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Valencia Travel Guide: 10 Things You Must Do and Visit

City Guide February 8, 2024

 

 

Nestled on Spain's southeastern coast, Valencia is a city where sunshine meets innovation and history dances with modernity. It's a place where the whispers of the past blend seamlessly with the buzz of the future, offering an unparalleled experience to every traveler. From the awe-inspiring City of Arts and Sciences to the bustling streets lined with tapas bars, Valencia is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

Whether you're marveling at the intricate façade of the Valencia Cathedral, savoring the flavors of authentic rice dishes, or basking in the verdant expanse of the Turia Gardens, Valencia invites you to immerse yourself in its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and culinary delights. Welcome to your ultimate guide on what to do in Valencia, what to see in Valencia, where adventure and discovery are everywhere.

Before diving into the heart of Valencia and exploring all this city's wonders, let's talk about a game-changer for your travel experience – Nannybag's luggage storage service. Imagine strolling through the city's picturesque streets, hopping from one iconic site to another, without the burden of your luggage slowing you down. Thanks to Nannybag luggage storage Valencia, this convenience is not just imaginable but entirely possible.

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Now, let's embark on our journey through Valencia, discovering the top 10 things you must do and visit to truly capture this dazzling city's essence.

 

1. Valencia Cathedral and the Holy Chalice

Nestled in the city's heart, the Valencia Cathedral is a masterpiece of diverse architectural styles, from Romanesque to Baroque, each telling a part of Valencia's rich history. As you wander through its hallowed halls, you'll find yourself in the presence of the Holy Chalice, reputed to be the very cup used by Jesus during the Last Supper. This revered relic has placed Valencia Cathedral on the map for pilgrims and history enthusiasts alike. Don't miss the opportunity to climb the Miguelete Tower for a breathtaking panoramic city view.

 

2. The City of Arts and Sciences

An architectural marvel and a symbol of Valencia's forward-thinking, the City of Arts and Sciences is a futuristic complex that will capture your imagination. Here, science and art collide in a spectacular display of human ingenuity. The Science Museum invites curious minds to explore interactive exhibits, while the Oceanographic, Europe's largest aquarium, offers a glimpse into the underwater world. This area is a feast for the eyes and a playground for the mind, making it a must-visit for families and travelers of all ages.

 

3. Mercado Central (Central Market)

Step into the bustling atmosphere of Mercado Central, one of Europe's largest and most beautiful markets. Under its intricate modernist dome, you'll find a vibrant mosaic of colors, scents, and flavors. This market is a haven for food lovers, offering the freshest produce, meats, cheeses, and spices.

It's the perfect place to sample local delicacies, pick up ingredients for a picnic, or simply soak in the lively market culture. The Mercado Central is not just a market; it's the beating heart of Valencia's culinary scene.

 

4. Lonja de la Seda

A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Lonja de la Seda, or the Silk Exchange, stands as a testament to Valencia's golden age of commerce. With its spiraling columns and intricate vaults, this UNESCO World Heritage site transports visitors back to when Valencia was a major economic power in the Mediterranean. Its grandiose Hall of Columns, designed to resemble a palm grove, is particularly breathtaking. The Lonja de la Seda is a reminder of the city's rich mercantile history and is a must-see for anyone interested in architecture and history.

 

 

5. Plaza de la Virgen

Plaza de la Virgen is a picturesque square surrounded by some of the city's most iconic buildings, including the Valencia Cathedral, in the historic heart of Valencia. This lively square is always buzzing with energy, making it a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists.

Whether enjoying a cup of coffee at one of the terraces, watching street performers, or simply soaking in the vibrant atmosphere, Plaza de la Virgen offers a slice of Valencian life. It's the perfect spot to take a break and watch the world go by.

 

6. Bioparc Valencia

Bioparc Valencia is a new-generation zoo designed under the concept of zoo-immersion. Here, barriers are practically invisible, and animals coexist as close to their natural habitat as possible. Focusing on African fauna, you can journey through the savannah, Madagascar, and the equatorial forests, observing elephants, giraffes, gorillas, and leopards up close.

Bioparc is not just about observing animals; it's about raising awareness and commitment to conservation. A visit here is an educational and inspiring experience, offering insights into the importance of preserving biodiversity and the natural world.

 

7. Albufera Natural Park

Just a short drive from the city center lies the Albufera Natural Park, an important wetland and the birthplace of Valencia's signature dish, paella. This tranquil oasis starkly contrasts the bustling city life with serene waters, rice paddies, and a rich variety of birdlife. Take a boat ride on the lagoon to fully appreciate Albufera's natural beauty and tranquility. For foodies, experiencing a traditional paella in its original setting and overlooking the water at sunset is an unforgettable experience that combines gastronomy with spectacular natural views.

 

8. The Turia Gardens

What was once the riverbed of the Turia River has been transformed into an expansive green space that snakes through the city. The Turia Gardens are Valencia's lung, offering a peaceful escape with lush landscapes, sports facilities, playgrounds, and cultural venues. It's the perfect place for a bike ride, a leisure walk, or a picnic with friends. The gardens also lead to several of Valencia's major attractions, including the City of Arts and Sciences, making exploring the city a pleasant and scenic route.

 

 

9. Tapas Bars and Valencian Cuisine

No visit to Valencia would be complete without indulging in its rich culinary offerings. The city is dotted with tapas bars, each serving delicious bites that are a feast for the senses. From classic patatas bravas to innovative creations, tapas are a way of life here. Beyond tapas, Valencia is the birthplace of paella, and savoring this iconic rice dish in a local restaurant is a must-do.

Don't forget to try horchata, a refreshing drink made from tiger nuts, another local specialty. Valencia's culinary scene is a delightful exploration of flavors, traditions, and innovation.

 

10. IVAM (Institut Valencià d'Art Modern)

For art enthusiasts, the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM) offers a deep dive into contemporary and modern art. As one of Spain's foremost modern art museums, IVAM boasts an impressive collection from the 20th century to the present, including works by Spanish and international artists. The museum's exhibitions are thought-provoking and diverse, covering a range of mediums and themes. IVAM is not just a museum but a cultural hub providing insights into the modern artistic movement and its impact on society.

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