Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, has existed as an essential port of call since the Phoenicians first established themselves there in the 8th century BC. If you find yourself in Valencia, Spain, and want to learn more about the region’s history and culture, there are plenty of sights to see in the city that offers insight into its past. Valencia also has something else that keeps people coming back again and again—its food! From tapas to fresh seafood, Valencia has plenty of delicious meals to sample.
The best time to visit Valencia is in April and May when the weather is nice, and there aren’t too many people. If you want to experience the city’s renowned Fallas celebrations, visit Valencia in March. However, the area is beautiful all year round, even without the event. Since Valencia is famous for its sandy beaches, many visitors go there during the summer. So if you want to enjoy the beach without the extreme heat, the best time to go is in June or September.
- Valencia is the birthplace of paella – one of the most iconic dishes in Spanish cuisine and can be found at many restaurants across Valencia and Spain.
- The official animal of Valencia is the bat – it is considered one of the most important symbols in their culture because of its connection to their history and presence in many traditions and customs today.
- Valencia is home to the world’s first psychiatric hospital – opened in 1410 by Father Juan Gilabert Jofré, a Mercedarian friar and a group of concerned citizens of Valencia. The hospital is still in operation.
How much time do you have in Valencia? If you have 24 hours to see some of the city’s top attractions, including its historical sites, beautiful architecture, and the interesting people who live there, here are some top things to do in Valencia:
Start Your Day on The Beaches
When you want to swim, sunbathe or sit on a beach, visit La Malvarrosa or El Saler beaches. Both are great spots for relaxation and fun. The former is next to the city centre while El Saler is located near the old town of Paterna. These beaches can be crowded during summer, so it’s recommended that you go early morning before 9 am. After the beach, you can check-in and shower in Catalina Suites, as they offer express check-ins, and continue your 24 hours in Valencia.
The Central Market (Mercado Central) is the perfect spot to start your day since it’s in the middle of the old city centre and offers plenty of options for an early meal. Here you can enjoy a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as local delicacies like jamón (ham), queso manchego (manchego cheese) and tortilla española (Spanish omelet). Central Market covers more than 8000 meters and has two levels inside its large indoor building, designed in an Art Nouveau style with Gothic influences on its outside appearance.
There are few things as quintessentially Spanish as the Valencian Cathedral. Located right next to Valencia’s central market and boasting an iconic attraction within its own walls – the Holy Grail – this building is one of the city’s most famous sites, with good reason!
The Holy Grail, which historians believe was Christ’s chalice during his last supper, has been exhibited here for centuries. It has also been exhibited in other locations worldwide, but none compare to being able to see it up close and personal in Spain! You can always come back another time for tours or even take pictures from outside! Be sure not to miss a trip there if you’re interested in religious culture or history.
The Silk Exchange in Valencia, Spain, is the country’s best-preserved medieval market building and one of the most important landmarks in the city. For centuries, it served as an economic centre not only for silk production but also for crafts, trade, and commerce. Though it has been damaged by fires and earthquakes and was almost destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, the exchange is one of Valencia’s most valuable architectural treasures today.
Located next to Paseo de la Pechina, Turia Gardens is a great place for a picnic or just sitting around and people-watching. There are also statues of famous Valencians such as Salvador Dalíi. If you visit on the weekend, I recommend coming around noon so you can see people jogging or walking their dogs. Also, there is an outdoor gym if you’re looking for a good workout!
The Fundación Museo Miro is home to some of Picasso’s best works, as well as works by Joan Miró, Juan Gris and Alexander Calder. It also contains a wide variety of temporary exhibitions. Definitely don’t miss it! The entrance fee is 6 EUR for adults and 3 EUR for children. If you want to visit more than one museum on your trip, get an individual ticket (valid for one day) or a three-day ticket (12 EUR) at any tourist information centre or cultural centre. They will cost you about 2 EUR less than buying them directly at any museum. The ticket gives you access to all museums owned by the Valencia city council.
The City of Arts and Sciences is a great spot for tourists and locals. You can start by taking a stroll through one of its many gardens before heading to Oceanografic.
For something more relaxing, take some time out at Salerosa Park or Jardines del Real; if you have children with you, then head over to Feria de Los Niños (Children’s Fair), where they can play all sorts of games and try their hand at some arts and crafts.
Be sure to visit one of our favourite places on earth: Oceanografic. The largest aquarium in Europe and the third-largest in the world houses more than 50 million litres of water and exhibits over 11,000 animals of 500 different species worldwide. A visit to the Oceanogràfic in Valencia can be very interesting, especially if you are visiting Valencia with children, since this attraction includes more than 100 different species of animals, such as sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles, penguins and many others.
