20 Best Things to do in Valencia
Valencia, the lovely city in Spain, fascinates with a multitude of fantastic things to do, with lots of flair and an extra dose of charm. This wonderful place and its attractions are best to discover on a city walk. When strolling through the old town, there are many picturesque places to explore and also the modern part, the City of the Arts and Sciences, captivates visitors. But what are the best things to do in Valencia, what are the absolute must visit attractions and which places are particularly worth seeing?
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 should help you plan your city trip.
Torres de Serranos
One of the most important attractions of Valencia are the former defense towers Torres de Serranos. They were built in 1392 and have been converted into free-standing towers since the demolition of the city walls in 1865. Nowadays, you can climb the stairs of these towers and you will be rewarded 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. It is the most famous square in the city and therefore this lovely place is always a must see on any city tour. It is home to a number of Valencia’s most famous attractions, 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 some good cafes on Plaza de la Virgen, where you can watch the hustle and bustle and the many street performers from while enjoying a cool drink.
Plaça de la Reina & El Miguelete Tower
Another beautiful attraction in Valencia is the picturesque Placa de la Reina in the heart of the old town. This pretty square is located in front of the famous cathedral and the bell tower El Miguelete and can therefore hardly be missed on a city tour. If you like, you can treat yourself with a delicious ice cream and enjoy the great scenery with the magnificent buildings and the small flower gardens. There are also some lovely cafes here on Placa de la Reina which invite you to linger.
Probably the best view of Valencia can be enjoyed from the bell tower, El Miguelete. This tower in the Valencian-Gothic style is around 50 meters high and open for visits. Inside, a spiral staircase leads up 207 steps to the viewing platform. Once at the top, there is a phenomenal view of the old town of Valencia.
Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 6:30 pm | Entrance Fee: 2 euros
One of the most famous attractions in the old town is the Valencia Cathedral. It is situated on a former Roman temple that was later converted into a mosque and then into a cathedral. When visiting the interior of the church, you can admire the Renaissance frescoes of the high altar, visit the Holy Grail and the around 90 paintings in the Cathedral Museum. The cathedral is also famous for the 51-meter-high bell tower, the Torre del Miguelete, which has 14 historical bells and from where you can enjoy a picturesque view of the old town of Valencia.
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 a visit is a must during every city break. This futuristic culture and leisure complex consists of several buildings and water landscapes, which has become the landmark of the city and therefore it is also a famous photo motif of Valencia.
The area can be entered free of charge, for visiting the individual buildings or museums and exhibitions you will have to pay an entrance fee.
The best attractions here are the 3D cinema L’Hemisfèric, the Science Center, the L’Oceanogràfic, the L’Umbracle and the Opera. To visit these attractions, you definitely have to plan enough time. You can save money and time by buying a combo ticket, which 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. This 3-story interactive science center illustrates the laws of nature and everything that has to do with the evolution of life, science and technology. Both, children and adults are enthusiastic about the beautiful interactive exhibitions that encourage people to participate and try different things!
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. 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.
You can also book tickets for the Oceanografic online in advance.
Opening Hours: daily from 10:00 am | Entrance Fee: 31 euros
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 Europe! Don`t miss to try the popular spanish food, and shop 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 Market)
Another important attraction in Valencia is the breathtakingly beautiful silk market, the Lonja de la Seda from the 15th century. On the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1996, this former silk business temple has fascinated with its unique architecture. At the heart of it is the mighty pillared hall, where the spiral-shaped pillars rise over 17 meters. The orange garden is also picturesque, here the 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
Tip: More about the history & culture of Spain can be found here at interesting facts about Spain.
An insider tip among the most beautiful sights in Valencia is the Plaza Redonda, built in 1840, the so-called round square. It was renovated in 2012 and is now one of the prettiest places in the old town. The Plaza Redonda is located in a kind of round courtyard, which is as high as 3 floors. During a stroll you will discover traditional handicraft shops, souvenirs and local products. Cozy tapas bars have also settled here.
