If you’re planning a trip to Spain, you should definitely consider visiting Valencia. This beautiful city is known for many things, including its amazing mix of futuristic buildings, amazing historical sites, and mouth-watering food.
Imagine strolling through a place where old-world charm meets modern innovation – and all while your wander around the city is lined with orange trees!
And whether you’re interested in architecture, food, history, art, or simply enjoying a relaxing vacation, Valencia really does have something for everyone.
(After all, I should know: I live here!)
One of the things that Valencia is most famous for is this epic annual event that lights up the city with tons of colors and sounds – and it’s something everyone needs to experience at least once!
But there are a ton of other things here that are absolutely must-sees. So want to know more about this fiery fiesta and all the other awesome stuff that Valencia is known for? Stick around, and I’ll spill all the juicy details!
What’s Valencia Known For?
When you think of Valencia, the first thing that comes to mind is probably paella. This iconic dish is a staple of the region and has become famous all over the world.
Paella is a rice dish that’s typically made with saffron, meat or seafood, and vegetables. It’s usually cooked in a large, shallow pan called a paellera.
The origins of paella can actually be traced back to the region of Valencia, where it has been a popular dish for centuries. The dish was originally made by farmers and peasants who would cook rice over an open fire with whatever ingredients they had on hand, such as rabbit, chicken, and snails.
Over time, the dish evolved and became more refined, with seafood being added to the mix.
Today, there are many different variations of paella, each with its own unique twist. Some of the most popular types include:
- Paella Valenciana: The original paella recipe, made with chicken, rabbit, and sometimes snails.
- Paella de marisco (seafood paella): Made with a variety of seafood, such as shrimp, mussels, and clams.
- Paella mixta con marisco, carne y verduras (mixed paella): A combination of meat, seafood, and vegetables.
- Paella vegetariana (vegetarian paella): Made with vegetables and sometimes tofu or tempeh.
One of the best things about paella is that it’s a social dish that’s meant to be shared with friends and family. It’s often served at large gatherings and celebrations, such as weddings and festivals.
All this means that one thing that really makes Valencia worth visiting is having the chance to try some authentic paella for yourself!
2. City of Arts and Sciences
Located in the Turia Park (which I’ll get to in a moment) in the middle of Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences is a cultural and architectural complex that’s a must-visit destination. The complex was designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava and is one of the most important tourist attractions in the city.
The City of Arts and Sciences is a unique complex that combines science, art, and culture. The complex is home to several buildings, including:
- The Hemisfèric: An IMAX cinema, planetarium, and laserium that offers visitors an immersive and interactive experience
- The Science Museum: An interactive museum that explores science and technology through hands-on exhibits
- The Umbracle: A landscaped walkway that features indigenous plants and flowers, and it also serves as an open-air sculpture gallery (and my personal favorite part of this complex)
- The Oceanogràfic: The largest aquarium in Europe and is home to over 500 marine species
- The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía: An opera house that hosts world-class performances
They’ve even filmed a bunch of movies and TV shows here, including an upcoming Star Wars feature!
So whether you’re interested in science, art, or culture – or even just seeing the incredible buildings – there’s something for everyone here.
3. Valencia Cathedral
If you’re looking to explore Valencia’s rich history and culture, the Valencia Cathedral is a must-visit destination. The cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and is widely considered one of the city’s most important landmarks.
The cathedral was built in the 13th century and is dedicated to Saint Mary. It was constructed over the site of a former Visigothic cathedral that had been turned into a mosque under the Moors. The building process spanned several centuries, and as a result, the cathedral features elements of various architectural styles, including Romanesque and Baroque.
One of the most notable features of the Valencia Cathedral is its bell tower, known as “el Miguelete.” The tower stands at 51 meters tall and offers stunning views of the city. Visitors can climb the tower’s 207 steps to reach the top and take in the breathtaking views of Valencia’s skyline.
Inside the cathedral, visitors will find a wealth of art and artifacts, including paintings, sculptures, and tapestries.
One of the most famous pieces in the cathedral is what has been named the most likely candidate for being the real Holy Grail, believed to be the cup used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. Unsurprisingly, the Chapel of the Holy Chalice where this is kept is a particular highlight and is home to the cathedral’s most famous artifact.
4. Silk Exchange (Lonja de la Seda)
If you’re looking for a glimpse into Valencia’s rich history, you can’t miss the Silk Exchange, or Lonja de la Seda. This iconic building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an emblematic part of the city’s cultural heritage.
Built between 1482 and 1533, the Silk Exchange was originally used for trading in silk and other commodities. It’s a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture, with stunning details that will leave you in awe.
