If you’re looking for a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Valencia’s city center, look no further than the Turia Gardens. This expansive urban park stretches for nine kilometers along the former course of the Turia River, offering ample green space for walking, biking, and relaxing.
Since its creation in the 1980s, the Turia Gardens has become a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. The park boasts a variety of sports facilities, including soccer fields, basketball courts, and running tracks, making it the perfect spot for families and fitness enthusiasts.
So whether you’re looking to enjoy a picnic with friends, take a leisurely bike ride, or simply soak up some sunshine, the Turia Gardens is the perfect place to unwind. With its picturesque bridges, fountains, and gardens, this urban oasis is one of the things that Valencia is known for and a must-see for anyone visiting Valencia.
History and Inauguration
The Turia Gardens were inaugurated in 1986, and it corresponds to the old riverbed of the stream once passing through the city, which was called the Turia.
The idea of converting the riverbed into a park was proposed by urban planners after a devastating flood in 1957. The river was rerouted to prevent future floods, and the old riverbed was transformed into the beautiful park that we know and love today.
The park is an impressive 110 hectares in size and is home to almost seven million visitors every year. As you’ll see from the moment you step foot in the place, it’s a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. With its many attractions and beautiful scenery, it’s no wonder why it is one of the most visited sites in Valencia.
Since its inauguration, the park has undergone several changes and renovations. In 2005, the City of Arts and Sciences was completed, and finally, the whole of it opened to the public, including L’Oceanografic (Valencia’s aquarium). A few years later, in 2008, the new Zoo of Valencia, located at the north end of the park, was inaugurated.
It’s so rare for a city of this size to have a park of this size snaking through it, making this truly a green oasis in the middle of the cityscape.
What’s the Best Way to See the Turia Gardens?
The best way to see the gardens is on foot or by bike. Walking through the park is a great way to discover all the hidden corners and beautiful spots that the park has to offer. That said, if you prefer to cover more ground, then renting a bike is a great option.
Walking lets you take your time and enjoy the scenery, take pictures, and even have a picnic in one of the many designated areas.
On the other hand, if you prefer to cycle, there are several bike rental companies in Valencia, and many of them have rental stations near the park entrances.
There’s no question that biking through the park is a fun and efficient way to see everything the park has to offer. You can cover more distance, and stop at any point to take a closer look at something that catches your eye.
Whichever mode of transportation you choose, the park has several entrances, and you can start your journey from any of them.
If you don’t feel like walking or biking, you can also take a Segway tour of the park. Segways are a fun and easy way to explore the park, and you can cover more ground than you would on foot. These tours are led by experienced guides who will show you the best spots in the park and tell you all about its history and significance.
How to Get to the Turia Gardens?
If you’re staying in Valencia, getting to the Turia Gardens is a breeze! The park runs through the city and is easily accessible by public transportation. The best way to get to the gardens is by taking the metro or simply walking or biking there.
Some people also opt for a hop-on, hop-off bus tour, so whether you choose that or the metro, both options are affordable and convenient, and will take you directly to the park.
If you prefer to walk, the park is located north of the historic city center and stretches for 9 kilometers between the Cabecera Park to the west and the City of Arts and Sciences to the east. You can easily reach the park by foot from many of the city’s main attractions, such as the Valencia Cathedral or the Mercado Central.
Attractions and Landmarks
Gardens and Parks
Valencia’s Turia Gardens are the perfect place to take a stroll, have a picnic, or just relax in the sun. The park is home to many gardens and parks, including the Gulliver Park, which is a giant playground inspired by the story of Gulliver’s Travels.
The Turia Gardens also have several fountains, ponds, and bridges that make for great photo opportunities. You can rent a bike or a Segway to explore the park or take a guided tour to learn more about its history and architecture. The park is open all year round, and admission is free.
One of the most popular sections of the park is the Palau de la Musica. This beautiful building is home to the Valencia Orchestra and is a great place to catch a concert. The building itself is a work of art, with its Art Nouveau design and intricate stained glass windows.
Monuments and Museums
Valencia is home to several historic monuments and museums, and many of them can be found in or near the Turia Gardens. One of the most iconic landmarks in the park is the Serranos Towers.
These Gothic-style towers were built in the 14th century and were part of the city’s fortifications. Today, visitors can climb to the top of the towers for panoramic views of the city.
The Turia Gardens also pass by several museums, including the Valencia History Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. The former is housed in the beautiful 16th-century building known as the Trinidad Palace, while the latter is located in the stunning El Real Monastery. Both museums offer a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of Valencia.
Another notable monument in the park is the L’Assut d’Or Bridge – known locally as El Jamonero (The Ham Holder) or Pont de l’Arpa, (The Harp Bridge). This modern bridge was designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and is a stunning example of contemporary architecture.
When it comes to activities, Turia Gardens has something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of walking or biking, sports, nature, or leisure, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained.
Walking and Biking
With its flat terrain and wide, paved paths, Turia Gardens is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or bike ride. Rent a bicycle, tandem, or Segway from one of the many rental shops nearby and explore the park at your own pace.
As you walk or bike through the park, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Valencia’s skyline and the beautiful landscapes that make up Turia Gardens. You’ll also have the chance to stop and admire the many fountains, sculptures, and other works of art that are scattered throughout the park.
Whether you’re looking for a quick workout or a relaxing afternoon in the sun, Turia Gardens is the perfect place to stretch your legs and enjoy the great outdoors.
It’s also very easy to bike through the park, past the City of Arts and Sciences and end up at one of Valencia’s beaches in less than 15 minutes of riding, if you want a day out full of a ton of Valencia’s sights at once!
If you’re a sports enthusiast, you’ll love the many facilities that Turia Gardens has to offer. From soccer fields and basketball courts to skate parks and climbing walls, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to staying active.
Many of the facilities are free to use, while others require a small fee. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking to have some fun, Turia Gardens is the perfect place to get your blood pumping and work up a sweat.
And if you’re looking for something a little more low-key, there are plenty of areas in the park where you can relax and enjoy a game of chess, checkers, or other board games with friends and family.
Nature and Landscapes
One of the main draws of Turia Gardens is its stunning natural beauty. With over 9 kilometers of green space, the park is home to countless species of plants and animals, as well as several unique landscapes that are sure to take your breath away.
Take a stroll through the many gardens and forests that make up the park, and you’ll be treated to a variety of sights and sounds that you won’t find anywhere else in the city. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the park’s resident wildlife!
With so much natural beauty to explore, Turia Gardens is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with the great outdoors.
Leisure and Entertainment
If you’re looking for a more relaxed way to spend your time in Turia Gardens, there are plenty of options for leisure and entertainment as well. Take a picnic and enjoy a lazy afternoon in the sun, or grab a book and find a quiet spot to read.
And if you’re looking for something a little more exciting, check out some of the park’s many events and festivals. From live music and theater performances to food and wine tastings, there’s always something going on in Turia Gardens.
So whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Turia Gardens has everything you need to make your visit to Valencia unforgettable.