It is the third most important city in all of Spain, whose popularity is constantly growing and is now one of the most popular summer destinations, due to the many things to do. When it comes to beauty, culture, nightlife and outstanding gastronomy, without forgetting the sea, Valencia is second to none other Iberian or European metropolis and indeed, it is a truly suitable destination for everyone!
So let's find out together what to see in Valencia, with this guide with practical tips about the city!
- Oceanografic and Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències
- Lonja de la Seda
- Almoina Square
- Central Market
- Bioparc Valencia
- Turia Gardens
- Barrio del Carmen
- Albufera Natural Park
- La Malvarrosa beach
- Mestalla Stadium
- Fine Arts Museum
- Plaza de Toros
- Valencian Institute of Modern Art
- Plaza de la Virgen
- Other attractions to visit
- 10 things to do in Valencia
- User questions and comments
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1 - Oceanografic and Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències
The most interesting way to know what lies behind the laws of physics or dynamics, or to see some of the rarest animal species in the world up close is to visit the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències: the whole structure is composed of five different sectors, each of which is divided into the three thematic areas science, art and nature. A unique experience in one of the most beautiful cities in Spain.
We owe to the inspiration of the architect Santiago Calatrava the realization of an immense attraction whose appearance recalls an extraordinarily futuristic building. As particular externally as immense inside, a couple of hours will not be enough to visit it. One of the top attractions in Valencia, includes the Oceanografic, the Umbracle, the Palace of Arts, the Science Museum and the Hemisfèric.
Come early and prevent at least half a day: go here preferably early in the morning, there are many sectors to see and one day may not be enough if you come across endless queues at the entrance. For this, the skip-the-line ticket and the map are essential to decide which route to follow. You can choose between the combined ticket or the one only for the Oceanogràfic. In addition, early morning and sunset are the best times to take wonderful photographs, as the reflections of buildings on the water will be sharper, creating wonderful light effects.
- in Av. by Professor López Piñero. Nearest metro Alameda (lines 3, 5, 7 and 9) and Marítim-Serrería (lines 5 and 7). Then walk for about 20 min - Get directions
- Mon-Thu 10: 00-18: 00, Fri-Sun 10: 00-19: 00, late closing 21:00 in the summer period
- combined price for all attractions full € 38,20, reduced € 28,80
2 - Lonja de la Seda
A small historical gem is the Lonja de la Seda, as evidence of the commercial prosperity of the city and the wealth of its inhabitants in the past; the ancient "silk market" of Valencia was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site only in 1996 and tells of the tangible grandeur and beauty of the late Gothic architectural style of its internal and external structure.
The location now houses the Cultural Academy of Valencia and remains the favorite for very important exhibitions. Entering the complex, one is entranced by the enormous rooms, the colorful window decorations, the masks hidden and depicting erotic scenes, the arched doors and the details of the roof that cover the Consulado del Mar.
Admission is included in the Valencia Tourist Card.
Discounts for students: if you are a student, remember to bring the Student Card with you, in fact by showing it at the ticket offices you will be entitled to small discounts. In general, the ideal is still to visit it with a guided tour, and you can also buy precious silk at bargain prices!
- in Carrer de la Llotja 2, in the historic center. The nearest metro station is Alameda (lines 3, 5, 7 and 9) which is a 16 minute walk away - Get directions
- Tue-Sat 10: 00-19: 00, Sun and holidays 10: 00-14: 00, closed Mon
- full € 2,00, reduced € 1,00
3 - Plaza de la Almoina
The real beating heart of Valencian culture in the past it is represented by Plaza de la Almoina, a huge square immersed in the historic city center and which houses one of the most significant architectural-religious masterpieces of the city.
The name of the square was given by a medieval institution that distributed food to the needy, in fact in the Valencian language Almoina means "Almosina", a name assigned only after the demolition of the surrounding buildings; and it is thanks to the said demolition that archaeological remains were found and that the ancient Roman city was discovered, whose remains can be visited by accessing the archaeological museum.
It is located in the historic center, behind the Cathedral. Nearest Metro Alameda (lines 3, 5, 7 and 9). Get off at the station, walk for about 12 minutes - Get directions
4 - Cathedral
The nerve center of the Valencian historic center it is precisely its famous Cathedral, Spanish name La Seu de València, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and built at the behest of James I. To embellish it are the three doors, made in three different architectural styles, which guarantee access to the inside of this historical wonder: inside one cannot fail to see the alleged legendary Holy Grail, that is the chalice where Jesus drank during the Last Supper.
