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Boston Aquarium: tickets, tours, hours, etc.

The New England Aquarium, better known by the name Boston Aquarium, is a must-see if you're in town.

Verónica Álvarez

Verónica Álvarez

10 min read

Boston Aquarium: tickets, tours, hours, etc.

Boston Aquarium | ©Jorge Cancela

There are so many options of things to see and do in Boston, and one of the main attractions is this, the New England Aquarium. If you are visiting Boston, you can't miss it. It is an unforgettable activity for the little ones and also for marine life lovers.

The Boston Aquarium is one of the most complete in the North American country. Both its temporary exhibits throughout the year and its permanent exhibits are very interesting and with contents suitable for the whole family, especially attractive for children.

The best option without queues

Boston New England Aquarium Tickets

Secure your entrance to the Boston Aquarium in English, and no lines!

You will tour the Boston (New England) Aquarium, observing more than 800 different marine species. You will have access to all the main exhibits and learn about marine life in a fun way.

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The Boston Aquarium has more than 800 marine species on display, including penguins, coral reefs and marine mammals.

There are also temporary exhibits and during the months of March through November, you can go whale watching (this last activity is not included in the standard admission).

Recommended if... you are traveling with children. You will be able to see and in some cases interact with the animals in an educational environment and through fun activities for young and old. It is a highly recommended visit for the whole family, the richness of the contents of the exhibits of the Boston Aquarium both from the point of view of the topics covered and from a playful point of view makes this activity one of the best to do with the family.

How much do tickets to the Boston (New England) Aquarium cost?

New England Aquarium| ©Beyond My Ken
New England Aquarium| ©Beyond My Ken

There are different pricing options for tickets to the Boston Aquarium depending on the age of the visitor and the number of people in your group. The price will also depend on where you buy your ticket. As a general rule, if you buy it at the aquarium it will be more expensive than if you buy it online.

For example, the adult ticket purchased at the aquarium is priced around 30 euros; however, if you buy it through a package tour company the ticket price can be up to 5 euros cheaper.

You should note that tickets to the movie shown at the aquarium and to the whale watching activity are paid separately from the regular ticket.

The movie is priced at approximately €10 for adults and the whale watching at a cost of around €65 per person for adults. Whale watching is available only between March and November.

Children between 3 and 11 years old pay around 23 euros and children under 3 years old get in free.

Book tickets for the New England Aquarium

What types of tickets are available? Are there skip-the-line tickets to the Boston (New England) Aquarium?

Inside the Aquarium| ©Tom Berrigan
Inside the Aquarium| ©Tom Berrigan

The Boston Aquarium has different types of tickets, from basic tickets to promotional packages that are significantly cheaper. These are the so-called combo tickets, which include general admission to the aquarium plus the movie for around 35 euros per adult.

If you opt for the combo of general admission to the aquarium and whale watching you will pay around 85 euros per adult.

There are skip-the-line tickets for visitors who have an aquarium membership. In that case, just arrive at the gate where you will be greeted by the staff and you will not have to wait.

The cheapest subscription costs approximately 100 euros. There are different types of subscriptions for the Boston Aquarium, but buying a membership is only justified if you plan to visit the aquarium several times a year or in large groups.

For those who are going to visit just once, there are options for queue-free aquarium visits at much more affordable prices, around 30 euros per person.

There are also queue-free tickets for those who buy their ticket online in advance, depending on the intermediary company. Therefore, the best thing to do if you want to avoid the queues and make the best use of your time is to buy your ticket online and in advance.

Book tickets for the New England Aquarium

Are tickets to the Boston Aquarium included in any Boston sightseeing pass?

Boston City Pass| ©Translating Web Design
Boston City Pass| ©Translating Web Design

Tickets to the Boston Aquarium are included in the Boston CityPASS and the Go Boston Card. The passes have different prices depending on the number of days you select.

Buying one of these Boston City Passes is an excellent option to visit the main attractions saving a lot of money and also time, because some activities have a preferential entrance that allows you to skip the lines.

