Heading to the sunny Mediterranean city? Here are the top 50 things to do in Valencia so you can make the most out of your trip.
Valencia is a city full of history, culinary treats, and modern wonders. Whether you’re the type of person that loves getting lost in museums or you prefer speedrunning your weekend trip – there are plenty of things to see in Valencia that makes it worth visiting.
So let’s go over the top 50 things to do in Valencia as a tourist. Check out the table of contents to jump to the section you’re interested in.
Table of contents
Short on time while you’re in the city? If you only have a weekend (or less) to take in the essence of the city – here are the 5 most important things to do in Valencia, Spain.
1. Explore the Old Town
Without a doubt, the most important thing to do in Valencia is to stroll through the historic city center.
The center itself isn’t enormous, so you can easily walk through the entirety in a day. Make sure you check out all the major landmarks, take time to admire the facades, and don’t be afraid to explore the back alleys.
Even if you don’t have time to go inside, here are the most important landmarks to see in La Ciutat Vella:
- La Seu de València (The Valencia Cathedral)
- La Basílica
- La Plaça de la Mare de Déu (The Virgin’s Square)
- El Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües (A rococo palace)
- La Plaça de l’Ajuntament (The Town Hall Square)
- La Plaça de la Reina (The Queen’s Square)
- Les Torres dels Serrans (Serrans Towers)
- Les Torres de Quart (Quart Towers)
- El Mercat Central (Central Market)
- La Llotja (The Silk Trade Market)
2. Visit the City of Arts and Sciences
One of the most important things Valencia is known for is The City of Arts and Sciences.
It is an enormous complex situated at the end of the old riverbed and features modern architectural wonders unlike anything else in the world.
Even if you don’t care about museums – you have to explore the area. See an opera house shaped like a whale engulfing a ship and three enormous buildings that – from the perfect angle – look exactly like a fish reflected in the water.
And of course – all of them are made out of literally millions of hand-placed mosaic tiles (trencadís).
If you’re looking for things to do in Valencia, you absolutely cannot skip on the City of Arts and Sciences. Come here to see:
- El Palau de la Reina Sofia (The opera house)
- L’Hemisfèric (An IMAX theater)
- El Museu de les Ciències (The science museum)
- L’Umbracle (A large garden area)
- L’Oceanogràfic (Europe’s largest aquarium)
3. Discover La Llotja
Another of my personal favorite locations to visit in Valencia is the Silk Exchange. La Llotja de la Seda (in Valencian, also known as La Lonja in Spanish) is the symbol of the Valencian Golden Age.
It was built in 1482 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The Silk Exchange was the seat of commerce for the Kingdom of Valencia during the 15th century and is remarkably well-preserved.
The Gothic-style palace was used as both a marketplace and an economic court. The market area is known for its twisting columns and enormous spaces (making it a great place for selfies). And the upper court area is worth visiting for the gold-adorned ceilings that really make it clear just how important Valencia was during the 15th century as the motor of Mediterranean commerce.
4. Marvel at the Central Market
Directly across from La Llotja is the Mercat Central. This is a more modern building and is one of the largest covered markets in all of Europe.
The unique architecture is peppered with Valencian motifs – oranges, coastal themes, blue and white tiles, and the symbols for the Crown of Aragon.
Check out the inside for both the impressive architecture AND all of the local produce. From farm-to-table veggies to a bar run by the Michelin-starred chef Ricard Camarena – this is one of the best things to do in Valencia.
Note: The central market is only open in the mornings from Monday to Saturday. Make sure to check out the inside before it closes at 3pm.
5. Take a pilgrimage to see the Holy Grail
Head over to the Cathedral of Valencia to take a look at the one and only (allegedly) Holy Chalice. La Catedral de València is home to one of the most important religious relics that even Rome would be jealous of.
I can’t vouch for its authenticity (although there are some interesting studies and Valencians will swear this is definitely the real one), but it’s still worth the visit regardless – especially as you’ll want to see the rest of the Cathedral and the museum inside.
Monumental things to do in Valencia
Of course visiting the Cathedral is going to be one of the most important things to do in Valencia – but that doesn’t make it the only place worth touring.
Let’s go over some of the best churches and monuments in Valencia.
6. Climb up the Micalet
If you’re already planning on visiting the Cathedral, don’t forget to climb up the Micalet Tower before you go.
