If you’re looking for a city that’s rich in history and culture, look no further than Valencia, Spain. This beautiful coastal city (where I live!) is home to some of the most impressive museums in the country, offering visitors a chance to explore everything from ancient artifacts to contemporary art.
Valencia’s museums are spread throughout the city, making it easy to explore them all. From the stunning National Ceramics Museum to the impressive Museum of Fine Arts, there’s something for everyone here.
And that includes the fact that Valencia is the home to what has been named the best museum in the whole of Europe – which, if you’re a museum buff, could alone make Valencia worth visiting for you!
So whether you’re a history aficionado, an art lover, or just looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, Valencia’s museums are sure to impress!
Best museums in Valencia
1. Museum of Fine Arts – Museo de Bellas Artes
If you’re a fan of art, then the Museum of Fine Arts – Museo de Bellas Artes is a must-visit when you’re in Valencia. This museum is home to an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art that span from the 14th to the 20th century.
Inside, you’ll find over 2,000 pieces of art, including works by famous Spanish painters like Joaquín Sorolla and Francisco de Goya. You’ll also see pieces from other notable artists, such as El Greco and Diego Velázquez.
One of the highlights of the museum is its collection of Valencian Gothic paintings, which are some of the most important in the world. You’ll also see a wide range of other styles, including Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo.
The museum is housed in a beautiful building that was once a convent. It’s located in the heart of Valencia, near the Turia Gardens, making it easy to get to from anywhere in the city.
2. Museum of Science – Museo de la Ciencias
Science enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Museum of Science, or Museo de la Ciencias, located in Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences. This museum is a great place for both kids and adults to learn about science, technology, and the evolution of life, with interactive exhibits and scientific activities for everyone.
The Museum of Science is surrounded by 13,500 square meters of water curtains, with the exhibits divided into different areas. These include the Zero Gravity Room, which simulates the effects of zero gravity, and the Perception Room, which explores how our senses work.
The museum also offers temporary exhibitions, so be sure to check their website for the latest information. If you’re interested in astronomy, you also can visit the Hemisfèric, which is located nearby and features an IMAX cinema and digital projections.
3. El Carmen Cultural Center – Centro Cultural del Carmen
The El Carmen Cultural Center, known as El Centro Cultural del Carmen in Spanish, is a must-visit. It was built on the site of the Nuestra Señora del Carmen de València Royal Monastery, founded in 1281 following the Christian conquest.
The Center hosts various art exhibitions, performances, and cultural events throughout the year. The exhibitions showcase contemporary art and aim to promote the local culture and Mediterranean society.
The building itself is worth a visit, with its spacious courtyard where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful, historical surroundings in the Old Town of Valencia. The courtyard is also used for various cultural events, including concerts and theater performances.
So whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for a relaxing afternoon, the center has something for everyone.
4. Fallas Museum – Museo Fallero
For getting to know Las Fallas Festival, the Museo Fallero de València is the perfect place. Located in Plaza Monteolivete, this museum is dedicated to showcasing the history, culture, and art of the Fallas Festival.
The Fallas Museum is located in an old inn, which later housed a barracks and military prison. This fascinating collection exhibits each of the ninots from 1934 onward that was chosen to be spared from the flames each year.
The collection is a wonderful demonstration of aesthetic and artistic evolution over time, letting you really see how Las Fallas has remained such a core part of Valencian traditions throughout the decades.
5. IVAM – Museum of Modern Art
If you’re a fan of modern and contemporary art, then you won’t want to miss the IVAM – Museum of Modern Art. Located in the heart of Valencia, this museum is dedicated to showcasing some of the most important works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Inside the museum, you’ll find a wide range of exhibits that cover everything from photography and sculpture to painting and video. Some of the most notable artists featured in the museum’s permanent collection include Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Julio González.
In addition to the permanent collection, the IVAM also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions often focus on specific artists or art movements, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of the art world.
One of the most unique aspects of the IVAM is its commitment to education. The museum offers a variety of workshops, lectures, and other events designed to help visitors learn more about modern and contemporary art.
