Wondering what the best things to do in Valencia? I’ve got you covered. After traveling and even living in Spain, here are a few of my top tips in exploring this beautiful city.
Although Madrid and Barcelona typically grab the headlines when it comes to talking about Spain, the third-largest city is trundling along in the background with so much to offer.
I’m talking about a thriving art, cultural, eating, and nightlife scene, strikingly futuristic buildings, massive green parks, stretching sandy beaches, and an Old Quarter full of character.
Overall, Valencia is a wonderfully charming city teeming with life and famous for rice dishes like paella. What more could you want?
With so much to do and see, regardless of the time of year, you travel here, here is a list of our top favorite things to do in Valencia.
- Things to do in Valencia Highlights
- Best Things to Do in Valencia
- 1. Visit the City of Arts and Sciences
- 2. Gaze at the Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas
- 3. Take a food or wine tour
- 4. Go Plaza Hopping
- 5. Visit Valencia Cathedral
- 6. Bathe in the Admiral’s Baths
- 7. Relax at Café Negrito, one of the most popular hangouts in the city
- 8. Experience lunch cooked to perfection at Restaurante Navarro
- 9. Visit Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange)
- 10. Stroll around the Jardines del Real
- 11. Go Blob Jumping
- 12. Get a glimpse of Plaza de Toros
- 13. Wander around the Barrio del Carmen neighborhood
- 14. Drink craft beer
- 15. Be amazed by the amazing L’Umbracle
- 16. Stay a night at the Hotel Las Arenas Balneario Resort
- 17. Hang out with locals at La Taberna Reina
- 18. Hit the shops or one of the many malls in the city
- 19. Wander around Valencia’s Central Market
- 20. Cycle the old Turia riverbed
- 21. Discover Albufera Natural Park
- 22. Grab a local meal at Bocadella Tapas
- 23. Go on a via Ferrata excursion
- 24. Visit Torres de Serranos
- 25. Spend the day at La Malvarrosa Beach
- 26. Get trendy at the hip district of Ruzafa
- 27. Staycation in Casual Vintage Valencia
- 28. Experience the weird and wonderful Las Fallas Festival
- 29. Go on a Canyoning Tour
- 30. Spend Time in the Science Museum
- Day Trips from Valencia
Things to do in Valencia Highlights
- Valencia Old Town Tour with Wine + Tapas: This highly rated tour is one of the best things to do in Valencia! Mixing together a historic tour with wine and tapas, how can you go wrong.
- Valencian Paella Workshop and Market Visit: Paella is a very famous dish in Spain, and learning to make it yourself can be a great activity for anyone who wants to truly experience Spanish culture during their trip.
- Valencia Sunset Cruise: Enjoy the stunning waters of Valencia on this beautiful sunset cruise, complete with a glass of cava!
- Excursion to Albufera Natural Park: Many people have no idea that Spain is home to some of the most gorgeous wetlands in the world, which can be enjoyed through tours like this one!
- Exclusive Dinner and a Flamenco Show: Enjoy this highly rated local experience of a dinner and flamenco show at La Buleria.
- Vintage Sidecar Tours: Explore the best of Valencia city in this unique and fun tour around the city while riding vintage motorcycle sidecars.
- Valencia Art and Architecture: Learn about the culture of Valencia through this walking tour, which focuses on the rich art and architecture of the area.
Best Things to Do in Valencia
1. Visit the City of Arts and Sciences
A must-see for any visitor, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is an amazing place consisting of a group of futuristic buildings designed by local architects.
Containing 6 district zones or buildings, you can fill so much of your time exploring the L’Hemisferic, El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, L’Umbracle, L’Oceanogràfic, El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, and L’Àgora.
The architectural styles of each building is pretty out of this world and is uniqy to the Valencia region.
Insider’s Tip: Keen on discovering what the City of Arts and Sciences has to offer? Save some Euros (and time spent in line!) by buying a combined ticket that provides entry to your chosen sites. If you’re more interested in the design and architecture of the area, a Segway tour is a fun way to explore and see these intriguing buildings in a different way.
