What is better than eating in a local market? Eating a tasty paella in an old modernist and beautiful market.
Head to Colon Market, one of the remainder main works of the Valencian Art Noveau.
With a nice atmosphere and a gigantic fresh air free zone, this old building will delight you.
Take your time and order a beer. In case you want to go eating there during the weekend. I do recommend you to try book in advance.
2. Start your day with a fresh juice
There is no secret here, the Mercado Central (Central Market) has become very popular and many people go to visit it.
While I do prefer less known markets, as Colon Market or Russafa (also on the list), this is one of my favorite places to buy a fresh juice early in the morning. Check our map below for the exact location.
Many different juices made with fresh fruits that are cheap and tasty.
Start your day with a fresh juice in your hand and a smile in your face
3. Get on your Bike …
Other than Barcelona, Valencia is a perfect city for moving by bike, as it is quite flat.
Great weather, many bike trails and cheap bike rentals.
Thanks to the bike trails you do not get in trouble with cars and do not hit any pedestrians.
Good thinking, right?! Use them!
Rent a bike and join the green movement.
4. …or take a bike tour
If you do not feel like riding alone along the city, then I recommend joining a bike tour. There are many in the city.
Next to the Cathedral you will see a magnificent bell tower. It is one of Valencia’s most iconic landmarks, the Miguelete tower. The name comes from the great bell, which is dedicated to St. Michael and still rung – manually!
With a height of almost 51 meters, it is possible to climb up and get great views of the city.
Bear in mind, you will have to climb 207 steps up a spiraling stairway. A bit challenging, but worth it.
6. Silk Market
Nowadays a principal tourist attraction in Valencia, the silk market or Lonja de la Seda, is one of the main monuments of the city and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
The silk market was the place to do silk exchange and other trades in Valencia city. Even though you cannot experience commercial trading anymore inside the building, the building itself is very beautiful. It resembles old medieval castles.
Take a picture with the spiral columns, which look like ship ropes, walk around the orange tree courtyard or simply play with the silhouette and lights inside the building.
The silhouette of the Lonja and its main façade, which overlooks the historic Plaza del Mercado, is one of the most attractive and architecturally important corners of Valencia – really instagrammy too.
With a beautiful setting right on the beach, Marina beach club is a place where some high class people in Valencia fancy going for a lunch on Sunday.
This club offers Japanese Mediterranean fusion food. If this kind of food is not for you, you can just enjoy a poolside bar that looks like fun, right on the beach.
This place has EPIC parties during summers season.
8. Ciutat de les Arts I Ciencia
A visit to the City of Arts and Sciences is a must while in Valencia. Even if you only walk around the outside area.
Located at the end of the former riverbed Turia, Ciutat de les Arts i la Ciéncia is an architectural complex with several buildings. Some of these buildings have become icons in the city.
This project was originally budgeted at €300 million. It is said that it has cost nearly three times the initial expected cost. It is designed by Santiago Calatrava, an important and recognized architect born in Valencia, together with Felix Candela, a great influence on Calatrava’s works- he was his teacher.
In Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències you will find:
The eye of knowledge: Hemispheric
This building is meant to resemble a giant eye and it certainly does. Its design resembles an eyelid that opens to access the surrounding water pool.
Science Museum Príncipe Felipe
This building that resembles the skeleton of a whale hosts an interactive museum of science.
Oceanographic is the largest aquarium in Europe with more than 42 million liters of water and over 500 different species. It is an open air oceanographic park built in the shape of a water lily by Félix Candela,
Art Palace Reina Sofia
This building holds many events such as opera, theatre and music in its auditoriums.
Assut de l’or bridge
A white cable-stayed bridge crossing the dry Turia riverbed. The tower of the bridge is the highest point in the city, at 125 meters high.
A covered square in which concerts and sporting events are held.
A cool option for exploring the whole Arts and Sciences area, is joining a seagway tour.
Oceanographic is a great venue for a special occasion. Imagine this, you can eat in a restaurant having the oceanographic views. Meaning, you will be eating surrounded by fishes.
It is a bit pricey, but you pay for the experience.
