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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 10 attractions in Valencia


Serranos Towers (Torres de Serranos)

The twin-towered stone gates of the Torres de Serranos are all that remains of Valencia’s original city walls. The imposing 14th century gates were the city’s main exit to Barcelona and northern Spain. Today the gates are a popular photo stop, and you can climb to the top for great views of Valencia. Free guided tours take you through the battlements and walkways every day except Mondays.More

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

Kids and adults alike are intrigued by the City of Arts & Sciences, a museum complex devoted to discovery. The site is divided into four sections: the Hemisferic, Principe Felipe, Oceanographic and L'Umbracle. The Hemisferic houses a planetarium, IMAX cinema and laser show, while the Principe Felipe building has a multitude of science exhibits and is shaped to look like the skeleton of a whale. The Oceanographic aquarium includes polar exhibits, coral reefs from the Red Sea, Mediterranean seascapes and underwater tunnels, and botanical species and sculptures are highlighted in the L’Umbracle walkway. Musical performances and operas are hosted in El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia.More

Valencia Cathedral (Seu)

Known for its jumble of architectural styles, Valencia Cathedral (also known as the ""Seu"") is also famous worldwide as the home of the Holy Chalice. While the cathedral’s dome and tower are Gothic, the main entrance is Baroque and some of the chapels date from the Renaissance. Take a tour to learn more about the cathedral’s architectural history and treasures, or just pop in to pay your respects to the Holy Grail in the flamboyant Capilla del Santo Caliz near the main entrance. It’s claimed to be the chalice from the Last Supper. The de Borja chapel boasts some lovely frescoes by Goya and the museum reveals a rich collection of vestments and statues.More

Valencia Central Market (Mercado Central de Valencia)

To experience a Valencia sight that will satisfy all of your travel senses, head straight to the city’s Central Market (Mercado Central in Spanish, or Mercat Central in Valencian). This is where, since 1928, hundreds of vendors have come together to sell their goods under one giant, beautiful roof. The market offers everything from fresh produce to meat and fish, and even specialty coffee — all making it a foodie’s dream, and the perfect place to get closer to the region’s culinary culture. The building alone is quite astonishing, too, featuring fancy iron and glass domes through which sunlight illuminates the entire 8,160-square-meter space. The market also has some pretty impressive neighbors beyond its doors, including the imposing Church of Los Santos Juanes, and the Lonja de la Seda, a divinely designed building that used to be home to the city’s silk exchange.More

Albufera Natural Park (Parque Natural de la Albufera)

The Albufera area is home to Spain largest lake and some of the country’s most scenic wetlands and lagoons. The natural biodiversity of the area contains hundreds of native plants. Nearly 100,000 species of birds can be found as well, including some rare and endangered types. Birdwatching can be done either by land or on the water by boat. Traditionally fisherman have been of utmost importance to the economy and culture of Albufera, with their thatched roof houses (called ‘barracas’) dotting the landscape. Rice production is also significant here, in fields surrounding the area. The marriage of the two is evident in the region’s most famous dish, paella valenciana, which is served in nearly every restaurant here. Albufera was once a marine gulf, and is still connected to the sea by various waterways. Today it is a peaceful place to escape the city and enjoy some time immersed in nature.More

Turia Riverbed Gardens (Jardí del Túria)

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).More

Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda)

During the 15th century, Valencia reached the height of its success as one of Europe’s most important mercantile cities. So come the end of that century, it was decided to construct a building where trading could take place. The result was La Lonja de la Seda (the Silk Exchange), which is one of the finest examples around of civil Gothic architecture and a sight to behold in this Spanish coastal city. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the secular building is composed of four principal areas, the largest of which is the Trading Hall, which occupies roughly half of the entire property. This main room is where the majority of business went down and is no doubt the most impressive given its shiny marble floors, and spiraling columns that bloom into a vaulted ceiling of palm-tree-frond-like arches. Look carefully along the upper perimeter of the room and you’ll even notice golden Latin letters emphasizing the principles of honest trade.More

Valencia Cruise Port (Puerto)

Cruise ships dock about 2.5 miles (4 km) from the center of Valencia. It is walkable but some ships provide shuttles or taxis are easily found to take you to the central and picturesque Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Otherwise, you can stay in the docks area, which is a lively mix of old and new architecture, restaurants and bars. From well-preserved Plaza del Ayuntamiento you can wander the ancient streets of Barrio del Carmen, as well as visit the many museums and churches including the Cathedral in the Placa de la Reina, a visually-striking opera house and music hall, and the nearby Gothic Basilica of the Virgin in the Placa de le Verge. The fabulous City of Arts and Sciences includes the aquarium L’Oceanografic - which is primarily under the sea and includes 45,000 creatures from 500 species in different habitats including whales, sharks, penguins and dolphins. The building itself is a very modern building designed by famed contemporary architect Salvatore Calatrava.More

