Top 10 Things To Do In Valencia
Valencia is a city full of charm, history, and culture. Located on Spain’s eastern coast and on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Valencia is the country’s third-largest city and is known for its vibrant atmosphere and stunning architecture. Valencia has a rich history, dating back to 138 BC when it was founded by the Romans. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Valencia was a prominent industrial and maritime port, and is still heavily involved in the fishing industry.
The city is also home to some of Spain’s most iconic landmarks, such as the City of Arts and Sciences, a complex of modern science and cultural buildings designed by famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Valencia also boasts some of Spain’s most beautiful beaches, offering visitors the chance to relax and soak up the sun. No matter what your interests are, there is something to do in Valencia for everyone.
1. Tour the City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences (or Ciutat de les Artes i les Ciències) is a complex of modern science and culture buildings located in Valencia. It was designed by world-renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. The complex includes an IMAX theatre, an interactive science museum, an opera house, an interactive aquarium, and a planetarium. Visitors will be able to explore the various buildings and learn about science, art, and nature. Tours are available throughout the day and are a great way to see this architectural masterpiece in all its glory.
2. Explore Turia Park
Turia Park is one of Valencia’s most popular attractions. This vibrant park stretches for nearly 9 km along the former riverbed of the Turia River, which was diverted from its path through the city after a flood in 1957. Today, Turia Park offers visitors the chance to enjoy outdoor activities such as walking and cycling, as well as leisurely strolls along its picturesque paths. Visitors can also check out its many attractions, such as its gardens, playgrounds, and its iconic gazebo.
3. Visit Valencia Cathedral
Valencia Cathedral is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and a must-see on any visit to Valencia. Located in the heart of Valencia’s old town, this Gothic-style cathedral was built between the 13th and 15th centuries and is home to a stunning collection of artworks and sculptures. Visitors can explore its stunning interior, which includes its ornate altarpiece, elaborate stained-glass windows, and its awe-inspiring nave. The cathedral also features an impressive bell tower, which offers visitors stunning views of Valencia’s skyline.
4. Go Shopping at El Carmen Market
El Carmen Market is one of Valencia’s top shopping destinations. This bustling market is home to over 200 stores selling everything from fresh produce to clothing and accessories. Visitors will also be able to find traditional souvenirs, jewellery, handcrafted items, and more. The market is open every day from 9am-1pm and 5pm-8pm and is a great place to explore during your visit to Valencia.
5. Take in the View from Serranos Towers
The Serranos Towers are two imposing 14th century gates that form part of Valencia’s ancient city walls. The towers have become one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and offer visitors stunning views across Valencia’s skyline. Visitors can also explore their interior galleries, which feature intricate carvings and artworks depicting scenes from Valencia’s history.
6. Relax on La Malvarrosa Beach
La Malvarrosa Beach is one of Valencia’s most popular beaches, located just steps from the city centre. The beach stretches for nearly 2 km along the Mediterranean Sea and offers visitors a chance to relax in the sun or take part in some of the beach’s many activities such as sailing, surfing, kayaking, and more. Visitors can also explore La Malvarrosa’s vibrant promenade, which is lined with restaurants, bars, and shops.
7. Explore El Botánico Gardens
El Botánico Gardens are one of Valencia’s most beautiful parks. Located just outside of the city centre, this stunning park is home to over 1200 species of plants and trees as well as an impressive collection of sculptures and artworks. Visitors can explore its lush gardens, take a leisurely stroll along its paths, or simply sit back and relax in its tranquil atmosphere.
8. Sample Local Cuisine at El Carmen
El Carmen is one of Valencia’s oldest neighbourhoods and is home to some of the city’s best restaurants. This vibrant neighbourhood is known for its delicious local cuisine, with its narrow streets lined with traditional tapas bars serving up some of Valencia’s most iconic dishes such as paella, fideuá (seafood noodle dish), and more. El Carmen is also home to some of Valencia’s best bars, perfect for enjoying some tasty tapas or sampling some local wines after dinner.
9. Take a Tour of La Albufera Nature Reserve
La Albufera Nature Reserve is one of Spain’s largest wetlands located just outside of Valencia. This unique natural habitat is home to over 200 species of birds as well as other wildlife such as eels, frogs, turtles, otters, snakes, and more. Visitors can explore its stunning scenery on guided boat tours or simply enjoy its tranquil atmosphere while birdwatching or fishing.
10. Visit L’Oceanografic Aquarium
L’Oceanografic Aquarium is one of Europe’s largest aquariums located in Valencia’s City of Arts & Sciences complex. This impressive aquarium houses over 450 species of marine wildlife from all over the world including dolphins, sea lions, penguins, sharks, jellyfish, rays, and more. Visitors can explore its 10 habitats as well as take part in interactive activities such as feeding sessions with sea lions or swimming with dolphins.
Popular Tours in Valencia
Valencia offers visitors plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy during their visit to the city. Here are two popular tours that will allow you to explore Valencia in depth:
Valencia Highlights Tour
This tour is perfect for first-time visitors to Valencia who want to get an overview of all that the city has to offer. The tour begins with a guided walk through Valencia’s Old Town where you will learn about its unique history and culture while exploring its narrow streets and beautiful plazas. You will then visit some of Valencia’s most iconic landmarks such as El Carmen Market, Turia Park, Serranos Towers, Valencia Cathedral and more! The tour also includes a visit to La Albufera Nature Reserve where you will explore its stunning scenery on a boat tour before ending with a visit to L’Oceanografic Aquarium where you can learn more about Valencia’s marine life up close! Book a Valencia Highlights Tour here.
Valencia Tapas & Wine Experience
This tour is perfect for foodies who want to experience traditional Valencian cuisine! The tour begins with a guided walking tour through El Carmen neighbourhood where you will explore its narrow streets lined with some of Valencia’s best tapas bars before stopping at one for a tasting session! You will then move on to visit some of El Carmen’s best wine bars where you will sample some delicious local wines while learning about Valencian winemaking traditions! The tour ends with another tasting session at one of El Carmen’s traditional restaurants where you will sample some of its best dishes! Book a Valencia Tapas & Wine Experience here.
No matter what your interests are, there is something to do in Valencia for everyone! From exploring its iconic landmarks to sampling local cuisine or relaxing on its stunning beaches, you won’t be left wanting during your visit to this vibrant Spanish city! Whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure or a leisurely stroll through history and culture, Valencia has it all!
With so many amazing things to do in Valencia during your stay, it can be hard to choose which activities to do first! We hope this guide has helped you plan your perfect trip to this beautiful Spanish city! Have fun exploring all that Valencia has to offer!