The Best Museums in Valencia (2024)

Learn more about the culture and history of the city by visiting the best museums in Valencia. Museums in the City of Arts and Sciences, hidden gems that transport you back in time, and some of Spain’s best art galleries are all waiting for you. Keep reading to discover the museums that are worth visiting in Valencia. 

5 Can’t-Miss Valencia Museums

Naturally, you might not have the time to visit all the museums in Valencia – so we’ll have to prioritize some. 

So to help you out, let’s start with the 5 best museums in Valencia. These 5 are in no particular order. But if you want to learn more about the city’s culture and enjoy some of the best spots for sightseeing, here’s what to start with. 

Prioritize these 5 museums, especially if you only have a few days in Valencia

Museu de Belles Arts

The Valencian Museum of Fine Arts is one of the biggest tourist attractions. If you’re an art lover – you can’t miss this one. 

This art gallery is housed in a 17th century seminary that used to belong to the Archbishop of Valencia. Today, you’ll find works from Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, Sorolla, and many Valencian painters and sculptors. 

With over 2,000 pieces, this is the best museum in Valencia for art enthusiasts.

Another bonus: it’s free to enter. So if you’re coming in the summer and you’d like to combine culture with air conditioning, this is the perfect option. This makes it one of the best free museums in Valencia. 

Etnològic

The Valencian Museum of Ethnology (aka L’ETNO) is one of my favorite museums in Valencia. It’s located in El Carme and gives you an inside look into Valencian history and culture

It’s dedicated to showcasing the Valencian cultural identity, so it’s the best museum for culture enthusiasts. 

Which means if you want to learn more about the culture beyond paella and orxata, this is the perfect learning experience. 

Plus, the museum shares a space with the Museum of Prehistory. It features some of the oldest civilizations in Europe, dating back to the paleolithic era. 

So L’ETNO is an easily accessible option for people wanting to spend several hours exploring museums. 

Museu Faller

This is my personal favorite museum in Valencia. The Museu Faller is dedicated to teaching you all about the UNESCO World Heritage celebration – Les Falles

Not only do you get an inside peek into what to expect, you also get to see all of the winning ninots from the past century. 

Every year, Valencia builds over 700 monuments – just to burn all of them. Except for a small piece of the winning one. 

And all of the winners since the 1920 are housed in the Museu Faller. Which means you get to see how the festival evolved over the century. Considering Les Falles tends to critique society at large, this means the museum doubles as an inside look into Valencia society itself. 

So if you’re not able to visit during Les Falles – this is the best museum in Valencia. You get to learn more about the city’s history and cultural through the eyes of its most important festival. 

Bonus: It’s right next to the City of Arts and Sciences. So you can plan to see the museum while you’re already in this area. 

L’Almoina

L’Almoina Archeological Museum is the perfect option for history buffs. It’s located right behind the Basilica, so it’s easy to visit if you’re already in La Ciutat Vella

I really enjoy this museum, as you get to see just how old Valencia is. You’ll head below the surface to find ruins that are from more than 2000 years ago

The giant pond in front of the building is sitting over part of a Roman city, which you can visit. 

So whether you’re looking to learn more about all the different empires that have occupied Valencia over the years – or just want to escape the sun for a bit – L’Almoina is a great museum to visit. 

Valencia has plenty of relatively budget-friendly options for museums, and there are ways to see it for free, as well! Come on a Sunday or show your Valencia Tourist Card to get in for free. 

Oceanogràfic

While this is certainly the most expensive option, L’Oceanogràfic is a must-visit if you have the time. Located at the end of the City of Arts and Sciences, this is the largest aquarium in Europe. 

Which means if you’re traveling with kids – this is probably the best museum in Valencia for you. 

You can learn more about the ecological importance of the Mediterranean, chill with the penguins, and see the dolphinarium. 

The Oceanogràfic has the highest rating possible for animal treatment and wellness according the American Human Society. Don’t forget to check out all of their conservation efforts, and learn about how you can do your part to protect the Mediterranean ecosystem.

Art Museums to Visit in Valencia

Now that you know the 5 most important museums in Valencia to visit, let’s move on to some other great options. 

