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Valencia Travel Tips: 12 unmissable things to do

Valencia, the third largest city in Spain, is a vibrant and popular travel destination. Known for its rich history, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and beautiful beaches, Valencia offers something for every type of traveler. In this article, we will provide you with 12 unmissable things to do in this charming city. From exploring the old town and soaking up the sun at the beach to indulging in the local cuisine and discovering the city’s arts and culture, there is no shortage of activities and attractions to enjoy in Valencia. So, get ready to be immersed in the beauty and charm of this Spanish gem as we take you on a journey through its top attractions and must-see sights.

Exploring the Old Town

The old town of Valencia is a must-see for any visitor to the city. With its rich history and charming architecture, it is a perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture. Start your exploration at Plaza de la Virgen, a beautiful square that showcases the mix of architectural styles in Valencia. Make sure to also visit the stunning Cathedral of Valencia, a Gothic masterpiece. For a taste of traditional Valencian cuisine, head to the bustling markets in the old town.

The old town is also a great place to pick up unique souvenirs. Immerse yourself in the local culture and admire the beautiful architecture of the buildings that date back to the Middle Ages. The Old Town is a perfect blend of ancient and modern, making it a top attraction in Valencia.

Soaking up the Sun at the Beach

If you’re looking for some fun in the sun, Valencia has you covered. The city is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, with the popular Malvarrosa and El Saler being top choices for locals and tourists alike. Soak up the Mediterranean sun while relaxing on the soft sandy beaches or take part in the many water sports and activities available, such as jet skiing and paddleboarding. Don’t forget to grab a refreshing drink at one of the beach bars and enjoy the stunning sea views. For the ultimate beach experience, visit during the summer months when the weather is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. With its long stretches of golden sand and crystal clear waters, Valencia’s beaches are not to be missed.

Indulging in the Local Cuisine

Valencia is a food lover’s paradise, with its own unique culinary specialties and a wide range of dining options. While paella may be the most well-known dish, there are many other must-try delicacies in this city.

  • Paella: No trip to Valencia is complete without trying this traditional dish. Made with rice, seafood, and other ingredients, paella is a staple in Valencian cuisine.
  • Horchata: This refreshing drink is made from tiger nuts and has a sweet, nutty flavor. It is a popular drink in Valencia, especially during the hot summer months.
  • Churros: A perfect dessert or snack, churros are fried dough pastries dusted with sugar and often served with a side of chocolate for dipping.

To experience these dishes and more, visit the traditional markets in the old town such as Mercado Central and Mercado de Colon. For a unique culinary experience, try a cooking class to learn how to make these dishes yourself.

paella - do eat better experience

Discovering the City’s Arts and Culture

Valencia is not only known for its beaches and food, but also for its impressive arts and culture scene. The city is home to a variety of museums and galleries, such as the City of Arts and Sciences, which showcases the latest in modern art and science. Don’t miss the vibrant street art scene in areas like El Carmen and Ruzafa, where you can see colorful murals and graffiti. And if you happen to visit during one of Valencia’s many festivals, such as Las Fallas, you’ll witness the city’s passion for arts and culture through the intricate and elaborate sculptures on display. Immerse yourself in the city’s arts and culture by visiting these must-see attractions and events.

Exploring the City’s Parks and Gardens

Valencia is not only a city of historical and cultural significance, but it also boasts beautiful green spaces for visitors to relax and enjoy. One of the must-see parks is Jardines del Real, also known as the Royal Gardens, which features stunning gardens, fountains, and sculptures. For a more botanical experience, Jardí Botànic is a must-visit, with over 4,000 species of plants and a stunning greenhouse. Additionally, the Turia Gardens, a converted riverbed, offers a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. These parks not only provide a break from the bustling city, but they also showcase Valencia’s commitment to sustainability and green initiatives, making them a must-see for any visitor.

Shopping in Valencia

Valencia offers a diverse shopping experience, from high-end designer boutiques to local markets selling traditional crafts. Some of the top shopping areas in the city include Calle Colón, known for its fashion and luxury stores, and the Central Market, where you can find fresh produce and local delicacies. For unique souvenirs, head to the Mercado de Colon, a beautiful market with a mix of vendors selling handmade products. Don’t miss out on trying traditional Spanish products such as olive oil and wine, which can be found in many specialty shops around the city. Whether you’re looking for a shopping spree or simply browsing, Valencia has something for everyone.

