Valencia is a vibrant city on the mediterranean coast of Spain.
With a population of around 800,000 its the capital of the Valencian Community which includes the provinces of Castellon Alicante and Valencia.
The city is famous for its oranges and Fallas Festival. It is also the 3rd largest city in Spain.
What to see in Valencia
I have visited the city a few times now. More recently in April 2019.
Here are my must see spots in the city of Valencia.
Fallas is a noisy celebration with lots of bonfires, fireworks and bangers. Each year it is celebrated Mid March. Although before the festival some weeks before the selection of the Fallera happens. The Falleras are girls wearing typical Valencia dress. (seen above) These dresses are intricately embroidered and made with only the finest fabrics and threads.
Check this post for more about the local festival of Las Fallas or when you are in Valencia why not visit the Museo Fallero on Calle Monteolivete 4. They are open from 10am to 7pm Mon to Sat and 10am to 2pm on Sundays. It costs 2 euros to go in.
Inside the Fallas Museum you can see some of the models that were not burnt over the years and some Fallera dresses.
Valencia – Where to Stay
Both located in the same area of the city, just off the Gran Via Marques de Turia.
With plenty of Bars, cafés and restaurants on the doorstep, I found both stays comfortable and practical.
Breakfast at Hotel Dimar:
Puerta del Mar
The Puerta del Mar was very close to the hotel and I enjoyed walking past this each time I was on my way to the hotel. Built in the 1940s it is a reproduction of an gateway that was close to the port of Valencia.
The original gate to the sea was built in 1356 and was part of the medieval city walls, but was demolished many years ago.
The Silk Exchange
For me personally the highlight of the city visiting another UNESCO world heritage site. The Llotja de Seda was built in the 1500’s and used as a Silk Exchange. A place where merchants from all over Europe would meet here to trade in silk.
Used over several centuries, the hall of columns was the main trading room.
Lonja de Seda
Built in Gothic style between 1482 – 1548, even the outside of the building is also quite impressive. If you take a moment to look up high you can see lots of intricate gargoyles on the facade.
These stone carvings are dramatic and detailed.
Opening hours are 9.30am to 7.00pm Monday to Saturday.
On Sundays it opens from 9.30am until 3.00pm
Enjoy a Silk Route Guided Tour
City of Arts & Sciences
If you have several days in Valencia, spend one of them at the Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias it´s one of the main attractions for visitors.
Spread out over a large area which used to be the riverbed, this modern complex has A Science Museum, an Oceangraphic, an Opera house and the Hemispheric which has an IMAX 3D cinema inside amongst other attractions.
I didnt have much time the day I visited and only managed to see a small part of the Science Museum.
The modern architecture makes this one of the most photogenic parts of Valencia with all the whiteness and sharp lines.
Agua de Valencia
When you visit Valencia don´t miss the delicious drink Agua de Valencia.
This is a combination of fresh local orange juice, cava, vodka and gin.
Created in the late 1920´s using the local fruit and it is delicious.
How to make Agua de Valencia
- One Litre of Cava
- One Litre of Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- 500ml of Vodka
- 500ml of Gin
- Ice cubes, Slices of Orange & Sugar to taste
The Cathedral tower is known as the Micalet.
Built in the 14th century the cathedral has been restored and altered over the centuries.
The Cathedral is built in the Gothic style and was consecrated in 1238.
Inside it has a Holy Chalice which is believed to be the Holy Grail. With inscriptions from the 1st century this came to Valencia in the 1400s via the king Alfonso V of Aragon.
Shopping in Valencia
The Corte Ingles next to the Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias is huge. With 9 floors its the largest department store in Valencia. This is a good option if you have parked nearby as you can walk from the Science Museum area or Oceanographic to get to the store.
For high end and designer shops head to the area around on Carrer del Poeta Querol. Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors have shops here for example.
For high street stores and the main commercial area look at the Carrer de Colon area.
Back into the old town and I noticed these baskets seen above. The round ones are for collecting snails in the campo.
The area of natural space called the Albufera is where rice is grown. This is the home of the Paella Valenciana.
You can take a bus tour to see this area and even get on one of the boats around the paddy fields.
I visited Restaurante El Rek one Sunday to try their Paella. There are many restaurants in this area.
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