Cabanyal is an area of Valencia, Spain that has a ton of appeal for tourists, mainly the proximity to the beach! If it’s not on your radar as an area to stay (or at least play) in while in Valencia, it should be!
Our family stayed in the south end of Cabanyal for ten weeks during the late summer into autumn as part of our around the world trip in 2019/2020. We loved this choice of location for our family and this post will highlight why we think yours will love it too!
Keep reading to discover:
- Reasons to stay in Cabanyal with kids
- Things to do in Cabanyal with kids
- Where to eat with kids in Cabanyal
- Family-friendly accommodation in Cabanyal
Reasons to stay in Cabanyal with Kids:
- The proximity to the beach. It is a FREE and fun activity for children that you can access any time of the day. The playgrounds along the beach are endless; literally just one after another. Keep reading to see our favorites.
- The city center can be accessed very easily. Bus lines 19 and 95 seemed to go absolutely anywhere we wanted to go in the center, and took about thirty minutes. Metro lines 5 and 7 stop nearby and hit many major spots, like BioParc, Turia Park, Colon Street and the historic district, and even the airport without needing to transfer to a different line or bus.
- Cute, colorful, unique buildings line the streets of Cabanyal. Cabanyal is a former fishing village and was once a completely independent city apart from Valencia. This architecture and history is unlike anything else you will see in Valencia.
Things to Do in Cabanyal with Kids
Spend a Day (or 2 or 3) at the Beach
Playa Cabanyal is a bustling area lined with restaurants, one that supposedly has the best paella in Valencia, though we favored the quick, easy, and cheap 100 Montaditos. You can find a huge park on the very south end, near the marina. The beach area here is busy, but the water is generally beautiful (we had a long stretch with a ton of seaweed). Umbrellas and chairs are widely available to rent for 15-20€ per day. Massages, beer and mojitos can all be purchase right on the beach.
Playas Marvalosa and Patacona are a tad further up the coast, but accessible by foot, metro, or bus. You don’t have to go far to find a playground or a restaurant. This is a great area to rent a bicycle if it suits your family. Our bunch can’t all fit on/ride bikes, but a girlfriend and I rented some and had a blast. You can also feasibly walk the entire stretch from Cabanyal up to the north end of Patacona.
Similar to the greater Valencia, there are a ton of little parks scattered every few blocks throughout the Cabanyal area. There are also some show-off parks near the beach that are must-sees!
The Marina Playground is located on the very south end of Playa Cabanyal right next to the marina (across the street from The Marina Beach Club). All three of our kids loved this playground, which says a lot because twelve-month babies and four-year-olds have very different interests. The show stoppers are a zip-line and a ride where you and a partner sit on tires opposite of one another and go twirling up, down, and around. Be sure to duck if you’re the designated pusher!
Our four-year-olds also loved “The Beach Park” on Playa Cabanyal. It is right in the sand on the edge of the walking path. Our baby could eat sand while the big kids climbed, then they would switch it up and build a castle in the sand. It could entertain them for quite a while, and I loved being able to play on the beach even in cooler weather.
Walking up along the coast toward Playas Malvarosa and Patacona, you will stumble upon smaller playgrounds about every five minutes. Our favorites were the ones with pirate ships. They encouraged so much creativity and imagination.
Visit the Market
Valencia’s Mercat Central is a must-see when visiting Valencia, and it’s one of my favorite things to do in the city, but the smaller neighborhood markets, like the one in Cabanyal, offer a completely different experience.
While living in Cabanyal in the fall of 2019, we made weekly visits to our neighborhood market. After a few trips we established our regular stalls and began building relationships with the vendors. Our “meat guy” was chatty, handsome, and incredibly friendly. There was always a queue of older ladies that were drawn to his charm. The meat was really good too. Our trip was never complete until we visited our “candy lady” and picked up a bag of soft, gummy candies for 1€. The kids knew that routine well.
You won’t find the curated cups of snacks, or a hip restaurant like Central Bar, but you can shop for lunch like a local and find some of the best produce, meat, and baked goodies around.
Mercat Municipal del Cabanyal is open Monday through Saturday, 7AM-3PM.
Go on a Ride at the EcoKids Market
Wooden, hand-cranked rides like a four-person Ferris wheel and carousel are the stars of the charming EcoKids Market. Children can enjoy these rides as well as trampolines, an obstacle course, a toy archery range, and more.
A wristband for unlimited rides costs only 6€. Kids ages 3 to 8 are best suited for these activities, though children ages 2 to 12 are welcome. The EcoKids Market only operates from late April until early September (their website is not accurate or updated). It is located on the north side of the marina, near the south end of the Cabanyal Beach.
Pro-tip: Be sure to purchase some delicious chewy candy from one of the vendor stalls! It is the very best I’ve ever had.
Sail the Coast of Valencia
This was the one activity on our list that we did not get around to doing, and I completely regret it!
