15 best things to do in Valencia: art, culture, and nightlife

Claire McQue

Nov 23, 2021 • 8 min read

Young woman riding a bicycle in Valencia and exploring the city

From exploring by bike to getting the most of the city's nightlife, here are the top things to do in Valencia © martin-dm / Getty Images

More than 2000 years of history have shaped Valencia 's eclectic barrios , where atmospheric music bars and inventive restaurants are now springing up. Valencians are proud of their paella and passionate about politics, a fervor that ignites the city during Las Fallas festival in spring. But Valencia is far more than just a pitstop for partygoers – it packs a cultural punch too. Here are the top 15 things to do in Valencia.  

1. Admire avant-garde architecture in the Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias

Futuristic and otherworldly, this cultural complex designed by renowned local architect Santiago Calatrava underpins Valencia’s reputation for innovative design. Begin with a guided tour of the Palau de les Arts , the towering white opera house that cantilevers over an azure pool, then track down the answers to any burning questions about the world in the science museum . Its "Chromosome forest" does a great job of explaining how genes work. 

2. Discover Valencia by bicycle

Flying along the extensive network of cycle lanes is the most practical – and enjoyable – way to get to grips with Spain’s third-largest city. Navigating is easy; much of Valencia is organized around a grid system and the wide boulevards are mercifully flat. The city also has its own bike sharing scheme, Valenbisi , which allows users to hire a bike and return it to different spots around the city. Once you’ve hired a bicycle, wheel toward the Jardines del Turia, a 5.6-mile (9km) stretch of greenery that curves around the eastern flank of the city.

People picnic on the grass under a palm tree in a wide open garden overlooked by medieval towers

3. Picnic in the Jardines del Turia

Best free thing to do in valencia.

When a flood devastated Valencia in 1957, urbanists decided to reroute the river away from the low-lying city center and transform the riverbed into a garden. The Jardines del Turia links the Bioparc – a zoo full of African wildlife – with the Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias. In the afternoon, the park is an ideal spot to esmorzar (to lunch in Valencian) beneath the palm trees or return on rollerblades at sunset to cut shapes with the young crowd who skate to reggaeton.

4. Head to the beach

With nearly 12.5 miles (20km) of long, sandy beaches to choose from , it is no wonder that the city decamps to the coast at the weekend. Busy Playa de las Arenas , a delightful freeway of soft, muscovado-colored sand just north of the port, is the city’s most accessible stretch of shoreline. 

This is where friends gather around a cool box of cervezas and where grandparents on deckchairs keep a watchful eye on children happily building sandcastles. So grab a cocktail from a chiringuito (beach bar) and lie back on your deckchair. Further north, Platja de la Patacona is more low-key. Only the seagulls will disturb you here – and the occasional cheer from the beach volleyball courts.

5. Taste a traditional paella

Valencia is the home of paella and feasting on the saffron rice dish at lunchtime is a Sunday ritual. Eat your fill at La Pepica – Ernest Hemingway’s favorite spot – or venture out of town to El Saler, a village by the L’Albufera natural park. It was these floodplains where the Moors grew rice in the 8th century, paving the way towards the creation of Spain’s most famous dish. Traditionally, ingredients in a paella are sourced from the land, so be prepared to swap the seafood for rabbit and snail. 

6. Explore the old haunt of painter Joaquín Sorolla

Sun-soaked El Cabanyal is Valencia at its prettiest. Situated next to the ocean, this working-class barrio of low-rise, tiled houses was once a fishing village. The impressionist painter Joaquín Sorolla was born here too. His former home – Calle de las Mantas, 8 – has a small plaque outside. Crane your neck outside Carrer del Mediterrani, 37 to see a mosaic of an oxen dragging a fishing vessel out of the ocean. It is reminiscent of the scene the Sorolla painted in Sol de la Tarde (Afternoon Sun). 

Slightly dilapidated but utterly charming, the quarter is a favorite with locals, unlike more gentrified parts of the city. Let your hair down to live music at La Fábrica de Hielo , a former ice factory. A few blocks away, the gourmet food trucks at Mercabanyal attract the cool kids, so get ready to join the line – even on a Sunday.

A square lined with historic stone buildings and a large fountain in the center. People are pausing for photos and to enjoy the architecture

7. Experience old Valencia in the historic center

The Ciutat Vella ("Old City") is Valencia’s soul. Wind through tranquil plazas towards the cathedral , a 13th-century masterpiece that was once a mosque and before that, a Roman temple. Inside, great stone archways draw the eye upwards to a glorious fresco that depicts frolicking cherubs in gold leaf. After the baking heat of the city, the cathedral’s sacrosanct depths are something of a balm, for mind and body. Climb up the El Miguelete bell tower for one of the best views in Valencia. 

Not enough Gothic architecture for one afternoon? Imagine Valencia as it was during the Golden Age inside La Lonja – the old silk exchange that was at the heart of the city’s wealth in the 15th century. Indeed it was a Valencian banker who coughed up the funds for Christopher Colombus’ voyage to the Americas.

8. Celebrate creativity at Las Fallas and Festival de les Arts

The arrival of spring brings Valencia’s biggest, boldest fiesta . Las Fallas is an unbridled display of creativity, color, and endless fireworks, with a political twist. The fiery frenzy lasts for 19 days and finishes with the Cremà ; when figurines of political figures called ninots (Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have featured in the past) are set ablaze. 

Valencia lights up again in June during the Festival de les Arts, an epic weekend of bands and electronic music held in the Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias.  

9. Try tapas by a Michelin-starred chef at the market

No trip to Valencia is complete without a trip to the Mercat Central , an arresting modernist building that dates back to 1928. Peruse the food stalls in the morning then stop for gourmet boccadillos (sandwiches) and tapas at Central Bar . The buzzy, zero-kilometer eatery is run by Ricard Camarena , a mega-chef on the Valencian culinary scene whose restaurants have won Michelin stars. Prices here are higher than elsewhere in the city but worth paying. 

People sit outside a bar at tables and chairs in the evening

10. Wander around Ruzafa

With its picturesque townhouses and new-wave coffee shops, this barrio is popular with Valencia's growing expat community. The former working-class district now buzzes with young people who are drawn to its fusion restaurants, wine bars, and late-night spots. 

Hints of Ruzafa’s roots remain in the market, housed in a squat building in the central square. The neighborhood is sleepy during the day, then livelier come nightfall. If you are looking to meet people, this is the place to visit. Try Gave Mx for cocktails then head to La Escuela de Ruzafa for live music and flamenco. 

11. Eat at a traditional bodega

There is a reason why Casa Montaña has been around since 1836. Now one of the city’s best-known restaurants, food here is consistently excellent and the dark wood interior transports you to old-world Spain. Try the anguila ahumada (smoked eel), typically hauled out of the L’Albufera, a freshwater lake. Wash it all down with a glass of Bobal, a light, fruity regional red.

12. Listen to jazz in El Carmen

Best thing to do at night .

If you are looking for things to do once the sun goes down, head to the El Carmen barrio. The meandering alleyways are frequented by a bohemian bunch and the neighborhood is home to several music bars. Jimmy Glass is one of the best, with a stellar line up of Spanish and international groups and a jazz festival in the fall. Clap along to jam sessions at L'Ermità or shimmy to rock, folk, blues, and more at Peter Rock Club .

13. Ponder the artworks of Spanish Masters

Culture vultures should not miss the Museo de Bellas Artes , the second largest art gallery in Spain and easily recognizable by its splendid cerulean dome. Mull over artworks by Joaquín Sorolla, Francisco Goya, and El Greco, plus one of only two self-portraits that Diego Velázquez ever painted.

14. Visit Benimaclet in the evening

Away from the main square, Benimaclet lacks the heritage architecture found in other parts of the city, but the district’s lively spirit makes up for it. In any one of the numerous bars that spill onto the pavement, try Agua de Valencia , a deceptively lethal cocktail composed of orange juice and various alcohols. For dinner, share small plates at La Pata Negra or nibble pinchos at El Carabasser. La chufa (tiger nuts) are grown near here too. The superfood is the key ingredient in horchata , the sweet, milky drink served in Valencia’s horchaterías .

15. Visit one of Europe’s largest aquariums

To the southeast of the city center, the Oceanogràfic rises from the former Turia River bed like a monster from the deep. This curved, hyperbolic shell-like museum was once Europe's largest aquarium until Nausicaá , on the Boulogne-sur-Mer seafront in France, was expanded. 

Home to dolphins and sharks as well as the continent’s only pod of beluga whales, it's easy to lose an afternoon here. Your ticket money helps to fund conservation research and a rescue program for stranded marine life. However, it is worth noting that research suggests keeping cetaceans in captivity is detrimental to their welfare.

You might also like: The 12 top free things to do in Valencia Find the day trips from Valencia that were made for you    Best parks in Valencia: how to go green in the Spanish city   

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17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Valencia

Written by Lisa Alexander Updated Dec 22, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

In a dreamy seaside setting, this balmy Mediterranean port town lives up to the local saying "a piece of heaven fallen to earth." Under the warm rays of the southern sun, Valencia's palm-fringed plazas are full of life, and its churches sparkle with brightly colored azulejo domes.

As the old capital of the kingdom of Valencia, the city is rich in cultural attractions. Magnificent historic monuments, such as the 15th-century Silk Exchange, the 18th-century Marquise Palace, and the Museum of Fine Arts, tell the story of a wealthy merchant and aristocratic past.

Valencia has a charming historic center, the Ciutat Vella (Old Town), but the city has entered the 21st century with gusto. The sleek Modern Art Institute, along with the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences immerse visitors into a brave new world of artistic and scientific discovery.

Learn about the best places to visit with our guide to the top attractions and things to see and do in Valencia, Spain.

1. La Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències

2. las fallas festival, 3. oceanogràfic de valència, 4. la lonja de la seda, 5. go shopping at mercado central, 6. iglesia de san nicolás de bari y san pedro mártir de valència, 7. admire the catedral de valència, 8. plaza de la virgen, 9. iglesia de santo tomás y san felipe neri, 10. meet the animals at bioparc valència, 11. museo arqueológico de la almoina, 12. palacio del marqués de dos aguas (ceramics museum), 13. museo nacional de bellas artes de valència, 14. institut valència d'art moderne, 15. torres de serranos (ancient town gate), 16. spend a day at playa del saler, 17. day trip to the medieval town of requena, where to stay in valencia for sightseeing, map of tourist attractions in valencia, valencia, spain - climate chart.

La Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències

You can discover the fascinating world of arts and sciences at this futuristic complex on the outskirts of Valencia. La Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (The City of Arts and Sciences) is one of Europe's most impressive centers dedicated to cultural and scientific exhibitions.

In a two-kilometer space along the Turia River, the complex includes several stunning examples of avant-garde architecture designed by architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela.

The Ciudad complex has six main areas: the Hemisfèric IMAX Cinema , which screens 3-D digital films and serves as a planetarium; the Umbracle landscaped area that features shaded walkways; the Museu de les Ciències , an interactive museum with exhibits about science, the environment, and technology; the Oceanogràfic , Europe's largest aquarium; the Palau de les Arts opera house; and the Ágora concert space.

The City of Arts and Sciences also hosts conferences, exhibitions, and workshops related to science and art topics.

Address: 7 Avenida del Professor López Piñero, València

Official site: http://www.cac.es/en/home.html

Las Fallas Festival

Valencia is one of the best places to visit in March . For over two weeks during the month of March, the city becomes a scene of joyous celebration during the Fiesta de San José (Feast Day of Saint Joseph), a lively religious festival that brims with creative spirit and interesting things to do. The festival includes traditional music and food (paella), a parade, fireworks, and unique art exhibits.

This festival is known for its creative installations called fallas , large floats featuring figures made of papier-mâché. These creations are set up in the streets and then burned at midnight on the last day of the fiesta. The custom originated in the Middle Ages, when carpenters and other craftsmen would burn leftover scraps of wood and other materials on the feast of Saint Joseph.

The Museo Fallero (Fallas Museum) on Plaza Monteolivete offers a chance to see the ninots (figures) that have been created over the years. It is interesting to see how the ninots have evolved with technology, from early wax figures dressed in real clothes to cartoon-like modern figures made of papier-mâché and most recently of polystyrene.

Address: Plaza Monteolivete 4, València

Oceanogràfic de Valencia

This striking building designed by architect Félix Candela as part of The City of Arts and Sciences houses the largest aquarium in Europe .

It is actually a complex of several buildings, each dedicated to one of the earth's most important marine ecosystems and environments: Wetlands, Temperate and Tropical, Oceans, Mediterranean, Antarctic, Arctic and Islands, and the Red Sea.

More than 500 different marine species are represented by 45,000 sea creatures, visible in nine towers that allow viewing as though you are underwater. The most dramatic of these is the tunnel, where you walk surrounded on both sides and overhead by swimming sharks.

Some of the most popular things to see are the beluga whales, sea lions, walruses, penguins, seals, sea turtles, and dolphins. Along with watching the sea life, you can experience mangrove swamps, marshlands, kelp forests, and other wetland environments with their native plant species.

If you're looking for something special to do, enjoy a meal at the Submarine Restaurant within the Oceanogràfic de Valencia building. The dining room is surrounded by a circular aquarium and features a chandelier that looks like a swarm of jellyfish. The menu focuses on modern-fusion cuisine with a Mediterranean influence. The restaurant serves lunch every day and dinner Monday through Saturday.

The Oceanogràfic de Valencia is open every day year-round. You can purchase combined tickets for admission to the Oceanogràfic aquarium and the Museu de les Ciències or the Hemisfèric.

Address: 1 Carrer d'Eduardo Primo Yúfera, València

Official site: https://www.oceanografic.org/en/

La Lonja de la Seda

This magnificent Gothic structure was built in the 15th century to house the city's Silk Exchange , the marketplace where the famous Valencian silk was traded with merchants (to be sold all over Europe). The monument is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site .

One of the finest examples of Gothic civil architecture in Europe, La Lonja de la Seda resembles a medieval castle with its crenellated exterior and formidable tower. The façade features richly decorated doorways, decorative windows, and gargoyles (the grotesque carved creatures that function as water spouts). The main hall has rich stellar vaulting borne on twisted columns.

You can climb the 144 stone steps of the tower's helical staircase. From the top of the tower, the views of the town are stunning. This attraction is open to the public daily (except Mondays).

Address: Plaza del Mercado, València

Mercado Central

Just steps away from La Lonja de la Seda, the Mercado Central ( Central Market ) is a spacious marketplace built in 1928.

The Art Nouveau building is lavishly adorned with azulejos, decorative ceramics typical of the region. The hall contains hundreds of market stalls where vendors sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and food products from the Valencia region, as well as other areas of Spain.

The Iglesia de los Santos Juanes , a lovely historic church, is found on the Plaza del Mercado immediately next to the Mercado Central. This National Historic and Artistic Monument was built between the 14th and 16th centuries on the site of a hermitage church that replaced an old mosque.

While the interior is Gothic in style, the exquisite Baroque façade was designed by Vicente García in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Gorgeous frescos grace the interior's vaulted ceiling; the fresco paintings were created by Antonio Palomino in 1700.

Address: Plaza de la Ciutat de Bruges, València

Official site: https://www.mercadocentralvalencia.es/

Frescoes at St. Nicholas of Bari and St. Peter the Martyr Church

This church dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari and St. Peter the Martyr was founded in the 13th century on the site of a Roman sanctuary. The Romanesque church was renovated in the Gothic style in the 15th century, and its interior was finished in the 1690s in the Baroque style.

Although the exterior is quite simple and somber, the church has a sumptuous interior that is one of the most ornate of all Valencia's churches. The sanctuary features breathtaking wall and ceiling frescoes designed by Antonio Palomino, while the actual painting was completed by Dionis Vidal. The frescoes represent scenes from the lives of Saint Nicholas and Saint Peter Martyr.

With its lavish frescoes and sculptural embellishments, this church is a gem of Baroque art and is sometimes compared to the Sistine Chapel in Rome . The impressive scale of the ceiling frescoes is unique in the world.

Address: 35 Calle de los Caballeros, València

Valencia Cathedral

The Catedral de València (Catedral del Santo Cáliz) stands out as one of the most unusual cathedrals in Spain owing to its mishmash of architectural styles. Originally this location was the site of an ancient Roman temple and then a Moorish mosque.

At this spot that is steeped in history, the cathedral was constructed beginning in the 13th century. Renovations were made in the 15th century and 17th century.

The exterior combines original Romanesque architectural elements with sculptural details added later in the Middle Ages. Spend some time admiring the façade before entering the cathedral. The splendid Puerta del Palau doorway dates to the Romanesque era, while the Puerta de los Apóstoles (Apostles' Doorway) dates from the 15th century.

The interior has an inspiring ambience with its majestic domed ceiling and a rose window illuminating the space. Dazzling in its Gothic splendor, the somber high-vaulted nave is embellished with Renaissance paintings and elegant Baroque art. The various chapels are adorned with masterpieces of art, including paintings by Goya and a crucifix by Alonso Cano.

A highlight of the sanctuary is the Chapel of the Holy Grail (Capilla del Santo Cáliz), with delicate vaulting and star motifs. This chapel illustrates a scene of the 12 apostles in Heaven and the coronation of the Virgin Mary. The most sacred object is a reliquary containing the Holy Chalice, an artifact from the first century CE said to be the goblet that Jesus used to perform the Holy Eucharist.

The Cathedral of Valencia also has a museum, the Museo Catedral de València , which displays a prestigious collection of religious art. A variety of styles from different time periods (Gothic, Renaissance, etc.) are on display. The museum boasts many exceptional artworks including paintings by Mariano Salvador Maella and Francisco de Goya.

In addition to visiting the interior of the cathedral and the cathedral museum, you may ascend El Miguelete (the Miguelete Tower) to admire superb views. The 207-step climb to the top of the tower rewards with panoramic vistas of Valencia's cityscape.

The Cathedral of Valencia and the Cathedral Museum can be visit with an admission fee, which includes an audio-guide with various language options. Both the cathedral and its museum are open to the public year-round every day (except for Sundays during wintertime). The Miguelete Tower is open daily year-round; admission requires a small entrance fee.

Address: Plaza de l'Almoina, València

Official site: http://www.catedraldevalencia.es/en/

Neptune Fountain on the Plaza de la Virgen

Overlooking the cathedral, the Plaza de la Virgen is among the oldest (it dates to Roman times) and loveliest of Valencia's many plazas.

The graceful Neptune fountain at the center of the Plaza de la Virgen is the work of Valencia sculptor Silvestre Edeta. Lighted at night, it's a favorite meeting place among locals.

The square is bordered by several landmark buildings. Across the square is the Palace of the Generalitat and next to the Catedral de València is the Real Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados , the most important (and also the first) Baroque church in Valencia. This church is renowned for its magnificent fresco on the dome ceiling that was painted by Antonio Palomino in 1701 and is considered a masterpiece of Spanish Baroque art.

Iglesia de Santo Tomás y San Felipe Neri

With its dazzling blue-tiled dome, this beautiful church exemplifies the characteristic Mediterranean style of Valencia. Built in 1725, the Church of Saint Thomas and Saint Philip was listed as a National Historic Monument in 1982.

The church has a fancifully decorated Baroque façade, and the architectural layout was modeled after the much-imitated Il Gesú church in Rome . The breathtaking interior has a spacious central nave lined with numerous side chapels.

Catholic mass is held at the church daily. The monument is not open to the public for visit, but tourists may attend a mass to see the lovely sanctuary.

Address: Plaza de San Vicente Ferrer, València

Elephants at Bioparc

Valencia's zoo covers 25 acres north of the park created by the diversion of the River Turia's course. The landscape was created to house animals in as close to their native habitats as possible, and the zoo is especially known for its large collection of African animals.

The environment is designed so that you immediately feel as though you have been transported to Africa as they view animals almost barrier-free in landscapes typical to the savannah, Madagascar, and equatorial Africa.

Instead of separating different species, they coexist as they would in their native environments. On the savannah, for example, lions, giraffes, antelopes, and rhinoceros all live together as they do in the wild. Gorillas inhabit a dense equatorial forest, while hippopotami and crocodiles cool in the water.

Bioparc is actively committed to sustainability of resources and to wildlife conservation, using solar panels to heat water, and recycling more than 95 percent of it.

Address: 3 Avenida Pío Baroja, València

Museo Arqueológico de la Almoina

Beneath a sleek modern building across from the cathedral, La Almoina Archaeological Museum offers a glimpse of the civilizations that have contributed to Valencia's heritage. Discovered during excavations between 1985 and 2005 are well-preserved remains of the first settlement here by the Romans, more than 2,000 years ago.

There are remnants (dating to the 2nd century CE) of the Roman baths and streets, including a sanctuary, part of the forum portico. A baptistery and the apse of a church are from early Christian times. The era of Moorish rule is revealed in vestiges of a courtyard, pool, and fortifications from the Alcázar of the old Muslim city.

Together with historic pottery and other artifacts found underneath modern Valencia, the excavated area is considered one of Europe's best archaeological sites . The ancient ruins are covered with plexiglass to allow for easy viewing, and walking paths are lined with railings for a pleasant experience.

Address: Plaza Décimo Junio Bruto, València

Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas (Ceramics Museum)

Near the Església de Sant Martí (Church of San Martín) is the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, an 18th-century aristocratic palace that belonged to a prominent noble family. The palace is renowned for its opulently decorated façade and refined, ornately decorated interior.

The palace now houses the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics , which opened in 1947. The museum presents more than 5,000 examples of traditional pottery from Valencia and the surrounding area, azulejos (blue glazed ceramic) from Teruel, and faience (glazed earthenware) from Toledo and Seville.

Other interesting items on display include ancient Greek, Roman, and Arab pottery; and fine porcelain from the Silk Route (China) and Japan. The collection also contains modern pieces, including works by Picasso, and contemporary items.

A highlight of the collection is the fully-equipped 19th-century Valencian kitchen featuring traditional tiles.

The González Martí National Museum of Ceramics is open Tuesday through Sunday.

Address: 2 Calle Poeta Querol, València

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Valencia

The National Museum of Fine Arts is a wonderful place to discover the artistic heritage of the Valencia region.

The museum displays archeological findings, paintings, and sculptures, from the medieval period to the 20th century. Much of the art collection represents medieval religious paintings created by Valencian artists or works created for Valencia churches.

Among the museum's most precious works are the 14th-century altarpiece of Fray Bonifacio Ferrer (a Valencian friar) and a triptych of the Passion by Hieronymus Bosch. The assortment of 16th- to 19th-century Spanish paintings is also interesting.

Highlights of the Valencian painting collection are the Last Supper and Saint Bruno by Francisco Ribalta and Saint Jerome by Jusepe de Ribera. Other Spanish masters represented include Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, El Greco, Francisco de Goya and Luis de Morales.

Adjoining the Museum of Art is the Jardines del Real , a peaceful green space filled with statues, fountains, and walking paths.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free of charge.