Its similarity with old medieval castles is based on the fierce, fortress-like appearance of its stone walls. The building comprises four parts: the Tower, the Sea Consulate Room, the Orange-tree Patio, and the Room of Columns. Each part has its unique charm and history.
One of the most impressive parts of the Silk Exchange is the Room of Columns. This room is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture, with its high ceilings, intricate carvings, and impressive columns.
In the past, this room was used for trading silk, and it’s easy to imagine the hustle and bustle of merchants negotiating deals.
Visiting the Silk Exchange is a must-do for anyone interested in Valencia’s history and architecture. The building is open to the public, and you can take a guided tour to learn more about its fascinating history. Plus it’s free to enter on Sundays!
5. Mercado Central (Central Market)
If you’re a foodie, a visit to the Mercado Central (Central Market) is a must-do when in Valencia. This market in Valencia is the largest in Europe with fresh produce and stands out for its rich and varied cuisine.
It’s located in one of the most emblematic modernist buildings in the city and covers more than 8,000 square meters over two floors. Make sure you look up when you’re inside as the roof in itself is spectacular.
Inside the market, you’ll find a wide array of fresh seafood, meat, fruits, and vegetables. The market is known for its special link between the orchard and the sea, making it the flagship of Valencian gastronomy.
The Central Market isn’t only a place to buy fresh produce, but it’s also a place to experience the culture and history of Valencia. The market has been in use for centuries, and after about ten years of work, it was inaugurated in the course of 1928 and decades later, in 2010, it was completely renovated.
Visiting the Mercado Central is a sensory experience that you won’t forget. You’ll see, smell, and taste the best of Valencia’s food culture. Whether you’re looking for fresh ingredients to cook with or want to indulge in the local cuisine, the Central Market is a must-visit destination in Valencia.
6. Turia Gardens (Jardín del Turia)
When you visit Valencia, you cannot miss the Turia Gardens. This 9-kilometer long park is the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature. It stretches from the City of Arts and Sciences to Cabecera Park, covering an area of approximately 160 hectares.
In fact, the park is the largest urban park in Spain and, as you can probably imagine, it’s a popular spot for both tourists and locals.
The Turia Gardens are unique because they were created in the former riverbed of the Turia River. After a devastating flood in 1957, the river was diverted, and the empty riverbed was transformed into a beautiful park.
Today, the park is home to more than 4,000 trees, including palm trees, orange trees, and pine trees. You can also find beautiful fountains, ponds, and bridges throughout the park.
While the City of Arts and Sciences is up one end of the Turia, there’s a lot more to see than that here. In particular, if you’re looking for a more active experience, the Turia Gardens have plenty to offer.
What I’d recommend is that you rent a bike to ride the full length of the Turia. It’s the best way to see everything that this area has to offer, especially if you’re short on time and think walking it will take too long.
7. Fallas Festival
If you happen to be in Valencia in mid-March, you’re in for a treat! The city is known for its Fallas Festival, a week-long celebration that culminates on March 19th, the feast day of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters.
The festival is a time of music, fireworks, and colorful parades, but the highlight of the event is the burning of the fallas.
What are fallas, you ask? They’re huge, satirical sculptures made of wood, papier-mâché, and other materials. The fallas are erected all over the city, and each neighborhood has its own falla.
The sculptures are often political or social commentaries, and they’re often extremely elaborate and intricate. During the festival, there is a contest to determine the best falla, and the winner is saved from the flames.
But fear not, all the other fallas are burned in a spectacular display of flames and fireworks. The burning of the fallas, known as La Cremà, takes place on the night of March 19th.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that it’s truly a unique experience. The entire city is taken over by an electric atmosphere as the fallas are set ablaze one by one, and the crowds cheer and dance around the fires.
The Fallas Festival is a unique and unforgettable experience, and it’s no wonder that it attracts millions of visitors every year. If you’re planning a trip to Valencia in March, make sure you don’t miss this incredible celebration!
8. La Tomatina Festival
While this isn’t in the city of Valencia, it is just next door so I’m pretty comfortable in including it on a list what Valencia is known for!
That is, if you’re looking for an exciting and unique experience during your visit to Valencia, you won’t want to miss the famous La Tomatina Festival. Held annually in the small town of Buñol, an easy day trip from Valencia, this festival is all about throwing tomatoes at each other.
If you haven’t heard of it, every year, thousands of people from all over the world gather in Buñol to participate in the tomato fight. Trucks filled with tomatoes enter the town square, and the participants begin throwing them at each other, creating a chaotic and messy scene.
