When my daughter, Naia, was 2 years old, we made bi-monthly visits to the Lotte World Aquarium to explore the mysterious underwater world.
With over 55,000 sea creatures to learn about, huge tanks to be awed by, and tons of space to run around in, the Lotte World Aquarium was the perfect way to spend a family day out.
Now that she’s grown into a brave and independent 6 year old (sob), her awe and innocence, and the memories of those mommy-daughter outings will always hold a special place in my heart.
In this guide
- 1 Lotte World Aquarium | 롯데월드 아쿠아리움
- 2 Zones at Lotte World Aquarium
- 3 Where to get Lotte World Aquarium Discount Tickets
- 4 Lotte World Aquarium with Kids
- 5 Educational Programs and Activities
- 6 Lotte World Aquarium or Coex Mall Aquarium?
- 7 Things to do near Lotte World Aquarium
- 8 How to get to Lotte World Aquarium
Lotte World Aquarium | 롯데월드 아쿠아리움
You can use a lot of superlatives to describe the Lotte World Aquarium in Seoul, and you wouldn’t be wrong.
It’s currently the biggest aquarium in Seoul, home to the Korea’s largest ocean ecology tank, and has its longest underwater tunnel at 85-metres. There are also 13 diverse themed zones that allow you to experience all 5 oceans of the world, 650 species, and over 55,000 sea creatures.
As you wander through the Lotte World Aquarium, you’ll see local fish from the Han River, fearsome piranhas, neon jellyfish, turtles, graceful stingrays, sharks, and playful sea lions housed in a huge array of underwater tunnels and tanks, with the sole remaining beluga whale and penguins from Antarctica definitely the stars of the show.
Be sure to look out for MIRO, a robot fish swimming innocently along a school of real fish!
Zones at Lotte World Aquarium
The Lotte World Aquarium is divided into 13 different habitat zones, arranged along an 840-metre self-guided route. The route is designed so that you experience all 5 oceans of the world, and the flow of the eco-system, from river to coast, and from coast to sea, along the way.
The course begins in a Korean river habitat, and continues on through tropical rivers, the Amazon, the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and finally, Antarctica.
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Nature Zone | Tropical Rivers | Amazon River
After passing through the entrance gates, you’ll enter the Nature Zone, which is inhabited by various freshwater fish. Look out for the colour-changing chameleons.
Next are the Tropical and Amazon River zones, where you can see crocodiles, piranhas, and tropical sea creatures, like the pirarucu – the largest existing freshwater fish.
This is where you’ll find Korea’s longest underwater tunnel, stretching 85-metres long. There’s a fast lane and a slow lane for those that wish to take their time watching the sea animals gliding all around them.
Sea Lion Zone | The Ocean
In the Sea Lion Zone at Lotte World Aquarium, you can get up close and personal with adorable sea lions from California. These little guys can swim at speeds up to 40-km per hour and dive down to 247-metres.
The Ocean spans 2 floors and is the biggest water tank in Korea. It’s a whopping 7.3-metres high, 25-metres wide and 2,200 tons! There are over 10,000 sea animals in the tank, including cownose rays, nurse sharks, turtles, and stingrays.
Belugas are undeniably appealing to look at, but they haven’t done that well at the Lotte World Aquarium. 2 out of the 3 original belugas have died, despite the beluga tank being double the regulated size. It’s clear that these sensitive animals are not meant to be in captivity!
Fortunately, the Lotte Group seems to agree. The final beluga – Bella – is currently undergoing wildlife adaptation training, before she’s transported to a wildlife sanctuary next year.
Coral Reef Garden | Play Ocean
After exploring the colourful Coral Reef Garden, kids can get active in the Play Ocean. There’s an opportunity to physically touch and interact with starfish, conch, sea squirts and other water creatures in the aquatic petting zoo.
Bottle feeding the koi fish (paid activity) is also an option, if they don’t get too freaked out by the multiple sucking mouths (ok, I was the one freaked out).
Hold on tight to that bottle though – their suction power is strong enough to rip that bottle right out of your hands.
Marine Gallery | Jellyfish Gallery
In the Marine Gallery, look out for anemone, puffer fish, and shrimps, then prepare to be soothed in the Jellyfish Gallery.
The Jellyfish Gallery is actually my favourite spot in the Lotte World Aquarium. The room is cleverly darkened, and watching the neon jellyfish hypnotically bobbing gently in their tanks is totally meditative. It’s the perfect time-out from all the activity in the aquarium.
Ocean Tunnel | Sardine Zone
There’s a 2nd Ocean Tunnel in the Aquarium, where you can see Bella the Beluga, and the creatures of the Ocean Tank swimming above and around you.
In the Sardine Zone, observe the fascinating schooling behaviour of a family of sardines, tightly grouped together and swimming in synchronicity.
Polar Region Zone
The Polar Region is full of adorable Humboldt penguins, frolicking in and out of the water, so it’s not surprising that this was my daughter’s favourite part of every visit. She’d spend long minutes just observing, giggling, and pointing out their comical behaviour.
There’s also a slide located at the end of this zone that’s very popular with kids.
This is the last of the 13 zones at Lotte World Aquarium. From here, you’ll pass through the gift shop and back out into Lotte World Mall.
