Several Modern Art museums in Valencia are so worthwhile to visit.
Valencia is one of my favourite cities for a midweek trip. It is only 3 hours by car from my village and offers a huge variety of art, culture, and nature. The latter, in the beautiful botanical garden or in the immediate vicinity with beaches and marshes.
There are all kinds of museums in Valencia, plenty of choices. However, we like modern art the most, so those are the museums we visit more than once.
Until now we went for architecture and art, but a chance conversation with a compatriot during our visit to Bombas Gens has made us aware of the opera and dance culture that can also be experienced in Valencia.
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IVAM, Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno
Whenever we are in Valencia we visit the IVAM, a beautiful building with spacious halls. Now, we are lucky to be seniors so our visit is free, but even the regular price of €5 is quite reasonable.
The modern art building has several floors divided into 2 wings. Each part has a different exhibition, so there is always something to your liking.
On our last visit, one of the exhibitions was set up around group Zero. My preference is for the art of the 20th and 21st centuries, so I enjoyed it to the fullest, as you can imagine.
You really have to take the time to give this museum the attention it deserves. It is large and spacious and very quiet during weekdays, so you can wander through the halls and look around with ease.
In between, it is always possible to go to the museum café to rest and have a drink and a bite. The museum does not close between 2 and 5 pm like a lot of Spanish museums do, which is very nice as it makes planning your day as a tourist easier.
CCCC, Centro del Carmen de Cultura Contemporánea
Unlike the IVAM, the Centro del Carmen de Cultura Contemporánea was not built as a museum but it is housed in a 13th-century convent. That makes the atmosphere different but no less interesting.
CCCC’s focus is more on the cultural aspect and encompasses more than ‘just’ modern art. This can be experienced in the layout of the exhibitions and the accompanying texts. Although here too you can limit yourself to just wandering through the halls and enjoying what you see.
The previous function of the building is still clearly recognizable on the outside and the courtyards with their cloisters. In the interior, you will notice this at most in the columns and tympanums.
If you visit the CCCC, you definitely should walk through the surrounding neighbourhood as well.
Although a part looks a bit run down due to the graffiti, there are many restaurants and cafes with an alternative approach.
Incomprehensible for such a busy tourist city as Valencia, but CCCC‘s website is only in Spanish and Valencian. Use the Google translate extension in Chrome if you need a translation.
If you like industrial heritage, a visit to Bombas Gens should not be missed. Apart from the less fun and not applicable translation bombs, the meaning of Bombas is also pump. Bombas Gens is a former factory where hydraulic pumps and small machines were made.
The building is a century old and designed in the Art Deco style. The beautiful details are especially visible on the facade. After the conversion into a cultural centre, memories in the form of old machines in the courtyard and the display of the roof construction have fortunately been preserved.
The exhibitions are concentrated on contemporary art and movements, and photography. The entrance is free. Even if you don’t think you’ll appreciate the art very much, at least go for the building. That is very worthwhile.
Tip: What is easily overlooked is the beautiful courtyard garden. It can be reached on the left after the entrance gate. Ask one of the attendants if you can’t find it, sometimes they are willing to open the back door for garden enthusiasts!
During our last visit to Valencia, we finally discovered Fundación Bancaja. Phew, what took us so long? It’s even bigger than you’d think from the outside, with 3 huge floors full of beautiful art.
Fundación Bancaja is a private institution that mainly focuses on support programs for the Valencian community. Perhaps that is why their website is also exclusively in Spanish and Valencian.
In addition to the exhibitions, there are all kinds of cultural programs and the foundation is involved in social projects.
The original building was designed at the end of the 19th century. The classic ornaments and the eclectic style are recognizable on the outside, but the interior was completely modernized around 1980. The exhibition spaces are spacious so that the art comes into its own beautifully.
The entrance fee is €7 with a reduced entrance fee of €4 for seniors, among others. A really beautiful museum. We will definitely go there again next time.
Beautiful, modern Valencia
Valencia was the design capital of the world in 2022. And rightly so, because in addition to the 4 museums described here, there is much more to see. In particular, the buildings by architect Calatrava in the old riverbed of the Turia.
There are permanent and temporary gallery walking routes, for example, Abierto Valencia in the fall, and many more modern art centres.
If you like old buildings, there is also plenty to discover. Especially la Longa de la Seda, the old silk exchange that is part of the Unesco World Heritage. For me one of the highlights of old Valencia.
Tip: The early 20th-century Mercado Colón is no longer in use as a fresh market, but has been converted into a luxury eatery with all kinds of restaurants and terraces.
What do you like most in Valencia? Tell me in the comment box below.