Support our mission
 
Visitors walk through the 26-foot long underwater tunnel at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany. The indoor aquarium houses more than 3,000 animals representing about 100 species.
Visitors walk through the 26-foot long underwater tunnel at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany. The indoor aquarium houses more than 3,000 animals representing about 100 species. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Visitors walk through the 26-foot long underwater tunnel at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany. The indoor aquarium houses more than 3,000 animals representing about 100 species.
Visitors walk through the 26-foot long underwater tunnel at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany. The indoor aquarium houses more than 3,000 animals representing about 100 species. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Fish swim through the Shipwreck display at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany.
Fish swim through the Shipwreck display at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
A catfish shark breaks the surface in search of food at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany.
A catfish shark breaks the surface in search of food at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
A visiting student at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany, spends a moment with a Japanese spider crab.
A visiting student at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany, spends a moment with a Japanese spider crab. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
A lionfish swims in its tank at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany.
A lionfish swims in its tank at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Visitors reach into a shallow pool and let shrimp crawl on their hands at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany.
Visitors reach into a shallow pool and let shrimp crawl on their hands at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Marty, a green sea turtle, swims overhead at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany.
Marty, a green sea turtle, swims overhead at Sea Life in Speyer, Germany. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Visitors watch feeding time for rays and catsharks at Sea Life.
Visitors watch feeding time for rays and catsharks at Sea Life. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Visitors watch a catshark and ray break the water surface during feeding time at Sea Life.
Visitors watch a catshark and ray break the water surface during feeding time at Sea Life. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
A school of fish swim in their tank at Sea Life.
A school of fish swim in their tank at Sea Life. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Sea Life in Speyer, Germany, has more than 3,000 animals representing about 100 species on display.
Sea Life in Speyer, Germany, has more than 3,000 animals representing about 100 species on display. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)

When I think about opportunities to view sea turtles, tropical fish and corals, southwest Germany does not come to mind.

However, a trip to Sea Life gave me the chance to spend time with exotic and indigenous underwater creatures without scuba gear.

Sea Life, an indoor aquarium in Speyer, Germany, overlooks the Rhine River and is home to more than 3,000 animals representing about 100 species.

It features many specimens that can be found in the Rhine as well as the coastal areas where it empties into the North Sea. Assorted catfish, European pond turtles and lobsters are a few of the aquarium residents that can also be found in German waters.

As you wind through the halls, the displays gradually move from freshwater and cold North Sea dwellers to animals that prefer warmer habitats, such as reef-building corals, clown fish and sea horses.

Sea Life’s layout is immersive. There are tanks you can walk completely around, under, or in the case of the underwater tunnel, through. While most of these displays allow you to view underwater creatures while remaining completely dry, you can also dip your hands into a shallow pool for some exfoliating action by friendly shrimp.

The shrimp aren’t the only ones you can watch chowing down on a snack, either. Every day there are multiple feedings in different sections of the aquarium.

The website has a complete list, but of particular note are the feedings at the North Sea Basin display where rays and catsharks swim by visitors at, and above, the surface of the large, open tank. These feedings are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 12 p.m.

Visitors with kids might be interested in checking out the daily 4 p.m. feeding at the Lorely Rock display where children can feed freshwater fish.

My visit took almost two hours thanks to the numerous English-language exhibit signs, watching multiple feedings and receiving some much-needed skin care by shrimp.

Sea Life is not a large aquarium, but I appreciated this smaller scale during the high point of my visit as I got an up-close look at Marty, Sea Life’s resident green sea turtle, as he floated directly over my head.

keller.mike@stripes.com

Sea Life, Speyer, Germany DIRECTIONS

Located at Im Hafenbecken 5, 67346 Speyer, Germany. From Kaiserslautern, head east on the A6 and then south on the A61. Take exit 63 Speyer on B9 and then the B39 exit toward Speyer Zentrum. Follow the signs for Zentrum and then the signs for Sea Life parking. Two large parking lots are a short walk from the aquarium.

TIMES

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends and holidays. Closed Christmas Eve and open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. New Year’s Eve.

COSTS

16.50 euros for adults at the door (about $18) and 11.55 online; 13.50 euros for children ages 3-14 at the door and 9.45 online; free for children under age 3.

FOOD

A restaurant on the top floor overlooks the Rhine and serves light fare, such as schnitzel, currywurst and hamburgers. Speyer, a five-minute walk from the aquarium, has many dining options available.

INFORMATION

Find details in English at www.visitsealife.com/de/en/speyer

Migrated

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up