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Spain is an incredible country with many wonderful destinations, and Valencia is by far one of the best. The country’s third-largest city, Valencia, has an exciting mix of old and new. The medieval streets of the old center boast many monuments to see, such as the UNESCO-listed Lonja de la Seda.

But the city also boasts a high-energy feel and ultra-modern structures like the unmissable City of the Arts and Sciences. We crafted this article to help you select the best places to visit in Valencia during your next trip.

Valencia is strategically positioned on the Mediterranean Sea, which adds an extra dose of charm to this beautiful city. But there’s even more: Valencia is where the famous Spanish paella dish was invented!  

There are many more reasons why Valencia is one of Spain’s top destinations. Keep reading to discover our selection of the best things to do in the city for an unforgettable trip.

TOP TIPS TRAVELING TO VALENCIA

Things To Do In Valencia

stacio del nord train station best things to do in valencia spainstacio del nord train station best things to do in valencia spain

Following is our list of the best things to do in Valencia for you to browse and decide what to do during your trip, depending on its duration and travel style.

#1 Visit the City of the Arts and Sciences

An unmissable stop on every itinerary Valencia needs to be the incredible City of the Arts and Sciences. This complex of buildings, built from the mid-90s to 2005 by local architects Felix Candela and Santiago Calatrava, is something unique.

This attraction boasts futuristic structures that perfectly blend an ultra-modernist style with a touch of surrealism. The buildings reflect onto the pools all around, creating a beautiful effect that makes the City of the Arts and Sciences so iconic.

Besides its stunning architecture, the City of the Arts and Sciences is worth visiting for what you will find inside. This vast complex hosts different cultural venues and exquisite attractions for the whole family.

The top-rated is the famous L’Hemispheric, the building resembling a giant eye that opens and closes. The idea behind this interesting design is to symbolize the observation of the world that visitors can discover by the things they can do inside it. L’Hemispheric houses an IMAX cinema, a Planetarium, and surprising audiovisual projections.  

Other attractions that you will find inside the City of the Arts and Sciences are the Science Museum, L’Oceanogràfic, and the astounding L’Umbracle, an open-access botanical garden.

This modern architectural wonder located along the Turia River is completely free of charge to wander around. To enter the specific buildings to see shows or exhibits, you’ll need to purchase a ticket.

Have the best time at the City of the Arts and Sciences with this guided tour that will make you look at the complex’s architecture in ways you would never do on your own.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Address: Av. Professor López Piñero (Historiador de la Medicina, 7, 46013 Valencia, Spain

Hours: 

  • The buildings open at 10 a.m. Consult the official website to discover the exact opening and closing times 

 Tips: 

  • It is highly recommended that you book your tickets in advance 
  • The Hemisfèric ticket will give you access to one movie session only
  • Remember to keep your ticket during the entire visit

#2 Don’t miss the Oceanographic

If there is a building not to be missed in the City of Arts and Sciences, it is Oceanografic. Opened in 2003, the Oceanografic is the largest aquarium in Europe. Inside, you will see over 500 different marine species for a spectacular tribute to the Mediterranean sea life.

Ten zones make up the aquarium, recreating different marine habitats where around 45,000 individual animals live. Stroll around to marvel at majestic rays, sea turtles, graceful jellyfish, and colorful fish. In the larger tanks, you can instead gaze at sharks, dolphins, penguins, and even beluga whales.    

One of the reasons why the Oceanografic is among the best places to visit in Valencia is the thrilling underwater tunnel that takes visitors through the massive shark tank. You will hardly forget the immersive experience of being surrounded by these fascinating animals! 

