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Your Ultimate Valencia Travel Guide 2024

Valencia, Spain is one of the most picturesque and vibrant cities in Europe. With its sunny climate, stunning architecture, and delicious food, it’s no wonder why it’s become a popular destination for tourists. If you’re planning a trip to Valencia, you may be wondering when is the best time to visit. Whether you’re looking for an off-season adventure or want to take advantage of the peak season, this travel guide will provide you with all the details you need to make the most out of your Valencia experience. You may also want to check out our Zaragoza travel guide!

Top 5 Things To See And Do In Valencia

  1. Visit The City Of Arts And Sciences: This stunning architectural complex boasts a science museum, an IMAX cinema, an aquarium, and a performing arts center. A must-see attraction for science enthusiasts, history buffs, and art lovers alike.
  2. Explore The Old Town: Valencia’s historic center is filled with beautiful old buildings, charming streets, and fascinating museums. Visit the Central Market to sample some local produce, stroll through the medieval Silk Exchange building, and climb the Miguelete tower for a breathtaking view of the city.
  3. Try Some Paella: Valencia is the birthplace of this delicious rice dish, so it’s a must-try for any foodie. Head to one of the city’s many restaurants for an authentic taste of Paella Valenciana, made with chicken, rabbit, and snails.
  4. Relax On The Beach: Valencia boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain. Head to La Malvarrosa or El Saler for some sun, sand, and sea, or explore the quieter beaches of the Albufera National Park.
  5. Watch A Flamenco Show: Valencia has a rich cultural heritage, and Flamenco is an essential part of that. Head to a local bar or theater to catch a Flamenco show, and witness the power and beauty of this passionate dance form.

Where To Stay In Valencia

  • Ciutat Vella: The oldest part of Valencia is where you can find some of the most historic and iconic landmarks, including the Cathedral, the Central Market, and the Lonja de la Seda. This neighborhood is ideal for those who want to experience the charm of old Valencia.
  • Ruzafa: A trendy neighborhood with plenty of bars, restaurants, and boutiques, Ruzafa is perfect for young and stylish travelers looking for a vibrant atmosphere. Ruzafa is also home to the beautiful Mercado de Ruzafa, which is a great spot to grab some local produce or have a coffee.
  • El Carmen: Located in the heart of the old town, El Carmen is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Valencia. With its narrow streets and beautiful squares, this area has a bohemian vibe that attracts both locals and visitors.
  • Eixample: This neighborhood is home to some of Valencia’s most stunning modernist architecture, including the Central Market and the Colón Market. It’s also a great place to shop, with plenty of high-end stores and boutiques.
  • Malvarrosa Beach: For travelers looking for a beach vacation, Malvarrosa Beach is a perfect choice. Located just outside of the city center, this neighborhood has a beautiful beachfront promenade and plenty of bars and restaurants.

Top Valencia Hotels

  • Caro Hotel: This boutique hotel, located in the heart of the city, offers luxurious accommodations in a 19th century palace. The rooms feature modern amenities such as flat screen TVs and Wi-Fi, but maintain their historical charm with original frescoes and intricate woodwork.
  • Westin Valencia: This five-star hotel is housed in a restored modernist building from 1917 and boasts a spa, fitness center, and outdoor pool. The rooms are elegantly furnished and offer views of the Turia Gardens or the hotel’s beautiful interior courtyard.
  • Hospes Palau De La Mar: This former palace turned luxury hotel is located in the city center and features a spa, outdoor pool, and restaurant. The rooms are spacious and elegantly decorated, offering guests a relaxing and comfortable stay.
  • SH Valencia Palace: This sleek, contemporary hotel overlooks the Turia Gardens and is a short walk from the City of Arts and Sciences. The rooms are modern and feature floor-to-ceiling windows, offering stunning views of the city.
  • Hotel Las Arenas Balneario Resort: This beachfront resort offers guests stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and access to a private beach. The rooms are bright and airy, with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and air conditioning. The hotel also features a spa, outdoor pool, and several restaurants.