If you’re planning on spending extra time in the city, you have tons of options for places to visit. 

So let’s start with the classic art museums. Valencia has a surprisingly large collection of art museums, and all of them are relatively close to the center. 

Here are the some of the most important art museums to see in Valencia: 

MuVIM

The Museu Valencià de la Il·lustració i de la Modernitat is the perfect place to go if you’re interested in modern arts. 

They offer both permanent and temporary exhibitions, which makes it perfect for people who live in the city as well. 

It focuses on thought-provoking exhibits, with the goal of “preserving and spreading the ideas and values which had made the modern world possible, starting by that genuine revolution of mind

Which means you’ll see pieces from the Enlightenment, all the way up to modern works that continue to push boundaries. 

The museum is generally free to visit, while some of the temporary exhibitions have a fee. 

IVAM

The Institut Valencià d’Art Modern was the very first Modern Art museum in all of Spain. The Julio González collection is one of its most famous attractions, making the museum a globally-recognized must-see. 

They also feature both permanent and temporary exhibitions, so it’s the perfect place to check out, no matter how long you’ll be staying. 

This is a museum I’ve gone to a few times, especially on Sundays when you can get in for free. 

Fundació Bancaixa

The Fundació Bancaixa is an impressive building with several exhibits. They often have very impressive artworks and exhibitions from famous artists around the globe. 

I recently went there to see their Sorolla exhibit, which was wonderful to see. 

This cultural center also offers workshops, classes, and conferences. So if you’re spending a lot of time in the city, this is one of the best museums for art lovers! 

Note: The prices vary depending on the exhibit. I spent €16 the last time I visited. 

Unique Valencia Museums

Since not everyone is a fan of art museums, let’s talk about some other interesting museums in Valencia. 

The city is home to several cultural centers that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. So if you’re interested in seeing something different, these are the ones I’d recommend checking out. 

Casa de Les Roques

This is one of my favorite museums in Valencia – and probably one of the smallest! 

Les Roques are giant floats with mythological, historical, and culturally-relevant depictions. The oldest float dates back to the 1528

These floats are traditionally paraded around the city during the Corpus Christi celebration. And this museum, the “House of the Rocks”, is where these centuries-old masterpieces are stored throughout the year. 

The Corpus Christi is one of the oldest and most traditional celebrations in the city. The first procession dates back to 1355. 

And the Casa de les Roques was built in 1435, although it had to be restored several times throughout history. 

Words don’t really do this museum justice. You have to walk in to see how enormous, well-preserved, and incredibly detailed Les Roques are. 

Plus, this free museum is located right behind the Torres dels Serrans – so I usually consider this to be a must-visit! 

Museu Nacional de La Ceramica

This is a museum that I don’t always recommend visiting, to be honest. But if you have 3 days or more, then it’s worth checking out the inside. 

The reason is that the National Ceramics Museum is located within the Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües. 

Which means the building itself is absolutely gorgeous, full of history, and definitely worth the visit. 

Buuuuut not everyone is going to be interested in a ceramics museum. 

However, the museum itself gives you a wonderful inside look at this traditional palace. So if you have some extra time, it is worth visiting

But hey – maybe you love ceramics! In which case – definitely put this at the top of your list. 

Museu de les Ciències Princep Felip

If you are a science nerd or are visiting with kids, then the Science Museum at the City of Arts and Sciences is the perfect museum for you. 

Valencia built this futuristic masterpiece in 2000, and has since become one of the most emblematic buildings in Valencia

The actual science museum features tons of fun, interactive exhibits spread over 40,000 square meters (430,000 sq ft). 

Which means you’ll easily spend 2-3 hours walking around. 

The only downside is that the exhibit is relatively expensive, compared to other museums. So I’d only recommend visiting if:

  • You have kids or
  • You love science or
  • You’re spending more than a week in the city

Just like with the Oceanogràfic, if you plan on visiting multiple parts of the City of Arts and Sciences, I recommend getting a combined ticket. It ends up saving you a good bit rather than buying them separately! 