The particularity of this splendid cathedral is given from its past and from the mixture of styles that distinguishes it: it was built on the site of a Roman temple dating back to the th century BC but, when the Arabs arrived, it was converted into a mosque; over the centuries it has undergone many changes, to the point of making it what we can visit today. It remains only to decide the gateway to the fabulous Cathedral: the baroque Puerta del Los Hierros, the Romanesque Puerta del Palau or the Gothic Puerta de los Apostoles?
Climb the Miguelete: it is the bell tower of the Cathedral, with its particular staircase that shrinks as you go up. Eventually you'll find yourself at the top where some of Spain's oldest bells still ring.
- in Plaça de l'Almoina, in the historic center. Nearest Metro Alameda (lines 3, 5, 7 and 9). Get off at the station, walk for about 12 minutes - Get directions
- Mon-Sat 10:30 am to 17:30 pm or 18:30 pm depending on the period, Sun from 14:00 pm
- full € 3,00, reduced € 2,00
5 - Mercado Central
Four different entrances allow you to visit the gastronomic and colorful market of Valencia, which is located exactly in front of the Lonja de la Seda. The central market of Valencia is really vast and inside it is possible to find any delicacy, from meat to fruit, passing through the inevitable fish, all conveniently displayed on over 900 stalls.
This building is particular because it has absorbed different and contrasting architectural styles, managing to combine modern Art Nouveau with the Gothic and Baroque architectural influences of the nearby buildings.
Discover the parrot: if you look at the market from the outside, we can see that above the main dome there is a green parrot, called by the Valencians "Cotorra del Mercat", which alludes to the various gossip on the agenda in the markets.
- in Plaça de la Ciutat de Bruges. Reach the Sant Vicent Màrtir-Cotanda bus stop (lines 3 and 6), then continue on foot for 8 minutes. The nearest Metro station is Alameda (lines 3, 5, 7 and 9), 15 minutes away on foot - Get directions
- lun-gio 8:00-14:30, ven 8:00-20:30, sab 8:00-15:00
6 - Bioparc Valencia
Don't call it a zoo, because Valencia's Bioparc represents one of the few flagships in terms of protection and preservation of animal species. The area is home to numerous specimens, especially from Africa, such as lions, lemurs and giraffes.
Animals live in contact with each other, within habitats that 100% reproduce the natural conditions of their area of origin and visitors can admire them in their daily activities in complete safety. Obviously you will be guided by one of the guides who will explain how they grow, where they come from and the habits of each animal species you will see: you will be able to witness the awakening of the sweet lemurs, the "morning walk" of the giraffes, or see mighty lions play (obviously behind to the protective glass!).
This is one of the most beautiful parks on the Iberian Peninsula and boasts several firsts, for example it is the birthplace of the first awning in all of Spain. Ideal for spending a day of fun with your children and for discovering animals together.
- in Av. Pío Baroja 3. By bus via EMT lines 3, 29, 61, 67, 81 and 95. The nearest metro station is Tùria (line 1) 20 minutes away on foot - Get directions
- generally every day 10: 00-19: 00, but often vary according to days and season, consult the official website
- full € 23,80, reduced 4-12 years € 18,00, reduced over € 6517,50
7 - Turia Gardens
This oasis in the heart of Valencia, full of oleander, pine and palm trees, it arises from an "artificial" deviation of the Turi river, a stream on which the beautiful city stands. One of the park's most distinctive attractions is a picturesque sculpture by Gulliver, a sort of "anthropomorphic slide" on which young and old can climb, having fun.
Here everyone can try their hand at many and different sports activities such as basketball and five-a-side football in the free fields at the end of the west side, skatepark along the Skateplaza or the Gulliver skatepark, rent a bike or a tandem; in short, this park offers something like 110 hectares of space to relax and disconnect from city traffic and worldliness.
- Nearest Metro Alameda (lines 3, 5, 7 and 9). Get off at the station, walk for about 12 minutes - Get directions
- Turia Gardens always accessible / Gulliver every day 10: 00-17: 00
- Turia Gardens free / some paid activities
8 - Barrio del Carmen
The hub of the city's social and nightlife of Valencia is Barrio del Carmen, a district famous for its shops, where you can give in to the evergreen temptation of "holiday" shopping, and for its numerous bars, which help to animate the area for entire nights. The gates that in ancient times "protected" it are the Torres de Quart and the Torres de Serranos, to be visited absolutely to peer from the immense metropolitan city of Valencia.
