City Trip Valencia: The Ultimate Guide
Valencia is a beautiful city on the Spanish east coast. It is a city full of history and atmosphere. There are several attractions such as Valencia Cathedral with the bell tower Miguelete, Torres de Serranos and the City of Arts and Sciences. Valencia is also bursting with bars, terraces, restaurants, shops and nightlife. There is plenty to do day and night. If you like a special party, you should visit Valencia during Las Fallas. This street party takes place in March.
One of Valencia's great assets is its location on the coast. Relax in the sun on the beach after a long day of wandering. The nature in the area is also beautiful. In short, Valencia is a beautiful city for a city trip of a day, a long weekend or full week!
- 1. Valencia city trip: characteristics of the city
- 2. The old centre of Valencia: Antiguo Casco
- 3. Barrio del Carmen & Torres de Serranos
- 4. Turia Park: relax
- 5. Discover the City of Art and Science
- 6. Famous markets of Valencia: Mercado Central & Mercado de Colon
- 7. Las Fallas: a special feast in Valencia
- 8. Relax on the beach during a city trip to Valencia
- 9. What else is there to do in Valencia: Shopping, eating & nightlife
- 10. Would you like to spend the night in a luxury hotel in Valencia or would you rather crawl into a tent?
- 11. On a city trip to Valencia: how to reach the Spanish city?
- 12. Citytrip Valencia: Our tips and tricks
- 13: Book a city trip to Valencia: compare travel providers
1. Valencia city trip: characteristics of the city
The characteristics of the Spanish coastal town can be found in the table below. What is there to do in Valencia? In this article we have listed the most famous and popular sights of Valencia for you.
City trip ValenciaCharacteristics
|Number of inhabitants Valencia||790,000|
|Number of international tourists per year||8.9 million (Region of Valencia)|
|Flight travel time (direct flight)||2 hours and 30 minutes|
|Time difference with the Netherlands||No|
|Distance from Utrecht||1850 kilometres|
|Best travel period||Lente, autumn|
|Activities||City, culture, art, history, shopping, beach|
2. The old centre of Valencia: Antiguo Casco
Casco Antiguo is the old centre of Valencia and is full of historical monuments and buildings. Popular sights in the centre of Valencia include the Cathedral of Valencia and La Lonja de la Seda.
2.1. Valencia Cathedral
The Cathedral of Valencia stands on the Plaza de la Reine in the old town centre. The Gothic style building is impressive on the outside. Inside you'll find an extrovert altar, various sculptures and paintings. There are several chapels and part of the cathedral is decorated as a museum.
El Miguelete is the octagonal bell tower belonging to Valencia Cathedral. The tower is over 50 metres high. Climb up and enjoy the view over the city.
2.2. La Lonja de la Seda
La Lonja de la Seda is an old stock exchange building on the Plaza del Mercado. The main function of the building was to trade in silk. In the large hall transactions took place between merchants. La Lonja is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The style is Gothic with clear renaissance influences. The many ornate details are beautiful.
3. Barrio del Carmen & Torres de Serranos
Torres de Serranos
Barrio del Carmen (El Carmen) is one of the oldest districts of Valencia. You'll find many pleasant streets and places of interest here, such as the Museo de Bellas Artes, the Carmen Monastery and the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern. The heart of the district is formed by the Plaza del Carmen with its magnificent fountain and the Carmen Church.
Day you will enjoy the peace and quiet and atmosphere of Barrio del Carmen. In the evening the area is a vibrant nightlife centre. Especially in the streets Calle de Caballeros, Calle Calatrava and Calle Bolseria it's festive when it's dark outside. You will find all kinds of restaurants, pubs and clubs here. Besides going out you can also eat very well in Barrio del Carmen. Paella is one of the specialties just like the drink Aqua de Valencia.
3.1. Torres de Serranos
The Torres de Serranos is one of Valencia's old city gates. The tower is located in the Barrio del Carmen district. The tower has been used for various purposes. During the Spanish Civil War paintings were stored there, the building served for a time as a prison and was regularly used for official occasions. Nowadays the Torres de Serranos is an event location. For example, once a year a medieval market takes place here. The tower is also the place where the statues are burned during the street festival Las Fallas.
4. Turia Park: relax
In Valencia you will not only find historic buildings, museums and shops. You can also recreate in the Turia Park. This park consists of a long green strip north of the historic city centre. The location of the park follows the former course of the Turia. A flood of this river in 1957 claimed many lives. Afterwards the river was diverted and partly drained. Then a green park was created.
In the Turia park you can go hiking or biking. You can play sports on one of the many sports fields. There are also various playgrounds, a miniature golf course and a zoo. There are hardly any restaurants or terraces, so it's best to bring your own food and drinks. The Turia Park ends at the City of Arts and Sciences.
A fun playground and climbing garden is Gulliver Park near the bridge Pont del Regne. The play paradise is inspired by the story of Gulliver's travels. A large Gulliver forms the basis of this playground with ropes, nets, steps, slides and more.
5. Discover the City of Art and Science
One of Valencia's most special attractions is the City of Arts and Sciences (La Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències). The complex was built between 1989 and 2009 and consists of a number of modern buildings with a striking appearance. In the City of Arts and Science you will find the following buildings:
- L'Umbracle: An open-air disco and a beautiful green garden. The garden is open all year round, the disco only in the summer months.
- Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia: A large opera house in modern style.
- L'Hemisfèric: An IMAX 3D cinema surrounded by water. Because of its shape, the building is also called 'Het Oog'.
- Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe: A science museum where you can experiment with technology.
- The Agora: This is a striking building used for congresses, exhibitions and concerts.
