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Visit Valencia (Spain) on foot, things to do and what to see in 1 or 2 days?

We had discovered Valencia, Spain, during our trip in our motorhome, simply because the city was on our itinerary. We fell completely under the spell of this city, even though we had no particular expectations. I went back (Floriane) a second time on a city trip with some friends to explore more of this incredible city.

It is the third largest city in Spain, behind Madrid and Barcelona, which overshadow it a little. However, it is a city to visit. Located a few kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea, it is an ideal destination to extend the summer.

We were pleasantly surprised by the beauty of its buildings, the pleasantatmosphere, its beautiful parks and gardens, the number of museums andactivities to do in Valencia. There’s a permanent vacation feeling!

We share with you, below, our 10 must-sees (don’t miss the 6th point) as well as our itinerary to visit Valencia on foot in 1 or 2 days . We have also grouped all our good addresses on our map.

What to do in Valencia: our 10 must-sees

  1. The park that will make you want to live in Valencia ◊
  2. Take in the sights at Sainte-Marie Cathedral ◊
  3. Explore the historic center on foot ◊
  4. Oceanografic: the must-see aquarium ◊
  5. El Carmen: street art in a lively neighborhood ◊
  6. Explore the coast on a catamaran ◊
  7. Afternoon at the beach ◊
  8. The museums of the cité des arts et des sciences ◊
  9. Discover local gastronomy at the Mercados ◊
  10. Enjoy the sunset ◊

We were amazed by the sheer number of things to do and see in Valencia, so after our two visits to the city and our many discoveries, here are our 10 must-sees (in our opinion)! 

1. ◊ Le parc Turia qui vous donnera envie de vivre à Valence ◊

We love cities with large and beautiful green spaces, we completely fell in love with Valencia when we discovered this huge urban park, the largest in Europe.

If we settle down, it’s in Valencia for sure. If you arrive by plane you can observe this immense green corridor from the sky.

This huge park crossing the city, was built in the old bed of the river Turia. This river was diverted following the frequent floods that the city knew and then transformed into a park, but what a good idea!

This park is the meeting place of Valencian sportsmen, families for picnics or birthdays, walkers, dancers… In short, the weekend is lively and it’s the place to be!

We advise you to leave from the metro station“Alameda” and then go to Arenas beach (about 7km), on foot or by taking the bicycle paths present in the park.

You will cross forests of trees, forests of palm trees, you will pass under the old stone bridges and obviously do not miss the impressive city of sciences! In short, a must-see during your stay.

Explore the park by bike

➡️Pour to explore the city and Turia Park by bicycle (classic or electric), we recommend you book your tickets for this 3-hour excursion. All you have to do is let yourself be guided and listen to your guide’s anecdotes, and Valencia will hold no more secrets for you!

➡️ Bike rental by the day, we recommend Lowcostbikerental (8€/day) 2 agencies in the city center, very simple rental, remember to secure your bikes because there are many thefts as in all major cities, do not secure only the wheel 😉

In short, you won’t regret this bike ride!

2. ◊ Prendre de la hauteur à la cathédrale Sainte-Marie ◊

Located in the heart of the historic district (casco antiguo) you can’t miss the impressive Saint Mary’s Cathedral of Valencia between the place de la Reine and the Plaza de la VirgenIts Gothic style interior with some Romanesque and Baroque elements is interesting to observe, we just find its price a bit high. (price 8 €, audio-guide included)

Our advice: come before 9:30 am the visit of the cathedral is free! So we advise you to set your alarm clock or to have a child who will take care of it very well 🙂

We recommend you to climb the Micalet, the campanile of the cathedral.

This tower, 63 meters high, will allow you to reach a footbridge from which you will be able to observe all of Valencia after climbing a spiral staircase of 207 very narrow steps (price 2€).

It’s a sporty climb, but once at the top you can rest and enjoy a 360° view of the whole city. It is certainly one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Valencia.

Our advice: go up to the halfway point to hear and see the bell ringing at the top!

