10 Best Zoos & Aquariums in South Korea

Updated On October 7, 2023

Your South Korean vacation should include a variety of activities in order to get the most out of the experience.

If you’re taking the whole family (and even if you’re not,) consider visiting the country’s many zoos and aquariums.

These two types of attractions have universal appeal.

In fact, 93% of families surveyed by the AZA stated that getting an up-close glimpse at animals is an enjoyable experience.

In addition, zoos and aquariums provide fun opportunities to learn more about how animal habitats are protected. 

10 Best Zoos & Aquariums in South Korea

1. Coex Aquarium

Located in Seoul, the Coex Aquarium is among Korea’s largest.

There are 14 zones in the aquarium, each with a different theme, including the Amazonian rainforest and the Andean Mountains.

With over 180 tanks to view, you and your family can make a day of the experience.

You’ll also get to see the 90 breeding tanks.

In total, Coex houses 40,000 water-based animals.

You’ll be able to learn about more than 650 species during your visit.

And the environments the animals live in are just as memorable as they are.

Some of the more unique aquarium tanks include a vending machine and a traffic light. 

One of the highlights of a visit to Coex is that it houses more sharks than you will find in any other aquarium in South Korea.

All in all, 17 species of shark can be found here.

This equals more than 110 sharks that you can view up close.

Another highlight of a visit is the Submarine Tunnel.

As a 2000-ton water tank, it’s something you have to see to believe.

A slow-moving escalator takes you past turtles, sharks, and sting rays. 

For a more interactive experience, be sure to visit the Marine Touch Lab.

At this exhibit, visitors get to feel sea cucumbers and slugs, as well as starfish. 

2. Lotte World Aquarium

Also in Seoul, the Lotte World Aquarium includes five ocean zones.

It starts in the Korean river zone and takes you all the way to the polar region zone.

One of the most popular attractions in Lotte World is its beluga whales.

The aquarium holds over 55,000 different animals.

Its underwater tunnels are larger than any others in South Korea.

The aquarium also boasts an underwater escalator that you will want to take a ride on during your visit. 

For more insight into the many marine species the aquarium holds, you may want to participate in the Ecosystem explanation program.

It is run by aquarists and covers the ecosystems of sea lions, penguins, otters, and belugas. 

3. Aquaplanet

If you are pressed for time but want to visit both an aquarium and a zoo, the answer to your problem is Aquaplanet.

No other aquarium boasts an indoor zoo but this one.

The aquarium houses 325 animals that they rescued from various parts of the world.

Aquaplanet is such a large structure that if you put together 63 Sea Worlds, the aquarium is four times larger.

Its largest water tank holds close to 2,000 tons.

However, there are also 44 water tanks that are smaller.

Some of the showcases you can visit include Deep Blue Sea.

This showcase is the site of a synchronized video and live presentation. 

Another notable part of this attraction is its Parrot Village, which lets you see and interact with them up close. 

Part of the Aquaplanet is the Petting Zoo.

There, you can interact with ducks, chickens, and rabbits.

You can even feed goats and sheep, and children can ride a pony. 

4. Sea Life Busan

You can immerse yourself in marine life at the Sea Life Busan.

The aquarium is divided up into three zones; Shark, Turtle Rescue, and Sea at Night.

The Shark Zone includes a tunnel that you can walk through.

There are many interactive activities to participate in, photo zones, and experience zones that provide a virtual 360-degree experience.

In the Turtle Rescue Zone you can experience what it is like to be a member of their Sea Turtle rescue team.

During the experience, you’ll get to care for, and even name, a sick turtle.

There are three exhibition themes in the Sea Night Zone.

They are beach, mid-level, and deep sea.

In each one, you can learn about the various marine animals that you’d encounter in different places in the sea. 

No matter what day you visit Sea Life Busan, you’ll have the opportunity to sit in on an animal feeding.

Shows are run for sharks, penguins, and baby otters.

In addition, you’ll be able to participate in experiences other aquariums don’t offer.

One of those experiences is riding in a glass-bottomed boat.

During the 10-15 minute ride, you’ll be in the aquarium’s 3,000-ton water tank.

The experience includes education on the marine life you’re seeing, as well as the ability to feed them.

The other experience offered involves virtual reality.

In the VR Zone, you’ll listen to upbeat music while you view Manta Rays, humpbacked whales, and jellyfish through a VR headset.

5. Alpaca World

Alpaca World is the place to be to learn more about this unique animal.

At 11,0000 square feet, you’ll have a lot to explore.

You even have the option of purchasing food from a vending machine that you can feed to the Alpacas on a walk through this one-of-a-kind zoo.

