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  • Friday : 10:00AM - 05:00 PM
  • Saturday : 10:00AM - 05:00 PM
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  • Wednesday : 10:00AM - 05:00 PM

Looking to visit something a little different during your next visit to Bristol Aquarium? Our Urban Jungle offers just the thing, whisking you away to a faraway jungle haven with lush greenery, fascinating creatures and more await. You’ll get to see some of the world’s strangest plants and flowers growing in natural conditions. So, let’s learn more about what’s on offer here!

What is the Urban Jungle exhibit?

There’s a notable shift in climate as you enter our Urban Jungle exhibit. Coming in from the chilly British weather, you’re immediately transported to a faraway jungle haven where lush plants blossom and creep around you.

This warm environment is created by our inflatable roof, which acts as a thermal blanket but lets in the sunlight which allows our Urban Jungle to flourish and our trees to grow so tall!

Take a look at our rare tropical orchid displays, courtesy of the orchid laboratories at Writhlington School. If you’re particularly eagle-eyed, you might also be able to spot our nursery full of baby Indian tree saplings, which we are hosting for The Bristol Rainforest.

The only UK aquarium to have a Botanical House!

As the only UK aquarium with a botanical house, we ensure that everything is being done to make the exhibit as authentic as possible. Giant plants grow into our Amazon fish tanks where their long roots filter the water. Terrapins nibble at trailing leaves, and freshwater fish swim under fallen branches. Brush past huge, sweeping tree ferns and lock eyes with some colourful blooms as they overhang our beautiful open topped displays.

What animals will I find in the Urban Jungle?

The Urban Jungle encompasses both of our Bay of Rays and Amazing Amazon exhibits, so there’s an incredible amount of wildlife to see here, from stingrays to turtles. Here’s just some of the creatures you might come across during your visit to the Urban Jungle.

  • Common stingray (Dasyatis Pastinaca): These incredible creatures can be found along the shores of the UK, and has a stinging barb at the end of its tail, hence its name. They usually spend their time buried in sandy beds, and prefer to live in depths of around 200m. Our very own ray is called Ravioli!
  • Ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta): The ballan wrasse is a species of marine ray-finned fish, typically found in the eastern Atlantic. They are characterised by their thick lips, and their colouring can vary from mottled green, brown and orange.
  • Thornback ray (Raja clavata): Thornback rays are known for their distinctive diamond shape, thanks to their large pectoral fins – as well as the collection of thorns down its back and tail! They can be found all around the British coasts, and can live for up to 15 years.
  • Mississippi map turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica kohni): This unique creature is actually a terrapin, as it spends time on both land and water. They are native to the Mississippi river area, and are covered in markings and lines that appear like the contour lines of a map – giving them their name! They are fairly small, with the females growing up to 25cm and males reaching around half that.
  • Red bellied pacu (Piaractus brachypomus): The red bellied pacu is native to South America and is a close relative of the piranha! They can be recognised by the red underside of their body, and prefer living in the shallow, slower-moving waters of river channels and floodplains.

There’s so much more to see at our Urban Jungle, but this is a great snapshot so that you can look forward to some of our most fascinating creatures! As well as those listed above, you can also find Malawi cichlids, turbot, the red-eared sliders and painted rays!

Who would enjoy the Urban Jungle exhibit?

The Urban jungle has something for everyone, whether you’re hoping to see what life is like in this type of climate, or you want to get a little closer to some of the world’s more interesting creatures.

Being the only aquarium with a botanical house in the UK, we’re well placed to offer some educational insights into the importance of this kind of ecosystem and how everything works together, from the fish to the plants.

There are also plenty of seats where you can relax in the warmth, and take the perfect break from the hustle and bustle of the city outside. So, if you’re just looking for some peace and quiet in a fascinating, natural environment, you can find it here.


Urban Jungle, like all areas of Bristol Aquarium, is fully accessible to those with mobility issues, including wheelchair users. To find out more, please visit our accessibility page.

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