The whole family will love the Oceanografic, and a great idea is to purchase this combo ticket that also gives you access to L’Hemisferic and the Science Museum.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Address: Ciutat de les Arts i de les Ciències, Carrer Eduardo Primo Yúfera, 1B, 46013 Valencia, Spain

Hours:

  • Monday to Friday, and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Price: €33,70 full fee; €25 reduced fee

Tips:

#3 Admire the Valencia Cathedral

Among the best places to visit in Valencia is, without a doubt, the city’s cathedral in the heart of Valencia’s old town. With the official name of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Valencia’s main church has an interesting history. It was built on the site of an ancient mosque, which was, in turn, erected over a Visigoth church.

As soon as you walk to the cathedral, you will be in awe of its architecture. The cathedral’s main architectural style is Valencian Gothic, but the façade features Romanesque, Baroque, and Neoclassical elements. This cathedral was built over five centuries, adding to its historical relevance.

Once you enter, you can see decorative details and artworks from various periods and movements. The Renaissance frescoes of the main altar are magnificent.

There is much more to see at Valencia Cathedral. A notable feature is El Miguelete, the stunning 51-meter-high Bell Tower built in the 15th century. With an octagonal shape, you can climb up the 207 narrow steps to reach the terrace at the top. From there, you will have a panoramic view over the lively Plaza de la Reina and Plaza de la Virgen.

But what brought Valencia Cathedral to fame is the claim that it keeps the true Holy Grail in one of its chapels. Seeing the cup the Lord Jesus of Nazareth drank from during the Last Supper. Whether that is the true Holy Grail or not, admiring the chalice is a must-see when visiting the cathedral. 

Travel through history during this guided tour of the Valencia Cathedral and learn about the Holy Grail.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Address: Plaza Almoina, s/n, Ciutat Vella, 46003 Valencia, Spain

Hours: 

  • Winter opening, Monday to Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Winter opening, Saturday and Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Summer opening, Monday to Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Price: €9 full fee; €6 reduced fee

Tips:

  • The Cathedral’s entrance ticket gives access to the museum as well. To access The Miguelete (Bell Tower), you will need to buy a separate ticket

#4 Eat at the Mercado Central

Many Spanish cities have incredible food markets to visit, and in Valencia, you will find several venues of this type. If there is one you really shouldn’t miss, it is the Mercado Central.

Located in the heart of the Ciutat Vella (the Old Town), right next to the La Lonja de la Seda, the Mercado Central is among the oldest markets in Europe today. Built in the early 20th century, the Spanish Ministry of Culture declared this covered market a Heritage of Cultural Interest site.

The building itself is stunning, boasting Modernista architecture with colorful tiles, ornate ironwork, and a domed roof. Inside, you will find aisles upon aisles of stalls selling local products, from fruits and vegetables to freshly caught seafood to fragrant spices.

The Mercado Central is an excellent spot to learn about Valencia’s local food, as within the 1,200 market stalls, you will find a huge selection of delicacies, rices, and street foods

Dip yourself into Valencia’s culinary culture with this great guided food tour of the central market with tapas tastings.

The Mercado Central is always open from Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free to enter.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Address: Plaça del Col-legi del Patriarca, Ciutat Vella, 46003 Valencia, Spain

Hours

  • Starting time: 10 a.m.
  • Approx 3 hours 

Price: From $64.16

Tips:

  • It is highly recommended that you book tickets well in advance as this is a popular tour

Other Info:

  • The tour is available in English, French, and Spanish
  • It is limited to 10 participants
  • The tour is not suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and people with gluten intolerance

#5 Do a safari at the Bioparc

Created in 2008, the Bioparc is Valencia’s zoo. Stretching for 25 acres, it is located along the Turia Gardens. The zoo’s design follows the modern concept of recreating diverse natural environments. In fact, the animals live in landscapes designed to be as close as possible to their native habitats

The Bioparc comprises four areas (the African savanna, the African wetlands, Madagascar, and the forests of equatorial Africa), where different animal species coexist just as they do in their native environment. For instance, in the African savanna, you can admire lions, rhinoceros, antelopes, and giraffes all living together. In the Bioparc area of the equatorial forest, you can see instead crocodiles and hippopotamuses.

