If you’re planning a trip to Spain, you may be wondering if Valencia is worth visiting. As a resident of this beautiful city, I can tell you that the answer is a resounding yes!
Valencia is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers something for everyone, from stunning architecture and rich history to delicious food and a lively nightlife.
While Valencia may not be as well-known as some of Spain’s larger cities like Barcelona or Madrid, that’s part of its charm. Here, you can experience all the best that Spain has to offer without the crowds of tourists that you might encounter in other destinations.
Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, relaxing on the beach, or indulging in some of the best food and drink in the country, Valencia has it all.
Of course, like any destination, Valencia may not be for everyone. If you’re looking for a quiet, secluded getaway, you may want to look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for a city that’s full of life and energy, with plenty to see and do, then Valencia is the perfect choice.
So dust off that passport and get ready to experience all that this amazing city has to offer!
Is it Worth Visiting Valencia, Spain?
Yes, Valencia is a city that’s definitely worth visiting, and there are a ton of reasons why you should consider adding it to your travel itinerary. It’s a beautiful city with a rich history and culture that’s waiting to be explored. From its stunning architecture to its delicious cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Valencia.
One of the best things about Valencia is its size. Unlike other major European cities, Valencia is compact and easy to navigate. This makes it possible to explore the city on foot or by bike, which is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of Valencia’s different neighborhoods. From the historic Old Town to the trendy Ruzafa district, each part of the city has its own unique charm.
Another reason to visit Valencia is its beautiful beaches. The city is located on the Mediterranean coast, and there are many beaches that you can visit to soak up the sun and enjoy the sea. The most popular beach is Playa de la Malvarrosa, which is a long, wide beach with plenty of amenities.
Valencia is also known for its delicious food, and there are many local dishes that you must try when you visit. One of the most popular dishes is paella, which is actually from here, but there are tons of others that you really should try. Whether you’re a foodie or simply enjoy good food, Valencia is sure to satisfy your taste buds.
However, there are also some reasons why you may not want to visit Valencia. Firstly, the city can be quite crowded, especially during the summer months when many tourists visit. This means that you may have to deal with long lines and wait times at popular attractions.
Additionally, Valencia can be quite hot during the summer months, with many locals actually escaping the city in July and August for this reason. If you’re not a fan of hot weather, you may want to consider visiting during the cooler months.
Overall, though, Valencia is a city that’s worth visiting, and there are many reasons why you should consider adding it to your travel itinerary. From its beautiful architecture to its delicious cuisine, there is something for everyone in Valencia.
Why Valencia is Worth Visiting
It’s good to know exactly what you might expect if you visit Valencia – and, luckily, I’ve got the full list of reasons why I think Valencia is worth visiting!
1. El Carmen
If you’re looking for a neighborhood with a rich history and plenty of character, El Carmen is the perfect place to explore. With its narrow streets, colorful buildings, and vibrant nightlife, this area is a must-see for anyone visiting Valencia.
One must-see attraction in El Carmen is the Serrano and Quart Towers. These towers were once part of the city’s medieval walls and are now some of the most iconic landmarks in Valencia. You can climb to the top of the towers for stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
If you’re a fan of street art, you’ll love exploring the graffiti and murals that adorn many of the buildings in El Carmen. From political statements to whimsical designs, the street art in this neighborhood is both thought-provoking and visually stunning.
One thing to keep in mind when visiting El Carmen is that it can be quite crowded, especially on weekends and during peak tourist season. While you should still visit here, I’d suggest staying somewhere else if you prefer a quieter atmosphere, especially on weekends.
But El Carmen is a vibrant and exciting neighborhood that’s definitely worth a visit. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just soaking up the local atmosphere, you’re sure to find something to love in this charming corner of Valencia.
If you’re looking for a trendy and vibrant neighborhood to explore in Valencia, Ruzafa (which is the Spanish spelling; it’s written as “Russafa” in the Valencian language) should be at the top of your list. This former run-down area has transformed into a colorful and hip hotspot for food, culture, and the arts.
One of the highlights of Ruzafa/Russafa is the Mercat de Russafa, which is a great place to stop during the day to try out the local Valencian produce.
And in the evening, the area comes alive. With basically an infinite number of bars and restaurants, there’s a reason why this is often the chosen place to go out for locals and tourists alike. You definitely need to have at least one dinner here during your stay – if not a much longer night out!
3. City of Arts and Sciences
If you’re looking for a unique and exciting experience in Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences is a must-visit destination. This incredible complex is a cultural and architectural hub that includes a science museum, planetarium, opera house, and oceanographic park.
Designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, the futuristic and avant-garde architecture of the buildings is a sight to behold. In fact, you may have already seen it in some movies – or some coming up, with one of the (so far) unnamed Star Wars pieces coming up having filmed here in early 2023.
One of the most impressive buildings in the complex is the Oceanographic Park. This stunning structure is home to over 500 species of marine life, including sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles. You can even walk through a transparent tunnel while fish and other sea creatures swim around you. It’s an unforgettable experience and is especially good if you’re visiting Valencia with kids.
The science museum is another highlight of the City of Arts and Sciences. With interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, it’s a great place to learn about science and technology in a fun and engaging way. The planetarium is also worth a visit, especially if you’re interested in astronomy and space exploration.
Overall, if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience in Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences is definitely worth a visit. With its stunning architecture and fascinating exhibits, it’s a great place to learn, explore, and have fun. Just be prepared for the crowds if you visit during peak tourist season.
4. Valencia Cathedral
If you’re visiting Valencia, a trip to the Valencia Cathedral is a must-see. This beautiful cathedral is located in the heart of the city and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Valencia. It’s a perfect place to visit if you’re interested in history, architecture, or religion.
The cathedral is home to many beautiful works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and frescoes. You’ll also find what has been declared the most likely candidate for being the Holy Grail.
The cathedral has a rich history and has undergone several renovations over the years, making it an interesting place to visit for anyone interested in architecture and design.
One of the highlights of the Valencia Cathedral is the Miguelete Tower, which offers stunning views of the city. You can climb to the top of the tower and take in the breathtaking views of Valencia’s skyline. The tower is a bit of a climb, but it’s definitely worth it for the views.
5. Mercat Central
If you’re a foodie, you absolutely must visit the Mercat Central de Valencia. This market is one of the most beautiful covered food markets in the world, built in 1928, and it’s a true feast for the senses.
At Mercat Central, you’ll find a wide range of fresh produce, meats, seafood, and other local products. The vendors are friendly and knowledgeable, and they’re happy to share their expertise with you (although you won’t always get someone who speaks English, so get that dictionary ready). Whether you’re looking for ingredients for a home-cooked meal or you want to sample some local delicacies, you’ll find it all here.
One of the highlights of Mercat Central is its stunning architecture. The iron structure is decorated with vividly-colored stained glass windows and ceramic tiles, and it’s a true work of art. You’ll also find a variety of cafes and restaurants within the market, where you can grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
If you’re looking for a unique souvenir to take home, Mercat Central is the perfect place to find it. You’ll find a variety of local crafts and products, from handmade ceramics to artisanal cheeses.
However, keep in mind that Mercat Central can get crowded, especially on weekends and during peak tourist season. If you’re not a fan of crowds, you may want to visit during the week or early in the morning – noting that the market is only open until 2pm each day, so morning may be your best bet anyway.
6. La Lonja de la Seda
If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful historical site to visit in Valencia, La Lonja de la Seda is definitely worth checking out. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in the 15th century and served as a silk exchange, showcasing the city’s prominence in the silk trade during the Renaissance period.
The building’s architecture is stunning, featuring Gothic and Mediterranean styles, and the interior is just as impressive with vaulted ceilings, intricate carvings, and stunning frescoes.
One of the highlights of visiting La Lonja de la Seda is the chance to see the Sala de Contratación, or the Trading Hall. This room was where silk traders would come to buy and sell their goods, and it’s a truly impressive space.
The room is lined with towering columns and features a stunning vaulted ceiling. It’s easy to imagine the hustle and bustle of traders negotiating deals and examining the quality of the silk.
If you’re interested in history or architecture, La Lonja de la Seda is a must-visit destination in Valencia. Plus, it’s free to enter on Sundays!
7. Estacio del Nord
You may even arrive to the city this way but, even if you don’t, you may want to consider adding a stopover in Estacio del Nord to your Valencian itinerary. This historic train station is a beautiful example of Valencia’s architecture and is worth visiting even if you’re not planning to travel by train.
Inside the station, you’ll find stunning tile work and frescoes that depict Valencia’s history and culture.
You don’t really need to spend too long here, but even seeing just the outside is a beautiful sight.
If you’re a fan of museums, Valencia is definitely worth a visit. The city is home to a variety of museums that cater to different interests.
One of the most popular museums is the National Ceramics Museum, which is located in the heart of the city. The museum houses a collection of over 5,000 pieces of ceramics, ranging from ancient times to the present day.