3. ◊ Explorer le centre historique à pied ◊

The historic center of Valencia is a must, we recommend you to stroll through the old streets, to walk around, to admire the numerous gothic facades, the blue dome roofs, the impressive buildings and the lovely little squares.

The buildings not to be missed (see our map with our itinerary below):

  • Plaza de la Virgen where the impressive Santa Maria Cathedral is located
  • Lonja de Seda (Silk Lodge), a Unesco heritage building dating from the late 15th century for the silk trade. We strongly recommend you visit the interior, it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Valencia composed of 3 distinct rooms including a magnificent room with twisted columns and a patio of orange trees. (free entrance + 2,5€ audioguide)
  • Palace of Marqués De Los Dos Aguas, you can not miss its exterior Rococo style facade
  • Central station, early 20th century architecture, it has a little Disney land style (according to us)
  • The Arena is another impressive building located right next to the train station
  • La Estrecha 107, THE narrowest house in the world, 107cm wide façade (pink building)
Free walking tour and the best activities to visit Valencia

➡️ If you’ve been following us since our world tour, you’ll know that we’re big fans of free-walking tours. We’ve probably done around thirty of them, and we’ve never been disappointed.

But what is it? With your guide and your group, you’ll explore the city and learn more about its history,architecture andanecdotes

What we like best is that the guide is usually a real local, and will give you his best addresses, restaurants, bars… And at the end, give you the amount you want. Remember to reserve your seats free of charge by choosing your day and time at the Plaza de la Virgen.

➡️ By bus: As Valencia is a huge city, if you prefer, you can opt to visit the city by hop-on, hop-off bus .

The system is simple: you can get off the bus to visit a monument that interests you, and then hop on the next bus to continue your visit. The bus will drop you off at the 17 main sites to visit in Valencia. To reserve your tickets, click here.

You can reserve your tickets by selecting the day of your visit (French audio guide included).

➡️ By bike: a final and equally enjoyable option is to visit the city by bike (classic or electric). This 3-hour tour takes in the city center and the science cities. We advise you to book your tickets in advance.

4. ◊ L’Oceanografic : l’aquarium à faire absolument ◊

It is one of the main attractions of Valencia (for young and old), this huge aquarium, the largest in Europe, includes many aquatic animals (sharks, turtles, belugas, rays …) sorted by type of water (oceans, tropical waters, sea …).

We are not usually fans of aquariums and zoos, but here the spaces are so large, we spent a pleasant time watching the animals go about their business.

It’s an ideal activity for families and even more so when it rains in Valencia!

C’est très grand, le site comprend 7 espaces, comptez environ 3-4h pour pouvoir faire le tour des bassins et assister au spectacle de dauphins. Nous avons rédigé un article complet au sujet de notre visite de l’Océanografic.

We advise you to book your tickets online to avoid queuing at the ticket office(€33.70 per person – €25 for children aged 4 to 12).

How to get there, the aquarium is located next to the city of arts and sciences:

  • by car: a large parking lot is located right in front of the building 2.30€/hour
  • by metro: line 10 stop Oceanogràfic
  • by bike : about 5km from the center of Valencia

5. ◊ El Carmen : street art dans un quartier vivant ◊

For lovers of street art (graffiti on the walls), the El Carmen neighborhood is the place to be!

Located in the north of Valencia, between the historical center and the park of the “Turia”, this district gathers an impressive number of frescos more different the ones than the others. There is for all tastes (geometric, black and white, colored …) you will necessarily find your happiness.

It is a lively and animated district, it is here that the locals come to have a drink or to eat tapas (obviously) in terrace the evening and the weekend.

This neighborhood is bounded by the two towers of Serranos, which were part of the old wall that went around the city.

6. ◊ Faire du catamaran pour explorer la cote ◊

A great idea for an activity is to embark on a catamaran from the port of Valencia to sail along the coast, sunbathe on the boat’s suspended net and swim away from the crowds.