The Gothic tower gets its name from the giant bell held inside – the Miquel. So the Micalet (or Miguelete in Spanish) means Little Michael.
The climb up is not included in entry ticket for the cathedral – but the price is only a couple euros and it’s definitely worth it for the views.
You’ll get a bit of a workout going up more than 200 spiraling stairs. So it definitely won’t be accessible to everyone, though the view more than makes up for the effort if you’re able.
7. Marvel at Valencia’s Sistine Chapel
While not as famous as the cathedral, another must-visit building is l’Església de Sant Nicolau – Saint Nicholas’ Church (or La Iglesia de San Nicolás in Spanish).
It’s known as the Valencian Sistine Chapel for the incredible amount of detailed paintings throughout every inch of the interior. It’s not nearly as big as the cathedral, but it will feel like nothing else you’ll see in the city.
Note: The church is closed to tourists on Mondays, so check here for updates on the visiting hours.
8. See the Dosaigües Palace
El Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües (in Valencian, also known as the Palacio de Dos Aguas) is a nobleman’s palace in the heart of the city.
In my opinion, it’s definitely worth a visit to see the outside. It was originally built in a Gothic style in the 15th century, and later underwent a radical remodel in the 18th century, completely redoing the facade to a Baroque style.
The entrance is the most impressive section, being completely covered in Greek and Valencian-themed marble statues.
You can visit the interior, as well. It currently houses the National Ceramic Museum. I typically suggest people skip the inside tour unless you’re going to be in Valencia for several weeks or if you’re really interested in ceramics.
9. Get the view from the Serrans Towers
The historic city center is held within the bounds of the two towers – The Serrans Towers and the Quart Towers.
The Serrans Towers face the Turia Gardens and is one of the best places to get a bird’s eye view of the city. You can climb up the towers for just a few euros and be able to see the entire city center from the top.
Built in 1398, these towers connected to the old fortified walls and served as the main entrance point into the city. Also known as Las Torres de Serranos in Spanish, it’s the site of the official opening act of Les Falles each year.
So whether you’re interested in its history or you just want to get a great view of the city – this is the place to go.
Pro Tip: If you go on a Sunday, the entrance is usually free!
10. Check out a templar church
The last and oldest church on the list – l’Església de Sant Joan de l’Hospital (San Juan del Hospital in Spanish).
This is a templar church and the first one built after the Christians reconquered the city of Valencia in 1238.
It’s much more simplistic in design, but with a grandiose interior that really leaves you wondering how in the world people were able to build something so monumental 800 years ago.
And if spooky tours are your thing – you can also do a Ghost Tour of its medieval cemetery.
Experience the Food Scene
Whenever I travel – culinary tourism is always at the top of my list. So if you’re a foodie like me, here are the best food-related things to do in Valencia.
11. Enjoy Paella by the Beach
Paella is likely the most famous dish that Valencia has shared with the rest of the world. The traditional version of this lunchtime special has rice, chicken, rabbit, and some vegetables – all cooked in a flavorful broth with saffron.
You know it’s cooked perfectly when you have a thin layer of socarrat – the ever-so-slightly burnt rice at the bottom of the pan.
I usually tell people to avoid the city center for paella (there are just too many tourist traps). Instead, the easiest thing to do is to head over to the beach and enjoy some paella for lunch. La Pepica and Casa Carmela are some of the best-rated spots for paella near Malva-rosa.
And if you want a truly-world class experience – go on a bike ride to El Palmar in the morning. Then spend some time at the beach and eat at Bon Aire for the extraordinary Best Paella in The World Award in 2018.
12.Grab at Orxata at Daniel’s
If you’re coming in the summer months – one of the best things to do in Valencia is enjoy an orxata at Daniel’s.
It’s a traditional sweet drink made with tiger nuts and is either served as a slushie (granissada/granizada) or fully liquid. Personally I’m a fan of the slushie version.
You can think of it as a dessert almond milk – but the taste is completely different. Admittedly, it’s something that people either love or hate. So give it a try – and make sure to order some Fartons while you’re there!
My recommendation: head over to the Daniel’s in the Mercat de Colón during the evening to experience a true local’s berenar (evening snack).
13. Enjoy an esmorzaret
A hallmark of the Valencian gastronomy is the esmorzar. Traditionally, it was a hearty snack that the working class would eat in the mid-morning to help carry them over until lunchtime.