Don’t forget to try the traditional Valencian drink, horchata, while shopping. With its mix of traditional and modern shopping options, Valencia is a shopper’s paradise.

Taking in the City’s Architecture

Valencia is a city with a rich history and a mix of architectural styles. From Gothic to Modernist, the city is a treasure trove of stunning buildings and structures. One of the must-see attractions is the Silk Exchange, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its Gothic and Valencian-style architecture. Another impressive building is the Central Market, a modernist masterpiece with a vibrant market inside. To fully appreciate the city’s architecture, take a walking tour or explore on foot. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Valencia Cathedral, a mix of Gothic, baroque, and neoclassical styles, and Plaza de la Virgen, a beautiful square with impressive buildings surrounding it. For a unique architectural experience, head to the City of Arts and Sciences, a futuristic complex designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. Valencia’s architecture truly captures the city’s beauty and charm.

Oceanographic Park of Valencia

Located within the City of Arts and Sciences complex, L’Oceanogràfic is Europe’s largest aquarium and a must-visit attraction in Valencia. It is home to over 45,000 marine animals from various habitats around the world, including dolphins, sharks, and sea lions. Visitors can enjoy educational shows and observe the animals in their natural habitats. The aquarium also places a strong emphasis on conservation and educational programs to raise awareness about marine life and their importance in our ecosystem.

Some of the highlights at L’Oceanogràfic include the impressive dolphin show, the underwater shark tunnel, and the Arctic and Antarctic section featuring penguins and beluga whales. The aquarium is a wonderful attraction for families, offering a fun and educational experience for all ages. Don’t miss the chance to visit Europe’s largest aquarium and learn more about the wonders of the ocean at L’Oceanogràfic!

Discovering Valencia’s Nightlife

Valencia’s nightlife is just as vibrant and diverse as its daytime activities. The city offers something for everyone, from trendy bars and clubs to cultural events and festivals. For a taste of the city’s nightlife, head to the popular neighborhoods of Ruzafa and El Carmen, known for their lively bar scene. Here, you can enjoy a variety of drinks and music, from traditional Spanish tapas bars to modern cocktail lounges. Keep an eye out for cultural events and festivals held at night, such as the Fallas celebrations and the International Festival of the Mediterranean. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the vibrant and energetic nightlife of Valencia.

Must-See Museums and Galleries

Valencia is a city rich in culture and history, and one of the best ways to experience this is through its museums and galleries. The city boasts a variety of options, from traditional art museums to unique installations.

The Fine Arts Museum is a must-visit for art lovers, with a collection featuring works by renowned Spanish artists such as Velázquez and Goya. The IVAM (Valencian Institute of Modern Art) showcases contemporary art and is known for its thought-provoking exhibitions.

One of the most unique experiences in Valencia is witnessing the Fallas sculptures, which are giant, temporary art installations displayed during the annual Las Fallas festival. These sculptures are a must-see for anyone visiting the city.

To fully immerse yourself in the city’s culture and history, don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit some of Valencia’s museums and galleries. They offer a glimpse into the city’s past, present, and future and are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Exploring Valencia’s Surrounding Areas

The city of Valencia offers more than just its urban attractions. The surrounding areas also have much to offer for those seeking a change of scenery. A short trip from the city center is Albufera Natural Park, a beautiful nature reserve where visitors can enjoy boat rides, bird watching, and try the famous local dish, paella. Another popular day trip destination is the historic town of Xàtiva, known for its medieval castle and charming old town. Additionally, the nearby coastal towns of Cullera and Gandía are perfect for a beach day with their beautiful sandy beaches and clear blue waters. With its convenient location and efficient transportation systems, exploring Valencia’s surrounding areas is a must for anyone looking to experience the diverse landscape and culture of the region.

Getting Around Valencia

Valencia offers a variety of transportation options to help visitors easily navigate the city. The efficient public transportation system consists of buses, trams, and metro lines, making it convenient to travel to different areas.

For those who prefer a more active way of getting around, the city also has a bike-sharing program called Valenbisi. With over 250 stations and 2,750 bikes available, this is a great way to explore Valencia while getting some exercise.

It is also worth noting that Valencia has a pedestrian-friendly city center, making it easy to walk around and discover the city’s attractions. Additionally, taxis and ride-sharing services are readily available for longer trips or late-night outings.

When planning your trip, it’s recommended to get a Valencia Tourist Card, which includes unlimited use of public transportation and discounts on attractions and activities.