Only coming for the weekend? Valencia has tons of landmarks to visit and culture to take in. So grab your bag and get ready for a fast-paced adventure with this Valencia weekend itinerary!
Plan a Perfect Weekend (Valencia, Spain)
With so many things to do in this sunny Mediterranean city, it’s hard to decide how to spend the weekend. Valencia is full of ancient history, futuristic wonders, and an enormous food scene.
So if you’re only able to spend a weekend in Valencia, then we’ll make sure you’re getting a taste of everything it has to offer.
This Valencia weekend itinerary assumes you’ll get to the city on Friday evening, and you’ll leave on Sunday morning-ish. That gives you a realistic way to spend the weekend. Valencia is well-connected through its airport and train stations, so you’ll be able to follow this itinerary (and still make it home at a decent time).
So whether you’re just making a Valencia weekend trip on your travels through Spain or you’re taking a quick RyanAir flight for a spontaneous adventure – this Valencia weekend itinerary will make sure you get a nice introduction to the city.
Let’s get this adventure started!
If you only want to spend the weekend in Valencia, then chances are you’ll get here on Friday evening. Whether you’re traveling by plane or train, the first thing you’ll need to do is check in to your hotel.
So since you won’t have a ton of time on Friday evening, we’ll plan to see the most accessible landmarks in the Ciutat Vella (historic center).
Note: if you do get here earlier, check out the end of the article for extra things to do.
Also referred to as La Catedral de València, this 13th-century church is one of the most impressive sights in the city.
With a unique Valencian Gothic architecture, the cathedral is an impressive landmark that dots the landscape. Connected to the cathedral is the famous bell tower, El Micalet.
I recommend making this your first stop during your weekend in Valencia since visiting hours close at 6:30 pm. Don’t worry if you can’t get here earlier, you can just squeeze it in on Saturday morning instead. Because you’ll want to make time to see the humbling altar, the Uncorrupted Arm of Saint Vincent and – last but not least – the Holy Grail on display.
So you’ll definitely want to check out the inside. The entrance ticket also comes with an audio guide to help you make the most of your visit.
Note: There are visiting hours on Sundays, but not from December to February.
Plaça de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats
The main entrance to the cathedral through the Baroque gate is on the Plaça de la Reina. However, there are two squares on the other sides that are worth visiting. The smaller Plaça de l’Arquebisbe hosts the Archbishop’s Palace and faces the Romanic door to the cathedral.
Then, the Plaça de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats (The Virgin’s Square) is one of the most emblematic spots in the city. With views to the basilica, Gothic door to the cathedral, the executive seat of government, and an enormous fountain representing the Turia River – this is one of the most important stops this weekend.
Valencia is full of quaint squares with a lovely ambiance. But this square is monumental, with some of the most stunning buildings in the city.
That’s why no Valencia weekend itinerary would be complete without spending some time to admire it.
Plaça de l’Ajuntament
Less than 10 minutes away, you can find the city’s largest square. La Plaça de l’Ajuntament is another monumental sight to check out.
The City Hall Square is enormous and is always filled with a lively ambiance. Head over to see the exterior of this Neoclassical Palace. Then turn around to admire the gorgeous Correos building.
(Seriously, it’s the fanciest post office you’ll ever see…)
Depending on the weekend, Valencia often hosts festivals and big events at the City Hall Square. So don’t be surprised to see a very lively scene!
Note: The Valencia City Hall has a visitable museum, but only M-F from 8-3. So if you get to the city earlier, definitely check it out. It’s free and has a jaw-dropping interior with plenty of 800-year-old artifacts.
Estació del Nord
Keeping up on the same path for our Valencia weekend itinerary, the next stop is just a block away. Visible from the City Hall, you can see the Estació del Nord. This modernist train station is picture-worthy on its own, but there’s a hidden gem not many people know about lying within.
Head up to the front entrance and walk into the main doors on the right. Turn right and go over to a room with a glass door entrance.
This room often holds temporary art exhibitions. But on this Valencia weekend itinerary, we’re actually interested in the walls. Because the entire room is actually made up of an enormous mural representing Valencian life and culture.
Created using a special trencadís style, the mosaics show how deeply connected the city and its people are to agriculture. With orange and marine-life motifs, it’s a must-see piece of art that not too many people know about!
