Ciutat Vella, Valencia is the historic Old Town. It’s a treasure trove of history, culture, and exciting activities. If you’re visiting Valencia, this is probably the most important neighborhood in the city to get to know. So let’s go through this detailed neighborhood guide so you know what to expect, where to stay, and what to do.
Table of contents
- Ciutat Vella, Valencia
- Things to See
- Plaça de l’Ajuntament
- Plaça de la Reina
- La Plaça de la Mare de Deu dels Desemparats
- La Seu de València
- La Basílica
- La Llotja
- El Mercat Central
- Santa Caterina
- Torres dels Serrans and Torres de Quart
- Portal de la Valldigna
- Mercat de Colom
- Sant Nicolau de Bari
- Sant Joan de l’Hospital
- El Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües
- Estació del Nord
- Things to Do
- Where to Eat
- Cafés in Ciutat Vella, Valencia
- Bars in Valencia
- Where to Stay
- How to get to Valencia old town from the Airport
- Tips for the Old Town
- More Ciutat Vella Resources
Ciutat Vella, Valencia
The historic city center dates back to the Romans – so all you history buffs will love Valencia. Ciutat Vella is a monumental area, filled with winding streets, centuries-old buildings, and plenty of open squares to enjoy the view.
Keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know about La Ciutat Vella.
And if you have any questions along the way – just send me a message!
Things to See
In the heart of downtown Valencia, there’s naturally going to be tons of things to see. La Ciutat Vella (The Old Town) holds the majority of Valencia’s famous monuments and historic sites.
So let’s go through a brief list of the best things to see in Valencia’s Old Town.
Plaça de l’Ajuntament
Starting in one of the most important squares in the city, you have the Plaça de l’Ajuntament (The City Hall Square).
Here, you’ll find the City Hall, the post office, and a huge, sprawling plaza that typically hosts cultural events. Regardless of how long you’re in the city, this is a must-see on your itinerary.
The majority of this area is pedestrian-friendly, although buses and taxis do pass through one side.
If you’re coming during Les Falles – then this is where you’ll get to see many of the main events, like the Mascletà.
Pro Tip: You can visit the inside of the City Hall M-F from 8am – 3pm for free!
Plaça de la Reina
Another iconic square in the city is the newly remodeled Plaça de la Reina. This large square is brimming with life, as it’s one of the most central areas in the Old Town.
Valencia has 3 important squares you need to see, and this would be the second one.
Notably, this one gives you a spectacular view of the Valencia Cathedral. You can get here directly from the Plaça de l’Ajuntament by walking straight down C/ Sant Vicent.
In the summer, this square features several shaded areas, as well as plenty of seating. In the winter, this is where you’ll find the Christmas Markets and plenty of other exciting events.
La Plaça de la Mare de Deu dels Desemparats
The final of the 3 emblematic squares in Valencia Old Town is the Plaça de la Mare de Deu dels Desemparats (Our Lady of the Forsaken). Sometimes also referred to as the Plaza de la Virgen in Spanish, this is one of the oldest areas of the city.
It used to be a public forum in the Roman times, then featured a Visigoth church, then a Mosque, and now the Catholic Cathedral that marks the skyline.
In this square, you’ll have view of the Cathedral, the Basilica, and the Palau de la Generalitat – The Valencian seat of government.
So it’s safe to say that this is another square that you can’t leave off your itinerary.
La Seu de València
A prime example of Valencian Gothic architecture and one of the most important buildings in the city – the Cathedral.
La Seu means The Seat, as it’s the seat of the Catholic Church in the city.
Not only is the building itself impressive, both inside and out, there is one major reason why people come from around the world to visit it.
It holds the Holy Grail within its walls.
Well, allegedly, of course. But religious scholars note that La Seu de València is one of the most likely locations to contain the real piece. So make sure to go see one of the world’s most important religious relics!
Right next to the Cathedral, you’ll find the Basílica. This Baroque and Renaissance-style building is from the 17th century and remains one of the most important monuments.
Visiting the inside is free, so make sure to get a sneak peek of the stunning interior. Just make sure to visit when they’re not in mass.
