20 Best Things to do in Valencia, Spain
Valencia in Spain, the picturesque city on the Mediterranean Sea, fascinates with a variety of fantastic things to do, with lots of flair and an extra dose of charm. This beautiful city and its attractions are best explored on food. Walking through the old town of Valencia, you will find something interesting to see at every corner, and the modern part, including the gigantic City of Arts and Science, also amazes. Moreover, this Spanish metropolis is located by the sea, which is phenomenal if you want to combine sightseeing with sun, beach and relaxation. But what are the best things to see in Valencia, what are the insider tips, and what are the most interesting attractions to visit?
In this travel guide, we have summarized the 20 most impressive things to do in Valencia at a glance. There are also useful tips and information that will help you plan your city trip.
Torres de Serranos
One of the most important attractions in Valencia are the former defense towers Torres de Serranos. They were built in 1392 and have been transformed into free-standing towers since the city walls were demolished in 1865. Between 1586 and 1887, the imposing towers even served as prisons for noblemen. Nowadays, you can climb the stairs of these towers and be rewarded at the top with a fantastic view of the old town of Valencia and the Jardin del Turia.
Opening Hours: from 10:00 am | Entrance Fee: 2 euros
Plaza de la Virgen
One of the best things to do in Valencia is a visit to the Plaza de la Virgen. The so-called Virgen Square is the most famous square in the city of Valencia, and it is a must-see on any tour of the city. Some of Valencia’s most famous attractions are located here, such as the Cathedral, the Turia Fountain, the Basílica de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats, the Government Palace and the Palau de la Generalitat. There are also a number of charming cafés around the Plaza de la Virgen, from where you can have a drink and watch the hustle and bustle of the center and the many street artists.
Plaça de la Reina & El Miguelete Tower
A truly beautiful attraction in Valencia is the picturesque Placa de la Reina, right in the heart of the old town. Located in front of the famous cathedral and El Miguelete bell tower, this pretty square is a must-see on any tour of the city. If you like, you can get a delicious ice cream here and enjoy the magnificent scenery with its gorgeous buildings and small flower gardens. There are also several cafés in the Placa de la Reina that are perfect for a sightseeing break and watching the world go by.
Climbing the El Miguelete bell tower, built between 1381 and 1424, is definitely one of the best things to do in Valencia. The views from the top are breathtaking. This Valencian Gothic tower is about 50 meters high, and a visit is such a great experience. Inside, a spiral staircase leads up 207 steps to the viewing platform. Once at the top, the view of Valencia’s old town is phenomenal.
Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 6:30 pm | Entrance Fee: 2 euros
The Cathedral of Valencia is probably one of the most famous attractions of the old town. It stands on a former Roman temple that was later converted into a mosque and then into a cathedral. Inside, you can admire the Renaissance frescoes on the high altar, the Holy Chalice and the 90 works of art in the Cathedral Museum. The cathedral is also renowned for its 51-meter-high bell tower, the Torre del Miguelete, which houses 14 historic bells and offers a picturesque view of Valencia’s old town.
Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències
One of the best places to visit in Valencia is definitely The City of Arts and Science, also known as Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències. It is one of Valencia’s top attractions, and visiting this unique landmark is an absolute must-do on any city trip. This futuristic cultural and leisure complex was designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, consists of several buildings and water landscapes, which has become a landmark of the city and also a famous photo motif of Valencia. The area can be entered completely free of charge, for the visits of the individual buildings or museums and exhibitions there are on site, but also online tickets to buy.
Its modern design makes this landmark a real eye-catcher. The best attractions are the 3D cinema L’Hemisfèric, the Science Center, L’Oceanogràfic, L’Umbracle and the Opera. You should plan some time for your visit. This will allow you to see all the best sights. You can save time and money by buying a combo ticket that includes the best areas!
The Museu de les Ciències Príncep Felip is the Science Museum of Valencia and is part of the City of Arts and Science. Even from the outside, the building is spectacular, resembling the skeleton of a whale. This 3-story interactive science center illustrates the laws of nature and everything related to the evolution of life, science and technology. The philosophy of this state-of-the-art museum is touch, think, feel. Children and adults alike will enjoy the many interesting interactive exhibits that encourage them to participate and try things out!