The tomato fight lasts for about an hour, after which the participants clean up and the town square is hosed down.
La Tomatina is a truly crazy experience that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a great way to let loose and have fun with people from all over the world. Just be sure to wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting stained with tomato juice!
9. Best Place in the World for Expats
It’s good to know what Valencia is famous for if you’re looking for a new place to call home, not only for a potential visit – and Valencia has that too!
That is, according to a study by InterNations, Valencia was ranked the best city in the world for expats in 2020 and 2022.
So what makes Valencia such a great place for expats? For starters, the climate is unbeatable. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, you can enjoy the beautiful beaches and outdoor activities all year round.
But Valencia is more than just a sunny destination. It also offers a low cost of living compared to other major European cities. You can enjoy delicious food and wine without breaking the bank, and property prices are also affordable.
Another reason why Valencia is a great place for expats is its location. It’s located on the Mediterranean coast, making it a perfect destination for beach lovers. But it’s also close to other major cities like Madrid and Barcelona, so you can easily explore other parts of Spain.
Finally, Valencia offers a great quality of life. The city is known for its beautiful architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture. There are plenty of festivals and events throughout the year, so you’ll never be bored.
Plus, the city is home to a large expat community, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet new people and make friends.
So if you’re looking for a new adventure and a great place to call home, Valencia should definitely be on your radar. With its unbeatable climate, low cost of living, and high quality of life, it’s no wonder why it’s the best place in the world for expats.
10. Torres de Serranos (Serranos Towers)
If you’re looking for a glimpse into Valencia’s rich history, the Torres de Serranos should be on your list. These towers are one of the twelve gates that formed part of the city’s medieval walls, built in the 14th century to defend Valencia from invaders (and subsequently used as a prison during the 19th century as well as being the site of many public executions).
The Torres de Serranos is a well-preserved example of Valencia’s Gothic architecture. The towers are made of stone and brick, and their pentagonal shape provides a unique view of the city from the top.
They’re located in the historic center of Valencia, near the Turia Gardens and the Quart Towers. You can climb up the stairs to the top of the towers and enjoy stunning views of Valencia’s skyline.
If you’re planning to visit the Torres de Serranos, it’s important to note that the towers have limited opening hours so make sure you check for the day you plan to go.
11. Valencia’s Beaches
While great beaches in Spain are a dime a dozen, Valencia shouldn’t be overlooked here. The city’s coastline is a mix of long stretches of sand, coves, and sand dunes.
In fact, there’s really something for everyone here, whether you’re looking for a buzzing city beach or a quiet spot amid wild wetlands.
The most famous (and popular) beach in Valencia is La Malvarrosa. This urban beach is located just a short distance from the city center and is a great place to soak up some sun. You’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants nearby, making it easy to grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
For something a little more secluded, head to Playa de la Devesa. This beach is located within the Albufera Natural Park and is a great place to escape the crowds. You can take a boat ride through the park’s wetlands or simply relax on the beach and enjoy the peace and quiet.
If you’re looking for water sports, head to Playa de Patacona. This beach is a popular spot for windsurfing, sailing, and SUP paddling. You’ll find plenty of rental shops nearby, so you can easily rent equipment and hit the water.
Valencia’s beaches are also home to a number of festivals throughout the year. One of the most popular is the Nit de Sant Joan, which takes place on the night of June 23rd. This festival celebrates the summer solstice and involves bonfires, fireworks, and lots of partying.
Overall, Valencia’s beaches offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a lively city beach or a quiet spot to relax, you’re sure to find it here.
12. Albufera Natural Park
You can’t visit Valencia without taking a trip to the beautiful Albufera Natural Park. This 21,000-hectare park is home to the largest lake on the Iberian Peninsula and is separated from the sea by a 10 km stretch of land. The park is a haven for unique migratory birds and waterfowl, making it a perfect spot for bird watching.
One of the most popular ways to explore the park is by boat. You can take a boat ride through the lake and enjoy the stunning views of the sunset.
The park is also known for its rice fields, which are used to make the famous Valencian paella. You can learn about the history and origins of paella at the Albufera Park Interpretation Center.
If you’re looking for a more active way to explore the park, you can rent a bike and ride along the 78-kilometer circular route that runs through the paddy fields in the marshes and the Mediterranean coastal forest.
Oh, Valencia and its world-famous oranges! This sun-drenched city is the proud inspiration of some of the juiciest, sweetest oranges you’ll ever taste – even if the type of orange called Valencian orange isn’t actually originally from Valencia!
While the oranges grown here are delicious, perhaps even better is the sight of the orange tree-lined streets of Valencia. It’s almost unbelievable that you can see this inside a major city!
