I’m sure you’ve thought more than once about visiting Valencia with children and, if you’ve already done so, you’ve probably felt like repeating it. Valencia is a 100% Mediterranean city, friendly, open, full of attractions, with an endless historical past and plenty of attractions to enjoy with the family. As they say in their hymn “Valencia, is the land of flowers, light and love”. With this motto, obviously, we can’t help but be attracted to it.
Valencia invites you to take a walk or ride your bike. From its various neighbourhoods and its old town to the avant-garde architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences.
Visiting Valencia with children on a weekend can be a perfect plan but, to get to know the city better, you will need a few more days. Below you will find a practical map with all of them located.
This city and its metropolitan area, which has more than 1.5 million inhabitants, is located in the Gulf of Valencia, next to the mouth of the Turia River
To start off with the best foot in Valencia with children, it’s highly recommended that you sign up for this free guided tour where you get to see the city at its best and you set the price. There is also another two-hour walking route through the centre designed for families that can be booked here with free cancellation.
HOW TO MOVE AROUND VALENCIA WITH CHILDREN
To visit the city, you may be interested in using the Valencia Tourist Card which travels free on the bus, metro and tram and you can get free entry to the museums and municipal monuments and enjoy special discounts at Valencia’s main tourist attractions. There are three types of card, 24, 48 or 72 hours and it also includes discounts in many associated establishments.
Another very interesting possibility, especially if you are short on time and want to get a general idea and not miss the main attractions in Valencia with children, is to go on a tour bus to contemplate it comfortably from its windows and panoramic roofs with two possible routes:
The historical route starts at the monument of Miguelete and goes through the Cathedral of Valencia, the Silk Exchange or the Quart Towers, Joaquín Sorolla AVE station, the Valencian Institute of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Bioparc or the Town Hall Square.
The sea route goes from Plaza de la Reina, in Ciutat Vella, to the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, where you can find the Hemisfèric, the Science Museum, the Palau de les Arts, l’Umbracle, the Àgora and the Oceanogràfic. The bus also goes to Valencia Port and Malvarosa Beach.
The city of Valencia is located in the plain at the mouth of the Turia River, with hardly any unevenness, which makes it ideal for moving around by bike. Although in recent decades cars have invaded the city, every day more and more Valencians are taking up cycling in their daily lives.
The Valencia en Bici Association promotes the use of bicycles and carries out many activities in the city. It is possible to rent bicycles in various establishments, a good place to do this is in the gardens of the old Turia riverbed. One company you can contact online is DoYouBike. Another fun possibility is to tour Valencia by segway.
WHERE TO STAY IN VALENCIA WITH CHILDREN
The capital of the Turia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain, so to go quietly is good to book in advance to choose between more supply and better prices. A good family option are the apartments in Valencia. You can also check this hotel comparator in Valencia.
Our featured accommodations in Valencia with children are
PETIT PALACE (VALENCIA)
One of the best options in Valencia with children are the two Petit Palace hotels with two central locations. The Petit Palace in Ruzafa and the Petit Palace in Plaza de la Reina are both aimed at couples and families with the Family Experience guarantee which includes, among other facilities, the following: five-star rooms, free cots and pushchairs during the stay, Wifi & Ipad on request, a welcome gift for children and, from 2 to 12 years of age, free breakfast for children in a family room occupied by a minimum of 2 adults who sign up for a minimum of 2 breakfasts.
HOTEL BARCELÓ VALENCIA
The Hotel Barceló Valencia is located next to parks in a new area of the city gained to the river Turia very close to the City of Arts and the Oceanographic. Modern and cosy rooms. Swimming pool on the terrace with good views and SPA on the tenth floor. It offers parking.
RED NEST HOTEL
An economical option with good value for money. If you like hostels, the Red Nest Hotel has rooms of various sizes that can accommodate groups and large families. Cheerful and modern decoration. Kitchen and games room available. Very central (5 minutes walk from Colon subway station), simple and comfortable.