La Llotja de la Seda – The Silk Exchange. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the emblematic reminder of the Valencian Golden Age.
This centuries-old building used to be the center of the European Silk Trade, connecting Asia and the rest of Europe.
So naturally, it’s one of the most important things to see in the Old Town. Valencia (the city) currently has 4 UNESCO-recognized symbols, with La Llotja being the only physical monument.
The entrance is only a few Euros, and is open from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday to Saturday. They close at 1:30 pm on Sundays.
Note – You’ll also see this called La Lonja. This is the translation of the name in Spanish, while the only official name is in Valencian (La Llotja).
El Mercat Central
One of my personal favorite spots in Valencia’s Old Town is the Mercat Central. This classic Modernist structure is the largest enclosed market in all of Europe and is a must-see on your trip in the Ciutat Vella.
Valencia is known for its fresh produce, and this is the perfect spot to get some.
Head inside and enjoy all of the fruit stands, traditional shops, and even a few more touristy souvenir shops. When you walk in to the center, look up and admire all the decorations.
Pro tip – the ceiling is decorated with a seasonal guide, so you know exactly what fruits and veggies are in season!
Santa Caterina, also known as Santa Catalina in Spanish, is the large tower at the end of Carrer de la Pau. This is another emblematic site that’s worth adding to your must-see list.
Visiting the interior might not be worth it if you’re short on time. But since it’s situated right at La Plaça de la Reina, make sure you at least take a moment to admire this Gothic tower.
Torres dels Serrans and Torres de Quart
In Valencia, the Old Town used to be completely enclosed by medieval city walls. But as Valencia grew, the walls were taken down to allow for expansion.
All that remains of the medieval enclosure is the Torres dels Serrans and the Torres de Quart.
The Torres dels Serrans offer a breathtaking view of the city center, as well as the Túria River Gardens that split the city in half. Make sure to climb up these towers for some of the best selfies during your trip!
The 14th-century towers are open from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm on Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, they close at 1:30 pm, but entrance is free this day!
Portal de la Valldigna
Like many millennia-old cities in Europe, Valencia was home to many different cultures over the years.
This 15th century gateway is what used to separate the Old Town’s Christian and Muslim neighborhoods.
This doorless arch is a small, but important reminder of the city’s past. So as you’re wandering the streets of El Carme, make sure to take a quick moment to admire it.
Mercat de Colom
On the very outskirts of the Old Town, Valencia has another modernist market to highlight. The Mercat de Colom is a large open-air market that features restaurants, cafés, and some artisanal shops.
The building itself is right behind Valencia’s most important shopping district. So if you’re tired of carrying around so many bags, this is the perfect spot to stop and enjoy some traditional Orxata.
And if you’re coming in December, this is one of the best things to see in Valencia, as they set up an enormous Christmas tree that gives it even more charm.
Sant Nicolau de Bari
The Church of Sant Nicolau is also known as Valencia’s Sistine Chapel.
With a Gothic exterior and a Baroque interior, every inch of this church is filled with decorations, symbolism, and art.
This is one of the only churches that are not free to enter. But since it comes with an audio tour, it’s definitely worth the €10.
It’s truly an impressive sight. Make sure to set aside at least 20 minutes to enjoy walking through it.
- Tuesday–Friday 10:00 am – 8:30 pm
- Saturday 10:00 am – 7:30 pm
- Sunday 1:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Sant Joan de l’Hospital
Also called San Juan del Hospital in Spanish, this is Valencia’s oldest church.
This Romanic-style building is completely different from any of the other churches in La Ciutat Vella. Valencia is mostly known for its gothic and modernist architecture styles, but this 13th-century building is completely different.
While the design is more austere, it’s still an enormous structure that will leave you impressed.
You just need a couple minutes to visit it. So make sure to add it to your itinerary as you’re going along.
El Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües
This palace is one of my favorite façades in the city.
El Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües has one of the most remarkable entrances to any palace. This Baroque palace has to be on anyone’s list of things to see in La Ciutat Vella.
Although, I don’t recommend visiting the inside for most people. It holds the National Ceramics Museum.