Opening Hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm | Entrance Fee: 8 euros or combo ticket
The Oceanografic is one of the largest aquariums in Europe, and a visit is an unforgettable experience on any trip to Valencia. The marine systems of the earth were rebuilt here, where more than 45,000 living things and 500 different species can be found. The underwater tunnel and the shows are particularly worth seeing and a real highlight for many visitors. But also the futuristic architecture of the buildings is absolutely unique and a popular photo motif for holiday memories.
Opening Hours: daily from 10:00 am | Entrance Fee: 31 euros
Tip: You can also book your ticket for the Oceanografic online on GetyourGuide in advance.
Central Market Hall
The Central Market Hall, the Mercat Central de Valencia, is a real highlight and in that size unique in Europe. On around 8,000 square meters, 1,200 market stalls await you with a huge selection of delicacies and some of the ultimate best street food in Valencia! Don’t miss trying the popular Spanish food, and shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, seafood, fish and meat. You should definitely try Horchata, a typical Valencian drink made of almond milk, which tastes like a sweet nut-milkshake. Or the Churros with Chocolate, a famous Spanish dessert which you should enjoy with a cup of Spanish coffee.
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Entrance Fee: free
Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange)
A significant attraction in Valencia is the breathtakingly beautiful Silk Exchange, the Lonja de la Seda from the 15th century. On the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list since 1996, this former business temple of silk merchants fascinates with its unique architecture. The centerpiece here is the mighty Hall of Columns, where the spiraling columns rise more than 17 meters into the air. The orange garden is also picturesque, where lush orange trees create a wonderful Mediterranean flair.
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat from 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Sun until 3:00 p.m. | Entrance Fee: 2 Euros
Built in 1840, Plaza Redonda, also known as the Round Square, is an insider’s tip among the most beautiful places to visit in Valencia. It was only renovated in 2012 and is now one of the most charming squares in the old town. The Plaza Redonda is located in a kind of circular courtyard that rises over 3 floors. Strolling around you will discover traditional craft shops for shopping, souvenirs and local products. There are also cozy tapas bars that invite you to take a break from sightseeing.
National Museum of Ceramics
Beautiful and a unique attraction in the center of Valencia is the Ceramics Museum. This building is located in the magnificent Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, which is a real gem with its many ornate details, both inside and out. The exhibition houses, among other things, the national ceramics collection with works by Picasso, starting from the 8th century to the present. Goods from the former Silk Road are also exhibited here.
Opening Hours: from 10:00 am | Entrance Fee: 3 euros
A visit to the Bullring of Valencia, the Plaza de Toros de Valencia, is definitely interesting. This neoclassical building is located near the North Station. Although the bullfights that still take place today are very questionable, this event is still part of the city’s cultural heritage. Built in 1850, it is best to visit the arena outside the bullfights. This large arena can accommodate up to 10,500 visitors. The impressive architecture of the brick arches and wooden balustrades is worth seeing.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm | Entrance Fee: 2 euros
Jardin del Turia
The green lung of the city, the Jardin del Turia, is a beautiful highlight of Valencia and absolutely worth a visit. This park is a real oasis that runs through a large part of the city, with a length of about 9 kilometers. The Jardin del Turia is one of the largest urban parks in Spain and is well worth a visit. During a walk, you will pass many playgrounds, free fitness equipment, beautiful orange trees and flower beds, 18 bridges and several ponds.
When visiting Valencia with kids, the Gulliver Park, a part of the Jardin del Turia, is highly recommended. It is a huge playground with slides, where the little ones can climb a 70 meters long Gulliver figure.
Fine Arts Museum
An important attraction in Valencia is the Museum of Fine Arts, the 2nd largest art gallery in Spain. The works of art are from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries, with paintings by the famous Valencian painters Joaquin Sorolla as well as Francisco de Goya, also on display. In addition, the museum houses a sculpture collection and delights with a picturesque courtyard. If you are interested in art, you should definitely put this museum on your Valencia sightseeing list.