And don’t forget to try some of the delicious local dishes and drinks that showcase these zesty fruits, like fresh orange juice, orange-infused desserts, and even orange-flavored cocktails!
14. Best museum in Europe
L’Etno – Museo Valenciano de Etnología is a gem of a museum that you can find in the heart of Valencia. In fact, it’s recently been named the Best Museum in the whole of Europe for 2023, and I assure you, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss!
This museum is a treasure trove that showcases the rich cultural heritage and history of the Valencian people. As you wander through the halls of this magnificent museum, you’ll be transported through time, witnessing firsthand the incredible stories, traditions, and daily lives of the people who have called this region home for centuries.
L’Etno boasts an extensive collection that lets you not only gain insight into the customs and beliefs of the Valencian people, but also get a unique opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in this vibrant culture. Plus, it’s housed in the stunning Centre Cultural La Beneficència, a beautifully restored 19th-century building that adds a touch of elegance to your visit – just in case you need another reason to pop by!
15. One of the most bike-friendly cities in Spain
Calling all cycling enthusiasts! Valencia is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Spain, boasting an extensive network of bike lanes, plenty of bike rental stations, and gorgeous parks and gardens perfect for a leisurely ride.
Imagine exploring the city’s charming streets, historic landmarks, and stunning architecture on two wheels, feeling the gentle sea breeze on your face as you pedal your way through this vibrant metropolis (which, fortunately, is very flat so easy to get around).
If you’re up for a real adventure, you can even cycle along the city’s famous Turia Gardens, a stunning nine-kilometer park that was once a riverbed. Trust me, Valencia is a cyclist’s dream come true!
16. Barrio del Carmen (El Carmen Neighborhood)
You cannot talk about Valencia without mentioning Barrio del Carmen. This historic neighborhood is located in the heart of Valencia’s Old Town and is known for its vibrant atmosphere, stunning architecture, and delicious Mediterranean cuisine.
Barrio del Carmen has to be on your to-do list for anyone visiting Valencia. Its medieval side streets are bursting with Mediterranean spirit, and its ancient buildings and churches are a testament to the neighborhood’s rich history.
One of the most popular things to do in Barrio del Carmen is to explore its many bars and restaurants. The neighborhood is renowned for its Mediterranean cuisine, and you’ll find everything from traditional tapas to modern fusion dishes. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or a leisurely meal, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes.
But Barrio del Carmen isn’t just about food and drink. The neighborhood is also home to a thriving arts scene, with many galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists. And if you’re interested in street art, you’ll find plenty of it in Barrio del Carmen.
The neighborhood is particularly famous for its wealth of street art and graffiti, which is fun to look for when you stroll through its maze of streets.
17. L’Oceanogràfic (Oceanogràfic Aquarium)
As mentioned earlier, if you’re looking for a unique and exciting experience in Valencia, look no further than L’Oceanogràfic. This incredible aquarium is located in the City of Arts and Sciences and is the largest of its kind in Europe.
Inside, you’ll find a stunning array of marine life, including sharks, dolphins, sea lions, and more. The aquarium is divided into several different sections, each representing a different marine ecosystem. You can explore the Mediterranean, the Arctic, the Red Sea, and more, all from the comfort of Valencia.
One of the highlights of L’Oceanogràfic is the underwater tunnel, which allows you to walk through a massive tank filled with sharks, rays, and other sea creatures. It’s a truly immersive experience that’s sure to leave you in awe.
But L’Oceanogràfic isn’t just a place to see marine life – it’s also a center for research and conservation. The aquarium is committed to protecting the world’s oceans and educating visitors about the importance of conservation.
You can even participate in a behind-the-scenes tour to learn more about the work being done at L’Oceanogràfic – perfect for the child in your life dreaming of becoming a marine biologist!
18. Plaza de la Reina (Queen’s Square)
Located in the heart of the city’s historic quarter, Plaza de la Reina is surrounded by cafes, tapas bars, and restaurants, making it a perfect spot to enjoy a drink or a meal.
Plaza de la Reina is home to some of Valencia’s most iconic landmarks, including the Valencia Cathedral, the Miguelete bell tower, and the Santa Catalina bell tower. You can climb the towers for spectacular views of the city, or simply admire them from the square.
It’s also recently reopened after extensive renovations so come and check out how it’s changed!
If you’re looking for a refreshing drink to cool you down on a hot day in Valencia, look no further than horchata. This milky drink, made from tiger nuts (meaning it’s very different from the Mexican drink of the same name!), is a must-try when visiting the region.
