Situated on Spain’s southeastern coast and surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, lies Valencia, the third largest city in Spain and the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia. This metropolitan province counts a population of approximately 2.5 million people and its port, Port of Valencia, has been ranked as the 5th busiest in Europe. Valencia, or officially València in Spanish, has two official languages: Spanish and Valencian, a Catalan dialect. The climate is subtropical Mediterranean with mild, humid and short winters accompanied by sunny, hot and long summers. The average annual temperature is 18°C with the warmest month being August and the official currency is the Euro (€). With this type of weather, planning a holiday in Valencia during any time of the year has never been easier.
So if you’re planning a trip to visit one of the oldest cities in Spain, our guide below will provide useful information.
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Getting to Valencia
Having the status as one of the world’s “Beta” rank global cities, this thriving city has a well-developed transportation system that keeps everything you need within reach. Here is how you can start your journey to Valencia.
- Valencia Airport (VLC) is the main domestic and international airport in Valencia located 8 kilometers from the heart of the city. It serves as a hub for Ryanair and Air Nostrum (Iberia Regional), and the most frequent route is from Madrid to Valencia.
Due to its location, Valencia is well-connected with other Spanish cities like Madrid, Seville and Barcelona. Finding a bus from these cities to Valencia shouldn’t be a hassle.
- Valencia Bus Station is the main bus station located in the northern part of the city. It is only a 15 minute walk away from the city centre, making it easily accessible.
The city offers good railway connections, both intercity and international. There are three train stations in Valencia:
- Estación del Norte, or the North Station, is the main railway station in the city’s old town.
- Joaquin Sorolla is located 800 meters from Estación del Norte and it offers services such as restaurants, cafés, trolleys, ATM, WC and luggage storage.
- València-Cabanyal is an underground train station located in El Cabanyal district.
From cargo to ferries, everything goes through Valencia Port, the largest seaport in Spain and in the Mediterranean.
- València Port schedules ferry services that travel to Ibiza, Italy, Majorca and Minorca.
Valencia has a developed road network: E-15 connects to Barcelona, A-3 goes to Madrid and, if you wish to take a more scenic route to Valencia, use AP-7 which runs along the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
If you’re planning to visit Valencia with your own car, you will need to purchase a Temporary Vehicle Certificate which can be requested at the customs. The certificate is valid for 6 months. You only need to bring your driving license if you’re from one of the countries of the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. If not, you will need to get an International Driving License.
If you wish to avoid this, the next best option is to book your car online in advance to save time and money.
Getting around Valencia
Being Spain’s third largest metropolitan area, Valencia’s developed infrastructure offers a variety of ways to get around the city.
Public transportation in Valencia consists of railway stations, buses, metros, taxis and ferries. The Municipal Transport Company (EMT) offers a route planner and an overview of the ticket prices. Valencia’s metro system has 6 lines that cover most of the city and link to the main points of interest. Single ticket price ranges from € 1,50-€ 4,00, while return tickets range from € 3,00-€ 8,00. For other available options, check the prices here.
Taxis are scattered all over Valencia, so you should have no trouble finding one. In Valencia, taxis are white in colour and are available 24 hours a day. In the majority of them you can also pay by credit card, but it is advisable to always have cash with you. The most popular taxi companies are Radio-Taxi Valencia and Teletaxi Valencia.
Discovering Valencia with a car shouldn’t cause any problems. Drive on the right side of the road and be aware that pedestrian crossings turn green at the same time when cars are allowed to turn right. The other option is to rent a car. There are numerous ways to do so, for instance you can rent it at the airport or through an online renting service.
NOTE: Valencia Tourist Card (VLC) includes unlimited access to public transportation for 24, 48 or 72 hours and it is ideal for any visitor in Valencia. It can be purchased at the airport, train station or online at the official Visit Valencia site. VLC also offers free or discounted access to museums, restaurants, shops and leisure activities.
