14 Best Things To Do in Valencia – 3-Day City Guide

14 Best Things To Do in Valencia – 3-Day City Guide

14 Best Things To Do in Valencia – 3-Day City Guide

Valencia, the birthplace of Paella and the third-largest city in Spain, is often overlooked and underestimated in favor of its big brother Barcelona. However, it offers much the same in terms of its striking architecture, fantastic food, beautiful parks, and beaches. Not only this, but it comes with a big plus side- far less tourists and smaller price tags! Discover the best things to do in Valencia on a 3-day trip.

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Day 1 – Ancient Valencia

Welcome to historical Valencia. A city that is split into the old and new city. Spend your first day soaking up the history of the charming old town on foot. Start your morning early to avoid the crowds and make sure to grab yourself a typical Spanish breakfast of ‘tostada con tomate’ to gain energy for your day ahead. 

1. Eat your way through the Central Market 

Mercado Central, one of the biggest markets in Europe, boasts some of the best local fruits, vegetables, and fish caught that morning. The market ceiling is a huge dome, painted with oranges, Valencia’s trademark fruit. 

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valencia market

2. Valencia Silk Exchange

After the market, stroll across the road to the old Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda) and buy a ticket for 2 EUR to go inside. Prepare to be blown away by the beautiful stained glass and stone pillars built to look like twisted palm trees.

Tip: On Sundays the entrance is free.

3. Get lost in the streets of El Carmen

Valencia was under Moorish rule for hundreds of years and this Northern African influence is clear to see within El Carmen with narrow roads, water features, and palm trees. 

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valencia spain art

From the Silk exchange, the heart of El Carmen is only 2 minutes away. Get lost in the back streets and see the contrast between some of the oldest buildings in the city, next to modern and colorful street art- undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Valencia.

Time for lunch? Saona (Plaza de la Virgen) does an amazing 3-course menu of the day for under 10 EUR. Be sure to book ahead.

4. Climb the Cathedral

After lunch, make your way to the cathedral of Valencia. El Micalet, the name of the cathedral tower, is a 207 steps climb, but one hundred percent worth the beautiful views over Valencia and it’s many blue-domed rooftops. Entrance: 2 EUR.  If you have an interest in religious history, visit the cathedral on your way down to see the Holy Grail!

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valencia street cathedral

5. Plaza de la Virgen

Once you have finished up at the cathedral, make your way under the Arco de La Calle de la Barchilla and around the cathedral to Plaza de la Virgen. At night the square really comes alive and is filled with people from circus performers to musicians.

For dinner; Get a delicious pasta around the corner at La Papardella.

Day 2 – Futuristic Valencia, Spain

The new City of Arts and Sciences is one of the most popular things to do in Valencia. Spend day 2 of your trip exploring the park and new city by bike. 

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futuristic valencia spain

6. Cycle through the ‘River’

Start your day by hiring a bike and cycling through the incredible 7 km long park which winds around the city, admiring its many orange trees, palm trees, and water features. This used to be the River Turia, but as it was so prone to flooding, the river was redirected and the area was turned into a green space for the people of Valencia. 

Tip: Make sure to cross over the Pont de las Flores when arriving into the park from the city center, a beautiful bridge made up entirely of pink flowers.

7. The City of Arts and Sciences – Unique thing to do in Valencia

At the south end of the park, you will find the ‘new city’ of Valencia. This extremely futuristic complex was designed by Valencian born architect Santiago Calatrava and was only finished in 2005. Initially budgeted at 300 million euros, it is estimated to have cost three times the amount!

Get your entrance tickets here

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valencia spain city arts sciences

Admire the eyeball of ‘La Hemisferic’, the shell of ‘La Palau de la Reina Sofia’ and the whale skeleton of The Science Museum. During the summer months, kayak or paddleboard in the water that surrounds the buildings.

Did you know? Valencia is also home to Europe’s largest aquarium which is situated next to the city of arts and sciences. You can even enjoy an ‘underwater’ dinner experience here, where you dine among sea life. Get your tickets.