Horchata has been a traditional drink in Valencia for centuries, with the oldest references to the drink dating back to the 13th century. One of the most recognizable recipes from the region, horchata is often enjoyed alongside another Valencian specialty, paella.
If you’re interested in trying horchata for yourself, the most famous place is Santa Catalina, a historic horchatería that’s been around since the early 1900s.
Whether you’re a fan of milk drinks or just looking to try something new, horchata is a must-try when in Valencia.
20. Agua de Valencia
Sure, you may have had an horchata – but all those oranges around the city have to be good for something, right? Well, look no further than Agua de Valencia. This iconic cocktail is a local favorite and is enjoyed by both tourists and locals alike.
The drink is made with freshly squeezed orange juice, cava (aka Spanish sparkling wine), gin, and vodka, making for a delicious and potent combination.
Agua de Valencia is best enjoyed in the evening, either as an aperitif or after-dinner drink. It’s perfect for sipping on a warm summer evening or for celebrating a special occasion with friends.
If you’re looking to try this iconic drink, there are plenty of bars and restaurants in Valencia that serve it, although Cafe de las Horas is the most famous for this.
21. Mercado de Colón (Colón Market)
No visit to Valencia is complete without popping through Mercado de Colón, also known as Colón Market. This historic building was designed by the architect Francisco Mora Berenguer in the early 20th century and is a stunning example of Valencian art nouveau.
Inside, you’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants, including high-end fashion boutiques, artisanal food vendors, and trendy cafes. The market is also home to regular cultural events, such as live music performances and art exhibitions.
And it’s no wonder that the structure has been listed as a National Monument. After all, one of the highlights of Colón Market is the stunning glass dome that covers the central courtyard. This beautiful feature floods the space with natural light and creates a unique atmosphere that’s perfect for shopping, dining, or simply people-watching.
If you’re a fan of architecture, you’ll appreciate the intricate details and unique design elements that can be found throughout the building. From the colorful ceramic tiles to the ornate ironwork, there’s something to admire around every corner.
If you’re a seafood lover, you’re in for a treat when you visit Valencia. The region is famous for its delicious seafood dishes, and one of the most popular is Fideuà.
This dish is similar to paella, but instead of rice, it’s made with noodles. Fideuà is a traditional main course that’s cooked in a paella pan with seafood cooked in fish broth.
The dish is said to have originated from the coast of Valencia and is now popular throughout the region. According to legend, it was created by fishermen who wanted to make a dish that was easy to prepare while they were out at sea.
They used noodles instead of rice and added seafood from their daily catch. The dish became popular among locals and is now a staple in many Valencian restaurants.
The noodles used in Fideuà are typically short and thin, called fideo. They’re usually cooked until they’re slightly crispy and then added to the seafood broth.
The seafood used in the dish can vary, but it often includes shrimp, clams, mussels, and squid. The broth is made with fish stock, tomatoes, garlic, and onion, and it’s seasoned with paprika and saffron, giving it a rich and flavorful taste.
If you’re looking to try Fideuà, there are many restaurants in Valencia that serve this delicious dish. It’s a great way to experience the local cuisine and get a taste of Valencia’s seafood culture.
23. Turia Fountain (Fuente del Turia)
If you’re looking for a stunning piece of architecture in Valencia, look no further than the Turia Fountain (Fuente del Turia). Located in the Plaza De La Virgen, this fountain is the centerpiece of the plaza and is a must-see for anyone visiting Valencia.
The fountain pays homage to the River Turia that once flowed through Valencia until devastating floods in the 1950s saw the river diverted. The main figure of the fountain represents the River Turia, and there are numerous other figures and sculptures that add to the beauty and symbolism of the fountain.
Surrounded by exquisite looking buildings, the Turia Fountain is a wonderful spot to take a break from exploring the city and take in the sights and sounds of Valencia. Whether you’re a history buff or just appreciate beautiful architecture, the Turia Fountain is sure to impress.
24. Plaza del Ayuntamiento (City Hall Square)
Looking for a central hub of activity in Valencia? Then look no further than Plaza del Ayuntamiento. This square is the heart of the city and is surrounded by beautiful sights, including a number of buildings from the 19th and early 20th century, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
One of the most notable buildings in the square is the City Hall, which is made up of two connected blocks: the Casa de la Enseñanza (the old Mayoral School) and the section that was added by the architects Francisco de Mora y Berenguer and Carlos Carbonell Pañella at the beginning of this century.
The City Hall is an impressive sight to behold and is a great representation of the neoclassical architecture that’s so prevalent in the city.
