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What makes Valencia such a special place to visit?

Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, a party animal, or a beach lover, Valencia is the perfect destination for your next trip!

Valencia, located on the eastern coast of Spain, is a city with a unique charm that attracts millions of visitors every year. From its stunning architecture, rich history, and lively culture to its culinary delights and vibrant nightlife, there are many reasons why Valencia is such a special place to visit.

Historical and Cultural Wonders

View on the Ayuntamiento square with fountain and beautiful buildings in Valencia city in Spain
View on the Ayuntamiento square with fountain and beautiful buildings in Valencia, Spain

Valencia is a city with a rich history and cultural heritage that dates back to more than 2,000 years ago. The city boasts an impressive collection of historical and cultural wonders that reflect its diverse past. One of the most prominent landmarks is the stunning City of Arts and Sciences, an architectural masterpiece that combines modern design with innovative technology. Visitors can also explore the ancient Roman ruins at the Valencia Archaeological Museum, which highlights a wide range of exhibits that trace the city’s history from the Roman era to modern times.

City of Arts and Sciences

Here are some of the best-known, as well as some lesser-known, historical and cultural wonders in Valencia:

Well-known:

  1. The City of Arts and Sciences: This futuristic complex, located in the heart of Valencia, is a must-see for anyone interested in modern architecture and technology. With its stunning buildings, interactive exhibits, and IMAX cinema, the City of Arts and Sciences is a great option for a family day out.
  2. The Central Market of Valencia: This bustling market, located in a beautiful Art Nouveau building, is a great place to sample some of Valencia’s local cuisine and buy souvenirs. With its colourful stalls, delicious aromas, and friendly vendors, the Central Market of Valencia is a must-visit for foodies and shoppers alike.
  3. The Silk Exchange: This UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in Valencia’s Old Town, is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. With its ornate carvings and beautiful frescoes, the Silk Exchange is a must-see for history and architecture enthusiasts.

Not so well-known:

  1. Almudín: Located in the heart of Valencia’s Old Town, Almudín is a lesser-known but equally impressive Gothic building. Once a warehouse for grain and wine, Almudín now houses an art gallery and cultural center.
  2. The Real Colegio de las Escuelas Pías: This Baroque-style building, located in the neighbourhood of El Carmen, is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by tourists. With its beautiful courtyard and ornate façade, the Real Colegio de las Escuelas Pías is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts.
  3. The House-Museum Blasco Ibáñez: This museum, located in the former home of the famous Valencian author Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, offers a fascinating glimpse into Valencian life and culture in the early 20th century. With its well-preserved rooms and impressive collection of artwork and artefacts, the House-Museum Blasco Ibáñez is a great option for those looking to learn more about Valencia’s history and culture.

Valencia is a city that offers a wealth of historical and cultural wonders to explore. From ancient monuments to modern museums, there is something for everyone in Valencia.

Culinary Delights

Tapas in Valencia

Valencia is a gastronomic paradise that offers an impressive range of culinary delights to satisfy any palate. The city is famous for its traditional dish, paella, a flavorful rice-based dish that comes in different varieties, such as Valencian paella, seafood paella, and vegetable paella. Apart from paella, Valencia is also renowned for its fresh seafood, mouth-watering tapas, and delicious desserts, such as horchata, a refreshing and sweet drink made from tiger nuts.

Typical valencia paella

Valencia is renowned for its delicious cuisine, which blends traditional Spanish flavours with unique local ingredients. From humble tapas bars to Michelin-starred restaurants, there is no shortage of culinary delights to discover in Valencia. Here are some of the best restaurants in Valencia, categorised by budget.

Budget-friendly:

  1. Casa Montaña (Carrer de Josep Benlliure, 69): This historic bar in the Cabanyal neighbourhood is known for its delicious tapas and extensive wine selection. With its rustic decor and lively atmosphere, Casa Montaña is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience authentic Valencian cuisine.
  2. La Pepica (Paseo Neptuno, 6): This iconic beachfront restaurant has been serving up some of Valencia’s best paella since 1898. With its stunning views of the Mediterranean and fresh seafood dishes, La Pepica is a great option for a delicious yet affordable meal.
  3. Mercatbar (Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 27): This trendy market-style restaurant is known for its creative tapas and affordable prices. With its chic decor and bustling atmosphere, Mercatbar is a great option for a fun night out with friends.

