The Ninot Exhibition (Valencia, 2024) — What are Ninots?

Come see the Valencia Ninot Exhibition! As a prelude to the renowned Falles festival, you can catch a glimpse of these representations a month before the opening acts. These vibrant artworks known as “Ninots” are put on display in the City of Arts and Sciences for you to admire. Keep reading to learn more about the Ninot Exhibition – and how you can vote for your favorite! 

The Ninot Exhibition — 2024

  • Location: Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, Ground Floor
  • Dates: February 5th — March 15th 2024
  • Hours: 10 am – 8 pm Monday–Thursday || 10 am –  9 pm Friday–Sunday  
  • Price: €3 Normal || €1.50 Discounted

The Ninot Exhibition, the “Exposició del Ninot”, is a highly anticipated event held annually in Valencia. 

For a few weeks leading up to Les Falles festival, all of these artworks are put on display in the science museum at the City of Arts and Sciences. This is the perfect way to get a quick idea of the themes for this year’s Falles. 

The normal, children’s, and special sections are available to see. Take about an hour to walk through the exhibition and make sure to write down your favorite ones. Because at the end – you get to vote on your favorite!  

What are Ninots?

A “Ninot” means “Big Doll” in Valencian. During Les Falles, the Ninots are intricate artworks that represent the entire scene of each of the monumental Falles. 

You can think of it as all of the storytelling and artwork that goes into a gigantic Falla, represented into one 2-meter tall Ninot. 

Valencia gets filled with around 700+ Falles each year – which means you have just as many Ninots to see at the exhibition.  

Just like the Falles, these sculptures are made of wood, cardboard, and papier-mâché. They all depict either satirical critiques, traditional scenes, or humorous representations. Local artists make each one by hand, which is one of the big reasons why the entire festival was declared a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. 

The Ninot Indultat

This is the highest honor that can be given to an artist’s Ninot. Valencia celebrates the Falles Festival with a fiery ending. 

On March 19th, all 700+ Falles are burnt to the ground, as a way of welcoming the Spring and beginning a new cycle. 

All of them except for the Ninot IndultatThe Pardoned One

And how is the Ninot Indultat chosen? 

By the public voting system at the Ninot Exhibition! 

Which is exactly why it’s so important to go see the expo and vote for your favorite Ninot! Valencia only saves one from a fiery fate, so make sure to do your civic duty! 

At the end of the festival, the Ninot Indultat takes its place in the Falles Museum, where it will sit alongside its fellow winners from the last 100 years. 

How to Get There

To see the Ninot Exhibition, you just have to go to the City of Arts and Sciences. 

From the city center, you have a few options:

  • Bus
  • Metro 
  • Taxi 
  • Bike or on foot 

Bus to Ninot Exhibition

To take the bus to the Valencia Ninot Exhibition, hop on Line 95 from either the Torres dels Serrans or the Porta del Mar. It should take around 20 minutes and cost €1.50 per person. There is a bus approximately every 8 minutes. 

This is my preferred option. Read this article to learn more about riding the bus in Valencia.

Metro to Ninot Exhibition

To take the metro to the Valencia Ninot Exhibition, take Line 10 (towards Natzaret) from the Alacant OR Russafa Metro Stations. Get off at “Ciutat Arts i Ciències – Justícia”. This should take around 13 minutes on the metro.  It only runs by every 15 minutes.  

This is a good option if you’re already in Russafa. Check out my guide on the metro and its prices

Taxi to Ninot Exhibition

You can take a taxi to the Ninot Exhibition as well. It’s quite easy to find a taxi, just head over to any of the main avenues and flag one down, or order one in advance using Cabify

This will likely cost around €8-15, depending on the traffic and time of day.  

Bike/Walk to Ninot Exhibition

Finally, you can get to the City of Arts and Sciences on your bike or on foot. There is a dedicated bike lane both through the Túria Gardens and going down l’Avinguda del Regne de València

The first option is longer (25 minutes on bike, 50 on foot), but it’s a good opportunity to enjoy the Túria Gardens. The second option is quicker (15 minutes on bike, 30 on foot) and gives you a snapshot of one of Russafa’s prettiest streets.  