Another great element of Valencia Zoo is that it lacks visible barriers, which makes the whole visit experience like a safari. The animals are not separated from people by railings or cages but by natural items like torrents, ditches, and rock formations. 

The Bioparc is an important reality as it actively works towards wildlife conservation and the sustainability of resources. Ranked as one of the best zoos in the world, don’t miss exploring it at your leisure by purchasing your ticket in advance.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Address: Avenida Pio Baroja Escriptor 3, 46015 Valencia, Spain 

Hours: 

  • Winter and Autumn: from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Summer and Spring: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Price: €26,90 full fee; €21 reduced fee

Tips:

  • Tickets for the Bioparc Valencia can also be booked online in advance
  • Food and drinks, excluding water, are not permitted inside the park unless they are in glass containers
  • Interaction with animals, throwing food, or any inappropriate behavior is not allowed

What to bring:

  • Comfortable shoes are recommended

#6 Relax at Albufera Natural Park

Among the alternative things to do in Valencia is to visit the valuable natural area of Albufera Natural Park. Only 8 kilometers south of the city, this natural park and lake is a wetland of great importance in Spain.  

The main attraction at the Albufera Natural Park is the vast freshwater lagoon, a wonderful ecosystem to discover. Surrounded by paddy fields, marshes, and dunes, the area provides shelter for many different species of birds, including flamingos.

Undeniably, the park is a fantasyland for those into birdwatching and ornithology. If you are curious about the Albufera Natural Park’s bird life, you can visit the Racó de l’Olla Interpretation Centre.

The park is a Special Protection Area (ZEPA) and offers visitors several leisurely activities. One of the best ways to explore the lagoon is by taking a boat ride to marvel at the sparkling landscape at sunset. Another great way to discover the Albufera Natural Park is by walking or biking on the six well-signposted trails all around.

Another good reason for visiting the Albufera Natural Park? Visiting the traditional fishing village of El Palmar, where paella was invented. 

Have a stress-free trip to Albufera Natural Park and enjoy a spectacular boat sunset cruise with this well-rated tour.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Address: Pobles del Sud, 46012 Valencia, Spain

Hours: Varies throughout the year but generally open around 9 a.m.

Price: Free

Tips: Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level

How to get there:

You can get to the park on EMT city bus numbers 24 and 25, departing from the center of Valencia. The ride will be 1 hour long, and the bus ticket costs €1.50 each way. Both buses are free with the Valencia Tourist Card.

Another way to get to the park is on the Albufera Bus Turístic, which includes the round-trip from Valencia and a boat ride once at the natural park. The cost is €22 (full fee), or reduced of 15% for visitors holding the Valencia Tourist Card.

What to bring:

#7 Walk around El Carmen neighborhood

In the heart of the Ciutat Vella, the El Carmen neighborhood is close to many of the best places to visit in Valencia. Its winding streets and narrow alleyways are thousands of years old and are lined with Gothic and Baroque-style buildings hosting tapas bars, cafes, shops, and boutiques

When night falls, El Carmen becomes one of the best areas in Valencia to spend time in. Thanks to the array of excellent late-night bars, you will never run out of choice. There is something for every taste, from bars playing jazz music to popular pubs like the famed La Flama and Immortal. El Carmen neighborhood is the nerve center of Valencia’s nightlife!

El Carmen also boasts a rich historical heritage, besides being an excellent spot in Valencia for food, shopping, and nightlife. Walking around, you will pass the only two medieval gates still standing, Serranos and Quart Towers. The two gates used to close at nightfall, and anyone who lost track of time could only access the city the following day.

The district also has great artistic value. Here, you will find the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, the Carme Contemporary Culture Centre, and L’Iber, which is the museum of historical soldiers miniatures. Walking around the El Carmen neighborhood, you can also marvel at some beautiful street art on Calle de Los Colores. Another must-do stop is the peculiar House of Cats, a detailed miniature home for cats on Calle Museo 9. 