In short, a moment that will make you forget everything without ruining you!

➡️Book your tickets to have anaperitif at suns et on a catamaran(22€ per person for 1h30 of sailing)

➡️Book your tickets for a day cruise on a catamaran with several swimming stops (20€ per person for 1h30 of navigation)

7. ◊ Après-midi farniente à la plage ◊

Of course, how could you not go to the huge beach of Cabanyal located at only 4km from the city center.

You can either laze on the beach almost all year round (water temperature 23 degrees in October for example), take a walk along the avenue of palm trees that runs along the beach or eat an excellent paella with a sea view at El Trompo Restaurante. The choice is not going to be easy!

How to get to the beach from the center:

  • On foot after visiting the typical colorful fishermen’s quarter Cabanal, or the City of Science
  • By bike from the center crossing the Turia garden (about 7km)
  • By metro line 5, to the Maritim Serreria terminus, then walk to the beach through the Cabanal neighborhood

8. ◊ Les musées de la cité des arts et des sciences ◊

It is the work of the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava, the site (unmissable) is composed of several buildings with futuristic and surprising design, which have become symbols of the city of Valencia.

The most, the big basins all around, with the architecture which is reflected in it is of any beauty!

To help you find your way around, here are the different spaces and a map below:

  • Oceanogràfic: it is the biggest aquarium in Europe (we talk about it in detail in point 4), a must-see, remember to book your tickets in advance
  • Prince Philipe Science Museum: it’s an interactive and modern museum, with lots of screens and activities to handle for once, a good time guaranteed with friends, couple or family, book your tickets here
  • Hemisfèric: it is a 3D cinema in the shape of a sphere, you can book your tickets by selecting your date and time to watch a movie under the dome
  • Palace of Arts: it is a hall for operas, concerts and shows.
  • Umbracle: it is a huge garden of palm trees and other plants typical of the region all in length
  • The Golden Assut: it is a hyper modernist bridge

Notre conseil : le temps d’un week-end vous ne pourrez évidement pas visiter tous les musées, nous vous conseillons d’aller au moins sur place pour vous balader à vélo ou à pied dans cet immense espace et de traverser l’Umbracle. Si vous devez faire un seul musée privilégiez l’Océanografic. Nous avons rédigé un article complet pour votre visite de la cité des arts et des sciences de Valence.

Comment se rendre, à la cité des arts et des sciences :

  • en métro : ligne 10 arrêt Cité des Arts et des Sciences (Ciutat Arts i Ciences-Justicia)
  • en vélo : environ 5km du centre de Valence

It is obviously “the place to be” if it rains in Valencia and the main activity to do with the family

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9. ◊ Découvrir la gastronomie locale aux “Mercados” ◊

The most famous market is the Mercado Central, located in the center of the city, (a fresh produce market) it is the largest European fresh produce center with 400 small traders. You can try one of the many Valencian specialties.

We also recommend the Mercado de Colon, a little less touristy, to sit in one of the many cafes or restaurants and observe the atmosphere.

We were surprised by the number of culinary specialties, paella,Agua de Valencia (champagne soup native to the region with sparkling wine, vodka, gin and orange juice) andHorchata de Chufa tiger nut drink. It is a tuber that looks like a round and crumpled almond with a thicker skin, Spain is the only European producer and the first world producer.

Matthieu found the taste interesting, but I couldn’t finish my glass! Tell us in comments what you thought of this drink! Team Horchata or not, we are curious 😉

10. ◊ Profiter du coucher de soleil à la plage ◊

You have several options to enjoy the sunset in Valencia:

  • At the beach, it’s always a good idea, even if the Valencian beaches are facing east, you will still enjoy the beautiful lights during the famous “Golden hours”.
  • From the Albufera park, you can also go to the Albufera nature park to enjoy the sunset over the lake (15 minutes by car and 45 minutes by bus line 24).

