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What to do in Valencia?
I enjoyed this city so much, and there was more than enough to do in Valencia. The city center is not too big and that makes it the perfect place to do things by foot. Love that. In my personal opinion a perfect location for a city trip. Hopefully, you will agree with me after this post and put Valencia on your bucket list. Another good thing about Valencia is that it’s relatively flat and that makes it excellent to bike around town.
Biking, an excellent way to move around.
You will find plenty of bike rental shops around town. Another option is making use of the city bikes of Valenbisi. However, you have to register to do so, and that might make it more trouble to arrange. Personally, I would just go to a rental shop. Click on the link for more information about Valenbisi.
The biggest park of Valencia Jardín del Turia is the perfect cycling area. It stretches out for 8 kilometers in an old river bedding. The river was diverted to the edge of town after a terrible flood in 1957. The towns Council had plans to convert the old river bedding into a road. However, the people of Valencia disagreed with this and after years of protest against the plans, the City Council finally caved in the eighties. The river bedding was converted into the current park after that.
Visit the highlights by bike or cycle out of town as I did, enjoying the beach and surrounding area. In short, enjoy some biking in Valencia. But there is more to do in Valencia.
City of arts and science
The city of arts and science is a big square situated in Jardín del Turia. Here you will find the opera house and cultural center (Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía). The first opera was performed in 2005. On the other side of the square, you will find the science museum, Príncipe Felipe. The philosophy of the museum is “forbidden not to touch.” Here you will find interactive exhibitions about science and technology. A little bit further Oceanogràfic can be found the biggest aquarium in Europe. It houses seven different areas holding 500 different species. If you prefer different animals, you can do so 8 kilometers further on the other side of the park at Bioparc Valencia.
There is more than enough to see and do in the city of arts and science to fill your entire day. Even if you don’t want to go inside the buildings I highly recommend paying a visit. The architecture is amazing. Done with the arts and science take some time to relax in the park.
Mercado Central (central market)
The market was opened by King Alfonso XII on January 23, 1928. It can hold a total of 959 stalls, I think you can imagine how big the indoor market is. The materials used to build Mercado central are Iron, ceramic and glass. The highest point is 30 meters, and if you take a good look on the outside on top of the building, you should be able to see a green parrot. Didn’t spot the bird myself but it is supposed to be true. You can find so much delicious food at the market like beautiful hams, fish, herbs, vegetables, bread and other delicious treats. I would definitely pay a visit even if it’s just to walk through the market. It’s open from Monday till Saturday from 7 a.m. till 3 p.m.
City hall was build in different styles and an important Valencian monument. Situated on a big plaza with fountains. You will also find a tourist information on the square. Besides the government in city hall, there is also a historical museum inside where you can find out more about the history of Valencia. Close by you can visit train station north a beautiful building and Museo Taurino about bullfighting inside an arena. Find out more about the sport where most foreigners frown upon. Despite the fact a lot of people disagree with bullfighting the game was made cultural heritage in 2013. It’s also possible to visit the inner ring of the arena.
Plaza de la Reina
Plaza de la Reina means “plaza of the queen.” The square is dedicated to King Alfonso XIII and his wife María de las Mercedes de Orleans when they got married on January 23, 1978. Around the plaza, you will find many cozy bars and restaurants. Undoubtedly you will find something to your liking.
Adjacent to the square is the Cathedral of Valencia build between 1262 and 1356 in Romanesque-, gothic- and baroque- style. Before the cathedral was built, a mosque was situated at the location. The cathedral is dedicated to the holy virgin Mary. Besides the many art treasures like the paintings of Francisco Goya the cathedral of Valencia is mostly known for the holy grail that is kept there since the 15th century. The holy grail fell and broke in 1785 and of course got restored afterward.
If you like to use the tourist bus you can hop on from Plaza de la Reina as well. There are three different routes, the historical, Albufera, and maritime route.
Going to the beach
In the case, you are done for a little while with cultural things and just want to relax, enjoy the sun and swim for a bit, that is also something you can do in Valencia. The beach is just around the corner, and it’s an easy bike ride to get there. What’s also great about biking to the beach is the fact that you can bike further down the beach to find a nice a quiet spot for yourselves. Not in the mood to bike use public transport: Bus: 1, 2, 19, 31, or 32.
Love the food
One thing I highly recommend is enjoying the fantastic food in Valencia. You can find many great restaurants in this city. The place I enjoyed a lot was Mercat de Colón. An old market that continued as a market with restaurants and bars inside divided over two floors after it got restored in 2003.
If you get lucky and visit Valencia during “De tapas con Turia en Valencia” (10 days once a year), you will receive two different tapas and a beer at restaurants that are participating for just €3. Participating restaurants and the tourist office normally have free booklets with all the restaurants and what the tapas you will get during the tapas tour. Such a delicious way to explore different restaurants because after your two tapas you will try out some other tapas somewhere else. At least that’s what I did. That way you get to see a lot of the city in the process as well.
The picture above is from a few years back because this advertisement shows some tapas as well. 🙂 As you can see it gets sponsored by Turia beer. The big advantage of this is that it keeps the price down. Check de following website to see when the next “De tapas con Turia” en Valencia will be in 2018.
In my opinion, a city trip to Valencia is definitely worth it. There is more than enough to see and do in Valencia. If you are heading down to Valencia, have fun!
Ever been in Valencia? Do you have any tips for other people about what see and do in Valencia? Let people know down in the comments and/or share this post on social media.