Valencia, Spain, is an incredible city with an ecclectic mix of old and new. It’s hard to recommend the best place to stay in Valencia, as the city is so big, but the old town is always a good place to start. Here are five things to do when you’re in Valencia!
1. City walking tour
Free walking tours are the best way to orient yourself with a new city. There are so many incredible things to see in Valencia. Churches (obviously!), the indoor marketplace and the narrow backalleys are just some of the attractions.
2. Go to the beach
While it’s not the best beach in Europe, the beach in Valencia can be the perfect solution on a hot day. Catch a tram to the beach and enjoy some time in the sun and salt. There are also lots of restaurants along the promenade so there’s no shortage of food options.
(Sorry, no pics of Valencia beach because it wasn’t the best one I visited!)
Speaking of food…
3. Try the local foods
Valencia is the birthplace of paella so you definitely have to try traditional, proper Valencia paella when you’re there. Proper paella has beans, rabbit, chicken and (if it’s very authentic) snails! Most places will also offer seafood paella or vegetarian paella, which a guide said locals refer to as “Rice with other stuff” rather than authentic paella.
You also have to try two drinks whilst in Valencia: Agua de Valencia (which is definitely not water!) and Horchata. Agua de Valencia is an alcoholic drink made with cava, fresh OJ and a few different spirits – told you it’s not water! Meanwhile, Horchata is a type of milk made from Tiger Nuts (not actually a nut) and it’s very sweet and quite yummy. The Horchateria in Valencia has been making it for a couple of hundred years so it’s the place to go!
4. Check out the street art
Valencia has so much culture, and it’s really easy to see as you wander around the streets of the old town. Huge murals, art installations and street art paintings are on the sides of buildings, walls and doors. It’s a lot of fun to just wander and see what you’ll find!
5. Cycle the old river
The river separating the two parts of Valencia isn’t actually a river anymore, but rather a park! The best way to see this is hire bikes and cycle through the park. It’s a lovely ride and the paths are good. At one end of the park is a zoo, and the other is the amazing, space-age science-y complex which you definitely have to have a look at. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
Have you been to Valencia? What did you like the best? Let me know if I missed anything off the list in the comments!