Here, we explore the top and best things to do in Valencia, the third largest city of Spain. With a dynamic old city, with a maze of little streets and awe-inspiring medieval architectural buildings like the UNESCO-listed Lonja de la Seda, Spain has maintained its image of a perfect holiday destination for a long time and for good reason.
However, you can still get a chance to go through fantastic architecture, traditional blend of cultural norms, and fabulous cuisines at the cafes in Valencia, which offers both advantages of offering beach as well as city tours. Let’s take a journey through the old history of Spain.
Historical Places at Valencia
If you are more interested in the old town and classic history of the city, then Plaza de Virgen could be the best place to start your trip. Wander through the old town streets, visit age-old churches, and observe the grandeur of the traditional city of Spain. There are also more contemporary visitor attractions at the City of the Arts and Sciences, and the offerings of old world charm and contemporary styles makes Valencia one of Spain’s most loved destinations.
· Valencia Cathedral
Valencia Cathedral is nestled between two squares Plaza de la Reina and the Plaza de la Virgen. The mixed architecture of the ancient mosque and cathedral has given this place a special unique character. You can enjoy the view and also go wild taking memorable shots there for the family album.
· Valencia Central Market
If you feel like doing a spot of shopping, you’re at the right place! This is a foodie heaven and if you love a good selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, the authentic ‘market’ atmosphere, meat, fish, nuts and fresh juices, expect to go wild!
· La Lonja – Silk Exchange
This majestic late-15th-century building is listed as a UNESCO heritage site and widely regarded as the masterpiece of Valencian gothic architecture. The name means “Silk Exchange”, where traders from far flung corners of the Mediterranean would meet to trade goods and services. Stand in awe of the intricate twisted columns of the main atrium (sala de contratación) and look above to appreciate the incredible detail of the vaulted ceilings. Did you know that the upper floors were once used as the prisons?
· Plaza de la Reina
It is known as the hottest meeting spot of Valencia. You will find a lot of other attractions around the Plaza de la Reina. Santa Catalina church tower is the nearest attraction, and there is a cathedral where you will visit Miguelete Bell Tower. The square is famous for bars, pubs, and parlours. Barrio del Carmen is renowned for its nightlife. Also, you will find many shopping opportunities around the town. Public parking is also available so, a visitor can walk down the city and explore the beauty on the feet.
· Valencia City Hall
Impressive clock tower and majestic beauty of the building is, without any doubt, the most inspiring place for visitors and one of the best things to do in Valencia. The city hall building is a fantastic place with the perfect view for memorable pictures. The square in front of City Hall – Plaza del Ayuntamiento – closes to traffic on the last Sunday of each month, so people can enjoy a stroll, markets, and other special events. It is open from Tuesdays to Fridays, and you will still need to reserve tickets in advance. You can go by bus, by train or by metro. There are multiple options to reach there and that also within your budget.
· Quart and Serranos Towers
The walled city of Valencia is protected by these towers. This is one of the historic landmarks as well as the best example of exceptional architecture and design. The architecture of these towers is still an inspiration for builders. Of course, we have heavy machinery now, but this is inspiring about the times when people were talented enough to build such landmarks without the help of technology. It is open throughout the week, but it would be prudent to double check the timings before going there.
What to Eat & Drink?
Paella is the specialty of Valencia, and your journey is incomplete without trying this local cuisine. Not to worry though, it won’t be hard to find a restaurant with good paella, as almost every restaurant serves this dish. There are some of the best restaurants in the corner of squares. Usually, Paella Valenciana contains chicken, rabbit, snails, and both green and butter beans. You can try other combinations too, that is entirely up to your palate and preference.
Agua de Valencia is the famous drink of Valencia, the combination of orange juice, cava (or champagne), vodka and a splash of gin. Rococo Café de las Horas is the top choice for trying this drink. You may find some other refreshing drinks too. This café has some of the best in its menu so, don’t forget to try at least one in a day.
How to get around town?
If you have your driving documents, you can rent a car for your holidays. Otherwise, you can get around by bus, train or metro. All of the local travel options are quite affordable and safe for solo travelers. In fact, traveling through local transportation can be more fun and delightful experience for a foreigner. However, the ideal way to get around the city is on foot. Start packing for your next vacation now and tell us your list of best things to do in Valencia!