So while it might seem like you don’t have enough time this weekend, Valencia has tons of hidden gems that are worth checking out.
And luckily, this one just happens to be on our way to our last Friday destination.
What used to be a separate town has been transformed into one of the trendiest places to spend your weekend. Valencia has lots of fun neighborhoods to check out, and Russafa is always a fan favorite.
Head over to Russafa (in Valencian, but unofficially spelled Ruzafa in Spanish) to admire this exciting neighborhood. You get an eclectic mix of small-town charm and lively big-city nightlife.
With the brightly colored houses and the busy food scene, Russafa is definitely one of the most memorable neighborhoods to check out this weekend.
Especially since Valencia also has a huge culinary tradition, and Russafa holds a lot of the best restaurants in the city.
So get lost in its streets, then when you’re ready – enjoy a mouth-watering dinner in Russafa. And then if you’re up for it, stay in the area to take advantage of the nightlife.
But remember, there’s a lot to do on this Valencia weekend itinerary. So make sure to focus some of your energy on tomorrow!
To make sure you’re making the most out of your weekend in Valencia, I planned this itinerary in a specific order. So today, we’re using every precious minute Saturday can give us!
There are lots of impressive sights in the city, and you’ll be seeing some of the most famous parts today. So wake up, grab yourself a coffee, and head off to take advantage of your Saturday in Valencia!
Here’s the thing – most parts of this Valencia weekend itinerary are flexible. In other words, you could change the order and it’s not a big deal (although it might be less efficient).
But you HAVE to see the Mercat Central first thing on Saturday morning. That’s because this is the only time it’s open during the weekend.
And considering the Valencia Central Market is the largest closed market in Europe, you won’t want to miss it.
Local, fresh produce. Tasty artisanal treats. All the souvenirs you could possibly need.
Sometimes referred to as El Mercado Central in Spanish, the market is also famous for housing a tapas bar by the Michelin-star chef Ricard Camarena.
El Mercat Central is both a stunning example of Valencia Art Nouveau architecture and the functional heart of the city. You’ll even find me here just about every weekend in Valencia.
So take a look at all the mouth-watering food stands. And consider buying yourself a snack, because next up on our Valencia weekend itinerary is the beach!
Once you’re done wishing you could spend the entire day surrounded by all the local foods (at least that’s what I do), then it’s time to head down to the Valencia beach.
La Malva-rosa is one of the large sandy beaches in Valencia. With a lively boardwalk and a coastline that goes on for miles – this is the perfect spot to get a quick tan.
I don’t recommend spending your entire weekend in Valencia at the beach. And this is coming from someone who has always lived near the coast.
The Valencia beach is definitely worth checking out, but it’s not the most impressive part of the city. And if you’re able to spend more time in Valencia, there are nicer beaches nearby.
Although, there is an important reason to come to the beach. And it’s like I said. In this Valencia weekend itinerary, we’re juicing out as much adventure from this Saturday as we can. So now we’re going to check out:
Paella is the Valencian national dish. Perfectly cooked rice in a rich saffron broth with the perfect toasted layer of socarrat at the bottom.
This dish alone is enough of a reason to visit on the weekend. Valencia, of course, has tons of paella restaurants. But some of your best options are found at the beach.
My recommendation – La Pepica. They serve authentic paellas the way Valencians intended.
I.e., only serving it for lunch, not mixing land and sea, and – for the love of the food gods – not putting chorizo or onion in a paella.
So head over to La Pepica for lunch (around 1:30 to 3:00), melt into a gastronomic heaven, and eat to your heart’s content.
If you’re coming in the summer, the afternoon sun can be unforgiving. So I suggest following this plan. This way, we’re keeping you out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day. To make sure you’re actually enjoying your weekend in Valencia, I suggest sticking to this order.
So now that you’ve tasted a real paella, either take a Cabify or bus line 95 to get to our next destination.
This is absolutely one of my favorite spots for a Valencia weekend itinerary because it’s an absolute culture trip! Not many people know about this small museum. But it’s the perfect way to dive deep into Valencia’s biggest holiday – Les Falles.
