City break Valencia: Our highlights & tips

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Valencia. Or: Our most spontaneous city trip so far. It was thanks to a favorable offer that not even hours. We really love sunny Spain as a travel destination, so we were pretty sure from the start that we had made the right choice with Valencia. Has our assumption been confirmed? And how!

The pleasantly calm Valencia has inspired us with its old town from the first moment. In this blog article we tell you about the highlights of our short trip. A little warning in advance: it could be that we will put a flea in your ear with this article and you will also be planning a city trip to Valencia pretty soon. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you.) You can find all our tips for Valencia on a map at the end of the article.

1. Valencia at a glance: you can look forward to it that Valencia is the third largest city in Spain is something we weren’t really aware of before. And to be honest: Valencia just like .000 residents may be a big city, but we still found the historic center pleasantly manageable.

We had read before that Valencia has impressive sights missing. Bingo! That was about the moment when we clicked on “book”. Because running from one “must-see” to the next was absolutely not on our agenda. Instead we wanted to enjoy the flair of the city.

In retrospect, we can confirm that in Valencia you will neither find a building like the Sagrada Família nor a museum like the Museo del will find Prado. That means: The sights in Valencia are not superlatives like those in Barcelona or Madrid. What you will find, however, are countless pretty alleys, a cathedral worth seeing including a bell tower with a view, a great market, and most importantly: a lot of authentic, Spanish flair.

By the way: we don’t want to destroy any illusions, but we personally found downtown Valencia much more touristy than expected. By that we mean that here one souvenir shop borders the other, various artists theirs show performances and you will see more people with cameras than you would like. The good news: if you get away from the big hotspots a bit, you can immerse yourself in authentic life in Valencia pretty quickly.

How many days should I plan for Valencia? We spent three nights in Valencia and found it perfect for our short trip. So we were able to see some sights, but we could still just let ourselves drift in between. But we also have to mention that we were always on the road from early morning to late at night. If you prefer to take it easy, or perhaps are traveling with children, we would add an extra night or two.

2. Sights & places worth seeing in the old town of Valencia When you arrive in Valencia, the first thing to do is Walk through the historic old town. In one day you can explore all the main sights here.

Cathedral of Santa María de Valencia A great starting point for your city walk is the Cathedral of Valencia. It is located in the northern part of the old town. With its mix of different architectural styles, it is no ordinary cathedral.

Around the cathedral are some public squares, from which you have a great view of the Cathedral, including the Plaza de la Reina and the Plaza de la Virgen. We found it quite fascinating how the cathedral always looked a little different from different perspectives.

The 63 meter high bell tower of the cathedral called You can climb El Miguelete via a spiral staircase. We will tell you details about this highly recommended ascent in Chapter 4 of this blog article.

Mercado Central Not far from the Cathedral is the Mercado Central. The Market Hall is quite an eye-catcher with its Catalan Art Nouveau architecture. The fact that you then also find a turbulent market activity inside is the bonus, so to speak.

A visit to the Mercado Central is simply part of a stay in Valencia. For some, the Mercado Central is too touristy and not authentic enough. Of course, there are a lot of holidaymakers walking around here – after all, the market is really worth seeing. But we had the feeling that the market is also visited by locals.

The further you make your way through the halls, the more exciting it gets: One of our highlights was the Fischmarkt at the back end of the hall. We were quite flabbergasted at all the things on offer here.

Mercado de Tapinería Just around the corner from the tourist hotspots you will find this hidden place: The Mercado de Tapinería is a bit of a secret tip. It’s not a market in the real sense, but rather a cultural center with some small pop-up stores, cafes and restaurants.

We had breakfast here on the square in the Bar & Kitchen and really enjoyed the flair. For us, the Mercado de Tapinería is a pleasant and authentic change in the otherwise quite touristy old town.

Torre de Serranos The former medieval city gate is definitely worth the walk to the northern border of the old town. It’s impressive from the outside, but the best part is the view of the city from above. You can find more information in chapter 4 of this blog article.

