Top attractions in Valencia
The 7 best things to do 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.
1. City of Arts and Sciences
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.
3. Bioparc Valencia
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.
4. La Llotja de la Seda
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.
5. Valencia Cathedral
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.
6. Central Market
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.
7. Torres de Serranos
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.
Planning Your Visit
How many days to spend in Valencia?
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.
Where to stay in Valencia
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).
Tickets for the City of Arts and Sciences
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.
Good to know
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+01:00)
- Country Code
- 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.
Other Sightseeing Options in Valencia
Want to discover all there is to do in Valencia? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Valencia
We loved this tour! My fiancé and I have been on street art tours around the world (Paris, Lima, Cape Town) and this one is an easy favourite. Our guide, Evgeni, had great local knowledge, a clear love of art and let us move through the tour at our own pace. His English was also impecable (much better than our choppy Spanish). He took the time at the end of the tour to give us recommendations of other things to do around the city. Highly recommend Evgeni and this tour to anyone visiting Valencia. We do plan on returning and the best part about street art is that it’s always changing, so we can do the tour again.
This was one of the best tours I have been on. It really was the highlight of our stay in Valencia. We all loved the beauty & innovation at them city of arts & sciences’. Then we discovered new wines from this beautiful region accompanied with exquisite tapas & the view from the location was breathtaking
Daniel did a superb job taking us around Valencia. He had everything planned out, he picked us up at our Hotel at 3:00 p.m. We only had one day, but I think we saw everything we needed to see!
Overall good experience but in my opinion I wouldn’t recommended science museum. Huge building but exposition not as impressive as we were expecting. Oceanografic was amazing experience.
Valencia city hop on hop off bus tour was great alluring us to see the main areas etc of this stunning city We got off and explored Oceanografic which was amazing and a must