10 things to do and see in Valencia

A complete and detailed guide about 10 things to do and see in Valencia in 1, 2 or 3 days

10 things to do and see in Umbria
10 things to do and see in Valencia

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean sea. Until a few years ago the place was visited only by curious travellers, but, after the America’s Cup, Valencia has become famous around the world, with obvious influences on architecture, the organization of the city, the number of tourists and the cost of hotels.

As happened for the Olympics in Barcelona, this event has given new life in Valencia, creating a mix of creativity and energy that contributed to the Valencia explosión. There are several  things to do : the Cathedral (it seems that contains the Holy Grail), the City of Science and Arts (a must), the Barrio del Carmen with its student nightlife and a good  paella , (the one true paella, you will not find it  in any other part of Spain). Read the next page to find out 10 things to do and see during a weekend or a holiday in Valencia.

If you are looking for a hotel in Valencia, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 200 hotels with prices, pictures and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com

The Cathedral of Valencia

1

The Baroque Puerta del Los Hierros, the Romanesque Puerta del Palau and the Gothic Puerta de los Apostoles are the three portals of access to the Cathedral of Valencia: a synthesis of the entire architectural history of the city.

The Cathedral of Valencia
The Cathedral of Valencia

Built in the XIII century, the Cathedral is in a  place considered ” sacred ‘in which already had risen before a Roman temple and a Muslim mosque after. The visit should start from the Miguelete, the tower dominating the cathedral and offering a panoramic view of the historic center. But what attracts tourists is the Holy Grail: the chalice that Jesus is said to have used at the Last Supper and kept inside the Cathedral.

Where: Plaça de l’Almoina
Hot to get there: The nearest metro stop is Colón.
When – Hours: From 20 March to 31 October: from Monday to Saturday from 10.00 am to 6.30 pm ; Sundays and holidays from 2.00 to 6.30 pm . From November 1 to March 19: Monday to Saturday from 10.00 am  to 5.30 pm ; Sunday and holidays the Cathedral is closed from 2.00  to 5.00 pm
Tickets: 3 Euros with the access to the Cathedral, the Chapel of the Holy Grail and the Miguelete tower

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia

2

The project of this huge complex, example of modern architecture, was made by  the architect Santiago Calatrava.

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia
The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia

The City of Arts and Sciences encloses five spectacular sights inside: the Oceanogràfic, the Umbracle, the Palace of Arts, the Science Museum and the Hemisfèric. There’s a predominance of white and every element of the City of Sciences is built in a different style creating, however,  a perfect harmony of the complex. It will be impossible to visit all of the complex in a single day, but it deserves the chance to spend a few more days.

Where: Av. del Professor López Piñero
How to get there: Metro lines 3 and 5, Alameda stop; or by bus No. 19, 35, 40 and 95.
Hours: Every day from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm. From 1 July to 15 December until 9.00 pm. 24, 25 and 31 December, the time is reduced to half a day.
Tickets: The cost of one ticket for all the attractions is 30,60 €

The Barrio del Carmen in Valencia

3

The Barrio del Carmen, during its long history, has had various roles: from  refuge to  barracks to a place of prostitution to medieval center of the aristocracy until being working-class neighbourhood in 1900.

The Barrio del Carmen in Valencia
The Barrio del Carmen in Valencia

Today it’s one of the most crowded places in the city, both day and night. During the morning is the shopping place, with different shops and ateliers of the famous brands, while during the night it’s the favourite place by the young people who come to relax after a day of work or study.

The Lonja de la Seda in Valencia

4

The Lonja de la Seda (Silk Market) was founded as the golden age emblem of Valencia and has been the center of commercial and cultural activities during the early sixteenth XVI century.

The Lonja de la Seda in Valencia
The Lonja de la Seda in Valencia

In 1996 it was declared World Heritage by UNESCO as one of the finest and best preserved examples of late Gothic architecture in Europe. This construction can intimidate everybody because it’s a huge structure, but can also seduce with the elegance of its ornaments. Today the Lonja houses the Cultural Accademy of Valencia.

Where: Carrer de la Llotja
How to get there: The nearest metro stop Àngel Guimerà
When – Hours:  Winter time – Tuesday to Saturday from 9:15 am to 2:00 pm  and from 4:30 to 8:00 pm – Summer time – Tuesday to Saturday from 9:15 am to 2:00 pm  and from 5:30 to 9:00 pm . Sunday (all year) from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm – Never on Monday.
Tickets: Full ticket € 2, reduced € 1

The Central Market of Valencia

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In front of the magnificent building of the Lonja there is a structure made of   steel with stained-glass windows and hand-painted ceramics on the façade: it’s the Central Market, with its 959 stalls of fresh products

The Central Market of Valencia
The Central Market of Valencia

A mix of colors, smells and flavors in a modern jewel. The market is divided into two parts: on one side there are fruit and vegetables from the Valencian huerta (agricultural land area in the  south of Valencia); on the other side there are meats, for example the Salamanca ham, and fish, with benches that offer real ‘cascades’ of shellfish: a pleasure not only for the palate.

