Valencia is one of the most beautiful cities you can visit in Spain. On the southeastern coast of the country about an hour from Alicante, you are guaranteed almost year-round sun. With direct cheap flights into the city as well as neighboring airports, and everything from architecture and beaches to explore, Valencia should be your very next place to visit. But where to start?
Valencia has an extensive bus, tram, and metro network that is easy and cheap to use, taking you to just about everywhere you need to go in the city. You can buy tickets at machines in the stations or on board some of the buses and at tram stops. Be aware that there are regular ticket inspections; the excuse that you are merely a lost tourist will not wash! The Valencia Tourist Card will give you free travel on most of the city’s public transport services as well as free and reduced entry to a number of museums, so is a great investment.
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Food and drink
The water in Valencia is fine to drink, though the locals will disagree! To be on the safe side it is best to use bottled water which is cheap and readily available everywhere you go. If you aren’t sure what food you want to sample try the quick and easy 100 Montaditos. Or if you want something a little more upmarket try Valencia’s finest restaurant, Restaurant Navarro. There are bakeries selling bocadillos and empanadillas if you are wanting a snack, though keep in mind Valencia isn’t really a city with late night takeaways which is surprising given how late everyone stays out! Plan your snacking ahead!
There are many beautiful buildings to visit in Valencia. So get on some comfortable shoes, slap on the sun cream, and have a drink to hand as you set out! Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is an arts and science park but if you’re just wanting to explore the city for its architecture the construction of this building is like something out of a science fiction film. And inside is just as spectacular, showing the very best in arts and sciences that Valencia has on offer. Don’t be surprised if you aren’t sucked in at the gift shop and leave with a souvenir or two.
Right next to the science park art is Turia Gardens, a nine-kilometer stretch of footpaths, greenery, tennis courts, and plenty more besides. To call this a park is an understatement; Valencia diverted its river Turia to prevent the city from flooding annually and build this green landscape in its place. There are cafes, plenty of picnic spots, and a fountain or two if you want to cool off! During the summer the gardens also host everything from food to film festivals. And as if all of that isn’t magical enough, the park has free WiFi!
Plaza de Toros thankfully no longer hosts actual bullfighting but is instead an incredible piece of architecture for you to enjoy. You can take part in tours learning of its history or attend any of the hundreds of events the building hosts each year. Expect music festivals, Oktoberfest, fashion shows, and anything else you can imagine!
Ruzafa is a popular barrio in Valencia filled with cafes, bars, and other venues for you to spend your day (and night). The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and you will likely find yourself sitting for hours not even realising how much time has passed. The Canella Bistro is a good place to eat, and El Deslunao a great stop for tapas that hosts live music performances as well as film nights for you to enjoy while you eat.
If a firework festival sounds like a great time for you then you should visit Valencia during Fallas. From the daytime fireworks of the Mascleta in the town square to the late night fireworks displays, there is plenty of noise and light to keep you occupied! But not only that! Each of the barrios of Valencia displays a ninot with is basically a tall effigy that is burned on the last night of Fallas. There are street parties, paellas cooked on the street, music festivals, dancing, and so many other events over this 19-day festival that you will probably need a holiday after it to recover!
In short, Valencia is a vibrant, thriving, exciting city to visit with something to suit your budget and interests whoever you are. When are you going?