- L'Oceanogràfic: The largest aquarium in Europe. You can see different sea creatures and birds here.
6. Famous markets of Valencia: Mercado Central & Mercado de Colon
During a city trip to Valencia, a visit to Mercado Central is highly recommended. This is a large covered market where you can buy all kinds of local products. Olives for example, different kinds of meat and fish, spices, bread, fruit & vegetables and more. There is room for more than 300 market stalls. The Mercado Central is loved by locals and tourists alike. The market hall is built in art nouveau style and a real eye-catcher. The large dome is made of iron, crystal and ceramics and is about 30 meters high.
6.1. Mercado de Colon
Another popular market in Valencia is Mercado de Colon south of the city centre. It is not a traditional market, but a place with all kinds of bars and cafes. Here you can have breakfast, lunch or drinks. The market is situated in a special art nouveau building by the French architect Francisco Mora Berenguer. It is a national monument.
7. Las Fallas: a special feast in Valencia
Do you go on a city trip to Valencia in the spring and enjoy a special party? From the last Sunday from February to mid-March the biggest street festival in Spain takes place in Valencia: Las Fallas. The party revolves around the 'fallas', large statues that are beautifully dressed up.
The feast culminates in mid-March. The finale consists of burning the sculptures made of polystyrene foam and wood. The festivities are accompanied by a large amount of fireworks, parades, flowers and lots of fun. The street festival is so special that it has been classified by UNESCO as cultural heritage.
8. Relax on the beach during a city trip to Valencia
Have you walked the streets of Valencia enough? Then you can take a break on one of the beaches in the area. In the village of El Saler you will find the El Saler beach. The distance from the centre of Valencia to El Saler is about 12 kilometres. The almost 5 kilometres long beach is an attraction for both locals and tourists. Near the beach you will find several good paella restaurants. Outside the high season it is often nice and quiet on the beach of El Saler.
Another beautiful beach is in Valencia itself: Malvarrosa. On the beach you can rent sun beds and umbrellas. You can buy food and drinks at a kiosk or go out to one of the restaurants along the beach. Beach volleyball can also be played on one of the special volleyball courts.
9. What else is there to do in Valencia: Shopping, eating & nightlife
In Valencia it is bursting with cozy and good restaurants. The choice is enormous and there is a restaurant for every budget. Trendy salad bars, cozy coffees, tapas restaurant, nice beach bars, cozy bistros, pizzerias, creperies, paella restaurants and much more.
And of course you can also visit the Mercado de Colon and the Mercado Central if you want to eat and drink. Shopping is also excellent in Valencia. There are plenty of pleasant shopping streets and shopping malls. You will find shops of all shapes and sizes in the city. From small boutiques to large department stores of famous brands such as Zara and H&M. Valencia is known for its vintage boutiques and the large number of vinyl shops. Famous shopping streets are the Calle Colon and the other streets around the Mercado Colon. El Carmen is also known as shopping area.
Night there is plenty to do in Valencia, but also at night the city is very lively. Visit one of the cozy bars, experience a live concert or live out in one of the clubs or discotheques. Famous nightlife venues include the open-air disco at L'Umbracle, the Xtra Large Playground and the La3.
10. Would you like to spend the night in a luxury hotel in Valencia or would you rather crawl into a tent?
Valencia welcomes millions of visitors every year. There are all kinds of accommodations in the city where you can spend the night. Choose for example a simple hotel or a luxury star hotel in Valencia. It is also possible to rent an apartment, spend the night in a cozy B&B, choose a shared room in a hostel or crawl into a tent on the campsite.
Some very luxurious 5-star hotels in Valencia are the I. Caro Hotel in a former palace, Hotel Balneario las Arenas Valencia on the beach and Hospes Palau de la Mar in the city centre. Compare all holiday rentals and accommodation in Valencia at the bottom of this page.
11. On a city trip to Valencia: how to reach the Spanish city?
On a city trip to Valencia? For a city trip of a day or long weekend Valencia, the airplane is the preferred means of transport. From several Dutch airports you fly in about 2.5 hours to the Spanish city. Valencia's large airport is about 8 kilometres from the city centre. Of course you can also take the car or train to Valencia. However, the distance is considerable, so you have to love travelling. The distance from Utrecht to Valencia is 1850 kilometers. You're about 20 hours by car or train.
Once in Valencia you can travel by bus, train, metro, taxi or on foot. There is also a special bicycle system in Valencia. There are several points where you can take a bike with a special Valenbisi pass. At the next point you just put it down again. This way you can easily explore Valencia by bike during a city trip of a day, weekend or week.
12. Citytrip Valencia: Our tips and tricks
- Sturdy shoes: Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes during the city trip. During a day or weekend and certainly during a week in Valencia you will usually walk a lot.
- Price level:The price level in Valencia is fine. For every budget you can find restaurants, shops and accommodations in Valencia.
- Valencia Tourist Card: Do you want to visit several places of interest in Valencia and travel freely? Then you can choose the Valencia Tourist Card. This card gives you discounts on attractions and restaurants in Valencia. You can travel for free on public transport within the city.
- Best travel period: Spring and autumn are the best seasons for a city trip to Valencia. Temperatures are most pleasant then. In summer it can sometimes be unpleasantly hot and in winter it can be bleak and chilly.
13: Book a city trip to Valencia: compare travel providers
Discover the special history of this beautiful coastal town in Spain, visit the various attractions, party during Las Fallas, relax in the beautiful Turia Park or on the beach, enjoy Spanish cuisine, shop in the many shops and immerse yourself in the nightlife of Valencia. Valencia is an excellent destination for a city trip for a day, a long weekend or a full week.