PLANS TO SEE AND DO IN VALENCIA WITH CHILDREN
1. TOUR THE OLD TOWN
The history of Valencia is intimately linked to King Jaume I. A charismatic figure who marked the destiny of this city forever. It is still possible to learn about its medieval past and we are sure that if you come to Valencia with children you will love walking along the route of its walls (which have practically disappeared), discovering and climbing up the majestic gates that are still preserved. The Serrano Towers and the Quart Towers will not leave you unmoved.
On your tour of the city, it can be fun to look for the bat that appears on the city’s coat of arms. You can find it in monuments, official buildings and other architectural or decorative elements.
Legend has it that when King Jaume I was besieging Valencia to conquer it from the Moorish forces, it was a bat that warned his army of a surprise attack from the enemy, allowing them to react in time and thus avoid the skirmish. A few days later, on October 9th 1238, King Jaume I entered Valencia. This was how Jaume would become King of Valencia, being already King of Aragon, Majorca and Count of Barcelona.
2. WALK THROUGH THE OLD CITY AND CLIMB THE MICALET TOWER
This bell tower of Valencia’s cathedral is one of the city’s most emblematic images. Its construction began in the 14th century and it took almost 50 years to raise it. Climbing this Valencian Gothic-style bell tower is a lot of fun. You can consult in his web page the schedules and tariffs. When you get off the Micalet don’t miss the beautiful Plaça de la Verge and the Basilica de la Mare de Déu dels Desamparats.
Nearby is also the Palau de la Generalitat and, a little further away, is the beautiful building of the Lonja de la Seda. Don’t miss this elegant place, one of the best examples of Valencian civil gothic.
Next to it is the Mercado Central, a beautiful modernist building where you can buy the best fruit and vegetables from the garden of Valencia and beyond.
Another area of interest that you can visit on your walk around the city is the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Town Hall Square) and the Estación del Norte or local train station which was opened in 1917 and is known for its modernist style and rich ornamental decoration. And, if you like models, you can go to the MuVIM (Museu Valencià de la Il-lustració i la Modernitat) where you can see a large model of the city.
Valencia is constantly changing and trying to recover various neighbourhoods and spaces for its residents and visitors. An example of this is the recently restored Plaza Redonda. It is a place that we recommend you to eat because there are small restaurants -better to reserve- and space for children to play quietly.
As we mentioned above, it is worth taking into account this free guided tour where a lot of interesting curiosities and historical facts are explained while walking around the most essential part of the city centre.
3. TASTE ONE OF THE BEST HORCHATAS IN THE CITY
The horchata is the drink par excellence for families in Valencia. It is made from tigernut milk under special conditions controlled by the Regulatory Council. We encourage you to taste the tigernut milk in some of the horchaterias and ice-cream shops that offer this refreshing drink in the city. Probably, one of the best known is the Horchatería de Santa Catalina, located in the square of the same name, very close to the Micalet.
Don’t forget that the most typical thing is to take it combined with the fartons, those sweet and tender elongated buns. A tasty plan is to join the tour of the horchata valenciana that includes a visit to a tigernut plantation and a workshop of handmade production.
4. DISCOVER GREAT HISTORICAL MOMENTS IN THE MUSEUM L’IBER DEL SOLDADITO DE PLOMO
The Museo del Soldadito de Plomo is the result of Álvaro Noguera Giménez’s passion for collecting. It brings together the largest collection of pieces with more than 95,000 figures on display that recall various historical moments of humanity. It is located in Caballeros Street, in the historical center of the city and it is really admirable the great quantity of small figures of so great variety.
This beautiful museum opened in 2007 and, in its temporary exhibitions, shows a large part of the stored funds that reaches a million pieces. With references to multiple battles but also with fun and curious details and very popular characters such as TinTin, the Little Prince or Lucky Luck, among others.
5. ADMIRE THE PARDONED CHILDREN AT THE FALLAS MUSEUM
If there is one thing that characterizes Valencia, it is its most famous and well-known festivals: the Fallas. In this museum you can see a part of the history of these ephemeral monuments that burn every year under fire. Only some of them – or rather, a part of them – are saved from the flames: “els ninots indultats”.