8. Trendy Rusafa 

Make your way back to the city center via the neighborhood of Rusafa, one of Valencia’s coolest and most up and coming areas. Shop at one of the many vintage clothing stores and grab a healthy lunch at Bluebell Cafe or Artysana. 

9. Palau Marques de Dos Aguas 

On your journey back from Rusafa make one last stop at the impressive marble mansion ‘Palau de Marques de Dos Aguas’, a symbol of Valencian wealth which is now a ceramic museum. This is arguably one of the most outstanding buildings to see in Valencia.

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valencia Palau Marques Dos Aguas

10. See a Flamenco show 

Although Andalucia is the home of flamenco, Valencia still does a great job of showcasing this traditional Spanish dance. See a late-night show at Cafe del Duende for only 12 EUR including a drink.

Get tickets for a Flamenco show

Hungry? Around the corner from Cafe del Duende is La Greta, serving some of the best tapas in town. Go before the show and order the Patatas Bravas.

Day 3 – Eat, Beach and Repeat in Valencia

After two beautiful days of sightseeing, take your last day to relax and enjoy the best things to do by the sea in Valencia.

11. Colorful streets of Cabanyal

On your way to the beach, do not miss the colorful houses of Cabanyal, which feel more reminiscent of Cuba than Spain. If you are in Valencia for more than three days, continue cycling to the colorful harbor of Port Saplaya which has been coined as Valencia’s own ‘little Venice’.

Getting there – From the city center take the metro to Maritim Serreria and then the tram the rest of the way OR take the tram from Pont de Fusta, depending on where you are located. Even better, cycle! The city is extremely bike-friendly, with bike paths almost everywhere. 

12. Relax on Valencia beach 

Valencia’s beach lies just beyond Cabanyal, a long stretch of white sand lined with palm trees. At the closest end, you have Malvarossa but if you have the energy it is worth going a little further down to Patacona, which has lots of great beach bars and delicious places to eat.

Grab brunch at La Mas Bonita for great beach vibes!

13. The old gates of Valencia

Take the tram back to Pont de Fusta where you can walk across the bridge to the Serrano Towers, one of the only remaining gates that used to surround the city. Climb to the top for views of the mountains surrounding Valencia. 

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Serrano Towers valencia spain

14. Valencia Rooftop Sunset 

Finish your Valencia city trip in the main city square ‘Plaza Ayuntamiento’. Here you will find a rooftop bar where you can see spectacular views over the city during sunset.

How much does Valencia cost?

Hostel: 40 USD per night
Airbnb: 30 – 60 USD per night
Hotel: 60 – 200 USD per night
Lunch / Dinner: 5 – 15 USD
Fruit snacks: 1 USD bunch of bananas
Drinking water: 1.5 USD for 1.5L (not drinkable from the tap)
Attraction fee: 3 USD and most are free on Sundays
Transportation: 15 USD per day

Getting to & around Valencia

Valencia is a small and walkable city. If you choose to hire bikes, you may not need to take public transport at all! However, there is a very affordable tram and metro with many stops throughout the city and down to the beach. The price for a 10 trip ticket is between 7.60 – 21 EUR depending on which zones you need.

From the airport: The city is easily accessible from the airport. Simply walk downstairs to the metro from the terminal and any line will take you the main city stops such as ‘Xativa’ or ‘Colon’ in around 20 minutes. Price: 4.90 EUR. 

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valenicia rent bike

Best time to visit Valencia

The best time to visit is out of the prime summer months when the weather is cooler and it’s more pleasant to walk around and see all the things to do in Valencia. During the winter months of December- February the days are sunny and the temperature is between 15-20 degrees. If you’re visiting during the summer months of June-September expect highs of up to 40 degrees!

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valencia sunset

Extra: Experience ‘Las Fallas’ in March, a unique month-long festival which centers around the dates 15-19 where each district creates a giant sculpture, which is burned on the last night. Expect a lot of noise, fireworks and street parties lasting until the early hours of the morning.

Where to stay in Valencia

Accommodation in Valencia is reasonably affordable. Aim to stay in the city center, near to the old town, for easy access to the key sights. For a more affordable option, book an Airbnb in Rusafa or down by the beach.

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19/09/2019 https://www.saltinourhair.com/spain/valencia/
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