Like any other Spanish city, you will find beautiful plazas to have tapas and a caña (beer) in Valencia. There is also the well-known Spanish night scene that doesn’t end until 6 am or more in the morning. But besides that, Valencia has so much more than other Spanish cities don’t. Take a look at some of the best things to do in Valencia Spain.
11 Best Things to Do in Valencia
City of Arts and Science Museum
If you think of Spain the first thing that comes to mind is probably flamenco, tapas, and colonial building. And yes, Valencia has this (not so much flamenco) but it stands apart from the others because of its modern architecture as well. Something that you probably won’t think of if someone mentions Seville, for example. This is why the City of Arts and Science is a must-visit when in Valencia.
If you don’t have the time to go to the museum you must at least head, there to see it’s architecture.
Jardines del Turia
The old river bed of the Turia now turned into a garden that stretches from east to west across Valencia. On one end the Bioparc and on the other end the already mentioned City of Arts and Science Museum. What is interesting about this park, besides the fact it used to be a river, is that more quaint parks seem to surround it. One of these is Jardines Reales and Jardines Montfort. In the Jardines Reales, you can also find the Natural Science Museum which is small but still interesting.
Lonja de la Seda
The centuries-old Silk Exchange, although it is not that marketed as the city of Arts and Science it is a point of interest. Not only because of it’s historic value of maritime commerce in Spain but because it is a beautiful Gothic building that still holds some furnish from its time. The columns in the first plane are to die for.
Tip. The entrance is around 3 euros and it’s located right in the historic city center of Valencia near Mercat Central.
Valencia’s main beach is just like any other city beach. Not the clearest of waters and it gets crowded. Most people got to Cabanyal and although it is nice to go hang out with friends and head to the bars it is like a said a normal city beach.
This is why I also recommend Patacona beach because it is a bit less crowded than Cabanyal and it has a couple of palm trees good for shade. And you will see it is part of the main city beach, it is just further north.
Plaza de la Virgen
Plaza del Virgen is located in the city center near another must-see Plaza de la Reina. The biggest difference is that Plaza de la Virgen is a spacious transit free square with a beautiful fountain in the middle surrounded by different restaurants and bars and the
Torres de Serrano
For a panoramic view of Valencia get active and climb the Torres de Serrano, also located in the historic city center. You will have to climb a couple of steps but it is worth it.
Bioparc is not a traditional zoo and that is what makes it worth visiting. They have a cinematic room where they share educational videos and they also have different shows or “calls” to see the animals more up close.
The most impressive section is the lemur and other familiar species habitat. Here the lemurs swing above you although remember not so touch or feed these wild but delicate animals.
I admit I am not a fan of seeing animals being caged but I believe they are doing a good job here at educating people and preservation of the animals.
As I said, I’m not a fan of these sites for animals but again the Oceanographic is good places to learn more about sea animals and the vast biology of the marine world. They also have a short dolphin show and who doesn’t love dolphins?
What I love about the dolphin show is that it’s so short that I feel they focus more on the animals than on entertaining people with them.
Try Paella and Horchata
When in Valencia you have to try paella, the traditional Valencian dish although adopted in all of Spain. But there is no place to eat a real paella than Valencia. For a good paella visit:
- Restaurante Llevant
- Restaurante Casa Boras
Valencia has two traditional drink I know off. The alcoholic drink Agua de Valencia and the sweet chalky nut drink Horchata. If I have to recommend one is the horchata especially during summertime. Accompany it with the fluffy fartons for a quick and refreshing snack.
Just outside of the city, but close by is the Albufera National Park. This is a mix of salty and clear water surrounded by characteristic vegetation of the zone. On Sundays, it is visited by Valencians and tourists alike and this should not come as a surprise. L’Albufera has the best beaches, coastal vibes, and fresh air due to the small “forest” and lack of massive building and traffic. Incredibly, it is just minutes away from the city.
Requena is also located on the outskirts of Valencia, about an hour away by car. But if you are a wine lover this is the place to be. This small town is well-known for its wine production and also underground caves where in the past they used to store wine and other goods as well. Today the serve as tourist attraction mostly connected to there wine history. Be sure to visit Bodega Murviedo for an extremely inexpensive wine taste and look at these underground caves. I was amazed at there attention, their freebies, and the good wine.
What is Valencia Spain known for?
Valencia is definitely known for its Fallas and of course Paella. Also, the City of Arts and Science is well known because of it’s impressive modern architecture.
Fallas is almost a month-long celebration in March. The official Fallas and the crema (burning of the Fallas) is just one weekend but during March Valencia caters different events regarding Fallas and the whole city shifts into Fallas mode. A vibe that some Valencians love and some don’t. Because the whole city gets crowded noisy and in party mode. Something very different from the usual slow-paced Valencian way.
What are the best outdoor activities in Valencia?
Besides the museums and historics building the best way to enjoy Valencia is doing the outdoor activities it offers. Valencia is design for bikes, so get around Valencia biking and stopping in bars, sites, etc. I aslo recommend biking the Jardines del Turia as top outdoor activity.
If you are visiting during summer kayaking and paddleboarding is a good option. Some renting spaces can be open even during winter time.
Finally, I suggest going to the Albufera for a different vibe, more coastal and Mediterranean nature scenery. Rent a bike from Valencia and head to L’Albufera or take a public bus and then rent a bike there. Get lost in the “forest” and then see the sunset in the lake while on a boat. If you rent a bike in VisitAlbufera you can also see if they have boat trips for that day.
Is Valencia worth visiting?
With all that Valencia has to offer Valencia is definitely worth the visit. During summer you get to make the most of the beach and outside activities. During winter you will be grateful for the warmer weather compared to other Europeans and Spanish cities.
My boyfriend and I were hosting a Spaniard from Galicia and he said some people had said Valencia was a waste of time. Once he got to Valencia he was so impressed, he didn’t expect to find so many things to do and asked for another day!