To discover the artistic side of the El Carmen neighborhood, we suggest you join this graffiti tour with an expert guide

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Address: Torres de Serranos, but traveler pickup is offered

Hours: 

  • The tour starting time is 10 a.m.
  • Approx 4 hours

Price: From $175.19

Tips:

  • The tour is wheelchair and stroller accessible

#8 Stroll Valencia’s plazas

fountain surrounded by red flowers in plaza de ayuntamientofountain surrounded by red flowers in plaza de ayuntamiento
Image via Flickr by Francisco Rubio

Valencia has many beautiful squares scattered all around its center. Of great historical value, Valencia plazas contain monuments and buildings that should be on your bucket list. 

The most famous square in the city, Plaza de la Virgen, is a must-do stop for every visitor. It houses some of Valencia’s iconic landmarks, including the stunning Valencia Cathedral and the Government Palace. At the center of the square is the beautiful Turia Fountain, which also boasts lovely cafés all around.

Plaza de la Reina is vibrant and bustling and features many cafes and restaurants, perfect for a break and some people-watching. Equally special is the quirky Plaza Redonda, just off the Plaza de la Reina.

Built in 1840, this square has a unique design as it is located inside a circular courtyard that rises at the base of a 3-story building. All around Plaza Redonda, you will find stores to shop for handcraft items, souvenirs, and local products

Another great square is Plaza del Mercado, one of the busiest in the city. Located in the center of the Old Town, visitors will find the Central Market and the Lonja de la Seda. As fascinating is Plaza de Ayuntamiento, flanked by palm trees and stunning Spanish-style buildings. 

With so many plazas to explore, why not take this well-rated guided tour of Valencia’s beautiful squares while also indulging in some tapas and wine?

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

Address: Meet-up point outside the Unic Daily Goodness bar on the corner of Placa de Sant Jaume, 1

Hours: 

  • The tour has multiple starting times: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. 
  • Approx 4 hours

Price: From $81.56

Info: 

  • The tour offers a 1-hour walking tour and the taste of a 10-course menu of local tapas with wine
  • The tours from Tuesday to Sunday include a visit to San Nicolás Church

#9 Step inside San Nicolás Church

San Nicolás Church is among the most beautiful places to visit in Valencia. You will find it right in the heart of the Ciutat Vella. Officially known as the Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Mártir, it was built in the 13th century. 

San Nicolás Church is a great example of the Valencian Gothic architectural style. Its striking façade has intricate carvings, ornate details, and beautiful stained-glass windows. So, step inside to remain astonished by the church’s spectacular Baroque interiors with elegant arches.

If one feature of San Nicolás Church is worth the visit, it is the stunning 17th-century frescoes covering every inch of the ceiling. Recently restored, the beauty of this intricate piece of art is so compelling that it has gained the church the nickname of Sistine Chapel of Valencia. The fresco, designed by Antonio Palomino and realized by his pupil Dionis Vidal, is in a baroque style and depicts the life of Saint Nicolas. 

Every Monday, hundreds of people make the so-called “Walks of Saint Nicholas” or “Devotion to San Judas Tadeo”, patron of impossible causes, which ends right in the Church of San Nicolás. For this reason, the church closes on Mondays. Every other day, you can enter the church and admire its architectural and pictorial-ornamental works and hidden secrets with this excellent guided tour.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Address: Carrer dels Cavallers 35, Ciutat Vella, 46001 Valencia, Spain

Hours:

  • Tuesday to Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Monday: closed

Price: €10 full fee; €7 reduced fee

Tips:

  • Reduced fee entrance with the Valencia Tourist Card

#10 Visit La Lonja de la Seda

La Lonja de la Seda is an emblematic building in the center of Valencia, in front of the Mercado Central. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, La Lonja was built between 1482 and 1533, and it was the main venue for the silk trade. 

The three-part building is one of Europe’s most famous civil gothic monuments. During its glory days, La Lonja was frequented by merchants from all over Europe. Although the main time exchanged was silk, as Valencia was particularly famous for its silk industry, this marketplace was used for the business of other items as well. 