The most common esmorzar would consist of a small appetizer (like a bowl of olives), an enormous entrepà (sub-style sandwich), and a small beer.
And to finish it off – people will often order a cremaet (a mix of espresso, aromatics, and rum or brandy). The alcohol is burnt off (cremar means to burn), so it’s not as dangerous as it sounds.
What you’re really looking for in a classic esmorzaret is a sandwich as long as your torso, very affordable prices, and great company to enjoy the morning with.
Here’s a list of the most popular places for an esmorzaret:
- Central Bar by Ricard Camarena
- El Trinquet de Pelayo
- Bar Serrería
- La Pascuala (don’t go on the weekend – it’s more expensive)
14. Go for Baroque at Cafe de Las Horas
Let’s skip tradition for a moment and head over to one of the most unique places in Valencia.
Cafe de Las Horas is a coffee shop/bar that’s well known for it’s mind-blowing design. You’ll feel like you’ve been whipped back to the 1800s and are at a royal palace.
The Baroque interior design make for a one-of-a-kind treat in the heart of the city. Plus, all the drinks are absolutely delicious so you don’t have to worry about falling into a tourist trap.
15. Try churros at Valor
If you want to bury your sweet tooth into some classic treats, head over to Valor for some of the best chocolate of your life.
Valencians typically enjoy churros with a thick hot chocolate during Les Falles. So even though it’s a Sunday-morning treat in places like Seville, in Valencia it’s only common during March.
But that shouldn’t stop you from heading over to the Plaça de la Reina and enjoying traditional churros con chocolate any time of the year.
16. Enjoy traditional bunyols at Santa Catalina
Something that’s more unique to Valencia are bunyols. These are a fried pumpkin dough that is also usually enjoyed with hot chocolate.
These tasty treats are also common during Les Falles, but they’re definitely worth trying any time of the year. And with Santa Catalina being a traditional café that’s been open for almost 200 years – this is one spot you can’t miss.
17. Try coques at Zalamero
A relatively new restaurant in one of the most hip parts of town – Zalamero is the perfect spot to try traditional Valencian coques with a modern twist.
Similar to a flatbread, coques (or cocas in Spanish) come with a variety of toppings depending on the town. My personal favorite are coques de ceba caramelitzada (carmelized onion).
Head over to Zalamero for dinner and enjoy a taste of this lesser-known Valencian cuisine.
Unfortunately our vacations can’t just be about the food. We have to work up an appetite, too!
So whether you just need to stretch your legs or you’re a big nature lover – here are some of the best outdoor activities in Valencia.
18. Stroll Through Turia Gardens
The Turia Gardens cuts the entire city in half, turning the old riverbed into an enormous green space.
It’s filled with soccer fields, picnic areas, dog parks, a jogging lane, two bike lines, and plenty of other spaces. This makes it the perfect place to take in a deep breath and enjoy the greenery – even though you won’t be far from the city.
If you’re a fan of jogging – this is the place to get that adrenaline going while you’re on vacation.
19. Visit L’Albufera Natural Park
L’Albufera is a freshwater lake almost touching the Mediterranean. It’s a protected ecological zone, home to many of the native flora and fauna in Valencia.
It might be a bit out of the way. But if you’re spending several days in the city, it’s a great way to get to know one of the most important pieces of Valencian culture.
You can take boat rides to explore the lake, as well as eat lunch at one of the traditional barraques – the triangular homes that belonged to farmers.
20. Relax in Montforte Gardens
Right outside the city center, you’ll be able to see hidden gem of the Gardens of Montforte. They are a relatively small green space, but they are gorgeously curated and are a great place to visit if you’re a fan of palatial gardens.
21. Explore the Capçalera Park
Another one of the best things to do in Valencia with kids – the Parc Capçalera (in Valencian, known as Parque Cabecera in Spanish. Headed towards the northwest side of the city, this is a huge green space where you can play, enjoy a picnic, and disconnect.
This section of the old riverbed continues to have some streams and ponds, making this a great park to go for an evening or early morning walk.
It’s also right next to the Valencia Zoo (El Bioparc). So you could always make the most of your trip out to this end of the city.