If you decide to go to oceanographic to eat, bear this in mind: it is more about the experience than about the food. I just wanted to mention it because the food is not the best in town.
10. Visit a Rococo Nobility palace
Considered by historians as a paragon of nobility and opulence, Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas is currently owned by the Spanish State. It was a nobility palace historically important in the city.
You will find some interesting ceramics in the porcelain museum, but the real jewel is the palace itself with the amazing external facade and the rooms.
11. Taste an Orchata in an old Spanish bar
While Paella is the most desired dish in Valencia, Orchata is the traditional drink.
And both are originally from Valencia.
Orchata is a sweet, refreshing drink made with tiger nuts called “Chufa”. It tastes similar to almond milk.
As Valencia is the home of Orchata, if you are in the city you must try it!
And the best place to sample it is at the Santa Catalina.
The underwhelming entrance will lead you to the historic interior, with its traditional décor and seating. Santa Catalina is slightly more expensive than buying from the vendors on the city streets, but the experience is highly recommended. And you can take this chance to go to the bathroom too.
If you are not sure you will like Orchata, buy one and share it.
The real Valencians (people from Valencia) drink orchata together with Fartons, a traditional pastry. When ordering Fartons, make sure you dip them in the Orchata!
Curious about the process of this tasty drink? Visit the tiger nut fields and join a workshop before you enjoy an orchata tasting.
One of 2 surviving gates of the old city walls. The building has been used through the centuries for different purposes, such as military prison.
You can climb to the top for a fee but to be honest the Torres de Serranos views was our preferred view.
Nevertheless, it is worth it to see them and notice the bomb impacts on the walls.
Tip: on Sundays, entrance is free.
17. Spend your day on a flat (and tiny) Island
Not so far from Valencia, you find a tiny island, known as the flat island.
The island is indeed totally flat!
Tabarca island can be reached from Valencia or Alicante, it is around 15 km southeast from Alicante.
It has less than 50 permanent inhabitants, and the island is known for its abundant Marine Life the only beautiful sand beach (which tends to be very full in summer).
Tabarca is a great spot for snorkeling or even diving.
You can reach Tabarca island by boat from Valencia or Alicante.
18. Archeological center
This archeological center Almoina is not only for history buffs. True, it is very rich in archaeological treasures, but it is well presented.
This center shares understanding and interpretation of the prehistoric world. It also has Roman and Islamic foundations and finds.
You will be able to see from the relative size of the various human species, a beautiful presentation and description of cave art, to a great illustration of stone tool making. You will be walking (with just a glass floor between the ruins and your feet) through the Roman crossroad.
Note: The lighting is low so watch your step.
Even-though we do not personally support it, I had to mention the Bullring in Valencia. Why? Cause it is the 1st class arena in Spain and it’s still a part of the culture.
I had to mention it to have this list as useful and complete as possible for you.
The bullring in Valencia is hosting the most important event programming internationally. It is also one of the most popular and representative Monuments in the city.
If you are curious about bullfighting, there is a museum inside. For a small entrance fee you can enter to the arena and the museum. You will be able to walk around the bull ring and have a look from the sitting area.
Between all the shiny traditional costumes and items used in the spectacles (which won’t take you too long to see) you will also find a video about the bulls and his life to death process.
If you are considering to watch a bull fight, be aware that depending on the fighter coming to the ring, tickets will be sold out quickly. You can get all the program at the official Valencia Bullring website.
Where to find tickets?Here you can find this years schedule, prices and tickets.
Personal note: We are not fans of bull fights nor animal abuse of any kind.
20. Attend an Opera or concert
Located in the old river bed of the Turia, you will find the Music Palace. The building was built specifically to promote culture, and it hosts concerts, operas, ballets and even educational activities.
The most distinguished features of this building is the glass enclosure that looks out on the Turia Gardens.
From there, you can watch the Turia fountains.
These fountains were designed to spout to the beat of the music plaid at the Music palace. More information at Palau Valencia.
21. Botanical Garden
Just in the middle of the city you can find the Botanical garden. A real oasis on a hot summer’s day, as the building has been designed with many shade points.