Barrio del Carmen is a 100% active neighborhood, an essential destination in a stay that wants to combine the classic moment of a cultural visit with "naked and raw" fun: here you will find bars and clubs of all kinds, the typical Valencian inns but also the worldly pubs where you can drink alcohol until late at night!
Small neighborhood in the historic center. On the northern side it is surrounded by the Jardín del Turia. The nearest metro station is Alameda (lines 3, 5, 7 and 9) which is a 20 minute walk away - Get directions.
Check out the street art in the neighborhood: do not miss the graffiti hidden in this neighborhood, in fact for years the artists have been competing to grab the best walls and try their hand at particular and unique colorful works of art depicting, for example, animals, scenes of urban life etc. The advice is to be accompanied by a local guide, who will give you valuable tips and secrets to better visit the city.
9 - Albufera Natural Park
It is a real oasis, a natural park just half an hour by car from the center of Valencia. The park integrates a wonderful lake and some fantastic seaside resorts, not forgetting that right here numerous animal species abound like ducks, about 25.000 pass over these waters every winter!
Let yourself be lulled by the breeze and the sound of the waves of this "small sea" (faithful translation of the name Albufera); treat yourself to a romantic boat trip and admire the extraordinary and uncontaminated luxuriant nature: you will never want to leave!
Take a jeep and boat tour: it is located about 10 km from Valencia, so it can be easily reached by car but, if you don't have a car, you can opt for a boat and jeep tour to the Albufera lagoon, with transport included. Whichever vehicle you decide to use, we advise you to stay until sunset, one of the most magical moments.
- from the City of Arts and Sciences bus n.25 towards El Palmar; Alternatively, you can arrive by taking the CV-500 for 15 minutes from the center of Valencia with your own car or taxi. Tours from Valencia also available - Get directions
- Albufera always accessible / boat ride duration 40 min
- Albufera free / boat ride € 5,00 per person
10 - La Malvarrosa beach
E' one of the best known beaches in Valencia, perhaps the most worldly and popular. This huge beach welcomes Valencians from May to October and it truly offers any kind of comfort and entertainment: for example you could have fun playing beach volleyball, or enjoy an excellent paella at one of the numerous restaurants located along the golden beach that stretches for several kilometers.
Among the events that take place in this wonderful beach there are the famous "Neapolitan mascletà" on the occasion of the Las Fallas festival, and the evocative fireworks during the night of San Juan.
In the district of La Malvarrosa. The bus lines are 2, 19, 31, 32 and N1 and N9; by metro you can reach it with line 4 getting off at the "Eugenia Vines" or "Les Arenes" stop - Get directions.
Find out the origin of the name: the history of the name dates back to 1856, when El Cabanyal was nothing more than a marshy area, so the botanist Felix Robillard decided to totally transform it by planting hollyhocks, which he then used to produce his essential oils.
11 - Mestalla Stadium
Among the best known stadiums in Europe and the oldest Spanish stadium ever: in fact it was built in 1923 and today it has reached a capacity of about 50.000 spectators, the Valencians go there every year for the home games of the Valencia Club de Futbol. All football fans will surely know that, among the most important matches that took place in this stadium, the 1982 world championship stands out, which sees the Spanish national team play against Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland and Honduras.
Its name derives from the stream of the same name that still flows right under the stadium structure and throughout the surrounding neighborhood.
The Mestalla is I live practically every day of the year and almost entirely open to visitors thanks to the Mestalla Forever Tour Valencia CF: you will have the opportunity to experience it and get to know the headquarters of the Valencia Football Club, thanks to the local guides who will tell you the most important history and anecdotes. We will pass from the press room, to the players' changing rooms, seeing all the prizes and historical photos carefully preserved.
- in Av. de Suècia. By metro, use the green line L5 to the Aragon stop, right next to the Mestalla stadium. Get directions
- Mon and Sun closed for visits, Tue-Fri 12: 00-18: 00, Sat 11: 30-13: 00
- Mestalla Forever Tour Valencia CF full € 11,00, reduced € 9,00 / to watch single matches from € 20,00.
12 - Museum of Fine Arts
Francisco de Goya and Joaquín Sorolla are two of the famous painters protagonists of the second Spanish art gallery: about 2.000 works of the late th century are grouped here. Among other works, those collected in the "Gothic" rooms stand out, with exponents of the Valencian school, including works by Pinazo and Benlliure. The museum is also known for the Renaissance pictorial collection, the Patio del Embajador Vich and the unpublished work by Velázquez.