Address: 9 Calle San Pío V, València

Institut València d'Art Moderne

Housed in a surprising space-age building, the Valencia Institute of Modern Art is dedicated to the avant-garde art of the 20th century. The permanent collection covers all movements of modern and avant-garde art, including Analytical Abstraction, Pop Art, and New Figurative.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, lectures, and workshops. In striking contrast to the modern building, an underground room of the museum reveals ruins of Valencia's medieval city wall. The archeological remains were uncovered during construction of the museum.

Well-designed for visitors, the museum has a trendy casual restaurant, Mascaraque , which serves contemporary-style Mediterranean cuisine and has a pleasant outdoor terrace.

There is also a library with a bookshop and Reading Room; the library contains over 40,000 books and documents on topics of modern art.

The Valencia Institute of Modern Art is open Tuesday through Sunday and is open late on Fridays. Admission is free of charge.

Address: 118 Calle Guillem de Castro, València

Official site: http://www.ivam.es/en/

Torres de Serranos (Ancient Town Gate)

This impressive landmark is a symbol of Valencia . The Torres de Serranos represents an ancient gate of the Old Town and recalls an era when the town was surrounded by defense walls. The town ramparts were built in the 14th century on top of Roman foundations.

In 1930, the Serranos Towers were restored to their former glory. From these massive towers, take in sweeping views of the cityscape. The archway of the entrance gate features decorative Gothic details and two shields of the city.

Address: Plaza dels Furs, València

Playa del Saler

One of the most popular beaches in the Valencia region, this pristine stretch of sand is just 16 kilometers from Valencia in the La Albufera Natural Park . Two other beautiful beaches border El Saler Beach: Playa L'Arbre del Gos; and to the south, La Garrofera beach. This idyllic stretch of fine sandy shoreline extends for 2.6 kilometers and is protected from the wind by dunes and pine trees.

The medieval town of Requena

Located 68 kilometers from Valencia, the charming medieval town of Requena reveals a typical Hispanic-Arabic ambience with its old Moorish castle , many narrow pedestrian streets, peaceful squares, and houses adorned with decorative tiles and wrought-iron balconies.

The town has two important 14th-century churches, the Iglesia de Santa María and the Iglesia del Salvador ; both feature ornate Isabelline Gothic facades. Other noteworthy medieval monuments include the El Cid Palace and the Iglesia de San Nicolás .

For those seeking relaxation, the Fuente Podrida spa resort is a worthwhile 30 kilometers from Requena in a pristine natural environment.

The top tourist attractions in Valencia are mostly in the Ciutat Vella (Old Town), the historic city center around the cathedral and Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Fortunately for tourists, other attractions (such as the beach) are accessible by an excellent transit system. These highly rated hotels in Valencia are convenient for sightseeing:

Luxury Hotels :

  • On a quiet street near the cathedral, the five-star Caro Hotel occupies the Palacio Marqués de Caro, a historic monument that has been beautifully restored. The recently updated interior décor is sleek and minimalistic. Amenities include a concierge, small swimming pool, and a Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant.
  • Styled with Art Deco interiors, the five-star The Westin Valencia is in a quiet neighborhood near The City of Arts and Sciences. Lush Mediterranean landscaping, a fitness center, spa, indoor swimming pool, and three restaurants make for a resort-like atmosphere.
  • The five-star Hotel Las Arenas Balneario Resort is a beachfront property with a large outdoor swimming pool. Many guest rooms feature private balconies with sea views. The hotel is on a metro line to the center, a good compromise between the beach and sightseeing.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • Ideally located in the center of Valencia on the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the four-star Meliá Plaza is within walking distance of many historic attractions, as well as shops and restaurants. Some rooms have balconies with views onto the Plaza de Ayuntamiento. The hotel's restaurant specializes in Mediterranean cuisine.
  • The three-star Petit Palace Plaza de la Reina is located in the historic center of Valencia near the cathedral and the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas. The contemporary-style guest rooms feature modern amenities such as flat-screen televisions and iPads. Some rooms feature balconies with city views.
  • The SH Ingles occupies a beautifully restored 18th-century palace in the historic La Xerea neighborhood near Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas. This four-star boutique hotel has a concierge, 24-hour front reception desk, and a gourmet restaurant known for its authentic paella. The guest rooms are spacious, bright, and minimalistic in style.
  • Within easy walking distance of The City of Arts and Sciences, the four-star AC Hotel by Marriott Colón Valencia offers sleek contemporary-style guest rooms, a fitness center, and room service.

Budget Hotels:

  • Just off Plaza del Ayuntamiento, near restaurants and historic attractions, the three-star Catalonia Excelsior offers well-situated accommodations at affordable rates. The hotel provides a 24-hour front reception desk, concierge services, and a buffet breakfast.
  • The four-star Barceló Valencia is just opposite The City of Arts and Sciences, with great views of the iconic buildings. The hotel offers many luxuries for the price, including a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool and sundeck.
  • Another hotel overlooking The City of Arts and Sciences, the three-star NH Valencia Las Ciencias is a 15-minute drive to the beach and a 10-minute bus ride to the historic center (Ciutat Vella) of Valencia. Amenities include concierge service and a 24-hour front reception desk.

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com


Exploring the Mediterranean Coast : The beaches of Mediterranean Spain are some of the loveliest in the world, one of the most famous being El Milagro in the UNESCO-listed Tarragona , which sits north of Valencia. Iconic Barcelona is just beyond, famous for its medieval Barri Gòtic, Modernist architecture, and sandy beaches.


Historic Towns near Valencia: South of Valencia, the Castillo de Santa Bárbara looks down over the extensive beaches and historic town of Alicante . For those who want to venture inland, the art museums of Madrid and cultural diversity of the medieval walled city of Toledo are top picks for sightseeing.


Other Must-See Cities in Spain : A treasure-trove of cultural attractions, Zaragoza boasts ancient Roman ruins, as well as Moorish and Baroque landmarks. West of Alicante, Córdoba is best known for its UNESCO-listed mosque, La Mezquita. To the south, Andalusia 's pride, Granada is a top tourist destination thanks to its vibrant cultural life full of flamenco dancing and cuisine influenced by neighboring Arabian countries. From here, the seaside old-world paradise of Málaga is just a short jaunt to the southern shores.

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Home » Travel Guides » Spain » 15 Best Things to Do in Valencia (Spain)

15 Best Things to Do in Valencia (Spain)

Valencia has many of the things that attracts tourists to Spain , all in one place: The city has a vibrant old centre, with a knot of little streets and splendid medieval buildings like the UNESCO-listed Lonja de la Seda.

Valencia is also right on the Mediterranean, so you can laze on broad sandy beaches and tuck into delectable cuisine that draws on the sea. This is the home of paella, surely the most famous Spanish dish of all. There are also ultra-modern visitor attractions at the City of the Arts and Sciences, and it all goes to make Valencia one of Spain’s most complete destinations.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Valencia :

1. City of the Arts and Sciences

City of the Arts and Sciences

It can be difficult to wrap your head around the City of the Arts and Sciences. The attraction is a staggering ensemble of ultra-modern structures that are given an ethereal quality by the reflecting pools that surround them.

The whole thing was started in the mid-90s and the finishing touches were made in 2005. Within these gargantuan buildings are cultural venues and first-class family attractions like L’Hemisfèric, a planetarium and IMAX Cinema, or the breathtaking L’Umbracle, a botanical collection of plant species native to Valencia. Book ahead to avoid queues.

Top rated tour :  City of Arts & Sciences Tour with Rooftop Wine & Tapas

2. Oceanogràfic


The star of the City of the Arts and Sciences is this cutting-edge oceanarium that opened in 2003. With 45,000 individual animals from 500 different species, you won’t find another attraction on this scale in Europe.

The aquarium is organised by ten zones, each synthesising a distinct environment, and using real seawater pumped from Valencia’s waterfront. So at the Arctic tank you’ll get to see beluga whales swimming in a spacious and thoughtfully designed tank.

Elsewhere you can spot sand tiger sharks, penguins, walruses, dolphins and sea lions. It all adds up to a day out adults and little guys won’t soon forget.

Tickets are available online: Oceanogràfic Entrance Ticket

3. La Lonja de la Seda

La Lonja de la Seda

This majestic late-15th-century building is a UNESCO site and held as the masterpiece of Valencian Gothic architecture. La Lonja de la Seda is the finest a monument to Valencia’s golden age, when the city was one of Europe’s main centres for trade and culture.

The name means “Silk Exchange”, where traders from far flung pats of the Mediterranean would meet and make deals. Inside you can marvel at the dainty twisting columns of the main hall (sala de contratación) and look up at the incredible detail of the vaulted ceilings. Its tough-looking crenellated outline sits right in front of the city’s central market.

Related tour:  City Highlights Tour in Jeep with Snacks & Drinks

4. Valencia Cathedral

Valencia Cathedral

The city’s solemn Gothic cathedral dates to the 13th and 14th centuries, with renaissance, baroque and neoclassical modifications made over the next few hundred years.  Go inside to see 15th-century renaissance paintings by artists such as the Valencian, Jacomart as well as several from Rome commissioned by Pope Alexander VI.

But the most fascinating part, and perhaps controversial, is the Chapel of the Holy Chalice. At the altar is one of a few chalices claimed to have been used by Jesus to institute the Holy Eucharist at the last supper. This agate vessel has been dated by archaeologists to between the 4th century BC and 1st century AD, but no scientific analysis as yet been made.

Included in : Medieval Valencia 1-Hour Segway Tour

5. El Miguelete

El Miguelete

The cathedral’s octagonal bell-tower graces many postcards sent home from the city. It’s a Valencian gothic construction begun in 1381 and completed just under 50 years later. Originally it stood completely alone from the cathedral, but extensions in the late-1400s brought the two structures together.

If you’re feeling spritely, it’s possible to climb the 207 steps up a slightly precarious stairway to the top for great vistas 50 metres above the city. The big sight at the top is Miguel, the famous bell cast in 1432 and weighing over ten tons.

6. Casco Histórico

Casco Histórico

Like most historic centres in Spanish cities the heart of Valencia is made for wandering. All of the must-see sights in this part of the city are just couple of minutes away from each other.

Between each landmark is a maze of little streets with cafes, restaurants and local amenities or artisan shops.

To beat the heat in summer stop off at a square like Plaza de la Virgen for a cool glass of horchata, a drink made with ground almonds, tigernuts and a variety of grains and flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla.

On the southern side of the old-town seek out the Neo-Mudéjar Plaza de Toros (bullring) and the spectacular ticket hall of the Estació del Nord.

Recommended tour : Essentials and World Heritages Sites Walking Tour

7. Barrio del Carmen

Barrio del Carmen

The northeast side of the old-town is the youngest and most bohemian part of the city. El Carmen took shape in medieval times, situated outside of the 11th-century Moorish walls but within the Christian ones that went up in the 14th-century.

What’s great about this place is the way the palaces next to these cool, shaded alleys have been converted into hip boutiques, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Calle de Caballeros, which begins at Plaza de la Virgen, is where many nights out in Valencia will end up.

You can also see fragments of Valencia’s late-medieval defences, at Torres de Quart and Torres de Serranos.

8. Jardín del Turia

Jardín del Turia

This astounding park brings you fresh air and relaxation right in the middle of the city. It came about in the 20th century after the River Turia burst its banks in 1957 causing great damage to the city.

The river was diverted and in the 80s its riverbed in the city was turned into nine kilometres of verdant green space. A total of 18 bridges still cross the riverbed, the oldest dating back to the middle ages, and are now just another part of the unusual scenery in the park.

Several landscape architects were drafted in to build these gardens, creating a scene of pine forest, orange groves, palms and paths that lead past sports facilities, play areas and fountains.

9. Central Market

Valencia Central Market

Opposite the Silk Exchange is another prized landmark, the cavernous and palatial Central Market building. Even if you’re just sightseeing here you’ll love the building’s art nouveau metal and glass design.

Despite dating to the early-20th century it blends perfectly with the historic architecture in this part of the old city. And if you do feel like doing some shopping at the market you’ll be in foodie heaven. There are 400 small traders at the market, with 959 selling farm and sea-fresh produce at the best prices in the city.

If there’s a Spanish delicacy you love, like chorizo, jamón ibérico or manchego cheese, this will be your El Dorado.

10. Malvarrosa Beach

Malvarrosa Beach

Within minutes of the old-town you could be sunning yourself on a Mediterranean beach. Malvarrosa is a wide strip of golden sand that stretches for a kilometre along the city’s seafront.

The beach has been awarded the Blue Flag for all the amenities it provides, from lifeguard towers , a medical station, drinking fountains and showers, to its easily-navigable ramps and footpaths.

The great news is that won’t have to trudge far for a cold drink or bite to eat as there are permanent restaurants right on the promenade next to the beach.

11. El Saler Beach

El Saler Beach

Malvarrosa is a fine urban beach, but it might be that you want a more natural setting for you day next to the Mediterranean. In which case El Saler is the way to go: the beach starts some way south of Valencia’s port, which you’ll be able to see in the distance.

At 2.6 kilometres in length this beach means peace and privacy as you relax on white sands on the coast of La Albufera Natural Reserve.

Behind you will be little more than sand dunes and pine trees and in front moderate waves and a wash that shelves gently into the sea.

Suggested tour : Valencia: Albufera Jeep and Boat Tour

12. Hire a bike

Valencia Bike Rental

Riding a bike on Spanish roads might seem like a hair-raising experience, but it’s perfectly safe in Valencia’s web of narrow streets, pedestrianised squares, parks and seafront promenades.

You’ll have the freedom to zip around Valencia’s top sights, head to the beach or take easy rides through the Jardín del Turia.

In 2012 the city implemented the Valenbisi bike sharing network, which is subscription-based and aimed mainly at Valencia’s residents. Still, there are numerous rental companies across the city, ilike PassionBike in Carrer de Serrans.

Valencian Paella

If you want best paella in Valencia, get off the beaten track and go to restaurants frequented by Valencians. There are plenty around Malvarrosa, and if possible it will always pay to make reservations.

Paella is probably Spain’s most famous dish, and it was first created right here. Everything that goes into it is local, from the rice grown in vast fields north and south of the city, and even the saffron that flavours the rice.

If you didn’t already know, the dish’s name comes from the large iron pans that it’s cooked and served in. You can pick from the traditional meat variety, with rabbit and snails, or go for the seafood version, with prawns and squid.

14. Parque Gulliver

Parque Gulliver

If you’re walking the Jardín del Turia with little ones then make a stop at this imaginative attraction close to the City of the Arts and Sciences. It’s inspired by the classic work, Gulliver’s Travels, written by Jonathan Swift in the 18th century.

At the park you’ll feel like a Lilliputian, and kids while have a whale of a time scrambling over the giant figure of Gulliver prone on the ground.

There are slides, ramps, stairways and all kinds of little interactive features. Also part of the attraction is a skating area, giant chessboard and a mini-golf course.

15. Las Fallas

Las Fallas de Valencia

This celebrations that take place in Valencia in the build up to St. Joseph’s Day on the 19th of March could be the noisiest and most colourful of any fiesta in Spain.

Las Fallas marks the beginning of spring, and in the past the city’s carpenters would hold bonfires on the night before the 19th in honour of their patron saint. Slowly it developed into the awesome spectacle you can see today, with something special to see every day.

For example every day at two in the town square you can see the  La Mascletá, an ear-splitting firework display. And throughout the week “Ninots”, huge cardboard sculptures with satirical themes, make their way around the city streets and are eventually burned in the Cremà, massive fires on the night of the 19th.

15 Best Things to Do in Valencia (Spain):

  • City of the Arts and Sciences
  • Oceanogràfic
  • La Lonja de la Seda
  • Valencia Cathedral
  • El Miguelete
  • Casco Histórico
  • Barrio del Carmen
  • Jardín del Turia
  • Central Market
  • Malvarrosa Beach
  • El Saler Beach
  • Hire a bike
  • Parque Gulliver

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Ruzafa neighbourhood in Valencia

The 13 best things to do in Valencia

Discover the best things to do in Valencia, a foodie hotspot complete with historic treasures and contemporary culture

Photograph: Shutterstock

Don’t sleep on Valencia : this is one of the best places to visit in Spain , and that’s a fact. It’s the birthplace of paella, for one thing, and it’s the kind of city you can spend three days or a whole week in and never run out of terrific things to do. 

Spend your days discovering beautiful cathedrals, tucking into tapas and admiring street art, and your evenings sampling cocktails and visiting the bars in El Carmen and beyond. Whatever your vibe, Valencia has something for you. Here are the best things to do while you’re here. 

RECOMMENDED: 🏖 The best beaches in Valencia 🛏 The best Airbnbs in Valencia 🇪🇸 The essential guide to Spain

Mary-Ann Gallagher is a travel writer and guidebook author and expert on Spain , Italy and more. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines . This guide includes affiliate links, which have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines . 

Been there, done that? Think again, my friend.

What to do in Valencia

1.  city of arts and sciences (cac).

City of Arts and Sciences (CAC)

What is it?  Valencia-native Santiago Calatrava designed this blazing white complex for the arts and sciences, an artful arrangement of giant sculptural shapes that house, among other attractions, an aquarium that looks like a wave, an opera house in the form of a ship, and a giant eye-cum-planetarium.

Why go?  Go to watch the beluga whales wheel around the giant aquarium, have fun at the interactive science museum, or simply admire the daring contemporary architecture of what Spaniards voted one of the ‘12 Treasures of Spain’.

2.  Valencia Cathedral and Micalet

Valencia Cathedral and Micalet

What is it?  Valencia’s vast Gothic cathedral has a florid Baroque façade slapped on top, but inside is atmospherically dark and shadowy. It’s home to what some believe is the Holy Grail, but its crowning glory is the Micalet belltower – the city’s symbol. 

Why go?  Visit the Chapel of the Holy Chalice, where the jewelled cup (one of at least a dozen Holy Grail contenders) is theatrically displayed in an alabaster altarpiece. Puff your way up all 207 steps to the top of the Micalet for glorious views – and perhaps some deafening bells.

3.  Mercat Colón Gastro Market

Mercat Colón Gastro Market

What is it?  A glittering market of glass and iron, the Mercat Colón was virtually in ruins before it was spectacularly transformed through an award-winning renovation. Now it’s a gourmet hub, packed with shiny new restaurants and cafés.

Why go?  Come to meander between the gourmet stalls, try some  horchata  (the refreshing Valencian tiger-nut drink), and a few tapas. If you’re looking for a proper market with fresh produce, head to the Mercat Central in the old town.

4.  La Pépica

La Pépica

What is it?  Paella, as everyone will tell you, was born in Valencia. And this is the best place in town for a slap-up paella lunch right on the seafront – just be sure to book early for a table on the terrace.

Why go?  Hemingway loved La Pépica when it was just a beach shack, and the dining room is now covered in photos of celebrity visitors. But this cheerful, traditional restaurant hasn’t rested on its laurels, and the authentic paellas and other Mediterranean rice dishes are delicious.

5.  Bioparc Valencia

Bioparc Valencia

What is it? A huge and very carefully planned-out zoo specialising in a truly immersive experience for visitors (and animals).

Why go?  The focus here isn’t just on the animals.  Bioparc Valencia  has created accurate and aesthetically pleasing habitats for its wildlife, including many different types of African flora perfectly suited to the big and small beasts that reside here. In a nice twist on a regular zoo, they’ve also opted for small rivers or glass screens in place of railings. Personal favourites? The lovely lemurs in the Madagascar zone and the hippos in the wetlands.

6.  Llotja de la Seda (Silk Exchange)

Llotja de la Seda (Silk Exchange)

What is it?  One of the finest civil Gothic buildings in existence, the fifteenth-century Silk Exchange was built at the height of Valencia’s Golden Age. Silk and other commodities came flooding into the city, then one of the most powerful on the Mediterranean coast.

Why go?  This is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, an ingenious construction that pleased its creators so much that they erected a monument to themselves. Check out the doorways and capitals inside and around the cloister for some saucy depictions of various sins – find the woman and her bellows, that’s all we’ll say.

7.  Institut Valencià d’Art Modern

Institut Valencià d’Art Modern

What is it? Valencia’s showcase museum of contemporary art, this gallery presents a fascinating overview of Spanish art over the last century, with challenging exhibits – paintings, sculptures, video installations.

Why go? This was Spain’s first modern art museum when it opened in 1986 and is still one of the most prestigious. A superb collection of iron sculptures by Julio González, a friend and contemporary of Picasso’s, forms the core of the collection, but don’t miss the usually excellent temporary exhibitions.

8.  El Carmen

El Carmen

What is it?  A tight-packed medieval warren within Valencia’s old walls, the El Carmen neighbourhood in the old town is full of off-beat boutiques, cafés and bars with an underground vibe. It’s the go-to spot for LGBTQ+ venues in the city, and it currently vies with Ruzafa for the title of Valencia’s hippest hangout.

Why go?  Come for the art – whether Insta-perfect street art or the contemporary art in the Convent del Carme art centre – and the appealingly scruffy, anything-goes vibe in the cafés and bars.

9.  Central Bar

Central Bar

What is it?  Multi-award winning chef Ricard Camarera’s modern take on the traditional Spanish counter bar.

Why go?  Located right in the centre of the striking Mercat Central, the always-popular Central Bar  uses expertly sourced local ingredients sold in the market to make succulent, tempting tapas and satisfying bocadillos. If you get really taken with Camarera’s handiwork (and who wouldn’t) we recommend checking out his other Valencian restaurants, such as the Canalla Bistro in Russafa (Ruzafa) and, of course, the Michelin-starred flagship restaurant bearing his name.

10.  Casa Montaña

Casa Montaña

What is it?  A deliciously old-fashioned tapas bar, this barrel-lined spot is a long-established stalwart in the romantically faded fisherman’s district of Cabanyal. Perch on a high stool, and tuck into Casa Montaña ’s high-quality tapas prepared with the freshest local ingredients.

Why go?  Perhaps the best traditional tapas bar in town (and hugely popular, so book in advance), this serves seasonal local delicacies like the little  clóchina  mussels and grilled artichokes. Work it off with a stroll around the traditional tiled houses of the Cabanyal neighbourhood.

11.  Mestalla Stadium

Mestalla Stadium

What is it? The Mestalla, which has a spectator capacity of 49,500, has been the home stadium of top Spanish league team FC Valencia since 1923. Best if you can catch a match, although devoted footie fans will also enjoy the stadium tour.

Why go? FC Valencia has some of the most ardent fans in La Liga, and the Mestalla stadium boasts the steepest stands of any of Europe’s major grounds. The result? Sheer intimidation for visiting teams – and perhaps the most electric place to watch a match in Spain.

12.  Parc Natural de l’Albufera

Parc Natural de l’Albufera

What is it?  This lake and natural park, 8km south of the city, is one of Spain’s most important wetlands. Surrounded by rice fields, which glow golden in autumn, its undoubted beauty is somewhat marred by factories, except at dusk.

Why go?  The park has nature trails and bike paths around the lake and is home to more than 250 bird species. Spend the day at the unspoilt beach of La Devesa nearby, then visit the lake in the evening for a sunset boat ride.

13.  Museo Fallero

Museo Fallero

What is it?  If you can’t make it for the fun and fireworks of Valencia’s fiery festival of Les Falles, at least you can get a taste at the Falles Museum. The  ninots  (papier-mâché characters) saved from the flames are all displayed.