Where To Eat In Valencia

One of the best things about traveling to Valencia is the opportunity to indulge in the city’s delicious cuisine. From seafood to paella, Valencia offers an array of gastronomic delights to satisfy every taste bud. Here are the top 5 places to eat in Valencia:

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  1. Casa Carmela: This is the place to go for authentic Valencia paella. Casa Carmela is a rustic restaurant situated near the Malvarrosa beach that has been serving the city’s traditional rice dish for over a century. The paella here is cooked on an open fire using only the freshest ingredients, making it a must-try for any foodie visiting Valencia.
  2. La Pepica: Another famous spot for paella, La Pepica is located right on the beach and has been serving Valencia’s most famous dish since 1898. The restaurant has hosted many celebrities and dignitaries, including Ernest Hemingway. With a menu featuring various types of paella, seafood dishes, and traditional Spanish tapas, La Pepica offers a truly memorable dining experience.
  3. Central Bar By Ricard Camarena: Owned by renowned Valencian chef Ricard Camarena, Central Bar is a trendy gastrobar located in the heart of Valencia’s historic center. The menu features an innovative selection of small plates and a fantastic cocktail list. Be sure to try the Iberian pork loin with coffee and pumpkin!
  4. Bodega Casa Montaña: Established in 1836, Bodega Casa Montaña is a traditional tavern that has retained its authentic ambiance while modernizing its menu to include fusion dishes. The bar offers a wide variety of local and national wines, sherries, and vermouths. Don’t miss out on their cured ham and cheese platters, a classic Spanish snack.
  5. Mercado Central: For an immersive dining experience, head to Mercado Central, one of the largest food markets in Europe. With over 400 stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood, this is the place to taste Valencia’s local products. There are several food stands in the market where you can sample different dishes, including horchata, a refreshing local drink made with tiger nuts.

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic Valencia paella or an avant-garde tasting menu, these top five restaurants will give you a fantastic culinary experience that you won’t forget. Bon appetit!

How To Get Around Valencia

Valencia is a compact city that is easy to get around. There are several ways to move around the city and explore its vibrant neighborhoods. Here are the various methods of transportation that you can use during your Valencia trip:

  • Metro: The Valencia Metro is the most efficient and cost-effective way to explore the city. There are several metro lines that cover most parts of the city, making it easy to reach all the major tourist attractions.
  • Bus: Valencia also has a comprehensive bus network, and the bus fares are affordable. Buses run regularly, and the bus stops are well-signposted. The buses are air-conditioned, which makes them comfortable during hot summers.
  • Tram: Valencia also has a tram network that covers the coastal area. It connects the city center to the beach and the surrounding towns. Trams run regularly, and the fares are reasonable.
  • Bike: Valencia is a bike-friendly city with many bike lanes. You can easily rent a bike and explore the city on two wheels. Biking is a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city.
  • Walking: Valencia is a compact city, and many tourist attractions are within walking distance. Walking is the best way to explore the city’s neighborhoods and discover hidden gems that you would otherwise miss.
  • Taxis: Taxis are widely available in Valencia, and the fares are reasonable. However, they are not the most economical way to get around the city.
  • Car Rental: If you plan to explore the outskirts of the city, you may want to consider renting a car. There are many car rental companies in Valencia, and the rental rates are reasonable.

Valencia Weather

Valencia, located in the eastern part of Spain, enjoys a Mediterranean climate similar to Barcelona and Cannes with mild temperatures throughout the year. The city boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, making it a great destination to visit at any time. However, depending on what you want to do in the city, some seasons might be better than others.