Where: Plaza Ciudad de Brujas
How to get there: The nearest metro stop Àngel Guimerà
When – Hours: Monday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm; on Fridays from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm, on Saturdays from 8:00 am  to 3:00 pm
Never on Sunday.

The Turia Gardens in Valencia

6

Valencia is an example of a city built on the banks of a river. The Turia river, on the one hand, favoured the urban development, on the other hand, it was the cause of many overflowing

The Turia Gardens in Valencia
The Turia Gardens in Valencia

After the last flood in 1957, the authorities decided to redirect the river’s flow, and where at the first there was his bed, now there are  the Turia Gardens:  an oasis of green and peace in the city centre. Among pine trees, oleanders and palms you can spend your free time here, taking a walk along the paths or enjoying  one of the sports facilities of the  Gardens. The main attraction of the park is a monumental sculpture of Gulliver, 70 meters long, inspired the character of Jonathan Swift. Ramps, slides and stairs  allow to “Lilliputians” (ie you), to walk on the giant’s body.

Where: Avenida Manuel de Falla
How to get there by subway: Túria stop

The Bioparc in Valencia

7

The Biopark in  Valencia is much more than a traditional zoo. It’s an innovative project in which the animal live in open spaces and the species are not separated, just like in nature.

The Bioparc in Valencia
The Bioparc in Valencia

The park is divided into three big areas: the African Savannah, the equatorial forests of Africa and Madagascar and the African wetlands. You can walk in these areas, observing animals in the wild but safely. Lions, leopards, giraffes, gorillas, rhinos, hippos, elephants, lemurs and many other animals are guests of the park which will add soon other animals of  Asia and South America.

Where: Avenida Pío Baroja, 3
How to get there:
By Bus: lines 7, 17, 29, 61, 81, 95.
By Metro: lines 3 and 5, stop Nou d’Octubre
When – Hours:
The Bioparc is open 365 days a year and timetable depends on the sunlight at any time of year. The ticket office will be open from 9:30 am until one hour before the closing time of the Bioparc.
January and February:
– Daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm , except on January 1 in which the opening hours will be from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm.
March:
– From Monday to Friday from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
– Weekends and Friday , from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm
April, May and June:
– Every day from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm
July and August:
– Every day from 10.00 am to 9.00 pm
September:
– Every day from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm
October:
– From Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, except on 11 and 12, where the opening hours will be from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm
– Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, except on 30 and 31, where the opening hours will be from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
November and December:
– Daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, except on 24 and 31 December, in which the opening hours will be from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm , and on December 25, when it will be from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm
Tickets: Adults € 23,80; Children and youngs € 18

The Harbor, the beaches and the Reserve in Valencia

8

After some decades during which the port and industrial activities had created disasters, Valencia has recovered the sea and beaches. The port area, now called Marina Real Juan Carlos I, has been redeveloped.

The Harbor, the beaches and the Reserve in Valencia
The Harbor, the beaches and the Reserve in Valencia

From the building “Veles e Vents” you can admire a beautiful view of the sea and enjoy the sun in total relax. From here you can start a nice walk on the seafront  arriving to the beaches Les Arenas and Malvarrosa with clear water awarded by the European Blue Flag. If you love nature, in a short distance there is the Albufera reserve, the largest lake in Spain. You can get there with the line 25 of the city bus, in less than an hour and for only € 1.50 per trip. There is also the Albufera Bus Turistic which allows you to explore the park in great detail, including a boat trip.

Things to eat in Valencia

9

The paella is a typical dish of Valencia, and it’s better in street kiosks, like the one outside the Central Market.

Things to eat in Valencia
Things to eat in Valencia

The Valencian paella is made with chicken or rabbit, not seafood, although it’s easy to find the version with seafood and shellfish. The Valencian cuisine is typically Mediterranean, and abound with fish. If  you move inland, you can also enjoy excellent meats, while the Valencian huerta offers an abundance of fruit and vegetables. Almonds and honey are  the base of the most typical dessert: nougat. A typical drink that you can find  anywhere, especially in summer, is the horchata de chufo. Do not be fooled by the name: it is not the barley water  we use to  drink in Italy, but the powdery juice of a river tuber.

Where to sleep in Valencia

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From  America’s Cup in 2007, the city is equipped to accommodate a large amount of tourists. You can choose among hotels, camping, hostels and apartments.

Where to sleep in Valencia
Where to sleep in Valencia

You just need to choose according to the budget that you have: from the ultra-luxury facilities to more modest hostels, there is something for all prices. The tourism in Valencia has increased during last years so you should book in time to get good accommodations at a great price. The cost of a 3 star hotel start from 50 EUR per night, in the historic downtown area. You can find luxury hotel for less than 70 Euros, especially in the port area and neighbourhoods outside the center.

If you are looking for a hotel in Valencia, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 200 hotels with prices, pictures and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com