Where once a big river flowed, you can now find a beautiful park. For me personally it’s the best highlight of Valencia. Why? You will directly notice it when you cycle or walk through it!
As most people in Valencia live in an apartment, I see the Turia Gardens as the back garden of the all the Valencian residents. It’s accessible to everyone, because the Turia Gardens are stretching over 9 kilometers. People are doing sports, having a picknick, walking their dog and so on. Everyone enjoys being in the Turia Gardens and it’s accessible to everyone, that’s why I think the Turia Gardens is the best part of Valencia!
The story of the Turia Gardens
The creation of beautiful Turia Gardens is actually caused by a tragic incident. In October 15th of 1957 the river Turia flooded. More than 60 people died that day. This could never happen again and something had to change rapidly. The municipality of Valencia was certain that the river had to be drained. But what were they going to do with all the ground that would be left? They came with different ideas such as making it an urban highway. Luckily the residents of Valencia didn’t agree with that. They protested because they wanted a green zone in the city. The protests worked out and the municipality of Valencia decided to build a beautiful park. A very good decision if you ask me, because what would Valencia be without the Turia Gardens?
What you can see and do in the Turia Gardens
Everywhere in the Turia Gardens you see something else: sport fields, fountains, trees and flowers, terraces, beautiful buildings and so on. It’s nice to walk around, but cycling is mostly recommended. It’s definitely worth to cycle from the beginning of the park all the way to the end. In between you can take a break at one of the terraces in the park.
La Ciudad de las Artes y Sciencias
The park begins at the famous buildings of Santiago Calatrava: Ciudad de las Artes y Sciencias. Even that I’ve seen these buildings many times, it still amazes me every time. It’s nice to just walk around and take photos. In spring and summer you can do some activities on the water around the buildings. They have rowing boats, waterballs and kayaks.
After seeing the modern side of the city you cycle to Palau de la Musica. In between the City of Arts and Science and Palau de la Musica you can find a very big playground for children. My little sister played there for hours when she visited me. And to be honest I really liked it too;). It’s definitely worth to take a look, because the architecture of the playground is based on an old history: Gullivers Travels. In this history gnomes clamber over a big giant. They have recreated this giant and everywhere on his body you see slides and climbing frames.
Palau de la Musica
The beautiful concert hall Palau de la Musica is one of my favourite sights in the Turia Gardens. Especially because of it’s beautiful fountain surrounded by palm trees. For me it’s always a moment of happiness when I stay on the edge of the fountain. In spring and summer you can enjoy events that are being organized. A lot of times this is in collaboration with a well-known music school Berklee. They organize free open concerts. Besides music events a wine festival is being organized every year and an open-air cinema.
If you go on cycling from Palau de la Musica you can find some beautiful bridges. The second bridge after Palau the la Musica, is ‘Puente del Mar’. This is one of the five historical bridges of the city and one of the oldest. It was built in the 14th century.
The next bridge that you will find is ‘Puente de las Flores’. Throughout all the year this bridge is full with flowers. In summer and winter you can find different flowers and it also changes with special festivities that are celebrated. During the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, the flowers of the bridge were all yellow and white, in homage to the Vatican flag.
Going on cycling or walking you will find sport fields and more playgrounds and at the end of the Turia Gardens, the zoo of Valencia can be found: the Bioparc. Before you see the entrance of the Bioparc, you can find another great spot in the Turia Gardens: a lake where you can rent swan paddleboats. Especially with kids it’s nice to go there!
I hope you liked my article about the Turia Gardens in Valencia. Go rent a bike and discover it yourself. Enjoy!
Personal tips about visiting Valencia and moving to Valencia