Are there really things you can do for free in Valencia? Yes – lots, in fact! In this city, there are heaps of activities you don’t have to pay for, both out in the fresh air as well as indoors. In this article, I’d like to tell you about some free places you can visit in Valencia, and offer you a selection of different activities that won’t cost you a penny.
Free activities and locations in Valencia
Here’s a bunch of things to do in Valencia for free:
Visit Valencia’s free museums
Valencia has quite a varied culture, and the many free-to-visit locations mean that it’s accessible to all. Amongst the free museums in Valencia, you’ll find:
CCCC Centro del Carmen de Cultura Contemporánea
This museum, with its constantly changing exhibitions and the different events it hosts, is found right in the heart of the old town. But on top of that, I think this location is just gorgeous: it’s in an ancient monastery with two beautiful cloisters. Personally, I love visiting this place to check out what new exhibitions they have on!
Bombas Gens Centre d’Art
You’ll find this museum of temporary exhibitions in an old hydraulic pump factory in the Marxalenes district, a little further away from the centre. You can check opening hours and their programme on the official Bombas Gens website.
Museo de Bellas Artes
This is one of Spain’s largest art galleries. Inside, you can appreciate works by Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, and more. I myself only learnt about this place just a few years ago… And what a joy I’ve been missing out on!
Enjoy some of the best dawns and dusks
Valencia is a great place if you’re a morning person and you want to enjoy the sunrise, because we’re located on the coast of the Iberian Peninsula, so the sun rises over the sea. A great spot to visit if you want to see this is Playa de la Malvarrosa.
On the other hand, if you’re like me, and dragging yourself out of bed in the morning is a real challenge, then that’s no problem either: Valencia’s dawns are also spectacular, and you can see one for yourself from Albufera Natural Park.
As I showed you in this article about 10 experiences to fall in love with Valencia, my favourite place to watch the night fall in the Albufera is this dock. Photographers flock there as the sun sets, along with those who just want to enjoy the magic of this moment.
Explore the city’s history
Some places tell part of the tale that leads us to where we are today. In Valencia, these historic locations can be visited for free:
On the one hand, there are the Arab Baths of Almirante, an Islamic hammam constructed in the 14th century. You can visit these baths without paying a penny, and they’re open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.
On the other hand, resulting from something much more recent (the Spanish Civil War), there are air-raid shelters that can still be found across the city. The one which belonged to the Grupo Escolar del Ayuntamiento de València, as well as the one on Calle Serranos, can be visited for free, and you can even book a free guided tour. Before you go, check the schedule and who to call for bookings.
Step into gorgeous palaces and government buildings
If you’re looking for more free-to-visit places in Valencia, consider this: there are heaps of palaces and iconic buildings that you can enter for free. For a few years now, people have been allowed to enter the Town Hall and step out onto its balcony. We locals can’t help repeating the words of the Fallera Mayor before the beginning of a mascletà: Senyor pirotècnic, pot començar la mascletà! (pyrotechnics, let the mascletà begin!)
Also, thanks to the Palaus Transparents initiative (you can check their opening hours by downloading their app using the QR code on their website), you can visit a grand total of 17 palaces for free.
Listen to free concerts
A variety of concerts are held in Valencia throughout the year, with a range of different styles. Though you do have to pay for many of them, there are also some free ones.
For example, there’s a Berklee College of Music campus right here in Valencia, which is a globally-reputed university for jazz, contemporary music, and pop. Throughout the year, its students hold concerts in la Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. You can visit the Un lago de conciertos website to check the dates.
In El Cabanyal, one of the trendier districts, you’ll find La Fábrica de Hielo (‘Ice Factory’, so named because an ice factory is exactly what it used to be). I personally love it here, it’s massive and dogs are welcome too. They host concerts of widely varying styles, many of which are free to enter, so you only have to pay for food and drink. You can see what they’ve got on by checking their calendar.
Walk around the various parks and gardens
Visiting green spaces is another free activity in Valencia. The ones I really recommend are:
Jardín del Turia
Jardín del Turia extends along the old bed of the river Turia. The river was diverted in 1958 after a tragic flooding which significantly damaged the city. Once they got this open space, do you know what they were thinking of using it for? A six-lane motorway!
Thankfully, the locals were having none of it. Instead of an enormous motorway that would have brought noise and pollution with it, this space would be converted into a large park full of greenery, with sports areas and even a location seemingly plucked from the future: The Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.
Incidentally, right at the start of Parque de Cabecera, there are large, grassy promenades extending alongside a lake with ducks, which are perfect places to stop for a picnic.
Jardines de Viveros
This is one of the city’s most cherished green spaces, because it’s full of history. What’s more, this large park contains a range of different plant species and sculptures.
Jardín de Monforte
Next to the Jardines de Viveros is a lesser-known location that I actually love visiting when I want to switch off: the Jardín de Monforte. It’s smaller, but it’s still packed full of charm, and it’s usually very quiet.
This is Valencia’s newest park. It’s sprung up along some old train lines, which means that this rather long park contains some old historic buildings linked to its railway past.
Go for a dip in the sea
Tired of walking around? After something to perk you up? A dip in the sea is just what you need! And going during the day isn’t your only option, especially in summer. For example, in the hotter months, what my friends and I like to do is visit Playa de la Patacona when the sun sets and people start to leave. Take towels, some sandwiches, and a cool box with some drinks… And you’re set!
As you’ve seen, there’s quite a lot you can get up to for free in the Valencian capital. Yet another reason to look for a flight to Valencia and get enjoying the city!