arque Central is a gorgeous urban park in between the neighborhoods Ruzafa and Malilla. This landscape design is definitely something new – with its 100.000 m2 of land, this park is small but elegant. It’s the perfect place to escape everyday life for a moment, no matter what that looks like for you, because even though it’s small… this park has a lot to offer.
Light, water, and green
This beauty is part of the underground railway and was designed by the American landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson. She was inspired by Ausiàs March’s poem: ‘Aigua plena de seny’ (which means ‘water full of wisdom’ in Valencian) and decided to focus on three main elements: light, water, and green.
There are water trails, fountains, ponds, grass fields, playgrounds for kids and dogs, natural pools, and cozy hangout spots with big picnic tables covered by a huge amount of beautiful flowers, trees, and plants. Let’s say there’s no lack of vegetation here.
However, that’s not everything. There’s a climbing wall, a “flower tunnel”, an old farmer’s house which gives it a “I’m in the middle of nowhere in Spain” feeling, and the old protected railway buildings are still standing tall too.
The combination of all of these things is just so unique, can we give Kathryn a standing ovation, please? She did a fantastic job.
We’ve spent a lot of time in this park, so if you’ve run out of activity ideas, I’m your woman. Free advice for everyone, olé!
As we all know, Valencian Summers are really hot. Luckily, there are a few natural pools in the park where you can cool down.
Are you up for a water fight? There are plenty of options – lots of kids love running through the fountains and following the water trails while jumping over them. But, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy these kinds of activities ;-)
If you have a dog, they can swim and play in the pond where the main entrance is.
There’s a little playground and a big grass field with a climbing wall. There are usually some kiddos playing sports on the field, so maybe your kids can join if they ask.
Explore the flowers with them as you play games, for example: “I spy with my little eye.”
You can also do a little climbing competition if you’re with a group.
It’s very common to organize kids’ birthday parties in the park, so go ahead and claim a picnic table, decorate it and celebrate!
Besides the big grass field, there’s a smaller one too where you can easily relax and soak up some sun.
There are plenty of hang-out spots with big picnic tables, covered by beautiful flowers, plants, and trees – it sometimes even feels like you have your own private spot. Those spots are my favorites. Sometimes we take a hammock with us and hang it up, play some card games, listen to music, have a picnic, read a book, do some painting and drawing and make some music. These simple things in life make me really happy.
There’s a place in the park where dogs are free to run around and have some playtime, but not everybody knows about it. It almost seems like a secret of the locals. Sounds mysterious, right? Okay, let’s solve the mystery: it’s a dog playground. Yeah, I know, I’m still surprised about it and think it’s awesome, I’d never seen that before. In Spanish, they call it: Pipican. Go to the right at the end of the little grass field and you’ll find it there.
The climbing wall is not just for kids, there are lots of adults who enjoy this activity too. The big grass field invites you to play some team sports as well, you might end up making new friends… who knows.
Location & opening hours
Spring - summer: from 8:00 to 21:00
Fall-winter: from 8:00 to 19:00
There are 8 entrances in total. The main entrance is on Calle Filipinas, there’s one on Peris y Valero, another one on Doctor Domagk, and you can find the other ones on Calle Filipinas as well.
Click here to view the Google Maps link.
Enjoy, my friend, but don’t get lost following the water trails… ;-)