Side Street Style: Nausicaa National Sea Centre, France

Side Street Style

Family travel and lifestyle blog


Nausicaa National Sea Centre, France


Last week I wrote about our experience of taking the short channel crossing P&O ferry from Dover to Calais as well as our fantastic stay at the rural Hotel Du Parc near the small Northern French hamlet of Hardelot. The absolute highlight of the trip was spending the best part of a day exploring Nausicaa, Frances National Sea Centre which is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year. 

Located in the coastal city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, the sea centre sits on the sand, looking across a long beach and straight away you can feel the connection between man and the ocean. This place is so much more than just an Aquarium, they have a real passion for conservation, education and both kids despite the age difference equally enjoyed it. 

France National Sea Centre

As soon as you step into Nausicaa you start to get a sense of just how large this place is and can see why it attracts around 600 000 visitors a year, especially as it's only 2hrs travelling time from both London and Paris making is a fantastic day trip. On a personal level we are very conscious with places like this and make sure to only support business that put ethics and the environment at the forefront and I am glad to say Nausicaa doses it's main mission is to raise awareness of the need to manage the oceans in a sustainable way and their exhibitions carry a clear message of presented in an attractive, non-sensory way that humans are not owners of the sea but stewards and we must learn to use and manage its resources in a rational and responsible way. 

So what were the highlights for Nausicaa for us?

Hands down their new tropical forest inspired exhibit which was visual so colouring and engaging for children. It's created a real space to showcase biodiversity in a fun way for children with a variety of frogs, snakes and chameleons. Both boys where also captivated by the Jellyfish display which are so mesmerising. There is also a cool balcony bar overlooking the mangrove swamp and is the perfect place to stop half way through exploring this massive centre and enjoy a drink, fish and people watching and some simple French dishes. 

Nausicaa also offers seasonal events with Taste Week coming up this October which is hoping to encourage people to consume seafood responsibly and raise awareness about over fishing and the need for sustainable use of the ocean. October also hosts Shark Week and will be running a special program.

We have put together a little vlog of our Northern France adventure and we highly recommend visiting the National Sea Centre if your looking for a day trip that is not only family friendly but also inspires learning about the importance of looking after our sea and coastlines.

Thanks to Nausicaa for inviting us to visit the National Sea Centre 


  1. oh this sounds and looks amazing! I'd love to go and visit a sea centre overseas. I have been to one in New Zealand where I used to live and here in the UK but the french one sounds fun too! Thanks for the info and lovely review. I will bear this in mind of we get to france again in the coming years.

  2. This sounds fantastic. My kids would love to see this place.

  3. I love uur local sealife centre. This one looks great x

  4. Oh my gosh! This looks amazing!! Fab photos x

  5. Oh this looks amazing - we went to Sea Life in London last month which was amazing. We don't have anything like this near us, even though we live by the sea! Kaz x

  6. Taste week sounds great - it's so important to lean about sustainable fishing!

  7. This place looks great. We love sealife centres. Taste week sounds right up my street x

  8. This sounds so amazing! I love to visit here. If I lived further down south I'd love to do a day trip but it would take me forever to get there from where I live!

  9. Oh now this has brought back some memories! We went here on our school French trip in 2003... I remember it being HUGE! :)

  10. What a fantastic day out. It's so important to learn about sustainable fishing and the environment

  11. This looks like a lovely place for a day out, and Taste Week sounds like a great time to visit!

  12. I am not really fun of places where they keep animals, but it sure looks like a cool place!


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