Mid-range:

  1. Ricard Camarena Restaurant (Carrer del Dr. Sumsi, 4): This Michelin-starred restaurant is known for its innovative cuisine and unique flavour combinations. With its sleek, modern decor and impeccable service, Ricard Camarena Restaurant is a great option for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.
  2. La Salita (Carrer de Séneca, 12): This cosy restaurant in the Ruzafa neighbourhood is known for its creative Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. With its intimate atmosphere and attentive service, La Salita is a great option for a delicious yet affordable meal.
  3. El Poblet (Carrer de Correus, 8): This Michelin-starred restaurant is a collaboration between renowned Valencian chef Quique Dacosta and his protégé, Luis Valls. With its modernist decor and avant-garde cuisine, El Poblet is a must-visit for foodies looking to experience the cutting edge of Valencian cuisine.

High-end:

  1. Sucede (Carrer de Denia, 20): This Michelin-starred restaurant is known for its inventive cuisine and theatrical presentation. With its immersive dining experience and expertly crafted dishes, Sucede is a great option for a truly unforgettable meal.
  2. Vertical (Carrer de la Pau, 36): This Michelin-starred restaurant is located on the 24th floor of the Hotel Confortel Aqua and offers stunning views of Valencia’s skyline. With its refined decor and exquisite tasting menu, Vertical is a great option for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.
  3. Riff (Carrer del Convent de Santa Caterina, 1): This Michelin-starred restaurant is known for its elegant decor and expertly prepared dishes. With its commitment to sustainable, locally sourced ingredients, Riff is a great option for foodies looking to support ethical and responsible dining practices.

Valencia offers something for every budget and palate whether you’re looking for a humble tapas bar or a high-end Michelin-starred restaurant, Valencia has it all. Come hungry, explore the city’s many culinary delights, and experience the best of Valencian cuisine!

Vibrant Nightlife

valencia nightlife

Valencia is a city that never sleeps, and visitors can enjoy a vibrant nightlife that offers a diverse range of entertainment options. From stylish rooftop bars and trendy nightclubs, to live music venues and traditional flamenco performances, there is something for everyone. The Barrio del Carmen, a historic neighbourhood in Valencia, is a popular hotspot for nightlife. Its narrow streets are lined with bars and clubs that offer a lively atmosphere and a chance to experience the local culture.

Here are some of the best bars and clubs in Valencia, along with their addresses:

  1. Radio City (Calle Santa Teresa, 19): This lively club is known for its eclectic music selection and welcoming atmosphere. With multiple dance floors and a rooftop terrace, Radio City is a must-visit for anyone looking to dance the night away.
  2. La Fábrica de Hielo (Carrer de Pavia, 37): This industrial-chic bar is located in the hip Ruzafa neighbourhood and is a favourite among locals. With its exposed brick walls, vintage furniture, and live music performances, La Fábrica de Hielo is the perfect spot for a relaxed night out.
  3. Cafe de las Horas (Carrer de Sant Vicent Màrtir, 27): This quirky bar is housed in a stunning 18th-century building and is known for its creative cocktails and elegant atmosphere. With its vintage decor and romantic lighting, Cafe de las Horas is the perfect spot for a date night.
  4. Umbracle Terraza (Avenida del Professor López Piñero, 5): Located in the City of Arts and Sciences, Umbracle Terraza is a trendy rooftop bar with stunning views of Valencia’s skyline. With its stylish decor, innovative cocktails, and live DJs, Umbracle Terraza is a must-visit for anyone looking for a glamorous night out.
  5. Las Ánimas Puerto (Muelle de la Aduana, s/n): This waterfront club is located in the Marina Real Juan Carlos I and is a popular spot for partygoers. With its sleek design, state-of-the-art sound system, and top-notch DJs, Las Ánimas Puerto is the perfect spot for a night of dancing and drinking by the sea.

Valencia has a nightlife scene that is as diverse as it is exciting. Whether you’re looking for a cosy bar or a high-energy club, Valencia has something for everyone.

Beaches and Natural Beauty

Playa de la Malvarrosa

Valencia is blessed with a beautiful coastline that stretches for miles, with stunning beaches that offer a perfect retreat for sun, sea, and sand lovers. The city’s main beach, Playa de la Malvarrosa, is a popular destination that attracts both locals and tourists, with its wide stretch of golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and a range of amenities, such as beachside bars, restaurants, and water sports activities. Apart from its beaches, Valencia is also home to several natural parks and gardens, such as the Turia Gardens, a beautiful park that stretches along the former course of the Turia River, offering a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city.