Which, if you’re interested in ceramics – is great. But if you’re not a huge fan, then I would recommend investing your time in other places.
Seeing the façade is definitely the most impressive part! In my opinion, at least.
Estació del Nord
One of the last things to see in La Ciutat Vella is the emblematic train station. This modernist building is full of Valencian motifs and details, giving homage to the city and its culture.
Even if you don’t have to take any trains, I still recommed taking a few moments to admire it. It’s a quick stop on your way towards Russafa.
My recommendation: head inside and go towards the right. There should be a glass door to a room absolutely full of mosaic tiles.
Those tiles depict traditional Valencian scenes and give you a sneak peek into the culture, landscape, and history of the city.
Things to Do
The Old Town in Valencia is one of the trendiest areas, so naturally – there is plenty to do. At the end of the day, a lot of it depends on the type of tourist you are.
So besides checking out all of the monuments in the city, here are a few things to do in Ciutat Vella that you don’t want to miss out on.
Climb El Micalet
El Micalet – Little Michael – is one of the most popular things to do for tourists. And for good reason.
After visiting the cathedral, you can take the spiral staircase up to the top of the belltower. El Micalet is the bell on top, but most people refer to the entire tower as El Micalet (or sometimes translated as El Miguelete in Spanish).
All you have to do to get one of the best skyline views in Valencia is take conquer 207 steps.
(And no, there’s no elevator)
If you’re able to, this is absolutely worth it. So I recommend spending the 2 euros and pushing through!
But if you’re not able to – you could always try going to a rooftop bar instead for nice views. They won’t be the same views, but it’s a great alternative for people who can’t climb up.
Go on a tour
Naturally when you go to any city, there are plenty of tours waiting for you.
In Valencia, Ciutat Vella is just brimming with history and culture, so I highly recommend jumping on a tour. It gives you a better idea of what you’re looking at and you get to learn more about the city’s landmarks.
Here are just some of the tours that I can recommend:
All of those are year-round tours that are incredibly popular.
Another option is to book a “free” tour that is common in Valencia and throughout Spain. I say “free” because it’s really a “pay what you’re comfortable with” model. At the end of the tour, you’ll be encouraged to “tip” your guide. Usually around €10 per person is fair.
The downside to the free tours – they can be a hit or a miss. I’ve had really great experiences, and some that were not so great. At the end of the day, it depends on your tour guide and the route they choose.
But if you’re on a lower budget, that’s a great option!
L’Almoina Archaeological Center is one of my favorite museums in the city.
Located right behind the cathedral, you’ll find a museum that gives you a direct view to the ancient ruins that used to take up this square.
You’ll walk directly overtop the 2000-year-old Roman Ruins, showing you just how old Valencia really is.
The museum is also perfect for visitors coming in the hotter months. For €2 you get a history lesson and a brief respite from the heat!
Check out the oldest justice system in Europe
Another one of Valencia’s UNESCO World Heritage Events – the Court of Waters.
It is the oldest continuing legal systems in the entirety of Europe. Every Thursday, representatives from the different Acequias (water lines) throughout the Valencian Country convene. They’ll discuss any issues related to agriculture and water.
You can catch a glimpse of this tribunal every Thursday morning at the Plaça de la Mare de Déu.
Enjoy the food
If you’re anything like me – gastrotourism is high up there on your priority list.
Because when you come to a city like Valencia, you just have to try all of its food. With a rich culinary history and access to fresh fruits and veggies, you have to get your hands on the cuisine.
There are plenty of Valencian dishes to try, but here are a few pro tips:
- Paella is eaten for LUNCH only
- Paella does not have chorizo in it
- Agua de Valencia is a tourist trap
With that in mind, that should help you get a more authentic taste of the city.
Speaking of, let’s talk about where to eat in Ciutat Vella.
Need more ideas of things to do? Check out this full guide.
Where to Eat
There are some amazing restaurants throughout Valencia, but since this is a Ciutat Vella Guide – we’ll be focusing on a few quality spots in the Old Town. Valencia has a pretty wide variety, so make sure to look at this guide for all the best restaurants.