The best activities

Avant votre départ, vous pouvez réserver vos activités pour partir en toute sérénité et ne pas perdre de temps une fois sur place. Nous vous avons sélectionné 3 activitésles plus intéressantes selon nous, ci-dessous. La visite de la ville en bus (hop on and hop off), L’Océanografic, le plus grand aquarium d’Europe et une soirée Valencienne avec un spectacle de flamenco.

Vous trouverez plein d’idée sur le site GetyourGuide, nous vous conseillons d’y jeter un œil !

N’oubliez pas de bien lire le descriptif afin de savoir ce qui est vraiment inclus afin de profiter pleinement de votre excursion.

Our walking itinerary to visit Valencia in 2 days [carte]

J1 Centre ville historique et quartier El Carmen

Partez de la plaça de la Reina (A) ou se situe la Cathédrale Sainte-Marie (B) (si vous arrivez avant 9h30 l’entrée est gratuite), puis grimper les 207 marches du Micalet (C) , pour profiter d’un point de vue à 360 degrés sur Valence.

Puis partez en direction de la Loge de la soie (D) (entrée gratuite) puis pour la pause déjeuner explorer le Marché Centralde Valence (E) pour le déjeuner situé juste à coté. Puis explorer le quartier El Carmen, admirez les différents graffitis jusqu’aux tours de Sarranos (F).

Puis vous pouvez réservez vos billets pour prendre l’apéro au coucher du soleil, en fin de journée, sur un catamaran (22€ par personne pour 1h30 de navigation rdv au port de Valence).

J2 Turia & cité des sciences

Go to the Tùria garden (A) (on foot from the Alameda station or by bike) towards the sea. Once at the City of Arts and Sciences (B): you can walk through the different spaces, then visit theOceanogràfic (C) (the largest aquarium in Europe) or you can continue your escapade to the sea front (D).

➡️For the Oceanografic (the aquarium) we advise you to book your ticket, cut line, online to avoid the line at the ticket office.

What to do in 3 or 4 days?

If you have more than one weekend, you still have plenty of things to visit, we recommend you :

  • Day 3: devote a day to El Cabanal, the old fishing district, then laze on the beach or along the seafront and finally leave by catamaran to explore the coast.
  • Day 4: devote a day to explore the different museums in the city of arts, you can visit the Prince Philip Science Museum, book your tickets here and attend a movie at the Hemisfèric, you can book your tickets by selecting your date and time to watch a movie under the dome

How to get to Valencia?

There is only one airport located west of Valencia. The tickets are more affordable than for Barcelona because the destination is less popular while the city is just as nice, we advise you to compare the prices on the Skyscanner website.

To give you an idea we paid 35€ round trip (in October) from Bordeaux with Ryanair.

How to get to the city center from the airport?

Valencia airport is located 8km from the city center, several options are available to you

  • Cab: 20 minutes 20€ approximately, if you are several it is an option which offers a good quality/price ratio. I even paid only 16€ at 4:30 am, yes there was nobody on the road, because my Ryanair flight was leaving Valencia at 6:45 am (it stings), I preferred to take the cab because the subway works only from 5 am. 
  • Metro: L3 or L5, 20 minutes 5,80€ per trip
  • Bus: 45 minutes, 1,45€ per trip

How to get around Valencia ?

  • Metro: with 8 metro lines you can go absolutely anywhere in Valencia (ticket price 1.50 euros for one zone, 2.80 euros for two zones, 4.80 euros for three zones).

  • Bus: you can visit the city by bus with multiple stops (hop on and hop off). The system is simple: you can get off to visit a monument that interests you and then get on the next bus to continue your visit.

    The bus will take you to the 17 main sites to visit in Valencia. We advise you to book your tickets in advance. To reserve your tickets, click here.

  • Bicycle: it is an ideal city to visit by bicycle, and thus to be able to easily connect the various points of interest. Either in total autonomy Lowcostbikerental (8€/day) or by means of an organized 3-hour cycling activity (classic or electric) remember to book your tickets

In which area to sleep in Valencia ?