Designed by Valencian engineer and architect Pere Compte, La Lonja’s centerpiece is the Sala de Contratación, with columns more than 17 meters tall resembling silk skeins and palm trees. Trade agreements took place in this hall, which, later in time, was also the location of one of the first public banks in Europe.

Another significant part of this building is the tower, which was the prison for merchants declared bankrupt. To access this tower, you will need to climb a spiral staircase made out of stone, and it doesn’t have a central axis.

La Lonja de la Seda’s architecture and historical relevance make it an unmissable attraction, and it is also among the cheap things to do in Valencia. For a more rounded experience, consider taking this fantastic tour to discover the historical legacy of the silk trade in Valencia.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Address: Lonja de la Seda, Calle de la Lonja, Ciutat Vella, 46001 Valencia, Spain

Hours:

  • Monday to Friday, and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday and public holidays: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Price: €2 

Tips: 

  • Free entrance with the Valencia Tourist Card
  • On Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., there is a flea market in front of the Lonja where visitors can exchange, buy, and sell antique collector’s items

#11 Have fun at Ruzafa neighborhood

The trendiest part of the city, the Ruzafa neighborhood is the spot to experience Valencia’s lively nightlife. With many hipster and indie bars and nightclubs, visitors will be spoiled with choices. The neighborhood centerpiece is the stunning Plaza de Toros, which hosts live music concerts and bullfights.

Aside from the clubbing and partying scene, the Ruzafa neighborhood has plenty to offer visitors during the day as well. Nickname the SoHo of Valencia, Ruzafa is the city’s creative hub, and you will find small art galleries, theaters, interesting bookstores, and vintage stores everywhere.   

Moreover, the district boasts an impressive array of whimsical cafès, bakeries, and excellent restaurants where you can try the local cuisine. 

The district boasts one of the best markets in Valencia, the Mercado de Ruzafa. Built in the 1950s by architect Julio Bellot Senet, it has a colorful exterior and is frequented by locals for daily shopping.

Chic and with an artsy aura, the Ruzafa neighborhood is one of the best spots in Valencia for a leisure stroll and to have plenty of fun. An awesome activity in the district is taking this cooking class where you can learn to make an authentic paella after shopping for ingredients at the local market.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

Address: Meeting point is at Parròquia de Sant Valeri in Carrer del Pare Perera, 6, L’Eixample, 46006 Valencia, Spain

Hours:

  • The tour starts at 11 a.m.
  • Approx 3:30 hours 

Price: From $121.96 

Info: 

  • The cooking class is led by a professional chef and includes the shopping for the ingredients at Ruzafa market  
  • Drinks are included in the price

#12 Enjoy Valencia beaches

boats and tents sitting along malvarrosa beachboats and tents sitting along malvarrosa beach
Image via Wikipedia by Manuel Martín Vicente

Valencia has around 4 kilometers of coastline with beautiful beaches enjoyable year-round, thanks to the area’s mild climate. Many Valencia beaches are Blue Flag awarded.

Valencia’s beaches are clean, vast, and usually not overcrowded. Surrounded by cafes and restaurants, these beaches are easily accessible by public transportation from the city’s center. Another key point for visiting Valencia beaches is that they all have shallow and calm waters, so they are suitable for the whole family.

Among the most popular beaches of Valencia is Malvarrosa Beach. Large and with velvety-soft sand, this beach boasts facilities like rental sunbeds and umbrellas, beach volleyball courts, and kid playgrounds. 

Valencia’s other famous beach is Las Arenas Beach, located next to the port. Here, visitors will find everything for their comfort, like umbrellas and chairs for rent and many eateries. Moreover, Las Arenas Beach is also the venue for many festivals and concerts throughout the year, which makes it especially crowded.