And for now, let’s dive into where to eat in Valencia Old Town.
- Website: https://elpobletrestaurante.com/
- Neighborhood: Sant Francesc
- Price: €€€€
- Location: C/ de Correus, 8, 46002
Owned by the famous chef Quique Dacosta, El Poblet has earned two Michelin stars. With an avant-garde twist on traditional Mediterranean cuisine, this restaurant is continuously named as one of the best restaurants in the city.
The name poblet means “little town”. True to their name, the tasting menus showcase traditional dishes from different towns throughout the state of Spain. With ingredients from the area and a fantastic presentation, it makes for an elegant night out.
As of 2023, their menu tasting (wine included) costs 175€ per person. Which, for a 2-star Michelin restaurant, isn’t unreasonable.
So if you have a higher budget for a night out – this is the place to go.
- Website: https://lariua.com/
- Neighborhood: La Xerea
- Price: €€
- Location: C. de la Mar, 27, 46003
La Riuà (The River Flood, in English) is in the center of the Old Town. Valencia had a huge flood, bringing the decision to redirect the river. This is the reason why the Túria is now the Túria Gardens.
And the Riuà has left big impression on Valencian culture – hence the name of the restaurant.
This is one of the best restaurants in Ciutat Vella since they create classic Valencian dishes for a reasonable price.
From savory rice dishes and the classic fideuà to local favorites like the torró ice cream, this is a perfect spot to get some authentic flavors without leaving the center.
So if you want to make sure you’re getting to know Valencian cuisine, this is the place to go.
Tip: Don’t forget to book a table on their website
- Website: https://lasurena.es/es/
- Neighborhood: Sant Francesc
- Price: €
- Location: C/ del Convent de Sta. Clara, 10, 46002
Let’s move on to something for people looking to spread their budget and still get some tasty flavors.
La Sureña is a popular chain in Spain, known for its affordability. It’s perfect to go with friends and get some quick tapas and drinks.
The menu features tapas and pinxos famous throughout all of Spain. You can favorites like patatas bravas and berenjena con miel (honeyed eggplant). Grab a few tapas and drinks for less than €10 a person for great way to get a taste of Spanish food.
That being said – La Sureña isn’t known for its impeccable quality. The food is good, but not Michelin-star worthy. But it’s good enough for the price point.
- Website: https://carta.menu/restaurants/valencia-1/el-dorita-valencia
- Neighborhood: El Carme
- Price: €
- Location: C/ de St. Donís, 1-baix esq., 46003
Hidden in the heart of El Carme is a budget-friendly restaurant that I really love. It’s not at all famous, but I really like coming here when coming with visitors.
With tapes, entrepans, and main courses, you can check out the variety in Valencian cuisine in a lively atmosphere. The plaza is always full of people, with lots of locals coming to eat or just grab a drink with friends.
I highly recommend the croquetes de boletus (fried mushroom croquettes), and the pimientos de padrón.
Note: Come here when you’re not in a rush. The service is usually a bit slow.
- Website: https://khambu.com/
- Neighborhood: El Carme
- Price: €
- Location: C/ de Quart, 41b, 46001 València
This is one of my favorite spots for a quick bite in Valencia. Khambu is a 100% vegan “burger” restaurant.
There are tons of different options for starters and entrees, and the prices are quite affordable. Plus, it’s located in the heart of El Carme, so it’s easily accessible as well. If you’re vegan or you just need something quick and easy, Khambu is a great option.
As another perk – the staff also speaks English quite well, so you shouldn’t have any issues ordering!
Cafés in Ciutat Vella, Valencia
If you’re looking for a great spot to enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up, then Valencia has got you covered.
There are plenty of great cafe’s in Ciutat Vella to enjoy a coffee or a tasty berenar (evening sweet snack).
Here are my top recommendations for the café’s in the Old Town:
- Website: Manolo Bakes
- Neighborhood: La Seu
- Price: €
- Location: C/ de la Pau, 10, 46003
Manolo Bakes, also known as Manolitos, is one of my favorite café’s, known for their miniature croissants.