The museum is housed in a beautiful building that was once a palace, and the interior is just as impressive as the exterior. Admission is free, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
If you’re interested in contemporary art, the IVAM (Institut Valencià d’Art Modern) is a must-visit. The museum is housed in a modern building that was designed by the renowned architect Santiago Calatrava.
The museum’s collection includes works by artists such as Picasso, Miró, and Dalí, as well as many contemporary artists. The museum is open every day except Mondays, and admission is free on Sundays.
If you’re interested in science and nature, the Municipal Museum of Natural Sciences is a great place to visit. The museum is located in the beautiful Jardines de Viveros, and it has a collection of over 13,000 specimens of animals, plants, and minerals. The museum is a great place to learn about the natural world, and it’s especially great for kids.
For all foodies, Valencia is a must-visit destination. And one of the most popular dishes in Valencia is the authentic Valencian paella.
While you may have heard of the seafood version (paella de marisco), the “real” one actually consists more typically of chicken, rabbit and snails.
You can find many restaurants in Valencia that serve paella. Some of the best and most authentic paella restaurants can be found just a few steps from La Malvarrosa beach but there are also some great ones in the old town of El Carmen.
Keep in mind as well that, in many restaurants, you have to tell them in advance if you want to eat paella so they can take the time to make it for you before you get there. Having that big dish planted in the center of your table makes it worthwhile doing that bit of planning ahead though!
If you’re a fan of seafood, then you’ve got to try Fideuà, a traditional dish that’s also from Valencia. It’s similar to paella, but instead of rice, it’s made with noodles.
The noodles are cooked in a seafood broth with a variety of seafood such as shrimp, clams, and squid. The dish is then seasoned with garlic, onion, and paprika. Honestly, I may like this more than paella – although that may be a scandalous opinion to have here!
One of the best places to try Fideuà is at Casa Roberto, a restaurant located in the heart of Valencia. They’ve been serving this dish for over 50 years, and it’s become a local favorite. The restaurant is cozy and has a traditional vibe, making it the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal.
And if you’re not a fan of seafood, don’t worry, there are other options available. You can try Fideuà with chicken or vegetables instead. It’s still just as delicious.
While Fideuà may not be as well-known as paella, it’s definitely worth trying. Plus, it’s a great way to experience the local cuisine of Valencia!
Valencia is a great destination for wine lovers. The region produces a variety of wines that are unique to the area. The Mediterranean climate and the fertile soil make it an ideal place for growing grapes, resulting in some of the best wines in Spain.
One of the most popular wines in Valencia is the red wine made from the Bobal grape. This grape is native to the region and produces a wine that’s full-bodied and rich in flavor. The white wines made from the Macabeo grape are also worth trying. These wines are light and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day.
Valencia is also known for its sweet wines, particularly the Moscatel. This wine is made from the Muscat grape and has a distinct floral aroma. It pairs well with desserts and is a great way to end a meal.
If you’re a wine enthusiast, you’ll want to visit some of the wineries in the region. There are many great wineries to choose from, each with its own unique style and flavor. Some of the best wineries to visit include Bodegas Enguera, Bodegas Murviedro, and Bodegas Hispano Suizas.
If you’re looking for a refreshing drink to cool you down on a hot day, then horchata is a must-try when visiting Valencia. Made from tiger nuts, this milky drink is one of the region’s most famous specialties and can be found in horchaterias (or orxaterias in Valencian) throughout the city.
One of the best places to try horchata is at Horchateria Santa Catalina, which has been serving up this delicious drink since 1927. The horchata here is made using traditional methods, and you can even watch the process as you sip on your drink.
(And make sure you order some fartons to have with it, which are these long, tube-shaped pastries you dip into your horchata!)
But why is horchata so popular in Valencia? Well, for one, it’s incredibly refreshing and perfect for cooling down on a hot day. But it’s also a part of the region’s cultural heritage and has been enjoyed here for centuries.
If you’re not a fan of sweet drinks, I will say that horchata may not be for you. It has a distinct nutty flavor that can be quite sweet, and some people find it too rich. However, if you have a sweet tooth, then you’ll definitely want to give it a try.
13. Agua de Valencia
Agua de Valencia is a must-try cocktail when you visit Valencia. It’s the city’s most iconic drink and is perfect for sipping under the moonlight. Although it’s refreshing and can be enjoyed at any time of the day or night, it was originally an evening beverage.
