The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide to Valencia on a Budget

The Ultimate Traveler's Guide to Valencia on a Budget

Valencia is calling, but your bank account whispers a different tune? We have a Valencia travel guide with a special emphasis on a budget to help you travel the city regardless of how much you’re willing to spend. 

This guide also contains tips, tricks, and general information on things to do and safety that we think everyone going to Valencia should know. 

Travel Costs: Detailed Breakdown

Valencia, the city of sunshine, paella, and awesome culture, caters to various budgets. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to spend:

Suggested Budget per person: Valencia City

  • Low: €40-€50
  • Middle: €60-€80
  • High: €100+

Detailed Costs


  • Low: Hostels or budget guesthouses: €15-€25 per night
  • Middle: Mid-range hotels or B&Bs: €40-€60 per night
  • High: Luxury hotels or upscale apartments: €100+ per night

Read: Best Hostels in Valencia.

Public Transportation:

  • Metro ticket: €2.10
  • Daily pass: €7.90
  • 3-Day tourist pass: €25

Entrance Fees:

  • Low (mostly free): Ciutat Vella (Old Town), beaches, City Hall Square, Central Market (Mercado Central)
  • Middle: Valencia Cathedral & The Holy Grail Chapel: €2, Silk Exchange: €2, City of Arts and Sciences: €12 
  • High: Bioparc Valencia (zoo): €23.50, Oceanografic (aquarium): €31


  • Low: Delicious “Bocadillo” (Spanish sandwich): €3-€5
  • Middle: Mid-range restaurants: €10-€15 per meal
  • High: High-end restaurants: €20+ per meal

Popular Food Staple: Paella

  • Low: Take-away paella: €5-€7
  • Middle: Traditional paella in a restaurant: €10-€15
  • High: Seafood paella in a fancy restaurant: €20+


  • Low: Take-away coffee at a bar: €1-€1.50
  • Middle: Coffee in a cafe: €2-€3
  • High: Specialty coffees: €3.50+

Beer & Wine:

  • Low: Local beer or wine at a bar: €2-€3
  • Middle: Craft beer or wine in a mid-range restaurant: €4-€5
  • High: Craft beer or special vintage wine: €5+

Exploring Valencia: Things to See & Do

Valencia offers a tapestry of history, culture, and sun-drenched charm. Get ready to explore its hidden alleys and architectural wonders, and, of course, indulge in its world-famous paella! Here’s a glimpse into what awaits you:

Must Do: Valencia Guide

  • Marvel at the City of Arts and Sciences: This futuristic complex (designed by Santiago Calatrava) houses an aquarium, science museum, and an IMAX theater, offering an exciting blend of education and entertainment.
  • Wander the Ciutat Vella (Old Town): Get lost in the maze of narrow streets, stumble upon hidden squares, and admire the architectural gems like the Valencia Cathedral and the Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda).
  • Explore the Central Market:  the sights, sounds, and aromas of this marketplace, overflowing with fresh produce, local delicacies, and handcrafted souvenirs.
  • Relax on the Beach: Soak up the sun on the golden sands of Las Arenas or Malvarrosa beaches, take a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean Sea, or try your hand at water sports.
  • Witness the Fallas Festival (March): Experience the city come alive with this UNESCO-listed festival featuring towering, satirical monuments made of wood and papier-mâché, culminating in a spectacular burning ceremony.
  • Go on a Bike Tour: Explore the city at your own pace and discover hidden corners with a guided bike tour, offering a fun and eco-friendly way to sightsee.
  • Visit the Bioparc: Embark on a journey through Africa at this award-winning zoo, designed to recreate natural habitats and foster an appreciation for wildlife conservation.
  • Stroll through the Jardines del Turia: Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and unwind in this sprawling urban park, featuring gardens, fountains, and even a Bioparc extension.
  • Indulge in a Paella Feast: Savor the city’s signature dish, paella, a traditional rice dish with various meats, seafood, and vegetables.
  • Catch a Flamenco Show: Immerse yourself in the passionate rhythms and captivating movements of this traditional Spanish dance.
  • Escape to the Albufera Natural Park: Immerse yourself in nature just outside the city at the Albufera Natural Park. Explore the largest freshwater lake in Spain, spot diverse birdlife, and discover the traditional rice fields that are a cornerstone of Valencian cuisine. Enjoy a boat trip on the lake for a unique perspective, or rent a bike and explore the surrounding countryside.