They come in a variety of flavors, including some seasonal ones. It’s the perfect spot to sit down and relax after an entire day of exploring La Ciutat Vella.
Valencia takes their berenar time seriously, so if you’re coming around 6pm, expect this place to be full. Especially on the weekends. But if you can’t find a table, you can always grab it to go, then go enjoy your treats in the Plaça de la Reina.
- Website: https://horchateria-daniel.es/
- Neighborhood: El Pla del Remei
- Price: €
- Location: Mercat de Colom, Carrer de Jorge Juan, 19, 46004
Daniel’s is a Valencian classic. Make sure to try the fartons and orxata, a sweet bread with a drink made from tiger nuts. Think of it as a sweetened almond milk, but with a very distinct flavor.
Even though there are several Daniel’s spread throughout Valencia, I recommend checking out the one in the Mercat de Colom. The location is great, it’s still in the Old Town, and it’s easy to fit it into your itinerary.
Although if you want to head out of the city center, the original and most traditional location is in Alboraia, right next to the metro station.
Café de Las Horas
- Website: http://www.cafedelashoras.com/
- Neighborhood: La Seu
- Price: €€
- Location: C/ del Comte d’Almodóvar, 1, 46003
This café/bar is one of the most unique places in the entire city. The inside of the bar is the definition of Baroque.
And inside this Victorian Ballroom-esque café, you can get unique coffee drinks and creative cocktails. So whether you want a pick-me-up or you want to get started on some afternoon drinks, this is the right place to go.
It’s right behind the Palau de la Generalitat, so the location is unbeatable as well!
Bars in Valencia
Since Café de Las Horas also counts as a place to grab a drink, let’s transition over to some of the best bars in the Valencia Old Town.
To be fair, you can grab a quick beer or gin and tonic at basically any bar throughout the city. The prices will be relatively similar and they’ll all basically have the same brands to serve.
So these places that I’m listing are more noteworthy. Go ahead and try some other bars if you’d like, but here are a few recommendations if you’d like something unique.
- Website: https://www.instagram.com/cafenegritovalencia/?hl=en
- District: El Carme
- Price: €
- Location: Plaça del Negret, Ciutat Vella, 46001
La Negrita tops the list thanks to the location. It’s in the middle of a lively square, tucked right behind the Plaça de la Mare de Deu.
And when I say lively, I mean this bar is always full with people enjoying the outdoors. While the drinks aren’t anything special, the prices are affordable and the location is perfect.
So if you’re looking for some relaxing energy in a lively atmosphere, grab a drink outside and enjoy the evening.
Beers and Travels
- Website: https://www.instagram.com/beerstravels/
- Neighborhood: El Carme
- Price: €€
- Location: Pl. de Manises, 3, Ciutat Vella
If you’re looking for more options on beer – this is definitely the place to try. Beers and Travels is right behind the Palau de la Generalitat and they offer around 100 different beers to try.
This is the perfect place to come if you have a larger group since the inside is relatively large. I consistently come to this bar with my friends, as there’s always something new to try.
They also offer light snacks and food – although I personally don’t find the food to be super great. But the variety of beers, the lively atmosphere, and the perfect location make up for it.
- Website: https://www.hocuspocuspub.com/
- Neighborhood: Sant Francesc
- Price: €€
- Location: C/ dels Manyans, 3, 46001
Want a really magical bar experience? Head over to Hocus Pocus, hidden in a side-street in the Old Town.
Valencia isn’t always known for its cocktails, but this place takes them to the next level. Because it’s not just a quick drink – it’s a full potions class. You get an immersive experience as they teach you how to brew up some magical beverages.
Plus, you can make alcoholic and non-alcoholic potions, so everyone can join in on the fun.
Important: You need to make a reservation in advance.
- Website: Atenea Sky
- District: Ciutat Vella
- Price: €€
- Location: C/ de Moratín, 12, 46002
The last bar that really stands out in La Ciutat Vella is Atenea Sky. Located right on the Plaça de l’Ajuntament, you get an unbeatable view of the entire downtown.
It’s on the top of the historic Ateneu Mercantil building, so you’ll also see it listed as the Ateneo Sky bar.