  • Spring (March to May): Spring in Valencia is characterized by comfortable temperatures ranging from 10 to 25 degrees Celsius. The weather is mild and pleasant, making it perfect for outdoor activities like sightseeing and exploring the city’s many gardens and parks.
  • Summer (June to August): Summers in Valencia can get quite hot, with temperatures averaging between 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. This is the peak tourist season, and the city is bustling with activities and events. Be prepared for crowds, and ensure that you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Fall (September to November): Autumn in Valencia is mild and comfortable, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 25 degrees Celsius. The weather is ideal for exploring the city’s cultural heritage sites, such as the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias and the Cathedral of Valencia.
  • Winter (December to February): Winter in Valencia is characterized by cool and rainy weather, with temperatures averaging between 5 to 15 degrees Celsius. Although this is the offseason, the city has plenty of indoor activities, such as museums and art galleries, to keep you entertained.

In summary, Valencia has something to offer throughout the year. Choose your travel season based on your interests and preferences, and ensure that you pack appropriately for the weather.

Best Time To Visit Valencia

Valencia is a beautiful city that attracts tourists all year round. However, the best time to visit Valencia is during the spring and fall months, between March and May, and September and November, respectively. During these months, the weather is mild, and the crowds are fewer than during the summer months. The high temperatures in summer can be quite uncomfortable for some travelers, making it harder to explore the city. In addition, August is a popular vacation time for the locals, which means many shops and restaurants may be closed.

If you want to experience one of the most famous festivals in Valencia, Las Fallas, then plan your trip between March 15th and March 19th. During this time, the city is alive with color, music, and fireworks. If you plan on visiting Valencia during this time, make sure to book your accommodation early, as hotels tend to fill up quickly.

If you’re looking for a beach vacation, then the best time to visit Valencia is during the summer months between June and August. However, be prepared for large crowds and higher prices during this time. Another factor to consider is the local holiday calendar. Many shops and restaurants may be closed during public holidays, so it’s important to plan accordingly. The best way to get the most out of your visit to Valencia is to check the local events calendar and plan your itinerary accordingly.

In summary, the best time to visit Valencia is during the spring and fall months when the weather is mild and the crowds are fewer. However, if you’re looking for a beach vacation, then the summer months may be the best time for you. Plan your visit accordingly and check the local events calendar to make the most out of your visit.

How To Stay Safe In Valencia

Valencia is a safe city to travel to, but like any other city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure your safety. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while exploring Valencia:

  • Keep Your Belongings Secure: Pickpocketing can happen in busy tourist areas and on public transportation. Keep your valuables, such as your phone, wallet, and passport, in a secure bag or pocket.
  • Be Careful At Night: Like in any city, it’s important to be cautious when walking alone at night. Stick to well-lit and busy streets, and avoid poorly-lit areas.
  • Avoid Scams: Be aware of scams such as people trying to sell you fake items or offering to help with your luggage in exchange for money. Always double-check prices and ask for help from a reputable source.
  • Follow Traffic Rules: Valencia has many bike lanes, so make sure to pay attention to cyclists when walking around. Always use crosswalks and follow traffic rules when driving or biking.
  • Know The Emergency Numbers: In case of an emergency, the number to call in Spain is 112. Keep this number saved in your phone and have a plan in case of an emergency.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable time in Valencia.

