Valencia
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Things to do in Valencia

Things to do in  Valencia

Welcome to Valencia

In trademark Spanish style, Valencia combines Moorish treasures and fabulous food with fiery flamenco, a gorgeous beach, and a museum scene to rival Madrid. Historic highlights come in the form of Torres de Serranos, Valencia Cathedral—home to an agate chalice, which some believe is the Holy Grail and the mummified arm of a saint—and the Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda). First-time visitors can orientate themselves on a walking, bike, Segway, or hop-on hop-off bus tour, to see places such as Plaza de la Virgen, Bioparc Valencia, and the old town. As the birthplace of paella, Valencia offers no shortage of culinary opportunities, with food tours of every kind, including tapas, horchata, wine and—of course—paella, and cooking classes for those who want to get hands-on. Combine a sightseeing tour of Valencia’s historic center with a visit to Central Market (Mercado Central). In the City of the Arts and Sciences complex (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias), buildings reminiscent of science-fiction movies house the Valencia Oceanografic (L’Oceanografic) and Valencia Hemisferic, home to an Imax cinema. Other Valencia must-dos include a flamenco show, a day trip to Albufera Natural Park, and a guided visit of the Lladró Museum, which must be booked in advance. Plus, with fast trains departing for Barcelona, Madrid, and major cities in Andalucia, Valencia serves at a great gateway to the rest of Spain.

Top 15 attractions in Valencia

Valencia City of the Arts & Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias)

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Situated along Valencia’s old Turia riverbed, the visually striking City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) was the work of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The spectacular architecture is just part of the appeal of this futuristic complex though, which is also home to a science museum, planetarium, and more—all popular with families.More

Plaza de la Reina

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The Plaza de la Reina, dating from 1878, marks the center of Valencia and is home to cafes, terrazas (outdoor seating areas, and one of the city’s oldest restaurants, Horchatería Santa Catalina. Towering over the plaza is the Valencia Cathedral, a gothic structure believed by some to be the home of the Holy Grail.More

Serranos Towers (Torres de Serranos)

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The twin stone Serranos Towers (Torres de Serranos), built in the 14th century as Valencia’s main exit toward Barcelona and Northern Spain, are one of only two remaining portions of the original city walls. What once served as prison cells and a triumphal arch are now thought to be the largest Gothic city gateway in Europe.More

Valencia Cathedral (Seu)

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Valencia Cathedral is famous the world over for its holy chalice, which many believe to be the Holy Grail of Christian legend. It’s also a fantastic place for fans of architecture, integrating Gothic, baroque, and Renaissance elements into its construction.More

Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM)

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Contemporary international and Spanish art are showcased at Valencia’s renowned Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM).Educational courses, workshops and concerts accompany the gallery’s permanent collection, and temporary exhibits are also displayed here.The Centre Julio Gonzalez houses the exhibitions, while the underground Sala de la Muralla hosts temporary shows and highlights the medieval ramparts unearthed during the building’s construction. Central to the collection is the gallery’s display of sculptures and drawings by Miguel Navarro.More

Valencia Central Market (Mercado Central de Valencia)

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A highlight of Valencia’s Old Town, the Valencia Central Market (Mercado Central, or Mercat Central in Valencian) is also one of the city’s quintessential culinary destinations. Built in 1928 and celebrated for its Art Nouveau architecture, the covered market is one of the largest in Europe, housing hundreds of fragrant food stalls.More

Bioparc Valencia

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Located in the northwest of the city, Bioparc Valencia is an immersion zoo, where the barriers between animals and visitors are hidden or removed, and animals of different species reside safely side by side. This creates the sensation of observing animals in the wilds of the savanna, equatorial forest, African wetlands, and Madagascar.More

Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda)

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One of Valencia’s best-known landmarks, the Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of the city. Built in the 15th and 16th centuries as a hub for the city’s silk and commodities traders, the exchange is a marvel of Gothic architecture.More

Albufera Natural Park (Parque Natural de la Albufera)

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Albufera, south of Valencia, is home to Spain’s largest lake and some of the country’s most scenic wetlands and lagoons. The park’s natural biodiversity features hundreds of native plants and 340 bird species, including rare and endangered ones. Locally grown rice is featured in many regional dishes, such as paella.More