Why go?  To learn all about Les Falles, Valencia’s biggest traditional festival. The  falles  are huge papier-mâché creations (that can take a year to create), which are paraded through the streets, and then tossed onto bonfires. Only the best  ninots  (miniature versions of the falles) are saved and displayed here.

14.  Ruzafa


What is it?  Arguably the coolest neighbourhood in town (Carmen fans may disagree), Ruzafa is a mix of old-fashioned street life (in the form of a great market and pretty squares), with some of the city’s most talked-about restaurants, its slinkiest bars and funkiest boutiques.

Why go?  Ruzafa is a great neighbourhood for an aimless amble – popping into the fantastic little market perhaps, lingering over lunch at one of the stylish cafés, followed by a spot of shopping in the independent boutiques. Things heat up after dusk when the bars start filling up.

More great things to do in Valencia

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Valencia   Travel Guide

Courtesy of Sergio Formoso | Getty Images

places to visit in valencia city

26 Best Things to Do in Valencia, Spain

Valencia's three beaches feature soft golden sand and spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Visitors who enjoy exploring outdoors can spend their days strolling dozens of gardens, parks and plazas located within the city or hiking the trails of

  • All Things To Do

places to visit in valencia city

Central Market (Mercado Central) Central Market (Mercado Central) free

This is where local Valencians gather to do their shopping, though you'll find the atmosphere a bit different than your local supermarket. One of the oldest food markets in Europe, Mercado Central (Central Market) is adorned with Valencian-style mosaics and filled with residents purchasing local foods from more than 1,200 trusted vendors selling everything from meat and vegetables to pastries and take-away items. Spanning more than 86,000 square feet, the building occupies land once used as an open-air market in the mid-19th century. Opened in 1928, the visually stunning building sits in the El Mercat neighborhood, opposite two other architecturally significant monuments: La Lonja de la Seda and Los Santos Juanes Church.

Recent visitors were invariably impressed by the expansive range of food and beverages on offer here, with some describing the market as a "foodie paradise." Reviewers recommended stopping by, even if you don't plan on purchasing anything, though they do warn that prices are high because vendors recognize this is such a tourist magnet.

places to visit in valencia city

City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts y les Ciencies) City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts y les Ciencies)

The Ciutat de les Arts y las Ciències (also known as the City of Arts and Sciences) is a traveler favorite for its futuristic design. Built on the old riverbed of the Turia River, the museum's contemporary architecture (by Santiago Calatrava) shelters the Museu de les Ciències (a science museum), the Hemisfèric (a planetarium and IMAX theater), the Oceanogràfic – the largest aquarium in Europe – and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (a performing arts venue), among other attractions.

Past travelers raved about the complex's myriad offerings, and suggested you wear comfortable shoes; the attraction is so massive (about 452,000 square feet), you'll be doing a lot of walking. Reviewers recommended setting aside an afternoon or even two to three days to see the entire complex. Travelers praise the science museum for its hands-on exhibits and the aquarium for its stunning design.

places to visit in valencia city

Turia Gardens (Jardi del Turia) Turia Gardens (Jardi del Turia) free

The Jardí del Túria (or the Garden of the Turia) might seem odd to newcomers, seeing as how it boasts more than a dozen bridges built to span a river that's no longer there. One of the country's largest urban parks, Jardí del Túria was built after a fatal 1957 flood of the Turia River, which was then diverted over the course of the mid- to late 1960s. Today, the gardens shelter orange and palm trees and rose bushes among a wide variety of flora. The park's facilities also include cafes, football (i.e., soccer) fields, children's play areas, rugby pitches, fountains, baseball diamonds, running tracks, skate parks and miniature golf courses. Predictably, the park is especially popular with runners and cyclists. It is also ideal for families with children.

The green space is highly appreciated by recent visitors for the range of activities on offer as well as the peaceful atmosphere.

places to visit in valencia city

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places to visit in valencia city

Oceanografic Valencia (L'Oceanografic) Oceanografic Valencia (L'Oceanografic)

Though part of the Ciutat de les Arts y les Ciències , Oceanogràfic Valencia stands as one of the top things to do all on its own. It's the largest aquarium in Europe and also boasts the longest underwater tunnel on the continent, which facilitates close-up views of sharks. The aquarium reproduces multiple habitats, including Arctic, Antarctic, temperate and tropical as well as, appropriately enough, Mediterranean. Some visitors may be disappointed to know it also (controversially) hosts the only family of beluga whales in Europe as well as dolphinarium, which features bottlenose dolphins. The grandstand at the dolphinarium seats more than 1,500 people, making it (you guessed it) the largest in Europe. The attraction also shelters a sizable crocodile preserve.

Past visitors marveled at the aquarium's unique architecture as well as the range of sea creatures on view. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the place is especially popular among families with children, though some travelers found the tickets rather expensive.

places to visit in valencia city

Bioparc Valencia Bioparc Valencia

The Bioparc Valencia is a 25-acre zoo, located in the northwest area of the city. But this isn't just any kind of zoo – it's an immersion zoo, which means it removes or hides many of the barriers most zoos put in place between different species, including humans. Species that naturally (and safely) reside together in the wild are placed together, while other gentle species, like lemurs for instance, are free to meet humans face to face. Other barricades are simply hidden to give visitors the feeling of being out in the wild, a particular highlight for recent travelers. The park aims to recreate the African continent, with animals like zebras, Nile crocodiles, giraffes and elephants spread across four main habitats.

Past visitors enjoyed the chance to see the animals close up and found the unique layout an interesting departure from the typical zoo. Keep in mind the Bioparc's rules concerning the animals: They shouldn't be touched or fed, nor should they be disrupted by yelling or flash photography. Other than that, use your common sense: No jumping over the fence to meet the tigers.

places to visit in valencia city

La Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange) La Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange)

The Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange) was built between 1482 and 1533 and is considered a great example of the late Valencian Gothic-style architecture. Today, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, partly because of this style, but also because that style was applied to a secular building rather than a religious one, as was the norm in that time. Pay close attention to the gargoyles that crouch throughout the Silk Exchange: Their expressions range from funny to naughty.

Recent visitors found the architectural details endlessly fascinating. Many reviewers also advised opting for an audio guide, which they say helps explain the building's history and various architectural elements. Plus, recent travelers said there is little information available without the aid of the audio guide. Others suggested enjoying the courtyard, which is filled with orange trees.

places to visit in valencia city

Valencia Cathedral Valencia Cathedral

Located in the Plaza de la Reina , the Valencia Cathedral is probably most famous for its claim of owning the Holy Grail. Dating back to 1262, the cathedral was raised on the site of a former mosque and displays a number of architectural styles, including Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic.

Past visitors were impressed with the cathedral's interior, though they bemoaned the entrance fee. Others applauded the audio guide that is included with admission, saying it provided important historical context. Audio guides are available in a variety of languages, including English.

places to visit in valencia city

Church of St. Nicolas (Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Mártir) Church of St. Nicolas (Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Mártir)

With more than 20,000 square feet of elaborate frescos adorning its interiors, the Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Mártir has been called the Sistine Chapel of Valencia. Originally constructed in 1242, the church was remodeled and restored several times, perhaps most famously between 1690 and 1693 when the interiors were decorated with fresco paintings of scenes depicting San Nicolás de Bari (Saint Nicholas) and San Pedro Mártir (Saint Peter Martyr).

Recent travelers described the frescoes as "beautiful" and "outstanding." Many strongly recommended renting the audio guide, which reviewers say provides important commentary for understanding all of the beautiful frescoes. However, a few were disappointed with the entrance fee required to view the interiors of the church.

places to visit in valencia city

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Thermal Springs in Montanejos and the Girlfriend Waterfall

Thermal Springs in Montanejos and the Girlfriend Waterfall

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Valencia Highlights with Private Vehicle (Private Tour)

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places to visit in valencia city

Plaza de la Virgen Plaza de la Virgen free

Adjacent to the Valencia Cathedral , the marble-floored Plaza de la Virgen is an ideal spot to appreciate some of the city's architecture – and to people-watch. From this viewpoint, you can take in the Gothic Valencia Cathedral (where the chalice from the Last Supper is said to be preserved), as well as the pink walls and blue roof tiles of the Baroque Real Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados. 

Other points of interest include the beautiful Túria Fountain, which represents the Turia River and features sculptures of eight women pouring water from pitchers as well as a large sculpture of Neptune sitting atop the fountain. The Tribunal de las Aguas meets every Thursday at noon outside the Door of the Apostles – a continuation of a 1,000-year-old tradition. The Water Tribunal is made up of eight farmers dressed in black, who sit in a circle and discuss (in the Valencian language) water access to the orchards. This scene is a curious spectacle through the eyes of tourists.

places to visit in valencia city

Palace of the Marques de Dos Aguas (Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas) Palace of the Marques de Dos Aguas (Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas)

The Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas, or Ceramics Museum, is widely regarded as among the best displays of Baroque architecture in Spain. (It takes its name from a Valencian noble family.) When it was first constructed in the 15th century, it was a Gothic building; it was reworked in the Baroque style in the 18th century, when the ornate entryway was added. Some of the rooms retain the original Gothic look. Since 1949, when the Ministry of Education bought the building, it has housed the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics. The museum boasts the largest collection of ceramics in the country and features pieces from the 18th century to the present, including work by Pablo Picasso.

Recent travelers reported feeling awe-struck by the opulent architecture. Though the building itself may be what impresses people the most, the ceramics museum is also generally deemed well worth a visit.

places to visit in valencia city

Plaza del Ayuntamiento Plaza del Ayuntamiento free

This beautiful city square contains the ayuntamiento (town hall). Within the town hall is where you'll find the main tourist office, which offers a variety of tourist information (including ticket sales) in various languages.

Many travelers say the Plaza del Ayuntamiento is a good place to start off any sightseeing, as the square is filled with decadent buildings constructed during Valencia's golden age. In the square's center is a fountain, which is surrounded by fragrant flower stalls. In the winter, an ice rink and carousel adorn the square, and during Fallas festival it becomes the main hub of the celebrations and the grand finale, when the event’s biggest papier-mâché statue is set alight. 

places to visit in valencia city

Albufera Natural Park (Parc Natural de l'Albufera) Albufera Natural Park (Parc Natural de l'Albufera) free

To commune with nature – specifically 300 bird species and miles of walking and biking trails – make a visit to the Albufera Natural Park, a large freshwater lagoon. The park is surrounded by the rice fields that helped prompt the invention of paella. Indeed, there are a number of restaurants nearby in the towns of El Palmar (the village where paella was born) and El Saler, and many travelers find the food alone a reason for taking a trip to the area.

Visitors can explore the country’s largest freshwater lake in traditional flat-bottomed wooden boats with the help of local boat operators. During the 40-minute trip, they will explain (in Spanish, Valencian or English) how the lake was formed and was used to develop rice farming, whilst punting passengers past 16-foot-high reeds. Some passengers are lucky enough to spot elusive otters. The boats depart from the main jetty and cost 8 euros (approximately $8.70). 

places to visit in valencia city

Plaza de la Reina Plaza de la Reina free

Within walking distance of the Valencia Cathedral , the Plaza de la Reina is a great space to sit and observe activity in the old part of town. While smaller than Plaza de la Virgen , it offers a different perspective of the Valencia Cathedral (from the main entrance), as well as excellent views of the famous Miguelete bell tower. Occasionally, the square is filled with craft market stalls, and the zone between Plaza de la Reina and Plaza de la Virgen is lined with artists demonstrating their skills and selling paintings.

Past travelers found the area lively at all times of the day and said they visited on several different occasions during their trip. Multiple options for food and beverages flank the square, including ice cream shops and tapas bars. The streets surrounding it offer a cornucopia of shopping options, from independent fashion retailers to artisanal products. 

places to visit in valencia city

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places to visit in valencia city

Gulliver Park (Parque Gulliver) Gulliver Park (Parque Gulliver) free

If a park designed with the giant from Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" in mind sounds fanciful, that's because it is. Yet Gulliver Park is not merely a literary tribute; rather, it's a playground consisting of numerous slides and staircases arranged in the shape of its prone namesake. The figure's hat contains a smaller version of Gulliver, providing a sense of what the massive character looks like when glimpsed from above. To give a sense of the size of the "giant," the strands of Gulliver's hair are huge slides. According to past visitors, the park is best suited to adventurous kids 10 and older.

While some adults appreciated the bibliophilic reference, the park is a hit with children. However, adults will be grateful for its recent refurbishment in November 2022, which includes safety ropes at the edge of the steepest drops and soft floor surfaces. Recent visitors warn the slides can get hot in the Valencian sun, and to be prepared for your kids to go home dusty, but happy.

places to visit in valencia city

Old Town Old Town free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Look behind the cathedral to find the glass-bottomed artificial pond where you can see part of the Roman city walls below. Then, head inside to La Almoina Archaeological Museum to see the remains of Roman and Moorish streets. – Sarah Harvey

The Ciutat Vella, or Old Town, is a buzzing combination of historical sights, bars and restaurants, set within the former boundary of the ancient city walls. This UNESCO-listed district encompasses some 2,000 years of history, and conveniently, you’ll find many of the top attractions in close proximity. They include Valencia Cathedral , the city hall, the Central Market and the Silk Exchange , as well as numerous displays of vibrant street art. While the ancient walls have been lost to time and urban development, the Serranos Towers and Torres de Quart (fortified city gates) still mark the boundaries.  

places to visit in valencia city

Miguelete Miguelete

Adjacent to the Valencia Cathedral is the imposing Miguelete bell tower. This 166-foot-high tower was built in the Gothic style between 1381 and 1424. An 18th-century steeple was later added. At the top, incredible views of the city (and even the fields beyond) await. However, there is no elevator, so visitors must be prepared to climb the more than 200 steps of the spiral staircase to the top. Inside is the largest collection of Gothic bells in Spain. Some of them are still rung by bellringers while others have been automated, but you can hear the peals throughout the day.

Travelers commented on the tough, 10- to 20-minute climb to the top, but said the views were worth the effort. Some mentioned how the “traffic signal” system helped make the ascent easier, as you don’t have to squeeze past anyone heading in the opposite direction.

places to visit in valencia city

Malvarrosa Beach Malvarrosa Beach free

The golden sand and shallow blue waters of Malvarrosa Beach have been inspiring artists and travelers for generations. At an average of 440 feet wide, the beach is ideal for sports, as well as relaxation. As with Playa de las Arenas, its vibe is similar to that of southern California beaches. What’s more, it offers almost everything beachgoers could wish for, from juice bars and cafes to free gym equipment, as well as chairs and parasols for rent. There’s an area set aside for water sports, including paddleboarding and windsurfing, and even dive centers offering access to the nearby reef. 

Visitors appreciate how easy Malvarrosa is to get to by tram, as well as the cleanliness of the water (it earned a Blue Flag, a European award granted to beaches that are recognized for their clean sand and water). Despite the promenade being lined with homes rather than cafes (unlike at Playa de las Arenas), travelers were impressed with the range of cuisine available in close proximity. However, some were disappointed with the lack of public restrooms and changing rooms.

places to visit in valencia city

Serranos Towers Serranos Towers

The Serranos Towers are a surviving feature of Valencia’s long-gone city walls. They were built in 1392 as a defensive structure surrounding the city gates, and used as a prison for aristocrats between 1586 and 1887. Today, they are an iconic Valencian landmark, and only one of two remaining towers of its kind in the city. Visitors can climb the ancient steps to take in views of the city and the Turia River. During Fallas festival, crowds gather at the foot of the towers to watch a fireworks display.

Travelers praised the Valencian Gothic architecture, as well as the convenient location (just a stone's throw from the Valencia Cathedral ). Some visitors cautioned that climbing the towers isn’t suitable for small children because there are no handrails, but most agreed the views were worth it. 

places to visit in valencia city

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Private Boat Tour along the Coast of Valencia

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Valencia Complete Tour by Tuk Tuk

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places to visit in valencia city

The Fallas Museum (Museo Fallero de València) The Fallas Museum (Museo Fallero de València)

If you're not in Valencia in time for Las Fallas – a raucous annual celebration of spring and Saint Joseph's Day – then be sure to check out the Museu Faller. The distinctly Valencian museum displays ninots , individual figures made of papier-mâché that are part of a bigger falla composition. These usually satirical effigies are paraded through the city and then burned in bonfires during their yearly namesake festival. Only the ninots deemed to be the best are spared and then preserved here. The museum also contains a variety of other historic items from past festivals, including posters and images of the large Falleras Mayores .

Museumgoers invariably found the Museu Faller fascinating, and exhibits are believed to offer insights into the city's culture and folklore.

places to visit in valencia city

Barrio del Carmen Barrio del Carmen free

U.S. News Insider Tip: While you’re soaking up the sights of El Carmen, don’t forget to look up! You’ll notice that the underside of many of the balconies are adorned with beautifully patterned tiles. – Sarah Harvey

El Carmen is the most famous of all six neighborhoods in the Old Town (El Carmen, La Seu, La Xerea, El Pilar, El Mercat and Sant Francesc). This hip, gentrified, yet still slightly rough-around-the-edges area is an exciting blend of some of the most attractive historical landmarks with some of the city’s best street art, restaurants and bars. Quirky and fascinating museums and landmarks pepper the area, from the 2-foot-tall House of Cats to the Portal de Valldigna – an ancient entrance to the Moorish quarter, where the Muslims lived after Spain’s King James reclaimed Valencia from the Moors. 

places to visit in valencia city

El Cabanyal El Cabanyal free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Rent a paddleboard from the nearby marina and use it to cruise around. It’s a great way to admire local landmarks from a new angle like the ultramodern Veles e Vents America’s Cup building, and the ornately-decorated tinglados warehouses dating back to 1910. – Sarah Harvey

El Cabanyal is the neighborhood visitors head to when they want to catch some rays on the broad, golden sands of Playa de las Arenas. Playa de las Arenas is the most southerly of Valencia city’s three beaches, which all run into one another, creating a 3.7-mile-long span of sand. From here, the sand runs north all the way to Port Saplaya. 

places to visit in valencia city

Mercado Colón Mercado Colón free

U.S. News Insider Tip: The tiger nut drink known as horchata is a must-try at Colón Market, accompanied by fartons (fluffy pastries topped with light frosting or filled with cream). Horchata was brought to Valencia by the Moors and quickly spread across Spain, and beyond. – Sarah Harvey

This popular market is a haven for epicureans. Housed within a Modernist structure dating from 1916, it’s not only a destination for shopping, but also for leisure. That’s because the stalls, shops and a range of temporary exhibitions are surrounded by cafes. The latter was added as part of the 2003 refurbishment, in the form of large glass cubes scattered around the circumference. Tourists rub shoulders with locals at this buzzing spot, including well-heeled staff from offices in the surrounding area, who hit the market’s cafes for after-work drinks. The basement level offers gourmet stores and restaurants. 

places to visit in valencia city

Mestalla Stadium (Estadio de Mestalla) Mestalla Stadium (Estadio de Mestalla)

Mestalla Stadium can seat approximately 50,000 football (i.e., soccer) fans, and those in Valencia are among the sport's most ardent. The home of the Valencia Club de Fútbol (VCF) since 1923, the stadium is known for its unusually steep grandstands and is regarded as an especially exciting place to catch a match – and absorb a notable side of the local culture.

Stadium-goers generally enjoyed the upbeat atmosphere and noted that the venue is quite family-friendly.

places to visit in valencia city

Albufera Natural Park Tour with Boat Ride from Valencia

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Valencia Private Walking Tour with Official Valencian Guide

Valencia Private Walking Tour with Official Valencian Guide

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Authentic Valencian Paella Cooking Class

Authentic Valencian Paella Cooking Class

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places to visit in valencia city

Fine Art Museum of Valencia (Museu de Belles Arts de Valencia) Fine Art Museum of Valencia (Museu de Belles Arts de Valencia) free

If you're a fan of Spanish artists, such as Velázquez, Goya and El Greco, you won't want to miss the free Museu de Belles Arts, which also houses a sizable collection of medieval paintings, with a heavy emphasis on religious art and relics. Among its holdings are approximately 2,000 paintings and statues, some dating back to the 14th century. The building itself is also quite interesting. It was once the home of the Seminary College of Saint Pius V, which dates back to the 17th century.

Recent visitors appreciated the wide array of artistic styles on display. However, a few said this is not a must-see unless you're interested in Spanish artists, with a strong slant on religious art.

places to visit in valencia city

Institut Valencia d'Art Modern (IVAM) Institut Valencia d'Art Modern (IVAM)

The Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM), or the Valencian Institute of Modern Art, is filled with modern and contemporary works. Its permanent collection, which boasts more than 10,000 pieces, centers on the 20th century and features important works by Julio González and Ignacio Pinazo, among others.

Recent travelers said the museum is worth a visit if you're a fan of modern art. Those who enjoyed it said it offered a wide breadth of exhibits and noted that it would be difficult for an art lover to find fault with its offerings.

places to visit in valencia city

Ruzafa Ruzafa free

Ruzafa is a neighborhood just outside the city center that’s better known as a local hangout than as a tourist spot. However, there is plenty to appeal to visitors, particularly those wanting to see another side of Valencia. It’s a gentrified area, popular amongst young expats and local hipsters and artists (think: street art, cupcake bakeries, art galleries and vintage clothing shops). There is also an eye-catching market building, which was built in 1962 in the Brutalist architectural style, then painted in bold graded colors in 2010. Despite the numerous recent changes, Ruzafa still retains a lot of its original character, including cheap and authentic tapas joints and quirky bars. 

Many recent visitors commented on the neighborhood’s cool, bohemian vibe. 

places to visit in valencia city

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Spain Guides

Top 12 Places To Visit In Valencia


If you're looking for a holiday destination that offers culture, history, and natural beauty all in one place, Valencia is the perfect spot for you.

Situated on the eastern coast of Spain, Valencia is home to some of the most stunning architecture and landscapes in the country. From its ancient cathedrals to its modern City of Arts and Sciences , there's something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.

And if that's not enough, Valencia also boasts miles of pristine beaches and lush countryside waiting to be explored.

What Are The Best Places To Visit in Valencia?

Here are the top 12 places you won't want to miss on your visit to Valencia.

1.   Plaza de la Virgen

Valencia Cathedral

The Plaza de la Virgen dates back to Roman times and is one of Valencia's oldest and most beautiful plazas. In the center of the plaza is an elegant Neptune fountain created by Silvestre Edeta, a local sculptor.

The square is surrounded by several important buildings, including the Palace of the Generalitat. Across from there is Valencia Cathedral Catedral and next to that is the most important Baroque church in Valencia, Basilica Of Our Lady Of The Forsaken (Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Desamparados). This church contains a beautiful fresco on its dome ceiling, painted by Antonio Palomino in 1703.

Plaza de la Virgen is a central destination and a great place to start your walk through the historic downtown. There are also several cafes on the square, so it's a great place to stop for ice cream or a drink.

2.   Catedral de Valencia

Valencia Cathedral

Valencia Cathedral , or the Cathedral of the Holy Chalice, is one of Spain's most unique cathedrals because it is a combination of different architectural styles. The site on which the cathedral now stands has been steeped in history for centuries; first as an ancient Roman temple, then as a Moorish mosque. Construction on the cathedral began in the 13th century, with renovations taking place in the 15th and 17th centuries.

