Oh boy, why did it take me almost five years of living in Spain to finally go to Valencia? I still struggle to figure out why. Somehow I thought Valencia was a city mainly for old people and was quite touristic. But let me tell you beforehand: You can have A LOT of fun in Valencia, and it is full of young people and has everything you could ask for: A beach, a beautiful old town, a modern part of tun, green places and and and. Last week we went to Valencia for one weekend and I had an amazing time. So here I will let you know what you can do iff you are going to Valencia but do not have a lot of time. A speed travel guide is what I am going to call it. (And I am going to tell you where you will have the best Paella!!)
What is Valencia famous for?
There are many different things Valencia is famous for. Let me list a couple of them for you:
- Paella Valenciana: A spanish rice dish originally from Valencia. The typical Valencia Paella contains rabbit, chicken and sometimes duck
- Horchata de Trufa: A refreshing drink made out of water, sugar and tiger nuts. It has a very specific taste
- Agua de Valencia: A popular drink that consists of orange juice, champagne and gin (super strong!)
- Fallas de Valencia: Annual celebration held in Valencia, main days of the celebration are the 15th to 19th of March
Interactive Map for your visit in Valencia
The Best Places to Eat in Valencia… Yuuum
If you are like me and food is super important for you when travelling, I got you! If you are already a fan of Spanish food, then you will be completely mindblown in Valencia:
Voltereta, Bienvenido a Bali
Now this ladies and gentlemen, is where you go to get your Instagram photos taken. It is an absolutely gorgeous place which is decorated in a bohemian style. Their menu consists of many different small dishes, mostly “trendy” plates. Here, you will find e.g. different bowls, tacos and ceviche.
Make sure to make a reservation in advance! We were told that its quite hard to get a table there!
Yuso, for a great Paella Valenciana
You have to try the Valencian Paella during your stay! I found Yuso to be a great and affordable place. During the week they also have an affordable menu del dia, that also includes Paella. If you are planning to go during the weekend you should make a reservation though!
Angolo Divino, for great Italian Wine
I have to be honest with you. Since I already live in Spain I do not only try Spanish Food when travelling around Spain. I also really like Italian Food, and wine. This place seems great for an afternoon wine and a cheese plate. The owner is so lovely as well. I really recommend this place!
Rent Bikes to go around Valencia!
I would not recommend you to rent a bike in Madrid to explore the city, simply because I find it too dangerous and the bike paths are not great (or non-existent). But I had the best time going around Valencia by bike. Not only is it super affordable, we paid 4Euros per bike for two hours, but its also so efficient when you do not have that much time to walk everywhere. The Parc del Museu de les Ciències is perfect for bikes!
We rented our bikes in the old town. There are tons of places where you can rent them and the price was similar everywhere. From the old town we rode down the whole river to the Ciutat de les Arts, and it was incredible. The views you have in such a short amount of time are incredible. And I am sure it would have been too much to go all this way walking.
The Old Town in Valencia
Did you know that Valencia is more than 2000 years old and has been home to the Romans and Muslims since its foundation? The old town of Valencia is absolutely stunning and one of the biggest Historic Centres in Spain. Absolute must-see: The Cathedral and the Basílica de la Vírgen de los Desamparados (Basilica of our Lady of the Forsaken).
Must See in Valencia: The City of Arts & Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències)
The City of Arts and Sciences is a Cultural and Architectural Complex with a Museum, that Valencia is internationally famous for. It is one of the 12 Treasures of Spain and one of the places you must visit in Valencia. Let me tell what it consists of:
- L’Hemisfèric: planetarium in a shape of a giant eye. There is an enormous echo going through the whole building. So if two people stand on the opposite sites of it, they can speak to each other.
- Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe : An interactive museum built in a shape of a whale
- Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia: An opera house
- L’Umbracle: A construction with an open structure that includes plant species that typically grow in Valencia
(There are more but I feel like those are the most important ones)
Go to the Mercat Central de València
I love going to markets to find typical dished and other local goodies! And the mercat central de Valéncia definitely did not disappoint! It is one of the main sights of the city so you really need to check it out.
The building itself is already absolutely beautiful. The light that enters the colourful window panels through the roof are really unique and give it a vintage touch. The market is full of all kinds of food stands. You will find a variety of fish, meat, fruit and food-to-go stands. Apart from that also souvenir shops, restaurants and (of course) local wines. I recommend you to try the local aqua de horchata here.
Have some drinks at Mercat de Colón
The Mercat de Colón used to be a market. But now it is a dining and shopping center. It is the perfect location to have some drinks in the afternoon, and maybe to just stay until the evening. There are many bars with a lot of seating options.
How about trying Agua de Valencia here? (Typical Alcoholic Beverage that contains orange juice, champagne and gin)
Go to the Beach in Valencia
I am sure one of the reasons why you came to Valencia is because it has a beach! And yes, it is really beautiful. It might seem a bit crowded but once you walk a little bit further you will find yourself on an empty beach.
You need to take the bus when going to the beach. Buses and Taxis are really affordable in Valencia so there is nothing to worry about. Once you reach the beach area of Valencia you will see many old fishermen houses. Some of them were bought and converted into restaurants and brunch places. You really should try out “La más bonita“. Do not forget to make a reservation before! In the interactive map I set a location called “Passeig Marítim de València“. That’s a good destination to set in your map if you want to go to the beach.
And that was my guide for having a super full day in Valencia. I hope you enjoyed it 🙂 Have you ever been there?