22. Head over to the Bioparc
Another one of the top things to do in Valencia is enjoying the Bioparc. This expansive zoo and wildlife reserve is home to plenty of exotic animals and is a great educational spot to take your kids.
The zoo will usually open at 10:00 and has pre-scheduled events throughout the day. Make sure to check out the official website in case there are any exhibitions you feel are a must-see.
23. Go through the Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens are right outside the center of the city in the Extramurs district. It’s an enormous garden space that is perfect for anyone looking to see some of the plants indigenous to the area and get away from the downtown chaos for a bit.
If you’re a student at the University of València – make sure to bring your Student ID. You can get a 50% discount on the entrance price!
24. Head Over to the Beach
Naturally, if you’re coming to the Mediterranean – you’re ready to see some crystal blue waters.
While the beach in the city of Valencia isn’t the best one in the area, it’s still the perfect place to work on your tan, cool off, and enjoy the views.
There’s also a large boardwalk area filled with restaurants and shops. You can easily spend the entire morning at the Malva-rosa beach – and then go grab some food whenever you need some shade.
Just remember that the beach is probably the farthest destination from downtown. Plan to need 30-40 minutes to get there by bus or metro.
25. See the royal gardens
Another great green space that’s worth visiting (especially in the summer) is the royal gardens – Jardíns del Real, also known as Vivers (or Viveros in Spanish).
This giant park is what is left over of the Valencian palace grounds. The palace itself was completely destroyed, but the royal gardens still remain as a public park to this day.
In the summer, there are concerts every weekend, so it’s another fun thing to do in Valencia if you want to get away from the traditional tourist spots.
No trip is complete without spending some time in museums.
So whether you’re looking to become a little more cultured or you’re just in it for the air conditioning, here are some of the best museums to visit in Valencia.
26. See the Falles Museum
Les Falles Museum is always at the top of my list for travelers coming to Valencia. It’s a great way to get an inside look at the UNESCO-protected festivity.
Inside the museum, you’ll see all of the ninots indultats (the saved pieces) from the Falles that have been burned since the 1920s. As you walk through the museum, you’ll notice how the artistic style and social criticisms changed throughout the century.
At the end of the day, it’s like looking into a time capsule to take a sneak peek at Valencian society for the last 100 years. So whether you’re coming to Valencia for Falles or not – this is the perfect place to learn more about the culture.
Pro tip: the museum is located right next to the City of Arts and Sciences. I’d suggest coming here first, then exploring the surrounding area.
27. Go to the Fine Arts Museum
Another one of the best things to do in Valencia is head over to the Museu de Belles Arts. The gallery is located in the St. Pius V Palace and is an easy landmark to spot from the river.
It features famous works from El Greco, Goya, and a self-portrait by Veláquez.
So if you’re a fan of art museums – don’t skip this one.
28. Discover ancient Valencia at L’Almoina
Located right behind the Cathedral, l’Almoina is an archeological site and museum that highlights the evolution of Valencia over the years.
It’s another one of the best things to do in Valencia since you’ll be able to see how the city changed hands over the last 2,000 years.
From seeing the remains of the ancient Roman street that passed through the city center to checking out Arabic pottery from the 700 years they ruled the peninsula – there’s definitely a lot of history to be seen.
29. Explore the Arabic bath house
Another hidden gem for the museums in Valencia is the Arabic bath house – Els Banys de l’Almirall.
They are a small, but well-preserved bath house built in the 8th century. Unlike cities in southern Spain, Valencia only has a few remaining spots where you clearly see the Islamic influence on the architecture and culture.
That’s why this is such an interesting and unique space to see that you won’t find anywhere else in Valencia.
Unique Things to Do in Valencia
Want to see something besides greenery and churches? Then you’re in luck.
The city is full of surprises, so let’s look at some unique activities you might not have thought of. Valencia – things to do that everyone will love:
30. Discover El Carme’s Street Art
El Carme (or unofficially El Carmen in Spanish) is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. Together with other areas of the historic center, El Carme has become famous with tourists for the mind-blowing street art.
If you’re looking for interesting things to do in Valencia, then this is perfect for anyone with an artistic eye.
Here are just a few streets with some interesting urban art:
- Carrer dels Colors
- La Plaça del Carme
- Na Jordana
- Carrer de la Beneficència
- Carrer de Calatrava
- Carrer de Dalt
31. Go on a plazas tour
Feeling adventurous and want to see some of the most emblematic sections on your own?