Be sure to walk around the entire building and take note of the different architectural styles used on each facade. Truly, a very unique building!

The Cathedral is beautiful and unique both from the outside and inside.

The Chapel of the Holy Grail inside the Cathedral contains beautiful vaulting and star motifs. It illustrates a scene with the 12 apostles in Heaven as well as the coronation of the Virgin Mary. The most precious item is a reliquary housing the Holy Chalice, which is an artifact from the early first century AD supposedly used by Jesus during Holy Eucharist.

The Cathedral of Valencia also has a museum, the Museo Catedral de València. You can also climb to the top of El Miguelete (the Miguelete Tower) for a panoramic view of Valencia's cityscape.

3.   Mercado Central

Mercado Central Valencia

The Mercado Central is a beautiful marketplace built in 1928. The Art Nouveau building is adorned with stunning decorative ceramics ( azulejos) that are typical of the region. The hall contains hundreds of market stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and food products from Valencia as well as other areas of Spain.

Stop by in the morning for a coffee and to watch the locals go about their shopping. And pick up some fresh fruit while you're at it.

My personal favorite is the fresh juice. There are so many fruit flavors to choose from!

4.   Torres de Serranos

Torres de Serranos

The Torres de Serranos, located in Valencia, is a grand fortification symbolic of the town. The structure represents one of the ancient gates into the Old Town and harkens back to a time when Valencia was surrounded by walls for defense purposes. These town ramparts were constructed during the 14th century upon Roman foundations.

The Serrano Towers have been restored to their original beauty and stand as a monument in the city. These courts not only offer an amazing view of the skyline but also transport visitors back in time. As you walk through the grand entrance, which is complete with Gothic details and shields from the city's coat of arms, you'll feel like you're stepping into another era.

Tip: Take the time to climb to the top of the tower. The entrance is free and you'll enjoy a beautiful view of the city.

5.   Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas

Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas

The Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas is famous for its luxurious exterior and intricately designed interior.

This 18th-century palace originally belong to a noble family, but now holds the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics, which opened in 1947.

Inside you will find over 5,000 examples of traditional pottery from Valencia and the neighboring area.

Additionally, there are many other fascinating pieces on display such as ancient Greek, Roman, and Arab pottery; as well as delicate porcelain originating from the Silk Route in China or Japan.

The collection also has some amazing modern art, including some of Picasso's works.

6.   Museo de Bellas Artes

Museum of Arts Valencia

The Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia is Spain's second-largest art gallery. The museum displays art from the 15th to 19th centuries, including works by important Valencian painters like Joaquín Sorolla and Francisco de Goya.

For any art lover, this is a must-see stop.

Gothic art lovers will be especially impressed, as there are several rooms containing artwork in that style. For a deeper understanding of the Valencian school, I recommend taking a look at the works of Pinazo and Benlliure included in the collection. This will give you an interesting look into the city's culture and rich art and historical tradition.

In addition to its outstanding Renaissance paintings--with Valencia being the point where this style entered Spain--the museum also features important works by Velázquez.

7.   Bioparc Valencia

BioParc Valencia

At Valencia's zoo , the landscape of the park simulates native habitats as closely as possible to provide animals with the best environment.

Rather than separating different species, they exist together as if in their natural environments. For example, lions, giraffes, antelopes, and rhinoceros all live together on the savannah just like they would in nature. Gorillas live amongst the dense trees of an equatorial forest while hippopotami and crocodiles take refuge in the water to cool down.

The zoo is known for its large collection of African animals and its focus on sustainability.

8. La Lonja de la Seda

Lonja De La Seda Valencia

The Silk Exchange buildings are one of the hidden gems of Valencia many tourists miss.

The collection of buildings, constructed between 1482 and 1533, was once used for trading silk (thus its name, the Silk Exchange). It has always been a hub for commerce and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site .

The grandiose Contract or Trading Hall illustrates the prosperity and power of a major trading city in southern Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. The architecture is an exemplary example of the late Gothic style and is well worth a visit.

9.  Plaza Redonda

Plaza Redonda Valencia

The Plaza Redonda, designed by Salvador Escrig Melchor in 1840, is one of Valencia's enchanting tourist attractions.

You can browse small stalls selling lace, embroidery, fabrics, and Valencian souvenirs while surrounded by traditional craft shops.

If you stand by the fountain in the center, you can take in the beautiful view of Santa Catalina's Late Baroque bell tower. The three-story building is capped off with a magnificent structure, which offers visitors a wonderful sight to behold.

10. Horchaterías de Santa Catalina

Horchateria Santa Catalina

Horchata, a sweet drink that resembles milk, is very popular in Valencia. It's made of chufas--tiger nuts that originally come from Egypt but now are grown in Alboraya (located in the province of Valencia).

Oftentimes, you can get a farton (a sweet pastry) with your horchata in Valencia--and it's the perfect combination! This was my favourite combination.

Horchaterías de Santa Catalina located around the corner from Plaza Redonda is a beautiful cafe designed in the Art Nevou style and the perfect place to stop for a refreshing horchata.

11. Turia Park

Turia Park Valencia

If you're looking for a breathtaking place to take a walk or go on a run, the Turia Garden is your perfect spot.

This urban park in Spain crosses 18 bridges and boasts 9 kilometers of gorgeous green space. As a bonus, it's also full of historical landmarks and runs by some of the city's most popular museums.

Interesting fact: The gardens were once the riverbed of the Turia. After many flooding incidents, the river's course was changed to prevent future floods. This is why you'll still see many bridges throughout the park.

So if you're a runner, cyclist, nature enthusiast, or just looking for a beautiful place to relax with your family, the Turia Garden should be at the top of your list!

12. La Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències de València

Reina Sofia Arts Centre

The City of Arts and Sciences is an incredible cultural and scientific center located in Valencia. The complex, which stretches two kilometers along the Turia River, was designed by world-renowned architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela.

The Ciudad complex is divided into six sections: the Hemisfèric IMAX Cinema, which screens 3-D digital films and serves as a planetarium; the Umbracle landscaped area with stunning views; The interactive museum of Science, environment, and Technology known as Museu de les Ciències; Europe's largest aquarium, Oceanogràfic; Palau de les Arts opera house; and lastly, Ágora concert space.

A contrast to the historic downtown, this avant-garde complex is worth a visit.

Wrapping Up And My Experience In Valencia

Valencia is a beautiful and historic city with plenty to see and do. From its stunning cathedrals to its modern architecture, there's something for everyone. And of course, let's not forget the delicious food!

I spent a week here in the summer of 2022 and would have gladly extended my stay. The city is easy to navigate and the people are friendly and welcoming. I highly recommend a visit to Valencia, whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or a family-friendly holiday.

From exploring Valencia's rich history to its exciting present, you're sure to have a wonderful time.

Have you been to Valencia? What was your favourite part of the city? Let us know in the comments below.

This travel experience was kindly contributed by Alisa Goz ,  a digital nomad, travel blogger, and passionate life-long learner.

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Lily At Spainguides

I'm a travelholic and started visiting Spain around 10 years ago. Have travelled the length and breadth of this beautifully contrasting country. “Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.”

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  • Top 12 Places To Visit In Valencia - October 24, 2022
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What to see in Valencia, the 23 places you must visit


Valencia is a city to be enjoyed, just like Madrid ,  Barcelona ,  Bilbao  or  Seville . Visitors will find a wealth of treasure here, as this city has a long history and a huge variety of fascinating places to visit. Most of Valencia’s not-to-be-missed sights are in the old part of the city. This is where you will find the Cathedral and the Lonja de la Seda [Silk Exchange], definitely two of the most important historic buildings. However, there are also natural spaces that can compete for the top spot, due to their great beauty. These include the Natural Park de La Albufera, the Jardines del Turia, the beaches of El Cabañal and La Malvarrosa, the IVAM (Valencia Institute of Modern Art), and the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias [Arts and Science Park].

Below, we list and describe some of the attractions that Valencia has to offer, and that no visitor should miss on any stay in the city.


  • Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias [Arts and Science Park]
  • Palau de la Música
  • Ópera de Valencia
  • La Lonja de la Seda [Silk Exchange]

Catedral de Valencia

  • Mercado de Valencia [Market]
  • Torres de Serranos [Serranos Towers]

Torres de Quart

  • Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Valencia [Town Hall Square]
  • Barrio del Carmen

Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas

  • Plaza de la Virgen

Jardines del Turia

  • The Ruzafa neighbourhood
  • Valencia’s Fallas Festival
  • Science Museum
  • Valencia’s Fine Arts Museum
  • Museo Fallero [Fallas Museum]
  • La Malvarrosa beach

Playa del Saler

Playa de Pinedo

Playa de las Arenas


1. Oceanogràfic, Europe’s largest aquarium

This is, quite simply, Europe’s largest aquarium with over 45,000 specimens from 500 different species, swimming in salt water pumped from La Malvarrosa beach. The aquarium  Oceanogràfic , built in 2003 by architects Félix Candela and José María Tomás Llavador, was designed to represent Earth’s main ecosystems. It is one of the places in Valencia that no visitor should miss. It is housed within the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias de Valencia, and here visitors can see dolphins, beluga whales, walruses, sea lions, sharks, jellyfish, starfish, sea urchins, and more. Carrer d’Eduardo Primo Yúfera, 1B


Barceló Valencia

  • Opposite the City of Arts and Sciences
  • Ideal for business or leisure trips
  • Ultra-comfortable B-Rooms
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel

2. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias [Arts and Science Park]

This vast leisure, culture and scientific research complex began life in 1998, with the opening of Hemisfèric. Sited on the bed of the river Turia, the  Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias  covers an area of 350,000 m2, and has been designed as an open town within the great city of Valencia. It was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava, and houses venerable institutions such as the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Hemisfèric (Imax Cinema and Planetarium), the Umbracle (a garden that visitors can stroll around), the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum, Oceanogràfic, and the Ágora, a multi-use space. The complex is open to the public 365 days a year. Avenida Del Professor López Piñero, 7.

ciudad de las artes y las ciencias

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

3. Palau de la Música

In Valencia, music has a home worthy of the emotions it evokes in human beings. Known as the  Palau de la Música , its design is based on iron and glass. It stands in the Jardín del Turia, and visitors are both surprised and impressed by its appearance. It is as if a giant greenhouse was providing a space to listen to great artists and orchestras performing classical music in particular. The Palau opened in 1987, and was designed by José María García Paredes, winner of the 1956 National Prize for Architecture. It offers an extensive programme, so it is likely that you would have the opportunity to attend a concert during your stay.

palau-de-la-musica valencia

Palau de la música de Valencia

3. Ópera de Valencia

Another of Valencia’s temples to music is the   Ópera de Valencia , also known as the  Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía . It forms part of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, and its design resembles the keel of a boat. Let’s not forget that it stands next to the river bed of the Turia. To many visitors, of course, it looks more like the helmet of an Imperial Trooper from Star Wars. But if the outside makes an impact, neither does the interior disappoint. The opera house has a 530 m2 stage, and can hold audiences of up to 1,800. Other areas of interest are the Aula Magistral, the Amphitheatre, and the Martín y Soler theatre. It is well worth joining a guided tour and then staying for lunch in the restaurant.

opera de valencia

Opera de Valencia

4. La Lonja de la Seda [Silk Exchange]

The Lonja de la Seda [Silk Exchange], designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996, is one of Valencia’s iconic buildings. It dates from the fifteenth century, and is located opposite the Central Market and the Templo de los Santos Juanes.  This masterpiece of Valencian Gothic secular architecture occupies an area of 2,000 m2, and comprises three sections (the tower, the Consulate of the Sea’s Hall, and the Trading Hall or Column Hall) built around a courtyard planted with orange trees. On the ground floor of the tower is the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, and the two floors above were used to imprison merchants who defaulted on their payments. The Lonja de la Seda owes its name to the fact that silk was the city’s most thriving industry between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries. Lonja, 2.

la lonja de la seda

La lonja de la seda

5. Valencia Cathedral

Though Gothic in origin,  Valencia’s cathedral  has acquired an array of architectural styles over the course of several remodellings. The church has three naves and, every Thursday at 12.00 midday, the unique Tribunal de las Aguas de Valencia [Water Tribunal] still meets near the Door of the Apostles. The rulings of this institution are fully respected, although it is not made up of professional judges. The cathedral’s most outstanding feature is the octagonal Miguelete bell tower, at over 50 metres tall. From inside the Cathedral, visitors can access the Diocesan Museum. Plaça de l’Almoina, s/n.

catedral de valencia

6. Mercado de Valencia [Market]

If you are passionate about food and drink, you really must visit  Valencia’s Central Market , a gourmet’s paradise in a Modernista-style building, and offering excellent home-grown and Mediterranean produce. Covering 8,000 m2, this is said to be Europe’s largest market selling fresh produce. It is built from stained glass windows, tiles and iron columns reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. The market accommodates over 1,200 stalls, and if you’re looking for a “gastro” eatery, make for the Central Bar, now in the hands of the chef Ricard Camarena. Here you can try typical Valencian cooking in a range of excellent tapas, raciones or rolls. Plaça de la Ciutat de Bruges, s/n .

mercado de valencia

Mercado de Valencia

7. Torres de Serranos [Serranos Towers]

A superb example of Valencian Gothic architecture. The  Torres de Serranos  were built to defend one of the busiest gateways into old Valencia. Construction of the towers began in 1392, and they were spared when the city wall was demolished in 1865.  From 1586 until 1887, they were used as a prison for aristocrats. Nowadays this is where, during Las Fallas (Valencia’s greatest festival), the Fallera Mayor [chief lady of honour] welcomes the celebrations. This event is known as the Crida, and is held on the last Sunday in February. Plaça dels Furs, s/n

torres de serranos

Torres de Serranos

8. Torres de Quart

The imposing  Torres de Quart  guard one of the entrances in Valencia’s old town wall. The towers were built in the mid fifteenth century, and several craftsmen contributed to their construction: Francesc Baldomar, Jaume Pérez, Pere Compte, and Pere Bonfill. It seems that the name comes from the town of Cuart de Poblet, 5 kilometres away, since if you leave by this gateway you will be heading in that direction.

The towers have had various uses down the years. As well as guarding the entrance to the city, they have been used as a store for gunpowder and as a women’s prison. Today, their battlements are the ideal spot from which to admire Valencia’s skyline .

Torres de Quart

9. Valencia’s Plaza del Ayuntamiento

This square is the heart of the city. Valencia’s  Plaza del Ayuntamiento [Town Hall Square]  is one of the city’s most vibrant spots, not only because it is home to the Casa Consistorial [Town Hall] and other stately buildings, but also because it is an emblematic social meeting place since several bus routes converge here. Flower stalls stand in the middle of the square, and it is here that the traditional mascletás [firework displays] are held during the Fallas.

Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Valencia

Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Valencia

10. Barrio del Carmen de Valencia

Bounded by the Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart, this is the liveliest area of the city, as well as being the neighbourhood with the richest history. Valencia’s  Barrio del Carmen  takes its name from the church and convent of the Carmen Calzado and, as we approach the heart of this neighbourhood, we stumble upon a labyrinth of cobbled streets. Here you will find the unique Portal de la Valldigna (an old archway leading into what was once the Arab quarter); the centuries-old Plaza del Árbol; and the tiny Casa de los Gatos [Cats’ House], as well as centuries-old shops and businesses. This chic, bohemian neighbourhood also boasts some important centres for art, including the IVAM [Valencia Institute of Modern Art]; the Museum of Illustration (MUVIM); and the cultural centres, the Centre del Carme and La Beneficencia. This district is a favourite haunt of lovers of gastronomy since, in addition to its famous market, the Mercado de Mossen Sorell, Barrio del Carmen also boasts a plethora of restaurants and terraces. And don’t forget to try the paella!

Barrio del Carmen de Valencia

Barrio del Carmen de Valencia

11. Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas

This is the home of Spain’s National Ceramics Museum. The  Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas  has an impressive alabaster entrance carved by the sculptor Vergara. The museum houses a superb ceramics collection from all kinds of sources, and recreates certain traditional spaces, such as a typical Valencian kitchen. Raconada de Federico García Sánchiz, 10.

palacio del marques de dos aguas

12. Plaza de la Virgen de Valencia

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 fountain or of the children playing. And, of course, to admire the magnificent buildings. The square takes its name from the patron of Valencia, the Virgen de los Desamparados. The basilica dedicated to her dominates this large, irregularly-shaped space. During the Fallas festival, massive offerings of flowers are brought here in honour of the Virgin. Visitors can also see the Apostle Doors on the Cathedral, as well as the Palau de la Generalitat de Valencia.  Plaça de la Verge, s/n

Plaza de la Virgen de Valencia

Plaza de la Virgen de Valencia

13. Jardines del Turia

The Jardines del Turia  provide Valencia with space to breathe, to go for a run, meet with friends, or to stop by and visit iconic attractions such as the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Great architects and landscape gardeners, including Ricardo Bofill, have contributed to this huge regeneration project on the banks of the river Turia.

Currently Valencians and visitors have access to a 7-kilometre stretch, divided into 12 stages, with plenty of gardens, bridges, ponds, children’s play areas, and terraces to stop for a drink and a snack.

jardines del turia

The  Ruzafa neighbourhood  is an example of the phenomenon found in many cities, whereby the suburbs begin to attract bohemians, artists, bookshops, design studios, and alternative gastronomic establishments. It is fascinating to visit this district which combines the essence of the past with new trends. What many regard as “the hipster neighbourhood” has a history dating back to the ninth century, when Prince Abd-Allah Al-Balansi ordered a Moorish garden to be built here. More recently, in the nineteenth century, it was an independent town in its own right.

Any visit to Valencia should include Ruzafa, because it provides a chance to buy more original items, visit galleries, see the municipal market, and eat in superb restaurants and cafés.

ruzafa valencia

15. Bioparc Valencia

This is one of the world’s largest zoos. On entering the Bioparc Valencia , visitors feel as if they are in the animals’ habitat, because the zoo is designed so that there are no barriers between the public and the animals. The Bioparc specialises in animals from Africa, and is divided into four sections: dry savannah, humid savannah, equatorial African forest, and Madagascar. It occupies an area of 100,000 m2, and is home to over 800 specimens from 116 different species from all over the continent of Africa. It has a restaurant, gift shops, and a projection room to disseminate the objectives of Bioparc Valencia.  Avenida Pío Baroja, 3 .

Bioparc en Valencia

Bioparc en Valencia

16. Valencia’s Fallas

The festival of  Las Fallas  is the most important event of the year in Valencia. From 1 to 19 March, the capital of Valencia is at its most festive. During this time, there is no shortage of gunpowder, fire or fun. The daily mascletás (successive firecracker explosions), the events with the falleras [ladies of honour] processions, flower offerings, and huge castles of fireworks in the Jardines del Turia form the build-up to La Cremá, [the burning]. On the night of 19 March, the fallas [enormous, papier mâché figures] are burnt, and all this original, irreverent art is reduced to ashes. It is interesting to visit the Museo Fallero, as there you can see displays of the ninots, as the figures are called, that have been reprieved since 1934.

fallas de valencia

Fallas de Valencia


1. Science Museum

The  Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe  is Valencia’s best example of a museum committed to education in the fields of science and technology. The museum is housed in the amazing Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, and its motto is “it is forbidden not to touch”, so there is nothing to worry about for families visiting with children. This museum covers an area of 26,000 m2, divided among three floors, with rooms for both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Among those you need to keep in mind on your visit are the ‘Legacy of Science’ which presents a chronological journey though the life and research of Ramón y Cajal, Severo Ochoa and Jean Dausset. You will need a whole morning if you want to see the museum without having to rush.

museo de la ciencia valencia

Museo de las Ciencias

2. Fine Arts Museum

Valencia’s  Fine Arts Museum , the city’s largest art museum, is worth a visit to see not only the art collections, but also the beautiful building in which they are held. The museum’s exhibition rooms are set around the cloister of the old San Pío V Seminary School. It houses important collections of sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, decorative arts, and a few archaeological pieces.

If you’re short of time, we recommend you concentrate on Valencian artists such as Sorolla (to whom four rooms are devoted), Joan de Joanes, Pinazo, los Ribalta, and Vicente López.  Also, try not to miss Velázquez’s Self Portrait , and the canvases by El Greco, Van Dyck and José de Ribera.

Museo de Bellas Artes

Museo de Bellas Artes

3. Museo Fallero

To understand the importance of Valencia’s Las Fallas celebrations, you need either to experience them for yourself, or at least visit the  Museo Fallero . If you choose the second of these options, stop off here for an explanation of the importance of this festival, which has been declared an Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Here you can see the ninots that were spared the flames, the oldest of which date from 1934. It is fascinating to see how the ninots have evolved from the twentieth century until now. Also on display are old posters, badges, etc. This museum, housed in the former convent of the Casa Misión de San Vicente de Paúl, is a fascinating place.

museo fallero valencia

Museo Fallero. Valencia.


1. La Malvarrosa beach

La Malvarrosa  is Valencia’s favourite urban beach. Many Valencians still retain happy memories of when the boats would come up to the banks, and people could buy fresh fish from them. If you’re curious about how the beach got its name, we can tell you that it comes from an idea of a gardener at the Valencia Botanical Gardens, who decided to embellish the beach by planting geranios malvarrosas [hollyhocks] there.

This beach, beloved in days of yore by bourgeois families, ordinary people and artists such as Sorolla (who immortalised its light in some of his works) is today one of Valencia’s essential places to visit. Enjoy a stroll along its 2-kilometre stretch, sunbathe or take a dip, and then head for one of the nearby restaurants for a taste of delicious Valencian cuisine.

Playa de la Malvarrosa

Playa de la Malvarrosa

2. Playa del Saler

Far more private and “wild”,  Playa del Saler  is perfect for relaxing and leisurely strolls. It is on the threshold of the Albufera Natural Park, so it has a pleasant setting and sand dunes of great ecological value. And, if you’re a windsurfing enthusiast, you’ll find this beach a fantastic place to enjoy your favourite sport.

playa del saler

3. Playa de Pinedo

Pinedo beach  is considered one of the city of Valencia’s finest beaches, thanks to its calm waters and its sand dunes covered in vegetation. You will find it after the port and the yachting club. Its 2.7-kilometre stretch includes uncrowded nudist areas. If you’re fond of sunsets, from here you can watch a very pleasant one as the lights of the leisure marina begin to switch on.

playa de pinedo

4. Playa de las Arenas

Playa de las Arenas, which lies next to the Juan Carlos I Marina and the well-known La Malvarrosa beach, is an ideal beach for families travelling with children, or for those seeking a wide range of leisure activities and places to eat close at hand. A good way to enjoy the Playa de las Arenas is to spend some time on the beach, and then go for a walk along the seafront promenade lined with palm trees, before sitting down to lunch or an horchata [drink made from tiger nuts]. Not a bad idea, eh?

Playa de las Arenas

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you absolutely not miss in the city of Valencia?