The drink is made from a combination of orange juice, cava (Spanish sparkling wine), gin, and vodka. It’s usually served in a pitcher and shared among friends. The drink is sweet, bubbly, and packs a punch, so be careful not to drink too much!
You can find Agua de Valencia in most bars and restaurants in Valencia. However, some places make it better than others. If you want to try the best Agua de Valencia in the city, head to Café de las Horas or Café de la Bourse.
While Valencia may not have the absolute best tapas in Spain, its tapas scene is really coming into its own. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a quick bite, you’ll find plenty of great tapas bars throughout the city.
One of the most popular tapas bars in Valencia is Casa Montana, which has been serving up delicious tapas for over 100 years. They offer a wide variety of options, from traditional Spanish dishes like croquetas and patatas bravas to more modern and creative options like tuna tartare and foie gras. The atmosphere is lively and bustling, and it’s a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy some good food and drinks.
Another great option is Bar Cosmo Valencia, which offers a mix of Mediterranean and European cuisine. They have a great selection of tapas, as well as an extensive wine list. The outdoor seating area is a great spot to people-watch while enjoying some delicious food and drinks.
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, check out Alenar Bodega Mediterranea. They specialize in Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine, and offer a variety of tapas options. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, making it a great spot for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.
You simply cannot visit Valencia without taking a stroll through the Turia Gardens. This park is a true gem in the heart of the city, and it offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages.
The former river that snaked through the city has been turned into more than 11km of greenery. Walk through there at any time of day and you’ll see exactly why it’s becoming the best meeting point in the city, with people always doing all sorts of things throughout the park – or just chilling out doing nothing at all!
One of the most popular things to do in the Turia Gardens is to rent a bike and explore the park on two wheels. With over 9 kilometers of dedicated bike paths, you can easily spend a whole day riding through the park and taking in the beautiful scenery.
For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, there are plenty of walking paths and picnic areas throughout the park. You can pack a lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing in the shade of a tree while watching the locals play soccer or practice tai chi.
16. Great Plazas Throughout the City
Valencia is home to some seriously great plazas in Spain. These plazas are not just a place to sit and relax, but they are also the heart of the city’s social and cultural life.
Here are some of the great plazas throughout the city that you should definitely visit:
- Plaza de la Reina: This is one of the most popular plazas in Valencia. It’s located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by many historic buildings. The plaza is famous for its beautiful fountain and is a great place to relax and people-watch.
- Plaza del Ayuntamiento: This is the main square in Valencia and is home to some of the most representative administrative buildings in town. It features an outstanding mix of Spanish architectural styles, which makes it a delight to just walk around, take photos, and enjoy the sights.
- Plaza de la Virgen: This is one of the city’s loveliest and most distinctive squares. The Plaza de la Virgen de Valencia lies at the heart of the historic quarter, on the exact spot where the Roman Forum once stood. The square is a pedestrianised area, a place to sit peacefully and enjoy one of its terraces while listening to the sound of the fountains.
- Plaza Redonda: This is a unique and charming circular plaza in the heart of Valencia’s old town. The plaza is surrounded by historic buildings and is home to many small shops selling traditional Valencian souvenirs and handicrafts.
17. Incredible Amount of Bars and Restaurants
In recent years, Valencia has become more and more known in Spain for its incredible selection of bars and restaurants. With so many options, you’ll never run out of places to eat and drink during your visit. From traditional Spanish cuisine to international flavors, Valencia has it all.
One of the best things about Valencia’s food scene is the variety of options available at affordable prices. You can find everything from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants, and prices are generally lower than in other major cities like Madrid and Barcelona.
As mentioned before, for a taste of Valencia’s traditional cuisine, be sure to try paella, the city’s most famous dish. You can find it at almost any restaurant in the city, but some of the best places to try it are La Pepica, Casa Carmela, and Restaurante Levante. Just don’t go anywhere that serves it for dinner – paella is strictly a lunch food!
If you’re looking for something a little different, Valencia has plenty of international options as well. Some of the best Asian restaurants in the city include Bambú, which serves up delicious sushi and sashimi, and Umami, which offers a fusion of Japanese and Mediterranean flavors.
Valencia is also known for its nightlife. There are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from, whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a wild night out. Some of the best areas for nightlife include the Barrio del Carmen, Ruzafa, and the Marina.
One thing to keep in mind is that Valencia’s dining culture is a bit different than in other parts of Spain. Many restaurants don’t open until later in the evening, around 9 or 10 PM, and it’s common to have dinner around midnight. If you’re used to eating earlier, be sure to plan accordingly (and have a snack to keep you going).
