Europe, Spain

What To Do In Valencia: My Top 11 Highlights

If you think Barcelona is too crowded, give its little brother Valencia a try! While you’re at it, you might fall in love with it. Many have before you! As you know if you follow my blog, I lived in Barcelona for 3 months during my internship in 2015, and fell in love with this city. Barcelona is a large metropolitan city with great weather and a beach. Basically the ingredients to make me happy. 

Valencia is a lot smaller than Barcelona, but is still a relatively large city with many facilities, great weather, and a beach nearby. Therefore, I was very excited to pay this city on the Costa Blanca a visit, and I was not disappointed. I stayed in this AirBnB and can only recommend it. I already wrote a blog about my favourite restaurants in the city and even one about one restaurant in particular. Today I will share my favourite highlights of the city with you in this blog about What To Do In Valencia!

1. Explore the old centre

To begin with, there are many things to see and to do in the old centre of Valencia. Check out Plaza de la Reina, Valencia Cathedral and Plaza de la Mare de Déu. I was also interested in visiting the Botanical Garden of Valencia and Torres de Quart, gothic-style defensive towers from the 1400s, but didn’t have the time to do so anymore. 

2. What To Do In Valencia: Mercado de Colón & Mercat Central

There are two large indoor markets in Valencia. One is called Mercado de Colón and the other one, right in the middle of the old centre, is Mercat Central. While the latter is still used as a traditional market where you can buy fish, fresh fruits and meat, Mercado de Colón is now mostly a beautiful building filled with restaurants and a small mall underground, where live bands often perform.

3. Explore Russafa

One of my favourite areas of Valencia turned out to be Russafa. It was close to our AirBnB and there are many nice restaurants and shops in this area. If you head to Carrer de Cuba, you will be met with a biking lane and many bike shops. In Russafa I also found many colourful murals, which work great in pictures.

Mural in Russafa, Valencia

4. Rent a bike

Thus, if you want to rent a bike, Russafa is the place to go. Covered in small bike shops is the street Carrer de Cuba. For starters, check out Bike Rental & Tours Verrassend Valencia if you want to rent a bike or do a guided bike tour. Often you get a tour through the Túria garden and bike all the way past the Arts & Sciences Centre towards the beach.

5. What To Do In Valencia: Have brunch In Russafa

Before you jump on your bike, have brunch at Dulce de Leche boutique. Check number 5 on this listto read more about it. I can assure you that you will not be able to resist the cakes on display at Dulce de Leche.

6. Go to the beach

Valencia has best of both worlds: A city with great sights and the beach. Make use of it! We always took the taxi to Marina Beach Club and stayed at Playa la Malvarrosa, and this was fine. The beach is very large and therefore has plenty of space for both locals and tourists to have a good time.

7. Eat the best paella at the beach

Our AirBnB host told us that we could find the best paella at the beach. And when in Valencia, you of course need to try this Valencian rice dish at one of the many restaurants in Valencia. Try restaurant La Pepica for supposedly the best paella in town. 

8. Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències

When you think of Valencia, it is likely you think of the City of Arts and Sciences. This state-of-the-art, modern heart of the city houses both the museum of arts and the museum of sciences, but is mostly a beautiful sight and great place to take a good picture for your Instagram page. Don’t forget to go up to the Umbracle for more great pictures!

The Umbracle at the City of Arts and Sciences

9. Party at Mya, Akuarela or High Cube

Speaking of the Umbracle, at night, club Mya comes to life where you can party until late. Want a change of scene? Start the night at High Cube and finish it at Akuarela. These two clubs are at the beach and walking distance from each other. 

10. Jardí del Túria

One of the many things Valencia is famous for, is the Jardí del Túria. The Túria used to be a river, but was turned into a park that meanders right through the city. Not only can you enjoy free, outdoor gym facilities, you can also read a book in the park, take a nap, or just enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Jardi de Turia in Valencia behind the City of Arts and Sciences

11. What To Do In Valencia: Have dinner at Voltereta – Bienvenido a Bali

Last but not least, definitely plan a dinner at Voltereta – Bienvenido a Bali. This restaurant close to metro station Colón was so good I wrote a full blog about it. Read that one here.

I hope you liked this blog! Let me know in the comments what your favourite highlight of Valencia is.

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Melissa is the founder of Hashtag Explorers. She is a Dutch, enthusiastic, and open-minded world traveller. Melissa enjoys her time researching new travel destinations, kickboxing, singing or horse back riding. Her strong desire to experience new cultures and meet new people has led to creating #Explorers. If you cannot find her in The Hague, where she is working as a civil servant, she is probably exploring the rest of the world, where she is reliving memories from the times she lived in Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, and Malta.