Then head out to the city center and go on a DIY tour of the different plazas. There are several Instagram-worth squares fairly close to each other, so it’s easy to head around and see them all.
Here’s my recommended route:
- Plaça de la Reina
- Plaça de la Mare de Déu
- Plaça de l’Arquebisbe
- Plaça del Patriarca
- Plaça Redona
- Plaça de l’Ajuntament
- Plaça del Mercat
It’s one of the best things to do in Valencia for free. And this is the route I usually take when I’m going on walks in the evening!
If you’ve seen everything during the daytime, I recommend this as a relaxing after-dinner walk. You’ll also walk past some great stores and ice cream shops along the way, so this is a great idea to relax and unwind (while still getting some pictures in)!
32. See the giant Gulliver
If you head down the Turia Gardens, almost reaching the City of Arts and Sciences, you’ll come across one of the best things for kids to do in Valencia.
An enormous playground in the shape of the protagonist from Gulliver’s Travels.
Kids will pretend to be the Lilliputians from the novel and will be completely dwarfed in comparison. His arms act as giant structures, his beard can be climbed through, and each strand of hair is another slide to go down.
It’s definitely one of the most unique sights to see – and a must for kids.
33. See the giant “rocks”
One of the lesser known museums in Valencia is the Casa Museu de les Roques.
These are enormous decorative floats that are taken out during the Corpus Christi festivity every year. But you can go visit them at the museum right next to the Serrans Towers.
The carts are called “Rocks” or and some of them date back to the 14th century. They all feature symbolic or mythological creatures – eagles, dragons, bats, giants, saints, and kings.
It’s a tiny museum, but if you’re looking for something different to do in Valencia – this is a great cultural spot to visit.
34. See the thinnest building in Europe
La Estrecha (The skinny one) is an aptly-named sight, as it’s currently the thinnest building in all of Europe, measuring only 107cm wide.
Right behind the Santa Caterina church in the Plaça de Lope de Vega, this unique building is the perfect place to take a quick picture as you’re walking around.
While it’s no longer that skinny on the inside, the facade has been maintained, so you can see just exactly how tiny this house would have been.
35. Take a selfie on the city hall balcony
If you want unique things to do in Valencia that nobody else knows about – this is the perfect opportunity.
Not many people know that you can actually visit the Valencia City Hall. And the best part – it’s completely free.
You can go through the city hall to see some old palace rooms, enormous glass chandeliers, active parliamentary rooms, and the primary balcony. Which means you go can up and take a selfie overlooking one of the best squares in the city.
The city hall also houses the original banner and suit of armor used by King Jaume I to reconquer the city of Valencia in 1238 – but it isn’t always on display.
Make sure you head over and visit in the morning, as visiting hours are Monday-Friday from 8am to 3pm.
Festivals & Nightlife
Coming to Valencia for more than just museums and food?
Here are a few ideas to come enjoy exciting festivals, hang out at the coolest parts of town with friends, and best places to party in Valencia.
36. Relax in Russafa
Russafa (in Valencian, Ruzafa in Spanish) is a bit farther away from the city center, but it is absolutely one of the best places in Valencia to drink and relax with friends.
The area is filled with bars, new restaurants, karaoke spots, and constantly-changing events. No matter where you go in the neighborhood, you’re bound to find a great atmosphere and crowds of people relaxing with friends.
So whether you’re looking for a top-notch restaurant, a pub, or an all-night-long party – Russafa won’t disappoint.
37. Experience Les Falles
If you have the opportunity to come to Valencia in March – take it.
Les Falles is a one-of-a-kind festival that takes over the city from the 15th to the 19th. Constant fireworks, towering works of art, parades of flowers, and outdoor parties fill every inch of the city.
It’s one of the biggest festivals in the entirety of Spain and is something you can’t miss out on.
38. Jump over a bonfire
If you’re coming to Valencia in late June, then make sure to take part in the Sant Joan festival.
It’s an exciting holiday that celebrates St. John and the beginning of summer. Almost every town in the Valencian territory has its own way to celebrate the festivity, but in the capital, they celebrate by jumping over bonfires at the beach.
You’ll see friends head down the La Malva-rosa, light up a bonfire, and spend the night drinking, jumping over the fires, and even going for a nighttime dip in the sea.
