining area downstairs was large and had a system where you ordered from your phone, and it was delivered to your table. Not sure what the reason for that set up is, but it was fine.

Overall - I would opt to do something else if in the area. Or at the very least go at a very obscure time of week and day and know what to expect if you're paying a high tix price.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

acrinker
5 contributions
Mar 2021
While the aquarium is beautiful and parking is conveniently located, I can't say we enjoyed our trip to the fullest. We chose to purchase tickets online for the evening slots, which was very simple to do online. The website clearly stated their COVID guidelines and if they were not abided by, that the guest(s) would be asked to leave. I was happy to read the guidelines and happy to think they would be enforced, however, I was wrong. There were clusters of large families crowding exhibits for 5+ minutes at a time, not giving 6ft or even an inch of space from different parties. Children were climbing on tanks, banging on the glass, and constantly getting under my feet.
I also paid $80 for two adult tickets and the entire Rainforest floor was closed, dolphin shows were discontinued, and the main gift shop was closed. I was frustrated to find out we could not tour the entire rainforest floor of the museum and still paid full price.The gift shop closure by the entrance wouldn't of been bothersome, however, the only one open was tiny and was not sizable for the amount of guests in it. The poor two cashiers were slammed with a long line wrapping around the gift shop.
I can appreciate the aquarium's attempt at their COVID guidelines, but they were not enforced at all. They could of used attendants stationed around the museum at certain points to make sure things were evened out. We will not be back until the pandemic lifts.
Written March 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for visiting the National Aquarium. We are doing our best to make sure all our guests and staff feel safe and are safe while at the Aquarium, and we continue to monitor COVID-related recommendations and alter our policies based on the latest guidance. All of the Aquarium’s award-winning exhibits remain open for guests; however, as part of our response to COVID-19, the touchpools in Living Seashore and most of the amphitheater seating in Dolphin Discovery are currently closed. We have not offered dolphin shows in several years, but from the underwater viewing area, guests can watch these intelligent, playful marine mammals and observe how they learn, play and interact with each other.
Written April 12, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kita_Marz
Rochester, NY64 contributions
Jul 2021
I must admit, I was somewhat disappointed with this experience.

1. They need more crowd control. The place was packed and people would just stand around in areas for long periods of time. They should have signs encouraging people to keep it moving after a couple of minutes.

2. The A/C was not adequate on a hot July day.

3. The touch tank had a few stingrays and horseshoe crabs. With the amount of people and everyone just standing around, it was hard to touch anything. Once again, it would be helpful if the staff monitoring the area would encourage people to keep it moving. They did have a jelly fish tank that was well stocked and it was pretty cool to touch one. They should add hand washing stations to the touch tank area. All they had was hand sanitizer on the way out.

4. For such a large building, I was left feeling like I didn't see much. Especially for costs.

I wouldn't visit again, but overall it was an ok experience. It would have been better if there weren't so many people. I visit aquariums when I travel and I have to say, the Tennessee Aquarium is around this size but has so much more for a cheaper price and with better sanitary practices (and this was before COVID). Someone who works here should visit that one and see how they run things.
Written July 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fussingtraveler
24 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
I honestly don’t understand the “best aquarium ever” type of responses. I’ve been to quite a few and this one was hardly even impressive especially for the price tag. The online ticket appointments was useless you can still buy on premises. We chose an off peak time according to the available tickets remaining but it was PAAAAACKED. The smaller kids couldn’t see much of anything when the crowd was about 8-10 people deep to view any exhibit. Forget about the hands on horse shoe crabs or jellies you’re not getting near there without a mosh pit experience. People are packed in tightly sort of negating their covid appointment limitations to limit crowding. Good part was the ramps with walls of windows to the tank to watch the fish and sharks. But we missed out on a good 75% just due to the amount of people and small children not being able to see. No strollers of any kind allowed you have to carry your littlest ones. We’re from the area and definitely won’t bother returning.
Written March 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BAS
1 contribution
Apr 2022
Underwhelming and overpriced! $350 for 8 adults and 2 small kids, then another $100 for a light lunch that was really more like a way overpriced, and not good snack. This organization smacks of its own pretentiousness! Better to save your hard-earned money and take a trip to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian runs this zoological park, and hence it's a first-class operation. It'll cost you $30 to park at the zoo which goes directly to the zoo, admission is free. I forgot to mention we spent another $60 for downtown Baltimore parking in a public garage, and not the safest! all in all, an extremely disappointing and expensive day, and not worth the hassle!!!
Written April 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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National Aquarium (Baltimore) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about National Aquarium

National Aquarium is open:
  • Fri - Fri 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Sat - Thu 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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We recommend booking National Aquarium tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 5 National Aquarium tours on Tripadvisor