Another popular attraction in the square is the fountain, which is surrounded by benches and is a great place to relax and people-watch. The fountain is particularly beautiful at night when it’s lit up and the water dances to the beat of music.
Throughout the year, Plaza del Ayuntamiento is the site of many festivals and events, including the famous Fallas festival in March. During this time, the square is transformed into a colorful and vibrant spectacle, with elaborate sculptures and fireworks displays.
25. Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas (Marqués de Dos Aguas Palace)
Looking for a glimpse into Valencia’s rich history? Then the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas is a must-visit attraction. This stunning palace is widely regarded as one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Spain and is located in one of the most central locations in the city.
The palace was originally built in the 15th century for the Rabassa De Perellós family, but it was later renovated in the 18th century by the Marqués de Dos Aguas. The result is a breathtaking combination of Gothic, Baroque, and Rococo styles that will leave you in awe.
One of the most impressive features of the palace is its ornate facade, which is covered in intricate carvings and sculptures. The entrance is also worth noting, as it features a beautiful archway that leads into the palace’s central courtyard.
Inside, you’ll find a museum that showcases the palace’s impressive collection of ceramics, furniture, and other decorative arts. The museum is a great way to learn more about Valencia’s rich cultural heritage and get a sense of what life was like for the city’s nobility in the 18th century.
26. Quart Towers (Torres de Quart)
Valencia is known for its rich history and stunning architecture, and the Quart Towers (Torres de Quart) should be on your itinerary when visiting the city. These towers were built in the 15th century as part of the city’s fortification walls and are a prime example of late Gothic military architecture.
The towers were designed by Pere Bofill and were used to control access to the walled city. They were also used as a women’s prison during the 16th century. The Quart Towers are cylindrical on the outside and flat behind, with a distinctive Gothic style that sets them apart from other buildings in Valencia.
Today, the Quart Towers are a popular tourist attraction and offer visitors a glimpse into Valencia’s rich history. You can climb to the top of the towers for stunning views of the city, or simply admire the intricate details of the Gothic architecture.
27. Calatrava Bridge (Puente de la Exposición)
You can’t talk about Valencia’s architecture without mentioning the Calatrava Bridge, also known as the Puente de la Exposición. This iconic bridge was designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city.
The bridge’s unique shape, resembling an ornamental comb, is a testament to Calatrava’s signature style of combining engineering with aesthetics. The bridge’s inclined arch spans the Turia river, connecting the city center to the City of Arts and Sciences.
The Calatrava Bridge was completed in 1995 and has since become a symbol of Valencia’s avant-garde atmosphere. It’s a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, offering stunning views of the city and the surrounding landscape.
28. Monastery of San Miguel de los Reyes
The Monastery of San Miguel de los Reyes is another beautiful building that Valencia is known for, as one of the most important monuments in the city and is a must-see for anyone interested in history and architecture.
The Monastery was founded by the Duke of Calabria in the 16th century and is considered to be one of the best examples of Valencian Renaissance architecture. It was designed to be a Royal Pantheon, a Hieronymite monastery, a college, and a church.
The building is currently home to the Biblioteca Valenciana, the Valencian Library, which houses a vast collection of books and manuscripts that date back to the Middle Ages.
The Monastery of San Miguel de los Reyes is a perfect example of the influence of El Escorial on Valencian architecture. The building was designed by Juan de Vidaña and Alonso de Covarrubias, two of the most important architects of the time, and features a beautiful courtyard, a stunning church, and a series of cloisters that are perfect for a peaceful stroll.
29. Valencian Ceramics
Anyone on the hunt for a unique and beautiful souvenir from Valencia should look no further than the city’s world-renowned ceramics. Valencian ceramics have a rich history and are known for their intricate designs and vibrant colors.
The tradition of ceramics in Valencia dates back to the Roman Empire, and the region has been a hub for ceramic production ever since. Today, you can find ceramics in all forms, from decorative plates and vases to practical items like tiles and kitchenware.
One of the most famous places to see Valencian ceramics is the National Ceramics Museum, which is home to an impressive collection of ceramics from many different periods and cultures. The museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in ceramics, art, or history.
If you’re interested in seeing how ceramics are made, you can also take a tour of one of Valencia’s many ceramics workshops. These tours will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the production process and allow you to see firsthand how these beautiful pieces are created.
30. Bioparc Valencia
Bioparc Valencia is a 10-hectare zoo park that’s home to a large collection of African fauna, with close to a thousand animals of 150 different African species.
But Bioparc Valencia is more than just a zoo. Its design employs the “zooimmersion” concept, in which visitors are surrounded by meticulous recreations of the natural habitats being presented. This means that you’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of the action, rather than just observing from a distance.