On your visit to Valencia, there are different attractions that you really wouldn’t want to miss, including the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Oceanografic, the Ópera de Valencia, the Torres de Serrano and the Torres de Quart, Valencia Cathedral, and the Lonja de la Seda. Find out about all these attractions in our guide.

What museums should you visit in Valencia?

Of all Valencia’s museums, the most popular are the Science Museum, the Fine Arts Museum, and the folk museum, the Museo Fallero. Why not get to know them?

What are the most recommended beaches in Valencia?

Valencia has a few urban beaches where it is good to go for a dip when the temperatures soar. The famous La Malvarrosa beach is the best known, but there are others you should not miss, such as Playa de Saler, Playa del Pinedo, and Playa de las Arenas.

Related plans

Bioparc, discover african wildlife without leaving valencia, valencia’s plaça de la mare de déu and its many monuments, restaurants you can’t miss in valencia, ciutat de les arts i les ciències, a fascinating educational complex.

Travelers Universe

25 Best Things to Do in Valencia, Spain (2024 Travel Guide)

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Wondering what to do in Valencia to make the most of your trip to Spain? Whatever moves you when you travel, below you’ll find an extensive list of the very best things to do in Valencia .

With sun-kissed shores, friendly locals, world-famous landmarks, and crazy fiestas, Valencia is one of the best cities to visit in Spain and a wonderful choice for a long weekend break.

In this Valencia travel guide , I cover everything from top attractions and fun activities to scrumptious local delicacies you simply cannot miss when organizing your dream trip to Valencia .

Top 10 Things To Do in Valencia

Valencia is packed with spectacular buildings, gentrified neighborhoods, and peaceful green areas. This is my definitive list of what to see and do in Valencia for the time-conscious traveler.

Tip: If you’re planning to visit several museums and attractions, it might make sense to buy the Valencia Tourist Card. The card also includes unlimited free public transport around the city (including the metro to and from the airport).

1. Marvel at the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences

The opera house and the IMAX theatre, two must-see buildings that are part of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia

The City of Arts and Sciences is a mind-blowing architectural complex made up of six of the most famous buildings in Valencia. It is the attraction that put Valencia on the tourist map and a place worthy of your Spain bucket list .

The complex is situated at the southeast end of the former Turia riverbed. It consists of an opera house, an aquarium, a science museum, an IMAX theatre, a multipurpose covered plaza, and an outdoor art gallery.

It was designed by the world-famous Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava and is one of the 12 Treasures of Spain , right next to Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona .

The organic shapes of the buildings have an endless capacity to entertain and stimulate the mind. One looks like a giant eye. Another reminds me of a whale skeleton. Some are masterfully covered in shattered tile fragments and glitter in the sun.

This is one of the most interesting places to visit in Valencia. You cannot leave without strolling around its blue pools of water. Maybe even hire a kayak, boat, or waterbike!

2. Visit Oceanogràfic, the largest aquarium in Europe

The underwater tunnel at the Oceanografic in Valencia

Oceanogràfic is the jewel in the City of Arts and Sciences’ crown. It is the largest aquarium in Europe and has a mind-blowing array of sea creatures. Oceanogràfic ranks among the top places to see in Valencia and is one of the best places to visit in Valencia with kids.

You can walk through the longest underwater tunnel in Europe. Meet the only family of beluga whales on the continent. And watch the dolphins at play.

Every time I visited the fish looked happy and well cared for. So I actually felt good about being here. The aquariums are huge, clean, and faithfully reproduce each species’ habitat. So much so, that they even pump seawater from the nearby beach!

One of the most remarkable things you can do here is to join a shark sleepover. This activity is suitable for families and couples alike.

I recommend you plan 2+ hours for your visit so you can spend some quality time with the fish and the birdies.

If you want to elevate your experience to the next level, book a table at their in-house restaurant, Submarino. This underwater eatery serves modern and fusion cuisine with Mediterranean influences.

3. Walk through history in El Carmen

Serranos Tower, an old city gate that you can visit in Valencia

El Carmen is the atmospheric maze of cobblestone streets between Calle Quart and Calle de Serranos. It developed during medieval times between the Muslim and the Christian wall and is one of the six neighborhoods that form Valencia’s Old Town.

A stroll through El Carmen is like a trip into the past. Yet El Carmen is also bohemian and vibrant to the core and it brims with life regardless of the hour. Here you’ll find some of the best nightlife in Valencia . As well as some of the most interesting historical sites.

Look for Portal de Valldigna , the medieval arched door in the wall that used to separate the Arabs from the Christians. The first printing press in Spain was established right next to it back in the 1470s.

Climb the Serranos and Quart Towers , the only two city gates still standing. Relax in the shadow of a centenarian olive tree in Plaza del Árbol . Visit the Cats’ House , a curious monument to the thousands of street cats living in the city. Sample gourmet tapas inside Mossén Sorell Market . And wander around the peaceful cloisters of Centre del Carmen .

To learn more about El Carmen and Valencia’s Moorish past, check out this private walking tour led by a local. During the tour, you’ll visit some of the best places in Valencia and explore the medieval heart of the city.

4. Discover the glorious past of Valencia’s Silk Exchange

The main hall of La Lonja of Valencia with its huge twisted columns

Between the 14th and 18th centuries, Valencia was a very important silk producer. This led to the Valencian Golden Age (15th and 16th centuries), a period of rapid economic growth.

During this time, Valencia was one of the most influential cities in the Mediterranean and even funded Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas. Culture and arts flourished. The University of Valencia was founded. And La Lonja de la Seda (the Silk Exchange) was built.

In its heyday, this imposing building was a splendid commercial emporium. The Main Hall, with its majestic palm-tree-shaped columns, was used to attract merchants from all over Europe.

Nowadays, La Lonja is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the main attractions in Valencia. Entrance is free with the Valencia Tourist Card.

If you’d like to learn more about the historical legacy of the silk trade in Valencia, I highly recommend joining a tour. Besides a visit to La Lonja, the tour also takes you inside the newly opened Silk Museum and around the old Velluters (now El Pilar) neighborhood.

This neighborhood is where the silk weavers guild was based during the 17th and 18th centuries. You can still find many shops selling gorgeous silk fabrics here, which you should really check out.

5. Learn about the intriguing history of the Holy Grail of Valencia

places to visit in valencia city

Several cities around the world claim to have the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus drank from at the Last Supper. But none of them seems to have a stronger claim than Valencia.

Valencia’s Holy Grail has been in the city ever since the 15th century and nowadays it is on display in one of the chapels inside the Cathedral.

Visiting the imposing Cathedral should be on your list of things to do in Valencia regardless, for it is a unique mix of architectural styles. Besides the Holy Grail, it hosts two Goya paintings and various religious relics, including the mummified arm of St. Vincent the Martyr, the patron saint of Valencia.

For the best panoramic views over Valencia, climb the spiral staircase inside the Gothic bell tower (affectionately called Miguelete). Just beware that there are 207 narrow steps up to the summit.

If you want to set out on a quest to learn about the contested history of the Holy Grail, there’s no better way to do so other than by joining a tour. The tour includes a visit to several places of worship and ends up with a paella lunch.

Hot tip: Other churches worth visiting are Iglesia del Patriarca for its baffling dragon; Basílica de la Virgen de Los Desamparados , a beautiful oval church connected to the cathedral; Iglesia de San Esteban for its extravagant blue vegetal patterns; Iglesia de San Nicolas for its incredibly ornate ceiling and Iglesia de San Juan del Hospital , Valencia’s oldest church.

6. Be amazed by the Palace of the Marques de Dos Aguas

The intricate facade of Palacio del Marquez de Dos Aguas is one of the must-visit attractions in Valencia

The Palace of the Marques de Dos Aguas is one of the best places to visit in Valencia for Rococo architecture. It dates back to the 15th century and was originally built in the Gothic style. Later on, during the 18th century, the palace got a Rococo facelift at the hand of Hipólito Rovira.

The most notable feature of the palace is its ornate facade replete with symbolism. For example, the statues of the two naked men on each side of the entrance represent the largest rivers of the Valencian community — Turia and Júcar.

The second floor houses the most important ceramics museums in Spain. Here you can find painted tiles, plates, and other objects from different time periods. The most striking bit, however, is the painstakingly reconstructed traditional Valencian kitchen.

If ceramics aren’t your cup of tea, the palace is still worth visiting for its lavish interiors on the first floor. The rooms are a spectacular combination of rococo, neoclassical, and oriental elements. Think painted ceilings, period furniture, and a small collection of early 20th-century paintings by Pinazo.

Personally, I’m in love with both the porcelain room and the ballroom. But the two extravagant carriages on the ground floor are nothing short of amazing as well.

7. Hang out in Ruzafa

An interesting looking bar full of antiques  in Valencia's Ruzafa neighborhood

Ruzafa is Valencia’s most gentrified neighborhood. It is the place to be if you are into curiosity shops, nightlife, and good food.

A few years ago, this barrio was in such a state of decay that it wasn’t even worthy of a second look. Yet now it is a young and artsy place with colorful architecture, fun cafés, and a lively atmosphere.

Ruzafa is a neighborhood of family-owned businesses and Airbnbs. You’d be hard-pressed to find any coffeehouse chains or hotels here. What you’ll find instead, is a traditional local market with fresh, top-quality produce. An art deco building that looks like a wedding cake ( Casa Judía at 20 Calle Castellón ). And endless pavement cafés.

Stop by Ubik Café , the bookstore/café that kickstarted the whole movement of regeneration. Try some paella with a twist at Masusa Bar — their spicy paella is legendary! Have some local craft beer at Olhöps or Ruzanuvol . And dance the night away at one of the many dance clubs.

Ruzafa also has several great brunch spots, such as Café ArtySana , Bluebell Café, and Kea . And if you have a sweet tooth, La Más Bonita and Dulce de Leche are mandatory visits. For more ideas see the best brunch cafés in Valencia .

8. Soak up Valencia’s Art Nouveau architecture

Valencia's North Train Station at night

If you’re an architecture lover looking for some free things to do in Valencia, you’re in luck. Valencia is a city of gorgeous Art Nouveau buildings, beautiful wrought-iron balconies, and elegant street lamps. All you have to do is walk around Pla del Remei and Gran Via neighborhoods in the Eixample district and you’ll find stylish buildings for days.

Valencia embraced Art Nouveau amid soaring urban growth. This art movement swept across Europe just decades after the demolition of Valencia’s city wall. So it caught the city in a moment when urban development and expansion were in full swing.

As a result, a great number of Art Nouveau buildings were built. And many are still standing today.

Among the most emblematic Art Nouveau buildings in the beautiful city of Valencia are the Central Market and Colon Market . The former still serves the role of a traditional food market. While the latter was refurbished and reimagined into an elegant gastro market.

Another dazzling Art Nouveau building is the Post Office in City Hall square. I encourage you to pop inside for a minute to see its impressive glass ceiling.

Last but not least, head to the North Train Station . This is an Art Nouveau jewel inside out and a must-visit place in Valencia. If you think the facade is impressive, wait until you step inside. The main hall still preserves the old wooden ticket desks, gorgeous stained glass windows, and tiled columns.

Besides these imposing structures, you’ll also find dozens of Art Nouveau residential buildings all around the city center. I particularly like the ones on Calle de Cirilo Amorós, Gran Via del Marquéz de Túria, and the nearby streets.

9. Witness cuteness overload at Bioparc

Two lemurs at Bioparc Valencia

If you visit Valencia with kids or simply love to see cute animals, you’ll love Bioparc. Personally, I’m not a big zoo fan but heard so many great things about this one that in the end I had to see it with my own eyes.

At the core of Bioparc is the concept of zoo immersion and this is precisely what makes it unique and worth visiting. The natural habitat of the animals was painstakingly recreated and cages were banned so that animals have plenty of space to move around.

Groups of animals that normally coexist in the wild share the same space and socialize. While predatory species are kept separate, yet still present in the visual space.

Due to the clever design and high standards of animal welfare, Bioparc was voted one of the top 10 zoos in the world on Tripadvisor.

If you need some extra cuteness in your life, don’t hesitate to put Bioparc on your list of must-visit places in Valencia. This zoo park is one of the coolest parks in Valencia and the next best thing to a safari visit. Plus you’ll have the chance to get close and personal with nearly a thousand animals from 100+ species in a matter of hours.

Hot tip: The lemurs are everyone’s favorite but don’t miss the elephants’ bathing sessions either.

10. Chill out in the sun at Valencia’s beaches

Boats in the Valencia Marina

Valencia has miles upon miles of fine golden sand beaches surprisingly accessible from the city center.

The best beaches in Valencia are Playa de la Malvarrosa and Playa de Cabanyal (also known as Playa de Las Arenas). They are both wide stretches of sand and rarely feel crowded, which makes them perfect for getting a nice tan or going for a swim.

Along the palm tree-lined promenade you’ll find some really good paella restaurants as well as a street market (summer months only). If you’re in need of last-minute stuff like beach towels, swimsuits, or toys, this is the place to go.

The nearby port with all its posh yachts is my favorite and the clubs here are some of the best in Valencia. Whether you want to relax with a mojito on a terrace or dance the night away, it hardly gets any better.

If you’re looking for some cool things to do in Valencia at the beach, you can take a stand-up paddleboarding lesson, go on a full-day sailing trip, or join a sunset catamaran cruise.

Hot tip: The nearby Fabrica de Hielo is a hipster space in an old refurbished ice factory where you can have a drink and listen to live music. For a quick informal bite, go to Mercabanyal , an open-air gastro space. You really need to try the pizza with pumpkin from Sorsi e Morsi!

Other Fun Things To Do in Valencia

The above might be the most important of Valencia’s attractions, but there’s still a lot more left to be explored. Valencia is packed with fun things to do and these activities are proof of it.

11. See a mind-blowing flamenco performance

Flamenco originated in the south of Spain. It’s a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and it fuses intense lyrics and passionate dance movements accompanied by a guitar.

While not typically from Valencia, seeing a flamenco show should still be on your list of things to do. The only trouble is that there aren’t many flamenco bars or tablaos flamencos in Valencia. However, the ones that do exist, put on high-quality shows that give Seville a run for its money.

If you want to enjoy a good flamenco show in Valencia, you must stop by either La Buleria or El Toro y La Luna. Both places offer authentic flamenco shows with dinner in a typical tablao . Booking in advance is highly recommended.

Now, the former is close to Ruzafa while the latter is close to El Cabanyal and the beach. Neither one is centrally located, but La Buleria is considerably closer to the Old Town. Whichever you choose, it’s likely you’ll have to return by cab. But don’t get discouraged, because cabs in Valencia are really inexpensive.

12. Explore Valencia on two wheels

A Valenibici docking station with lots of bikes in Valencia city center

Valencia is a very health-conscious city and has an extensive network of bike lanes that connect the city center with the neighborhoods. So one fun activity I highly recommend you to try in Valencia is biking.

The urban bike-sharing scheme in Valencia is called Valenbisi. But their bikes are a bit heavy and they all have the same size. If you are traveling with kids or you simply don’t want to hassle with a heavy bike, you should consider renting your bike from a specialized shop.

My favorite biking route is through Turia Park. There are over 8 km (5 miles) of bike lanes either way and the terrain, like anywhere else in Valencia, is blissfully flat.

If you want to transform this into a cultural experience, you can join a guided bike or Segway tour. This way you’ll have a knowledgeable guide explain to you all the sights you are passing by. Plus you’ll also get to meet new people.

13. Get your kitty fix at the Botanical Garden

A cat climbing a tree at the Botanical Garden in Valencia

If you’re looking for the purrfect thing to do in Valencia, head to the Botanical Garden, close to Torres de Quarts, on the fringe of the El Carmen neighborhood.

These gardens are home to 50+ street cats and are perfect for indulging in your petting urges. The cats are well cared for by volunteers who come and feed them daily and take them to the vet when needed. They are living their best life, snuggling with the visitors, keeping the mouse population down, and looking adorable in the sun.

The gardens are beautiful and well cared for as well. They were founded in the 16th century and for a while, they were used to cultivate medicinal plants.

During the 19th century, the gardens fell into neglect, until the University of Valencia undertook the restoration project. Currently, the gardens are a wonderful place for all, with meandering paths, beautiful tropical plants, and interesting-looking buildings.

I particularly love all the ginormous palm trees and the stunning collection of succulents and cacti.

14. Discover Valencia’s fascinating street art scene

A street art mural in Valencia depicting a mother and child

If you’re looking for alternative things to do in Valencia, you should go for a stroll through Valencia’s Old Town. Take the narrow streets and look beyond the guidebook attractions and you’ll soon discover Valencia’s fervent street art scene.

You’ll find graffiti by Escif, also known as the Spanish Banksy. The gorgeous illustrations with Japanese influences and whimsical girls of Julieta XLF (my favorite Valencian street artist). And the thought-provoking works of Blu, Cere, Pichiavo, and Barbi & Hope XLF.

Most murals adorn crumbling old buildings that still abound in this part of the city. They infuse them with new life and transform the Old Town into a giant open-air museum.

If you want to see the best murals, join a street art tour and learn how Valencia has become one of Spain’s most important urban art hubs

15. Take a deep breath and relax in Valencia’s parks

Marble statues and ponds in Monforte Gardens, some of the oldest gardens in Valencia

Valencia’s parks and gardens are wonderful if you want to stretch your legs, take in some vitamin D, relax with a good book or have a picnic.

Turia Park is one of the most popular green spaces in Valencia and a glorious haven running through the heart of the city. This is the largest urban garden in Spain and it stretches along the former riverbed of the River Turia, now diverted to the outskirts of the city. Here you’ll find endless footpaths, bike lanes, jogging trails, sports facilities, pine woods, rose gardens, ponds, and a fun playground with a giant Gulliver in the middle.

Viveros Gardens , also known as the Royal Gardens, with their monumental trees, are another popular choice. As is the newly opened Central Park , a stunning landscaped garden with flower beds, vegetable plots, romantic vine-covered paths, fountains, and a meadow.

Lesser known are Monforte Gardens , smaller in size, but impossibly pretty. This lush enclave boasts a wealth of gorgeous marble statues, a fish pond, cypress hedges, and a bougainvillea-covered pergola. Once a vegetable garden, they are now some of the oldest gardens in Valencia dating back to mid 19th century.

Hot tip: Take advantage of the strong local cheese and sausage culture and pack some tasty treats along with a blanket. A picnic in the park is one of the most fun things to do in Valencia on a budget and is suitable for all ages.

16. Nose around the world’s largest miniature museum

Hosted inside a gorgeous 15th-century Gothic palace, L’Iber is the world’s largest museum of historical miniatures. Today, the museum exhibits to the public almost 100,000 tin soldiers. However, the entire collection is estimated at 1 million pieces.

Throughout the museum, there are countless replicas of famous battles that shaped the face of the earth from Prehistory to the present. On a lighter note, the museum has a whole room dedicated to fashion and even Star Wars related exhibits.

The visit can be fun for the whole family. L’Iber is a great place to visit in Valencia on a rainy day (not that it rains very often!) since it’ll keep you busy for a good couple of hours.

The museum is located in El Carmen, not far from the Cathedral. It’s a quirky attraction and a little different from everything else you’ll do in Valencia, so why not give it a try?

17. See the artist’s studio at the Benlliure House-Museum

Various objects and paintings inside the Benlliure House Museum, Valencia

It’s not often that you can visit a 19th-century household belonging to the local middle class. So if you’re curious in the slightest, you should really visit the Benlliure House Museum.

The Benlliures were a family of talented Valencian artists (painters and sculptors). Their former house, a short walk from the Serranos Towers, tells the fascinating tale of everyday life in the Benlliure home.

This is one of my favorite places to visit in Valencia, in part due to the gorgeous workshop of Jose Benlliure. The workshop is packed with paintings and objects he collected throughout his life and has an amazing atmosphere.

My second favorite thing to do here is to relax in the beautiful gardens, so skilfully concealed from the noise of the street. In a city where private gardens aren’t really a thing, this is quite a fascinating discovery.

The house is decorated with period furniture, as well as paintings and sculptures by the Benlliures. The upper floors host temporary exhibitions.

18. Step into the past at the Archaeological Museum

Old Roman walls inside La Almoina archeological museum in Valencia

I know, I know, archaeological museums aren’t usually fun. But Almoina is not your average archaeological museum. You won’t find boring exhibits and broken pottery here. Instead, you’ll be allowed to wander the streets of Valencia as it was two millennia ago.

The whole museum is well below street level and the remains of the Roman city ( Valentia ) are still in situ.

You can see wells and fragments of the city’s first buildings, a temple, and the 2nd-century thermal baths. Plus you can stand at the crossroads of Via Augusta and Decumano Máximo. How cool is that!

One of the interesting (modern) features of the museum is the glass ceiling with a thin layer of water that casts interesting shadows over the ruins. Although the guided visits are in Spanish only, walking the streets of Roman Valencia can still be a lot of fun.

19. Browse some cool boutiques

A woman browsing clothes in a store

Being Spain’s third-largest city, Valencia is, as you’d expect, a great shopping destination. And with an increasing number of pedestrian-only streets, it’s only getting better.

For clothes and accessories head to Calle Colón . This is Valencia’s main shopping artery with several El Corte Ingles department stores and many fast fashion brands. If, on the other hand, you’d like a bit more variety, Calle San Vicente (between Plaza de España and Plaza de la Reina) might be more down your alley.

Looking to make a difference? Then find your way to El Carmen or Ruzafa neighborhoods. Here you’ll find many small boutiques and up-and-coming Valencian designers, as well as thrift stores and souvenir shops run by local artists.

20. Witness the craziness of Las Fallas

An exquisite and intricate falla during Las Fallas festival in Valencia

From the 1st to the 19th of March, Valencia celebrates the Las Fallas festival. Attending it is one of the most fun, crazy and unusual things to do in Valencia.

Las Fallas is possibly the largest street party in Europe. It’s also a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It combines tradition, satire, music, creativity, and a whole lot o food.

During Las Fallas, time is measured in cups of hot chocolate, cones of churros , and other traditional Las Fallas foods. There are firecracker shows, fire parades, huge cardboard puppets, and a sea of locals in traditional attire.

As if all this wasn’t extravagant enough, 700+ bonfires are lit up on the last day of the festival at midnight throughout the city.

Yeah, I know, that’s a lot to wrap your head around. That’s why I wrote a separate post about Las Fallas festival. But seriously, the best you can do is just hop on a flight and see it for yourself.

If you visit Valencia at any other time of the year, you can check out the Fallas Museum and see some of the cardboard puppets that were spared throughout the years. This museum is close to the City of Arts and Sciences and while it’s not the same as experiencing Las Fallas in person, it will still give you an idea of the mastery involved.

And if you’d like to attend other fiestas as well, check out this list of the best festivals in Valencia .

Foodie Things To Do in Valencia

Valencia is not only the birthplace of the world-famous paella but also home to countless bars, coffee shops, and restaurants serving lesser-known delicacies. Besides visiting landmarks and relaxing on the beach, eating your way around the city can be equally fun.

21. Feast on paella and master the art of cooking it yourself

A large pan of paella Valenciana

Paella is possibly the best-known Spanish dish in the world. Yet paella is not a staple food throughout Spain, but a regional dish from Valencia.

