The Beijing Aquarium on the zoo grounds is hailed as the largest inland aquarium in the world. It is impressive, and the family can easily spend hours inside, though I’m not sure it merits that title.
You enter the Beijing Aquarium at the rainforest, a lush area filled with fish. This is a nice escape during the Beijing winter and my kids enjoyed feeding the fish, while spotting the “pout pout fishes” and “nemos” and the other cool fish. The path through the aquarium is fairly well marked and there are a couple impressive white dolphins.
After Section 5 however you need to pay attention. That one takes you up to go under the sea to the coral fish. If you do a circle and come back down you will complete the tour and eventually reach the show area. Check the show times in advance and make sure you go early enough to get a seat.
There are snack stalls throughout and a food court near the end when you need a break.
Full price admission is 130 RMB, but students and children are 70. Small kids are free. Admission includes the zoo, as the Aquarium is located on the zoo grounds. So make it a full day and stroll around the zoo. What you see will depend partly on the season. We enjoyed the llamas and southern raccoons. But the hippos and rhinos were a depressing sight and most cages are small and run down.
Jenny Lin is raising 3 boys in Beijing while working as a writer/editor. You can follow her @twinlins or keep up with her sporadically updated cross-cultural familial adventures at beijingmom.blogspot.com