The Botanical gardens are really well laid out: indigenous regional species are sitting alongside a large collection of species from around the world.
Well worth taking time out for a visit on a hot day.
22. Tomato party! Tomatina
Have you ever had the wish to throw a tomato into your friend’s face?
The TOMATINA Festival is one of the world’s most famous festivals. One of the coolest things to do in Valencia in summer! This is exactly where you can fight by throwing tomatoes at your buddies and strangers.
Even though the Tomato party is held in Buñol, around 35 km from Valencia, most people who attend this festival stay in Valencia.
At this festival, participants throw tomatoes in a controlled Spanish chaos and get involved in a tomato fight.
The tomato fight is purely for entertainment purposes.
It happens the last Wednesday of August, so if you ever wanted to throw a tomato to your friend’s face, put it on your list!
Tip: Wear old clothes that you are not planning to wear again.
If you wanna experience all the Spanish culture, you cannot leave Valencia without visiting a Tablao flamenco. Even though this folkloric dance is from Andalusia area, you can find a great show in Valencia.
In this Flamenco experience, dinner (with Sangria) is included. A different way to feel the passion of this powerful music while enjoying a delicious dinner.
A good way to take advantage of the time and be able to see more things in Valencia is to rent a scooter. This is helpful if you are planning to go to the beach, and many other places.
If you just want to be around the city center, stick with a bicycle or wander around on foot.
34. Knights hospital
With roots dating back to the conquest of Valencia in 1238 and the Knights, San Juan del Hospital church has a long and checkered history.
There was a period of dereliction that almost lead to its complete destruction.
It is Valencia’s oldest church, and it is well worth seeing. Hidden between the buildings, it is a modest but incredibly dignified church.
35. Mestalla Stadium
If you are a football lover, try to get some tickets to see Valencia playing while you are visiting Valencia.
The Stadium is a temple of Spanish football. So if you are a football fan, make sure you don’t miss this experience.
The atmosphere is nice and it is very easy to get to the venue as it is near a metro (subway) stop.
You can buy the tickets at the official site of FC Futbol Club.
For real Valencian supporters, be aware that they do also offer guided tours.
36. Russafa market
Located in one of the trendiest neigbourhoods, you will find a very traditional market.
Russafa Market is the place for buying food. It has everything you can find on the central market, but cheaper.
There are plenty of Valenciano residents shipping in here so you can see the daily life. That makes it a nice place for those who enjoy people watching.
37. Go back to University (just to have a look)
The building of La Nau Cultural center in Valencia University is a fine example of Valencian Neoclassical architecture.
You will find a cloister, old façades, and interesting exhibitions, as it became a point of reference for the cultural and institutional activities of Valencia University.
FREE things to do in Valencia
Valencia has also many free things to do. It is a city that can be visited no matter which your budget is!
You will find many students around Valencia, as it has a big University.
It is also quite trendy to do a language course in Valencia.
Here you have all the free things you can enjoy in Valencia:
Carmen neighborhood is one of the most central neighborhoods in Valencia. It took shape in medieval times.
You can see pieces of Valencia’s late-medieval defenses, as Torre de los Serranos, walk along the alleys full of hip boutiques, bar and restaurants, or even go out!
Even though it is right in the city center, Carmen neighborhood is home to different nightclubs.
39. Visit a peculiar square
Plaza redonda is one of Valencia’s most unique tourists attractions. This is due to its peculiar design. It is a circular square.
Constructed by Salvador Escrig Melchor in 1840, plaza redonda was a bustling fish market. Restored in 2012, nowadays this circular square is filled with embroidery stalls.
The traditional embroidery stalls contrast with the refurbished style. Tell us about how you like or dislike it in the comments below.
40. Join a trip to… Lilliput
Inspired by Gulliver’s adventures, you can find a Gullivert park in the middle of Turia Park.
Get your lilliputian adventure at this park while having fun on its slides, ramps, stairways and all kinds of little interactive features.
You will also find a skating area, a giant chessboard and a mini-golf course nearby it.
41. See the claimed Holy Grail
Not suprisingly, every Spanish City has a cathedral and Valencia has one too.
The fascinating part about the Valencia Cathedral, is the Chapel of the Holy Chalice.