Where to get Lotte World Aquarium Discount Tickets
Please, please, please don’t ever pay full price to visit the Lotte World Aquarium. With just a little bit of extra effort, you can enjoy huge savings on the ticket price.
The following discounted admission tickets to Lotte World Aquarium are for foreign passport holders only, and they’re super-easy to reserve. Confirmation is instant, so you can enjoy these savings, even if you decide to visit spontaneously.
Just book online before entering, exchange your mobile voucher for a paper ticket, and you’re good to go!
Lotte World Aquarium with Kids
As a mother, I really appreciated the special areas and activities dedicated to children at Lotte World Aquarium. You’ll find an aquatic petting zoo, a Play Ocean to burn extra energy, plenty of specialized photo zones for kids, and even a slide in the penguin area.
One of Naia’s favourite activities was the “Oh My Fish” feeding areas, where you can purchase a small capsule of fish food to feed the fish. There are a few feeding tanks scattered throughout the aquarium. You’ll need 500 won coins to purchase them, but there’s a bill changer on-site.
TIP | If you live in Seoul, and have a child under 36 months old, an annual pass is definitely the way to go. It costs approximately 100,000 won per adult for unlimited visits, and toddlers enter free until they’re 36 months old. It’s how I managed to visit so many times without completely breaking the bank! Get one at the membership office inside the Lotte World Aquarium ticketing area. Be sure to bring proof of age.
Educational Programs and Activities
Lotte World Aquarium offers 14 different free and for fee educational programs to learn about marine life. Throughout the aquarium, you’ll find explanations of the different ecosystems that are free of charge.
Learn about the ecosystem of sea lions, penguins, otters, sardines and belugas with engaging exhibits that were developed in cooperation with educators, veterinarians, curators and aquarists.
There are also a number of charged programs, such as an aquarium tour, a one-day aquarist experience, Jellyfish Club (where kids can see jellyfish under microscopes), and Junior Doctor, where children can learn how fish and whales differ, while observing science experiments.
Lotte World Aquarium or Coex Mall Aquarium?
Lotte World Aquarium and Coex Mall Aquarium are the 2 biggest and most popular aquariums in Seoul. Many visitors wonder which is better to visit. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect at each to help you decide.
In my opinion, you can’t go wrong visiting either aquarium. They’re located relatively close to each other, and have similar admission costs.
Lotte World Aquarium
TIP | Staying on the west side of Seoul? Hanwha Aqua Planet is another aquarium in Seoul, located inside the 63 Building in Yeouido. It’s smaller than Lotte World Aquarium, but there’s a super unique mermaid show with real swimmers in the Migratory Tank to see. Check for discounted Hanwha Aqua Planet 63 tickets here.
Things to do near Lotte World Aquarium
If you’re visiting the Lotte World Aquarium from other parts of the city, it makes sense to combine a few activities in the area on the same day. I live in this neighbourhood, and I can vouch for the fact that there’s a ton of great attractions to check out in Jamsil.
Check out the following articles to learn more about Jamsil and the surrounding neighbourhood.
TIP | The Songpa L Pass combines admission to Lotte World Adventure, Lotte World Aquarium, and the Seoul Sky Observatory in one convenient, discounted pass. With it, you can visit all 3 attractions for 65,000 won (vs 119,000 won on-site). Reserve a Songpa L Pass here.
How to get to Lotte World Aquarium
Address: 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea | 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 300 롯데월드 몰 B1 (신천동)
The Lotte World Aquarium is located on the B1 level of the new Lotte World Mall. It’s on the very opposite side of where you’ll enter the mall from Jamsil subway station.
Take Exit 1 or 2 into Lotte World Mall and walk all the way through till you reach the end. You’ll see clear signs in english directing you towards the Lotte World Aquarium, so no need to worry about getting lost.
Lotte Mall vs Lotte World Mall
If you’ve never been to the “Kingdom of Lotte” before, it can be a little bit confusing. There’s a lot of big tourist attractions in this area, including the Seoul Sky Observatory, Lotte World Adventure Amusement Park, and Seokchon Lake.
Many people buy combo tickets that include visits to 2 or 3 of these attractions at great value, but getting between them all can be a little confusing. It helps to understand that there are actually 2 separate Lotte Malls, right across the street from each other, and the various attractions are not necessarily all in the same place.
The older mall is known as Lotte Mall. You’ll find Lotte World Theme Park, Pororo Park, and the Lotte Department Store inside this mall.
The new mall is called Lotte World Mall. The attractions located in or near the Lotte World Mall are Seoul Sky Observatory in Lotte World Tower, Lotte World Aquarium, Lotte Concert Hall, and Lotte Cinema – Asia’s largest multiplex.
The closest subway station to all things Lotte is Jamsil, which intersects Line 2 and Line 8. To reach the OLD Lotte Mall, take exits 3 or 4. To reach the NEW Lotte World Mall, take exits 1, 2, 9, or 10. You can access Seokchon Lake from behind BOTH malls.
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Lotte World Aquarium: Essential Info and FAQs
Ready to enter the underwater world of the Lotte World Aquarium? Which tanks are you most excited to explore?