Valencia Customs And Etiquette

Like many places in Spain, Valencia has its own customs and etiquette that visitors should be aware of to avoid causing any offense. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Greetings: In Spain, greetings are very important. It is customary to greet people with a kiss on both cheeks, starting with the right cheek. Men generally only kiss women, but they may also shake hands. In more formal situations, it is polite to address people using their title (such as “Señor” or “Señora”) and their surname.
  • Dress Code: Valencia is a fairly relaxed city, but it is important to dress appropriately in certain situations. If you are visiting religious sites, it is best to dress conservatively (no shorts or sleeveless tops). In some restaurants, it is also considered polite to dress up a little (for example, wearing smart shoes and a collared shirt).
  • Siesta: The siesta is still very much a part of daily life in Spain. Many shops and businesses close for a few hours in the afternoon, and it is considered rude to make loud noises or play music during this time. It is also worth noting that dinner is generally eaten quite late in Spain (around 9 or 10 pm).
  • Tipping: In Valencia, it is customary to leave a small tip (around 10%) in restaurants and bars. However, this is not expected in all situations – for example, if you are having a coffee or a snack at a counter, you do not need to leave a tip.
  • Language: Spanish is the official language of Valencia, although many people also speak Valencian (a local dialect). You may also notice that the Spanish is different than you may hear in other Spanish-speaking cities such as Mexico City. If you are not familiar with either of these languages, it is worth learning a few basic phrases before you arrive. However, most people in Valencia speak at least some English, so you should be able to get by without too much trouble.

By following these customs and etiquette guidelines, you will be able to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Valencia and avoid causing any unintentional offense.

Other Things To Know About Valencia

If you’re planning a trip to Valencia, it’s important to know a few more things about this beautiful city before you go. Here are some other things you need to know about Valencia:

  • Country: Valencia is located in the eastern coast of Spain, along the Mediterranean Sea. Spain is a beautiful country, known for its stunning beaches, historic landmarks, and vibrant culture.
  • Currency: The official currency in Valencia, as well as the rest of Spain, is the Euro (€). You can easily exchange currency at the airport or at any of the many exchange offices and banks around the city.
  • Language: Spanish is the official language in Valencia, although you’ll also hear Valencian, a Catalan dialect, spoken in the city. English is also widely spoken, especially in tourist areas.
  • Time Zone: Valencia follows Central European Time (CET), which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+1). This means that when it’s noon in Valencia, it’s 11am in London and 6am in New York.

By knowing these basic facts about Valencia, you’ll be better prepared to navigate the city and enjoy your travels. Whether you’re exploring the beaches, trying local cuisine, or visiting historic landmarks, Valencia is a city that will captivate you from start to finish.

Valencia Travel Costs

Valencia is an affordable travel destination compared to other major cities in Europe. However, the cost of your trip will depend on various factors, including your travel style, preferences, and budget. In this section, we’ll break down some of the major expenses you’ll encounter when planning your Valencia trip.

  • Accommodation: Valencia has a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Expect to pay around €50-150 per night for a mid-range hotel, while budget hostels and guesthouses start from as little as €15-30 per night. Consider staying in the outskirts of Valencia to save on accommodation costs.
    Food And Drinks: Valencia is a foodie’s paradise, with plenty of options for sampling local cuisine and drinks. You can eat cheaply by grabbing a quick sandwich or tapas from a local bar for around €3-5. However, if you want to indulge in a sit-down meal, expect to pay around €10-25 per person at a mid-range restaurant. Drinks are affordable in Valencia, with a beer or glass of wine costing around €3-5.
  • Transportation: Valencia’s public transport system is efficient and affordable, with single trips on the metro or bus costing around €1.50. You can also purchase a Valencia Tourist Card that includes unlimited travel on public transport, as well as discounts on attractions, museums, and restaurants.
  • Activities: Many of Valencia’s top attractions, such as the City of Arts and Sciences, offer free entry or discounted tickets for students and seniors. However, if you want to explore the city on a guided tour, expect to pay around €10-20 per person.

When budgeting for your Valencia trip, don’t forget to factor in miscellaneous costs such as travel insurance, souvenirs, and tipping. Tipping is not mandatory in Valencia, but it’s common to leave a small tip (around 5-10%) at restaurants and cafes. Overall, Valencia is an affordable travel destination, with plenty of options for budget-conscious travelers. With careful planning and research, you can have an unforgettable trip without breaking the bank.