You can discover children from 1934 to the present day as well as the award-winning posters that have been announcing the Fallas every year. The comic character is represented in the caricatures and posters explaining the Fallas monuments and they are a very funny way to know a little bit more about our history and culture.
The Fallas Museum is located in Plaza Monteolivete, near the Gulliver Park and the City of Arts and Sciences.
6. LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY OF VALENCIA IN THE MUSEUM OF PREHISTORY
This is one of the museums we like the most in Valencia. If you feel like visiting a museum about the history of the places you visit, this can be a good option. A museum on a “human scale”, not too big, not too exhausting. With spaces designed for children and with very interesting collections for the whole family. A journey through the origins of the city of Valencia.
El Museo de Prehistoria also has a beautiful interior patio where you can rest in the shade of its enormous magnolias. It also has a cafeteria where you can eat on its pleasant terrace. Very close to the museum is the Botanical Garden, another of our recommendations in this city full of points of interest. Besides the visit to its gardens it offers several activities all year round.
7. PLAY IN THE GULLIVER PARK AND WALK IN THE GARDENS OF THE TÚRIA
If you want to succeed with your little ones in Valencia, take good note: Gulliver is one of the protagonists of the gardens of the old Turia riverbed. A giant of 70 meters that has become one of the most striking playgrounds for children and adults. The enormous figure lies between the trees between the Bridge of the Guardian Angel and the Pont del Regne (Bridge of the Kingdom).
Entrance is free and we advise you to come with rubber shoes to avoid possible slips. With its slides and climbing areas it is really exciting to play on this giant but you must also be careful. Without a doubt one of the parks that deserves to be included in our entrance: this is the kind of playground that we would also like to find in Spain.
Valencia would not be the same without this enormous garden of about 9 km long that offers its visitors and all the citizens one of the largest urban parks in Spain. Among the Parks and Gardens of Valencia, this one stands out for having been born in the old bed of the Turia River which was diverted to avoid the dangerous floods that threatened the city every year.
If you come to Valencia with children, you can’t miss these gardens that allow you to reach various parts of the city and enjoy many of its historical monuments and modern buildings.
You will find sports areas, bike paths, terraces, gardens and playgrounds. The Parque de Cabecera is the western extension of the Turia gardens and here you will also find a pier, an open-air auditorium and the BIOPARC.
8. ENJOY IN THE CITY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES AND “DIVE” IN THE OCEANOGRAPHIC
You will need a full day, or more, to get to know the City of Arts and Sciences in depth. It is a total icon of the city, a meeting point and attraction for visitors to Valencia and one of the most interesting for families.
The immense complex includes the Science Museum, the Oceanographic Museum, the Hemispheric Museum, the Agora and the Umbracle. To access the Oceanográfic without queuing, it is best to book a ticket. If you want to visit all three buildings, you can save by booking a combined ticket.
Visiting the City of Arts and Sciences takes time. At least one morning for the Oceanográfico and another for the Science Museum. Moreover, if you want to see a film in the IMAX of the Hemisférico, you will have to take into account the broadcasting times. In any case, if you don’t have time, what you can’t do is walk around this place.
Really a unique space full of perspectives, frames and images that you cannot capture anywhere else in the world. You can walk around freely and the children can run around freely. By bike, on skates, on foot. Surrounded by pleasant gardens, it is part of the gardens of the old Turia riverbed.
9. TOURING THE BARRIO DEL CARMEN IN SEARCH OF URBAN ART
Barrio del Carmen is one of the areas with its own unique character. Here you will find the IVAM (Valencian Institute of Modern Art) and the Centre del Carme, two very interesting cultural spaces. But the best thing is to walk around the streets and discover the urban art that is hidden in every corner. Some of the best graffiti can be discovered in Plaza del Carmen, Carrer de Baix, Carrer Moret (or Calle de los Colores), among many others. It is difficult to advise you because the streets are transformed every day. New creations emerge while others deteriorate.