National Museum of Ceramics
The National Museum of Ceramics is really beautiful and one of the must-visit places of the city. This attraction is located in the magnificent Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, which with its many artistic details, inside and outside, is unique. For example, the exhibition houses, a national ceramic collection with works by Picasso, and other masterpieces 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 arena in Valencia is also interesting. The bullfights that are still held until today are very questionable, but this event is still part of the city’s cultural heritage. It is preferable to visit this arena, which was built in 1850, when there are no competitions. Interesting here is the impressive architecture of the brick arches and the wooden building trusses.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm | Entrance Fee: 2 euros
Jardin del Turia
Another highlight in Valencia is the green lung of the city, the Jardin del Turia. This park is a true oasis and leads, with a length of around 9 kilometers, through a large part of the city. That fact makes the Jardin del Turia one of the largest city parks in Spain. On a walk, you will pass many playgrounds, free fitness equipment, beautiful orange trees and flower beds, 18 bridges and several ponds.
For children the Gulliver Park, a part of the Jardin del Turia, is very interesting. It is a huge playground with slides, where the little ones can climb a 70 meters long Gulliver figure.
Fine Arts Museum
Another 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 the nineteenth century, including the paintings of the famous Valencian painters Joaquin Sorolla and Francisco de Goya. The museum also houses a sculpture collection and delights with a picturesque courtyard. If you are interested in art, you should definitely put this museum on your sightseeing list.
Opening Hours: Tue to Sun: from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. | Entrance Fee: free
Beautiful and another lovely attraction of the city is the Botanical Garden, a green oasis in the middle of Valencia. This 18th century garden is part of the University of Valencia and has been restored over the years. While strolling through the green gardens, you will marvel at a remarkable stock of trees, there are various stone beds, aquatic plants and some greenhouses. A must see is here the cactus garden, in which a multitude of exotic specimens grow.
Opening Hours: from 10:00 a.m. | Entrance Fee: 2.5 euros
Bioparc Valencia (Zoo)
Another popular attraction in Valencia is the Bioparc in the north-west of the city. It is a zoo that has created a very special landscape on approximately 100,000 square meters with almost invisible fencing. The animals can move quite freely and live in a relatively natural environment with plants, rocks, lakes and waterfalls.
On a tour, you can see animals from Africa like leopards, lemurs, hyenas, lions, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, porcupines, ostriches, elephants, otters and a variety of other animal species.
Tickets for the Bioparc Valencia can also be booked online in advanced!
Opening Hours: from 10:00 am | Entrance Fee: 24 euros
If you want to combine sightseeing with beach, sun & sea, you should definitely visit the wonderful beaches of Valencia. They are easily accessible from the city center by public transport and guarantee the finest bathing pleasure. Velvety-soft sandy beaches stretch along the approximately 3.5-kilometer-long promenade. Cozy cafés and beach bars are lined up one after the other.
Valencia City Hall (Ayuntamiento)
Also worth seeing in Valencia is the Town Hall on Plaza del Ayuntamiento, in the center of the city. If you are in Valencia during the week, you can visit the town hall free of charge from the inside! Here you will discover the plenary hall, the crystal room and a historical museum. From the balcony you will enjoy an excellent view of the beautiful square!
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
Another interesting attraction in Valencia is the Colon Market, better known as the Mercado de Colón. Located in one of the city’s most splendid Art Nouveau buildings, this 100-year-old market not only impresses with its breathtaking architecture, but the gastronomic offer is also top here: inside the once abandoned hall you will find really good restaurants, cafés and tapas bars instead of fruit, meat and fish stalls.
Cat House & Party Area El Carmen
A city walk reveals a lot of beautiful places and there is a surprise to be found on almost every corner. One of these curious sights of Valencia is the cat house in the hip El Carmen district, which is also famous for its nightlife. The pretty blue cat house is located on 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
Valencia is one of the best cities to go on city break in Spain! 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 a good and affordable accommodation in Valencia, then we can give you these tips where to stay:
- Backpacker Hostel: The Cantagua Hostel is a nice, small, extremely cozy hostel in Valencia. Fantastic is here the common room and the clean rooms.
- B&B: The OttoH Charm Stay convinces with a very quiet location in the middle of the city, beautiful rooms and great facilities.
- 3-star Hotel: The Hotel Cosmo is a new hotel in the old town of Valencia. The rooms are modern and offer a lot of comfort.
- Boutique Hotel: The Palacio Vallier 5 * is a very centrally located, beautiful boutique hotel with great attention to detail. A fantastic hotel for a very special stay in Valencia.
Find the best Accommodation in Valencia:
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