Free things to do in Valencia

  • Explore the Charming Neighborhoods: Wander through the streets of El Carmen, Ruzafa, or Cánovas, each offering unique character, local shops, and hidden gems.
  • Visit the Valencia Cathedral: Admire the architectural grandeur of this Gothic cathedral, with its towering bell tower and impressive stained-glass windows (free admission to the main cathedral, fee applies to the museum and tower).
  • Enjoy Free Walking Tours: Join a free walking tour led by enthusiastic locals, who will share their knowledge and insights into the city’s history and culture.
  • Relax in the Jardines del Turia: Pack a picnic and spend an afternoon relaxing in this expansive park, offering walking paths, bike rentals, and even a playground for the little ones.
  • Explore the Central Market: While you might not be able to resist the delicious treats, window shopping and soaking up the atmosphere at the Central Market is a free and awesome experience.
  • Catch a Sunset at the Beach: Witness the breathtaking spectacle of the sun setting over the Mediterranean Sea, creating a magical end to your day.

Museums in Valencia

  • Valencia Museum of Fine Arts: Explore an extensive collection of Spanish art, from medieval paintings to contemporary works. 
  • Lladró Museum: Discover the world-renowned Lladró porcelain figurines and learn about their intricate craftsmanship.
  • National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts: Immerse yourself in the history of ceramics and decorative arts, showcasing Spanish and international collections.
  • Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda): While not technically a museum, visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-do. Explore the architectural marvel and learn about its historical significance in the silk trade.
  • Science Museum: Delve into the world of science and technology through interactive exhibits and fascinating displays. 
  • Fallas Museum: Learn about the history and tradition of the iconic Fallas festival, showcasing models, costumes, and historical artifacts. 

Where to Stay on a Budget in Valencia

While the Ciutat Vella (Old Town), with its stunning architecture and great nightlife, is the heart of the action, it tends to be the priciest area to stay in Valencia. But worry not, budget-conscious travelers! Here are 4 fantastic and affordable neighborhoods to consider, each offering a unique experience:

1. El Carmen: Nestled within the Ciutat Vella, El Carmen blends historical charm with youthful energy. Wander narrow streets adorned with street art, discover hidden gems like the Central Market, and immerse yourself in a lively nightlife scene with trendy bars and pubs. While not the absolute cheapest option compared to the other neighborhoods listed here, El Carmen offers a more affordable alternative to the core of the Old Town.

2. Ruzafa: Just east of El Carmen, Ruzafa is a trendy up-and-coming neighborhood known for its cool cafes, independent shops, and artistic vibe. Explore unique boutiques, grab brunch at a bohemian cafe, or lose yourself in the stalls of the Ruzafa Market. This area offers a good balance of affordability and a lively atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a mix of local charm and modern energy.

3. Benimaclet: Escape the tourist crowds and experience authentic Valencian life in Benimaclet. This student-filled neighborhood boasts a laid-back atmosphere, affordable tapas bars offering delicious local bites, and a plethora of international restaurants catering to diverse palates. Enjoy a stroll through the lively Benimaclet Market, catch a local football match cheering alongside passionate fans, or simply relax in a traditional “horchatería,” savoring the refreshing horchata drink, a Valencian specialty.

4. Cánovas: Located north of the city center, Cánovas offers a mix of residential streets and historical landmarks, including the beautiful Jardines del Real Park. This quiet and safe neighborhood provides easy access to public transportation via the metro and is a great choice for budget travelers seeking a peaceful stay within walking distance of the city center. Here, you can experience a more local atmosphere while still being close to the action.

Reminder: We have a guide to the Best Hostels in Valencia.