Obviously, this means paella should be at the top of your list of foods to eat in Valencia. So the million-dollar question is, where?

Sadly, exquisite paella isn’t that easy to find. But don’t fret. I’ve already put together a list of restaurants that serve the best paella in Valencia . As a rule of thumb, most beachside restaurants and eateries around Albufera know what they are doing.

Aside from feasting on paella and learning how to recognize one that is worthy of your time and money (see these paella fun facts to learn more) I also recommend taking a paella cooking class while in Valencia.

Cooking classes are always fun and a surefire way to impress friends and family upon your return home. But in this particular case, they are also an opportunity to demystify what is and what isn’t an authentic paella Valenciana .

Some paella cooking classes start with a visit to a local market in the company of a chef and is followed by a fun paella cooking class. At the end of the workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

22. Go on a tapas tour

Montaditos on a plate in one of Valencia's bars

A night out in Valencia often involves tapas accompanied by local craft beer or wine. Tapas are small portions of food and anything can be served tapas-style. This means you can try various dishes in one meal and explore the local cuisine more. See what are tapas throughout Spain (the concept changes from one region to the next).

Ir de tapas is a custom embraced all over Spain and one of the best things to do in Valencia at night. However, while in Madrid and Seville , you’d normally order one tapa with each drink and then move to the next bar, in Valencia the locals like to order several tapas in one place. The tapas are then placed in the middle of the table and shared between all diners.

Tapas in Valencia can be anything from a ham and cheese platter to deep-fried cuttlefish and esgarraet (a cured cod dish). And from pimientos de Padrón (small, green peppers) to patatas bravas and croquettes.

Montaditos (or pintxos ), typical from the San Sebastian region in the north of Spain, have also taken Valencia by storm. And some restaurants even serve fusion tapas.

I do encourage you to try as many different tapas and tapas bars while visiting Valencia. However, if you’re pressed for time, I recommend you join a food tour. Food tours are the best way to indulge in the local cuisine, eliminate guessing and avoid tourist traps.

The best food tour in Valencia right now combines a guided visit to the City of Arts and Sciences with a 10-course meal and wine tasting on the highest terrace in Valencia.

23. Eat your way around Mercado Central

The intricate roof of Valencia's Mercado Central

No Valencia travel guide is complete without a mention of Mercado Central (Central Market). This magnificent Art Nouveau building is foodie heaven and strolling along its alleys is a must for all food and architecture enthusiasts.

Stop by one of the many colorful stalls and grab some fresh fruits from the nearby orchards. Walk along rows of hanging hams and an ocean of fresh seafood. Stop by a bakery. And indulge in the great selection of aged cheeses and olives available.

Last but not least, have a coffee break at Retrogusto . And stop by Central Bar by Ricard Camarena (a Michelin-starred local chef) for delicious tapas and sandwiches.

The market is just perfect for people-watching. Take a moment to listen to the murmur of voices marking the rhythm of daily life. And let yourself be engulfed by the hustle and bustle of this thriving place.

Valencia’s Mercado Central is the largest covered food market in Europe and my favorite food market in Spain. Plus it’s super accessible and within walking distance from other must-visit places, like the Cathedral and the Silk Exchange.

24. Indulge in a glass of horchata at Mercado de Colon

A plastic cup with horchata

Horchata is a refreshing local drink made with chufa aka tigernuts (a tuber with hints of almond and hazelnut that grows in the fields of Alboraya, north of Valencia). It is sweet, nutritious, vegan-friendly, and the perfect pick-me-up after a long day of sightseeing.

On a hot summer afternoon, you can spot many locals sipping horchata on a terrace and it’s safe to say that this drink is a bit of a local obsession.

Horchata can be enjoyed in cafés, specialist horchaterias , as well as small stands around the Old Town. But my favorite place is Mercado de Colon, a magnificent iron and brick building.

In terms of relaxing things to do in Valencia, the modernist Mercado de Colon ticks all the boxes.

This lively gastro market is packed with cozy cafés, bars, elegant terraces, and fancy restaurants. At the lower level, you can still find a small fresh food market while the upper level hosts temporary craft fairs.

Here you’ll find Suc de Lluna , one of the best horchaterías in Valencia. It’s also one of the few if not the only place that serves sugar-free horchata (you can add sugar to taste).

For fine-dinning, stop by Habitual by Ricard Camarena (one of Valencia’s most celebrated chefs).

25. Enjoy a refreshing agua de Valencia cocktail

The sweet Valencian oranges are famous worldwide but the locals really know how to make good use of them at any hour of the day.

In Valencia, oranges are used to prepare homemade salad dressings and cakes. Served as freshly squeezed juice for breakfast. And as one of the main ingredients in agua de Valencia .

Granted, none of the ingredients of this refreshing drink is agua (water), but it’s a catchy name that always makes me smile. Instead, this tasty cocktail is made with cava (local sparkling wine), orange juice, vodka, and gin.

My favorite places for sipping agua de Valencia are Café de las Horas , Café Madrid, and Café Infanta in the Old Town. But you’ll find it on the menu of many bars around the city and it’s a good excuse to relax on a terrace in the late afternoon.

You can also buy bottled agua de Valencia from select shops, many of which are located inside or around Mercado Central. This can be a great souvenir for somebody at home (see my favorite souvenir shops in Valencia ). But since you’re in Valencia, do yourself a favor and actually order it at the bar.

Things To Do Near Valencia

Looking for even more things to do while in Valencia? You can discover the area by renting a car, taking the train, or joining a tour. Here are a few ideas:

  • Albufera. This is one of the largest wetlands on the Iberian peninsula and the birthplace of paella. You can plan your day around strolling through the rice fields, going on a boat ride, and eating delicious paella.
  • Utiel-Requena wine country. These two inland towns are known for their millennia-old wine-making tradition and man-made underground caves. However, visiting them isn’t the easiest thing to do by public transport.
  • Sierra Calderona mountains. Wanna escape into nature for a few hours? This natural park not far north is one of the most representative Valencian landscapes. The rough terrain might not be suited for a rental car.

Want even more ideas? Check out these fun day trips from Valencia .

What to do in Valencia when it rains?

Valencia has over 300 days of sunshine per year, but if you happen to visit on one of those rainy days, brace yourself, because in Valencia, when it rains, it pours. So the best thing to do is plan some indoor activities, such as:

  • Visit some museums – Oceanographic, Museo de Bellas Artes (fine arts museum), IVAM (modern art museum), Museo de la Seda (silk museum, different from La Lonja), and Principe Felipe Science Museum are all large and great options for a rainy day
  • Go shopping at the mall – Aqua, El Saler, and Novo Centro are all great options. El Corte Inglés has several department stores in Valencia as well.
  • Watch a flamenco show – La Bulería, Palosanto (close to the beach), El Toro y La Luna, and La Linterna (most central) are all great options
  • Catch a concert – options range from a classical music concert at Palau de la Musica or an opera at the Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia to enjoying some live music in a bar
  • Take a paella cooking class – check out this paella cooking class that includes a visit to a local market as well as a 3-course meal

What are the most popular things to do in Valencia with kids?

Valencia is a very kid-friendly city and you’ll have no trouble keeping the little ones entertained. Among the most popular things to do with kids are:

  • A visit to the City of Arts and Sciences, especially the Oceanographic (the largest aquarium in Europe) and the Principe Felipe Science Museum (which is wonderfully educational with plenty of interactive exhibits)
  • Spending the day at Bioparc, a zoo safari where animals are allowed to roam freely
  • Check out Gulliver Park (in the old Turia riverbed). This one-of-a-kind playground features a large-scale Gulliver that kids can climb. It has recently undergone extensive renovations
  • Older kids might enjoy exploring Valencia by segway or joining a bike tour
  • Tired of lugging the kids around? Take the hop-on-hop-off bus tour and explore Valencia the easy way
  • Visit L’Iber, the largest tin soldier museum in the world
  • Spend the day at the beach

What are the best things to do in Valencia for free?

Valencia is quite budget-friendly when compared to other European cities and even with ever-popular Spanish cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. The top things to do in Valencia for free are:

  • Discover the City of Arts and Sciences. This futuristic complex is free to walk around. You’ll only have to pay if you decide to enter the attractions.
  • Stroll along the former Turia riverbed – this huge park crosses the whole city. All the other parks in Valencia, except for the Botanical Garden, are free to visit as well
  • Visit Museo de Bellas Artes and Centre del Carmen – free entry year-round. Most other museums in Valencia are also free on Sunday morning
  • Explore Barrio del Carmen and Barrio de Ruzafa, two of the most interesting neighborhoods in Valencia. El Carmen also has plenty of street art to see
  • Wander around Valencia’s markets

What are the top attractions to visit in Valencia?

Valencia has some fantastic attractions, but some of them really hit it out of the ballpark! The top attractions in Valencia are:

  • The City of Arts and Sciences – you really cannot miss this one
  • La Lonja de la Seda – UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Las Fallas – Valencia’s most popular festival and a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
  • The Cathedral – it’s believed to host the Holy Grail
  • The Central Market – the largest covered food market in Europe hosted in a fantastic Art Nouveau building

What to do in Valencia in 1 day?

If you only have 1 day in Valencia (although I really recommend spending 3 days in Valencia ), here’s what I recommend you to do, eat and see:

  • Morning – explore the Old Town, including the Central Market and La Lonja. To better understand the city, join an inexpensive guided walking tour of the historic center. Alternatively, you can book a custom tour with a local (it includes hotel pick-up) and create your own itinerary. If exploring a city on two wheels is more your thing, this super popular bike tour packs a lot of attractions, from the Old Town all the way to the modern City of Arts and Sciences
  • Lunch – have paella in one of these restaurants
  • Afternoon – visit the City of Arts and Sciences. The most popular attraction here is the Oceanographic. If you’d like to learn more about this complex, I highly recommend this City of Arts and Sciences tour because it ends up with a unique tapas and wine-tasting experience on one of the best rooftop terraces in Valencia, which can be a nice way to end your day in Valencia

Read more: 25 Valencia fun facts you probably didn’t know


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12 Places to Visit in Valencia: Best Sights and Attractions

I know I’m biased, but Valencia is bursting at the seams with jaw-dropping sights and attractions. Not only that, but it’s really easy to see most of them on a short 3 days trip .

This is one of the many reasons I love Valencia – everything is close together and oftentimes, you can walk from one landmark to another in a matter of minutes.

Although I’m living in Valencia , I enjoy going to museums and visiting the occasional tourist attraction on laidback Sunday mornings. But many of Valencia’s must-see spots are actually beloved local hangouts with a distinct, authentic flair.

From tasty markets and orange tree lined plazas to awe-inspiring architecture and miles-long beaches, these are, in my opinion, the best places to visit in Valencia on a short trip.

In This Article

1. The City of Arts and Sciences

2. the oceanographic, 3. the silk exchange (la lonja de la seda), 4. the cathedral, 5. serranos and quart towers, 6. the central market (mercado central), 7. marquez de dos aguas palace, 8. san nicolás church, 9. túria park, 10. bioparc, 11. the botanical garden, 12. mercado de colón.

Sunset over the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia's top attraction

The City of Arts and Sciences is arguably the most important tourist attraction in Valencia. I don’t know a single soul who wouldn’t agree that this architectural masterpiece designed by Santiago Calatrava is a sight to behold.

A few years ago, a friend of mine who was an architecture student at the time, came to Valencia just to see these mesmerizing buildings. Yes, they study them in universities around the world! So you certainly don’t want to miss this futuristic landmark when in Valencia.

The City of Arts and Sciences consists of six incredible buildings, each with its unique design and purpose. One of them is a stunning opera house, another is a family-friendly science museum, and so on.

I often come here to catch the sunset, but I think it’s fascinating how this city within a city can be whatever you want it to be.

If you’re visiting Valencia with kids , this is a wonderful place to spend some quality time together as a family. If you are on a romantic getaway, it can be the perfect place to walk hand in hand among the blue pools of water. Traveling solo? You’ll never feel lonely here!

The City of Arts and Sciences is free to wander around but if you want to go inside the buildings to see any of the shows or exhibits, you’ll need to purchase a ticket.

Colorful fish in a tank at the Oceanographic in Valencia

Valencia’s Oceanogràfic is an impressive aquarium and marine park that’s part of the City of Arts and Sciences complex. Families especially love it here because there are tons of fun activities to keep everyone entertained.

The exhibits at the Oceanogràfic are varied and include a diverse range of marine life. From jellyfish to penguins and sea lions, here you can learn all about the fascinating creatures that inhabit our oceans.

My favorite attraction inside the Oceanogràfic is the underwater tunnels. These sleek tunnels offer an immersive experience as you walk through while surrounded by sharks and other sea creatures.

The Oceanogràfic also hosts two thrilling dolphin shows per day and is home to the only family of beluga whales in Europe. And if you’re looking for a unique adventure you can even spend the night sleeping with the sharks!

View of the facade of La Lonja building in Valencia

Valencia’s Silk Exchange, is a magnificent Gothic building located in the Old Town. Built towards the end of the 15th century, during the Valencian Golden Age, La Lonja was a stunning marketplace meant to leave anyone in awe.

To fully understand the importance and economic power of Valencia at the time, it’s key to note that Christopher Columbus’ voyage was founded by a Valencian banker. Incidentally, La Lonja was put into use the same year Columbus reached the Americas – 1492.

During its glory days, merchants from all over Europe would come to trade and do business here. While commerce was not limited to silk as its name suggests, given the importance of Valencia’s silk industry at the time, the silk trade likely counted for the great part of the transactions.

Today, La Lonja de la Seda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the lack of furniture might put you off, the truth is that the intricate architecture and historical significance of this building make it a must-see attraction.

There are so many fascinating details about this building, that I could go on and on! For example, the main hall is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, with twisted columns that resemble silk skeins and palm trees. This hall was used for trade agreements and also served as the location for one of the first public banks in Europe, which consisted of just one table!

Additionally, La Lonja has a tower that used to be a prison. This tower is accessed via a mind-blowing spiral staircase made entirely out of stone. What’s special about that, you might ask? It has no central axis! Pay attention to that when you visit!

The intricate altar of the Valencia Cathedral

Valencia’s Cathedral, also known as the Saint Mary’s Cathedral, is a magnificent structure built on the site of an ancient mosque in the 13th century. What’s interesting is that the mosque itself had also been built over a prior Visigoth cathedral.

The main architectural style of this cathedral is Valencian Gothic, with some Romanesque, Baroque, and Neoclassical elements mixed in. While it might not be the prettiest of the cathedrals, it does have several interesting things going for it.

One of the most notable features of this cathedral is that each of the three gates was built in a completely different architectural style. So I encourage you to walk around it to see it from all angles.

Then there’s the Miguelete Bell Tower, with an interesting octagonal shape and a spiral staircase. With a total of 207 narrow steps, climbing up might not be super fun, but once you reach the top, you are rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the bustling Plaza de la Reina and Plaza de la Virgen nearby.

Another fascinating aspect of Valencia’s Cathedral is that it is believed to host the Holy Grail , the cup that Jesus used at the Last Supper. This priceless artefact is displayed in one of the chapels, and it certainly is a peculiar attraction.

Besides, the cathedrals host 15th-century paintings and holy relics including the bones of several saints which you can see in a chapel behind the altar.

Inside perspective of Torres de Quart in Valencia

Valencia had three different walls throughout its 2000-year history – a Roman one, a Muslim one, and a Christian one. You can still find bits and pieces of these walls scattered around the Old Town, but the most notable remains are Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart.

These iconic landmarks were built during Medieval times as part of the Christian wall, a 4 km defensive wall with 13 gates that surrounded the area that is now called the Old Town. The Medieval wall protected Valencia from the 14th century until the 19th century, before it was taken down as the city outgrew it.

The Torres de Serranos were built at the end of the 14th century and served as one of the main city gates during the Middle Ages. They were built in Gothic style and have been used for many things, including as a prison for nobles and knights and a depository for artworks from El Prado during the Spanish Civil War.

The Torres de Quart, on the other hand, was built in the mid-15th century. This tower was also used as a prison at some point, but they also took one for the team. The holes in them might be easily dismissed as simple signs of wear and tear, however, what not many people know is that they’re traces of cannon shots from the Peninsular War.

Today, both towers are important tourist attractions and I highly recommend you climb them for stunning views over Valencia’s rooftops. Trust me, it’s so worth it!

The main facade of Mercado Central

The Central Market is another must-visit attraction in Valencia. This iconic covered market was built in the early 20th century, although a market had been organized in this very spot for hundreds of years prior.

The building itself is a stunning example of Modernista architecture, with colorful tiles, a domed roof, and ornate ironwork.

Step inside, and you’ll find yourself in a bustling world of vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat, spices, and all sorts of local delicacies.

The market is a true feast for the senses, with an endless array of colors, scents, and flavors. I always find something new and delicious to sample whenever I go, be it olives, cheese, or even a new and exciting local craft beer.

Today, the market continues to be a popular spot for locals to shop for fresh ingredients, but it’s also a major tourist attraction.

Whether you’re a foodie looking for a unique culinary experience or just curious about the local food culture, the Mercado Central is a must-see place in Valencia.

The intricate entrance of Marquez de Dos Aguas Palace

The magnificent Marquez de Dos Aguas Palace is an iconic building and a shining example of Rococo architecture that will transport you back to the 18th century.

Nowadays, the palace houses the National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts, where you can admire hundreds of pieces of pottery, porcelain, and ceramics as well as gorgeous pieces of furniture spanning many, many centuries.

I know it might sound a bit boring, but I can assure you it’s not. This palace is one of the most beautiful places in Valencia, both inside and out.

On the ground floor, you can see two carriages fit for a queen. The second floor features lavishly decorated rooms that will take your breath away. And the last floor offers a fantastic opportunity to discover the history and art of ceramics and its importance in the local culture.

Don’t skip the last floor! This is the most important ceramics museum in Spain and some of the objects here are more than two thousand years old. Still not convinced? Maybe knowing that there are several unique pieces created by Pablo Picasso will?!

From the grand staircase to the magnificent ballroom, every room is decorated with impeccable taste. If you’re looking for a dose of history, art, and beauty, the Marquez de Dos Aguas Palace is the place to be.

Painted ceiling of San Nicolás Church in Valencia

San Nicolás Church is one of the most beautiful places to see in Valencia. Located in the Old Town, not far from the cathedral, this 15th-century church hosts some of the most spectacular Baroque interiors.

As is the case with many churches in Valencia , Iglesia de San Nicolás too was built over a former Arab mosque. The mosque in turn had been built over a Visigoth temple, which had been built on top of a Roman temple.

The stunning frescoes dating back to the 17th century cover every inch of the ceiling and have gained this church the nickname of the Valencian Sistine Chapel.

In recent years, the San Nicolás Church underwent a thorough restoration project. The result is breathtaking, so don’t hesitate to put it on your list of places to visit in Valencia.

Access to the church is through Calle Caballeros, although it’s very easy to miss. Look for the signs, not for the church, as the church it’s situated at the end of a nondescript alley and cannot be seen from the street.

The church organized both touristic visits and daily masses. Touristic visits are not permitted during the mass.

People lounging in Túria Park

Túria Park traces its roots back to the devastating flood of 1957 when the Túria River overflowed its banks, causing significant damage.

After much debate, it was decided to divert the river to the outskirts of the city and transform the dry riverbed into a lush green space, giving birth to what is now Túria Park.

Organized with meticulous precision, the park stretches over 9 kilometers, making it the most extensive public garden in Spain.

Túria Park hosts numerous sports facilities, playgrounds, and picnic areas, providing ample opportunities for recreation and relaxation. It also has dedicated cycling lanes spanning from end to end, making it one of the best places for biking in Valencia .

Along the way, you’ll stumble upon the iconic Gulliver Park, an enormous sculpture of the legendary character from Gulliver’s Travels, which serves as an interactive playground for children.

The park also houses the stunning Palau de la Música, an enchanting concert hall known for its extraordinary acoustics.

Three zebras at Bioparc

Bioparc is a zoo safari aiming to provide an alternative to traditional zoos by closely recreating the animals’ natural habitats.

The park is divided into four areas – African savanna, African wetlands, Madagascar, and the forests of equatorial Africa – and is a great place to visit no matter your age.

One of the best places to visit in Valencia, Bioparc is constantly ranked as one of the best zoos in the world. Unlike traditional zoos, the enclosures are spacious and carefully landscaped, allowing the animals to roam freely and engage in their natural behaviors.

A peculiarity of this attraction is that the barriers between the different animal species are virtually invisible. Instead, lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls, and realistic rock formations create an immersive experience.

As you wander around, you can admire an impressive array of animal species from majestic lions and graceful giraffes to playful lemurs and tropical birds.

One of Bioparc’s main attractions is the spectacular bird shows they organize daily, which I highly recommend. I also encourage you to spend some time observing the gorillas – they always make me reflect upon the close kinship between animals and humans.

Waterlily in bloom at the Botanical Garden in Valencia

The Botanical Garden is one of the most relaxing places you can visit in Valencia. Located close to the El Carmen neighborhood and Torres de Quart, this captivating oasis hosts more than 4,000 species of plants from all corners of the world.

Plants are organized in 20 meticulously curated collections, including an impressive array of trees ranging from Illinois walnuts and American oaks to various palm tree species.

There’s also an interesting rock garden adorned with Mediterranean plants, beautiful cacti, and aloes; a serene waterlily pond; a garden dedicated to medicinal plants, and a flourishing kitchen garden.

Additionally, there are several stunning wrought iron and brickwork greenhouses housing delicate orchids, carnivorous plants, and tropical species.

Yet, my favorite thing about this beautiful Valencia attraction is that it’s home to a colony of adorable kitty cats. In summer, you’ll spot them sleeping in the shade, but in winter, these friendly felines get all cuddly and will likely come to you and try to sit in your lap.

Valencia’s Botanical Garden was founded in 1567 for the study of medicinal plants and moved to its current location in 1802. These days it is managed by the University of Valencia, and it serves as an educational hub, hosting workshops, as well as art and photography exhibitions.

A glimpse of Mercado de Colón in the evening

Mercado de Colón is another grand market you must see in Valencia. Inaugurated in 1916, it served as a fresh produce market until the end of the century when it fell into despair. After a complete makeover in 2003, it now houses an array of trendy cafés and gourmet restaurants.

This stunning landmark is located in the affluent Pla del Remei neighborhood, a short walk from Calle Colón, the city’s main shopping street. So if you need a pick-me-up while doing your shopping in Valencia , you won’t find a more elegant place to enjoy a typical Valencian drink .

My go-to place is Horchatería Daniel because they have some of the best horchata in Valencia . You can also elevate your experience with a meal at Bar X or Habitat, both restaurants owned by Michelin-starred Valencian chef, Ricard Camarena.

Mercado de Colón was designed in Modernista style by local architect Francisco Mora. It features a large nave with a majestic wrought iron ceiling supported by 18 m high columns. The two red brick facades are decorated with mosaics illustrating everyday life scenes from Valencia.

The market has two levels. At the lower one, you can still find a few stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meat, a reminder of the market’s original purpose.

