Tianjin Polar Ocean World is better than you’d imagine the city could offer. It’s the home of beluga whales, dolphins, sea turtles, penguins, seals, whales, manatees, fish (of course), polar bears, arctic foxes and wolves. And unless you grew up going to Sea World, you’ll probably enjoy the show, too. It’s not huge–you can see it all in an hour and a half (this includes watching the Mermaid show), and if you have kids, you’ll definitely think the time was well spent (as long as you can avoid spending any money in the gift shops that they strategically route you through).
- 滨海新区响螺湾商务区61号 Bīnhǎi Xīnqū – Xiǎngluówān Shāngwù Qū 61 hào (Binhai New Area, Xiangluowan Business District, No. 61)
- Best way to get there – Light Rail (Metro Line 9) to Tanggu, then take an 8 kuai taxi ride. Also, bring snacks, because you may find yourself wanting them for your kids. When you leave, it will probably be hard to find a taxi, because it’s a bit in the middle of nowhere, and you’ll probably have one of those delightful taxis that don’t use a meter and you’ll have to bargain for the price. Tell them you want to go back to the “dìtiě zhàn” (metro station).
Hours: 9:00-16:30, performances at 11:30 and 3:30 every day
- Adults: 160RMB
- Children (120-150cm): 1/2 price (80 RMB)
- Children (<120 cm): FREE
Try to buy the tickets online (nuomi.com, meituan.com, 55tuan.com) if you can, just check and make sure you’re not buying the “student” ticket for people with student IDs. The price should be 135.
Hints and Tips:
- If you get there around opening, you will have seen everything, including the mermaid show (you will have arrived at the tunnel where you view the mermaid show in plenty of time), and you will end up at the pathetic food court where you wait to go in for the show. Do not buy the popcorn, it’s awful, and everything is overpriced (I think 10 for an ice cream cone, or even more). When you see a few people stand in line, get in line yourself. We lined up at 10:50 and it was just right. They open the doors at 11 and people run like crazy people to get a seat. Because we were almost first, we didn’t have to fight and we got a great seat right up front in the middle. They then do a clown show (not so interesting, except that it’s two foreigners) and play interesting videos for the next half hour. It’s not boring. After the show, they will offer rides in a boat pulled by dolphins or pictures with the sea animals. I’m sure they’re pricey but I don’t know how much.
- Be prepared to walk to through lots of gift shops. You’ll have no choice.
- At one point they sell snails. They’re 40 kuai for a snail and a cage.
- Bring snacks for the kids. Food is very limited and pricey.
- There is a fish feeding area where you pay 10 kuai for a baby bottle filled with something fish like to eat.
- The mermaid show takes place in the aquarium that the tunnel goes through. Once you walk through the tunnel, you walk out to the right and take another right and there you can see the mermaid show.
- Try to buy your ticket before you go. If you buy it online (on nuomi.com or meituan or 55tuan – search 天津海昌极地海洋世界), it’s significantly cheaper, 135 instead of 160. If you buy a ticket online, there’s a little shack place you go to off to the right at the entrance instead of the ticket counter, before you climb the steps, pictured below.