As Spain’s third-largest city, Valencia has a lot to offer its visitors. This port city, located on the southeastern coast, is the birthplace of paella, one of, if not Spain’s most famous dishes. With numerous attractions, good transport links to other Spanish cities and beyond and accommodation for every budget, Valencia pulls in over 4.5 million visitors each year and its easy to see why.
One of the major draws to Valencia is its typically Mediterranean climate. Because of this, the majority of the city’s visitors opt to visit between March and October. However, that’s not to say Valencia isn’t an all-year destination. Temperatures are still mild during the winter months, especially compared to many other European cities. Therefore allowing you to explore everything Valencia has to offer without the summer crowds.
Here are just a few of the best places to go in Valencia.
One of the places you should head, especially during the balmy summer months is the beaches. Are there are several to choose from even on the busiest of summers days when the locals also hit the coast, there is plenty of space on the sand for everyone. Here are a few of the most beautiful beaches Valencia has to offer:
Las Arenas Beach
Las Arenas beach is beautiful, clean and accessible too. It is located between Calle Acequia de la Cadena and the port’s dock and is approximately 1.2 kilometres long. There are also lots of facilities and amenities in the area, making the beach a great one to choose if travelling with children.
There is a palm-lined promenade running along the beach. It is known as the Paseo Maritimo and is home to several bars and restaurants, many of which serve traditional Valencian food.
La Malvarrosa Beach
La Malvarrosa Beach, located on the outskirts of the city between the town of Alboraya and Calle Acequia de la Cadena, is the most popular beach in Valencia. With several restaurants, bars and shops running along the beachside boardwalk, it is a great place to head.
This beach is extremely popular with locals and tourists who like to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
El Saler Beach
Located to the south of the city approximately half an hour from the centre, you will find El Saler beach. With fine white sand and dunes, this beach attracts visitors who love to submerge themselves in nature.
El Saler beach is also a great beach to head to if you are a water sports enthusiast. Here, you can indulge in surfing, windsurfing, paddle surfing, amongst many others.
The Turia Gardens
Built on the old riverbed of the Turia river, the Turia Gardens which were inaugurated in 1986 is now one of Spain’s largest parks. Following a deadly flood in 1957, the water in the river was diverted to ensure it would never happen again.
The green space runs 9 kilometres through the city and has a lot to offer its visitors. It is a popular spot for runners, joggers, cyclists and of course pedestrians. The park boasts ponds and fountains together with football pitches, cafés and even climbing walls.
18 road bridges cross the riverbed, ensuring that Turia Garden, stays a traffic-free zone.
Located in an area called El Carman in the heart of Valencia’s Old Town sits Valencia Cathedral. The impressive Gothic structure was built between the 13th and 15th Century. However, you can also see other architectural styles and influence including baroque, Romanesque and neoclassical. Here you can visit the “Chapel of the Holy Grail”. The Cathedral’s admission fee includes entrance to the chapel.
Valencia’s Central Market
Valencia’s central market is one of Europe’s oldest operating market. Located in the historical centre of Valencia close to several attractions. Housed in a beautiful modernist building, with a stunning entrance and scored with colourful ceramic tiles, it has over 900 stalls and a must for all foodies. Here you will find fruit, vegetables, fresh fish, cheeses, olives, wine and cold meats.
The City of Arts and Sciences
Valencia’s number one modern attrition is the City of Arts and Sciences which is a cultural and architectural complex located in the east of the city. The complex includes attractions such as an aquarium (L’Oceanogràfic), IMAX cinema (L’Hemisfèric), museum (Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe ) and opera house (El Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía).
Located in the riverbed of the Turia River, The City of Arts and Sciences was designed by Spanish architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela. Work on the project started in July 1996 with L’Àgora, a covered plaza where concerts and sporting events are held being the last building to be added in 2009. Further works where planned, however, they are currently on hold.
If you plan to visit, which you should, good travel tips include planning your visit. There is so much to see and do, therefore planning your time out is important to avoid disappointment. Also, research special events which are happening during your visit. This could be anything from a live band through to a temporary exhibition.