Welcome to Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city and one that is easily able to rival the more popular powerhouses like Barcelona and Madrid, if only given a chance. Innovative, bold and lively, Valencia offers everything that a tourist could desire – from delicious food, through vibrant nightlife all the way to impressive art and stunning architecture. Being a mixture of modernist and futuristic buildings, while at the same time offering a more traditional experience around the old quarter, Valencia rewards its explorers with plenty of little surprises lurking behind each corner. The parks and museums of Valencia provide enough entertainment to tire even the most seasoned tourists. At the same time, Valencia is a major foodie scene, with plenty of restaurants serving a wide range of local meals, the famous paella. After a tiresome day spent on the streets, in the restaurants and inside of museums, there is no better place to go for some well-deserved rest than one of the five beautiful beaches of Valentia, with La Malvarrosa being the most popular one. At the end of the day, Valencia is surprisingly welcoming, and still relatively clutter-free, compared to the even more popular cities of the region, which can be a huge plus and allow you for a really wonderful city break.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Valencia
Authentic Valencian Paella Cooking Class
This tour will not only showcase you some of the best cooking available in Valencia and all of Spain, but it will also provide you with the knowledge required to recreate those dishes in your own home. The class includes a list of ingredients and methods used by experienced teachers, all set in a calm, rural landscape.
City of the Arts and Sciences
A five-hour-long tour, which will take you along the futuristic setup of the City of Arts and Sciences. This part of Valencia is full of fascinating exhibitions and displays, and you can even admire the cityscape of Valencia from a 29th-floor terrace, where you can opt-in for some tapas, a glass of wine, and other delicacies.
Valencia Old Town Segway Tour
If you would rather not walk on your own feet while sightseeing, this tour allows you to admire the monuments of Valencia from a rented Segway, which is included in the price of the tour. The tour takes approximately one hour and showcases the Silk Exchange, Mercado Central, Valencia Cathedral and many others.
Valencia Bike Tour
To get some additional exercise while traveling around and sightseeing, try this tour which takes you on a cycling route around the streets of the city. A friendly and professional guide will tell you the history of the city on the way while you ride around at a moderate pace on comfortable, state-of-the-art bicycles.
Valencia Private Walking Tour
This unique tour takes three hours to accomplish and will take you on a journey to discover the rich culture and history of the city of Valencia. The tour is guided by an expert professional, who will take you around the most famous of spots in the city, including different handicraft shops and glorious basilicas.
Valencia Wine Tour
The region of Valencia is well-known for its exquisite wines, and this trip will take you on a trip to show you why. This trip takes a full day and will show you the best-known wineries of Valencia and vicinity, with tasting and lunch included, as well as a history lesson provided by guides in each of the wineries.
Valencia Central Market Cuisine Tour
This five-hour-long tour is a perfect choice for first-time visitors in Valencia, as it will allow them to get acquainted with the city’s regional cuisine. Visit the Old Town with an experienced guide, who will lead you through various bars and diners of the neighborhood, along with a three-course lunch with wine and tapas.
Valencia Silk Road Tour
Providing an interesting insight on some of the history of the city's status as a trading centre on the Silk Road, this tour will allow you to visit some of the old silk factories, which played an important role in the economy of the country. There is also a visit to the silk museum included in the price and a multi-course lunch.
Valencia Hop-on-hop-off Bus Tour
Not only will this formula of a tour allow you to explore the city at your own, personal pace, it will also let you save some money on additional transport. For twenty-four hours you will be able to use any of the buses that drive around the many spots in the city, placed in strategic places close to attractions.
Valencia Parque Natural de la Albufera tour
This tranquil tour is a perfect choice if you are searching for an escape from the crowd of the city. This all-inclusive tour will let you get close to nature, as it begins with a visit to the Albufera Natural Park, which you can admire in all of its glory at your own pace while enjoying a sixty-minute-long boat trip.
Other Things to See and Do
Playa de la Malvarrosa
This marvelous beach of Valencia will allow you experience the famous sunny weather of Spain for yourself while sunbathing and relaxing on the hot sand. The beach is also a great vantage point for watching the annual air show, which will provide you with additional entertainment while bathing in warm water.
Playa de las Arenas
This beach is usually neglected by most tourists, but locals know very well that this is the most beautiful beach of the city. The lack of crowds allows you to relax and unwind in a relatively calm atmosphere, with fine, clean sand, transparent sea water, and many sports activities placed along the shore.
Jardins del Turia
This lush garden is placed right in the heart of the city of Valencia, allowing you to get into it from any location quickly. The five-mile-long park occupies a dried-out riverbed and boasts a number of playgrounds amidst its premises, as well as some playing fields, various walking paths, and decorative fountains.