Parking in Valencia
As for the parking places, it is often difficult to find one, but Valencia offers on-street parking and car parks throughout the city. On-street parking spaces are located in the blue zones of the city where the maximum stay is 2 hours. The price ranges from € 0,80-€ 1,70 per hour. Meanwhile, car parks offer unlimited parking at the price of € 2,50 /hour, daily maximum of € 20,00 and more.
Bicycle-sharing system, known as Valenbisi in Valencia, is very common and widely encouraged. While the first 30 minutes is free, the weekly fee to hire a bike is around € 13,00. Renting fees are available online. Other options bike rental services are also at your disposal, such as Valencia Bikes, PassionBike Valencia and The Easy Way.
Taking a stroll in Valencia is perfect for admiring all the sights the city has to offer. The centre is a compact and walkable area, but if you wish to take a trip outside the city, other areas are easily accessible by public transport.
Over 2100 years ago, the history of this ancient city began. First founded as a Roman colony, Valencia is one of the oldest cities in Spain, full of rich history and diverse attractions. This Mediterranean city is filled with endless possibilities for exploring, so if you’re not sure what places you wish to visit, below you will find the most interesting ones for sightseeing in Valencia.
In the heart of the city lies Valencia’s Old Town, locally known as El Carmen. Guarded by the Medieval gates Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart, inside the city walls lies the beautiful València Cathedral. This cathedral is recognized as the resting place of a legendary artefact – The Holy Grail, an ancient chalice believed to be used by Jesus during the Last Supper.
Plaza de Toros de València is a bullring that has a strong connection to its Spanish and Italian roots. Situated in the centre of the city, next to the main railway of the city Estación del Norte, this 19th century Neoclassical bullring is full of monuments that honour those that had fallen in the ring, such as Manolo Montoliu, Pepet and Ladrón de Guevara.
Plaza de la Reina square is located just beside the City Hall Square, in the core of the Old Town. It is instantly recognizable by the Valencia Cathedral and its bell tower El Miguelete, which offers exquisite views of the city.
Estadio de Mestalla, or the Mestalla stadium, is the home of Valencia Club de Fútbol. This 5th largest football stadium in Spain offers tours continuously from Monday to Friday from 10:30-14:30 and 15:30-17:30 as well as on Sundays between 10:30-13:30. Tickets can be bought online.
A naturalistic zoo environment can be found in Valencia Bioparc, where visitors can experience the so-called zooimmersion, an unspoiled landscape enriched with an immersion which gives visitors a sense of actually being in the animals’ habitat.
With its 45,000 animals of 500 different species, L’Oceanogràfic is the largest oceanarium in Europe. It is located inside the cultural and architectural complex called Ciutat de les Arts i de le Ciències, also known as City of Arts and Sciences.
In the core of the City lies an interactive 21st century science museum, Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, along with a modern art museum and a beautiful science park which will surely impress you. Purchase your tickets here.
Also located in the City of Arts and Science, the opera house Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is a cultural and educational icon. From the first staging of Beethoven’s Fidelio to today, this opera house represents an international venue for theatre, dance, music concerts and opera.
Home to Poblados del Sur, Spain’s biggest lake, Albufera National Park in Valencia has been a landmark for fishing since the prehistoric times. This is also the place where the local speciality, paella, was invented, and ever since it became the national dish in the Spanish cuisine.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most important symbols of Valencia. La Lonja de la Seda, or Valencia Silk Exchange, was an important trading city in the 15th century. Today, its stunning late Gothic architecture and cultural importance make it one of the main attractions in Valencia.
Near the center of the city lies Turia Park, one of the most visited parks in Spain. It is a part of a large complex of parks called Jardí del Túria, which rose to fame because of its unique layout, where each new section looks like a new park.
Situated in the eastern part of the Turia Gardens, Gulliver Park is the perfect location if you’re looking for a memorable place with your kids in Valencia. This popular free playground is full of slides, ramps and stairs where children can have fun on a massive structure of Gulliver, a character from “Gulliver’s Travels”.