Opening Hours: Tue to Sun: from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. | Entrance Fee: free
Absolutely enchanting and an insider’s tip in Valencia is the Botanical Garden, a green oasis in the heart of the city. This 18th century garden is part of the University of Valencia and has been restored over the years. Walking through the green gardens, one can admire a remarkable stock of different trees, there are various stone beds, water plants and some greenhouses. A real highlight, however, is the cactus garden, where numerous exotic plants grow.
Opening Hours: from 10:00 a.m. | Entrance Fee: 2.5 euros
Bioparc Valencia (Zoo)
A top attraction in Valencia is the Bioparc, a stunning zoo in the north-west of the city. This is a zoo that has created a very special zoo landscape on about 100,000 square meters through almost invisible fencing. The animals can move quite freely and live in a relatively natural environment of plants, rocks, lakes and waterfalls. On a visit, you can experience Africa up close with leopards, lemurs, hyenas, lions, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, porcupines, ostriches, elephants, otters and a variety of other species.
Tip: Tickets for the Bioparc Valencia can also be booked online in advanced!
Opening Hours: from 10:00 am | Entrance Fee: 24 euros
The wonderful beaches of Valencia make a vacation in the Spanish coastal city perfect. They are easily accessible from the city center by public lines such as bus and tram, and guarantee bathing pleasure at its best. Ideal for all those who would like to combine sightseeing with visiting the beach and enjoying sea during their city trip. Velvet-soft sandy beaches stretch along the approximately 3.5-kilometer-long waterfront promenade. Cozy cafés and beach bars line up one after the other. But there are also great beaches to relax on in the immediate vicinity.
Valencia City Hall (Ayuntamiento)
Worth seeing in Valencia is also the City Hall at the Plaza del Ayuntamienteo, which is located in the center of the city. If you are in Valencia during the week, then you can visit the city hall from Monday to Friday free of charge from the inside! During a tour of the imposing building, you will be amazed by the plenary hall, the crystal hall and a historical museum. From the balcony, you can also enjoy an excellent view of the town hall square with the fountain! If you are visiting Valencia in spring, then the Plaza del Ayuntamiento is one of the best places for attending the Las Fallas festival!
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. | Entrance Fee: free
Mercado de Colon
An interesting place to see in Valencia is the Colon Market, better known as Mercado de Colón. Housed in one of the city’s most magnificent Art Nouveau buildings, this 100-year-old market not only impresses with its breathtaking architecture. The gastronomic offer is also fantastic and invites you to try it. Here, instead of fruit, meat and fish, you can find excellent restaurants, cafés and tapas bars in the once so abandoned hall.
Cat House & Party Area El Carmen
One truly curious sight in Valencia is the Cat House. This tiny work of art is also called the cat house and has been located for over 100 years in the hip neighborhood of El Carmen, which is also well-known for its nightlife. According to a legend, the artist Yuste created it with great attention to detail, remembering the 4 cats that survived in the neighborhood in 1904 as the last cats after a great cat extermination. The pretty blue cat house can be found a bit hidden in the Calle del Museo near the church square and has been a popular photo motif for years.
Valencia City Tours, Tickets & more
If you don’t want to explore Valencia on your own, you still have the option of joining a guided tour. In the online portal GetYourGuide you will find recommended city tours, but also cheap entrance tickets, bike tours, cooking classes and much more.
Fantastic are also the reviews where you can compare tours before booking.
Where to Stay in Valencia
There is a huge range of fantastic accommodations in Valencia. From affordable hostels to holiday apartments or boutique hotels, everything can be found and therefore everyone will find their perfect place to stay. If you are still looking for good and affordable accommodation in Valencia, then we can give you these tips on where to stay…It’s worth a look!
- Boutique Hotel: The Palacio Vallier 5 * is a very centrally located, beautiful boutique hotel with great attention to detail. A fantastic hotel for a special stay in Valencia.
- Backpacker Hostel: The Cantagua Hostel is a nice, small, extremely cozy hostel in Valencia. Fantastic is here the common room and the clean rooms.
- Wonderful B&B: The OttoH Charm Stay is a wonderful B&B that convinces with a quiet location in the middle of the city, beautiful rooms and great facilities.
- Charming 3-Star Hotel: The Hotel Cosmo is a new charming hotel in the old town of Valencia. The rooms are modern and offer a lot of comfort.
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