Valencia is one of the most picturesque parts of Spain. From the beautiful coastline to the detailed architecture, Valencia will take your breath away.
While you should spend as much time as possible in this captivating locale, sometimes, you only have enough time for a quick trip. If you fall into that category, you’re in luck. I’ve put together a 2-day travel guide that will make your trip to Valencia easier and more enjoyable.
If you don’t mind exercise, you should signup for a free walking tour. My favorite walking tour is the graffiti tour.
Valencia’s graffiti art is magnificent, and there is an entire subculture with its own set of rules that govern the local community. For example, there’s one artist who is so popular and respected that local business owners pay him to paint murals on their storefronts.
Any storefront that is adorned by a mural from this artist and his accompanying tag is exempt from vandalization. His name escapes me, but that’s all the more reason to take the tour.
Shops in the area sell unique items and cater to every taste. I stopped in a great shop that sold handcrafted silver jewelry.
As a reformed sneakerhead, I always keep an eye out for small sneaker shops because they tend to have the most exclusive footwear, and my unique collection was something that I prided myself on. I loved going out with the confidence that no one would be wearing the same sneakers as me. You’ll find quite a few boutique stores with some awesome sneaker collections. Old habits die hard.
La Plaza Redonda
Most of the shops in the plaza sell touristy items, but you can also sit and have a coffee as you pass the time. La Plaza Redonda is located in the heart of the shopping district, and it’s great for taking pictures.
Plaza de la Virgen
Valencia’s Plaza de La Virgen is stunning. If you hang around long enough, you’ll likely catch a free performance of some sort. I prefer visiting at night because the lights come on and the area takes on more of a storybook appearance.
No visit to the Plaza de La Virgen is complete without a photo in front of the Turia Fountain. I highly recommend visiting at night to see it with the lights on.
The Cathedral of Valencia is mere steps away from the fountain, and it’s open for tours from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. Guided visits are available from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Saturday and 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm on Sundays. General admission tickets cost 3 euros.
Hop on-Hop off Tour
You’ll do a lot of walking during your time in Valencia, so it’s good to leave yourself time relax. I usually go on a bus tour when I visit someplace for the first time.
Valencia’s bus tour has two routes (modern and historical). The modern tour highlights more of the coastline, and the historic tour focuses on the story behind the architecture of the city.
If you ride both routes without getting off the bus, the tour should last about three hours in total. I usually don’t get off the bus because I like to see as much of the city as possible in as little time as possible.
The bus tour is great because you get a snapshot of Valencia. The buses were in poor condition at the time of my visit. The air conditioner was broken, and a few of the audio ports weren’t working.
I don’t mind the lack of a/c because I typically sit on the top level of double-decker buses, and there’s no a/c up there anyway. If you’re traveling with older people, small children, or someone who generally requires a/c, you might want to skip the bus tour and opt for a different type of tour.
Tickets are 17 euros for adults and 10 euros for children (ages 7 – 16). There’s also a family package (2 adults and 3 children) that costs 60 euros.
You can get detailed tour information from Valencia’s tourism site.
La Estrecha – The Narrowest Building in Europe
The actual size of the building is something that you have to see to believe. There’s only one room on each floor, and in the past, it served as an apartment building in which the inhabitants shared one bathroom. It’s within walking distance of the Cathedral of Valencia, the Silk Exchange, and the Saturday market, so there are plenty of things to see in the area.
Next to La Estrecha, you can see the remains from some Roman ruins in the wall. Instead of removing them, the Spanish built right on top of them, so if you look closely, you’ll see broken pillars and statue heads in the wall.
Torre del Micalet
This activity isn’t for the faint of heart or the weak-willed. You can climb to the top of this tower and get a fantastic view of the city.
The staircase has about 207 stairs, but that’s not the scary part. You have to make sure that you time your climb correctly, because the if you don’t, the bells will ring with you right next to or underneath them. The sound is jarring up close, so be prepared. The tower is open seven days a week from 10 am to 1 pm and 4:30 pm to 7 pm. Tickets cost 2 euros
City of Arts and Sciences (CAC)
You have to visit the City of Arts and Sciences if you go to Valencia. I’ve been to Valencia more times than I can count, and I’ve still only managed to visit the Oceanographic portion of the CaC.
It’s enormous and filled with in-depth exhibits. You could easily spend an entire day in one area of the CaC – which is what normally happens to me.
Visit the CaC website for full timetable and ticket info.
You can’t go to Valencia without eating the paella. My favorites are the rabbit paella and the seafood paella. If you like alcohol, you should try the agua de Valencia. It’s strong yet delicious. Drink it slowly because it can sneak up on you.
Now that we’ve gotten the obvious stuff out of the way, I want to tell you about a hidden gem that I found.
If you don’t do anything else that I mentioned in this article, heed my advice and eat at Eggcellent. As the name suggests, they specialize in egg dishes, but everything they cook is exquisite.
The owners spent a few years living in Boston, and they’re extremely friendly. My mom, aunt, girlfriend, and I enjoyed the food so much that we unanimously agreed to go there for breakfast two days in a row.
I had the pancakes with a side of scrambled egg whites. If you’ve ever tried ordering egg whites in Spain, you know that the cook will look at you as if you asked them for a kidney. Lucky for us, the cook is also one of the owners, and he happily prepared my order to perfection.
The pancakes were astounding. I never take pictures of my food, but the masterpiece that Eggcellent prepared deserves to be celebrated for the culinary art that it is.
I also recommend the eggs benedict. I’ve never been a fan of eggs benedict before this latest trip to Valencia, but I must say that I’m now a fan.
Eggcellent has the best tasting breakfast/brunch food that I’ve eaten in my almost three years living in Spain. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m telling you that this is appointment eating. Take a look at their Instagram or Facebook pages to see some of their dishes, and add Eggcellent to your Valencia itinerary. Your taste buds will thank you.
I’ve stayed in hostels and Airbnbs during visits to Valencia. The choice depends on the type of accommodation you’re looking for.
Hostels are great because many of them offer information about tours, and some of them even allow you to sign-up in the lobby. I recommend hostels if your primary goal is cheap accommodation and meeting new people.
Booking.com has a nice selection of affordable hotels and hostels, and I use it frequently.
You can use their search tool to help you begin your housing search.
During the last trip to Valencia with my family, we stayed in an Airbnb called Arts and Flats. They have beautiful flats with different themes, and best of all, they’re centrally located. Our flat was a 15-minute walk from the center of town, and it was spacious.
Valencia is so much more than oranges and paella. The food is delicious, the people are friendly, and the prices are pretty good. After visiting Barcelona with my family, Valencia’s prices were like a dream come true.
There are a ton of things to do in Valencia, but if you’re short on time and want to get the most out of your visit, this guide will help you plan a great trip. I hope you add Valencia to your to-do list.
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