18. Playa de la Malvarrosa
If you’re looking for a beautiful beach to visit while in Valencia, Playa de la Malvarrosa is definitely worth checking out.
This beach is one of the most popular in the area, and for good reason. With its crystal-clear waters and soft sand, it’s the perfect place to relax and soak up some sun.
One of the best things about Playa de la Malvarrosa is that it’s easily accessible from the rest of the city. You can take a bus or taxi to get there, or even rent a bike and ride along the bike path that runs parallel to the beach.
Once you arrive, you’ll find plenty of amenities, including a great variety of restaurants and bars.
However, keep in mind that this beach can get quite crowded, especially during the summer months. If you’re looking for a quieter spot to relax, you may want to consider visiting during the off-season or exploring some of the other beaches in the area.
19. Playa del Cabanyal/Playa de las Arenas
If you’re looking for a beach to soak up the sun and enjoy the Mediterranean Sea, look no further than Playa del Cabanyal, also known as Playa de las Arenas. This beach is located just a few kilometers from Valencia’s city center and offers a wide strip of sand that stretches for about 4 kilometers.
Playa de las Arenas is the most central beach in Valencia and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Here, you’ll find a broad, sandy stretch that gently dips towards the sea.
During the summer months, you can enjoy a delicious plate of paella at one of the many beachside restaurants or party the night away at one of the nearby nightclubs.
One of the unique features of Playa del Cabanyal is that it’s situated in the old fishermen’s quarter of Valencia, which gives it a charming and authentic feel. You’ll find a mix of locals and tourists enjoying the beach, and it’s a great spot to people watch and soak up the local culture.
While Playa de las Arenas may not be as popular as some of the other beaches in Valencia, it’s still a great spot to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean Sea. If you’re looking for a quieter beach experience, this is the perfect spot for you.
20. Torres de Serranos
If you’re interested in history and architecture, you won’t want to miss Torres de Serranos. This medieval gate was built in the 14th century and is one of the most well-preserved landmarks in Valencia. The towers were used as part of the city’s defensive walls, and they offer a glimpse into the city’s past.
One of the best things about Torres de Serranos is the view from the top. For a small fee, you can climb up to the towers and take in the stunning panoramic view of Valencia. It’s a great spot to take photos and get a sense of the city’s layout.
Keep in mind that the stairs to the top can be steep and narrow, so it may not be suitable for everyone. However, if you’re up for the climb, it’s definitely worth it.
21. Albufera Natural Park
If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of Valencia, Albufera Natural Park is a must-visit destination. Just a short drive away from the city, this park offers breathtaking views of the largest freshwater lagoon in Spain, which spans over 2,800 hectares.
One of the best ways to explore the park is by taking a guided tour, which will take you through the local ecosystems and give you a chance to see the diverse wildlife that calls the park home. You can even take a boat trip on the lagoon, which is a great way to experience the park’s natural beauty up close.
But the park isn’t just about nature. It’s also the birthplace of Spain’s most famous dish, paella. You can find many restaurants in the area that serve this delicious rice dish, which is made with fresh ingredients from the park’s rice paddies.
22. Las Fallas
If you’re planning a trip to Valencia, you’ve got to try to time it so that you can experience Las Fallas. This five-day festival takes place annually in March and is a celebration of fire, art, and culture.
During the festival, the city comes alive with fireworks (I’m talking day and night, especially near the end of the festival), parades, and street parties. And one of the highlights of Las Fallas is the creation of the Fallas monuments.
These towering sculptures are made of wood, paper-mache, and other materials and can reach up to 20 meters in height. Each neighborhood in Valencia creates its own Falla, and the competition to create the best one is fierce.
On the final night of the festival, all the Fallas are set on fire, creating a spectacular display of flames and fireworks.
But Las Fallas isn’t just about the monuments. The festival also features daily Mascletas, which are loud and explosive firework displays that take place in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento at 2 pm every day. The sound and vibration of the Mascletas are so intense that you can feel them in your chest.
I will say that if you’re not a fan of loud noises, Las Fallas may not be for you. The festival can be overwhelming, and the crowds can be intense. But if you’re willing to embrace the chaos, Las Fallas is an unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss.
23. Street Art
Valencia is a city that’s well-known for its street art. If you’re a fan of graffiti and murals, then you will definitely want to take a stroll through the El Carmen neighborhood. Here, you will find some of the best street art in the city.
One of the most famous street artists in Valencia is Hyuro. Originally from Argentina, Hyuro moved to Valencia in 2005 and has been adding to the street art scene ever since. Her work often has a dream-like quality that invites you to reflect on the monotony and occasional cruelty of city life.
If you want to learn more about the street art in Valencia, then you should consider taking a walking tour to learn more about the amazing works you’ll find throughout the city.
24. Orange Trees
Valencia is known for its orange trees that line the streets of the city. You can’t walk down a street without seeing them. The sweet smell of oranges fills the air, and it’s a beautiful sight to see the trees with the bright oranges hanging from their branches.
And if you visit in the spring, you will be able to see the orange blossoms in full bloom. The scent is heavenly, and it’s a beautiful sight to see the trees covered in white flowers.
The oranges from Valencia are some of the best in the world, and you can find them in many dishes throughout the city. From fresh-squeezed orange juice to orange-infused desserts, you can’t go wrong with anything orange-flavored in Valencia.
However, keep in mind that the oranges you see on the trees in the street aren’t actually for eating. The story goes that they’ve been intentionally grown to be sour, so people don’t steal them – which is great, if true, as it means more time to enjoy them as you stroll around!
If you’re a bike enthusiast, Valencia is the perfect city for you. It’s one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe, with an extensive network of cycle paths that connect all the neighborhoods of the city. The Turia Gardens is another great place for biking, where you can ride freely along its 8-kilometer stretch.
The best part about biking in Valencia is that the city is almost entirely flat, making it easy to get around without much effort. The only “hills” in Valencia are the ramps down to the Turia Park. The Turia Park is a dream for biking because it’s car-free and cuts through the whole city.
A web of dedicated bike lanes blankets the city’s streets, which makes it easy for you to explore Valencia on two wheels.
If you don’t have your own bike, don’t worry. Valencia has a public bike-sharing system called Valenbisi, which has more than 2,700 bicycles and 275 stations around the city. You can rent a bike for free for the first 30 minutes of each ride and a small super amount thereafter. It’s an incredibly convenient and affordable way to get around the city.
26. Less Tourists Than Other Major Spanish Cities
If you’re looking for a Spanish city that’s not overrun with tourists, Valencia should be at the top of your list. While Madrid and Barcelona are certainly worth visiting, they can be crowded and overwhelming. Valencia, on the other hand, offers a more laid-back atmosphere with plenty to see and do.
One of the benefits of fewer tourists is that you can experience the city more like a local. You won’t have to fight crowds to see the sights, and you’ll be able to enjoy the city’s many restaurants, bars, and cafes without feeling like you’re in a tourist trap.
Of course, there are still plenty of attractions to keep you busy in Valencia. As mentioned before, the City of Arts and Sciences is a must-see, with its futuristic buildings and interactive exhibits.
The Central Market is also a foodie’s paradise, with fresh produce, meats, and seafood. And the Turia Gardens, which were created in the former riverbed of the Turia River, offer a peaceful escape from the city.
While Valencia may not have the same number of museums as Madrid or the same iconic landmarks as Barcelona, it has its own unique charm. The city’s architecture is a blend of old and new, with historic buildings like the Cathedral and the Silk Exchange standing alongside modern structures like the Hemisferic and the Agora, making Valencia definitely worth a visit.
27. Mostly Good Weather
Valencia is known for its warm and sunny weather, making it a great destination for travelers looking to escape the cold. With an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, you can expect mostly good weather whenever you visit.
The summer months of July and August can be quite hot, with temperatures reaching up to 90°F (32°C). If you’re not a fan of the heat, it’s best to avoid visiting during this time. However, the rest of the year offers perfect weather for exploring the city.
The winter months can be a bit cooler, with temperatures averaging around 60°F (15°C). But don’t let that deter you from visiting during this time. The cooler weather is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking or visiting the many museums and galleries that Valencia has to offer.
Overall, Valencia’s weather is a major draw for visitors. The mild climate and sunny skies make it a great destination year-round. Just remember to pack accordingly depending on the time of year you’re visiting.
28. Easy Vibe
Valencia is known for its laid-back and easy-going atmosphere. The locals, known as Valencians, are friendly and welcoming, making it easy for you to feel at home in the city. You’ll notice that people take their time and enjoy the simple things in life, like a coffee or a stroll through the park.
The city has a Mediterranean climate, which means that the weather is mild and sunny most of the year. This creates the perfect environment for outdoor activities, such as going to the beach, cycling, or having a picnic in the park.