Tapping in the Plaza del Carmen while the children play
10. TASTE THE BEST PAELLA IN THE WORLD
Enjoying such beauty whets the appetite. It is very difficult for us to advise you a good place to taste a good paella in Valencia… For several reasons: because there are many to choose from and because, almost all Valencian families have a master paella maker at home who delights us with his paellas and rice dishes every week.
In this link you can find some recommendations and, in addition, you can sign up for a Valencian paella workshop. We make the bosa agua with the Valencian gastronomy that has the best fresh products. In Valencia you will find a very diverse culinary offer and, among them, a great variety of vegetarian restaurants.
11. DREAMING IN A WORLD OF UNIQUE STORIES IN PUPPETRY
How fun culture is! El Marionetari is an association born in 1998 in the city of Valencia, for the diffusion and the dignification of the art of the puppet. A perfect plan in Valencia with children that offers various shows that will captivate you.
Another cultural centre with an interesting offer is the Escalante Theatre Centre which offers many plays for children, both during the week and at weekends.
12. SPEND A DAY ON THE BEACH OF THE MALVAROSA OR ON THE BEACH OF THE CABAÑAL
Valencia’s beaches offer a diversity of environments and settings. For the more urbanites and for those who want a wilder environment. Kilometres and kilometres of long, open beaches. La Malvarrosa and Cabañal Beach (also known as Las Arenas Beach because of the old spa of the same name located there) offer hundreds of metres of sand and a promenade full of restaurants and attractions. There are many children’s playgrounds and sports areas.
13. ESCAPE TO L’ALBUFERA AND GO OUT TO SPEND A DAY IN NATURE
The Albufera de Valencia is a coastal lagoon located south of the city that was declared a Natural Park in 1986. In this natural park you will find the beach and the dune ranges, as well as the lagoon itself and the marshland. With its particular flora and fauna, it is the most important wetland in the Valencian Community and serves as a resting place for many migratory birds that travel from Europe to Africa – and vice versa – throughout the year. If you want to know how the beaches of this region used to be, don’t forget to visit El Saler.
To plan your visit to the Albufera you can hire guided tours or take a tour following the approved paths from the interpretation centre. The park is prepared to enjoy this natural spot. To hire guided tours you can check the websites of Ecotourism Albufera Parc, Visit Albufera and Visit Natura.
14. DISCOVERING THE VALENCIAN ORCHARD
Valencia’s orchards have been threatened by the growth of the city in recent decades. Thousands of hectares of centuries-old fertile land have disappeared under asphalt and concrete. However, in recent years, a movement to defend and revalue the huerta has led many farmers to offer routes and experiences in the Valencian countryside.
You can hire guided routes and agro-gastro-tours in Hortaviva and Descubre l’horta. There is also the Museu Valencià d’Etnologia (MUVAET) where the testimony of the traditional Valencian society is collected and different workshops are offered to the families.
15. MORE PLANS IN VALENCIA WITH CHILDREN…
- The old tooth store at the Tooth Fairy: what about the teeth that the tooth fairy collects every day? In this store you can find out… Don’t forget to book your ticket.
- Bioparc Valencia: a trip in space to the most representative African ecosystems. A modern zoo with respectful spaces that ensure the well-being of the animals but which obliges us to reflect on the degree of exposure to the large number of visitors they receive every day. We recommend that you find out about a respectful way of conceiving the zoos at ZOO XXI and, in relation to the visit to the Oceanographic Park of the City of Arts and Sciences, it is worth reflecting on what it means to use cetaceans in captivity as a form of attraction at SOS Delfines.
- Las Fallas: are held every year between 15th and 19th March. The city receives thousands of visitors who come to be surprised by the Fallas monuments. Undoubtedly, walking around the city the days before the “cremà” and eating some pumpkin fritters can be an interesting option.
- The Festival or the Battle of the Flowers: it is held on the last Sunday of July and is the last event of the Gran Fira de Valencia. The Alameda is filled with floats and floral games, there are many activities, from literary gatherings to theatre and concerts, also pyrotechnic shows. If you are coming to Valencia in July, check out their programme of events.