Pleasant Mediterranean climate, vivid nature and spotless, breathtaking beaches make Valencia the perfect getaway. Many of the beaches in this area have been recognized with the Blue Flag of the European Union. Due to the enjoyable climate, the sea temperature reaches its highest point of 27°C in August, while during winter the minimum is 12°C. Hence, whenever you’re planning a visit to the beaches here, know that refreshening sea and sunny sky will always greet you. Here is a list of some of the best beaches in Valencia.
La Malvarrosa beach, the most popular beach in Valencia, is home to many activities and festivals, such as Neapolitan mascletá and the Festival internacional del Viento. Almost 2 kilometres long, this beach is perfect for sport activities like diving, surfing, and beach volleyball. For those looking for relaxation, you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas or visit one of the local bars and restaurants.
Levante Beach, or Playa de Levante, is the main beach in Benidorm that stretches 2 kilometres along the vibrant promenade. Back in the 20th century it was a small fishing village, but today it’s one of the best known beaches in Europe famed for its nightlife and beauty. Located near the Palacio de Benidorm, this beach offers all kinds of services, such as multiple bars and restaurants, wheelchair access and hammock rentals.
Gandia is the second largest city in the province of Valencia, Spain. During the Renaissance it was the duchy of the infamous Borgia family, but today the city of Gandia is all about golden, sand beaches. Most of them offer diverse services and facilities, various water activities and are close to many hotels and holiday homes. Gandia counts numerous lovely beaches: Playa Norte, Playa de l’Ahuir, Playa de Venècia, Playa de Gandía, Playa de Rafalcaid and, last but not least, Playa Can, a beautiful dog friendly beach.
Cullera, the coastal city in Spain, is approximately 40 kilometres away from its provincial capital of Valencia. The city is adorned with fortresses, defensive towers and temples from different time periods. Besides history and architecture, Cullera is also famous for its 11 enchanting beaches. From several water activities, such as windsurfing and paddle boat, to diving by the nearby gem Isla Peñeta del Moro, Cullera offers it all.
Port Saplaya is a holiday village situated very close to the center of Valencia. Nicknamed “Little Venice”, this colourful, charming village is suitable for both family and romantic vacations. Port Saplaya has two beaches: Saplaya Norte beach and Saplaya beach. Both of these places provide serenity and good service, like free parking, WC, showers, restaurants, sunbeds and parasols with a good supermarket nearby.
One of Spain’s great cities, Valencia has a large range of activities suitable for everyone’s needs and preferences. If you’re still not quite sure what to do in Valencia, check our recommendations below.
As mentioned before, Spain’s southeastern coast is sure to leave everyone who visits speechless. Meet Valencia Bay from different perspectives through various activities that guarantee an adventure you’ll never forget. Excursions including kitesurfing, kayaking, raftings and jet ski await.
Multiple water parks are located all over Valencia, providing relaxation and fun during hot, sunny days. One of the most notable is Piscina Parque de Benicalap, situated just near the city centre. Once inside, take a picnic, rent a sunbed to tan or dine at a nearby local restaurant. There are numerous splash and swimming pools, water slides and dance animations with Latin music that guarantee a good time.
In Valencia’s historic centre lies Túria, a river turned national park, which offers plenty of opportunities for recreation. Cycling alongside the river, taking a relaxing picnic on the grass or doing activities like jogging, rugby, soccer or baseball here will ensure that your fun never comes to an end.
Golf is a sport that has been becoming increasingly more popular over the years in Spain. Valencia’s course layout provides scenic views of the natural landscapes, making it an opportunity difficult to resist. You can book a tee time at one of the golf clubs and courses here.
For more adventurous types, Valencia offers karting arenas to test your motor skills. This adrenaline sport is sure to bring excitement and a rush of blood to your veins as you drive your way through the arena. Tailor made packages with a complimentary glass of champagne at the end complete the experience.