Eating and Drinking

Valencia doesn’t just boast stunning sights and culture, it also offers delicious food options that won’t break the bank. Here are some tips to keep your wallet happy and your stomach satisfied:

Tap water: Unlike some destinations, tap water in Valencia is safe to drink, so feel free to refill your reusable water bottle and stay hydrated throughout the day.

Affordable Eats: Valencia Travel Guide

Budget-Friendly Bites:

  • Embrace tapas: These small, savory dishes are perfect for sharing and sampling different flavors. Head to local bars and restaurants outside of tourist areas for the most affordable options.
  • Seek out “menús del día”: Many restaurants offer daily set menus (menús del día) at lunchtime, featuring a starter, main course, and sometimes even dessert at a fixed price. This is a fantastic way to try traditional Valencian cuisine at a reasonable cost.

Explore local markets: Immerse yourself in the sights, smells, and tastes of the city by exploring its food markets. Here are a few popular options:

  • Central Market: A must-visit for any foodie, offering a vast array of fresh produce, local specialties, and even prepared meals.
  • Ruzafa Market: Discover a trendy market showcasing fresh, seasonal ingredients, artisanal products, and international delicacies.
  • Colón Market: This historic market is a hidden gem, offering fresh produce, local meats and cheeses, and traditional Valencian specialties.

Affordable Food Heroes:

  • Paella (with caution): While Valencia’s iconic paella can be pricey in tourist areas, you might find more affordable options at local restaurants or by trying a “paella valenciana” specifically, the traditional version made with chicken, rabbit, and snails.
  • Bocadillos: These Spanish sandwiches come in various fillings, from classic cured meats and cheese to more creative combinations. They’re a budget-friendly and satisfying option for lunch or a quick bite.
  • Horchata: This refreshing drink made with tigernut milk, sugar, and cinnamon is a Valencian specialty. Enjoy it at a traditional “horchatería” (horchata cafe) for an authentic experience.

Grocery Gems:

  • Mercadona: A popular Spanish supermarket chain offering high-quality products at competitive prices.
  • Lidl: Another budget-friendly grocery store known for its diverse selection of private label brands and international products.
  • Dia: This discount supermarket chain is a great option for finding everyday essentials at rock-bottom prices.

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to check out local bakeries for fresh bread, pastries, and sweet treats. They often offer affordable grab-and-go options perfect for a quick breakfast or snack.

How to Get Around Valencia

Valencia’s energy extends to its diverse transportation network, offering options to suit every budget and travel style. Buckle up and explore the city like a local:

Public Transportation Network:


  • Valencia Metro: Dive into the heart of the city with an efficient metro network. Five lines cover major areas, making it a breeze to reach sights like the City of Arts and Sciences or the Bioparc.
  • Tickets: Single tickets (billete sencillo) cost €1.50 per journey within zone A (which covers most of the city center).
  • Multi-day travel cards: Opt for a multi-day travel card for unlimited rides within a specific timeframe (24, 48, or 72 hours). Prices start at €7.90 for 24 hours, offering significant savings compared to single tickets for frequent travelers.
  • SUMA card: Invest in a rechargeable SUMA card for the ultimate convenience. It grants access to all public transportation options (metro, bus, tram) within Valencia and surrounding areas, with discounted fares compared to single tickets.


  • MT Valencia Buses: Explore beyond the metro’s reach with the extensive EMT bus network. Buses cover most neighborhoods, reaching hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path locations.
  • Tickets: Single bus tickets cost €1.50 within zone A.
  • Bonobus multi-trip tickets: Purchase a “bonobus” for a specific number of journeys (10 or 20) at a discounted fare. This is ideal for shorter trips or those planning to switch between buses frequently.
  • SUMA card: As mentioned above, the SUMA card offers discounted fares and the convenience of using it across different public transport options.


  • Valencia Tram: Experience Valencia from a different perspective with the tram network. Connecting various areas within the city center, trams offer a scenic and comfortable ride, especially along the coastal route.
  • Tickets: Tram fares are similar to bus fares (€1.50 within zone A).
  • Saving Strategies: Consider purchasing a “bonobus” or using the SUMA card for discounted fares.