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2. Gaze at the Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas
One of the top sights in Valencia, don’t leave the city without admiring the Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas, home to a Valencian noble family.
As well as having the most beautiful marble entryway, this luxurious residence has also been fully restored and retains much of its original furniture and decoration. It’s also home to the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts.
3. Take a food or wine tour
One of our favorite ways to experience the true culture of a new city is to take a food or wine tour with a local. We love this paella making class as learning how to make paella is a staple in the Valencian culture!
Not only does this give you an insight into their cuisine, but it is always incredibly fun and delicious. Plus, you usually end up learning about all the best local hotspots and making friends for life.
Top Tip: Don’t leave Spain without experiencing its glorious tapas culture! A tapas tour is an excellent way to taste some of the best tapas in Valencia. Visit three delicious tapas spots for some yummy food, and learn more about Spanish food culture along the way. Check out the tapas tour here.
4. Go Plaza Hopping
There are so many squares in Valencia where you can fill your boots with history and your faces with food. So, if you have the time, consider visiting them all.
The main plazas to see include:
- Plaza de la Virgen, home to the Turia Fountain and lined with iconic historic buildings. Plaza de la Virgen is one of the main squares in Valencia and is pretty hard to miss!
- Placa de la Reina (Plaza de la Reina)
- Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the Town Hall Square
- Plaza de Toros de Valencia, one of the largest bullrings in Spain
Get your camera ready and pose for some pretty snapshots for your Instagram!
5. Visit Valencia Cathedral
If you’ve ever spent time wandering around Spain, you would know how iconic their cathedrals are. The Valencia Cathedral is no exception.
The Cathedral de Valencia is a gothic-style building located in the Old Town and is home to ornate decorations and historical artifacts. They even have a cathedral museum which is home to works by famous artists like Goya and Maella.
We recommend climbing the Miguelete tower for panoramic views of the city. You will need to climb 207 steps to reach the top, but the views of the Old Town make it worthwhile.
6. Bathe in the Admiral’s Baths
The only ones of their kind left in this seaside city, the Baños Arabes del Almirante are the remnants of 14th-century Valencia when it was under Muslim control.
Open Tuesday through Sunday, you can get a peaceful and relaxing glimpse into the city’s curious past.
7. Relax at Café Negrito, one of the most popular hangouts in the city
You heard us right! Café Negrito is one of the most popular hangout spots for a reason!
With a cozy interior and a large terrace, you can enjoy a cold beer or creative cocktail here with friends for an hour or two or long into the night. The lively atmosphere is quite infectious so if you go once, you may want to squeeze in time for another visit!
A restaurant highly recommended by all, Restaurante Navarro is particularly known for its fantastic paella.
Trust us when we say you’ll be visiting this place again before you leave Valencia. first-class service, an ambient terrace, and delicious food paired with top-notch sangria or wine.
9. Visit Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange)
Lonja de la Seda or Llotja de la Seda is a gothic style civil building and is one of the most visited attractions in Valencia and is located right in the heart of the Old Town.
The La Lonja de la Seda was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1996. Also known as the Silk Exchange, it is located in front of the Central Market and the Temple of Santos Juanes.
If you’re walking along the city center and want to take in some history, a trip to Lonja de la Seda is highly recommended.
10. Stroll around the Jardines del Real
Previously a part of the Royal Palace, you can expect extravagant gardens maintained to perfection at the biggest park in the city.
Enter through a beautiful entrance lined with palm trees and stroll through the grounds full of monuments, fountains, viveros (greenhouses), birdhouses, and cafes. A perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon!
Another pretty park to stroll around while in Valencia is Turia Park. These two parks are very popular tourist attractions in Valencia.
11. Go Blob Jumping
Yes, it is as fun as it sounds!
Invented by bored American soldiers on a rubber fuel tank, blob jumping has since turned into this ridiculously fun and fast-growing adrenaline-fuelled activity. Get propelled into the air by jumping on giant blobs, and we’ll bet you’ll land in the water with the biggest smile on your face!
