I have been lucky enough to visit Valencia twice since moving to Spain and I must say I love it more and more each time! A city with an eclectic mix between old and new, full of wonderful ancient architecture and futuristic designs at the new city of arts & sciences – This city has it all. The third largest city in Spain after big brothers Madrid & Barcelona & whilst it shares similarities with Barcelona, with only half the population it is the undiscovered gem on the coast. I loved discovering new places and things to do and I’m delighted to share with you my top tips on what to do and see in Valencia!
1. Admire the architecture
Valencia is simply stunning, the historic center is a marvel, with a mixture of grand plazas and maze-like streets it should be top of your list. The churches located on Plaza de la Reina and Plaza de la Virgin are the heart of Valencia and are so intricate and beautiful, yet bold and stunning they should definitely be paid a visit. Also home to the ‘Holy Grail’ – if only Tom Hanks had been told earlier!
If you venture further into the historic center you will come across La Llotja de la Seda (The Silk Exchange). One of Europe’s most famous gothic momuments, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I think it is stunning. From the building itself to the Orange Patio, definitely worth a look.
I loved walking around the streets in El Carmen, the old part of town and looking up at all the beautiful buildings.
2. Visit the bustling marketplaces
There are two wonderful markets in Valencia. Market Central and Market Colon are both different but lovely in their own ways. Market Central is hustling and bustling and very much an active part of the community. Only open in the morning so get yourself out of bed and check it out!
On the other hand you have Market Colon which is a former market which has been turned into small cafes. It is pricier than the central market but lovely to sit down, admire the market building and enjoy your morning coffee, fresh orange juice, pastries or some tapas. You can still buy some produce like local flowers which is lovely. Open day and night.
3. Check out the Turia Park
The Turia park was formerly a river which ran through the city of Valencia, but due to flooding they diverted the river and changed it into a park. Now it is one of the largest urban parks in Spain, at 9km long. A local described it to me as ‘the lungs of the city’ and when city life gets too much for you, the park is always there to go for a run, bike ride, or simply a picnic in the park.
4. Find the orange trees
Valencia is famous for its tasty oranges and orange trees can be found growing all over the city, from Plaza de la Virgin to the Silk Exchange to the streets of the city. Take a stroll and find as many as you can and don’t forget to try Agua de Valencia!
5. Climb the Torres de Serranos
Valencia once had an ancient city wall, however all that remains today are twelve gates which connected it together. The towers themselves are pretty impressive and I would highly recommend climbing one for both the stunning architecture and the views of the city.
6. Discover the street art
Valencia has many sides to it, and the new urban street art is a big part of it. Street art can be found all over El Carmen and turning a corner to find more is all part of the fun.
‘Mama look, what a strange family’ ‘We are not strange because we are different’
7. Explore the City of Arts and Sciences
A trip to this part of the city is 100% worth it. The buildings alone are futuristic, let alone what’s inside. With science experiments for all the family, i-max cinemas, and more. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the science center and all it has to offer!
8. Visit the Oceanographic
Another example of stunning, futuristic architecture. The oceanographic is a wonderful day out for all the family. It has so many different aquatic animals and it great to see.
9. Chill at the Beach
A city with history, art, science and a beach, what more could you ask for? A short tram ride away the beach of Las Arenas can be found, nestled between rolling hills and the city. The beach has nice sand, rows of palm trees and is a lovely spot for some cocktails of an evening. Try Marina Beach Club for terrace views to watch the sunset over the city.
10. Try Paella Valenciana
Because of course, when in Valencia… Stay tuned for my guide on where to eat and drink in Valencia. Coming to the blog soon!
I hope you have enjoyed my top 10 things to do and see in Valencia. Please tell me if there is anything else you particularly enjoyed there in the comments below!
Love as always,
The Wee Wanderer x x