You have a panoramic view of beautiful Valencia, and the entrance is free! For centuries, the Torres de Quart Towers have watched Valencia guarding the beautiful city and its many visitors as they pass through on their way to Barcelona or Madrid. Standing tall against the sky, these iconic towers are among Valencia’s best-known attractions and most recognizable landmarks, and climbing them has become one of the most popular things to do in Valencia.
After the long day, you’ll want to eat and relax. For a good tapas visit Tasquita Del Mar or try Grillo Grill Bar. After dinner, cocktails in Valencia are best in Café de Las Horas where you can drink the famous “Agua De Valencia” or if you’re a gin lover, give Doce Gin Club a shot. Fox Congo in the Carmen is very popular amongst young college kids; Mya is a cool club by the Arts and Sciences attraction and has a lot of foreigners. Radio City has great live music, and Akuarela is a great spot to party all night and watch the sunrise on the beach.
Where to Stay In Valencia
Palacio Vallier 5*
Plaza Manises, 7, Ciutat Vella, 46003 Valencia
Palacio Vallier 5* offers accommodations with a bar, private parking, and a patio in Valencia, within 100 meters of Basilica de la Virgen de Los Desamparados. This property’s amenities include a restaurant, a front desk open around-the-clock, room service, and free WiFi all around the place. The hotel provides its visitors with a concierge service, a tour desk, and luggage storage. A continental or à la carte breakfast is available at Palacio Vallier 5*.
Hotel Plaza Mercado & Spa
Plaza Del Mercado 45, Ciutat Vella, 46001 Valencia
Hotel Plaza Mercado & Spa is located in Valencia in the Valencia Community Region and features a 100 m2 spa facility and hot tub. 400 meters separate the property from Barrio del Carmen. All areas of the building have free WiFi. The hotel’s spa offers a hammam, Turkish steam bath, relaxing pool with hot tub, cold tub, relaxing area, and massage services for an additional fee. After dining in the hotel’s restaurant, guests can unwind with a drink at the bar. A sophisticated flat-screen TV and a fully furnished kitchen with a microwave and an electric kettle are included in every apartment.
9 Carrer de Sant Ferran, Ciutat Vella, 46001 Valencia
Catalina Suites offers express check-in and check-out, allergy-free rooms, a shared lounge, free WiFi throughout the property, and a terrace. It is situated in downtown Valencia and is only a two-minute walk from Mercado Central. The hotel offers a concierge service, a front desk open around the clock, and can arrange tours for visitors. Every room in the hotel has a desk. All the guest rooms at Catalina Suites provide a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and a private bathroom with a shower and bathrobes. Selected rooms also come with lounge space. A continental or à la carte breakfast is provided.
Want to spend some time outside the city? There are many fantastic options for day trips from Valencia, especially if you want to stay more than one day. Here are the top day trips from Valencia:
Utiel-Requena wine country offers scenic vineyards and quiet countryside, making it one of the best-kept secrets of the Valencia area. Nestled between the southern coast and nearby mountains, the vineyards in Utiel-Requena are some of the oldest in Spain and provide the perfect backdrop to long afternoons of wine tasting and enjoying local food specialties. If you’re looking for a romantic way to spend time with your partner or an interesting day trip from Valencia’s bustling city centre, look no further than Utiel-Requena wine country!
It’s worth stopping in the city of Xàtiva, located about 25 km west of Valencia. This small town is well known as the birthplace of King Felipe II, but that’s not why you should make a stop here—Xàtiva has much more to offer than history alone! With its vibrant food scene, art galleries, and outdoor parks, this quaint village also makes an excellent weekend getaway for city dwellers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of big-city life. You can even enjoy a
The famous Barcelona is about a four-hour drive away so if you have time, do not miss the chance to see it! One day in Barcelona won’t be enough to enjoy everything this Mediterranean treasure offers, especially if you’re a first-time visitor. On the other side, if you make the most of your time, even if you only have one day in Barcelona city, you can see a lot, get a sense of the atmosphere, and sample some of the best cuisines in the world. Read more about one day in Barcelona here!
- Siesta – like the rest of Spain, Valencia has the siesta times when most shops and companies close their doors between 2:00 and 5:00 PM – plan ahead!
- You can drink the tap water in Valencia, it’s one of the best in Europe.
- Use the city bikes if you want to go from the centre of the city to the beach.
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.
Romi is a llama coach from Split, Croatia. This sounds made up but it’s true. She lived in Toronto, Canada for about ten years, give or take, but she wasn’t working with llamas. She was working in PR, restaurants, daycares, one yoga clothing store. She doesn't know how she got that job as she has never done yoga at that point. She taught English in Colombia and Vietnam. Traveled the world for two years. Then she got into writing. Actually, she was always writing, but then someone paid her to write. Then more people paid because they saw she was making them money. Then it became a thing she does for a living. And here we are now. Specializing in travel, real estate, and digital nomad guides, familiar with SEO, and always ready to learn something new so she can branch out and take over the world.