Entrance: 2 euros (free with the Valencia Tourist Card)

Opening hours: 04 until 19 (Monday to Saturday) or Hours (Sunday and Holiday)

3. Sights in other parts of the city Ruzafa Ruzafa is what you would call a “hipster district” in Vienna or Berlin. It is south of the old town. In contrast to the tourist center, you immediately notice that things are very quiet in Ruzafa. The restaurant and café density is relatively high in Ruzafa. You can also find some vintage shops here.

Dulce de Leche We can recommend a visit to the Café Dulce de Leche. The large selection of cakes and tarts simply overwhelmed us. With a bit of luck you can even sit outside. The only drawback: the cappuccino could have been better.

Address: Carrer del Pintor Gisbert 2, Valencia

City of Arts and Sciences The building complex of the “City of Arts and Sciences” is without a doubt the most futuristic and bizarre sight in all of Valencia. To be honest, we weren’t quite sure what to think of it, but the modern landmark of Valencia is definitely worth seeing.

Different museums are housed in the individual buildings. The most famous among them is the L’Oceanogràfic. It is the largest aquarium in Europe. We didn’t visit it, but especially if you’re traveling with children, you’re definitely in good hands here.

How do I get to the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències? From the northern part of the Old Town (along the drained riverbed) we have bus no. 72 taken. It stops at several stations along the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències – depending on which section you want to go to. A single journey costs 1.5 euros, which you pay directly to the bus driver.

The beach of Valencia: Malvarrosa Beach Cheers to cities by the sea! The beach of Valencia is a bit outside of the city, but that doesn’t really matter, because you can get there quickly by bus.

We have the city beach named Playa de la Malvarrosa visited. The beach is kilometers long and very wide. The beach is said to be full on hot summer days, but when we visited it was pleasantly quiet.

Along the beach promenade one restaurant follows the next. If you have time, why not rent a bike. This is the perfect way to explore the promenade.

How do I get to Playa de la Malvorrosa? It is best to combine your visit to the beach with a trip to the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències – the latter is halfway to the beach. At the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències you can easily take the bus no. 95 get in. From the terminus (“Marcos Sopena”) you are only a short walk from the beach. The journey costs 1.5 euros. Payment is made directly to the bus driver.

Former river bed of Turia Since 70 years, no water flows here anymore. In fact, after devastating floods, the government decided to divert the Rio Turia to eliminate once and for all the risk of flooding in Valencia. Since then, the riverbed has been converted into a local recreation area .

The kilometer-long green belt stretches north along the old town to the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències. You can go for a walk here or – which is very popular – explore the former riverbed by bike.

4. Views over Valencia We still find a city most impressive from above. That’s why we went in search of the most beautiful vantage points in Valencia.

El Miguelete The most famous vantage point in Valencia is on the bell tower of the Cathedral. Admittedly, the climb gave us something brought out of breath: At least 207 You have to climb the steps here on a spiral staircase that becomes narrower. But the effort is worth it. From above you have a 360-degree view over Valencia.

One downer: The view is provided with a grid, so you actually don’t have any can take really great photos. In addition, there were a lot of people on the platform when we visited.

If your visit falls on a full hour, you can put your hands in position: the chime is very loud and hard to bear without covering your ears.

Admission: 2 euros
Opening times: in summer daily 10 until 19: 21 (shortened opening hours in winter)

Torre de Santa Catali na You have a wonderful all-round view of Valencia including the cathedral from the Torre de Santa Catalina, which belongs to the church of the same name. 207 There are steps to conquer before you can finally enjoy the view.

The Torre St. Catalina is much less frequented than the viewing platform of the cathedral. And the advantage is obvious: you can see the cathedral from the Torre de Santa Catalina.

Admission: 2 euros
Opening hours: 000 until 13 Hour (Monday to Saturday)

Torres de Serranos The view from this medieval city gate over Valencia is beautiful. The ascent takes a lot less time than, for example, the bell tower of the cathedral (El Miguelete), but the view is still impressive. Unfortunately, you can’t really get to the sunset, because the Torre de Serranos is around 19 or on Sunday even at 14 Clock closes.

