Valencia letters during the night in Spain with a girl on it

10 Authentic Reasons to Visit Wonderful Valencia in Spain

What to do and what to see in Valencia, Spain. Here are the top 10 authentic reasons why you should visit wonderful Valencia!

Valencia is a Spanish and Mediterranean city that shines with rich culture and urban vibe. It can be described as a blend of wealthy architecture, plenty of historical monuments, captivating murals and cosy corners to enjoy some traditional Paella or Horchata. As an ex. resident of Valencia I decided to share my top 10 authentic reasons to visit this wonderful Spanish city. So let’s dive into it! 🙂

Did you know that PAELLA is believed to be an original Valencian dish?

1. MURALS AND URBAN (STREET) ART

If you are a lover of graffiti, colorful murals all around and artistic drawings, Valencia is a perfect place for you! Many international and local artists left their mark on Valencian walls to express themselves about the social dilemmas, political problems or just to leave an artistic mark that makes all the grey walls more lively and fun! Valencia is a true urban art paradise.

PRO TIP:

Visit El Carmen neighborhood for the biggest amount of graffiti and murals. Go early.

 

2. RICH ANCIENT AND MODERN ARCHITECTURE

Visit Valencia if you love architecture! Stroll around the city and admire the Gothic and Romanesque structures, modern facades and for some more futuristic architecture, head off to the City of Arts and Sciences complex.

PRO TIP:

The buildings are huge and if you start exploring in the afternoon, you will have the problem with bad lightning (which I had in some photos). Beware that Valencian people are strict when it comes to siesta (usually from 1pm to 5pm for shops and 4pm to 8pm for restaurants, bars…)

 

 

2. DELICIOUS FOOD

Valencian cuisine is characterised by rich flavours, Mediterranean dash with ingredients such as seafood, vegetables, meat and plenty of rice together with citrus fruit. PAELLA is one of the best-known dishes in Spanish cuisine. Many Spanish people consider paella as a dish that came originally from Valencian region. Is it true or not, who can know – I guess we have to dig deeper to find out the answer to that one.

However, what we know for sure is that today you can find many variations of paella. The main ingredients of paella together with the round rice are chicken and rabbit varieties of green beans, sometimes duck and garrofó (a variety of lima or butter bean). Of course to all that we need to add olive oil and a quality saffron (Spanish people correct me if I am wrong! 🙂 Paella has its name from the wide, shallow traditional pan used to cook the dish on an open fire. Paella actually means “frying pan” in Valencian, Valencia’s regional language which is very similar to Catalan. As This traditional dish has ancient roots and if you ever visit Valencia you simply have to try paella! I am considering to be a sin the fact that someone came to Valencia and ate the pizza.

PRO TIP:

Make sure to try a REAL PAELLA. Don’t buy pre-made and takeaway paellas. Sit in a decent restaurants and order a proper paella which you will wait for at least 30 minutes and you will end up with a dish just the same as the one on the second photo below – nice and caramelized on the bottom.

 

3. CENTRAL MARKET

⠀⠀⠀
DID YOU KNOW THAT MERCADO CENTRAL in Valencia (Central Market) is the largest centre of fresh products in Europe ⠀
and⠀THE FIRST MARKET IN THE WORLD that was offering computerising sales & home delivery?
⠀Could you believe that their delivery services have been available since October 1996!
⠀However, Mercado Central is not the only one today that offers home delivery. Still, it’s a great place to explore in the early Spanish morning. I realized it’s a bit pricey comparing to surrounding places in Valencian community but strolling along it is a must to get that sense of Valencian fresh products and Spanish cuisine overall. Explore more interesting things about Central Market in Valencia.

PRO TIP:

Get up early because market is closing in the afternoon. Bring some reusable bags and get yourself some fresh food – it is totally worth it!

4. BIKES, ELECTRIC BIKES AND SCOOTERS

You can’t be in Valencia and miss dozens of regular and electric bikes. They are everywhere and because of the huge amount of two and three-wheel vehicles, the whole city always reminded me of Amsterdam.

PRO TIP:

As mentioned above, bikes are the best choice to explore the city (or walking). Ask for the price in few shops, Dutch shops tend to be slightly more expensive.

5. PLENTY OF DETAILS

Valencia is not only an urban city full of murals and graffiti, but a city of art! With a great number of architectural artworks, this lively city is full of interesting and cute details basically everywhere you turn around! Some are funny, some are necessary, some are telling a story and some are a pure piece of art.

PRO TIP:

Try to glance here and there while walking and trust me – your eye will spot something interesting!

6. THE CITY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

A wonderful Valencia has also its modern and – in a way – futuristic side to offer its visitors. The City of Arts and Sciences is a cultural and architectural complex and one of the most important modern tourist destinations plus one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. There is also a huge park where once Turia river was flowing, L’Hemisfèric – an  IMAX Cinema, planetarium and laserium, an interactive science museum Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, L’Umbracle complex, L’Oceanogràfic – an open-air oceanographic park, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia – an opera house and performing arts center, Montolivet and Assut de l’Or Bridge, L’Àgora – a covered plaza for concerts and sports events.

PRO TIP:

See additional information for opening and closing times as well as covid-19 restrictions and safety measures before visiting any of the mentioned complexes.

7. SPANISH TILES

The Spanish types of tin-glazed ceramic tiles is “Mayólica”, distinguished by a milky-white glaze. These types of tile are dating all the way to the Moors Islamic culture, became known as “Talavera”, after the Spanish ceramic centre of Talavera de la Reina in Castilla de la Mancha (in the north).

PRO TIP:

If you are planning to buy any tiles or details with Spanish tiles on it, make sure to get them on markets because you can find them for much affordable prices.

8. A CITY MADE FOR SIGHTSEEING

Sightseeing is a fun and interesting activity in city, don’t you agree? However, there is something about Valencia that makes sightseeing much more interesting. Is it about all those details, architecture, urban art, monuments? Hard to say! The best is that you visit Valencia and see it by yourself!

PRO TIP:

Have some comfortable shoes, plenty of water and enjoy your time sightseeing in Valencia!

9. BOTANICAL GARDEN

The Botanical Garden of the University of Valencia is a green, living museum situated in the historical center of the city. Here you can enjoy the rich plant world and not only plants from Spain but from all the continents! The whole building is built together with nature’s harmony so it is a very pleasant place to visit. You will gain plenty of knowledge here and explore some monumental trees with historical buildings (even from the 16th century!)

PRO TIP:

It is a big botanical garden so make sure to set some time aside. See their website before visiting and pay attention to siesta – a break after the lunch usually from 1PM to 5PM – Spanish people are very strict about it and they usually close almost everything at that time.

10. CHARMING NARROW STREETS

The streets of Valencia remind me of Dalmatian streets a lot! They are so narrow and cute, with balconies full of flowers and colorful to modern facades. 

PRO TIP: 

Don’t miss strolling around the city center and try to sneak in every corner possible! The streets are very picturesque and instagrammable! 

If you want to see more about Valencia, check my first expat-travel vlog because one of the locations where I was filming it was in Valencia!

If you want some more ideas in Spain, see my MIRAVET CASTLE post or HIKING TO LA FORADADA!

IF YOU LIKED MY ARTICLE AND YOU THINK IT’S HELPFUL FOR SOME FUTURE TRAVELS, SHARE IT WITH OTHERS ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA! ♡

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