They also provide you with important discounts in stores, restaurants, transportation and other activities.

Buy your Boston City PASS or Go Boston Card

Are there tickets that include a guided tour of the Boston Aquarium and is it worth it?

Guided Tours and Children at the Museum| ©angela n.
Guided Tours and Children at the Museum| ©angela n.

Some of the subscriptions offer guided tours. However, in my opinion, guided tours are not worth it, since the aquarium is very well organized and the visit can be done perfectly well without a guide.

In fact, many visitors prefer unguided tours because it is easier for them to organize the tour and in this way they can spend more time on the aquarium activities that are most interesting to them, with total independence in time management.

In addition, an unguided tour gives you the chance to spend more time interacting with the animals.

Are there discounted tickets for the Boston Aquarium?

Turtles at the Aquarium| ©angela n
Turtles at the Aquarium| ©angela n

Yes, there are discounted tickets to the Boston Aquarium. If you are not a Boston CityPASS or Go Boston Card holder, which give you free admission to the Aquarium, you can get discounted tickets if you are 60 or older.

Discounts are also available for students and members of the armed forces. For people in wheelchairs or those without vision, admission to the Aquarium is free.

Reserve tickets for the New England Aquarium

Are there special tickets for children?

Kids at the Aquarium| ©Jessica Rosenkrantz
Kids at the Aquarium| ©Jessica Rosenkrantz

There is no doubt that a visit to the aquarium should be on your list of things to do in Boston if you are traveling with children, so it is important that you know the ticket prices for them.

Children get significant discounts on the price of tickets to the Boston Aquarium. Those between 3 and 11 years old will have to pay only about 20 euros, while children under 3 years old get in for free.

In case they choose to buy tickets for the movie, the price for children between 3 and 11 years old will be approximately 5 euros and children under 3 years old will also get in for free.

For the whale watching activity, children under 3 years old will have free admission and children between 3 and 11 years old will pay only around 40 euros.

Book tickets for the New England Aquarium

Why is it worth buying tickets online instead of at the box office?

Aquarium fish| ©mccready
Aquarium fish| ©mccready

There are three main reasons to buy tickets online rather than at the box office. The first one is that you are assured of availability for the selected date.

By buying online your ticket is dated, so you are assured that you will be able to enter on the day you have chosen.

The second reason is that by purchasing tickets online you are able to access significant discounts on ticket prices depending on the time of year.

You should also note that many of the tickets sold online have the advantage of being preferred tickets so you will not have to wait in line to enter the aquarium.

The Boston Aquarium is one of the main attractions in the area, for this reason, the lines are often long despite the efforts of the facility's staff to make admission smoother.

Reserve tickets for the New England Aquarium

What are the opening and closing hours of the Boston Aquarium?

Shark Section| ©MomoFotografi
Shark Section| ©MomoFotografi

Opening and closing times vary according to the time of year. From May 27th to September 6th are Monday to Thursday from 09:00 to 18:00, Friday from 10:00 to 20:00 and Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 to 18:00.

During the fall and winter, the hours change, being from September 7th to May 26th the following: Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00 and Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 to 18:00.

The Aquarium will be closed during Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is advisable to check online before you go to see if there are any changes to the regular opening hours or if there are any attractions that may be temporarily suspended.

Reserve tickets for the New England Aquarium

How much time do you need to visit the Boston Aquarium at your leisure?

Jellyfish at the Aquarium| ©Chase Elliott Clark
Jellyfish at the Aquarium| ©Chase Elliott Clark

The time needed to visit the aquarium depends on each person, as interests vary from one person to another. As a general rule, you will need at least 2 hours for a normal visit, passing by the most interesting places of the aquarium and without doing the extra activities.

I recommend you not to go with just enough time, because although two hours may be enough, time flies when you are inside enjoying the activities and interacting with the different animals.

