The National Aquarium of Denmark is called the Blue Planet – or, as the locals call it, Den Blå Planet. Located in the suburb of Kastrup, on the outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark’s national aquarium is the largest in Northern Europe.
This is a modern and cleverly designed building – opened in 2013, replacing an older aquarium building that had been operating in Charlottenlund since 1937.
Like most aquariums of this nature, the Blue Planet’s mission is to help educate people about our oceans and the marine life and ecosystems within it. It’s an ideal attraction to take your children to – you’ll be sharing the aquarium with numerous school groups on field trips from the schools in the area. Even if you don’t have children, this is still worth visiting – it’s a great way to learn a bit about our oceans and see some extraordinary exhibits up close.
Dive into the whirlpool
Containing about seven million liters of water, the design of the aquarium building resembles a whirlpool – dividing its exhibits into five main sections.
The Rainforest: In this section you’ll find crocodiles, stingrays, boa constrictors, as well as a school of three thousand piranhas.
The African Great Lakes: Featuring the huge variety of fish within the cichlids family, these are often the fish that feature in home aquariums. To create an authentic ecosystem, this section also features village weaver birds and other small animals.
Evolution and adaptation: The core of this section is the mangrove swamp, a home for turtles and primitive fish such as lungfish.
Cold Water: This is where you’ll find most of the fish that are native to the waters surrounding Denmark, including both freshwater and saltwater fish. In this part of the aquarium you’ll also find a dramatic seabird cliff. Plus you’ll also be able to see the giant Pacific octopus and a pair of sea otters.
The Warm Ocean: With an enormous ocean tank, this section is the home of the sharks – walk through the shark tunnel and spot zebra shark, reef shark, and hammerheads. In this section you’ll also find the coral and reef fish.
There’s some great guided tours available at the aquarium – you can have a close encounter with the sharks, you can get up close to the sea otters, or there’s even opportunities to hold your child’s birthday party at the aquarium.
How to get there
The suburb of Kastrup is between Copenhagen’s city center and the airport. You could make this one of your final activities as you leave the city on your way to the airport, but it’s also well-served by public transport so it’s not a difficult place to get to.
It probably depends a bit on where your accommodation is located. If you’re looking for holiday accommodation in Copenhagen that has a huge range of options to choose with high-end hotels to self-service apartments and holiday cottages, then Charlottehaven might be the best place to start.
Obviously, most people in Copenhagen seem to ride bikes to get around, and you can cycle to the aquarium from central Copenhagen in around forty-five minutes. To get there, you cycle along the Øresund and then follow the cycle route to Amager Strandpark. Naturally, there’s plenty of bike parking once you reach the aquarium.