Finding Affordable Flights To Valencia

Valencia is a popular destination for travelers from around the world, and getting there can be expensive. However, with a little research and planning, you can find affordable flights to Valencia. Here are some tips to help you save money on your flight:

  • Book Your Flight In Advance: One of the easiest ways to save money on your flight to Valencia is to book in advance. Booking early gives you the chance to take advantage of lower prices, and it also gives you more options to choose from.
  • Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates: If you have some flexibility with your travel dates, you may be able to find cheaper flights. Prices can vary significantly depending on the time of year, day of the week, and even the time of day.
  • Use Flight Comparison Websites: Flight comparison websites are a great resource for finding affordable flights to Valencia. These websites allow you to compare prices from different airlines and travel agencies, so you can find the best deal.
  • Look For Budget Airlines: There are many budget airlines, like Virgin Atlantic, that operate in Europe, and some of them offer flights to Valencia. These airlines may not offer the same level of service as traditional airlines, but they can be a great option if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Consider Alternative Airports: If you can’t find affordable flights to Valencia, consider flying into a nearby airport instead. Alicante airport is just over an hour away from Valencia, and it can be a cheaper option for some travelers.

Overall, finding affordable flights to Valencia takes a bit of effort, but it’s definitely worth it. With a little research and planning, you can save money on your flight and have more money to spend on enjoying your trip.

Backpacking Valencia Suggested Budgets

Valencia can be an affordable destination for backpackers, with plenty of options for budget accommodation, food, and transportation. Here are some suggested budgets for backpackers traveling to Valencia:

Low Budget (€30-€40 per day)

For backpackers on a tight budget, you can find hostels in Valencia for as little as €10 per night. Street food and cheap eats can be found throughout the city, with paella being a must-try dish. Public transportation is cheap and efficient, with a single metro ticket costing just €1.50.

Mid-Range Budget (€40-€60 per day)

This budget allows for a bit more comfort, with private hostel rooms or budget hotels starting at around €20-€30 per night. Dining options can range from mid-range restaurants to tapas bars. Public transportation can be supplemented with bike rentals or walking tours.

Luxury Budget (€60+ per day)

For backpackers who want to indulge a bit, Valencia offers luxury accommodation options starting at around €60-€80 per night. High-end restaurants and trendy cafes are scattered throughout the city. Private tours, bike rentals, and taxis are all easily accessible.

Overall, Valencia can be a budget-friendly destination for backpackers looking for a unique Spanish experience. With some careful planning and research, you can create a travel itinerary that fits within your budget without sacrificing on experience.

Valencia Money Saving Tips

Traveling to Valencia doesn’t have to break the bank. With these money-saving tips, you can enjoy the city without spending a fortune:

  • Use Public Transportation: Valencia has an extensive public transportation system that includes buses and a metro. A single ride ticket costs €1.50, but you can save money by purchasing a T-10 card that allows ten rides for €8.40.
  • Eat Like A Local: Valencia is known for its delicious food, and there are plenty of affordable restaurants that offer traditional dishes. Look for a “Menu del Dia” sign, which indicates a set menu at a fixed price, often including a drink and dessert.
  • Visit Museums On Free Days: Many of Valencia’s museums have free entry on specific days or times. Plan your visits accordingly and save money on admission fees.
  • Rent A Bike: Valencia is a bike-friendly city with dedicated bike lanes and rental services available. Renting a bike is an affordable and eco-friendly way to explore the city.
  • Shop At Local Markets: Valencia’s local markets offer fresh produce, seafood, and handmade crafts at reasonable prices. Visit Mercat Central or Mercat de Colón for a unique shopping experience.
  • Use A Tourist Pass: If you plan on visiting multiple attractions, consider purchasing a Valencia Tourist Card. This pass offers discounts on transportation, attractions, and restaurants.

By following these money-saving tips, you can make the most of your Valencia vacation without breaking the bank.