Plaza del Ayuntamiento

The grand Plaza Ayuntamiento is one of Valencia’s three main squares. The stunning plaza has a fountain and patch of grass at its heart, and is flanked by some of Valencia’s most important buildings. The bell tower of the neoclassical town hall chimes on the hour, and inside the opulent decor features marble and richly carved wood. The post office is more like a theater than an administrative building, with a leaded-glass dome. The plaza is a popular meeting spot for local Valencians, and is the focus for fireworks displays during the annual Fallas Festival.More

Barrio del Carmen

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.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

Recent reviews from experiences in Valencia

History Lesson
Mark_M, Sep 2020
Private City Kickstart Tour: Valencia
He took the time to answer all of our questions, sometimes in both English and Spanish, and even recommended places we could try Valencia’s signature cuisine.
excellent walking tour
salvatore gioac... v, Dec 2019
Essentials of Valencia and its World Heritage sites
Anais was an excellent guide and she even adapted the tour to allow the group to see a special event that was going on that day: the "Tribunal de las aguas".
Excellent guide
ldavey2012, Sep 2019
All of Valencia Private Bike Tour
This was a perfect way to see Valencia.
The best wine tour I've ever been on!
hisarai24, Aug 2019
Private Wine Tour with Wine Tasting and Full Lunch
I learned so much about wine and it was amazing to see how the beautiful wine I tried was made.
Amazing valencia
GabbiSoyer, Jun 2019
Valencia City of Arts & Sciences Tour with Rooftop Wine Tasting and Tapas
The views were amazing and to see the sunset was spectacular .
Great way to see the city
Manisha J, Oct 2018
Grand Valencia Segway Tour
The Segway tour was so much fun We had a very short time in Valencia hence this was the perfect way to see the main sites in one morning Miriam was lovely and very knowledgeable A must do when visiting Valencia
We were almost ready to skip...
loislfu, Jun 2017
Valencia Private Walking Tour
Not only did she give us terrific insight into the history of Valencia, she helped us find and book a new hotel and gave us great tips on what to do, where to eat, and how to enjoy the city.
Very nice tour. Quick as Valencia...
alex, Nov 2017
Valencia Shore Excursion: Valencia Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Quick as Valencia is not that big but a great start to visiting this beautiful city.
We had an incredible time and I...
Zoltan S, May 2017
Valencia City of Arts & Sciences Tour with Rooftop Wine Tasting and Tapas
We had an incredible time and I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who would like to see Valencia from a different perspective.
My friend and I loved this...
Megan G, Apr 2017
Authentic Valencian Paella Cooking Class
It was so nice to get out of the city to see the orange fields and cook pallea.
First off we want to say we found...
Harold M, Jul 2013
Valencia Shore Excursion: Valencia Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
First off we want to say we found Valencia a very interesting city not only because of the history but the many other attractions in the city.
The park and opera house
Sam_B, Mar 2020
E-Bike Grand Valencia Private Tour
This is recommended if you want to see the palace of arts along with some gems that may go unnoticed if you were to view the city sans tour.
Gastro, history & Cuiture
V4980ONdavidt, Sep 2019
The 10 Tastings of Valencia With Locals: Private Food Tour
Great guide Josephine - although local she was born in Wales & speaks good English.
Fantastic experience!
fd172019, Jul 2019
Valencian Paella cooking class, tapas and visit market
I really enjoyed that it was in the Ruzafa area - so you get to see a totally different area.
A MUST TOUR when in Valencia!
8surf, Jun 2019
Private City Kickstart Tour: Valencia
MARCO is so informative, knowledgeable, friendly and communicates in English to perfection.
FAR more wonderful than the humble description
Stephanie P, May 2019
Valencia Shore Excursion: Highlights Tour, Tapas & Wine in 11th Century Monument
The city of arts and sciences is quite spectacular to see as well, and the highest point (literally and figuratively) of this tour was the absolute tapas FEAST that is served to you in the rooftop penthouse of an apartment across the street from the
Excellent introduction to Valencia
andrewhK3454NA, Dec 2018
Valencia Private Walking Tour with Official Valencian Tourist Guide
Sonia spoke excellent English and I would recommend this tour as a start to your visit to the city as you can miss so much with out the information given.
This was a highlight of our trip to...
Lynn T, Aug 2017
Authentic Valencian Paella Cooking Class
Our translator/driver spoke English very well, and provided much information about the area as we drove to the home.
My partner and I enjoyed Valencia so...
Brandon C, Jun 2017
Architecture and History Tour of Valencia
He also gave us some excellent suggestions on other areas to visit while we were in town that we certainly did.
Elena was a very knowledgeable tour...
Gurmeet S, Mar 2018
Valencia Private Walking Tour
The walking tour was very interesting specially since we were there during the festival of FALLAS!!

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