Do you want to know what animals and plants live in the rivers of the world? You can discover the main freshwater ecosystems of five continents and their flora and fauna at Lausanne’s Aquatis aquarium and vivarium. Spread over 3500m2 and two levels, Aquatis is the largest freshwater aquarium-vivarium in Europe, housing over 10,000 fish, 100 reptiles and amphibians, and some 300 plant species. Aquatis is divided into five biozones and 12 natural environments, each with its own unique scenography. The five biozones—Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America—are geographically far apart. The exhibits, however, which spectacularly display their amazing diversity by way of technical scenography, focus on one point they all have in common—the increasing fragility of their ecosystems, whose preservation is our duty. In fact, freshwater only represents 2.5% of our planet’s natural resources.
The Aquatis’ first floor is dedicated to Europe, where the freshwater of the Rhône that crosses it has shaped landscapes, different industries, culture, and history. The tour follows the path of the Rhône from its glacial origins to its arrival in the Mediterranean Sea and is split up into different areas—the Alpine area, the Lake Geneva area, the Rhône area, and the Camargue area. Visitors are constantly reminded of the superb biodiversity that exists in Europe and which merits their attention. In the staircase that connects the first and second floor, between two worlds, a Spinosaurus rises up from an underwater canyon that has taken over the staircase. It marks the entrance to the “Evolution” exhibit, which reminds visitors that life did indeed begin in the water.
At the top of the stairs on the second floor, the African lakes and Congo River, the Asian mangroves and the Mekong River with its floating villages, the Pioneer River that discharges into the Great Barrier Reef, and the flooded Amazon Forest emerge, taking up two levels. These displays tell the story not only of their beauty, but also of the veiled threat posed by the carelessness of mankind.
Read more about each of these distinct regions on their website, and/or visit Aquatis for a day of educational fun and marvel. They are open every day of the year and are accessible by public transport or by car. A P&R car park is available under the aquarium or in Vennes; be sure to get your parking ticket validated at Aquatis for preferential rates on parking.
Entrance costs CHF 29 for adults, CHF 25 for students, CHF 19 for kids ages 6–15, and free for kids under age 6. Purchase your tickets online for ease of entry, family tickets are also available at the cash desk only. If you want to make an overnight trip out of it, consider a “Discovery Package,” which includes a stay at the water-themed Aquatis Hotel and entry to Aquatis at 20% discount.
Make the most of your time in Lausanne, and include a trip to the Olympic Museum, which is located only a 20-minute drive away on the waterfront of Lake Geneva. To learn more about the Olympic Museum, see our post, https://www.basellife.com/the-olympic-museum/
Route de Berne 144