(hotel with breakfast, meals, activities and local transportation included)
On the eastern coast of Spain, bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, there are many beautiful and interesting places to visit, but perhaps none quite like Valencia. From the outside looking in you may think that its like a mini-Barcelona and if you visit Barcelona you can skip Valencia, but this would be a giant mistake.
Valencia isent only the birthplace of spains signature dish (Paella) it is a city filled with history and innovation with a culture and a vibe all its own.
If you only have a day to visit Valencia, here you will find ideas to get the most out of your 24-hours, but if you can we would highly suggest spending at least 2 nights to really get a good taste of what Valencia is really about.
One day is enough to dip your toes into Valencia, but ideally we would suggest spending at least 48-hours (maybe even more). The City of Arts and Sciences alone will take you at least a full day to properly visit.
Then you have the historic city center where at the very least you should hit the Cathedral, the Silk Exchange and the Valencia Central Market.
And, it wouldent be a visit to Valencia if you didn’t indulge in a a delicious and authentic Paella. For the best paella you might want to leave the city and head 11km south to the Albufera nature park. This spectacular marshland is where the majority of the Valencian rice is grown and is supposed to be the birthplace of this signature dish. El Palmar, in the Albufera nature park is the best area to get a top notch paella.
There is so much to do it’s hard to decide where to start. That’s where we come in! Lets go over the best of the best things to do in Valencia and help you plan the perfect trip for you.
If you only have one day in Valencia, you better go see and do things you cant do any place else in the world. The City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia is AMAZING, there is no denying it. However, if you only have 24 precious hours, you can maybe leave it for the next visit. It is a spectacular complex dedicated, as the name indicates, to the arts and sciences and home to the biggest oceanarium in Europe. The complex is so vast in fact that we would suggest setting aside a whole day if you really want to get the most out of your visit.
With only one day, concentrate on the things that you can only find in Valencia
In the morning, head on over to Valencias old quarter. This section of the city is home to a great number of Valencia’s most important landmarks including: Valencia’s Silk Exchange, Valencias central market and the Cathedral of Valencia. These would be the essential monuments to visit in Valencia.
Valencia was once the epicenter of the silk exchange in Europe. Silk was a prized commodity, and before reaching the rest of Europe from China, the fabric would come through Valencia. The silk exchange was built so that traders could safely sell and negotiate this most delicate of fabrics.
The central market is one of the best examples of modernist Valencian architecture and will give you a taste of the real Valencia.
Then of course there is the cathedral of Valencia which is the crown jewel of the historic city center. The spectacular Gothic temple opened its doors in 1265 and has been the spiritual heart of the city ever since.
There are plenty of great restaurants and bars in the Valencias old quarter but two of are favorite are Dodo’s and Secreto. Both restaurants serve modern Valencian cuisine that feature all the classics with a bit of their own personal touch. Either of these restaurants are great options to fuel up and get ready for an exciting afternoon.
Why do we recommend Dodo’s Mediterrasian Restaurant? Dodo, located next to the Astoria Hotel in the center of Valencia, is an interesting place. It is
Why do we recommend Secreto? Secreto, located in the center of Valencia offers a creative and beautiful modernized version of a series of a Valencian
La Albufera is the incredible nature park, just outside of the city, that is responsible for the creation of Spain’s most emblematic dish: the paella.
La Albufera is a vast marshland that ocurred naturally millions of years ago when a piece of the Mediterranean sea was trapped, creating a natural inland lagoon and a unique ecosystem.
The Albufera enjoys an incredible amount of biodiversity with hundreds of species of birds and fish, some of them on the brink of extinction.
These wetlands are also the perfect place for growing rice. The Albufera is filled with rice paddies, as far as the eye can see. It is believed that here where the ocean meets the land, where rice and seafood is so plentiful is where the Paella was conceived.
There is no better way to end a long day of exploring than kicking back and enjoying an authentic Valencian paella while watching the sun set.
The best area in la Albufera for Paella is whats is known as El Palmar, but some of our favorite restaurants in the area are:
Why do we recommend El Mornell? Monrell is located slightly south of Valencia, in the Albufera nature park. If you are willing to make the
Why do we recommend Arrocería Maribel? The first rice restaurant that opened back in 1983, Arrocería Maribel, has stood the test of time with its
Why do we recommend Mateu? Slightly south of Valencia, in the Albufera, surrounded by a unique and beautiful natural setting we find Mateu. Mateu offers
If you are lucky enough to be able to extend your stay one more day in Valencia, you should really head on over to the City of Arts and Sciences. It is an ultra modern, enormous complex dedicated to, you guessed it, the arts and sciences. There are 6 different buildings to visit, including Europe’s largest oceanarium, which will take up most of your day, especially if you are traveling with your family.