L’Iber – Museo de Los Soldaditos de Plomo

This last is another famous Valencia museum housed in the old Palau del Marqués de Malferit. It’s one of the best-preserved palaces from the 14th century, with a 19th century façade. 

It features the world’s largest collection of miniature lead figurines

All of the figurines represent global historical events, with more than 15 themed rooms. 

There are some interesting exhibits that highlight Valencian history, such as the Battle of Almansa or the Silk Road. 

To be completely honest, though – this is one museum I’ve never actually been to. It’s just not a topic that interests me, personally. Although I would like to visit, just to get a chance to see the palace!

Cultural and History Museums in Valencia

Now let’s move on to some other options for things to do in Valencia. Museums about the city’s culture and history are great options for any tourist. 

These museums are great for people who are staying here for more than a week. This way, you’re able to get a better look at the culture. 

So here are some culture and history museums in Valencia that I’d recommend:

Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània

This is a super fun museum to visit! This is a cultural center that offers temporary exhibitions, workshops, classes, and a ton of events.

It’s located in a 13th century convent in the middle of the Ciutat Vella, so just the building itself is incredible to visit. 

If you’d like to see social events, progressive art works, and art by local artists – this is the spot to go. 

Plus, the Centre del Carme is free to enter. So even if you just want to pop in to see the building, this is the perfect spot. 

Casa Museu Benlliure

This is a relatively unknown museum that’s on the outskirts of El Carme. The Casa Museu Benlliure is the old home of the famous Valencian painter Josep Benlliure. 

You can visit the inside to see what a classic upper-class home would look like. From his workshop to the well-preserved traditional building, it’s a great way to get a look into the life of this famous painter. 

And even if you’re not super interested in art, it is a good representation of a classic Valencian home. Head out to their patio area and you’ll see a very traditional outdoor kitchen that’s used to cook a paella. 

It’ll only take around 45 mins to visit, so I think this is a great option if you’re looking for an peek into Valencian culture. 

Museu de l’arròs

In case you couldn’t tell by the paella – Valencia is one of the biggest producers of rice in Europe. 

Thanks to the silk road, rice was brought to the area several centuries ago, and it continues to be a staple grain in the area. 

The Museum of Rice shows you how Valencians will cultivate, harvest, and prepare this traditional food. Valencia actually has several different types of rice for different dishes – so the museum is a great way to learn more about how gastronomy, history, and culture combine. 

Casa Museu Blasco Ibáñez

Head down to the beach to see the old home of one of the most prolific Valencian writers. 

Blasco Ibáñez was a writer, journalist, and politician during the turn of the 20th century. He was a literary reference for realism and naturalism movements, with his most famous works achieving worldwide fame. 

His home is a good example of the Valencian Modernism architecture style. So if you’re heading to the beach and you want to get out of the sun for a while, this is a great museum to visit. 

Silk Museum

If you’re a fan of the traditional dresses you see throughout Les Falles – then the Valencia Museum of Silk is a great option to check out. 

Held inside the old Silkmakers Guild from the 15th century, you can see an example of how important this fabric has been in the city’s culture and history. 

Not only do you get to see perfect examples of the traditional Valencian dress, you also get to see how much economic power the silk industry had in the area. 

Considering Valencia’s most famous building – La Llotja Silk Exchange – was also the seat of commerce for the Kingdom of Valencia. And the fact that in 1767, nearly half the population was employed by the silk industry…

Well, you can imagine that this simple fabric had a big impact on the history of the city. 

How To Get Into Museums for Free

La Diputació in Valencia. I got a free tour during a special temporary exhibition.

Once you figure out which Valencia museums are a must-visit, then you just have one more step before heading over. 

Because a lot of the museums will offer free or discounted tickets! 

So for the majority of them, you can get in for free on Sundays. Which means you should plan for some time on Sunday morning to see any of your must-see museums. 

Valencia also offers discounted rates with the Tourist Card. Some of the more expensive museums give you a discount (like the Oceanogràfic), as well as a completely free ticket for some of the cheaper ones. 

So if you’re planning on visiting lots of museums, then the Valencia Tourist Card is a good option. Go ahead and read my article on the tourist card to learn more. 