Valencia Royal Gardens (Jardines del Real)

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In Valencia, there’s still more botanical wonderland to be discovered beyond just the Turia Riverbed Gardens: only steps away, you’ll also want to visit the Royal Gardens, or Jardines del Real. This flora-filled land dates back as far as the 1500s, when Felipe II ordered thousands of plants to decorate his palatial grounds in Aranjuez. Meanwhile, the name “Royal Gardens” comes from the royal palace that used to be situated here, but that, for strategic reasons, was demolished in the 1800s due to the impending War of Independence.What remains are several blocks worth of plant-filled paradise laced by paths, fountains and sculptures. Different garden techniques can be found throughout the park, from the Romantic style represented in the south, to more natural landscapes located in the north. Perhaps the most picturesque of these settings is the walkway just beyond the southern entrance, which is lined by a row of towering palm trees. In the center of the park, there’s even an entire kid-oriented course of miniature city-like roads complete with crosswalks and street signals. And just off the southwestern corner sits the Museum of Fine Arts, in case you wish to do more sightseeing in this part of town.More

Turia Riverbed Gardens (Jardí del Túria)

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Just beyond the borders of Valencia’s old town, bridges cross over a river’s canal. But you won’t find water flowing below those bridges – not anymore, that is -- and instead the Turia Riverbed Gardens (Jardí del Túria).Indeed, until 1957, the River Turia gushed through Valencia. But then a devastating flood prompted citizens to shift the river’s course, diverting the waterway just west of the city. Though this several-kilometer long swath of land was at one time destined for use as a motorway, it was ultimately turned into a garden, making it Spain’s largest urban getaway, and Valencia’s beloved green haven.Along its meandering course, you’ll find all sorts of park paradise. There are fountains and ponds, cafes and climbing walls, and loads of paths for walkers, runners and bikers. Kids will find their bliss at Gulliver Park, a giant playground inspired by its namesake children’s tale. Along the way, centuries-old bridges cross over the slithering greenery, just as they did when this channel filled with water.Perhaps the most famous of the Turia Riverbed Gardens’ sites is the City of Arts and Sciences, which sits at the eastern end of the park, near where the original river arrived at the Mediterranean Sea. Here’s where you’ll come upon a complex featuring a collection of buildings with futuristic architecture, and serving both educational and entertainment purposes. Among them are Europe’s largest Aquarium, and L'Hemisfèric, home to a planetarium, laserium and IMAX theater.More

Valencia Oceanografic (L'Oceanogràfic)

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One of several attractions within Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences, the Félix Candela–designed Oceanografic (L’Oceanogràfic) is not only architecturally impressive. It also ranks among the world’s best aquariums, with more than 45,000 animals representing over 500 species from the world’s main marine ecosystems.More

Barrio del Carmen

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Situated in the ciutat vella, or old town, Valencia’s Barrio del Carmen is in many ways where you’ll encounter the soul of the Spanish coastal city. Once sandwiched between the 11th-century Muslim wall and the 14th-century Christian one, it’s a neighborhood packed with history, dating back over 1,000 years.You can still see remnants of its distant past among El Carmen’s streets. The most impressive of these sights certainly includes the medieval towers, Torres de Quart and Torres de Serrano, both of which once belonged to the now-destroyed Christian wall. Then there’s the Portal de Valldigna (located on the street of the same name) that once served as the gate through the former Muslim wall to the Moorish and Jewish quarter. And the past also lives on in the district’s name, derived from the 13th-century Convent of Carmen, which is now a museum dedicated to the 19th century.These days, El Carmen is hardly just about the past, though, as this barrio makes up arguably the most hip, trendy and bohemian in town. It’s home to a diverse population of people, and of course the mix of establishments that they frequent. As such, expect to find a healthy concentration of eclectic restaurants, shops, and especially bars since El Carmen is quite noted for its nightlife. The neighborhood is also blanketed by street art, ranging from colorful graffiti to wood installations, and message-filled murals that cover the sides of entire buildings.More

Valencia Bullring (Plaza de Toros)