At the altar, you will find one of a few chalices claimed to have been used by Jesus to institute the Holy Echarist at the last super.
Even though it has been claimed, there is still no proof that it was really used.
42. Saler Beach
While Playa de la Malvarossa is the most known beach in Valencia, Valencia has more beaches around. El Saler, which is just nearby, is the place to go if you want a more natural setting for your day.
Sand dunes and pine trees on the back, moderate waves (it is the Mediterranean sea) and a quiet ambience.
It will be hard to go back to your accommodation once you enjoy this freedom sensation called… nature.
43. Not just a Train Station
The train station might not be interesting at first sight, but as it is in the heart of the city, you will end up passing by. It is located just next to the bullring.
The building itself is one of the main works of the Valencian Art Noveau and it was declared Goof of Cultural heritage in 1987.
Therefore, why not give it a second chance by having a closer look?
On the front facade you will discover typical elements of Valencian culture: oranges, Valencia traditional houses, la Albufera (the lake park nearby Valencia)…
I do recommend to have a glance at the interior too, as the decoration of the vestibule is also beautiful.
44. Turia Park
The biggest park in Valencia, with more than 150 hectares, is an astounding lineal park that will bring you relaxation and fresh air in the middle of the city.
The park used to be a river, but the Turia river burst its bank in 1957.
The riverbed has been converted into this beautiful park.
You can still see and cross 18 bridges over the riverbed. The oldest bridge dates back to the middle ages and it is a well known place for Instagram photos.
In the park, you will find the Gullivert park, orange groves, palms, and paths that lead to sport facilities, play areas and fountains. It will also lead you to… Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciencies.
45. Malvarossa beach
Within minutes of the old-town you could be sunning yourself on a Mediterranean beach, playa de la Malvarrosa. It is a wide strip of golden sand that stretches for a kilometre along the city’s seafront.
There are permanent restaurants right on the promenade next to the beach, so it is a perfect spot for a Spanish aperitivo.
During las Fallas, you will find this lightshow:
And now that you are in Malvarossa beach, what about trying something exciting and new?
Every year in March, Valencia gets ready to welcome the spring with their festival Las Fallas. It is one of the most international parties in Spain, as it is officially an UNESCO cultural heritage of Humanity.
In Las Fallas, the protagonists are enormous figures known as Fallas that are displayed on the streets from 15th to 19th March.
On the last day, the figures will be burnt.
It is meant that everything that is bad is burnt and reborn from the ashes to welcome a new season.
Actually, the most known and interesting part of Las Fallas is watching this figures be burned, but if you like fireworks, explosions, firecrackers (and party), I would recommend you to spend the entire 4 days and live it at its fullest.
47. See the Valencia Dragon
The dragons from Game of thrones might come to mind, but this is very far from that.
Located in the patriarca church, aka “Real Colegio Seminario de Corpus Christi”, it is said that the Valencia Dragon is kept there.
You can have a look at it at Carrer de la Nau 1, València
Things to do in Valencia at night
Party lovers and night owls, this section is just for you! I’ve summarized the best things to do in Valencia at Night.
Ready to join La Movida*?
*La movida is a local expression for the Spanish nightlife scene, which comes from the 80’s.
Go to the restaurant cocktail bar Apotheke. Claiming to be the one and only Speakeasy in Valencia, the decoration and vibes are very distinctive.
Make sure you make a reservation at Apotheke because it gets easily fully booked.
49. Drink Valencian Water
Made for the first time in 1959, Agua de Valencia is a beloved cocktail originally from Valencia.
Discover a truly authentic part of Valencia ‘El Carmen’ neigbourhood and explore its nooks and crannies and be sure to try the Agua de Valencia while you eat tapas with this Viva el carmen tour.
As it is hard to get a table, I totally recommend to book a table at Jimmy Glass Jazz.
Things to do near Valencia
Still looking for more things to do in Valencia? If you are up to rent a car, here you have the best things to do near Valencia.
Some of them can be done as a day trip. For others, I would recommend you to stay in the area.
54. Xativa Castle
Not far away from Valencia you will find a beautiful castle, Xativa Castle.