12. Get a glimpse of Plaza de Toros
Whether you’re a fan of bullfighting or not, a quick visit to the Valencia bullring is worth adding to your sightseeing list.
Get a glimpse into the deep roots of Spanish culture by admiring this neoclassical-style and undeniably impressive arena.
13. Wander around the Barrio del Carmen neighborhood
If you want to experience the true soul of this Spanish city, a visit to Barrio del Carmen in the Ciutat Vella (Old Town) will do the trick.
A coastal city sandwiched between the 11th-century Muslim wall and the 14th-century Christian wall, you can imagine that this pocket-sized place is rich with history.
14. Drink craft beer
One of the best craft breweries in Valencia, Birra and Blues attract those who appreciate high-quality and natural award-winning beer. With no artificial additives or preservatives, you can take a guided tour of the facilities by the master brewer or just enjoy the finest of beer right by the sea.
15. Be amazed by the amazing L’Umbracle
Walk through this truly magnificent sculpture garden, an outdoor garden full of plants native to the area all under unique arched structures.
As well as the landscaped walk, L’Umbracle also has a modern bar (Terraza L’Umbracle) which features a relaxing lounge area and lively dance floor in the evening, all within this beautiful setting.
16. Stay a night at the Hotel Las Arenas Balneario Resort
Want to sleep with sea views and just a stone’s throw away from a stretching sandy beach? Yearning to relax in the spa and take a short stroll along the beach boardwalk into the old city? Dreaming of eating breakfast on a luxury terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea?
If this sounds like heaven to you, why not stay a night (or two, or ten!) in this luxury 5-star deluxe hotel? The most popular of its kind in the whole of Valencia, Hotel Las Arenas Balneario Resort is the ideal choice for a high-end stay in this city.
17. Hang out with locals at La Taberna Reina
We all love a good tavern, so head to this local favorite and soak up the Valencian sun with views of the Cathedral.
Eat your fair share of tapas and pintxos, paired with a beer or two, and relax with locals in this informal and bustling environment is one of the best things to do in Valencia.
18. Hit the shops or one of the many malls in the city
If you have the time or if you’re in need of retail therapy, Valencia has you more than covered.
Not only does every area have its own street market once a week, the city also has a plethora of malls where you’ll find most major brands.
Hit the high street shops, discover local independent stores, and make your way to the giant Centros Comerciales (shopping malls) such as Nuevo Centro, El Saler, BonAire, Parque Ademuz, Aqua, or the high-end mall of Galería Don Juan de Austria.
19. Wander around Valencia’s Central Market
Central markets are always teeming with unique sights, sounds, and smells that are indicative of the city’s history and culture. Valencia’s Central Market is no exception.
Wander around this incredible food market, and you’ll get a much closer look into the daily life of a Valencian.
While you’re in Mercado Central, it’s also a good idea to try some local food and savor their delicacies, so go ahead and try whatever catches your eye! It’s a great spot to try the local delicacies.
20. Cycle the old Turia riverbed
Once a wide and powerful river that split the city in two, the River Turia was redirected elsewhere after it flooded the city after a horrendous storm in the 1950s. Now what is left is a stunning park in the center of the city stretching as far as you can see.
Walk, cycle, or lounge here for a few hours. If you rent bikes, you can pick them up from one end and drop them off at the other.
21. Discover Albufera Natural Park
Head to the south of Valencia to experience Albufera, home to the country’s largest lake and most scenic wetlands and lagoons.
Take a traditional boat ride to experience the full biodiversity of this park. You’ll get a glimpse of a variety of animals in their natural habitat and local fishermen working on the shallow waters, and see first hand how the rice from your paella is grown.
22. Grab a local meal at Bocadella Tapas
Affordable, friendly, and delicious, Bocadella Tapas offers genuine Spanish delicacies.
With such high praise from locals and tourists alike, it’s amazing that this gem of a place isn’t bursting at the seams with the number of people who seek it out. Found under the lush trees just outside of the center, this restaurant is a must-visit for foodies who seek an authentic tapas experience.