The artistic path really embraces a long period of time and an infinity of works scattered throughout the rooms almost labyrinthine: it begins with the Valencian primitives of the period between the fourteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth with works by Jacomart and Reixach, and then moves on to Espinosa, Sorolla, Pinturicchio, Murillo, Velázquez, El Greco, Goya and many others. The foundation in its building dates back to 1683 thanks to Archbishop Juan Tomás de Rocabertí who entrusted the architect Juan Bautista Pérez Castiel, then master builder of the Cathedral.
- in Carrer de Sant Pius V 9. By bus 6, 11, 16, 26, 28, 79, 94, 95. The nearest metro station is Alameda (lines 3, 5, 7 and 9) 10 minutes away on foot - - Get directions
- Tue-Sun 10 am-00pm, closed Mon
13 - Plaza de Toros
Also in Valencia cannot miss the most emblematic square of all the most famous Spanish cities: Plaza de Toros, located near the Ruzafa district, was designed by Sebastián Monleón and then built over ten years between 1850 and 1860, with the purpose of giving a permanent place to the Valencians who attended the bullfights. In fact, its construction began just in the period in which the local passion for bullfighting was at its peak.
Today its capacity is about 10.500 spectators and its visitors are delighted by the neoclassical style with four orders of arches, which are very reminiscent of the Colosseum in Rome. Then there are some pillars that want to celebrate some illustrious bullfighters dear to the Valencians, for example Ladron de Guevara, Pepet, Curro Valencia, Manuel Granero and Vicente Barrera. There are tours of the bullring and bullring every day it is also possible to visit the Bullfighting Museum from Valencia: it collects a collection on the evolution of Valencian bullfighting from the th century to the present day; in the exhibition you will find information on the training of the bullfighter, on the bullfighting liturgy, on the bulls and on the bullring.
How to tell if a bullfight is in progress: simple, just see if the flags are displayed at the top of the structure. In particular, if the flags are in all the pylons there will be a bullfight of bulls, if they are placed in alternate pylons we will have a corrida di novillos, and if there is one every three pylons there will be a corrida di becerros.
- in Carrer de Xàtiva 28. By metro the reference stop is Xativa, just 1 minute walk from the building. Near València Nord train station - Get directions
- from March to August Tue-Sat 10: 00-19: 00, Sun-Mon 10: 00-14: 00. From September to February Tue-Sat 10: 00-18: 00, Sun-Mon 10: 00-14: 00. Holidays 10: 00-14: 00
- € 2,00
14 - Valencian Institute of Modern Art
The Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) is one of the most important modern art museums in all of Spain and often, even several times a year, it hosts important artists from all over the world who conduct interesting seminars! Inside you will find about 11.322 works, which include painting, photography, drawings and sculptures by artists not only Valencian but also Latin American, European and many others. Just think that it is located in 52nd place among the most visited museums in the world.
They are arranged in two large areas, the Sala de la Muralla and the Centrè Julio Gonzales; the most famous works and not to be missed if you visit the museum are those of Julio Gonzales (1876-1942) and Ignacio Pinazo (1849-1916), the avant-garde of the twentieth century, from which the entire museum collection is then inserted.
- in C / de Guillem de Castro 118. It can be reached in 10 minutes on foot from the historic center of Valencia, the nearest metro stop is Turia. - Get directions
- Tue-Sun 10 am-00pm, Fri until 19pm, closed Mon
- full € 6,00, reduced € 3,00
15 - Plaza de la Virgen
Almost all the most important events in the city are held in this very central square of Valencia. At its center stands the Fuente del Rio Túria, built by Manuel Silvestre Montesinos, where a mighty figure representing the Turia River dominates and around the eight damsels representing their respective irrigation channels (called acequias). Behind it is the majestic Basilica of the Virgin with its pastel-colored facade and imposing dome.
Called by the Valencians Plaça de la Seu it is also adjacent to the Cathedral and over the centuries has become the place where the Tribunal de Las Aguas meets: an assembly is held in the Porta degli Apostoli, indeed almost a real rite, which has its roots in the legislative structure imposed by James I, in which every Thursday of the year the court discusses and resolves the various disputes arising between farmers, which arose due to the use of irrigable water. Tourists stand around the elderly judges and listen to the sentences issued in the Valencian language.
It is located in the historic center, so it is easily accessible on foot from every point, the nearest metro stop is Alameda - Get directions
Feast of the Fallas: on March 17th and 18th the feast of Las Fallas is held here, it is the Ofrenda de Flores to the Virgen de los Desemparados (Virgin of the "homeless"). In the center of the square a large wooden frame is built which represents the Virgin.
