1. Explore the best neighborhoods
Valencia has different neighborhoods with their own charms and sights. We want to show you all the cute neighborhoods.
The city center
In the historic city center you can stroll through the decorated streets and spot impressive buildings. Eat tapas or paella at one of the cozy restaurants. Visit the most beautiful squares such as; Plaza de la Reina to see the extraordinary cathedral, stroll towards Plaza de la Virgen to admire the Basílica de la Virgen de los Desamparados and walk a little further to Plaza Ayuntamiento, where you will find the town hall, a large fountain and beautiful architecture. And imagine yourself among the locals in the large indoor Mercado Central. This is the place where you can buy the tastiest and freshest food.
El Carmen is the oldest district of Valencia and here you will find street art everywhere. The talented street artists are often paid for their colorful creations. It is great to wander through the narrow and beautiful streets and to be surprised by all the creativity. Sometimes even entire buildings / houses have been transformed into works of art.
Camins Al Grau
Be sure to visit the modern district of Valencia; Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, also known as the City of Arts and Sciences. The buildings have a white futuristic look. And they all have a different function, such as an opera house, museum, indoor garden with palm trees, an oceanarium and a cinema. You can also paddle and canoe on the clear blue water.
El Cabanyal is an old fishing village, located directly at the beach. Get lost through the authentic streets and spot the nicest artworks on the facades of the small fishermen’s houses. You will experience the authentic lifestyle of the fishermen here. It is a bit impoverished, but the neighborhood is increasingly popular by the Valencians and more and more entrepreneurs are establishing hip and trendy businesses here.
We stayed in an Airbnb in the neighborhood of Ruzafa. It is an upcoming neighborhood just outside the center. You will find many hip and trendy cafes and restaurants and vintage shops. Many cultural and creative events are organized here where you really enjoy the local life.
2. Picnic in the Turia Park
Turia Park used to be the Turia River. After the river was flooded several times, it was drained and turned into a park. Locals sport here, walk their dogs or unwind with yoga. There is such a great atmosphere and it is the perfect place for a nice picnic. We bought a sparkling bottle of bubbly and some tasty snacks. We enjoyed the beautiful green environment between the orange trees and the locals. Have you scheduled a rest day? Then this is the perfect activity.
3. See the city from above
Climb (one of) the two city gates Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart to see the city from a different perspective. Until the 19th century, Valencia had a city wall. The city gates were built in the 15th century and only two of the original twelve city gates remain. The gates served as a guard, prison and gunpowder storage. For €2.- per person, we climbed Torres de Serranos. From here you look out over Turía park, the long atmospheric streets and the orange roofs.
4. Discover Valencia by bike
A very nice way to discover Valencia is by cycling. You can see a lot in a short time. We rented bicycles for 2 days at Verrassend Valencia. They also organize various bike tours. We took a lovely bike ride through the Turía park towards the modern part of the city and then we cycled through the neighborhoods close to the beach and along the boulevard. The second day we visited several parks, including the botanical garden Jardín Botánica de Valencia.
5. Stroll through botanical garden Jardín Botánica de Valencia
Are you a plant lover? Then be surprised by the plant collection of the ancient botanical garden Jardín Botánico de Valencia, which is part of the University of Valencia. This garden – just outside the center – is rich in 4.500 tropical, rare and exotic plants, flowers and trees. Medicinal plants are cultivated and nowadays the garden is used for researches and experiments. For a small entrance fee you can walk around, take a look at the greenhouses and for the cat lovers among us; there are a lot of cute kittens around here!
6. Alternate the city with a lovely day at the beach
We really like the diversity of Valencia the most. This way, after a lot of strolling through the city, we could do something completely different; we had a wonderfully relaxed day at the beach. There are plenty of nice restaurants along the boulevard. Our favorite was La Mas Bonita. The menu includes fresh salads, sandwiches, hot meals and the tastiest smoothies. You have a direct view of the beach from the terrace! Enjoy the Spanish sun rays on your face, the tropical palm trees and the white sandy beaches and experience the ultimate holiday feeling.
7. Taste Agua de Valencia
Cocktail time!! In Valencia you can order Agua de Valencia at almost any restaurant or bar. This delicious fresh drink is a mix of orange juice, cava, sugar and a kind of gin and vodka. It is such a signature drink because most of the oranges produced in Spain come from Valencia. In Valencia you will find many orange trees and you can even smell them in many places.
8. Spot the most beautiful animals in Bioparc Valencia
Are you in Valencia for several days? Then a visit to the Bioparc Valencia is a must! This beautiful zoo has about 4.000 different animal species. The zoo is divided into 4 ecosystems: Madagascar, the wetlands, equatorial forests and the African savanna. Here you come face to face with ring-tailed lemurs, which are free to roam. You see how the animals are fed and how elephants cool down under their waterfall on a hot summer day. During the spectacular bird show, eagles fly right above your head. And the king of the jungle likes to show off for you on his high rocks. Definitely go for a lunch here, from the restaurant you van look out over the savannah, where giraffes, zebras, rhinoceroses and ostriches live together in harmony. Buy the tickets of Bioparc Valencia here in advance.
Delicious food spots in Valencia
💛 Dulce de Leche is a small bakery in the upcoming district Ruzafa. There is plenty of choice for a great breakfast or lunch. Before you enter the bakery you can already smell the warm croissants, fresh sandwiches, bagels and chocolate pies. We highly recommend the bagel with egg and smashed avocado. Dulce de Leche is the best spot to start your day right.
💛 At the boulevard of beach Las Arenas you have many options to enjoy a lunch or dinner with sea view from the terrace. The great atmosphere and cozy appearance of beach bar La Más Bonita attracted us. Find a nice spot on the terrace, or walk to the charmingly decorated courtyard where you can relax. The menu includes fresh salads, sandwiches, hot meals and the most delicious smoothies. Please note, it can be quite busy as this is a well-known lunchroom among locals and tourists.
💛 La Rollerie is a restaurant right in the center of Valencia. We came here to get our guilty pleasure; a warm chocolate lava cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The interior of La Rollerie is cute and green, the walls are covered with plants.
💛 Who doesn’t love Italian food?! We are true lovers of Italian cuisine and you can order the tastiest pizzas at Le Favole. We ordered bruschettas and a caprese & truffle pizza; it was a real taste explosion. You can also order various pastas and salads here. The restaurant is located just outside the city center, near the central market hall. If you decide to eat on the terrace, you can hear the vibrant city in the background.