One big plus for Valencia is that the city isn’t as crowded as Barcelona or Madrid, which adds to its relaxed atmosphere. You’ll be able to explore the city at your own pace without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by the crowds.
29. Reasonably Priced
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly destination that doesn’t skimp on quality, Valencia is the place for you. Compared to other major cities in Spain like Madrid and Barcelona, Valencia’s prices are significantly lower.
You can find various types of inexpensive restaurants, but even Michelin-awarded restaurants still offer significantly lower prices. Accommodations in Valencia are also reasonably priced.
In addition, you can easily find a variety of options ranging from budget hostels to luxurious hotels. The prices are lower compared to other major cities in Spain, and you can even find great deals during the off-season.
Transportation in Valencia is also affordable. The Valencia Tourist Card is a great option for tourists, as it combines free public urban transport (including to and from the airport) and free entrance to public museums. It also provides discounts of up to 25% on tour services and money-off offers in shops and restaurants.
Cards can be bought in 24, 48, and 72-hour bundles. Valencia’s affordability makes it an excellent destination for budget-conscious travelers. All in all, this lets you enjoy all the city has to offer without breaking the bank.
30. Very Safe
You may be wondering, “Is Valencia safe?” The answer is a resounding yes! Valencia is considered one of the safest cities in Spain.
You can walk around the city at night without fear of being mugged or attacked. However, as with any city, it’s always a good idea to keep your wits about you and take basic safety precautions.
Valencia has a low crime rate, and violent crime is rare. Pickpocketing and petty theft can happen, especially in crowded tourist areas, so keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.
In particular, don’t leave your wallet or phone on a table in a crowded cafe, for example. Keep them close to you or in a secure bag that you can see at all times, as losing your bag is the most likely crime to happen to you as a tourist.
31. Good Hikes Nearby
If you’re a nature lover, Valencia has plenty of hiking trails to offer. From scenic walks to challenging hikes, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the best hikes nearby:
- Albufera Rice Trail: This trail is located in L’Albufera natural park, which is famous for its paella and diverse wildlife. The lake here is the largest in Spain, and it’s surrounded by 21,000 hectares (51,892 acres) of spectacular landscape.
- Chulilla Hanging Bridges: Located in the Natural Park of Los Calderones, this route is a climbing paradise and one of the most wonderful hiking routes that can be traveled in the province of Valencia.
- Paraje Natural La Murta: This intermediate hiking tour requires good fitness and sure-footedness, but it’s worth it for the stunning views. The circular route to La Creu del Cardenal por el Cavall Bernat is 8.74 km long and takes about 3 hours and 19 minutes.
These are just a few of the many hiking trails available in Valencia. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a scenic walk, there is something for everyone.
While hiking in Valencia can be a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area, it’s important to keep in mind that the weather can be quite hot during the summer months. Make sure to bring plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
If you’re traveling with kids, Valencia is a great destination. There are plenty of activities that will keep them entertained and engaged throughout your trip.
One of the must-visit attractions for families is the City of Arts and Sciences. This modern architectural marvel has different scientific areas specifically designed for the enjoyment of children. The Science Museum (Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe) is a top draw for kids. It’s packed with interactive exhibits that make learning about science fun and exciting.
Gulliver Park is another popular attraction for kids. It’s a playground in the Turia inspired by the story of Gulliver’s Travels, with a giant Gulliver as the centerpiece. Kids can climb on and explore the giant figure, which is surrounded by slides and other fun attractions.
The rest of the Turia Park is also full of kid-friendly parks and bike paths. There seems to be a different parade every week, which adds to the festive atmosphere of the park. If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy some family time, this is the perfect spot.
Finally, the Valencia Bioparc Zoo is a surefire hit with kids. This innovative zoo is designed to replicate the natural habitats of the animals, making it an immersive and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
33. Well-connected Train Network to Other Major Cities
If you’re planning a trip to Valencia, you’ll be happy to know that the city is well-connected to other major cities in Spain via train. Spain has one of the best train networks in Europe, and Valencia is no exception.
You can easily travel to other popular destinations like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville by train, including the high-speed AVE trains to certain places. These are a great way to travel quickly and comfortably, with speeds of over 180mph.
One thing to keep in mind is that the best train services in Spain can be pricey if you book at the last minute. However, if you plan ahead and book your tickets in advance, you can often find good deals.
34. Near Buñol for La Tomatina
If you’re in Valencia during August, you may be looking to visit the world-famous La Tomatina festival held in the small town of Buñol, just 40km west of Valencia. This event draws in thousands of visitors from around the world who come to participate in the tomato-throwing spectacle.