Craft markets and cultural events are organized here throughout the year, including one of Valencia’s most festive Christmas markets . You’ll also find a cute flower shop by one of the entrances.

Seafood paella

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  • Top 10 Things To See...

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Valencia's Historic Centre

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The easily walkable historic centre of Valencia is without a doubt the most charming part of the city and holds most of its main tourist attractions. Made up of five neighbourhoods in the Ciutat Vella (Old Town), formerly a walled city from Roman times, it’s perfect for wandering the cobbled streets and soaking up Valencia’s lively atmosphere. Discover the best the city has to offer with these unmissable things to see and do.

1. the cathedral.

Cathedral, Building

places to visit in valencia city

2. Plaza de la Reina

Jaser Cervantes / © Culture Trip

The Quart and Serranos towers

These two sets of landmark city gate towers are remnants of the ancient walled city of Valencia. They were two of many parts of the walls fortifications, protecting the city from intruders. The towers have stood alone since the walls and other gates were demolished at the end of the 19th century to make way for the city’s rapid expansion. Today you can walk up and explore both towers, and enjoy the great views from the top.

Torres de Quart, Plaza de Santa Úrsula, Valencia, Spain

Torres de Serranos, Plaza del Furs, s/n, Valencia, Spain

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4. La Rotonda

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The Marqués de Dos Aguas Palace

One of the great things about visiting Valencia is how you can be walking casually down a seemingly average city street, and then unexpectedly come across a breathtakingly grand palace. This one in particular, built in 1740 by an aristocratic family, is famous for its stunning façade. The palace has been home to the Ceramics Museum since 1954, where you can see an impressive ceramics collection donated by Manuel González Martí.

Carrer del Poeta Querol, Valencia, Spain

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6. Colón market

Bazaar, Market

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7. Valencia Institute of Modern Art (IVAM)

Probably Valencia’s most popular museum. When the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern , also known as the IVAM, opened in 1989 it was Spain’s first museum dedicated to modern art. The temporay exhibitions never disappoint but the real draw is its permanent collection. There’s a focus on Catalan sculptor Julio González, with almost 400 of his wrought-iron works collected here. You’ll also see around 100 of the impressionist paintings of local artist Ignacio Pinazo. The IVAM also boasts hundreds of other works from world-famous 20th-century artists, in various mediums. Smaller than museums in Madrid and Barcelona, it feels more easily accessible, has fewer crowds and is definitely not lagging behind in quality.

Valencia Institute of Modern Art, Calle de Guillem de Castro 118, Valencia, Spain

places to visit in valencia city

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18 Best Hotels in Valencia, Spain

By María Casbas

Palacio Santa Clara Autograph Collection Valencia

Valencia, on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, is having a moment. Its rich history, vibrant cultural scene, gastronomic highlights, mild climate, and beautiful natural surroundings are just some of the many reasons why this city has climbed to the top of many must-visit lists.

From the Cathedral with its famous Miguelete bell tower to the City of Arts and Sciences—and other sights, like the lively Carmen and Ruzafa neighborhoods, the Lonja de la Seda (the 15th-century silk exchange, a UNESCO World Heritage site ), the Turia Gardens, and L’Albufera (a nearby nature preserve)— Valencia manages to charm both visitors and residents every day.

The city’s hotel scene also has a little something for everyone: elegant buildings from the early 20th century, luxurious seafront retreats, boutique hotels in the heart of the historic center, and a few new additions that we’re eager to share with you. Here’s Condé Nast Traveler ’s list of the best hotels in Valencia.

Every hotel review on this list has been written by a Condé Nast Traveler journalist who knows the destination and has visited that property. When choosing hotels, our editors consider properties across price points that offer an authentic and insider experience of a destination, keeping design, location, service, and sustainability credentials top of mind.

Caro Hotel Valencia

Five stars, 26 rooms, and a million stories—if only these walls could talk. The Caro Hotel, located in the stately former home of the Marqués de Caro, has an ideal location to explore Valencia, in the central Xerea neighborhood.

Every corner of the building has traces of Valencia’s long history and its remarkable architectural legacy—there are 2nd-century BCE mosaics from the era of Roman rule, remnants of Moorish walls, medieval coffered ceilings, Gothic arches, and 19th-century elements, too.

The renovated interiors are the work of Francesc Rifé , whose studio has done a remarkable job of marrying a minimalist and contemporary style with the historic side of the building. You’ll see this in the 26 guestrooms—each of them unique—the library, the terrace (an oasis where you can relax at the end of the day lulled by the sound of splashing water from the small pool ), the bar, and the Alma del Temple restaurant, where you can enjoy an unforgettable culinary experience of traditional and flavorful Valencian dishes with a 12th-century Moorish wall as a backdrop.

By 2025, the hotel is planning an expansion into the adjacent building and adding more rooms, more services, and even more history, as well. Its goal is to become the leading luxury hotel in the city center.

Helen Berger Valencia

Helen Berger

Of the several options from the StayingValencia hotel group, the Helen Berger Hotel & Bar is a boutique property that’s a perfect choice for those looking for a cozy, intimate, and flawless stay, where every detail counts.

Located in La Seu, a central neighborhood with one of Valencia’s greatest concentrations of cultural offerings, Helen Berger sits next to the neoclassical La Nau, the oldest building of the University of Valencia. It’s also just a few steps from the Plaza de la Reina, the Museu del Patriarca, the Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas, and the National Museum of Ceramics.

The 34 rooms are dominated by warm tones, natural textures, and designer pieces, which together create a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere—especially if you choose to stay in one of the penthouses with a terrace. The restaurant, open all day, serves dishes made with fresh, local, and healthy ingredients.

MYR Hotel Palacio Vallier

MYR Hotel Palacio Vallier

In the historic center of Valencia next to the Plaza de la Virgen, a 19th-century mansion has been converted into the five-star MYR Hotel Palacio Vallier.

Its 31 rooms and suites are decorated in soft tones with luxurious finishes. The Presidential Suite has preserved the mansion’s original marble floors while the Lladró Suite includes a number of pieces by the famous Valencian porcelain manufacturer, including a Belle de Nuit chandelier, gold-plated porcelain lamps, and a limited edition Caballo Español sculpture.

The hotel’s interiors, by design firm Janfri & Ranchal , stand out for their masterful use of light, the maintenance of original 19th-century elements, and Art Deco details.

The flagship property of MYR Hotels offers two gastronomic concepts: the restaurant La Perfumería and the Lladró Lounge Bar. La Perfumería takes its name from a third-century Roman perfumery unearthed during an excavation of the site, and the menu revisits and updates traditional Valencian dishes. The Lladró Lounge Bar is located on the main floor, just in front of La Perfumería. It also has a rooftop area where you can enjoy a selection of cocktails with views of the city skyline.

YOURS Boutique Hotel

YOURS Boutique Hotel

The cosmopolitan neighborhood of Ruzafa is home to Yours, a boutique hotel where Nordic and Mediterranean styles come together to create a peaceful adults-only haven.

Yours is the dream come true of Daphne Kniest and Wouter Kock, a Dutch couple who decided to move to Valencia because they wanted to wake (almost) every morning to sunny skies and have everything they could want—from the Mediterranean to the conveniences of the city center—just minutes from their front door.

Behind the original 19th-century façade, the hotel has a minimalist design that conveys a sense of calm, comfort, and intimacy as soon as you set foot inside. Exposed concrete, wood pieces, Viccarbe furniture, Arkoslight lamps, and a variety of houseplants are the principal design elements of the common areas and the 12 guestrooms (seven doubles, two lofts, two apartments, and a penthouse with a terrace).

Kniest and Kock are both passionate about sustainability . The coffee at breakfast is roasted locally, they have reduced single-use plastics to a minimum, and the amenities from the Dutch firm Marie-Stella-Maris are all-natural and free of parabens, silicones, and dyes. The hotel also has bicycles available to rent.

In the hotel’s store you’ll find artisanal ceramic jugs, jewelry by local designers, handmade soy candles with the hotel’s signature fragrance, and, of course, Marie-Stella-Maris products.

Casa Clarita

Casa Clarita

It’s been less than a year since Casa Clarita opened in Valencia, but it has already emerged as one of the city’s top hotels given its many appealing features, including the interior design by Jaime Hayon .

Located on Carrer de les Avellanes in the La Seu neighborhood, Casa Clarita offers two types of accommodations: 12 rooms for shorter visits and 10 apartments for longer stays . They are in a six-story building that was once owned by a family of glass artisans.

No two rooms are alike, but they do share some traits in common: they all enjoy an abundance of natural light, high ceilings, and custom-designed furniture. If you have to define its style, the only way to describe it is classic “Valencian.” The city’s design and culture are celebrated in every aspect of the building, beginning with breakfast each morning which includes bread from the local bakery Horno Valencia, sausages from the gourmet store Lembutic, pastries from Pastelería Conchín, and fruit and vegetables from the city’s central market.

ESTIMAR Valencia

ESTIMAR Valencia

While the Estimar Valencia hotel doesn’t have Mediterranean views, the bright blue sky can be appreciated from this new property. Inaugurated on May 30, Estimar Valencia on Carrer Pintor Sorolla is the first urban hotel from the Estimar Hotels group.

Barcelona-based Rosa Roselló studio was commissioned to convert the former bank headquarters into a boutique hotel full of character where both guests and locals feel welcome.

The 65 rooms are divided into three categories (Urban Room, Corner Room, and Junior Sweet) and there are also three dining concepts (The Banker’s Bar, The Coin Rooftop, and The Banker’s Nights). The fitness area is open 24 hours and there’s a spa offering massages and other treatments.

Palacio Santa Clara Autograph Collection Valencia

Santa Clara Palace, Autograph Collection

Designed by the architect Francisco Javier Görlich in 1916, the modernista building that today houses the Palacio Santa Clara, Autograph Collection was commissioned by the Niederleytners, a bourgeois family who wanted a building that would house both their silk business and their private home. Located in the Ensanche, close to the popular shopping street of Colón, the hotel has preserved the spirit of the house with its elegant façade and its interiors with their sinuous curves and plant motifs.

The 60 rooms and suites feature an Art Deco design, matching the rest of the hotel, where the original modernista spirit is paired with contemporary comforts, including queen and king-size beds and large windows with views of the city. Wooden furniture, wardrobes with lace curtains, and jazz-inspired prints add the finishing touches to rooms that are unique and cozy.

The Modernista restaurant on the hotel’s ground floor serves a lavish breakfast spread, a delicious selection of tapas at midday, and cocktails in the evening (they have one of the best whiskey selections in the city).

The rooftop has a small pool with views of the Valencia rooftops and the bar El Torreón, located in a tiled dome. We suggest ordering, of course, La Valenciana, a cocktail made with vodka, coffee liqueur, and horchata.

The Westin Valencia

The Westin Valencia

The entrance of the Westin Valencia, at the intersection of Carrer Muñoz Seca and Carrer de Galicia, is perhaps one of the city’s grandest. The hotel’s location is a plus too, just 15 minutes on foot from the city center and five minutes from the Mestalla Stadium.

The hotel is in the former Industria Lanera Valenciana, a wool processing facility from 1921 that’s a superb example of modernisme architecture. There’s a spectacular lobby, illuminated by a large crystal chandelier, and an immense central courtyard with a half-acre garden planted with Mediterranean species.

Its 135 Art Deco rooms and suites exude an air of elegance and glamour; some have private terraces and Jacuzzis. The hotel’s wellness center includes a spa, gym, and indoor pool.

The hotel’s culinary offerings include Rosmarino, which serves a generous breakfast buffet; El Jardi, which specializes in local dishes; and SeaBar where the bartenders pour creative cocktails Thursday to Saturday, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

One Shot Palacio Reina Victoria

One Shot Queen Victoria Palace 04

The building that is home to the One Shot Palacio Reina Victoria 04 was built by the Valencian architect Luis Ferreres Soler at the beginning of the 20th century and refurbished in 2016 by the Alfaro-Manrique Studio.

Ernest Hemingway , playwright Jacinto Benavente, playwright and poet Federico García Lorca, and photographer Robert Capa have all visited the hotel located near the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

The hotel’s 85 rooms are divided into six categories, from standard to grand suite, and decorated in natural materials like wood, iron, and clay.

Meli Plaza Valencia

Meliá Plaza, Valencia

Meliá Plaza is located on the Plaza del Ayuntamiento where, during the Fallas celebrations held in March each year, the famous mascletàs (colorful pyrotechnic displays) are held. The hotel’s rooftop is one of the best places to watch them.

The hotel’s interiors feature an elegant style where polished marble coexists with warmer materials such as wood. The works of art give a unique touch to each of the rooms which, of course, are perfectly soundproofed—you’ll be able to sleep even when firecrackers are exploding outside.

The hotel has a gym, sauna, a terrace with a solarium, and an Italian restaurant, Bellini.

Image may contain Cushion Home Decor Corner Indoors Interior Design Furniture Bed Pillow Bedroom and Room

An adults-only boutique hotel, La Novieta is located in En Corts, just over the line that separates it from one of Valencia’s popular neighborhoods of the moment, Ruzafa. The hotel is in an old modernista house from 1924 that has been renovated to restore its original splendor and elegance while adding some contemporary touches.

La Novieta opened its doors last November thanks to the work of Bertrand and Fabien, the owners of the hotel, and Maisons BoEM studio, whose passion for design can be seen in every detail.

One of the biggest challenges of the renovation was to reinforce the building’s structure and install underfloor heating. In the process, the architects stumbled upon a treasure—original cement tiles that date from the building’s construction. They painstakingly extracted more than 2,500 pieces and every recoverable fragment was meticulously cleaned, a process that took more than two months.

The final result of all this work is an interior design that respects the building's history and has an appealing retro-chic flair, thanks to the fact that most of the furniture and decorative objects were sourced from antique and vintage stores.

La Novieta has only four rooms, and you'll feel like you have arrived home from the moment you walk through the door. On the first floor you’ll find the reception area as well as a cocktail bar, library, lounge, and patio.

Breakfast, with its emphasis on local flavors and products, is served at a long table in the lobby. La Novieta’s kitchen serves excellent tapas, as well as wines and cocktails , later in the day.

Hotel Hospes Palau de la Mar Valencia

Hotel Hospes Palau de la Mar

Located in front of the Turia Gardens, the Palau de la Mar hotel is located in a converted 19th-century city palace that retains both its charm and grandeur, with original elements like heavy wooden doors and an abundance of marble.

Natural light washes the interiors which are in silver, white, beige, and cream tones. The effect is a hotel that feels both intimate and elegant with its rooms located in two adjacent buildings that once formed a private residence.

The jewel in this crown is the courtyard, created by expert garden designers who have planted an urban oasis with oranges, agapanthuses, clivias, and aromatic herbs used by the hotel’s kitchen.

The 66 rooms have wenge wood floors and white marble bathrooms, queen-size beds, and Egyptian cotton sheets that guarantee a restful night. You may sleep even more soundly if you first visit the Bodyna Spa , where there is a swimming pool, Turkish bath, sauna, fitness area, and treatment rooms.

Be sure to try the cuisine of chef Carlos Julián at the Ampar restaurant where the dishes feature ingredients grown on farms and orchards near Valencia. There are also seafood options, like octopus and red mullet with all i pebre (a garlic and paprika sauce), and, of course, an impressive variety of rice dishes.

Only YOU Hotel Valencia

Only YOU Hotel Valencia

Inaugurated in 2021 in a building that was formerly the home of the Astoria Palace Hotel, the Only You Hotel Valencia stands out thanks to its design by Barcelona-based designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán . Taking the Mediterranean as his inspiration, Rosa-Violán has created an atmosphere that perfectly embodies the concept of relaxed luxury, with a predominance of earth tones paired with Art Deco details and multiple nods to Valencian design such as the use of vintage cement tiles, Manises ceramics, and works by Valencian artists .

The 191 rooms are distributed over eight floors. The Homey Suites—with a living room, kitchen, and balcony with city views—and the 860-square-foot Panorama Suite are stylish and comfortable pads for a Valencia getaway.

On the first floor, sharing space with the inviting lobby is the SLVJ restaurant, where Venezuelan chef Fermín Azkue plays with local and Japanese flavors (the robata are standouts), and the Trotamundos cocktail bar, led by mixologist Iván Taléns.

The Only You Mirador is on the top floor and pairs paellas and other rice dishes with 360-degree views of the city.

Even if you aren’t looking to purchase a bouquet, you won’t regret dropping by the hotel’s florist, El Atelier de la Flor , to admire its selection of flowers and exquisite arrangements.

Parador de El Saler

Parador El Saler

The Parador de El Saler sits between the Albufera Natural Park and the Mediterranean, surrounded by dunes, pine forests, and the parador’s golf course. If you are looking to relax and disconnect from the big city while enjoying nature and the great outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. This hotel also appeals to active travelers with a gym, soccer field, bicycles, an outdoor swimming pool, golf course, and the Natursenda, a two-kilometer trail to explore the area near the property. There’s also a spa with a water circuit, treatment rooms, a hot tub, an indoor heated pool, and a Finnish sauna. If you want to take a walk along the beach , a short path from the hotel takes you directly to the sea.

The hotel’s two restaurants—Restaurante del Parador de El Saler and La Barraca del Mediterráneo—overlook the sea and the golf course and both serve regional Valencian cuisine. Rice dishes are, of course, some of the stars of the menu.

The rooms also overlook the sea and the landscape of El Saler, an impressive natural enclave that is home to the largest freshwater lake in Spain, more than 300 different bird species, a soft sandy beach, and some magical places like El Palmar, a fishing village where you can enjoy some of Valencia’s best rice dishes. Exploring the wetlands aboard a traditional albuferenc , a sailboat that is unique to the L’Albufera area.

SH Valencia Palace

SH Valencia Palace

The trees and gardens of the Paseo de la Alameda lead the way to the SH Valencia Palace, a five-star hotel opposite the Palau de la Música and very close to the City of Arts and Sciences.

While the hotel is popular with business travelers , its location also makes it an ideal base for anyone who wants to be close to the main tourist attractions. They are easy to reach on foot by crossing the Puente de Aragon or the Puente de las Flores over the Turia Gardens.

The 239 rooms and suites are spacious and bright, and some have views of the gardens. There’s a rooftop swimming pool, gym and spa with views (as well as a water circuit, aromatherapy showers, Turkish bath, sauna, hot tub, therapeutic massages, and relaxation area), event rooms, and several restaurants—Gold Gastrobar, with a Mediterranean menu; Hōchō, a Japanese-Valencian fusion option, and La Terracita del Palace, a rooftop option with a limited menu of Valencian dishes.

Hotel Balneario Las Arenas Valencia

Las Arenas Spa Resort

Las Arenas Balneario Resort, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, was built on the site of an earlier 19th-century spa, facing the Mediterranean. To be more precise, this luxury property is located on Las Arenas beach , next to the city’s marina.

Las Arenas was inaugurated in 1898, though it can be hard to find much of the original 19th-century resort following a number of renovations over the last 125 years. One thing has, however, survived with the passage of time: a glamorous atmosphere that has always appealed to travelers with an interest in wellness culture.

The resort has two outdoor pools, an indoor pool, a 24-hour fitness center, and a hydrotherapy wellness circuit with a Scottish shower, sauna, cold pool, steam bath, ice fountain, aromatherapy shower, bubble beds, an activity pool, and a hot tub. There are also treatment rooms where guests can enjoy Eastern and holistic therapies, facial and body treatments (many of them with Sisley products), and massages.

Half of the 253 rooms and suites have large balconies with ocean views. All guests can gaze out at the Mediterranean from the terrace of the Brasserie Sorolla where the painting La Señora by Joaquin Sorolla presides over the scene.

The Valentia Corretgeria

The Valentia Corretgeria

The second boutique property from Valentia Hoteles opened in 2023 and is a two-minute walk from the Plaza de la Reina and the cathedral. Its interiors are in a palette of warm colors bathed in natural light that pours through the hotel’s windows. Added to this are natural materials and an abundance of plants, which contribute to a relaxed yet luxurious ambiance. Of the 27 rooms—all of which have small kitchenettes—we’re partial to the Valentia Penthouse with its tranquil terrace.

One of the hotel’s biggest draws is its state-of-the-art fitness center available to guests.

Hotel Boutique Balandret Valencia

Hotel Boutique Balandret, Valencia

The Balandret hotel is a perfect option if you want to combine the city and beach on your vacation. It’s located on the famous Paseo Neptuno, a 15-minute drive from Valencia’s historic center (30 minutes by public transport), overlooking the Mediterranean.

The hotel has a serene and relaxed atmosphere and an abundance of references to Valencian culture—like two installations made up of more than a thousand earthenware containers and four large vertical sculptures with a reproduction of Sorolla’s famous painting El Balandrito .

The 21 rooms have views of the sea, the port, and the city, while at the restaurant chef Albert Lluch prepares typical local dishes. Make sure to try the grilled octopus on a sweet potato and seaweed puree sprinkled with paprika, the grilled squid with poached onion and piquillos cream, or any of the excellent rice dishes.

On the rooftop Horizonte Sky Terrace, you can sip wines and cocktails and nibble on tapas while enjoying the sea breeze.

A version of this article originally appeared in  Condé Nast Traveler España . This article was translated and adapted from the Spanish by John Newton.

places to visit in valencia city

places to visit in valencia city

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9 Great Things to Do in Busan in June 2024

9 great things to do in memphis in june 2024, 9 great things to do in marseille in june 2024.


9 Great Things to Do in Valencia in June 2024

Justin Alexander

Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, is a vibrant and diverse destination with something to offer everyone. From its stunning architecture to its world-class museums, from its lively nightlife to its delicious cuisine, Valencia is a city that will surely leave a lasting impression. And while there are many great things to do in Valencia all year round, June is a particularly special time to visit, as the city comes alive with festivals, events, and activities.

If you’re planning a trip to Valencia in June, be sure to add these 9 great things to your itinerary:

Explore the City of Arts and Sciences

Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) is a must-see for any visitor to the city. This stunning complex of futuristic buildings houses a science museum, an aquarium, an opera house, and more. You could easily spend an entire day exploring the City of Arts and Sciences, and it’s a great place to take kids.

Visit the Fallas Museum

The Fallas Museum (Museo Fallero) is dedicated to the city’s famous Fallas festival. During the Fallas festival, which takes place in March, giant papier-mâché figures are erected throughout the city and then burned on the night of March 19th. The Fallas Museum houses a collection of these figures, as well as other artifacts related to the festival. It’s a great way to learn about this unique and colorful tradition.

Take a Bike Ride Through the Turia Gardens

The Turia Gardens (Jardines del Turia) is a beautiful park that runs through the center of Valencia. The park was built on the site of the former Turia River, which was diverted after a devastating flood in 1957. Today, the Turia Gardens are a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to relax, play, and exercise. You can rent a bike and ride along the park’s 9-kilometer path, or simply stroll through the gardens and enjoy the scenery.

Stroll Through the Central Market

Valencia’s Central Market (Mercado Central) is one of the largest and most impressive markets in Europe. The market is home to hundreds of stalls selling fresh produce, seafood, meat, cheese, and more. It’s a great place to browse and sample the local cuisine. Even if you’re not planning on cooking, the Central Market is worth a visit just to see the beautiful architecture and the vibrant atmosphere.