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Regardless of your stance on bullfighting, a visit to the Valencia Bullring (Plaza de Toros offers insight into an important part of Spain’s cultural heritage. The 19th-century structure features quintessential Spanish bullring characteristics such as a multi-leveled exterior, brick arches, and a sand-filled arena.More

Valencia History Museum (Museu d'Història de València)

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Get to know Valencia beyond just the modern-day city by heading to the Valencia History Museum (Museu d'Història de València). The museum takes visitors back over two centuries to explore the city’s deepest roots via exhibitions that range from pictures to documentaries, artifacts, and more. Perhaps the highlight is the museum’s time machine, which captures the evolution of Valencia as it grows and changes over time.And the building is quite intriguing, too, as the museum is located in an old, essentially underground, water cistern. Constructed in 1850, the brick-and-column structure is emblematic of Valencian industrial architecture. While the space is lighter on artifacts than it is on videos and descriptions, those that are interested in Valencia’s history, and seeing this historic space, will find the visit to be a gratifying way to get better connected with the city and its past.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Valencia

How to Spend 1 Day in Valencia

How to Spend 2 Days in Valencia

How to Spend 2 Days in Valencia

How to Spend 3 Days in Valencia

How to Spend 3 Days in Valencia

Top activities in Valencia

Valencia City of Arts & Sciences Tour with Rooftop Wine Tasting and Tapas
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Valencia Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Valencia Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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Excursion to Cuevas de San José

Excursion to Cuevas de San José

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Valencian Paella cooking class, Tapas and Market Visit
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Excursion to Albufera Natural Park

Excursion to Albufera Natural Park

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Valencia, art and architecture

Valencia, art and architecture

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Natural Thermal Springs Day Tour

Natural Thermal Springs Day Tour

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The 10 Tastings of Valencia With Locals: Private Food Walking Tour
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Valencia Shore Excursion: Highlights Tour, Tapas & Wine in 11th Century Monument
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Private Wine Tour with Wine Tasting and Full Lunch
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Valencia Bike Tour from the City to the Beach
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Highlights & Hidden Gems With Locals: Best of Valencia Private Walking Tour
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Private Morning Wine and Winery Tour and Tasting from Valencia
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Recent reviews from experiences in Valencia

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Good intro to Valencia
Anant_P, Nov 2022
Essentials of Valencia and its World Heritage sites
Good intro to Valencia, try not to go on a Sunday as things can be closed (if you want to visit afterwards).
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Highlight of Valencia
Yvonne_H, Nov 2022
E-Bike Grand Valencia Private Tour
It was a great way to cover a lot of ground and see much of what we wouldn’t have been able to see on foot with only 1 day in the city.
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Must do.
Gemma_K, Oct 2022
Valencia Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Easy to find and follow bus stops- all the key attractions.
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Relaxed vacation in Beautiful Valencia Spain.
David_F, Oct 2022
Valencia Private Walking Tour with Official Valencian Tourist Guide
Plenty to see and do.
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Wonderful tour of Valencia
Michelle_M, Oct 2022
Valencia, art and architecture
We learned about the rich and deep history of Valencia through art and architecture; it made us fall in love with the city and regret we did not spend more time.
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Great bike tour
Ray_R, Oct 2022
Discover Valencia Bike Tour
Like other bike tours, you get to see not only the attractions, but also how best get around the city center on your own in a bike.
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Great historical walking tour
AnthonyThomas_G, Sep 2022
Valencia Private Walking Tour with Official Valencian Tourist Guide
She was extremely knowledgeable about the history of Valencia and offered recommendations for post tour activities.
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Fantastic way to see the Valencia area
Tyler_F, Sep 2022
Natural Thermal Springs Day Tour
Ana’s tour was a fantastic way to see the area surrounding Valencia and experience a variety of activities.
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Awsome
Annkathrine_B, Jul 2022
Valencia Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
It was really nice to see Valencia also get an idea on what we want to see Minus is that you have to start at #1 to get the tickets, it would be so much easier when you buy online that you can jump on bus when and where ever you want to start.
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Fun Tour On a Hot Day
Justin_N, Jul 2022
Tuk Tuk Valencia - Complete Tour (Center - Arts - Marina - Beach)
He also gave us tips on other activities while in Valencia.
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Valencia by E-scooter.
Judson_G, Jul 2022
E-scooter City of Arts and Sciences Private Tour
What an excellent way to see the city.
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Really enjoyed our tour
Claire_M, Jul 2022
Tuk Tuk Valencia - Complete Tour (Center - Arts - Marina - Beach)
Tuk-tuk tours are a great way to see the city.
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Worth every penny
Angela_H, Jul 2022
Walking in Valencia
Valencia is such a beautiful city and we got to see a lot of interesting places.
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A really nice private tour with a local
Tuija_N, Jun 2022
Tapas and Sightseeing Tour
Tasting tour guite spoke very good English.
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Fun and informative tour
Lucy_G, Jun 2022
Valencia Bike Tour from the City to the Beach
Luke provided a fun and informative tour of Valencia and this was a great way to orientate ourselves in the city, explore and get recommendations of places to visit.
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So knowledgeable!
Heidi_T, Jun 2022
Essentials of Valencia and its World Heritage sites
He gave us great recommendations for follow up activities too!
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Fabulous Valencia by bile
Gordon_B, Jun 2022
Bicycle rental
Valencia a brilliant place to visit on a boke
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Great tip to caves
jamesmashhouri, Nov 2022
Excursion to Cuevas de San José
A well organised trip from Valencia centre to see the caves.
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Great overview of Valencia
Robert_L, Nov 2022
Highlights & Hidden Gems With Locals: Best of Valencia Private Walking Tour
Mike took us on a whirlwind tour of Valencia's buildings, attractions & history.
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Awesome Tour!! A++ Happy Tourist Center
Darren_F, Oct 2022
E-Bike Grand Valencia Private Tour
We booked this tour to see as much of the city as possible since we only had one day off our Royal Caribbean cruise.
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All about Valencia