One of the things that makes Bioparc Valencia so special is that it has specially designed habitats to ensure the utmost well-being and comfort of the animals. The barriers between visitors and the animals are practically invisible, so you’ll feel like you’re part of the natural environment.
Social animals that live together in groups are displayed, as well as groups of different species that coexist in the same habitats.
Some of the animals you can expect to see at Bioparc Valencia include Congolese Gorillas, Madagascan Lemurs, Savannah Lions, and Nile Hippos. There are also plenty of birds, reptiles, and other fascinating creatures to discover.
31. Calle de la Paz (Peace Street)
Walking down Calle de la Paz, you’ll be surrounded by stunning Art Nouveau buildings that are a testament to Valencia’s rich architectural history. Today, it’s a bustling street in the center of Valencia that’s home to many shops, restaurants, and cafes.
One of the most notable buildings on Calle de la Paz is the Edificio Ferrer, which was built in 1907 and designed by architect Francisco Mora Berenguer. This building features intricate details and a beautiful façade that will leave you in awe.
Another one to see is the Casa de los Dragones, which is adorned with dragon sculptures and is a prime example of the Art Nouveau style. Keep an eye out as well for the Casa de los Caramelos, which was once a candy factory and now houses the Valencia Tourism Office.
32. Church of San Nicolás de Bari and San Pedro Mártir
If you’re looking for a truly artistic treasure in the heart of Valencia’s historic center, look no further than the Church of San Nicolás de Bari and San Pedro Mártir. This stunning church has a rich history that dates back centuries.
Originally an early Christian temple, it was transformed into a mosque in the 8th century before becoming a Christian church again after the conquest by Jaume I. The church is a true work of art, with a Valencian Gothic-style layout that includes a single-nave with six chapels between the buttresses and polygonal apse.
The interiors were famously decorated with fresco paintings of scenes between 1690 and 1693. Recently restored, the church now features a pictorial display that experts have called the Valencian “Sistine Chapel.”
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, the Church of San Nicolás de Bari and San Pedro Mártir is an essential stop. Be sure to take the time to appreciate the stunning artwork and rich history that this beautiful church has to offer.
33. Russafa Market (Mercado de Russafa)
The true tastes of Valencia are in the city’s markets so, for this, look no further than the Russafa Market. Located in the heart of Valencia, the Quart Market is filled with vendors selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other local specialties. You can find everything from locally grown veggies (keep an eye out for some of the weirdest looking yet delicious tomatoes you’ll ever find) to exotic fruits and spices from around the world.
One of the highlights of the Quart Market is the seafood section, where you can find a variety of fresh fish, octopus, squid, and more. The vendors here are experts in their craft and can help you choose the perfect seafood for your next meal.
And the building itself is worth the visit alone, with its colorful facade really helping it to stand out from the crowd.
34. City of Valencia Marathon
If you’re a runner, you’ll know that Valencia is famous for its marathon. The Valencia Marathon is an annual marathon road running event hosted by Valencia, Spain since 1981.
In fact, it’s categorized as a Platinum Label Road Race by World Athletics, which is the highest category in road running events.
The Valencia Marathon is held annually in the historic city of Valencia. With its entirely flat circuit and perfect November temperature, averaging between 12-17 degrees, it represents the ideal setting for hosting such a long-distance sporting challenge. The marathon has been growing in popularity over the years, and in 2022, it exceeded its pre-pandemic figures and generated tourist spending of 27 million.
The Valencia Marathon has also become well-known for being one of the fastest marathon races in the world. In 2022, Kiptum (2:01:53) and Beriso (2:14:58) placed the Valencia Marathon as one of the fastest in the world. It’s no surprise that many elite runners come to Valencia to compete in the marathon and try to set new records.
35. Museum of Natural Science (Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Valencia)
Fans of natural history have to visit the Museum of Natural Science in Valencia. The museum is located in the heart of the city and is home to an impressive collection of fossils, rocks, minerals, and plants.
The museum offers a fascinating insight into the natural world and is a great place for both adults and children. The exhibits are well-presented and informative, and there are plenty of interactive displays to keep you engaged.
You can learn about the different ecosystems that exist in the world, the evolution of life on earth, and the impact of humans on the environment. It’s open every day except Monday and entry is free on Sundays and public holidays.
36. Palace of the Marquis of Scala (Palacio del Marqués de Scala)
You cannot talk about Valencia’s rich culture without mentioning the Palace of the Marquis of Scala. This stunning palace is located in the heart of Valencia’s Old Town and is a must-visit for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike.