For more relaxed moments, head instead to Patacona Beach. This beach is quiet and beautiful, further away from Valencia’s center. Given its location, which is more out of sight, Patacona Beach is frequented by fewer people. Boasting developed beach infrastructure, including a surf school, high-quality restaurants and bars, and a lovely promenade with bike paths, Patacona Beach is an excellent choice if you want to enjoy the Valencian sun.

Let the golden hour inspire you and make unforgettable memories with this sunset boat tour of the Valencia coast with complimentary drinks.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOUR

Address: Meeting point is at WAVEPOL – Alquiler barco Valencia

Hours:

  • The tour starts at 5 p.m.
  • Approx 1 hour 

Price: From $32.62 

Info: 

  • The hotel pickup and drop-off are not provided
  • The price includes complimentary drinks

Where To Stay In Valencia

These are our recommendations for where to stay in Valencia, with options suitable for different budgets.

CIUTAT VELLA

street view of front of venecia plaza centro street view of front of venecia plaza centro

Venecia Plaza Centro

Located in one of Valencia’s main squares, la Plaza del Ayuntamiento, it is within walking distance of many attractions, restaurants, and shops. The rooms are modern and minimal for a comfortable stay. Previous guests have praised this hotel for its excellent buffet breakfast.

RUZAFA

city garden bed and breakfast garden lounge areacity garden bed and breakfast garden lounge area

City Garden Bed and Breakfast

This stylish bed and breakfast has a beautiful outdoor area where guests can enjoy a well-rated buffet and continental breakfast. The bed and breakfast has an excellent location for touring. Furthermore, the accommodation also provides guests with airport transfers and a bicycle rental service.

BARRIO EL CARMEN

valencia home standard king bed room with floor to ceiling windowvalencia home standard king bed room with floor to ceiling window

Valencia Home

The perfect accommodation for families and groups, Valencia Home offers different-sized apartments housed inside a picturesque building. Clean and cozy, all units feature a living room with a dining area, an equipped kitchen, bedrooms, and a private bathroom. In addition, some apartments feature a balcony.

EL CABANYAL

Lindala

This lovely hotel is an easy walk from Valencia’s best beaches, Las Arenas Beach and Malvarrosa Beach. Featuring spacious rooms, Lindala also features a restaurant, two bars, a garden, and a terrace. In addition, the hotel has a great location due to the metro stop being right around the corner.

Final Thoughts

Valencia is a beautiful destination where you can experience the charming Spanish vibe. With pleasant temperatures all year round, to-die-for foods, unmissable attractions of great historical value, and a vibrant nightlife, you won’t regret making a trip to Valencia.  

Hopefully, this guide on the best places to visit in Valencia will inspire you to visit this beautiful city and experience everything it offers. And if you are looking to plan the ultimate Spanish vacation, we suggest you take a look at “10 reasons to visit Barcelona”. The two cities are very well-connected by train, so why not visit both on your next trip?

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to visit Valencia?

The best time to visit Valencia is from March to June and September and October, as the temperatures are extremely pleasant and the city is not excessively crowded.

Is Valencia a walkable city?

You can walk virtually everywhere in the city. Most of Valencia’s tourist attractions and neighborhoods are within walking distance of each other. However, if you are too tired or want to reach farther away spots, the city has a great public transportation system.

Do I have to tip in Spain?

No, tipping isn’t mandatory in Spain. However, leaving a tip when receiving a service is always much appreciated.

What is the best part of Valencia to stay in?

The best part of the city to stay in is the Ciutat Vella, where you will find most of the monuments and attractions. Moreover, the Old Town is ideally located between the El Carmen and Ruzafa neighborhoods, both famous for their nightlife.

How far is Valencia’s center from the beach?

Valencia’s center is half an hour away from Malvarrosa Beach and Las Arenas Beach by car and public transport.


I hope you guys found this guide helpful!  if you have any questions or comments about your favorite spots in Valencia, drop a comment down below!

What you should read next

Travel Resources For Your Next Trip

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If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.



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