What To Pack For Valencia

When packing your luggage for Valencia, it’s important to keep in mind the city’s Mediterranean climate. Summers can be quite hot and humid, while winters are mild and rainy. Here are some items to consider packing for your trip:

  1. Lightweight Clothing: Bring clothes that are comfortable and breathable, such as cotton shirts and dresses, shorts, and skirts. Light-colored clothing will also help keep you cool in the summer heat.
  2. Sun Protection: Valencia is known for its sunny weather, so pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  3. Comfortable Shoes: With so many sights to see, you’ll want to bring comfortable shoes for walking around the city. Sandals, sneakers, or loafers are great options.
  4. A Swimsuit: If you’re visiting Valencia in the summer, you won’t want to miss the city’s beautiful beaches. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit!
  5. A Light Jacket Or Sweater: While summers in Valencia can be hot, evenings can still be cool. Bring a light jacket or sweater to stay comfortable during cooler nights.
  6. Camera: Valencia is a photogenic city, so make sure to bring a camera to capture all of the stunning architecture and scenery.
  7. Power Adapter: If you’re visiting from outside of Europe, you’ll need a power adapter to charge your electronic devices.
  8. Umbrella: Valencia can experience rain throughout the year, so consider packing an umbrella or rain jacket just in case.

By packing these items, you’ll be ready to fully enjoy your trip to Valencia and all that the city has to offer.

Can You Drink Tap Water In Valencia?

Yes, you can drink tap water in Valencia as it is considered safe and of good quality. The city’s tap water goes through strict treatment processes, making it suitable for drinking and cooking. The water also has a refreshing taste and is often preferred by locals over bottled water. However, if you prefer, you can also buy bottled water from convenience stores or supermarkets, which are readily available throughout the city. Just keep in mind that bottled water can be more expensive, and the plastic waste can have a negative impact on the environment.

Overall, drinking tap water in Valencia is safe and convenient, so there is no need to worry about running out of drinking water during your stay. Just remember to carry a reusable water bottle to reduce your plastic waste and stay hydrated while exploring this beautiful city.

Other Things To See And Do In Valencia

In addition to the top 5 things to see and do in Valencia, there are plenty of other exciting activities to try and sights to see. Here are a few suggestions to add to your Valencia travel itinerary:

  • Visit The City Of Arts And Sciences: This futuristic complex of buildings includes a planetarium, an opera house, a science museum, and an IMAX cinema. It’s an architectural wonder that’s not to be missed.
  • Explore The Turia Gardens: The Turia River used to flow through Valencia until it was diverted to prevent flooding. Today, the old riverbed has been transformed into a long, green park that stretches through the heart of the city. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or a bike ride.
  • Go To The Beach: Valencia has a long coastline with plenty of beautiful beaches to choose from. Some of the most popular ones include Malvarrosa Beach, Las Arenas Beach, and Patacona Beach.
  • Check Out The Street Art: Valencia has a vibrant street art scene, with murals and graffiti scattered throughout the city. Take a walking tour or explore on your own to discover some hidden gems.
  • Visit The Central Market: The Mercado Central is one of the largest indoor markets in Europe, and it’s a feast for the senses. Here you’ll find everything from fresh seafood and exotic fruits to spices and sweets.
  • Take A Paella Cooking Class: Valencia is the birthplace of paella, and there’s no better place to learn how to make this delicious dish. Sign up for a cooking class and discover the secrets of authentic Valencian cuisine.

With so many things to see and do in Valencia, you’ll never run out of things to explore. Make the most of your trip and experience all that this vibrant city has to offer.

The Bottom Line

Valencia, Spain is a beautiful and vibrant destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in exploring the city’s historic architecture, relaxing on its beautiful beaches, or sampling its delicious food and wine, Valencia has plenty to offer. When planning your trip, be sure to consider the best time to visit, which is typically between March and May or September and November when the weather is mild and crowds are smaller. You’ll also want to think about your budget and how to make the most of your time in Valencia. By following these tips and suggestions, you can have a truly unforgettable experience in this wonderful city. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Valencia adventure today!

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