The location is perfect and the terrace has a chic and welcoming vibe. You’ll find cocktails for around 12€ and mocktails for 9€. Then you can get wines, vermouths, and beers from 4€-8€.
Pro Tip: Cocktail hour starts at 11pm. You can also make a reservation for 4 or more people which I highly recommend on the weekend.
Where to Stay
Next up on this Valencia Ciutat Vella Guide, let’s talk about the best places to stay.
Since this is the very center of the city, you’ll find plenty of options for lodging. From luxury hotels to cheap youth hostels, the options are practically limitless.
Generally, I avoid Airbnb. If you don’t speak the language, I find hotels are a lot less hassle.
So here are my top recommendations for where to stay in Ciutat Vella, Valencia:
How to get to Valencia old town from the Airport
If you’re landing at the Valencia Airport, it’s very easy to get to the city center. So let’s go over a few options for how to get to the Old Town from the Airport:
I usually recommend taking the Metro, especially if it’s just 1-2 people. This will be the cheapest option.
After grabbing your bags and leaving, follow the signs for the Metro (it may just be an M on the signs).
You’ll head down a couple flights of escalators. From here, you’ll head over to the counter or the automatic machines.
The easiest solution: For a one-way ticket, you’ll need to purchase the AB+ Senzill (simple) ticket. The AB+ trip should cost €4,80 and the reusable paper card should be €1.
Two people can use the same card for this type of ticket at the turnstile.
You’ll also see options for things like the SUMA 10, or the SUMA T1 or SUMA T2, etc. Honestly, I feel like these are not worth it. Just go for a single ticket and save yourself the headache, unless you’re planning on using the public transport a lot.
Naturally, a simple option is to grab a taxi right outside the airport. This will likely cost you around €20, although it could go up slightly at night.
The taxis in Valencia are very safe and you should have no problem, even if they don’t speak a lot of English. I recommend having your destination pulled up on your phone.
You can pay with cash or card as well, and you don’t need to tip.
Rent a Car
If you’re planning on driving, you can rent a car to pick up directly from the airport. Parking in La Ciutat Vella is quite difficult, so make sure your hotel either offers parking OR you have a specific garage in mind.
Usually, I don’t recommend renting a car unless you plan on traveling to other cities as well. Within Valencia, it’s simply unnecessary and will be more of a hassle than a perk.
But if you’d like to go for a road trip, read this article to learn more about renting a car in Valencia.
Tips for the Old Town
To finish off this guide to Valencia’s historic center, let’s talk a little bit about some tips and tricks to be aware of.
For the most part, these tips are relevant to all of Valencia, but there are a few things to know specifically about the Old Town.
And if you want to read even more tips for your holiday, make sure to head over and read this article.
Be careful with tourist traps
First thing to know – Valencia’s Old Town is full of tourist traps.
From people trying to sell you rosemary to “typical Spanish restaurants” making paella for dinner, the most touristy area of the city is naturally going to have some tourist traps.
In Valencia, none of these are dangerous or unsafe. They’re simply a bit annoying and a waste of money.
So to avoid these traps, here is my advice:
- Never take anything someone hands you
- Find restaurants with their menu in Valencian (not just Spanish and English)
- Avoid restaurants with barkers (people handing out flyers or pushing you in)
And as an extra safety precaution: always keep your wallet and phone in your front pocket, not your back pocket. Pickpockets aren’t a huge problem here, especially compared to Barcelona – but it’s always better to be safe when traveling abroad.
Get the Tourist Card
Depending on how long you’re staying, and what you plan on visiting, the Tourist Card can actually save you quite a bit of cash.
I highly recommend it, especially if you’re planning on staying for around 3 days. You can choose between 24, 48, and 72-hour options to align with your trip.
You pay a flat price for the card, then it includes:
- Free public transport (bus, metro, local trains, and trams)
- Free entry to municipal museums
- 10% discount at the City of Arts and Sciences, Oceanogràfic, and Cathedral
- 12% discount on the Tourist Bus Tour
- 20% discount at the Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües
- 2 free tapas and 2 free drinks
- Discounts at specific restaurants and stores
I recommend getting the tourist card only if you want to visit museums and the major monuments. If you’re coming for a strictly beach vacation or if you prefer not visiting the inside of any monument – then it’s not worth it.