When to visit

Valencia’s Mediterranean climate means it’s warm enough for the beach even in spring, with the added benefits of fewer crowds and cheaper hotels. Travelers visiting close to Easter should look for the Holy Week (Semana Santa) processions, which are part of the city’s unique maritime-themed celebrations that pair religious pomp with fishing-village culture.

Currency
Euro (€)
Time Zone
CET (UTC +1)
Country Code
+34
Language(s)
Catalan

People Also Ask

What is Valencia famous for?

Valencia is famous for being the birthplace of Spain’s national dish—paella. It’s also known for its wonderful weather, picturesque Old Town, and architectural wonders such as the City of Arts and Sciences. A final claim to fame is Valencia Cathedral, which many believe is home to the Holy Grail.

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Is 3 days enough in Valencia?

Yes. Three days is enough time to explore Valencia’s key attractions. Visit the futuristic architectural complex of the City of Arts and Sciences, see the Holy Chalice at Valencia Cathedral, go to the UNESCO-listed Silk Exchange, and soak up the sun on the sandy shores of Playa de la Malvarrosa.

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What can you see in Valencia in one day?

Head straight to the pretty cobblestone streets of the Old Town. Grab some lunch and foodie souvenirs at Valencia Central Market, and visit Plaza del Ayuntamiento for great shops and art deco architecture. Other top sights to see are Valencia Cathedral and the UNESCO-listed Silk Exchange.

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Is Valencia worth visiting?

Yes. Valencia is worth visiting for its impressive architecture, nearby beaches, and great food — it’s the home of the iconic Spanish rice-based dish, paella, so be sure to try it. With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, Valencia is also beloved for its great weather.

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Is Valencia cheap to visit?

Yes. Valencia is relatively cheap to visit, especially compared to larger Spanish cities—such as Barcelona and Madrid. Valencia Central Market is a perfect spot to eat tapas or pick up groceries. Also look out for the menu of the day at restaurants for cheap, multi-course eats.

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Is Valencia a dangerous city?

No. Valencia is not dangerous and is generally thought of as a safe place to visit. However, just like in other large Spanish cities, pickpockets sometimes operate in the city’s busy tourist areas. Be vigilant when visiting crowded places, and don't put your valuables on display.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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