6. Oceanografic – L’Oceanogràfic
For a truly unique museum experience in Valencia, you won’t want to miss the Oceanografic (or L’Oceanogràfic). The aquarium, located in the City of Arts and Sciences, is home to over 45,000 animals from more than 500 species.
While it’s not technically a museum, it’s definitely worth including on your list of must-visit attractions.
One of the highlights of the Oceanografic is the dolphinarium, which is the largest in Europe. You can watch educational presentations about bottlenose dolphins and, with the grandstand having a capacity of over 1,500 people, so you’re sure to have a great view.
(And to clarify, this isn’t some Seaworld-esque situation, as it’s currently reported that the dolphins kept in captivity here are well looked after.)
In addition to dolphins, the Oceanografic features a wide range of marine life from around the world. You can explore faithfully recreated marine ecosystems, including tropical mangrove swamps and wetlands.
If you’re interested in learning more about the animals at the Oceanografic, be sure to check out the educational programs and workshops that are available. You can learn about conservation efforts and the important role that marine life plays in our ecosystem.
7. L’Etno – Museo Valenciano de Etnología (Valencian Museum of Ethnology)
L’Etno – Museo Valenciano de Etnología is a gem of a museum nestled in the heart of Valencia. In fact, it’s recently been named the Best Museum in the whole of Europe for 2023, and I assure you, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss!
This museum is a treasure trove that showcases the rich cultural heritage and history of the Valencian people. As you wander through the halls of this magnificent museum, you’ll be transported through time, witnessing firsthand the incredible stories, traditions, and daily lives of the people who have called this region home for centuries.
L’Etno boasts an extensive and diverse collection, that lets you not only gain insight into the customs and beliefs of the Valencian people, but also get a unique opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in this vibrant culture. Plus, it’s housed in the stunning Centre Cultural La Beneficència, a beautifully restored 19th-century building that adds a touch of elegance to your visit.
You can see more of what’s in the museum below, which is L’Etno’s submission to the European Museum of the Year Awards for 2023 – which, as mentioned, it won!
8. Museum of Ceramics – Museo de Ceramica
The Museum of Ceramics (Museo de Ceramica) is home to the largest national collection of ceramics, dating from the 18th century to the contemporary period, and includes pieces by Picasso. You can explore the history of ceramics and the industrial history of Valencia through its great ceramics tradition.
The museum is housed in a gorgeous Rococo palace, the Palacio Del Marques De Dos Aguas, which is one of Valencia’s landmarks. The palace was built in the 15th century and was refurbished in 1740 – and its imposing Rococo alabaster entrance alone will blow your mind.
You can also find merchandise from the Silk Route and discover how they lived in one of the most iconic Valencian noble families of the age.
9. Museum of Almoina – Museo de la Almoina
If you’re interested in history, you absolutely must visit the Museum of Almoina (Museo de la Almoina).
This museum is located in the heart of Valencia and is home to some of the most important archaeological finds in Europe. You’ll be able to see vestiges of the city’s history from its founding by the Romans in the 2nd century BC to the Middle Ages, all in one place.
The museum is located just around the corner from the Cathedral and Plaza de la Reina, so it’s easy to find.
When you enter, you’ll be amazed by the sheer number of artifacts on display. You’ll see everything from jewelry and pottery to clothing and video installations exploring 2,000 years of the city’s history.
One of the highlights of the museum is the second-century thermal baths, which have been beautifully preserved. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time as you walk through the ancient Roman city streets and former Muslim city courtyard.
10. Silk Museum – Museo de la Seda
If you want to learn about Valencia’s rich silk history, the Silk Museum (Museo de la Seda) is the perfect place to visit. The museum is located in the former headquarters of the Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda, which dates back to the 15th century.
The building itself is a beautiful mixture of Gothic and Baroque architectural styles, making it a sight to behold. Then, once you’re inside the Silk Museum, you can explore the three-century-long history of silk production in Valencia.
Exhibits include antique looms, tools, and machinery used in the production of silk, as well as beautiful silk textiles and clothing. You’ll learn about the silk-making process, from the cultivation of silkworms to the weaving of the finished product.
One of the highlights of the museum is the Sala de la Contratación, a beautiful room that was used for silk auctions in the 16th century. The room is decorated with stunning frescoes and is a must-see for anyone interested in Valencia’s history and culture.