Overlooking the picturesque villages are Valencia’s mountains. Full of diverse wildlife, incredible waterfalls, dense forests and volcanic rock formations, the mountains of Valencia are perfect for hiking and trekking.
The Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon are held annually In Valencia. While runners go through their planned routes, live music plays to keep the runners motivated and entertained. Thanks to many elite runners who participate, Valencia Marathon now ranks as the 6th fastest in the world.
Las Fallas is Valencia’s most important festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and Saint José, the patron saint of carpentry. Las Fallas, meaning The Festival of Fire, begins each year in March and lasts for five days. The festival ends when all of the Fallas monuments, so called ninots, are burned. It was added to the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2016.
Part of the Grand Prix Motorcycle racing season, Valencia MotoGP is an elite motorcycle event of the year. It is also the oldest motorsport in the World Championship with the goal of winning races and presenting racing bikes to show the manufacturer’s design and technical capabilities. If you wish to attend, you can purchase your tickets here.
Though Valencia’s Christmas might not be full of snow, it certainly doubles on the cheer. Besides traditional, festival music blasting through the city, various events can be seen at Christmas time in Valencia. Choirs, ice rings, funfairs and circuses all contribute to the holiday spirit of the city, making it one worth visiting.
The Valencia Jazz Festival marks the beginning of summer every year with more than 300 musicians performing dozens of concerts, some of which are free. This diverse festival embraces a broad spectrum of styles and languages, making it a must-see for any jazz lover. The price of the tickets range between € 5,00 – € 40,00.
Other notable events worth experiencing in Valencia are Mareena Craft Beer Fest, known as Feria de Cerveza Artesanal, Festival de cometas, Latin Fest, Dance Festival and Battle of Flowers Festival. Some of the top food festivals are Battle of the Oranges, La Tomatina and Paella Fest.
After Ibiza, Valencia is known for the best nightlife in Spain. During the day it’s a vibrant city, but at night it truly comes to life. To make the most out of your trip to Valencia, check out these bars and nightclubs to find out that fun never ends in Valencia!
Terraza l’Umbracle is a luxurious rooftop disco club in the city’s famous City of Arts and Sciences. Dance the night away at one of the hottest spots in the city while listening to the best latin and tropical house music.
La3 is an alternative club situated near Valencia’s Old Town. The club keeps the crowd engaged at all times with numerous events, such as F Mondays and Girl Power. Accompanied with house and techno music, this club is perfect for a young and cosmopolitan crowd.
Akuarela Playa is one of the biggest beach nightclubs famous for its foam parties and events, such as Back to the Beach and Far West Party. The club has 3 rooms with different types of music, but the most common choices are techno, reggaeton, R&B, Latin Spanish hits and classics.
Radio City is so much more than just a cocktail bar. Located in the Old Town of Valencia, this bar hosts a vast cultural programme, including theatre performances, short films, art exhibitions, flamenco shows and English courses.
St. Patrick’s Irish Pub is an authentic Irish bar which is most popular with travellers and international students since it hosts multiple events, such as the Language Exchange event. Situated in the heart of the city, this bar offers karaoke, a sports bar, a student bar and live music.
Jimmy Glass is a timeless jazz bar in the core of El Carmen. The bar regularly hosts live concerts where musicians play all types of jazz, from classical to experimental. Combined with a cozy atmosphere, wine and tapas, this lively place has been the center for entertainment and relaxation since 1991.
As well as having its own language, Valencia also has its own cuisine! Some of the best restaurants in Spain are scattered all over Valencia, making it a haven for food lovers.
Paella is Spain’s national dish divided into 3 types, but the most famous one is Valencian Paella, made from rice, meat and green vegetables. Paella even celebrates its own World Paella Day on the 20th of September.
Fideuà is a seafood dish that originates from Gandia, a city in the Valencian Community. Main ingredients are cooked pasta noodles with fried fish and shellfish.