It’s a fun way to get a taste of some traditional Valencian holidays and guarantee you’re having a memorable trip.
39. Check out the festivals
Thanks to being one of the largest cities in the peninsula, Valencia is home to a ton of music festivals – especially in the summer.
So if you’re planning on visiting during the summer, make sure to check if there are any concerts at La Marina, Vivers, or the City of Arts and Sciences.
La Marina tends to have concerts from international DJs at night, and more relaxed music and beer festivals during the day. Vivers has concerts almost every weekend, and the City of Arts and Sciences has both free and paid concerts overtop the water.
So if you want to do some musical tourism – this is one of the best things to do in Valencia.
40. Enjoy the nightlife
If you’re on vacation, you might want to take advantage of the opportunity and enjoy the city’s nightlife.
It might not be as big of a party city as something like Ibiza or Berlin, but you won’t have any trouble at all staying out until 7am on the weekend.
Here are some of the best nightclubs in Valencia:
- Marina Beach
- Akuarela Playa
- Mya y Umbracle
- La3 Club
- Deseo 54
- Pica Club
- Latex Valencia
Note: Many nightclubs don’t start letting people in until 1 am, so if you’re looking to hit the hay early, you’ll want to check out normal pubs and bars rather than discotecas.
Take a Tour
Ready to enjoy the city – but don’t feel like handling it all on your own?
Going on a tour is a great way to get an inside look at the city without missing anything. So whether you want to do a classic tour of the historic center or you’re looking for something more unique, check out all of these options:
41. Snag a “Free” Tour
A trend that’s common in a lot of Europe is the emergence of free tours.
But before you get too excited by booking your spot – it’s not exactly free.
Instead, the tour agency doesn’t earn any direct sales from online tickets. Rather you provide a tip to the tour guide at the end.
You can go to the official page to book a free tour in Valencia.
I’ve gone on several and – in my experience – it’s a hit or miss. I had a lot of fun on some, but had others that just went on for too long.
At the end of the day, it’s all up to the guide that you get. Which is exactly why you need to make sure you bring cash (in euros) to pay your guide at the end.
A safe bet is around 5-10€ per person per hour. If you really enjoy the tour or if you notice it’s a smaller group, I’d recommend at least 10 euros.
And remember – don’t be that guy that leaves the tour 5 minutes before it’s over …
42. Go for a day trip
If you have plenty of time to enjoy Valencia, why not go on a day trip to see things outside the city?
There are so many towns and natural wonders that are only about an hour outside of the city, so it’s easy to spend some time exploring the area. Xàtiva, Peníscola, Gandia, Chulilla, Sagunt, are all small towns that are worth visiting.
43. Find a tour that works for you
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Valencia, don’t feel like you need to stick to the beach and the city center.
Because there are tons of tours that can get you away from the crowds and into some of the most overlooked areas.
From wine tours to catamaran cruises, don’t be afraid to try something new while you’re here.
44. Enjoy a Bike Ride
One of my personal favorite aspects of Valencia – the city is completely flat.
This means that it is super easy to go on a bike ride while you’re here. The city has plenty of dedicated bike lanes and several different ways to rent one while you’re here.
So whether you want to go on a bike tour or simply rent a day bike and pedal down to the beach, it’s one of the top things to do in Valencia.
Just a pro tip: it is difficult to navigate your bike through the historic city center, as there tend to be big crowds and narrow streets and they don’t have priority over pedestrians. I recommend renting a bike to get to other parts of the city like the beach or the City of Arts and Sciences.
Discover Valencia’s Hidden Secrets
If you’re still looking for more special things to do in Valencia, here are a few ideas that most people are missing out on.
They might not be as well-known or touristy as the Cathedral – but they are absolutely worth visiting.
45. See the hidden gem at L’Estació del Nord
L’Estació del Nord is a modernist style building with Valencian motifs covering every aspect of its architecture.
While it serves as one of the most important train stations, it’s also an interesting cultural destination and definitely a place worth checking out.
If you head into the station and immediately go to the far right (near where you can buy tickets). Here, you’ll see a room with a glass wall.
Inside that wall is a room used for exhibitions. But what’s important is the mosaic murals that cover every inch of the walls in the room.
