Galician Museum of the Sea

The technology of fishing - from small boats to factory ships -, shellfish industry, aquafarming, but also oceanography with all its facets: the variety of aspects in the Galician Maritime Museum reflects the close and centuries-old relationship between Galicia and the sea. This can be traced back to the Bronze Age, as is shown by the remains of a settlement dating from the 8th century BC. The museum occupies a refurbished and extensively enlarged canning factory, and the design of its permanent exhibition based on illuminated cubes is inspired by the neighbouring container port of Vigo. Video and audio documents, interactive screens and original objects illustrate the history of regional fishing. The museum is committed not only to showing the development of the fishing industry - fishing techniques, fish processing and marketing - but also to exploring the fish biotope, right where the museum is located. Accordingly, an aquarium displays the ecosystems and marine life of the area between the Ría de Vigo, the fjord-like estuary where the Spanish port city is located, and the natural habitats of the offshore Cíes Islands. An integrated, newly built lighthouse provides panoramic views over the estuary.

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Galician Museum of the Sea
Museo do Mar de Galicia
160 Avenida Atlántica
36208 Vigo
+34 (0) 986 - 247750


The submarine in the outdoor area of the museum clearly indicates that this is about underwater worlds. The historic submersible was built by Antonio Sanjurjo Badía, an inventor of the 19th century and friend of the famous science fiction author Jules Verne. The associated museum complex is located on a pier not far from the container port of Vigo, occupies 14,000 square metres and has a chequered history. In 1887, the Alcabre-Molino de Viento cannery was built here, and after its shutdown was converted into a municipal slaughterhouse. In 1992, the city council commissioned the Italian architect Aldo Rossi and the Galician César Portela to design a maritime museum. They extended the old factory by a purpose-built building, an aquarium, a square with the originally preserved stone foundations of the Bronze Age fishing village of Castro da Punta do Muíño, and a modern lighthouse featuring an appearance reminiscent of the tradition of the surrounding lighthouses. Access to the permanent exhibition is via a kind of gangway, with the rest of the architecture also repeatedly adopting maritime motifs or providing visual references to the coastal landscape. In addition to the modern display of the permanent exhibition, the museum devotes another hall to regularly held temporary exhibitions. In addition, it considers itself a research centre and cooperates closely with other scientific institutions. One important project, for example, was the digitisation of private photos from the surrounding fishing villages, which were subsequently included in the special exhibition "The Memory of the Sea". Another project initiated a dialogue between scientists and artists on what marine biologists call neuston: the organisms in a thin layer directly beneath the water surface. A new exhibition is currently being planned that will deal with shipwrecks and their significance for the coastal inhabitants of the region.

Recommended duration of visit:2 Hours
Duration of a guided Tour:60 Minutes
Access for persons with disabilities:Available
Infrastructure for Children:
Visitor centre on site:yes
Gift and book shop on Site:yes

mid-June to September:
Tuesday - Sunday 11am-2pm, 5-8pm

October to mid-June:
Tuesday - Friday 10am-2pm, 5-7pm
Saturday, Sunday, holidays 11am-2pm, 5-8pm

  • Guided tours optional
  • Guided tours for children