Mundo Marino offers several catamaran sailing experiences that depart from the Port of Valencia, including a three-hour excursion with lunch, a sunset cruise, and a one-hour trip which seems perfect for the littlest sailors. Children under age 4 are also free, making this an affordable, family-friendly activity.
The one-hour cruise runs February through November, with more hours during the warmer months. The cost is 15€ for adults and 9€ for children 4 to 10-years-old. Drinks available for purchase onboard, and true to Spanish style, olives and nuts are free.
Splash into the Marina
If you have older children, or really good swimmers, the pool in the Valencia Marina is a great, free way to cool down and have fun. We chose not to take our littles to the marina pool because the water was too deep for them and our baby would have just crawled right over the edge of the dock. Yikes!
The Marina Pool is literally situated inside the water of the marina. In the summer months, an area of the marina is sectioned off and swimmers can splash in the protected water. There is a fairly inattentive lifeguard and a sunbathing area (boat dock) surrounding the “pool.”
This is a FREE activity!! It’s hard to track down much information online, but I swear it’s there (or was in 2019!). You can find the pool here, on the northern most area of the marina.
Take an Art Class at Cabanyart
Cabanyart is a beautiful space in Cabanyal offering art classes and workshops for both children and adults. Kids age six and up can participate in a class with lessons in drawing, painting, and other crafts. Classes are taught in English on Tuesdays at 5:30PM.
Where to Eat in Cabanyal with Kids
Malafama was, hands down, our favorite neighborhood restaurant. First of all, there is a small play area in the back (holla!!). Second, it’s delicious. After 7:30PM, Malafama serves up pinchos, which are fast snacks and sandwiches. Head to the bar where they’re all on display and let your child choose their dinner. The kitchen will warm them up and deliver your plate to your table. Head up as many times as you want. Have a snack or a full meal. The flexibility is lovely and our kids are much more likely to eat something if they (1.) see it first, and (2.) get to choose it themselves.
What to order: The brie with jam and the vegetable tempura pinchos were our favorites. Even with eight other choices, one of us would always order one of these.
Festinar pleases both the foodie and the picky kid. It’s basically Italian tapas with tiny pizzas, hummus, salads, and stuffed pizza rolls. The best way to order, and the restaurant’s intention, is to tell the chef how many people are in your group and let them whip up a spread of deliciousness. The indoor space has a ton of large tables, and the outdoor area overlooks a playground if the kiddos are old enough to safely wander. Bring cash and a big appetite.
What to order: Their burrata pizza is life and their unique hummus should not be missed!
100 Montaditos is a chain and the one in the Cabanyal area is right on the beach. The location, all-day hours and menu (hello dinner before 8PM!), and the cheap, yummy, picky-eater-friendly food made this a hit for our family. It literally has a 100 types of little sandwiches to choose from, all for 1-2€ a piece. Our family of five can eat there, with drinks, for under 20€.
What to order: A Tinto de Verano and anything with goat cheese . Our kids loved the albondigas (meatballs).
The possibilities are endless for amazing food in the Cabanyal area. El Ultramarinos (tapas), La Cocineria Bistro (paella), Ca La Mar (seafood + tapas), and Mikengos (coffee + breakfast) were also some of our favorites. Bodega Anyora and Casa Montaña frequently show up on “best restaurants in Valencia” lists and are alone worth making a visit to Cabanyal! Keep in mind that many of these restaurants will require reservations in high season, both at lunch and dinner time.
Where to Stay in Cabanyal
Family-Friendly Accommodations in Cabanyal
Our family stayed in Valencia for three months, and located our apartment rental through the relocation company Globexs. If you plan to stay in Valencia for an extended period of time, going this route may save you money. If you are stopping by for a few days or a week, there are so many lovely rentals available on AirBnB.
This “gorgeous house by the sea” is truly stunning and a great choice for a family with up to five children. It has two rooms with four twin beds total, one with a king for the ‘rents, and has a crib available for the wee one. It’s on the high end for a nightly rate ($116 USD), but is located in central Cabanyal and is only a ten minute walk to the beach. And do you see those patios!?
The “Maritim Apartment Cabanyal” is a jaw dropping $34 USD per night and very well rated. It’s a short walk to the beach and marina and is right in the Cabanyal action. This trendy two-bedroom can accommodate a family of four, and has bunk beds! Our kids are suckers for a bunk bed. This apartment seems like a fantastic deal.
A family of five can stay at this “Modern and comfortable flat in Cabanyal” for $88. Again, great location and easy walk to the beach, right in the heart of Cabanyal. The patio area with the outdoor shower won me over. I cannot tell you how much a dislike sand.
If you have never stayed at an AirBnB before, be sure to use our referral link and earn up to $55 off your first stay. The space, flexibility, and freedom renting an apartment gives a family is indescribable!