This artwork represents the most important cultural elements of Valencian agriculture. From field workers in traditional dress to traditional triangular homes (les barraques) – this is a gorgeous inside look at the culture.
Because even though Valencia is now the 3rd largest city in Spain, it continues to be one of the most important agrarian communities in Europe. And the artwork in the Estació del Nord does an excellent job at highlighting its beauty.
46. Travel back in time to the Portal de la Valldigna
If you’re wandering through the small back alleys of El Carme and enjoying its urban street art, make sure you stop to admire the Portal de la Valldigna.
This gate used to be what separated the Christian and Islamic sections of the city in the 1400s. Since Valencia is a city that has been conquered and reconquered several times throughout history, you can see different sections evolved over time.
It’s a small, but historically important gate that’s definitely worth checking out.
47. See the secret “dragon”
Head over to the Plaça de la Patriarca and go inside the main church.
As soon as you walk in, look to your left, and you’ll see the church’s “dragon”.
The legend goes that the dragon would hunt children in the Túria river. But one day a young boy slayed the dragon by wearing a distracting suit made of mirrors.
But the most likely scenario is that the crocodile corpse was a gift to the city by the Viceroy of Perú in the 1600s.
In either case, it was a great way for mothers to scare their kids by telling the story that the dragon would eat any of the children that dared to speak during the Corpus Christi celebration.
“Si parleu, a la panxa vindreu” (If you speak, into the belly you’ll go).
Regardless of what the true story is, it makes for one of the most interesting things to see in Valencia.
48. Become a pro at Mestalla
If you’re a soccer fan (football for my European friends) – then you can’t miss out on a trip to the Mestalla Stadium.
It’s not too far from the city center and there are games throughout almost the whole year. But even if there’s no game during your visit – dedicated fans can still check out the museum.
So make sure to head over to the stadium if you’re looking to do something different.
If you’re the type of person that is planning on coming to Valencia with an empty suitcase – just to fill it up, then this is the section for you.
Here are some of the best places for shopping in Valencia:
49. Go shopping at Colón
Colón is by far the biggest shopping street in the city. Here you’ll walk down this large avenue and have all of the most popular stores on either side.
From Zara and H&M to Lush and El Corte Inglés (kind of like a Spanish Macy’s) – this street has everything you need.
So if shopping is more up your alley, then coming here is one of the best things to do in Valencia.
50. Check out the Mercat de Colom
Calle Colón is the main avenue for the brands that are household names. But if you’re looking for more boutique shops or more quiet luxury brands, you’ll want to head toward the Mercat de Colom (or Mercado de Colón in Spanish).
The market itself is a large open-air market filled with restaurants and small artisanal stands. It’s also one of the best landmarks in Valencia. So this is one of the best places to relax, get a drink, or even have an orxata at Daniel’s.
But all the streets that lead up to the market are filled with small boutique shops that are worth checking out. So if you’re looking to do some shopping for things that aren’t touristy souvenirs – this is the place to go.
All the things to do in Valencia
Valencia is a city full of culture, impressive landmarks, and plenty of green spaces to enjoy. Whether you’re here for just 3 days or you plan on staying here long-term, you’ll never run out of exciting things to do.
Use this guide to help plan your trip to the sunny Mediterranean city and don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me a message with any questions!
The best thing to do in Valencia for free is to walk around the city center and check out all the major monuments, buildings, and town squares. Everything is easily accessible on foot and is great to see any time of the day.
2-4 days in Valencia is best, depending on your travel style. You can easily see all of the most important sites from the outside in one weekend.
For culture – the Museu Faller is the best museum.
For kids – the Museu de les Ciències or the Oceanogràfic is the best.
For art – the Museu de Belles Arts is an award-winning museum.
What is the best area to stay in Valencia?
The best neighborhoods to stay in are Ciutat Vella and Russafa. I recommend NOT staying near the City of Arts and Sciences or the beach, as they’re inconveniently far away.
Here are things you can’t miss in Valencia:
La Seu de València (The Cathedral)
La Llotja (Silk Exchange)
La Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències
El Mercat Central
Les Torres dels Serrans (Serrans Towers)
La Plaça de l’Ajuntament (Town Hall Square)
There are lots of tours that offer an inside look into the city. I usually recommend a free tour for sightseeing or a guided bike tour for something active. Don’t forget to try food and wine tours or to go on a day trip if you have extra time in the city.