Esgarrat is a traditional Spanish dish from Valencia. It serves as an appetizer, so called tapa, on most of Spanish fiestas. Main ingredients are grilled cod, roasted red peppers, garlic, olive oil and black olives.
Buñuelo is the local delicacy in Valencia. This deep fried dough with sugar and your filling of choice is a traditional snack typically eaten during the Las Fallas festival, but they can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
Horchata is a delicious vegan milk from Valencia. The drink is made from water, sugar and chufas, a plant called tiger nut. It is often paired with fartons, a sweet pastry with sugar sprinkled on top.
Turrón de Jijona is a popular Christmas treat that supposedly originated in ancient Greece. It is a sweet dough made by cooking honey while adding toasted almonds and egg whites.
There are many ways to enjoy Valencian’s oranges, but the most popular one is by tasting the delicious cocktail Agua de Valencia. Each day starts with a freshly squeezed orange paired with a wide selection of delicious pastries or a platter of almonds with fine herbs. Even restaurants include fresh oranges with a pinch of cinnamon and liquor as their main dessert.
Many wineries in Valencia offer guided tours and wine tasting, which awakens appreciation of many wine connoisseurs. Quality wine, both white and red, can be found and enjoyed at multiple wine shops, such as Navarro Bodeguero and Bodegas Baviera. Some local grapes include Merseguera, Bobal and Monastrell.
Where to eat
So many delicious dishes, so little time! With Valencia’s gastronomical offer slowly reaching its peak, it’s time to see where you can get the best experience of the famous Spanish cuisine in the city.
If you wish to savour the taste of nationally known paella, tapas and other local dishes, then Rincón 33 and Bocadella Tapas are the place for you. Restaurante L’Estimat is known for its rice specialities and seafood. Also known for its Mediterranean cuisine is Restaurante Flor de Valencia and bar La Pilareta. Lu Sucursal is a modern restaurant awarded a Michelin star and two Soles for having extraordinary seafood and service.
For those who have a sweet tooth, we recommend a pastry shop Limon y Merengue and an ice cream shop La Romana. Neco Buffet Mediterráneo offers a good selection of all sorts of food on an all-you-can-eat buffet at an affordable price. If you desire to visit a restaurant with multiple cuisines, La Salita de Begoña Rodrigo offers Mediterranean, Spanish and European with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets. Small vegan restaurant Loving Hut is ideal for those who wish to eat healthy at an affordable price.
Home to large shopping centres and various types of shops, Valencia is famed for being one of the best places to have a shopping spree in Spain!
Mercado Central, or the Central Market, is located in the vicinity of the famous historical place La Lonja de la Seda. It is the perfect place to buy local produce from the nearby stalls and to enjoy the stunning views of the market while eating tapas at the nearby Central Bar.
Valencia’s biggest shopping street, Calle de Colón is filled with countless possibilities. With multiple cosmetic, electronic and clothing stores such as MAC Cosmetics, Lush, Apple, Mediamarkt, Brandy Melville, Sfera, H&M, Mango and more, we can see why they call it a shopper’s paradise!
Poeta Querol is the most luxurious shopping street in Valencia, perfect for window shopping. Expensive brands such as Louis Vuitton, Boss, Salvatore Ferragamo and Michael Kors grace this street.
El Saler Centro Comercial is a large shopping centre located near the City of Arts and Sciences. The centre is a modern complex full of fashion stores selling internationally known brands, big Carrefour supermarket, a cinema and a large choice of restaurants.
Souvenirs Aguilar is a small souvenir store near la Lonja de la Seda. The store offers a great assortment of various decorative trinkets, magnets, keychains, printed t-shirts, bracelets and much more.
Valencia provides accommodation for all tastes and budgets. If you haven’t decided where you want to stay, check some of your options below.
Tourist Info Valencia: +34 963 52 49 08
Fire department: 080
Ambulance: (34) 963 677 375
Hospital: +34 963 89 77 00
Pharmacy: +34 963 60 03 13
– Open 24/7