Pas d’hésitation pour se loger à Valence, optez pour un hébergement dans le centre historique à proximité de la place de cathédrale Sainte-Marie et du marché central, un quartier animé en journée puis calme la nuit !

Cela vous permettra de visiter les principales places, monuments, le centre historique et le quartier El Carmen à pied. 

Si vous souhaitez vous concentrer sur la cité des arts et des sciences et les plages, nous vous recommandons de loger à l’extérieur du centre de Valence, les prix seront plus intéressants.

Our best addresses

Coup de coeur ♥♥♥: Mon Suites San Nicolas, historic center district : The apartment’s location is perfect for visiting Valencia’s historic center on foot. In a beautiful, fully renovated building, our accommodation was spacious with air-conditioning, kitchen and tastefully decorated, excellent value for money and you’ll feel right at home. We would definitely go back.

With pool: The Valentia Cabillers, in the historic center, where summer temperatures can reach over 40 degrees. We spotted this hotel, in the heart of the historic center, offering great facilities and a rooftop swimming pool, so don’t hesitate to take a dip!

With the family : Macflats Ayuntamiento, If you come group or individual family, we booked this huge accommodation for 6 persons with 3 rooms (there are also accommodations for 4 people), ideally located, close to the central station and the historic district, with a friendly team (we were able to enter the accommodation early) and above all excellent value for money.

Cheap : Home Youth Hostel by Feetup Hostels is a nicely decorated youth hostel, certainly the best value for money in Valencia, right in the historic center.

Where to eat and drink in Valencia?

The city is full of restaurants and bars, so you’re sure to find something you like! We love going to Spain because the cafes and restaurants are always packed, at all hours of the day.

  • El Trompo: to eat an excellent paella and moreover in front of the sea, in short the perfect place, think of reserving!
  • Rincon 33: a Spanish restaurant to eat excellent paella this time in the historic center, remember to book!
  • Jijonenca (next to the beach) : to try the famous horchata with doughnuts like the locals (tell us in comments what you thought of this drink!)
  • Burritos: a Mexican restaurant (or felt like a change from Spanish food) with good quality products, located right next to the City of Arts and Sciences.
  • Malila Coffee & Restaurant: vegan brunch in a nice place in the historical center
  • Jockey València: to dance on Spanish music !

Our map of Valencia

We have grouped all our best addresses on a map to facilitate your visit to Valencia:

What to do around Valencia?

➡️If you’d like to visit the surrounding area, you can rent a car at . To compare rental prices, we recommend the RentalCars website.  

  • Chulilla and the road of the suspension bridges, located in the park natural Chera-Sot of Chera. A 5 km hike along and across 2 suspension bridges over the Turia river gorge.
    The first part to go down in the cayon is complicated because very steep. Once in the cayon the path is almost flat (beware of mosquitoes)! (about 40 minutes west of Valencia)
  • Chelva, the water route, the lovely village of Chelva is the starting point for a beautiful hike, an 11km loop that passes through the village and its many fountains, then follows the river. (about 50 minutes to the west)
  • Xàtiva Castle, one of the most impressive, located on top of a hill, cradle of the Borgia family, one of the most important families in Spain (1h drive south)
  • Détroit de l’Ebre is the Spanish Camargue, with a flat surface area of 320km2, ideal for observing rice fields, salt flats and numerous birds. (about 2 hours drive north, it’s a bit far but it’s really beautiful)

We thank you for having read us to the end, you have understood that we love this elegant and wooded city, still preserved from mass tourism, and we are already looking forward to returning.

Feel free to leave us a note below to let us know if you are planning this trip, ask any questions or share on social networks(our Instagram) we will answer you with great pleasure!

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My name is Floriane, and I've been an adventurer and travel enthusiast since I was very young. More than anything, I love sharing our travel stories and tips with you. We love short getaways as well as long trips. This blog was born after our backpacking trip around the world. We also went on a family tour of Europe.
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