Aquarium in Barceloneta, the Waterfront & El Poblenou

It's hard not to shudder at the sight of a shark gliding above you, displaying its toothy, wide-mouthed grin. But this, the 80m shark tunnel, is the highlight of one of Europe’s largest aquariums. It has the world’s best Mediterranean collection and plenty of colourful fish from as far off as the Red Sea, the Caribbean and the Great Barrier Reef. All up, some 11,000 creatures of 450 species reside here.

Back in the shark tunnel, which you reach after passing a series of themed fish tanks with everything from bream to sea horses, various species of shark (white tip, sand tiger, black tip and sandbar) flit around you, along with a host of other critters, from flapping rays to creepy Mediterranean moray. An interactive zone, Planeta Aqua, is host to a family of Humboldt penguins from Chile and a tank of rays and guitarfish that you watch close up. Explora is a dedicated children's area with activities spread over three themed environments.

Underwater adventurers can cage dive in the main tank with the sharks, or scuba dive with a valid dive certificate.