Top attractions in Valencia
When Madrid and Barcelona jostle for the limelight, Valencia doesn't seem to mind. It, too, has superb cultural attractions and neighborhoods to soak up the local vibe. To top it all off, it's got las Fallas, a pyrotechnic extravaganza unlike any other.
Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the vast cultural center, including a promenade of art and greenery, comprises five shell-like structures that reflect the influence of the sea.
Europe's largest aquarium hosts a dolphinarium and exhibits the world's main ecosystems. For a unique, culinary experience, dine among the fishes at the underwater restaurant.
The park boasts three African habitats, in which animals coexist as they would in their natural environment. The design also enhances the effect of viewing the animals up close.
The former Silk Exchange from the 16th century reflects the city's mercantile prosperity, with the grand Contract Hall as the center of the merchants' wheeling and dealing.
Many believe, and some question, that the cathedral houses the Holy Chalice from the Last Supper. The polished Grail dates to around the first century AD.
The famed El Mercat has been a mecca for foodies since its inauguration in 1928, offering a bounty of local produce and regional specialities at hundreds of different stands.
The imposing, Gothic towers from 1391 once marked the main entrance into the former walled city.They served not only as a prison, but also a ceremonial entrance in their day.
Allow yourself a minimum of four full days to take in the sights at a leisurely pace, setting aside one for the City of Arts and Sciences and one for the Bioparc. If you're looking for sun, sea, and sand, add another day or even two for Valencia's great beaches. If you arrive during las Fallas in mid-March, you may want to tack on an extra day to experience it.
It's easy to get around Valencia by bus, tram and subway. The purchase of the Valencia Tourist Card (VLC) includes free public transportation and admission to public museums and monuments. The city is also bike-friendly, providing plenty of enjoyable places to ride, such as through the 5-mile Turia Park. It stretches from the area near the Bioparc Valencia to the City of Arts and Sciences.
Valencia's Old Town (Ciutat Vella) is a popular and central area to be. Russafa is a nice alternative and located in the adjacent district of Eixample. For beach-goers, who'd rather stay closer to the sea, La Malva-Rosa is a nice option, approximately 30 minutes away by metro to the city center (e.g. Colón metro station).
You can either purchase tickets for the one place you'd like to visit (Hemisfèric 8€, Oceanogràfic 27.90€, Science Museum 8€), or mix and match with a packaged price. You can book all three for 32€, which includes a 10% discount when booking online. When selecting the Hemisfèric, you'll need to choose one IMAX film session you'd like to watch. You can buy all tickets online for a specific date.
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- Best time to visit
- There is no bad time to visit this city, which never gets too cold. In the summer, though, there are more crowds, while in the winter some attractions offer shortened opening hours. Late spring, before the summer crowds arrive, may be best.
Things to Do in Valencia
Top Attractions in Valencia
Cities in Spain
Other Sightseeing Options in Valencia
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What people are saying about Valencia
This tour was one of the highlights of my trip to Valencia. I came to the city to present at a conference and stumbled upon this tour while googling things to do. I could not be more glad I chose this experience. Our guides Lara and Eduardo were so kind and welcoming. I came on this tour alone, but I did not feel isolated or awkward at all. They did a great job facilitating conversation, while answering questions and providing just enough context to be interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with them, as they are both very knowledgeable about Valencia and they are very professional. The tour itself was great, you start with a walk around the city and then you move to the rooftop tapas. The view is breathtaking. This tour is perfect whether you're traveling alone or in a group. Sea Saffron treats you like you are family. I have nothing but the utmost respect for them and I highly recommend this if you plan on traveling to Valencia anytime soon. You will not be disappointed.
We had an amazing time at our paella cooking class. We were welcomed the moment we arrived. We learned the local culture, the history of paella and what makes València Paella the best in the world! They teach you with pure joy and love for what they do. We were laughing throughout the class. They are a perfect team and should have their own cooking show! This was one of the top experiences we had on our 3 week vacation in Spain. I highly highly suggest this tour. It was fantastic!!!!
The bike tour was a really good mixture of the old and new which typifies Valencia. Our guide Diego was very knowledgeable, made the tour varied and interesting. Wasn’t too hard work as there were plenty of stops during the tour and the route is flat. Couldn’t fault the tour and would definitely recommend it.
Well organised company , brilliant welcoming and friendly staff, everything explained before we set off, my 16 year old son and I had a fantastic time whizzing through the park of Valencia, a great way to see a lot in a relatively short space of time!
Only have a few hours here ( due to cruise) it was a great way to see as much as possible. If going from cruise was easy enough to find through park from drop off ship shuttle bus. Guide also was knowledgeable and funny.