Aquatis, the largest freshwater aquarium in Europe

This new-generation aquarium was inaugurated in Lausanne in 2017. Aquatis displays about 10,000 fish, a genuine invitation to travel to the five continents and to wonder about the fragility of our beautiful blue planet.

Located above Lausanne, Aquatis is definitely not a traditional aquarium. Dedicated to freshwater species, it takes visitors on a tour on the water, from prehistoric times to today, and from one continent to another. Some 10,000 fish and 100 reptiles and amphibians are featured. These strange and surprising creatures call a modern setting their own. The carefully curated scenography offers digital, interactive and educational contents. During their visit to Aquatis, visitors marvel at the many fish on display, while almost automatically learning interesting facts and figures about the preservation of the beautiful yet so fragile freshwater ecosystems. Aquatis is a complete leisure centre offering a 3-star hotel, two restaurants, a wellness area and a conference centre.

An aquarium with a fairy-tale touch

When arriving near Aquatis - which is ideally located at the motorway exit and near a Métro M2 stop - visitors know at once that they’re about to enter a very special world. The futuristic, circular building is covered with aluminium plates that sway gently in the breeze like fish scales. The indoors modern setting and detailed decoration of Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium impresses children and adults. Take the plunge to embark on a marvellous and instructive journey through the ages and across the five continents.

Switzerland, Europe’s freshwater reservoir

The immersive, magical visit in the footsteps of a drop of water starts here in Switzerland, which is often qualified as Europe’s freshwater reservoir. An interactive display explains the glacial periods and the receding Rhône Glacier, which formed Lake Geneva and the river Rhône. Our regional fish is accustomed to cold water and perfectly integrated in this scenography. Before leaving Europe and getting further afield, a stop in the Camargue explains all the distinctive features of this aquatic ecosystem.

A dinosaur in Lausanne!

The large “evolution” pool provides a transition between the two floors of the building. It features current species that all have the characteristics of prehistoric animals. Visitors’ eyes remain riveted on this impressive expanse of water - 9.5 metres deep and offering a capacity of one million litres. This is the habitat of the menacing looking paddlefish, for example. A very authentic looking spinosaur, one of the largest dinosaurs that lived both on land and in the water, sends shivers up visitors’ spines.

African crocodiles and Asian vipers

The second floor combines a whirlwind of colours and moods from all the continents: Africa and the aquatic species of Malawi, as well as the world’s most colourful freshwater fish. Fans of the former Vivarium of Lausanne, whose residents have been moved to Aquatis, may recognise the crocodiles in front of them. After Africa, we discover Asia crossed by the Mekong River, the floating villages and rice paddies. You had better not get too close to the impressive Mont Mangshan viper!

Komodo dragon and other star animals

The Oceania space will remain etched in visitors’ minds thanks to the star animals at Aquatis: The inland taipan, the world’s most venomous snake, the friendly bearded agama and the Komodo dragon. Children and parents like to observe these strange animals for a long moment. The tour ends in the tropical ambience of the Amazon forest and its rich and precious flora and fauna that are part of the most endangered ecosystems. A large basin filled with the worrying piranha fish remains visible from the restaurant where you can have a bite to eat and something to drink while continuing to wonder about the fragility of our beautiful blue planet.


Aquatis is committed to species protection and education

The unique leisure centre Aquatis is much more than an aquarium. One of the foundation’s objectives is to raise awareness about the environment and the preservation of endangered species. To contribute to preserving the fauna and flora of our planet, Aquatis cooperates with a large number of institutions and is part of various programmes and international networks.

On an educational level, workshops for schools or birthday parties can be organised on the museum's  circuit or in a dedicated laboratory. The children can thus enjoy activities that are adapted to their age and are instructive in a fun way. The Aquatis offer also includes events: The adjoining hotel has a congress centre and a restaurant for company outings, whereas the events dedicated to the general public are part of the developments that Aquatis is planning to put in place in the near future.

Terms and conditions

What if our personalised recommendations don’t suit you?

you can choose to base the recommendations displayed on your own requirements and interests. Whether you’re looking for a solo adventure, family activities or a gourmet trip with your spouse, the suggestions made will be based on your own preferences.

You want to find out what the local tourist attractions are based on your current location?

You can use the map on each page to establish your location and find local points of interest. So you’ll be able to explore the canton, region by region, select the places you’re going to visit along a planned route and get a quick idea of what a town has to offer you.

You want to make your own selection? Just store your top picks in favourites!

If you want to store your selection, print it, export it to your free smartphone app "Vaud:Guide” or share it with your friends, you'll can do all this with “Favourites”.

You want to share your wish list And your choices with your friends? That’s simple!