Language: Valencian and Spanish
Distances: Madrid (357km), Barcelona (351km)
Valencia means: strength or bravery
Curiosity: Paella was born here
Where tradition meets modernity
Valencia is an amazing city, beautiful, lively, rich in art, architecture, culture, and good cuisine. It is the 3rd largest city in Spain. Despite being super modern and reinventing itself at a fast pace, it still preserves the provincial vibe and a strong sense of community. More to it, Valencia is a seaside town with a Mediterranean climate, beautiful landscapes, beaches, lakes and lots of orange plantation.
The city may not be the first option to visit in Spain, but I assure you that if you travel to Valencia, the city will be forever in your memory. In this Valencia Travel Guide you will find tips for planning your trip as well as suggestions on where to eat, what to do, where to stay and much more.
Walking through the historic centre and renting a bike for city sightseeing is the best way to explore Valencia. For those with motor disabilities, it is possible to rent an adapted scooter. The city is flat and super accessible. Public transportation is great with metro, buses, plus taxis and driver apps (Uber, Cabify, etc.). Also, with this app (Valenbisi), you can rent the city bike.
Valencia’s Mediterranean climate is pleasant all year round. The season begins in March, early spring, which is the month of the city’s main festival, Las Fallas. The city gets crowded again in July (early summer) and is still buzzing until the end of October.
Where to stay
Historic Location: Ciutat Vella (El Carmen)
The old centre of Valencia is the heart and soul of the city, and of course, the most touristy neighbourhood. The former walled district consists of 5 regions. El Carmen is a good neighbourhood choice within the historic centre, close to the city’s main attractions and restaurants.
Modern and Nightlife: Ruzafa
Ruzafa is the hipster neighbourhood of the city. With cafes for digital nomads, vegan restaurants and concept stores, new trends are here. It is cheaper to stay in Ruzafa than El Carmen and still very close to downtown.
Beach and Tranquility: El Cabanyal and La Malva-Rosa
Unlike many coastal cities, Valencia has more accommodation options in the centre than near the beaches. Now, those who seek tranquillity and like to wake up feeling the breeze of the sea, I suggest staying in La Malva-Rosa and El Cabanyal. Transportation to the city centre is easy via metro, tram or bus.
See local life: Benimaclet
This neighbourhood was once an independent village of Valencia, the old streets give the impression of a quiet place, but in fact, Benimaclet is a lively, multicultural neighbourhood, home to traditional families, students and foreigners. The region is full of restaurants and bars. Public transport is also very accessible.
Where to stay
If you travel to Valencia, pay attention to the contrast between tradition and modernity, the practice with urban sustainability, concern for mobility and inclusion, the importance of fresh and local ingredients, the symmetry of buildings. Oh and the tiles! Valencia teaches you in the details!
Valencia’s traditional cuisine is the result of a mix of factors that worked very well. Fertile land, Mediterranean climate, the coast, the peasants with their vegetable gardens, foreign civilizations that lived there, neighbouring Spanish communities, appreciation for the quality of ingredients and respect for seasonality. The contrast between tradition and modernity that is already part of Valencia has been reflected in the cuisine, the city has gained relevance along with renowned chefs and award-winning restaurants.
Be aware! Mealtimes in Spain can be confusing.
If you think the original Paella is made with seafood, you’re wrong. Discover the authentic Paella Valenciana here.
If you’re planning to travel to Valencia, you’ll find programs for many different traveler profiles. Adventurers can explore the outskirts of the city by bike, passionate couples can enjoy the sunset in Albufera, children will love to visit the oceanographic museum, solo travellers and groups of friends can enjoy the busy nights while gastronomic travellers will love to learn how to cook the paella and be enchanted by each local ingredient.
Now, regardless of your type of trip, some attractions are a must.
More than 2.000 years of history to explore in a walk through Valencia’s historic centre. Memories of the civilizations that lived there await to be seen between an alley and another.
City Museums and Cultural Complexes
The City of Arts and Science is one of the main attractions of the city. But the city has more than 30 museums, such as the Fallero Museum, the Fine Arts Museum and the Ceramics Museum as well as many galleries and cultural centres.
Gardens and Parks
The main park of the city was once a river, today is the Garden of Túria. Cycling around El Rio is a must. Túria Park connects the City of Arts and Science to Cabezera Park and Bioparc. Also, be sure to check out the Botanical Garden.
Valencia has many markets, we recommend visiting at least the Central Market and the Colón Market. At the Central Market, you can find fresh ingredients, sweets and snacks, the paradise of gastronomic travelers. The Colón Market is housed in an iconic building, with good restaurants, cafes and cool shops.
Malva Rosa and Las Arenas are Valencia’s busiest and most structured beaches which include many restaurants and clubs by the sea. If you’re looking for something more isolated, go to the southernmost beaches of the city. It even has nude beaches for those looking for a more uniform tan.
The party is UNESCO Intangible Heritage, a mix of colours, tradition, fun, music, fire, satire and art. The great symbol of the party is the wood carvings (Ninots) that are burned at the end. It celebrates the beginning of spring and attracts thousands of people to Valencia. Click on the image to watch the video.
When? Every March, main dates March 15-19.
The Vegetable Garden of Valencia (L’Huerta) is something unique. A cultivation area that surrounds the whole city in a radius of 10 to 15 km with 10,500 hectares of agricultural production. The garden is divided by regions, Horta Sul (where Albufera is), Horta Norte (where Alboraya is) and Horta Oeste. There are several tourist routes, typical restaurants, experiences and tours to explore the small villages that make up the garden.
The Valencia City Pass offers free access to public transport, free admission to all public museums and monuments, discounts on the city’s main attractions (eg private museums), among others. You can purchase the card 24, 48 or 72 hours.
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