With three days in Valencia, you have plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere, see the historic sights, take a bite out of the food scene, and journey deeper into the region. Here’s how to make the most of 72 hours in Spain’s 3rd-largest city.
Day 1: Explore the city
Get your bearings on a walking, biking, or Segway tour. Many itineraries focus on the Old Town, with its mazelike center filled with Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque architecture. Landmarks such as the Valencia Cathedral contain elements of each of those styles. For more flexibility, opt for a private or hop-on hop-off bus tour. After lunch, wander the futuristic complex of the City of Arts and Sciences. Guided walking tours introduce you to local son Santiago Calatrava’s strikingly modern buildings, and often include a drink on one of the city’s tallest terraces. Stick around the complex for dinner—you’ll find lots of options.
Day 2: Dive into the food scene
Valencia is the birthplace of paella, so there’s no better place to taste one of Spain’s most famous dishes. Go a step further and learn how to make it. Many cooking classes begin with a tour of a busy public market—typically the Mercado Central or Mercado de Colón—where you’ll join the locals in shopping for the ingredients you’ll need. Afterward, head to the kitchen to discover the secrets of authentic paella-making before enjoying the fruits of your labor with a glass of wine. If you don’t feel like cooking, choose a tour of the markets (including samples of traditional dishes) or the city’s best tapas bars. Finally, make your way to the Old Town for alfresco drinks on the sidewalk.
Day 3: See more Valencia
Spend your final day away from the hustle and bustle of the city, exploring the surrounding countryside of the autonomous community of Valencia. Around 45 minutes south of the city, Albufera Natural Park is home to Spain’s largest lake, lush wetlands, abundant wildlife, and a bird observatory. Tours from the city usually include hotel transfers and a visit to the charming fishing village of El Palmar, where you’ll see a local fish market and a historic fisherman’s home.
Back in the city, round out your trip with a flamenco show, or embark on a sunset cruise through the bay. Both experiences often include dinner and drinks.