Things to do and see in Valencia, Spain; our 1-week trip with young children

Valencia is a port city located on the south-eastern coast of Spain. It’s known for its City of Arts and Sciences, its beaches, its Paella, its public market, and its “Holy Chalice” (I will tell you more below). 😊

It seemed to be a perfect #SlowTravel city for our 1-month itinerary in Spain during our family’s round-the-world trip.

You can have a look at our round-the-world itinerary with two young children, here.

Here is what we did and saw in Valencia, Spain with our family during our 1-week trip to this beautiful city.

VALENCIA’S STREET ART

Valencia is known for its street art, and it’s a real thing. Street art is everywhere and really beautiful. The more I travel, the more I observe it. Sometimes, I feel that some pieces of street art could be classified as “nice graffiti,” but in Valencia, it’s at a next-level. I would say Valencia’s street art is more like fine paintings in the streets.

VALENCIA’S CENTRAL MARKET

Then we went to Valencia’s Central Market. We had arrived in the city just a few hours earlier, and since we had a kitchen in our Airbnb, we wanted to do a lot of cooking while being there. We stopped by the Central Market to get our hands on fresh local produce and visit the market, a way to kill two birds with one stone!

It’s a great, clean, and a large bright space, where you can find almost every local products you may need… But, we find it to be a little overpriced. We only came to that conclusion a few days later, after going to the supermarket, where you get more for your buck.

I believe the locals do their grocery shopping at supermarkets, and the Central Market is more for tourists or foodies who want to treat themselves.

You do you, meaning that Valencia’s Central Market is also a great place to visit and to buy or eat local food.😊

Also, the Central Market is stroller friendly!

MALVARROSA’S BEACH, VALENCIA

Well, it’s a beautiful large beach with a soft slope which takes you to the water. Perfect for young children to play on the seashore.

There is also a long boardwalk on the beach to help people with reduced mobility or family with strollers, like us, to go to the sea.

You can park for free in the streets nearby, so if you have a car, it won’t be an issue.

CABANYAL-CANYAMELAR: OUR FAVOURITE NEIGHBOURHOOD IN VALENCIA

Very quaint, the Cabanyal-Canyamelar neighbourhood is located right in front of Malvarrosa beach. It’s a great place to wander the streets. It reminded me of the small fishing villages we visited in Cuba. It features very colourful wooden houses (but in better condition than the one found in Cuba). It’s lovely!

VALENCIA’S HISTORIC CENTRE

With more than 2000 years of history, the old city of Valencia is a must to visit.

The moment you enter, and you find yourself by the Serranos Towers or by the Saint Mary’s Cathedral and the public place. You can feel the cultural and historical richness of the city.

THE TURIA GARDENS IN VALENCIA

The well-known Turia Gardens were formerly part of the Turia river which crossed the city, but after a devastating flood, which killed many people, the Turia river was then rerouted. The bed of what was once a river became a large urban park where you can play, relax under big trees, picnic, do your training and even more.

We walked (with the stroller) for more than 7 km with our little ones, and we even took the time to play in the different playgrounds. The Turia Gardens is the widest public park in Spain, and it’s very #FamilyFriendly.

PLAYING IN THE PARK ON THE GIANT GULLIVER

Talking about the Turia Gardens’ parks, you’ve probably heard about the vast attraction that features the story of Gulliver’s travels. It’s at a large scale Gulliver “laying on its back” and where children and parents can climb up and play (I dare you NOT TO go– even the adults want to try it😉).

I would say this place is crazy. LOL

We were so surprised to find something like that in the Turia Gardens. At first, we didn’t know what it was, and we found out when one of our Instagram followers told us what it was.

The admission to Gulliver Park is free, and the park was built as a children’s playground. You can climb up, take the slides, play around. It’s a prominent structure to let little ones, like mine, of 2 and 3 years old play without supervision. No matter how old you are, there are so many corners, ropes, ladders, steps, slides and bridges that it would take hours to see everything.

Here are some recommendations regarding my experience:

–    Wear a long sleeve T-shirt and trousers because the slides can be hurtful (like sandpaper on your skin #Lolilol).

–    Try to remember which colour shirt your kid was wearing as it can become challenging to find them.

–    You can’t let your kid go freely – some spots are dangerous, high and not easily accessible – even for an adult.

–    During hot days, go there early in the morning or later in the day. The sculpture gets really hot around lunchtime (when we were there).

VALENCIA’S CITY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences is made of modern, futuristic and very impressive buildings.

In those buildings, you can do a lot of activities during rainy days (or to hide from the sun you know 😉)

You can find:

–    An IMAX movie theatre;

–    A planetarium;

–    The Principe Felipe Science Museum;

–    A botanical garden;

–    An oceanarium (it’s the largest aquarium in Europe with a surface of 110,000 square meters and a water capacity of 42,000,000 litres, pumped from the Malva-Rosa beach);

–    And many other cool spots to visit with your family!

In short, everything you need to learn while having fun!

SEE THE REAL HOLY GRAIL

You know; Jesus’ Last Supper with his apostles before his crucifixion!? Well, in Valencia’s Cathedral you can find the real Holy Grail, the cup used by Jesus and his apostles during the Last Supper to drink Jesus’ blood/wine.

Honestly, we didn’t have the time to go and see it, even if it was on our to-do list because we love history, no matter the religion. So, here is another idea!

JUST… GO AND PLAY IN THE PARK!

As we had previously visited a large part of  Spain’s East Coast, and that we have young children, we looked for many parks. It’s in Valencia that we found the highest number of parks.

So, let’s go and play in one of the many playgrounds, each one very well landscaped (which is not the case of all the parks in Spain #MomRoundTheWorldApproved).

If you have any questions or if you would like more information, please leave a comment.

This post was translated from French to English by:

Charlène Bessenay
I am Charlene. I was born in France but I live in Quebec City since 2007. I am a 32-year-old married mom of 2 (a boy and a girl), a part-time student (translation) and also a hockey mom 😉 I decided to go to university at 31 because I love foreign languages and I needed a new challenge. I love food and wine (I’m French you remember 😉 ), I have a very long travel bucket list and I practice Zumba and Yoga.

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