Check out my public transport guide for more information on getting around in Valencia. 

Where to Buy the Tickets

To see the Valencia Ninot Exhibition, you can either pay for tickets when you get there or buy your tickets from the official site

As of 2024, the Ninot Exhibition Prices are as follows:

  • €3 for General Entry
  • €1.50 for Discounted Price
  • €2 per person for Groups of 20+
  • Free Entry Children 1-3

Discounted tickets are given to children ages 4-12, people 65 or older, people with disabilities, and anyone with yearly museum passes.  

The History of the Ninot Exhibition

The current system of pardoning a Ninot from the flames began in 1933, when the Valencia City Council hosted a competition to come up with new events for Les Falles. 

The Artista Faller Regino Mas came up with the idea to have a parade with the Ninots and put them on display to choose a winner. His idea won the contest, and ever since then it’s been a consistent tradition. Both the Cavalcada del Ninot (the parade) and the Exposició del Ninot continue to this day. 

For the first few years (until 1936), the Ninot Exhibition took place inside the Mercat Central. Then it was moved to La Llotja for 50 years (1940–1996). 

The Exhibition was briefly moved back to the Mercat Central, then the Mercat de Russafa, and then to Nuevo Centro Mall

But since 2016, the Valencia Ninot Exhibition takes place at the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències

So as you can see, the Ninots are always put on display at some of Valencia’s most emblematic buildings! 

The Voting System

The voting system is quite simple for the Ninot Indultat! Valencia invites any visitor to walk through the exhibition and vote for their favorite Ninot. 

As you walk through the exhibition, you’ll see numbers underneath each display. I suggest writing these down or putting them in your Notes app as you go through. There are over 700 to see – so you want to write down those numbers! 

At the end, you’ll either type in the number at a touch screen or say it to the attendant. 

Important to note – technically, there are TWO ninots that get saved. The normal Ninot, as well as one Ninot from the Children’s section. So make sure you write down your number for both! 

I recommend taking pictures of your favorites as you go through. This way you can do a quick review before voting without walking through everything again. 

And of course, you’ll get to see them again during the Falles week with the rest of their corresponding Falla!

The Falles Museum

After the conclusion of Les Falles, the Ninot Indultat is brought home to the Falles Museum (Museu Faller de València). Ninots from the last 100 years are all carefully stored there and put on display.  

This is actually one of my favorite museums in Valencia. 

Since Les Falles is always a socially-critical event, this turns the museum into a time capsule. You get a quick walkthrough of major historical events and get to see inside the public conscience throughout the years. 

For example – you’ll notice that the only years missing are from the civil war and the pandemic. 

Then you’ll see how the artistic styles slowly transform from very classic, traditional themes into the dramatic contemporary versions. 

So whether you’re coming to Valencia for Falles or not – I highly recommend taking a trip to see the museum. 

More Valencia Resources

If you’re coming to Valencia in late February or early March, I highly recommend taking a trip to see the Ninot Exhibition. Valencia hosts plenty of exciting events throughout the year, and this is by far one of my favorites! 

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need more support or have any questions about the city. 

And if you need some more help planning your trip to Valencia, here are some guides that could prove useful:

FAQs

Where are the ninots displayed?

All the Ninots are displayed at the City of Arts and Sciences in the science museum (Museu de Ciències Príncipe Felipe) during the Exhibition. You can also see the winning Ninots in the Museu Faller.  

What are Ninots in Les Falles?

Ninots are sculptures made of wood, cardboard, and papier-mâché. These are smaller representations of the enormous monuments that Les Falles festival is famous for.

What happens to the Ninot Indultat?

The Ninot Indultat, or pardoned ninot, is preserved and displayed in the Falles Museum as a symbol of artistic excellence. It is the only Ninot out of 700+ that is NOT set on fire. 

When is the Valencia Ninot Exhibition

The 2024 Valencia Ninot Exhibition takes place from February 5th to March 15. 

Is it Les Falles or Las Fallas?

The official name of the festivity in Valencia is “Les Falles”. “Las Fallas” is a Spanish translation. 

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