The Silk Museum is located in the Velluters neighborhood, which is known for its long history of silk production. While you’re in the area, be sure to explore the neighborhood’s winding streets and admire the beautiful architecture.
11. Museum of the Patriarca – Museo del Patriarca
If you’re a fan of religious art and history, the Museum of the Patriarca, or Museo del Patriarca, is a must-visit destination in Valencia. Located in the heart of the city, this museum boasts an impressive collection of artwork and artifacts from the 15th to the 18th centuries.
One of the highlights of the museum is the collection of paintings by Caravaggio, including his famous work “The Kiss of Judas.” The museum also features works by other renowned artists such as El Greco, Ribera, and Van Dyck.
In addition to the artwork, the museum also houses a collection of religious artifacts and manuscripts, providing visitors with a glimpse into the history of the Catholic Church in Valencia.
The building itself is also worth admiring, as it was originally a seminary dating back to the 16th century. Its beautiful architecture and peaceful courtyard make for a serene and contemplative environment.
12. Museum of Valencian History – Museo de Historia de Valencia
If you’re interested in learning more about the rich history of Valencia, the Museum of Valencian History is a must-visit destination. Located in the old water station that used to supply the city, built in 1850, this museum is one of the most attractive examples of 19th-century industrial architecture, with a total of 250 columns.
The museum offers an engaging and interactive experience that takes visitors on a journey through the city’s past. You’ll learn about the origins of Valencia and how it grew to become the vibrant city it is today.
The exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from the Roman era to the present day, and include artifacts, documents, and multimedia displays.
One of the highlights of the museum is the recreation of a medieval Valencian street, complete with shops, houses, and a church. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you wander through the narrow streets and soak up the atmosphere of the past.
13. Museum of the House of the Carriages – Museo Casa de las Rocas
Valencia is a city that is rich in culture and history, and one of the best ways to experience this is by visiting the many museums that are scattered throughout the city. If you’re looking for a museum that showcases the city’s religious and cultural heritage, then you should definitely check out the Museum of the House of the Carriages, or the Museo Casa de las Rocas.
This museum is housed in a building that dates back to the 15th century, and it was originally designed to store the Rocas, which are the special carriages used as floats for the Easter and Corpus Christi processions.
The museum has a vast collection of Rocas, as well as costumes used in traditional dances and processions. The walls are covered in photos and explanations of how everything is used every year, which makes for a fascinating and educational experience.
It’s located in the El Carmen neighborhood, which is one of the oldest and most charming areas of Valencia. You’ll find plenty of quaint cafes and restaurants in the area, so you can easily make a day out of your visit.
14. Valencian Museum of Prehistory and Culture – Museo de Prehistoria y de las Culturas de Valencia
For those keen to know more about history that goes even further back, you simply can’t miss the Valencian Museum of Prehistory and Culture (Museo de Prehistoria y de las Culturas de Valencia). This museum is one of the most complete and prestigious in Spain, and it traces through the 8000-year-old history of human presence in Valencia and the present-day territory of the Valencian Community.
The museum is located in the Historical Center of Valencia, in a beautiful building called La Beneficencia. Here, you’ll find an impressive collection of archaeological materials covering from Paleolithic to the Visigoths period.
It also has a section dedicated to ethnography and anthropology, where you can learn about the different cultures that have lived in Valencia throughout history. This includes a section dedicated to the Iberian culture, which is unique to the Valencian Community, where you can see the famous Lady of Elche, a beautiful sculpture that is considered one of the most important pieces of Iberian art in the world.
15. Museum of the Carmen Convent – Museo Convento del Carmen
If you’re looking for a museum that showcases Valencia’s rich history and culture, then the Museum of the Carmen Convent or Museo Convento del Carmen is definitely worth a visit. This museum is stationed in the ancient rooms of the Carmen Convent, a spectacular feat of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture.
Once you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a vast collection of art pieces, ranging from contemporary to classic. The museum is a perfect blend of historical architecture and modern art, making it a unique destination for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
The Museum of the Carmen Convent provides plenty of space for all kinds of interesting exhibitions, with nothing in common. You can expect to see a variety of art pieces, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, so there’s always something new to see.
