In Valencia, there’s still more botanical wonderland to be discovered beyond just the Turia Riverbed Gardens: only steps away, you’ll also want to visit the Royal Gardens, or Jardines del Real. This flora-filled land dates back as far as the 1500s, when Felipe II ordered thousands of plants to decorate his palatial grounds in Aranjuez. Meanwhile, the name “Royal Gardens” comes from the royal palace that used to be situated here, but that, for strategic reasons, was demolished in the 1800s due to the impending War of Independence.
What remains are several blocks worth of plant-filled paradise laced by paths, fountains and sculptures. Different garden techniques can be found throughout the park, from the Romantic style represented in the south, to more natural landscapes located in the north. Perhaps the most picturesque of these settings is the walkway just beyond the southern entrance, which is lined by a row of towering palm trees. In the center of the park, there’s even an entire kid-oriented course of miniature city-like roads complete with crosswalks and street signals. And just off the southwestern corner sits the Museum of Fine Arts, in case you wish to do more sightseeing in this part of town.
The Royal Gardens are located just off the eastern side of the Turia Riverbed Gardens, and just slightly south and opposite the Serrano Towers. They are free to enter, and open at 8am every day, closing at sundown.