The Fine Arts Museum
Right next to the gardens of Turia, there is a famous art gallery with a museum which are both free to enter. The Fine Arts Museum, or Museo de Bellas Artes, contains a vast collection of original works, painted by such famous personas as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, and even some works of Murillo.
The Bullfighting Museum
All over the world, it is hard to find a person who has never heard of the famous bullfighting that happens in Spain each year. Valencia boasts a unique museum, dedicated to the tradition of bullfighting, which is placed opposite the bullfighting ring in the south of the city, which you can also see for yourself.
The Museum of Prehistory
Museo de Prehistoria is a fine monument to the developments of modern anthropology and will take you on a journey through time to the beginnings of not only the human race but also our planet in general. The museum is free to visit for anyone and provides a number of exhibitions, all of which give an extensive lesson on history.
The Museum of Ethnology
Take a trip to the Museu Valencià d’Etnologia to see the work of a vast number of scholars and scientists, striving to collect, research and preserve the heritage of the people of Valencia and their culture. The museum publishes its own free periodical, where you can spot some of the recent developments before going to the place itself.
The Fallas Museum
A unique gem in the wide array of attractions and cultural spots in the city of Valencia. This museum hosts a display of giant paper-mache figurines, saved from being burned during the Fire Festival in Valencia. The museum can be visited free of charge during weekends and is truly a sight worth seeing.
Valencia History Museum
To the west of the city centre lies this small museum, which tries to educate its visitors on the history of the city. The museum boasts on depicting the past of Valencia in an exceptionally approachable way, using a combination of traditional resources and modern technology to entertain its guests.
The Old City district of Valencia boasts on a number of beautiful sights to see and monuments to photograph. Take a walk along its cobblestoned streets with plenty of cafés placed along the pavement. The architecture of the district showcases different styles, from Roman to Modernist, with some Arabic touches.
Plaza de la Virgen
Located in the Old City of Valencia, this square is a host to a marvelous and spectacular cathedral, which was built in a variety of different styles. Having elements of Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque and Neoclassical styles, the cathedral is a truly one of a kind sight to see with your own eyes.
Nuestra Senora de Los Desamparados Church
Named after a Catholic apparition of Virgin Mary, called Lady of the Forsaken, this church hosts a piece of art that is dedicated to the patroness of Valencia, which appears with a lily in one hand and baby Jesus in the other. Inside of the church lies a much-admired statue of Virgin Mary, which is often crowded by tourists.
Made in a late Gothic style, this civic building is one of the most prominent tourist attractions of the city. It was built between 1482 and 1548, and its designation was to be the centre of the Silk Exchange, where the merchants work out their contracts. The Lonja is open to the public on weekends, so make sure to stop by.
While available as a part of many expensive tours, you can also visit La Albufera on your own at your free time. La Albufera is a freshwater lagoon with a huge surface area, which spans over twenty thousand hectares, located in the vicinity of the city. The spot is also famous for growing rice, used in the local cuisine.
El Carmen street art
While you’re walking through the streets of the Old Town of Valencia, make sure to walk by the barrio of El Carmen, where you can marvel at the incredible art murals which decorate the walls of the district. Both local and international artists often come to El Carmen to leave their trace on the crumbling buildings.
The Central Market
You do not need a special tour to visit the Central Market itself. Come here even if you don’t intend to buy anything, as walking along the stalls of regional vendors is an experience of its own. The market is filled with ceramic tiles and has a high dome above, providing a colorful and marvelous display.
Chapel of the Holy Grail
While showcasing a perfect example of beautiful Gothic architecture, this cathedral also boasts a supposed additional feature. The Chapel of the Holy Grail is said to be the actual home of the biblical Holy Grail. Of course, there is quite a number of contenders to such title so you will have to see for yourself.
The main square of the city, located in its strict centre, is home to the Town Hall of Valencia. The town hall is open for visitors, and many say that it is a great place to start off any journey, as the square itself is adorned with buildings constructed during Valencia’s golden age. In the middle of the square lies a fountain – decorated with flower stalls.
Church of San Nicolas
The church of San Nicolas is a Roman Catholic parish church, made in an architectural style unique to the region of Valencia – Valencian Gothic. The interior of the church was adorned by Juan Perez Castiel with various frescoes, which depict the lives of San Nicola and Peter of Verona, as well as many altarpieces.
If you're looking for a place for shopping in the afternoon where you can see some amazing sights at the same time, Aqua Multiespacio is just what you want. The shopping centre has a number of floors, each of which is specialized to ensure a balanced supply of appliances, and there are even a spa and a sports club in the area.