Monuments to See

While not technically museums, Valencia has some famous monuments that are also worth visiting! 

So it kind of depends on your interpretation of what a museum is. 

If you’d like to check out some other visitable monuments, here are a few suggestions:

  • Torres dels Serrans: The medieval tower gates to the old city 
  • La Llotja: The Silk Exchange (a must-visit!)
  • La Seu: The Valencia Cathedral, home to the Holy Grail (allegedly)
  • Sant Nicolau: The “Valencian Sistine Chapel”
  • Mercat Central: One of Europe’s largest markets
  • L’Ajuntament: The City Hall (you can visit the inside, too)
  • Bioparc: The Valencia Zoo — you can get tickets here. 

Tips from a local

Since there are so many museums in Valencia – it can be hard to know which ones to visit. Especially if you only have a few days or a weekend, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. 

So here’s some advice from someone who has lived here since 2018:

  1. Remember that many monuments and museums are free on Sundays. So if you’re a budget traveler, this is the best time to visit. Just remember that they might also close early! 
  2. Know your priorities. If you don’t care about art, don’t bother with the art museums. So make sure you know which things you’re interested in and spend your time accordingly. Some of the museums might take 2+ hours! 
  3. Reserve a full day for the museums at the City of Arts and Sciences. The Science Museum and the Aquarium alone will probably take a full day. So don’t expect to do it all in one morning! If you have to choose, I’d recommend the aquarium over the other museums (and just see the outside of the buildings in the City of Arts and Sciences)
  4. Time your visits for the warmer parts of the day. Especially in summer, it gets really hot in Valencia. So I recommend planning to be indoors from 1pm–5pm. 
  5. Get the audioguides. Honestly, this is something a lot of people overlook. But the audioguides are an affordable way to learn more without paying for a private guide!  

More Valencia Travel Resources

Enjoy your trips to the many museums in Valencia! There are tons of great options to see. Whether you’re looking for the biggest and best – or just some interesting free museums, Valencia has it all! 

Make sure to check out some of my other guides to help you plan your trip. And if you have any questions, just reach out!

FAQs

Which Valencia museums are free?

Museum of Fine Arts
L’ETNO
Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània
Casa de les Roques
 MuVIM
Many other museums on Sundays!

How long does it take the visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Valencia?

You should plan to spend around two hours. Maybe a bit less if you’re speedrunning it. 

How long does it take the visit the Oceanogràfic?

Expect to spend around 3 hours to visit the Oceanogràfic. If you’re visiting with kids, it could take around 4. 

What is the best museum in Valencia?

My favorite museum is the Museu Faller. It gives you a fantastic look at the city’s most famous festival, Les Falles. But the Oceanogràfic, L’Etnològic, and the Museu de Belles Arts are all fantastic options. 

Are Valencia’s museums expensive?

Most of the museums in Valencia are inexpensive. Many options are free, while others are only a few euros. The church museums (like La Seu and Sant Nicolau) are around €10. The museums at the City of Arts and Sciences are the most expensive. 

How many museums are in Valencia?

There are around 40 museums in Valencia. There are 5 museums that are a must-visit, as well as 10 others that are definitely worth the visit for tourists. 

Need help planning your trip to Valencia?

Here are the tools I use for the cheapest (and most reliable) vacation planning:

  • 🏠Booking – Affordable hotels and apartments
  • 🏠Hostel World – Safe and budget-friendly hostels 
  • ✈️Skyscanner – My favorite tool for cheap flights
  • 🚗Discover Cars – Best place for car rentals
  • 🚄Trainline – The easiest way to book local trains in advance
  • 📶Airalo – eSim cards for easy internet access while traveling
  • 🦺Safety Wing – The #1 travel medical insurance 
  • 💸Airhelp – Cancelled flight compensation (it’s free!)
  • 💱Wise – Easiest low-fee way to transfer currency 

Affiliate disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. These are links to services I personally recommend using for your trip to Valencia. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission from these brands if you choose to make a purchase. Your support helps me pay my bills and eat more bunyols!

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