Here are some of the top beaches in the Valencia province:

  1. Playa de la Malvarrosa: This urban beach is located in the heart of Valencia city and is popular with both locals and tourists. With a long promenade lined with restaurants and bars, it is the perfect place to soak up the sun while enjoying a refreshing drink or a delicious meal.
  2. Playa de Gandia: Located in the town of Gandia, this Blue Flag beach stretches for over 3 kilometers and offers crystal clear waters and fine white sand. With plenty of amenities such as showers, lifeguards, and beach bars, it is a favourite among families and sun seekers.
  3. Playa de El Saler: This wild and unspoiled beach is located within the Albufera Natural Park, just a short drive from Valencia City. With its dunes, pine forests, and crystal clear waters, it is the perfect spot for nature lovers and those looking to escape the crowds.
  4. Playa de la Devesa: Located in the town of Oliva, this long and wide beach is backed by sand dunes and offers plenty of space for sunbathing and water sports. With its shallow waters, it is also a great spot for families with young children.
  5. Cala del Moraig: This hidden gem is located in the municipality of Benitachell, just north of the Costa Blanca. With its rugged cliffs and turquoise waters, it is a favourite among snorkelers and divers. If you are naturism lover then you are in luck as there is a private nudist area on the far left of the cove.

Valencia is home to a wealth of stunning beaches that offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a bustling urban beach or a secluded cove, Valencia has it all. Pack your sunscreen, grab your towel, and head to one of these top beaches for an unforgettable day in the sun.

Festivals and Events

Fallas de Valencia

Valencia is a city that loves to celebrate, and visitors can immerse themselves in a range of festivals and events that take place throughout the year. One of the most famous events is the Fallas Festival, a week-long celebration that takes place every March, featuring spectacular fireworks displays, traditional parades, and the burning of huge paper-mache sculptures. Other popular events include the Tomatina, a tomato-throwing festival held every August, and the Moors and Christians Festival, a colourful celebration that commemorates the battles between the Moors and Christians during the medieval period.

Here are some of the best festivals to visit in Valencia and the dates they take place:

  1. Fallas of Valencia (March 15-19): Perhaps the most famous festival in Valencia, Las Fallas is a celebration of the arrival of spring. During this festival, huge colourful statues made of papier-mâché are constructed throughout the city. On the final night, the statues are set on fire, creating a spectacular display of light and sound.
  2. La Tomatina (Last Wednesday of August): This world-famous festival involves a massive tomato fight in the town of Buñol, located just outside of Valencia. Thousands of people from all over the world gather to throw ripe tomatoes at each other, creating a sea of red.
  3. Feria de Julio (July): This month-long festival is a celebration of Valencia’s culture and traditions. During Feria de Julio, the city is alive with street performances, concerts, and fireworks displays.
  4. Corpus Christi (June): This religious festival is celebrated throughout Spain, but Valencia’s Corpus Christi is especially famous for its stunning floral carpets. Elaborate designs made from colourful flower petals are laid out on the streets of the city, creating a breathtaking display.
  5. La Mare de Déu de la Salut (November 7-8): This festival is a celebration of the Virgin Mary and is celebrated throughout Valencia. One of the most famous events of La Mare de Déu de la Salut is the procession of the Virgin Mary through the streets of Valencia, accompanied by traditional music and dancing.

Valencia is a city that knows how to celebrate. From the explosive spectacle of Las Fallas to the tomato-fueled frenzy of La Tomatina, there is no shortage of unforgettable festivals in Valencia. So why not mark your calendars and join in the fun!

Woman in red dress with Spanish hand fan standing back in front of the bullring amphitheatre in Valencia, Spain

Valencia is a city with a unique charm that offers an unforgettable experience to its visitors. From its historical and cultural wonders, culinary delights, vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches, and natural beauty to its festivals and events, Valencia has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a party animal, or a beach lover, Valencia is the perfect destination for your next trip. Come and discover why Valencia is such a special place to visit!

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Pablo

Hi, I'm Pablo, an internet marketer who enjoys working and travelling around the Costa Blanca, Spain. I have been fortunate enough to have met some amazing people on my travels and was lucky enough to be able to make Spain my second home in 2018.

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