Valencia is a pretty amazing town. Initially, I wasn’t attracted to Valencia — I came for the tomato fight in the nearby town of Bunol. However, Valencia grew on me. The more I wandered the streets, relaxed on the beach, stuffed my faced with paella on the seaside boardwalk, visited the futuristic art museum, and walked its historic streets, I fell in love. Valencia is a city that straddles the past and future quite well that creates a charm completely not found anywhere else in Spain!
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Valencia
1. Visit the Museum of Modern Art
2. Throw tomatoes at La Tomatina
3. Plaza de la Virgin
4. Retreat to the Albufera
5. Cross Calatrava’s Bridge
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Wander 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.
2. Peruse La Lonja
This is an old silk market where you can buy a lot of clothes. It is also close to downtown and the central market.
3. Celebrate Las Fallas
If you are in Valencia in March, you can partake in 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; be prepared to celebrate until all hours of the morning.
4. Cycle the Jardins Del Turia
Jardins Del Turia is a long stretch of park that runs through an old dried-up riverbed. It’s dotted with sculptures, passersby, and buskers. Rent a bike, and spend a couple hours making your way through the park, stopping for a picnic lunch.
5. Lounge on the beach
Although this isn’t as much of a beach destination as the Costa Blanca further south, you can still find beautiful sand at the beaches in Valencia. Malvarosa is the most popular place to hang out, but be prepared for high prices if you plan to eat along here.
6. Transport yourself to the future
The City of Arts and Sciences is the name given to a complex of ambitious, futuristic buildings that lie at the end of the Jardins del Turia. The architecture here is impressive, and you can also visit a museum and 3D movie theater here.
7. Eat paella
Valencia is the birthplace of one of the three main types of Spanish Paella – Valencian Paella. This dish has been around since the 1800s and is a sort of jambalaya. It’s a major part of the culture, so don’t leave without trying it.
8. Explore the port
The port of Valencia is often filled with international sailboats sporting flags from all over the world. Valencia has hosted numerous America’s Cup Competitions, so the city has a great boating tradition. Take a wander around the port and soak up the maritime lifestyle.