The experience includes visiting the Alpaca Playground, where you can gently interact with them. 

However, despite its name, there are other animals you can see at Alpaca World.

They include eagles, rabbits, owls, deer, and ponies.

The attraction also has the Birds Garden, a popular choice among visitors.

There you can feed birds, including some very colorful parakeets. 

6. Jeonju Zoo

The Jeonju Zoo holds 103 species and approximately 610 animals.

Varieties of animals found at this zoo include many endangered species such as jaguars, Asian black bears, and zebras.

Other animals you will find at this zoo include hippos, tigers, kangaroos, chimps, camels, lions, and giraffes.

Local governments felt the need to improve the welfare of the animals in their town.

As a result, they made improvements to the zoo.

The staff goes out of their way to ensure that the animals living there are happy, healthy, and well-taken care of.

Years of renovations have made the zoo more environmentally friendly.

Animal habitats were widened simply by getting rid of concrete landscapes as well as fences. 

In the tiger dens, bamboo and pine trees were planted.

The dens even have small ponds, so the lions always have access to fresh, cold water.

The lion shelter was upgraded with heated rocks to keep the animals warm in the winter.

There is also fresh grass in their shelter.

One section of the zoo is the Forest of Wolves.

Though it originally had a roof on it, the zoo removed the roof.

This allowed them to expand the wolves’ shelter and install rocks, grass, and trees. 

Jeonju Zoo is so committed to keeping their animals happy and comfortable that they eliminated evening hours. 

7. Seoul Zoo

Spread out over 598 acres of land, the Seoul Zoo houses more than 3,000 animals.

The zoo aims to teach its visitors about animal conservation and healing.

In fact, in 2013, the zoo even let one of its dolphins go back into its natural habitat and became the first zoo in Asia to do so.

They did this in order to make it clear that they respect all animals and that South Korea in general cares about animal welfare.

On a visit to the Seoul Zoo, you’ll see meerkats, lions, parrots, flamingos, rhinos, and lions.

Its 350 species of animals are divided up among various sections for America, Africa, Asia, and more.

On a daily basis, you’ll be able to take in a show and even visit the petting area. 

8. Play Aquarium Bucheon

The Play Aquarium Bucheon is very popular because it holds many animals that most people outside of Korea have never seen. 

The attractions offer some unique experiences, including the opportunity to enter one of the tanks and swim among its fish.

Waterwear is offered to keep your clothes dry during this experience.

Visitors can feed carp, and children can experience the touch pool, which includes starfish and other similar animals.

There are themed areas where you can not only get information on endangered species, but you can also view mammals, sharks, and jellyfish. 

One unusual aspect of this aquarium is that it includes Jungle Zone.

Here you will find lions and tigers. 

9. Danuri Aquarium

Danuri Aquarium holds 15,000 fish derived from 145 different species.

In total, the aquarium has 36 habituating tanks and 82 exhibition tanks.

Some of the fish you will find here include sweetfish and Siniperca, which is a fish only found in the waters of the Namhanging River, one of the most famous in Seoul. 

For many people, the highlight of a visit to this aquarium is its Eight Scenic Views of Danyang fish tank.

The Eight Scenic Views of Dayang are considered the most beautiful scenery in South Korea. 

10. Zoolung, Zoolung

A unique indoor zoo, Zoolung, Zoolung is a great way for the whole family to interact with the various animals who live there.

The collection of animals includes in excess of 50 species that hail from Africa and the Amazon.

No animals are fenced in, giving them complete freedom to wander and giving visitors complete freedom to approach them, and even pet and feed them.

The zoo also offers interactive video shows that teach guests more about the animals who live there.

10 Best Zoos & Aquariums in South Korea – Summary Table

Zoos & AquariumsAddress
Coex Aquarium 513 Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
Lotte World Aquarium South Korea, Seoul, Songpa-gu, Olympic-ro, 300 지하1층
Aquaplanet South Korea, Gyeonggi-do, Goyang-si, Ilsanseo-gu, Daehwa-dong, Hallyuwoldeu-ro, 282 KR
Sea Life Busan266 Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae, Busan, South Korea
Alpaca World310 Pungcheon-ri, Hwachon-myeon, Hongcheon, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Jeonju Zoo68 Sori-ro, Deokjindong 1(il)-ga, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea
Seoul Zoo102 Daegongwongwangjang-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Play Aquarium Bucheon2, Jomaru-ro 3F, Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do 14592 South Korea
Danuri Aquarium 568 Byeolgok-ri, Danyang-eup, Danyang-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea
Zoolung, Zoolung15 Yeongjung-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

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