This makes Valencia a great place to base yourself during this festival. Buñol is just a short train ride away, so you don’t actually have to stay there – although the main tomato fight of La Tomatina is quite early in the morning usually, so make sure you’re able to get there in time.
35. Named the Best Place in the World for Expats
If you’re looking for a place to live as an expat, Valencia, Spain should be at the top of your list. In 2020 and 2022, Valencia was named the best place in the world for expats by InterNations, and for good reason.
After all, the city offers a unique combination of culture, food, and a Mediterranean climate that’s hard to beat. With a low cost of living, Valencia is also an affordable option for those looking to move abroad.
One of the reasons Valencia is such a great place for expats is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The locals are known for being warm and hospitable, making it easy to feel at home in the city. Additionally, Valencia offers a high quality of life, with excellent healthcare, public transportation, and infrastructure.
Whether or not you’re considering Valencia as somewhere to live or just somewhere to visit, titles like this are definitely a good indication that Valencia is a city in Spain worth visiting!
Why Shouldn’t You Visit Valencia?
While there are plenty of reasons to visit this vibrant city, there are also a few reasons why it might not be the right destination for you. Here are some factors to consider:
You’ve never been to Spain before
I love Valencia, but I also fully acknowledge that if you’ve never been to Spain before, it probably shouldn’t be at the top of your list. Instead, Barcelona is going to be a must-do, as there are simply more famous things to see there.
While it can get pretty insane in the center of Barcelona with all the tourists, you should still make time to visit there, especially if you only have time for one city in Spain during your trip.
Seville is also beautiful and while I wouldn’t recommend going in summer as it’s way too hot, the architecture and food scene there may just put it higher on the list of cities in Spain to visit than Valencia.
If, however, you have the time, why not do all of them!
No World-Recognized Museums
If you’re a museum buff, Valencia may not be the best choice for you. While there are plenty of interesting museums in the city, none of them are world-renowned.
Instead, if you’re looking for a destination with famous art collections or historical artifacts, you might want to consider Madrid or Barcelona instead.
Valencia is famous for its festivals, including Las Fallas in March. While these events can be exciting and fun and are a huge draw for many tourists, they can also be quite noisy.
The streets are also packed during this time and depending on where you stay in the city, you’re not necessarily going to have a good night’s sleep.
So if you’re sensitive to loud noises or prefer a quieter vacation (including if you’re traveling with a pet), you might want to avoid Valencia during this season.
Beaches are Not Right In the City Center
If you’re looking for a beach vacation, Valencia might not be the best choice. While there are beaches near the city, they’re not within walking distance of the city center. You’ll need to take a bus or taxi to reach them, which can be inconvenient if you’re looking for a beachfront hotel or easy access to the water.
This may be a bit nitpicky and isn’t necessarily a reason why Valencia isn’t worth visiting. But if your main focus is a beach, you should probably consider one of the towns on the Costa Brava or an island.
Nightlife is Not the Best for Clubbing
While Valencia has plenty of bars, the clubbing scene isn’t as lively as in some other Spanish cities.
For that reason, if you’re looking for a party destination, you might want to consider Madrid or Barcelona instead – or even somewhere like Ibiza.
July and August are too hot
While I fully acknowledge that summer is the busiest time for tourism in Spain, I don’t always understand why. Barcelona, for example, is super hot during the summer and Valencia is even worse, if that’s possible.
The weather in Valencia is truly spectacular for the other ten months of the year, but for summer, go further north.
Congratulations! You have made it to the end of this article and have learned all about Valencia, Spain. Based on the information provided, it’s clear that Valencia is definitely worth visiting. There are so many things to see and do in this vibrant city that you will never run out of activities.
From its rich history and architecture to its modern attractions like the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia has something for everyone. The city’s bike-friendly infrastructure also makes it easy to explore and get around. With over 150km of cycle lanes and 40 bicycle-priority streets, you can easily navigate the city on two wheels.
However, it’s important to note that Valencia may not be for everyone. If you’re not a fan of hot weather, it may be best to avoid visiting in the summer months. Additionally, if you’re looking for a quiet, laid-back vacation, Valencia’s bustling city atmosphere may not be the best fit for you.
Overall, Valencia is a city that should be on your travel bucket list. With its stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and lively atmosphere, it’s a destination that you will not regret visiting. So pack your bags and get ready to explore all that Valencia has to offer!