Visit the Valencia Cathedral

The Valencia Cathedral (Catedral de Valencia) is a magnificent Gothic cathedral that dominates the city’s skyline. The cathedral was built over a period of several centuries, and it features a mix of architectural styles. The cathedral is home to a number of important works of art, including the Holy Chalice, which is said to be the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper.

Take a Day Trip to the Albufera Natural Park

The Albufera Natural Park is a beautiful lagoon located just south of Valencia. The park is home to a variety of birds, fish, and other wildlife. There are several hiking trails and bike paths through the park, and you can also take a boat tour of the lagoon. The Albufera Natural Park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Attend a Valencia CF Soccer Match

Valencia CF is one of Spain’s most successful soccer clubs, and a match at their home stadium, Mestalla, is a great way to experience the passion of Spanish soccer. The atmosphere at Mestalla is electric, and it’s a great place to watch some of the world’s best players in action.

Enjoy the Nightlife

Valencia has a vibrant nightlife scene, with something to offer everyone. There are plenty of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed night out or a wild party, you’re sure to find it in Valencia.

Valencia is a city that has something to offer everyone, and June is a great time to visit. With its warm weather, lively atmosphere, and abundance of things to see and do, Valencia is sure to leave a lasting impression.

In addition to the 9 great things to do listed above, here are a few other things to keep in mind when planning your trip to Valencia:

  • Culture: Valencia is a city with a rich culture and history. There are many museums, art galleries, and historical sites to visit.
  • Best Months to Visit: Valencia is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild.
  • Nearby Transportation: Valencia is well-connected by air, rail, and road. The city has an international airport, and there are regular trains and buses to and from other major cities in Spain.
  • Local Food: Valencia is known for its delicious cuisine. Some of the local specialties include paella, horchata, and turron.
  • Best Hotels: There are many great hotels to choose from in Valencia. Some of the best hotels include the Hotel Las Arenas Balneario Resort, the Hotel Me Valencia, and the Hotel SH Valencia Palace.

No matter what you’re looking for in a vacation, you’re sure to find it in Valencia. So start planning your trip today, and experience all that this vibrant city has to offer.

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Justin Alexander is a seasoned globetrotter with an unyielding passion for travel and a fervent dedication to sharing his wealth of knowledge about destinations worldwide. An intrepid explorer at heart, Justin has traversed the far reaches of the globe, seeking out unique experiences and hidden treasures in every corner of the earth.

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places to visit in valencia city

5 beautiful small towns close to Valencia that are worth a visit

1. peñíscola.

The first beautiful town that is worth a visit is  Peñíscola , a coastal town in the Province of Castellón. With its impressive old town and the Papa Luna castle at the top of the town, it is an ideal place for a morning or afternoon stroll with the family. It`s a delight to get lost in its narrow white streets. The beach is always near, so bring your swimsuit!


Inland in the Castellón Province you should without a doubt pay a visit to  Morella , chosen as one of the most beautiful towns of Spain. Morella is built on top of a hill, its impressive castle can be seen from afar.

Castillo de Morella

In this list of beautiful small town close to Valencia, we must include  Altea , one of the most stunning coastal towns in the Mediterranean region . Pick up a map from the local tourist office so you won`t miss any of the most emblematic (view)points. The white streets, the blue roofs of the church, the views over the Mediterranean Sea....Altea is a very fotogenic town!

Altea pueblo bonito

4. Dénia

Dénia is another beautiful town you cannot miss. We recommend you start your visit at the port and slowly make your way up the the castle. Denia is famous for its gastronomy, so make sure you plan a delicious lunch stop here.

Denia pueblo bonito

5. Jávea (o Xàbia)

Last but not least, we recommend a visit to  Jávea , a small beach town with a nice historic center and beautiful beaches.


Walking the pedestrian streets of the historic center allows us to discover its history through its monuments such as the Church of San Bartolomé, the Food Market or the Soler Blasco Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum.

In the Duanes de la Mar neighborhood, a visit to the Church of the Virgin of Loreto is essential, as well as strolling through the fishing port and attending a fish auction.

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7 Surprisingly Affordable Places To Retire in Europe

Posted: July 7, 2023 | Last updated: July 7, 2023

<p>The good news is that if you do owe taxes to the U.S., you won't face the prospect of double taxation. In other words, if you already pay taxes to a foreign taxing authority, you can likely get a credit for those foreign taxes paid on your U.S. return.</p> <p>There are two ways to go about offsetting foreign taxes paid: the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and the Foreign Tax Credit. However, the details can get complicated, and you'll likely want to speak with a tax expert if you're using either of these tools to offset your U.S. taxes.</p> <p><strong><em>Filing Taxes as a Digital Nomad: <a href="https://www.gobankingrates.com/taxes/filing/filing-taxes-as-digital-nomad-what-to-do-have-no-primary-residence/?utm_campaign=1158721&utm_source=msn.com&utm_content=6&utm_medium=rss">What To Do When You Have No Primary Residence</a></em></strong></p>

Are you thinking that it might be time to retire , but you're not sure if you want to stay in the same city that you've been living and working in all these years? Perhaps your dream is to live out your golden years in Europe? Of course, European destinations -- for vacation, living or retirement -- are not known for being cheap.

"Europe is not only a tourist destination; it is also a retirement haven," said André Disselkamp, the Co-Founder of Insurancy . "With its low cost of living, rich culture and history, and friendly inhabitants, Europe provides an unrivaled quality of life."

"Remember that the cost of living will vary based on your lifestyle," Disselkamp cautioned. "But these places are an excellent place to start for anybody thinking about retiring in Europe. Finally, the ideal place to retire is a matter of personal desire and financial condition."

There are lots of safe bets for places to retire in Europe -- and some for under $2,000 a month . Plenty of expats are making the move to Europe for some well deserved R&R. GOBankingRates reached out to a few expats and retirement experts to find out some of the most affordable places to retire in Europe. Their answers might surprise you!

Boomers Prefer To Retire Abroad: Top 5 Places To Retire Outside of the US Learn: 3 Ways To Recession-Proof Your Retirement

<p>"Nothing beats working from your laptop while looking out over the water with a refreshing drink in hand and the warm breeze off the Mediterranean cooling you down," said Loredana Elena of <a href="https://www.destguides.com/en/itineraries/croatia/splitsko-dalmatinska/split/best-coffee-shops-split-croatia" rel="noreferrer noopener">Destguides</a>. "Plus, you can never get bored here, and it's a beautiful historic town." </p> <p>Another plus? It's not bad for the budget. </p> <p>"As long as you don't come in the height of summer (July -- August), accommodation is reasonable," Elena said.</p>

Zadar, Croatia

  • Average monthly living expenses: $1,801

"Zadar enjoys a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters," explained Melissa Aragon, a professional makeup artist and writer at Elemental Spot

"With an average of 2,800 sunshine hours per year, it's one of the sunniest places in Europe. This allows for an outdoor-oriented lifestyle, with many opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities such as sailing, hiking and exploring the archipelago's numerous islands."

"Croatia is famous for its 'Fjaka' lifestyle, a word that roughly translates to 'the joy of doing nothing.' This relaxed way of life is perfect for retirees looking to unwind after their working years," Aragon shared. "Croatians are friendly, welcoming and have a high level of English proficiency, making it easier for expats to integrate. It's a joy to live in a place where people enjoy life, family, food and nature, and where they appreciate the importance of relaxation and recreation."

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Lisbon city in Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

  • Average monthly living expenses: $2,799

"Lisbon, with its rich history, pleasant climate and friendly residents, provides an excellent European lifestyle at a reasonable price," said Disselkamp. "The city is well-known for its beautiful scenery, historic districts and world-class eateries. As an expat, you'll feel right at home and easily adjust to the slower pace of life."

See: 10 Countries Where the U.S. Won't Send Your Social Security Payments

<ul> <li><strong>Average monthly living expenses:</strong> $1,626</li> </ul> <p>"Kraków is a historic city in southern Poland known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and vibrant cultural scene," shared Maria Szandrach of <a href="https://www.mentalyc.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Mentalyc</a>.</p> <p>"It offers a lower cost of living compared to many other European cities, making it an attractive option for retirees. Kraków has a rich history, beautiful parks and a friendly atmosphere. The city also provides easy access to other European destinations."</p>

Kraków, Poland

  • Average monthly living expenses: $1,626

"Kraków is a historic city in southern Poland known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and vibrant cultural scene," shared Maria Szandrach of Mentalyc .

"It offers a lower cost of living compared to many other European cities, making it an attractive option for retirees. Kraków has a rich history, beautiful parks and a friendly atmosphere. The city also provides easy access to other European destinations."

places to visit in valencia city

Valencia, Spain

  • Average monthly living expenses: $2,102

"Valencia provides the ideal balance of metropolitan life and beach leisure," Disselkamp explained. "This dynamic city has beautiful architecture, rich food and a thriving cultural scene. Expats may enjoy Valencia's sunny weather and laidback lifestyle while taking advantage of the city's low cost of living."

places to visit in valencia city

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

  • Average monthly living expenses: $1,161

"Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria and is recognized as one of the oldest cities in Europe that has been continually inhabited," said Radwa Khalil, founder of Healthy Life Trainer. "In comparison to the capital city of Sofia, the cost of living here is significantly lower. "

"Plovdiv's Roman ruins are in excellent condition, and the city's Old Town and arts scene are both vibrant and charming. Retirees can enjoy all three," Khalil described. "The city features a good climate, a variety of housing alternatives that are reasonable and a laid-back way of life. In addition, Plovdiv is situated in close proximity to a number of stunning natural landscapes, such as the Rhodope Mountains, which makes it possible to participate in outdoor activities."

Discover: 10 Places To Live Abroad So Cheap You Could Quit Your Job

<p>Being a frugal shopper takes time and research. As a retiree, use your newfound free time to bargain hunt, comparison shop and negotiate for better prices. Consider taking on some of the jobs you used to pay others to do, such as gardening. And always remember to ask for a senior discount, even if it’s not publicized.</p>

Riga, Latvia

  • Average monthly living expenses: $1,593

"Riga is the capital of Latvia and a hidden gem in Northern Europe," noted Szandrach. "It boasts a mix of medieval and art nouveau architecture, a rich cultural scene and a thriving expat community. The cost of living in Riga is relatively low compared to other European capitals, making it an affordable choice for retirees. The city offers a blend of history, natural beauty and modern amenities."

Senior couple, smile and outdoor in nature park showing love, care and happy on a retirement holiday on summer day. Portrait of elderly man and woman together for fresh air and tree view on vacation

Brasov, Romania

  • Average monthly living expenses: $1,300

"Brasov, nestled in the Carpathian Mountains, provides a fairy-tale setting at a surprisingly low cost," Disselkamp shared. "The historic buildings, cobblestone streets and lush green surroundings of the city create an enthralling setting. Brasov offers expats a tranquil, slow-paced lifestyle with a rich local culture that is simple to enjoy."

More From GOBankingRates

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  • 10 Small Changes To Stay On Track With Your Savings Goals

Disclaimer: This article used Nomad List as a source for cost of living for expats data estimates.

Photo Disclaimer: Please note photos are for representational purposes only. As a result, some of the photos might not reflect the locations listed in this article.

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The prettiest towns in the province of Valencia

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Quite frankly, making a list of the prettiest towns in the province of Valencia is no easy task.

Across the length and breadth of the province there are so many villages and towns packed with history emanating from every corner, making this ranking a challenge.

We've got an abundance of towns with traces of their Roman and Muslim past, picturesque side streets and secluded squares where you can unplug and eat excellently. And all surrounded by untamed nature!

The fact is that the province of Valencia is privileged to contain a varied wealth of biodiversity within a few kilometres: you can be sunbathing on the beach and then turn up somewhere in the mountains within half an hour. 

We have put together a list of several of the prettiest town in the province to give you some options to choose from, places where you can combine a charming town and stunning natural environment for a one-day getaway. 

Let’s get going.


The first place on the list is a village in the Rincón de Ademuz district, between Teruel and Cuenca. 

You know that bit of the Valencian Community that appears to be off the map? Well, that's where this district and the town that bears its name are located. 

Ademuz is a picturesque town laid out along the slopes of Mount Zafranes and on terraces. From a distance, it is possible to make out the mantle of houses nestled together on the mountain, with Ademuz Castle at the top.

After wandering the cobbled streets, you must sample the empedrao (rice with pinto beans, ribs and blood sausage), pick up some of the excellent honey and a few apples , which are a local delicacy and come in many varieties.

And in the surrounding area, you can tour some of the seven villages and ten hamlets , or choose a hiking trail through Puebla de San Miguel Nature Reserve or along the Bohílgues River and its crystalline waters .


Any list of the prettiest towns in the province of Valencia worth its salt must include Ayora, no matter what.

Well, because of its abundance of historic and artistic heritage. And its range of natural areas is no less important. 

It is quite possible to say that Ayora is a historic town , wherever you may look. The most spectacular building – because of its size and because it presides over the town’s high point – is Ayora Castle .

But there is also the 16th-century Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church ; Santa María la Mayor Church, dating from the 13th century ; and the Cross of San Antón, a perfectly preserved Gothic style covered cross . Not much, right? 

Apart from these three wonders, when you stroll through the town, you’ll want to include the medieval streets of Los Altos neighbourhood; the old Jewish quarter, Santa Bárbara; and head to El Hueco neighbourhood to admire the Renaissance style buildings. 

And to enjoy the natural surroundings, be sure to fit in a hike in La Hunde Nature Reserve and Palomera Peak .


Bocairent is one of the most visited towns in the province of Valencia because of how well preserved it is, with its historical and cultural charms in plain view. 

The town has literally been dug out of the rock , and its medieval quarter was declared a national area of artistic and historical importance in 1975. Its peculiar relief, with densely crowded houses clinging to the mountain, gives it a special charm.  

Be prepared to climb a few hills. We assure you, the effort is truly worth it. 

In addition to strolling along its characteristics side streets, don't miss the chance to admire the Covetes dels Moros , a group of some 50 window-shaped caves halfway up a vertical wall of stone . All these openings give way to interconnected accessible chambers.  

As if that were not enough, the town is situated in Sierra de Mariola Nature Reserve , which offers hiking options for travellers of all abilities.


That Buñol has become famous the world round for the tomato throwing festival known as La Tomatina is indisputable. But that is also not its only attraction.

In fact, its cultural heritage includes such important sites as Buñol Castle, which dates to the 13th century and is so well preserved that it makes any visit a journey into the past.  

The castle has two sections: the military and the residential. In the latter, keep an eye out for such wonders as the Gothic palace and Oscurico Room, El Salvador Church, and the mansion, which houses the Archaeological Museum.

So, start there and then check out the streets of the old town.

These are the must-sees: San Pedro Parish Church , San Luis Park and Galán Mill . And the village square to see the street where La Tomatina takes place every August.

Now that you're in Buñol, take the opportunity to do a bit of hiking and head to El Turche Cave and the pools on the River Buñol , a route featuring spectacular natural pools where you can take a refreshing dip. That's if you visit in summer, of course. In the winter, the water's a bit chilly.


Chelva is one of the prettiest towns in the province of Valencia, as its many recognitions demonstrate: in 2018, it was named the second Rural Wonder of Spain, its San Antón Festival is an event of Provincial Tourist Interest, it is a Starlight Destination, and its historic district is a Property of Cultural Interest. 

And all well deserved. 

So, slip on some good walking shoes because every one of its neighbourhoods is worth a visit: the Moorish quarter, Benacacira; the Christian neighbourhood, Ollerías; the Jewish quarter, Azoque; and Arrabal, which is Mudejar/Morisco .

Yes, yes, a festival of cultures where you can venture into the winding side streets and discover interesting spots around every corner.

Another of its treasures is the Ruta del Agua (Water Trail) along the River Chelva , filled with natural springs and water sources. Don't be concerned if you're travelling with children or you're not a pro at mountain sport because the route is a breeze. And in summer, get out your swimsuit as you're sure to want to dive in.


Chulilla is in Los Serranos district. It is one of those Valencian towns where the houses cling to the mountain, making it difficult to understand how they could have been built in such a way. 

It's that village we all picture in our heads, where time seems to pass at a different rate. In Chulilla you will find a fabric of steep, narrow streets lined with flower-filled balconies, bakeries selling traditional products, and little bars where you can relax and sip a vermouth . 

Crowning the town is the fortress , guarding over you wherever you may go.

In terms of nature, the Ruta de los Puentes Colgantes (Suspension Bridge Trail) is the highlight. But please note that if you have acrophobia, you might find it tough going because their height is almost as incredible as the scenery.


Why have we included Cofrentes in the list of the prettiest towns in the province of Valencia? 

Firstly, because its geographical location provides spectacular natural surroundings, making it a perfect place for adventure sports and to enjoy gorgeous views. 

Cofrentes lies at the confluence of the rivers Júcar and Cabriel , surrounding the town in a loop of meanders, ravines, cliffs and a reservoir, Embarcaderos. And to top it all off, Cerro de Agras Volcano , which sends gas bubbles up to Hervideros Springs . 

This spot just begs a spa, doesn't it? Well, it has one. If you spend the night, you can stay at Hervideros Spa and receive a treatment.

Apart from enjoying its spectacular environmental wealth, in Cofrentes you really must visit the castle and wander its side streets, with a layout dating from the Islamic period.

As you stroll, notice how many of the houses have a very similar façade: the door on one side and a window on the other, with a balcony above and a third level with a cambra, a storeroom where the harvest is kept.


Any list of the prettiest places in Valencia must include El Palmar, which can quite possibly be considered the soul of La Albufera Natural Park . 

El Palmar is basically a fishing village surrounded by the waters of the lake, rice crops and farmland . It is not therefore surprising to see boats parked along the canals in front of the houses or one of the traditional cottages that survive to this day. 

If you've read Cañas y Barro (or seen the series inspired by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez's novel), you can easily imagine what El Palmar is like. And if you've watched the show El Embarcadero, you will be familiar with the area. 

The thing to do is take a ride in one of the traditional boats, known as albuferencs , and allow any of the delightful boatmen to tell you the story of this place and introduce you to the natural wealth of La Albufera, which has up to 250 different species of bird.

One thing to note: dusk is the golden hour for a boat ride .

Another must-do for a great day in El Palmar is to have a paella. After all, this is where the dish was created.

Albufera de Valencia

Requena is without a doubt one of Valencia's most special towns. It is also among the coldest, a very welcome fact in summer, when temperatures along the coast are stifling. 

And it is at the end of the summer when it celebrates the Requena Fair and Grape Harvest Festival, which is listed as an event of Tourist Interest. The wine-growing tradition is part of Requena’s very DNA. This is particularly easy to see in the neighbourhoods of La Villa and Las Peñas, where there are wineries open to visitors. 

The entire municipality is covered with a mantle of vines, the fruit of which is used to produce its wine.

Requena is the gateway to the Castilian plateau, and it is this feature that has made it what it is today. It has been a place of passage for different civilisations, leaving behind such spaces as the neighbourhood of La Villa , the Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda (Silkmakers Guildhall), the fortress and the Jewish quarter , among other sights. 

Indeed, there is much to see. 

If there is one thing in Requena you won't want to miss, it is the Cuevas de la Villa , 22 underground caves from the Muslim era which still house enormous clay vats used in winemaking.

And to round out this pairing of history and nature, we have the Hoces del Cabriel Nature Reserve , which lies along the natural border between Valencia and Castile-La Mancha. There are a number of hiking trails, some accessible to all ages and abilities. 

And if speed is your thing, you can do a bit of rafting . What section you choose will depend on how water is being released from the Contreras Reservoir. This means that if you return another time, it is highly likely that you will find another adventure awaiting you.


To complete our list of the prettiest towns in the province of Valencia, we head over to Serra, which is among the most charming towns in the entire province. 

It lies in the heart of the Sierra Calderona Nature Reserve , one of the most iconic protected natural areas in the Valencian Community. Its elevation gains and ravines are a guarantee of good hiking and spectacular views everywhere you turn.  

And if you’re into real mountains, plan a climb up to the Garbí Viewpoint to enjoy a panoramic view of the entire mountain range and snap a few Instagram-worthy pics.

The old quarter offers the opportunity to explore the streets and witness the traces of Muslims and Christians first-hand. The Ria, Ermita and Satarenya watchtowers still remain, along with the neoclassical Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles Church.

In the outskirts, you will find the castle and its most important building, Portaceli Carthusian Monastery . This was the first monastery of the Order of Carthusians, dating from no less than 1271.

It is not surprising that they would choose to found a monastery on this spot, where tranquillity and silence reign supreme. 

Although it is still inhabited by Carthusian monks and so not open to the public, the area is well worth a visit, as it adjoins a Gothic aqueduct with twelve arches, making it even more spectacular.


And so, we have come to the end of our tour of the prettiest towns in the province of Valencia, where one day out will truly allow you to unplug. Have you decided which one you’ll start with?



Excursions outside Valencia

Alrededores Valencia

Excursions to Valencia's surrounding areas

Atardecer albufera

Albufera Natural Park

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, best film schools in california.

Hey everyone! I'm a junior in high school and I'm really interested in film. I'm looking to pursue it as my major in college. What are some great film schools in California? Any suggestions or personal experiences?

Hey there! California is home to some of the best film schools in the country. Here are a few notable ones which are well-regarded for their film programs:

1. University of Southern California (USC) - The USC School of Cinematic Arts is widely considered one of the top film schools. It offers diverse programs in film, animation, screenwriting, and more. Many successful filmmakers have emerged from USC, including George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis.

2. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - The UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television is another well-known film school in California. It focuses on combining theoretical analysis with hands-on practical production experiences. Notable alumni include Francis Ford Coppola, Tim Robbins, and Alexander Payne.

3. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) - Located in Valencia, CalArts is known for its emphasis on artistic experimentation in film and animation. The school is closely linked with Walt Disney and Pixar, with several renowned animators among its alumni, including John Lasseter and Brad Bird.

4. Loyola Marymount University (LMU) - The School of Film and Television at LMU in Los Angeles has a strong focus on storytelling and technical skills. It offers undergraduate programs in production, animation, and screenwriting, as well as a range of graduate programs.

5. Chapman University - Chapman's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, located in Orange County, provides extensive resources for students, including state-of-the-art facilities and partnerships with industry professionals. Some notable alumni include Matt and Ross Duffer ('Stranger Things' creators) and Justin Simien ('Dear White People' creator).

6. San Francisco State University (SFSU) - SFSU's School of Cinema offers a variety of programs in narrative, experimental, and documentary filmmaking. Located in the heart of San Francisco, students can benefit from the vibrant art scene of the city as they study.

7. University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) - While UC Berkeley doesn't have a dedicated film school like some other universities on this list, they have a Department of Film & Media that offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs for students interested in film production, theory, and criticism.

When deciding on a film school, consider factors such as the curriculum, available resources, alumni network, and professional connections. Make sure to visit schools' websites to learn more about each program, attend open houses or online info sessions, and speak with current students or alumni to get a feel for the schools. Good luck in your film school search!

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