Originally constructed in the 16th century, the Palacio de los Boil was owned by the Marquis of Scala and has since undergone several renovations. Today, it serves as the Provincial Government headquarters and is open to the public for guided tours.
The palace’s architecture is a beautiful blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The intricate details and ornate decorations are a testament to the wealth and power of the Marquis of Scala. As you explore the palace, you’ll be transported back in time to a world of opulence and grandeur.
One of the highlights of the palace is the stunning courtyard, which is surrounded by beautiful arches and columns. The courtyard is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the bustling city and is the perfect place to relax and soak up the atmosphere.
37. Estación del Norte
When it comes to breathtaking architecture, Valencia’s Estación del Norte is an absolute gem you can’t miss. This beautifully preserved Modernist train station, designed by architect Demetrio Ribes, is a true testament to the city’s rich architectural heritage.
From the moment you step inside, you’ll be captivated by the intricate mosaic tilework, ornate ironwork, and stunning stained-glass windows that adorn this historic transportation hub.
But it’s not just about the looks—the station also serves as a bustling gateway to the rest of Spain and beyond, making it a fantastic starting point for all your Valencian adventures.
38. Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia (Valencia Museum of Fine Arts)
Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia. Founded in 1913 and located in the historical center of Valencia, the collection of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia is truly outstanding and comprises works of art from all periods of Valencian painting and other Spanish and European schools.
The museum has an impressive collection of Gothic and Renaissance paintings, as well as works by Spanish masters such as Velázquez, Goya, and Sorolla. It’s also housed in a beautiful building that was originally built as a seminary in the 17th century.
The museum has several galleries, each dedicated to a particular period or style of art. If you’re interested in Spanish art, the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia is definitely worth a visit.
39. Port of Valencia
The Port of Valencia is the largest port in Spain and the fifth busiest in Europe. It’s the center of economic activity in an area of influence encompassing a radius of 350 km.
The port is a key player in the Spanish economy, handling more than 70 million tons of cargo annually. It’s a hub for container traffic, with more than 5 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) handled each year. The port is also a major gateway for the import and export of cars, with more than 700,000 vehicles passing through each year.
Sure, this won’t be a major draw for everyone. But there’s no doubt that it’s something that Valencia is known for – at least in the shipping community!
Is Valencia famous for oranges?
You bet Valencia is famous for its oranges! If there’s one thing this sun-kissed city is known for besides its stunning architecture and mouth-watering cuisine, it’s those juicy, delicious oranges that grow in abundance all around the region and along the city’s streets.
Trust me, they’re a game-changer, and you’ll want to sample these citrus wonders for yourself when you visit Valencia.
One thing I love about Valencia in the spring is the fact that so many trees lining the city’s streets are filled with oranges. It’s such a beautiful sight – helped by the fact that, actually, the oranges growing on the trees are (so I’m told) specifically bred to be too sour to eat! This means no one steals them so you get to enjoy the sight of them all season long.
And you can’t leave Valencia without trying its famous agua de Valencia. No, it’s not water, but a cocktail in which orange juice is the main ingredient. It’s pretty strong and quite sweet so you won’t even notice the alcohol – well, maybe not until you stand up. For a warm day, it’s really delicious.
What food is Valencia famous for?
If you’re a foodie like me, you’re going to absolutely love Valencia! This city is a food lover’s paradise, offering an irresistible variety of culinary delights. But there are a few standout dishes that are synonymous with Valencia, and you’ve just got to try them when you visit.
First up is the famous paella, which was actually born right here in Valencia. Picture a scrumptious, saffron-infused rice dish, brimming with fresh seafood – or, to eat it the actual Valenciana way, with rabbit, tender chicken and snails.
Whichever type you choose, one bite of this Valencian classic, and you’ll be in food heaven, my friend. And the best part? You can find authentic paella in many of the city’s charming restaurants and outdoor eateries.
Another must-try is horchata, a refreshing, milky beverage made from tiger nuts. If you’ve had the Mexican version, this one’s completely different – and much sweeter, so brace yourself for that.
It’s also important to drink this with fartons. Don’t let the name that’s hilarious to my toddler nephew stop you, as these are elongated, sugar-coated pastries. And dunking a farton into your horchata is a match made in food heaven. Trust me, you won’t be able to get enough of this delightful duo!
And finally, let’s not forget the tasty tapas that you’ll find all over the city. From patatas bravas and jamón ibérico to croquetas and calamari, Valencia offers an incredible array of tapas to satisfy any craving.
Picture yourself hopping from one tapas bar to another, savoring the rich flavors and chatting with the friendly locals. What a way to spend an evening, right?