Valencia is a pretty amazing town. Initially, I wasn’t attracted to Valencia for any reason in particular – I came for the tomato fight in the nearby town of Bunol that attracts thousands of people each August, most of whom use Valencia as their home base. However, Valencia grew on me and I think it’s amazing. It has great seafood, paella, history, and a good soccer team. I would go back in a second. It’s a wonderful city.
- Hostel Prices: Dorms begin from $20 USD per night. There aren’t a lot of hostels in Valencia and I recommend staying at Nest hostels. (They have a free dinner.)
- Budget Hotel Prices: Hotels start at $60 USD per night.
- Average Cost of Food: You can get cheap tapas and meals for around $7-14 USD. That will include about 3 or 4 tapas. If you want wine, expect to spend about $20 USD per meal. A good restaurant meal will set you back around $27 USD. Cheap food like McDonalds and Maoz cost around $7 USD. If you buy your own food, expect to spend about $40 USD for a week’s worth of groceries. If you plan to eat at the beach, expect to pay around $5.50 USD for a sandwich and $40 USD for a seafood dinner.
- Transportation Costs: Buses and trains cost $1.30 USD per single trip within the city limits.
Top Things to Do
- Plaza de la Virgin – Located here is the Valencia Cathedral with its Gothic architecture, which towers over the adjoining plaza. It’s one of the nicer cathedrals I’ve seen. What I really enjoyed about Valencia were the wide clean streets, the ancient winding streets of the Barrio del Carmen, and the typical Spanish style buildings with their large doors, balconies, and windows.
- Calle Caballero – La Marcha is the hot spot for all of the young people visiting the city, and Calle Caballero showcases Valencia’s most social and fashionable citizens.
- The Albufera – A lagoon several miles outside the city, the Albufera is full of beautiful nature including birds and fish. There are also locals that will take visitors out on boat trips.
- La Lonja – This is an old silk market that you can buy a lot of clothes at. It is also close to downtown and the central market.
- Las Fallas – If you are in Valencia in March, this is the biggest party in Valencia. The locals construct huge model heads and sculptures then burn them down in a dramatic finale. This celebration goes on for days and be prepared to celebrate until all hours of the morning.
- Calatrava’s Bridge – Designed by Valencia’s most famous son, Santiago Calatrava, who also designed the City of Arts and Sciences, the Hemisferic and the Umbracle. It’s a very modern and ultra cool looking bridge.
- Throw tomatoes at La Tomatina - Held the last Wednesday in neighboring Bunol, thousands use Valencia as their base of operations. During the days leading and the days after the festival, the city is packed with people and spirits are high. It’s one of the greatest events I’ve ever been too.
- Museum of Modern Art - The museum of modern art is itself a peice of modern art. The futuristic look and design makes it one of the most photographed places in the city. The museum has a large and well kept collection.
- Take a free walking tour – Like most of Spain, there many opportunities to take advantage of free walking tours. The tours provide an excellent overview of the history of the city.
- Budget extra for food – Valencia has a lot of wonderful seafood restaurants and it’s what the city is famous for. Splurge once in awhile and get a good meal down by the beach.
- vVisit the Mercado Central – This is the main fruit and vegetable market in Valencia. Buying snacks, small meals, and groceries here can cut down on your food budget.
- Lunch at the Museum – The ground floor restaurant in the free Museo de Prehistoria serves a nice three course lunch for only $12 USD. Service starts at 2 p.m.