Top Tips for Travelers:

  • Embrace the walkable city center: Valencia’s heart is compact and pedestrian-friendly. Opt for walking whenever possible to save on transportation costs and discover hidden gems along the way.
  • Valencia Tourist Card: Consider the Valencia Tourist Card if your itinerary includes frequent use of public transportation and exploring various attractions. It combines free public transportation with discounts on entrance fees to museums, monuments, and other activities, potentially saving you money depending on your plans.

Cheapest Way to Get To and From the Airport in Valencia

Reaching the City Center:

  • Metro: The metro line 3 (green line) directly connects Valencia Airport (VLC) to the city center, offering a convenient and affordable option. Trains run every 10-15 minutes during the day and every 20-25 minutes at night, with a journey time of around 20 minutes. Single tickets from the airport cost €4.80.
  • Aerobus: The EMT Valencia operates an express bus service (Aerobus) between the airport and various stops in the city center, running every 20-25 minutes. The journey time can vary depending on traffic, but it’s generally slightly longer than the metro (around 30-40 minutes). Tickets cost €1.50.
  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available at the airport, but they are the most expensive option, with fares starting around €20-€25 to the city center depending on traffic conditions.

Best Time to Visit Valencia

  • High Season (July & August):

Pros: Sunshine galore, perfect beach weather, summer festivals (Las Fallas excluded).
Cons: Packed with tourists, scorching temperatures, higher accommodation prices.

  • Shoulder Season (April-June & September-October):

Pros: Pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, still plenty of sunshine.
Cons: Some attractions might have shorter hours, higher chance of rain in April-May.

  • Low Season (November-March):

Pros: Budget-friendly, fewer crowds, Fallas festival in March.
Cons: Colder weather, potential for rain, some attractions might have shorter hours.

National Holidays & Peak Festivals

  • Las Fallas (March 15-19): Expect significantly higher prices, crowded streets, and a boisterous atmosphere. The whole week leading up to the main event, from around March 1st with “La Plantà” (the planting of the monuments), is also busy and more expensive.
  • Easter Week (Semana Santa): Accommodations and flights tend to be more expensive during the week surrounding Easter Sunday (variable dates).
  • Christmas: Prices increase around Christmas time (December 24th-25th), especially for hotels and rentals.
  • La Tomatina (last Wednesday of August): While not directly in Valencia, this popular tomato-throwing festival in nearby Buñol impacts accommodation prices and availability in Valencia.
  • Other Events: Check for any major sporting events, concerts, or industry conferences taking place in Valencia during your travel dates, as they might drive up demand and prices.
  • Weather: November-March can be chilly, with potential rain. Pack accordingly and check opening hours for attractions.
  • Weekends: Expect higher prices, especially Fridays-Saturdays, throughout the year. Book in advance for peak seasons, weekends, and major holidays.

Essentials, Money & Safety Tips

Hitting the streets of Valencia? Gear up for an unforgettable adventure! Here’s a quick guide to essential items and safety precautions specific to this city:

Safety Tips

  • Mind your belongings: While Valencia is generally safe, petty theft, especially pickpocketing, can occur in crowded areas like tourist attractions and public transportation. Keep valuables close to your body, use a money belt or a secure crossbody bag, and avoid displaying expensive items like jewelry or electronics openly.
  • Beware of “hurricane men”: This scam involves individuals approaching tourists, often near the Turia Gardens or the beach, claiming to be deaf or mute and asking for money. Politely decline and move on.

Common Scams

  • The “friendly fortune teller”: Someone might approach you on the street, offering to read your palm or tell your fortune for free. This is often a ploy to distract you while an accomplice steals your belongings. Politely decline and avoid engaging in conversation.
  • Overpriced souvenirs: Be wary of street vendors selling seemingly unique souvenirs like hand-painted tiles or personalized bracelets at inflated prices. Haggling is expected, and you might find similar items at local markets for a fraction of the cost.

Things Not to Do

  • Leaving belongings unattended: Don’t leave your bags or valuables unattended on the beach or at cafes, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • Swimming outside designated areas: Valencia boasts beautiful beaches, but always swim within designated and lifeguarded areas. Currents can be strong, and riptides can occur unexpectedly.

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