The best way to get there is by renting a car.
Yes, it can be a bit challenging but believe me, it is totally worth it.
For less than 5 euro entrance fee you will be in a beautiful castle.
55. City of death
Featured on the European Cemeteries Route, you will find Alcoy cemetery. True, visiting a cemetery is an unusual thing to do in Valencia. But let me explain the uniqueness of this place.
The graveyard is an outdoor museum, as
it is like a city of death.
Alcoy cemetery is organized as a city, with streets and avenues, rich and poor neighbourhoods.. and an underground passage that will surprise you.
Not so far from Valencia, in Cullera, you will find the the most emblematic historical monument of the province, the Cullera Castle.
The castle is placed on top of a hill outside the town and also includes a small Church.
It is an impressive fortress built over the ruins of a Moorish castle.
Follow the zig-zag road to the castle and enjoy the path. The last part requires some stair climbing, but worry not, there is also an elevator.
The view is overwhelming, especially towards the Atlantic Ocean.
With a castle on top of a peaky rock and and amazing lake, Guadalest is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Guadalest is a small city south of Valencia. Nature lovers go there for holidays.
With a number of 300 permanent residents, Guadalest explodes with tourists who come to see the main attractions:
Located on the mountains, this small beautiful village is home of one of the most strange caves in Spain, Ses covetes des Moros.
Until today, they have not discovered the real purpose of these caves.
Bocairent has less than 4000 inhabitants and not many international tourists visit it. Perfect place to practice your Spanish skills.
Known as a touristic destination in Valencian Spain due to its beach and beautiful castle, Peñíscola is also the Meereen set for Game of Thrones.
Walk around the castle, recognize the places and picture yourself on the Iron Throne.
61. Cuevas de Sant Josep
The subterranean river of the Grottoes of Sant Josep is a natural cave located in Castellón. Concretely, you will find them in Vall de Uxó.
Active upwelling developed in limestone, amazing scenery and crystal clear river water.
Sant Josep Grottoes is the longer river inside a cave in Europe.
You will be on a boat ride along more than 8 kilometers, water is maximum 2 meters deep, so you can see everything! A unique experience.
Where to stay in Valencia
Now that you discovered what to do in Valencia, you might ask yourself where to stay in Valencia.
I would definitely recommend you to stay in the city center. Why?
Cause you will be able to see and experience Valencia easily and reach almost every mentioned place by foot.
My favorite places to stay in Valencia are:
Located in the old town, this 4 Star Hotel will provide you not only a central location but also clean, spacious and elegant rooms.
Breakfast is offered at an extra cost. I do recommend you to check the nearby cafes as you will find better deals. The hotel is in walking distance to shops, restaurants, cafes. The train station is also nearby.
There are many things to see in Valencia, and fun parties to experience. Are you ready to join Tomatina or las Fallas? Or would you prefer to walk around Malvarossa beach and just take your time to enjoy and taste the Spanish culture?
You can do both on this Spanish city, you just need to check the party dates in order to join/ avoid them. Here you have approximate dates, but please check them to be 100% sure.
Las Fallas : around 19th of March, the 19th of March being the last day where the Fallas are burnt.
La Tomatina: last Wednesday of August.
Map of Valencia with all Secret Things To Do
Here you have the map with all the Valencia points of interest, the day trips, and the accommodations that we recommend.
You can use this map offline if you save it on your cell phone. With this map you can easily move around Valencia city and surroundings.
Valencia city point of interests:
Mercado central (central market)
Lonja de la seda – Silk exchange market
Ciutat de les Arts i Ciència
Science museum Principe Felipe
Art Palace Reina Sofia
Assut de l’or bridge
Palcio del Marques de dos aguas
Torre de los Serranos
Valencia old town
Torres de Quart
Archeological center Almoina
Santa Catalina church
San Juan del Hospital
University of Valencia
Valencia Central Station
Playa de la Malvarossa
Day trips from Valencia:
Places to visit nearby Valencia:
City of death
Sant Josep Grottoes
More things to do in other cities in Europe
Besides Valencia, we cover more cities to have some serious fun: