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Valencia has plenty of fun attractions aimed at kids, and many of its most beautiful natural and historic attractions are appealing to younger visitors, too. If you’re looking for ideas to keep the whole family entertained on your trip to Spain’s coastal hotspot, read on for our suggestions.
This 9 km (5.6 mile) ribbon of greenery winding through Valencia’s centre is a dry riverbed converted into a unique city park. It’s filled with all kinds of plants, flowers, playgrounds and event spaces. The best way to explore is by bike, and if you’ve got some energy to burn you can ride all the way from the Bioparc at the northern end to the City of Arts and Sciences in the south.
For a sweet treat you can’t get much better than churros con chocolate, the famous long, fried doughnuts dipped in sugar and served with a cup of thick, hot chocolate. The kids will love it and so will you. There are chocolaterias and horchaterias serving this Spanish favourite all over town, and some great ones are found in the central squares of Plaza de la Reina, Plaza de Santa Catalina and Plaza de la Virgen.
The open-air Bioparc Zoo is a must for animal lovers. It’s a modern zoo built with invisible borders, aiming to promote love and respect for nature while providing a great environment for both the animals living there and also the humans visiting. You can see lions, giraffes, elephants, lemurs and all kinds of other wildlife in areas dedicated to the Equatorial Forest, the Savannah, and other habitats.
Av. Pío Baroja, 3, Valencia, Spain, +34 902 25 03 40
Nature lovers will enjoy the city’s large botanical gardens, part of the university, housing plant species from all corners of the globe. The tranquil atmosphere and educational information makes it a great place to take kids.
Carrer de Quart, 80, Valencia, Spain, +34 963 15 68 00
Another great city park to visit with kids is the huge Jardines del Real (Royal Gardens), better known as the Jardines de Viveros, or Viveros Gardens, filled with statues, fountains and flowers. Kids will love visiting the dinosaur skeletons at the Museum of Natural Sciences, as well as the aviary, the playground and the little reindeer-shaped train.
If you’re visiting during the summer months, the best thing you can possibly do in Valencia is to head for the large, sandy city beach, Playa Las Arenas. It’s clean and safe with plenty of space to play and swim. If you want to check out some other local beaches, read our guide to the most beautiful beaches in Valencia.
There are so many things to see in Valencia, but walking along cobbled streets under the Spanish sun is hard work for little legs. If you want to check out the local sights in a short time without anyone getting tired, you might want to try using the tourist buses that can pick you up and drop you off at different points around town.
If you’re visiting for the city’s main festival, Las Fallas, you can find out what it’s all about here at this small museum dedicated to the history and customs of the festival. There are plenty of ninots, the colourful paper-maché figures that make up the huge fallas sculptures burnt at the end of the festival. These ninots were saved from the flames after being voted the best ones made that year.
Plaza Monteolivete, 4, Valencia, Spain, +34 963 52 54 78
This huge festival in March is the time of year Valencian kids look forward to most – some say even more than Christmas. And no wonder, as there are seemingly endless street parties and events, and the city puts on the biggest and best firework displays around. Plus, the streets become an open-air art gallery filled with hundreds of incredible paper-maché sculptures, and everyone eats churros with chocolate for breakfast. What’s not to like?
Wandering through the historic streets of El Carmen – Valencia’s Old Town – can make you feel like you’re in a fairytale. Head for the little cobbled street of Calle Museo (‘Museum Street’) and search for the ‘House of Cats’, a tiny painted ‘house’ embedded into a wall, which kids will love. Nearby, the relaxed and kid-friendly Café Museo has a lovely shaded terrace under the trees which is perfect for a rest.
Carrer del Museu, 7, Valencia, Spain, +34 963 92 31 08