Every year, the city creates hundreds of gigantic artworks, some with a height of 20ft or more – only to burn everything to the ground on the final night of the festival. Everything except for one small piece – the ninot indultat, which is pardoned.
And the Museu Faller stores all the ninots indultats from the last century. So this gives you a quick inside look at this essential piece of Valencian culture.
Plus, the artworks are always satirical or represent an aspect of society. This means that you’ll get a visualization of how Valencian society has evolved over the last century.
So if you can’t come for les Falles, then the Museu Faller is a great way to get to know the festival. Which means even if you can only visit the city for the weekend, Valencia still has ways to let you appreciate this UNESCO World Heritage Festivity.
La Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències
After seeing the beach and checking out a UNESCO tradition, it’s time to leap into the future.
The ultra-modern City of Arts and Sciences was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. With maritime and Valencian motifs, these eclectic buildings are unlike anything else in the city.
You can spend plenty of time exploring La Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències. With an enormous interactive science museum and Europe’s largest aquarium – there’s a lot to do.
Since you only have a weekend in Valencia, my recommendation is to just check out the exterior of the buildings. They’re enormous, unique, and very much selfie-worthy.
And unless you’re coming with kids, the science museum isn’t worth visiting with so little time. However, it absolutely is worth spending some time walking around the outdoor area lined with trees, pools, and the emblematic Valencian trencadís.
So here are the main buildings at the City of Arts and Sciences:
- El Palau de la Música Reina Sofia – The opera house
- L’Hemisfèric – An IMAX theater
- L’Umbracle – A vine-covered garden area
- El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe – The science museum
- L’Agora – A business venue
- L’Oceanogràfic – The aquarium
Jardins del Túria
Grandiose architecture isn’t the only thing you’ll be seeing this weekend. Valencia also holds plenty of lively green spaces.
And the most remarkable ones are absolutely the Jardins del Túria – the Turia Gardens.
Spanning more than the length of the entire city, these gardens are found within the old riverbed. With parks, active sports fields, and picnic areas – this is the perfect place to get a breath of fresh air on your weekend in Valencia.
Since the City of Arts and Sciences is found at the end of the gardens, you can take a relaxing walk back to our final destination.
The walk through the gardens will also take you past some more landmarks, like the Parc Gulliver and the Palau de la Música de València (The Valencian Music Palace).
So that’s why we’re winding down our Saturday evening on this Valencia weekend itinerary with a relaxing stroll through the impressive Turia Gardens.
Walking back through the Gardens also takes us to our next destination – El Carme. Along with Russafa, this is another one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the old town.
Sometimes referred to as El Carmen in Spanish, this area is full of traditional architecture, great restaurants, and plenty of street art.
This district used to be more run-down in the 80s, but after 30 years of building it up – it’s now a lively neighborhood with lots to explore. Although, you will run into some buildings that are in need of repair.
Start on Carrer de Cavallers to see the main street, then explore through the perpendicular, labyrinthian streets.
And whenever you’ve done enough adventuring for the day, you’re in the perfect place to grab some dinner and a drink at one of the tapas bars. La Pilarica and Boatella Tapes are both great options.
So enjoy your last night in the city, and get ready to see the last few stops on our weekend in Valencia.
Although you might not have a lot of time left on your weekend in Valencia, Sunday morning is always a peaceful way to end it. The morning tends to have less crowds and it’s a great way to snap some pictures of the city.
Plus – a LOT of public museums are free on Sundays. This means you get a chance to see some of my favorite spots in the city without paying a dime.
So let’s get this last day started!
Torres dels Serrans
The Torres dels Serrans (The Serrans Towers) are one of the last remaining pieces of the old town’s fortified medieval wall. These towers used to guard one of two primary entrances into the city.
Besides being absolutely colossal to look at – there is another perk of visiting these towers. You can climb up to the top for a birds-eye view of the historic city center.
Go up to the top to see the city center and the Turia Gardens on the other side. It’s a great 360 perspective of the city to check out.
So since is the last day of your crash-course weekend, Valencia will give you a final opportunity to take a selfie with an impressive view.
El Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües
After visiting The Serrans Towers, I recommend checking out another impressive piece of architecture.
The Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües (Or sometimes referred to as El Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas in Spanish) is a Baroque palace with a jaw-dropping exterior. This 15th century palace was renovated in the 18th century to have all the stunning details you’ll see today.
I recommend sticking to seeing the outside, since it’s the most interesting part. But if you’re a fan, the inside is now the National Ceramics Museum.
Either way, the can’t-miss marble entrance is reason enough to make a detour on our Valencia weekend itinerary.
La Llotja de la Seda
Last, but not least. Let’s end our adventurous weekend in Valencia with the symbol of the Valencian Golden Age – La Llotja de la Seda.
The Silk Exchange (or unofficially referred to as La Lonja de la Seda in Spanish) is a 15th century marketplace that connected Europe with the Asian Silk Trade. It houses a market with twisting columns and vaulted ceilings, as well as the seat of commerce for the former Kingdom of Valencia.
It’s a massive building with golden ceilings, incredible details, and even satirical designs hidden throughout.
While the visit itself won’t take long, it’s the perfect spot to end your weekend. Valencia is home to many treasures, but this UNESCO World Heritage Site is definitely among the best.
Go Pack Your Bags – Valencia Is Waiting
This Valencia weekend itinerary is planned so that anyone can reasonably check off all the boxes.
You’ll get a quick-and-dirty introduction to the city, its flavors, and its culture. But of course, if you have more time, check the end of this article for some extra ideas or head over to my other guide to see a comprehensive list.
Read through the rest of the article for some tips on spending a weekend in Valencia. If you have any questions – or think there’s something else I should add – just leave me a comment below.
When is the best time to spend a weekend in Valencia?
Valencia has a Mediterranean climate, so the most comfortable months to visit would be April-June or September-October. But while it doesn’t rain much in Valencia, April and October bring the most.
The summer months (July and August) are the hottest, but also the sunniest. Average temperatures are around 90F / 32C. But of course, we do get the occasional heat waves and it’s possible to see temperatures go up to 104F / 40C.
The winter months are relatively mild and are cheaper for travel. So if you don’t mind skipping the beach, this could be a great option.
What is there to eat in Valencia?
Valencia’s food scene is enormous! Thanks to being so closely connected to both agriculture and maritime activities, Valencia has a rich gastronomy.
Here are my suggestions for food to try during your weekend in Valencia:
- Paella – The globally-famous rice dish
- Churros – A fried dough typically dipped in hot chocolate
- Bunyols – A fried pumpkin dough, also dipped in hot chocolate
- Empanadillas – Tasty snacks with a range of different fillings
- Coques – A flatbread with salty fillings on top
- Sweet Coques – Same name, but are actually sweet poundcakes
- Orxata i fartons – A typical afternoon treat with a drink made from tiger nuts
- Arròs al Forn – A baked rice dish
- And so much more!
Pro Tip: Agua de Valencia will probably show up on every blog you read. But the truth is – it’s mostly a drink for tourists. It’s a tasty drink made from squeezed orange juice, so definitely enjoy some if you want. But don’t expect to see any Valencians drinking it!
Alternative things to do during a weekend in Valencia
Whether you have some extra time to spend for your Valencia weekend itinerary or you want to switch things up a bit, there are plenty of things to do.
Here are my suggestions for some extra things to do:
- L’Oceanogràfic – Europe’s largest aquarium
- Sant Nicolau – A church known as Valencia’s Sistine Chapel
- Torres de Quart – The other city gates similar to Torres dels Serrans
- Museu de Belles Arts – An impressive art museum
- Mercat de Colom – A Valencian Art Nouveau market
- Carrer de Colom – The main shopping district
- L’Albufera – A freshwater lake right outside the city
How many days to spend in Valencia?
The ideal amount of time to spend in Valencia would be around 3 days.
Is one weekend in Valencia enough?
One weekend in Valencia is enough to get a quick taste of the city. Although you can see a lot on the weekend, Valencia has way too many attractions and landmarks to comfortably see everything in that short of time. But if you only have a weekend, then you’ll have an excuse to come back again!
What is open on the weekend (Valencia)?
Almost everything is open on the weekend in Valencia. However the Central Market is closed on Sundays and churches cannot be visited during mass. The museum for the City Hall is closed Saturday and Sunday.
Many museums are also free on Sundays.