Now that COEX is basically an abandoned except for the aquarium and the movie theatre, it is an easy trip with an infant. We avoided the normal sea of shoppers, and saw some exotic fish and wildlife from around the globe.
How to get there: By subway head to Samseong Station (Line 2) and depart from Exit 5 or 6. You will walk down a long hallway and will see signs directing you to the aquarium. When you come across the Megaplex movie theatre, you are heading in the right directions. Follow the signage to the aquarium. If you need help finding it, there are informations booths and the employees speak great English.
LP‘s Description: The guidebook informs us that this is Seoul’s largest aquarium (Take that 63 Building!). They also mention the countless amount of sea life including sharks, turtles and stingrays. However, they do mention that the piranhas are evil looking (why?). Finally they mention the ever popular penguins.
Attractions and Facilities: Anyone with kids will tell you that traveling with children can be a challenge. Thankfully there are a ton of family attractions and facilities for children of all ages including a nursery. The theme surrounding the COEX aquarium attraction is called “Water Journey”. It takes you underground to visit a variety of aquatic and land animals including otters, penguins and insects such as tarantulas and other creepy crawlies.
Kids Science Museum: At the Kids Science Museum, the kids and you can test your aquatic knowledge in an interactive learning environment.
The Shark Tank: There is a huge tank (2,000 tons of water) with a variety of sharks, turtles, stingrays and a variety of fishes for your viewing enjoyment. There is also a tunnel which provides a unique view into the tank.
The Penguins Imaginary Wonderland: The Humboldt penguins are housed in the wonderland for your viewing pleasure. The kids really seemed into penguins, and how could they not be after watching Happy Feet.
Food and Drink: Not too much to eat at the Aquarium, except for a small snack bar after the penguin exhibit. Snacks include hot dogs, chips, candy and soda.
Gift Shop: The end of the aquarium tour is a the gift shop called “Under the Sea”. Buy a souvenir for the kids and head out back into the COEX.
Value: Adults are going to pay 19,500KRW, youths will pay 16,000KRW and children will pay 14,000KRW. Children under the age of four are free! It’s a pretty good deal, especially in the winter or in the dead of summer for the family to go out and spend a day. The whole tour took about two hours, but every kid I saw there, including my own were entertained. That said, if you are tight on cash, or if you have a particularly large family, this could eat into the budget.
Who should visit the COEX Aquarium: Fish lovers and families looking to kill an afternoon indoors. Also, this is a cute first date type attraction. Nothing impresses ladies more than your knowledge of sea life.
Who should avoid the COEX Aquarium: This could be a bit of hit to the budget, particularly if you have a large family. That said, there are alternatives including the movie theatre which will provide entertainment for a cheaper price.