23. Go on a via Ferrata excursion
You may be in a city, but not far away is an adrenaline experience just waiting to be had!
Take a half trip away from the sights and head into the mountains for a thrill with a via Ferrata excursion. Ascend the rocks in these fixed climbing routes until you hit the peak! Suitable even for beginners, this outing will make your trip to Valencia an unforgettable one.
24. Visit Torres de Serranos
Imagine the whole of Valencia surrounded by old medieval walls in the 14th century when you stand at the foot of all that remains of them: the Torres de Quart and the Torres de Serranos.
Look up at these towering twin stone gates and climb to the top of them for city views. While you’re up there, imagine this being the city’s main exit for traders passing through to Barcelona and Northern Spain.
25. Spend the day at La Malvarrosa Beach
Valencia has many unspoiled beaches along its impressive coastline so you are in no way short of places to sit down with your toes in the sand and chill.
For a wide beach with clean soft sand stretching for miles, head to the most popular one in the city: La Malvarrosa.
26. Get trendy at the hip district of Ruzafa
“Why is this place hip?”, we hear you say. Well, it’s because of where Ruzafa sits on the coolness scale.
Full of small art galleries, indie boutiques, organic food shops, coffee shops, American-style bakeries, cafes with sun terraces, burger bars, fusion restaurants, and late-night bars and clubs, this district is full of vibrant people doing interesting things.
27. Staycation in Casual Vintage Valencia
Although “casual” is in its name, Casual Vintage Valencia doesn’t slack on service or amenities.
Located in the city center, you can enjoy a comfortable and stylish room decorated in a retro-game theme, a filling breakfast every day, exceptional service 24/7, and a prime location close to everything you need.
28. Experience the weird and wonderful Las Fallas Festival
We absolutely love traveling somewhere when they have a traditional festival or celebration going on, so consider heading to Valencia to experience the spectacle that is the Las Fallas Festival.
The weirdest, loudest, and most elaborate fiesta, the whole week involves parades of large and exuberant statues and people letting off firecrackers and fireworks 24 hours a day.
The Fallas de Valencia festival is a traditional celebration held annually in commemoration of Saint Joseph in the city of Valencia, Spain.
The five main days where the celebrations take place is usually from the 15th to the 19th of March. It is a huge festival so make sure you book ahead of time if you want to join in on the festivities.
29. Go on a Canyoning Tour
If you’re looking for adventure on your city break, take a day out from sightseeing and head towards the nature that surrounds the city.
A canyoning adventure is sure to thrill! Full of waterfalls, pristine pools of water, and smooth winding canyons, feel the rush of excitement as you spend the day exploring, climbing, abseiling and cliff jumping until your heart is content.
30. Spend Time in the Science Museum
While visiting Valencia, we highly recommend spending time in the Science Museum. Forming part of the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts), this bright and modern museum is a visitor favorite while in Valencia.
The Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe will stimulate curiosity and critical thinking with its variety of interactive exhibits and workshops, so head there if you want to fill your brain with science.
Day Trips from Valencia
If you have a few days, you can always venture outside of the city to experience Valencia in its entirety.
From adventure trips and nature trips to castle visits or exploring smaller surrounding towns, you can make your Valencia experience your own by choosing an activity you love.
Popular day trips are:
- El Saler
- Albufera Natural Park
- Tavernes Blanques
We recommend renting a car so that you have the freedom to explore Valencia and the neighboring places. We always use Discover Cars as they compare the car rental price between multiple companies, allowing you to choose one that fits your budget.
Travel Tip: Not sure how to spend an extra day in Valencia? Check out tours and activities that are available in the city, and you just might find something that you didn’t even know you could do! Whether it’s a cooking class, a jeep adventure, or a flamenco show, you’ll surely find something that catches your fancy.
We hope this extensive list of things to do in Valencia will help you discover the ins-and-outs of the city so that you get a full-on awesome Spanish experience. And if you need help figuring out where to stay, read our guide to the best places to stay in Valencia.
What are your favorite things to do in Valencia? Share with us in the comments!