Although you do get a good deal if you want to visit the museums, Europe’s largest aquarium, and the emblematic cathedral.
Grab your tourist card here and set your pickup location at the tourist office in the airport.
Pay attention to the dates
Just like you would traveling anyway, it’s super important to pay attention to the dates. In Valencia, it’s especially important as there are many holidays and festivals.
For example, March is NOT off season, as we celebrate Les Falles. So finding accommodation is going to be more difficult and expensive.
And if you come during August, some of the opening times for certain destinations may change.
So make sure you’re careful when picking your dates. If you need extra help, make sure to read my guide on the best time to visit.
Take advantage of free museums on Sunday
The municipal museums are usually free on Sundays. So for example, you can go up the Torres dels Serrans or visit the Archeological Museum for free.
This is a great way to spread out your travel budget and take advantage of these cultural days. Although two important things to note here:
- They’ll usually close earlier, so make sure to check the opening hours.
- Not every museum is municipal. The Cathedral, the City of Arts and Sciences, and the Oceanogràfic are notable exceptions.
Learn which dishes are authentic
If you want to really immerse yourself in the gastronomy, take the time to learn a bit about Valencian food.
Plus, there’s usually a big difference between authentic restaurants and touristy ones. So you’ll want to know how to recognize a great dish!
Here is a quick list of some foods to try:
- Paella valenciana (no chorizo, please)
- Seafood paella
- Coca (both savory and sweet varieties)
- Orxata and Fartons
- Esgarraet or Espencat
- All i Pebre
Avoid renting a bike or a car
Compared to the rest of Valencia, Ciutat Vella is more difficult to get around by bike or car.
It’s certainly possible. But if you’re exclusively staying in the Old Town, it might not be worth the hassle. Due to the narrow roads and crowds of people, it’s typically easier to just get everywhere on foot or with public transport.
The rest of the city is very bike friendly. There are plenty of dedicated bike lines. For example, you can easily get to the City of Arts and Sciences by bike. But the historic center is probably more trouble than it’s worth.
One exception is if you go on a bike tour, as you’ll have a guide who helps you get around more easily.
Although if you want to rent a bike to get to the beach or to other areas of the city, go right ahead. And if you want to rent a car so you can head out to other cities, that’s also a good option. Here’s where you can do that:
More Ciutat Vella Resources
Enjoy your trip to the Valencia Old Town! If you have any questions or concerns, just send me a message. I’m always happy to help out a fellow traveler!
And if you’d like to keep planning your trip to the Ciutat Vella, here are some more resources:
- List of my favorite restaurants
- Things to know about Valencia neighborhoods
- How to get cheaper flights to Valencia
- How to get mobile data easily
Definitely! Valencia is a very safe city, so you should have no problems, especially if you follow basic precautions.
Ciutat Vella is the Valencian word for “Old Town”. This means it’s the historic center of the city of Valencia.
There are 6 neighborhoods in the district of Ciutat Vella: El Carme, La Xerea, El Mercat, El Pilar, La Seu, and Sant Francesc.
Need help planning your trip to Valencia?
Here are the tools I use for the cheapest (and most reliable) vacation planning:
- 🏠Booking – Affordable hotels and apartments
- 🏠Hostel World – Safe and budget-friendly hostels
- ✈️Skyscanner – My favorite tool for cheap flights
- 🚗Discover Cars – Best place for car rentals
- 🚄Trainline – The easiest way to book local trains in advance
- 📶Airalo – eSim cards for easy internet access while traveling
- 🦺Safety Wing – The #1 travel medical insurance
- 💸Airhelp – Cancelled flight compensation (it’s free!)
- 💱Wise – Easiest low-fee way to transfer currency
Affiliate disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. These are links to services I personally recommend using for your trip to Valencia. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission from these brands if you choose to make a purchase. Your support helps me pay my bills and eat more bunyols!