Entrance fee: 2 euros (free with the Valencia Card) Opening hours: 10 until 19 (Monday to Saturday) or 14 Clock (Sunday and Holiday)

5. Food & Drink: Restaurants & Cafes in Valencia Lo de Ponxe en el Kinto Pino Finding creative, vegetarian food in Spain is not that easy. The Lo de Ponxe is completely out of line here. If you are vegetarian or vegan then this tiny restaurant is an absolute must. We researched for a long time and then stumbled across this gem quite by accident.

We didn’t even begin to expect such delicious & varied dishes. vegetarian and vegan tapas are served. The menu changes regularly, but is only in Spanish. Since the English of the (very friendly!) owner is also a bit poor, we quickly helped out with Google.

Lo de Ponxe seems to have very, very many regular guests: almost every guest has been hugged warmly. By the way: Before 20 You don’t have to show up here for dinner (we speak from experience). At lunchtime there are obviously changing daily specials.

A little hint: You should bring a little patience with you, because it can sometimes take a little longer for the tapas you have ordered to be served. The only thing that helps: take a deep breath and enjoy the authentic hustle and bustle. We have a clear recommendation – we would come back anytime!

Address: Plaza Rojas Clemente 5, Valencia (about 13 walking distance from the Cathedral)

Horchatería Santa Catalina Throughout Valencia you will always come across a specific drink: Horchata (sometimes also spelled Orxata). The soft drink is made with tigernuts and sugar.

The most famous (and definitely the most touristy) café to taste horchata is the very pretty Horchatería Santa Catalina. It is located in a small alley near the Plaza de la Reina. A glass of horchata costs just under 3 euros here. The taste takes some getting used to at first, but once you’re in Valencia, you should definitely try the “national drink”. By the way, Horchata is traditionally served with “Fartons” – a long, sweet pastry.

Don’t worry if the rush in the Horchatería Santa Catalina should be too big: You can try the drink almost anywhere in Valencia.

Address: Plaza de Santa Caterina 6, Valencia (just around the corner from the Cathedral)

Retrogusto We drank the best coffee in all of Valencia in Retrogusto. The small coffee shop is located at a market stall in the Mercado Central.

If you enter the Mercado Central via the main entrance When you enter, the Retrogusto is in the second row on the left.

Tyris on Tap The Spanish Craft Beer Brewery “Tyris” has its own bar in downtown Valencia where you can taste all of their beers. During our visit almost exclusively young locals were guests. Here you usually order some tapas with your beer. The square isn’t as fancy as other corners of Valencia, but we still really liked the vibe.

Address: Carrer de la Taula de Canvis 6, Valencia

6. Our hotel tip for Valencia We spent three nights at the MD Design Hotel, which is located north of the old town. The rooms are stylish, but really very small. You have to say that we booked the cheapest room category. Since we spend most of our time in the city on city breaks anyway, the location of the hotel was more important to us than the size of the room.

The hotel is ideally located: the cathedral is just a five-minute walk away. The hotel itself does not offer breakfast. However, that didn’t bother us because we were able to try different breakfast places. A highlight is the small roof terrace of the hotel. We made ourselves comfortable there at sunset with delicious “empanadas” (Spanish dumplings).

You can book the hotel here: MD Design Hotel

7. Arrival and transport You will probably end up at airport like us in Valencia. It is unusually close to the city. By taxi you only need about 13 minutes to downtown. A taxi ride will cost you about 21 Euro (fare approx. 19 Euro plus airport surcharge when driving from the airport).

You can travel more cheaply by metro: line 3 (red) and 5 (green) will take you in approx. 21 minutes to the old town. With the Valencia Tourist Card, the journey from the airport is already included.

In the old town you can easily walk to most of the sights to reach. The public bus is ideal for destinations that are a little out of the way. Trips by bus cost 1.5 euros each (regardless of the distance). With the Valencia Tourist Card you can travel for free on the bus.

Valencia Tourist Card If you want to visit some sights then buying the Valencia Tourist Card can be worthwhile. Each card is for 24, 48 or 95 hours available and costs between 15 and 30 Euro. The card gives you free entry to some sights and free use of public transport. Also included is the journey to/from the airport by metro.

You can buy the card here in advance: Valencia Tourist Card

Transparency: This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. cool thing right? A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you been to Valencia? Did you also like the flair of the city? Or do you have any other tips for Valencia! Your comment is welcome – we look forward to it!