Here are six plans for a two-day break in Valencia. We include a bit of history, a bit of sun and sand, a bit of gastronomy and a bit of culture. A well-rounded break!
Few cities are as tourist friendly as Valencia. The city offers a wide range of attractions: from the historic centre, which is full of iconic buildings, to the beach, where you can go for a stroll next to the sea, and the long gardens on the former riverbed of the Turia. There is no shortage of museums and restaurants where you can nourish your body and soul. We show you how to get the most out of the city over two days.
Explore the historic centre
There are many buildings in Valencia that you can’t afford to miss, like the cathedral, which is home to the Holy Chalice (its Jubilee Year is being celebrated in 2021), the Silk Exchange (Lonja de la Seda), the market (Mercat Central), and the Church of San Nicolás, known as the Valencian “Sistine Chapel”, to name but a few.
You can’t afford to miss visiting all these places. You can explore the historic centre at your own leisure or book a guided tour, which will unveil all the secrets of this thousand-year-old city. Whatever you choose to do, at some point during the day you can rest in a square and cool down with a refreshing glass of orxata (tiger nut milk). You can enjoy this delicious drink in Mercado Colón, a spectacular Modernist building.
Cycling in the Turia Gardens
Valencia is the ideal place for a bike ride. The former riverbed of the Turia has been converted into vast, lush gardens that cross the city from west to east. There are many different trees and spaces for sports or to relax in the shade. At one end you’ll find Bioparc València, a place to discover the habitats of the African savanna and Madagascar, and the species that live there. At the other end, the City of Arts and Sciences, with the Oceanogràfic, the largest aquarium in Europe, the IMAX cinema at the Hemisfèric, and the Science Museum, where the motto is “Forbidden not to touch”.
“Esmorzaret” and paella
When in Rome, do as the Romans do… And when in Valencia, you have to follow two food traditions: “esmorzaret” (a hearty mid-morning snack made up of an appetiser, a large sandwich and a drink) and paella. We definitely recommend both of these when you visit!
For the first one, a good place to go is Central Bar (in Mercado Central), La Bernarda (in Mercado de Tapinería) or Bar Marví (close to the City of Arts and Sciences). And if you want to taste delicious paella, go to Casa Carmela or La Pepica (near the Malvarrosa Beach); Nou Racó or Casa Mateu (in La Albufera); and Borja Azcutia, Palace Fesol or Goya Gallery (in the Ensanche area). These are just a few of the many places where you can enjoy the most typical Valencian dish.
Enjoy the beach with nautical activities
Thanks to Valencia’s climate, you can enjoy the sea all year round. There are also many fun activities available. Windsurfing, paddle boarding and jet skiing, as well as watching the sunset from a catamaran, or renting a motorboat or sailing boat just for you and your companions. Many of these activities are available at La Marina de València. There is also a wide range of restaurants and a great atmosphere. La Patacona and El Cabanyal, the old fishing district, are also good places to go for a walk after a day at the beach, to enjoy tapas and the best Mediterranean flavours.
Visit La Albufera
This place is a must if you come to Valencia. From La Albufera you can enjoy the most beautiful sunsets in the city. You can just go for a walk at your leisure, or on a guided tour, like a walk through the Mediterranean forests or ricefields, a boat ride on the lake, or a birdwatching session. These are some of the options available at this place. Paella originally comes from El Palmar, so it’s obviously full of places where you can taste the most classic version. Try the aforementioned Nou Racó or Casa Mateu.
Museums or concerts by moonlight
Valencia is bursting with culture. There are interesting museums, such as the Toy Soldier Museum (L’Iber) or the Silk Museum, where you can discover the legacy of silk trade in the city. Other museums we can find in the city are Fundación Bancaja, IVAM (Institut Valencià d’Art Modern) and Bombas Gens Centre d’Art. Don’t miss the second largest art gallery in Spain, the Museum of Fine Arts, or the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts, where you can find out more about one of the most typical artisan traditions in Valencia. There is also a long list of events that take place in the city, like many open-air concerts.
Now you know there are plenty of things to do if you want to enjoy the city of Valencia. All you have to do now is book a flight to Valencia and enjoy! What are you waiting for?