If you decide to participate in the whale watching activities, during the season when it is possible to do so, the visit will require at least 4 hours more because you must add the transfers and the navigation time.

When is the best time to visit the Boston (New England) Aquarium?

Penguin Section| ©Christine A
Penguin Section| ©Christine A

To visit the Boston Aquarium, all times of the year are recommended, all are good. The activities inside the aquarium can be done in all seasons of the year.

If you want to visit the Boston Aquarium and do whale watching, then you should plan your visit for the months between March and November. Although there are many things to see in Boston in winter, this activity is not among them.

Reserve tickets for the New England Aquarium

How to get to the Boston (New England) Aquarium from downtown areas?

Boston Subway| ©Nicolas Vigier
Boston Subway| ©Nicolas Vigier

If you are driving from the south, follow these directions to the Boston Aquarium: take I-93 North, then take exit 17 for Government Center to Quincy Market, turn left on Surface Road and continue in that direction for three blocks, turn left on Milk Street and the Aquarium will be in front of you.

For further directions to the Aquarium by car if you are traveling from the north, east or west of the city, see

For those who prefer public transportation, you can use the Subway. The nearest subway stop is only 100 meters from the Aquarium, on the MBTA Blue Line, and you must get off at the Boston Aquarium stop.

It is advisable to use public transportation because the lines arrive very close to the aquarium and you don't have to worry about parking, which can be difficult to find due to the massive influx of people in this area.

Another great option is to use one of Boston's tour buses. Just make sure that the one you choose stops near the aquarium, as is the case with a streetcar tour.

Reserve tickets for the New England Aquarium

These are the activities you can't miss at the Boston Aquarium (New England)

Penguin Colony| ©angela n.
Penguin Colony| ©angela n.

There are many things to see at the Boston Aquarium, although if you are short on time you may not get to see them all. What you can't miss is the Coral Reef, which shows you the enormous biodiversity of this type of ecosystems that are considered true marine jungles.

See what the Boston Aquarium's Coral Reef exhibit has in store for you.

Another must-see during your visit to the Boston Aquarium is the penguin colony. This colony is home to more than 60 penguins that you will see in a habitat almost identical to what they would have in natural conditions. Don't miss the Penguin Colony exhibit.

If you like large marine animals, don't miss a visit to the Marine Mammal Center, where you can see seals, sea lions and other species interacting with their trainers and perhaps even interact with them if the conditions are right.

Meet these friendly and intelligent animals at the Boston Aquarium's Marine Mammal Center.

Tips for visiting the Boston Aquarium (New England)

Aquarium Seal| ©angela n.
Aquarium Seal| ©angela n.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Being in an environment with a lot of water (there are areas where the ground may be wet), it is best to wear non-slip shoes and avoid heels or shoes that are not suitable for this type of activity.
  • If you are going to do the whale watching activity, bring a coat, even if you are visiting Boston in summer. The wind at sea is cold no matter the season.
  • Buy your tickets online. This way, you can skip the line, secure your selected date, and they are much cheaper than buying them at the aquarium's box office. Just print them at home or scan them and present them at the entrance.
  • If you didn't have time to buy tickets online, purchase them with the Boston CityPASS to save money. They can even be free with the Boston CityPASS and Go Boston Card, depending on which option you choose. Check the terms and conditions at the time of purchase.
  • Try to avoid rush hours. The central hours are the busiest, for this reason, if you want to enjoy the main activities calmly, it is advisable to arrive early, close to opening time. This way you will have less competition when you want to interact with the aquarium animals.
  • Avoid the stress of driving by using public transportation, it is much more practical than driving and you will save money on parking.
  • Remember to bring your camera, but keep in mind that the use of flash is prohibited as it may disturb the animals.
  • There are lockers available, so you can store your things there. They cost about 5 euros for the whole day for the larger ones and about 5 euros for the smaller ones.
  • Prepare a picnic to enjoy with the family. Picnic tables are available in the aquarium square for use at no extra cost.