Other attractions to visit
Valencia offers a lot, many define it the city rich in history but turned towards modernity and the future and its varied attractions are certainly an example!
The best thing to do, especially if you are short on time, is a guided walking tour in Italian, to learn about the history and main monuments with a local guide.
In addition to the musts already listed, the National Museum of Ceramics (€ 1,50) is definitely worth a visit, which houses pieces from the collection of medieval Valencian ceramics, 2,00th century floats, Dresden furniture and much more; It is absolutely worth stopping to admire the Plaza Redonda, almost hidden in the center, here you will find many hobbyists who produce exclusively Valencian products. And then again you should see the Fallero Museum (€ ), perfect for getting to know the Fallas festival at any time of the year; and certainly a walk along the Ruzafa district, the barrio with a high migratory flow and where you can breathe an atmosphere of continuous party and be able to attend jazz concerts and photographic exhibitions, perhaps sipping an excellent sangria until late evening.
10 things to do in Valencia/ 10
- Climb the Torres de Quart: it is the largest city gate in all of Valencia and where you absolutely have to go up to enjoy the splendid view from the highest terrace in the city (€ 2,00, free with Valencia Tourist Card)
- Photo in front of the Oceanographic: this is a huge and extremely particular structure that seems to resemble an immense turtle that comes out of the water, which is then reflected symmetrically on the water. One of the best times is at sunset
- Paella lesson: you cannot say that you have been to Valencia without having eaten the real and only Valencian paella. What if you try your hand at a cooking test? Find out how to cook real paella, info and prices here
- Valencia by bike: Valencia is a truly green city and on a human scale. Many locals now travel by bicycle, so we recommend taking a bike tour accompanied by a local guide
- Shopping in Ruzafa: this neighborhood is considered the "Soho" of Valencia and is without a doubt a shopper's paradise. Shops, restaurants, clubs, nothing is missing here for an afternoon of fun and relaxation
- Day at the beach at Malvarrosa: enjoy the most famous beach in the city, and maybe take a stand-up paddle lesson to paddle in the waters of the Malvarrosa (€ 30,00)
- Breakfast at the historic Horchateria Santa Catalina restaurant: a delicious breakfast to start the day in the best possible way, with hot chocolate and churros, an authentic local tradition (€ 6,00)
- Photo between the arcades of the Collegio del Patriarca: it is one of the most important architectural testimonies of the Spanish Renaissance, a photo under the wonderful arcades is not to be missed
- Admire the frescoes of San Nicola: for the beauty of the frescoes on its ceiling, the Church of San Nicola, in the historic center, has earned the nickname of "Valencian Sistine Chapel". It is therefore impossible to lose its beauty
- Flamenco show in a Valencian tablao: Watch the best show in Valencia, with the best artists, accompanied by an authentic Mediterranean dinner. Info and prices here
Plan your stay in Valencia: flights and hotels
Valencia is well connected with Italy, even with Ryanair and other low cost airlines (compare flights from € 21,00). The duration of the flight is about 2 hours from Rome.
The city is large and there are so many attractions to visit. For a first approach to the city, we recommend taking a tour on the Hop-on Hop-off tourist bus, to familiarize yourself with the city and identify the landmarks. The advice is even more valid if you have little time available.
The perfect time to visit Valencia is between May and September, the temperature will be mild and very pleasant, the month of August should be avoided as the temperatures will be extremely high and almost unbearable. April and October are also good, but in reality it is always beautiful.
The best neighborhoods to stay in are those in the historic center such as Ciutat Vella or Barrio del Carmen, (compare the accommodations on booking - from € 45,00), however the more peripheral neighborhoods (for example Campanar) are also to be considered, certainly cheaper and equally well connected by public transport; you will move easily by metro and bus between distant attractions. The historic center is also the heart of the nightlife, unmissable neighborhoods like the Barrio del Carmen!
If you are traveling with children, they will surely love the City of Arts and Science, with all the attractions present! Also not to be missed are the Jardín del Turia, with the large Parc Gulliver. In this case, you could also consider staying in one of the neighborhoods near the beaches, to enjoy a few afternoons of fun on the beach.
Finally, if you travel low cost, Valencia is a destination for everyone, with great prices for both attractions and meals and dinners. Obviously, in months like July and August, costs tend to go up. To save even more, we recommend the Valencia Tourist Card.