16. Museum of Tin Soldiers – L’Iber Museo de los Soldaditos de Plomo
For what’s certainly a more unique museum experience in Valencia, you won’t want to miss the Museum of Tin Soldiers (L’Iber Museo de los Soldaditos de Plomo). This museum is home to the largest collection of historical miniatures in the world, with over 95,000 pieces on display.
As you explore the museum, you’ll be transported back in time to witness grand battles and daily life from different eras and cultures in miniature form. The vast collection tells the history of mankind in a fun and engaging way, making it a perfect destination for families with children.
The museum is housed in a beautiful gothic-style building, which adds to the overall charm of the experience. You’ll be able to appreciate the luxury of the antique building while marveling at the intricate details of the miniature soldiers and the different scenes they depict.
One of the highlights of the museum is the interactive displays, which allow you to get up close and personal with the miniatures. You can even try your hand at creating your own miniature soldiers in the museum’s workshop, which is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.
17. Museum of Valencian Military History – Museo Histórico Militar de Valencia
Interested in the history of the Spanish military? Then the Museum of Valencian Military History is a must-visit spot. Located in the City of Arts and Alameda, this museum showcases a wide range of weapons, objects, and testimonies related to the military history of Spain.
The museum is housed in a beautiful building, and the exhibits are well-organized and informative. You’ll learn about the various military campaigns that Spain has been involved in over the years, and you’ll get a sense of the important role that the military has played in Spanish history.
One of the key part of the museum is the collection of tanks and artillery pieces, which are sure to impress military buffs. But even if you’re not a military history enthusiast, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here.
18. Museum of the Diocesan Cathedral – Museo Catedralicio Diocesano
If you’re a fan of religious art, you won’t want to miss the Museum of the Diocesan Cathedral, also known as the Museo Catedralicio Diocesano. This museum is located in the Santo Cáliz Chapel of Valencia Cathedral and was created in 1761.
It has a stunning collection of religious art, including two large canvases painted by Goya in 1799, depicting San Francisco de Borja.
In addition to the Goya paintings, you can also see works by other famous artists such as Rodrigo de Osona, Yáñez de la Almedina, Vicente Masip, and Juan de Juanes. The museum also has paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries, so you can see how religious art has evolved over time.
While you’re here, make sure you go to the chapel containing what’s been deemed to be the most likely candidate to be the Holy Grail.
19. Lladró Museum – Museo Lladró
Anyone interested in art and culture cannot miss the Lladró Museum (Museo Lladró). This museum is located in Tavernes Blanques, just a short drive from the center of Valencia. It is a must-see for anyone who appreciates the beauty of porcelain and the art of figurine making.
The Lladró Museum is home to an impressive collection of porcelain figurines, which are all handcrafted and painted with great care and attention to detail. The museum offers a unique opportunity to witness the entire process of creating these beautiful pieces, from the initial design to the final firing.
In addition to the exhibits, the museum also offers guided tours that provide a fascinating insight into the world of porcelain figurine making. During the tour, you’ll learn about the history of Lladró, the techniques used in the creation of the figurines, and the inspiration behind each piece.
If you are looking for what to buy in Valencia as a unique souvenir to take home, the museum also has a boutique where you can purchase Lladró figurines and other porcelain items.
20. Valencian Museum of Illustrations and Modernity – Museo Valenciano de la Ilustracion y la Modernidad
If you’re interested in Valencia’s history during the Enlightenment and Modern Age, you should definitely visit the Valencian Museum of Illustrations and Modernity (Museo Valenciano de la Ilustracion y la Modernidad or MUVIM). Located in a stunning building designed by the architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, this museum is one of the best examples of contemporary architecture in Valencia.
Inside, you’ll find exhibition rooms that showcase different aspects of life in Valencia during these periods, as well as a library and a study center. The museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, featuring works by local and international artists.
One of the most interesting exhibitions is the Temporada Ilustrada (Illustrated Season), which features a series of graphic artists displaying their works in high-quality shows. This means you never know what you’ll stumble upon depending on the exhibit that’s on during your visit to Valencia.