If you’re looking to visit Valencia and want to make the most of your time there, there are plenty of things to do in this beautiful city. Here are some of our favorite places to visit in Valencia.
The Old Town is the heart of the city, which means it’s perfect for exploring on foot. You can find everything from historic landmarks to tiny streets with cafes and artisan shops.
1. Lonja de la Seda
The Lonja de la Seda is one of Valencia’s most beautiful landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a late Gothic style civil building with a tower and a trading hall.
During the 15th century, this was the centre of trade in Valencia. Designed by a master architect, it’s a stunning example of Valencian Gothic.
Inside, the ribbed vaults look like skeins of twisted silk. The stone pillars, carved to resemble palm trees, reach up the coffered ceiling.
Across the courtyard from the main entrance is the Patio de las Naranjas (Orange Garden) where traders would have a break from the heat of the room. It’s a refreshing oasis in the heart of the city, and Captain Ulysses recommends taking a lingering stroll around its star-shaped fountain.
2. Fallas Museum
If you’re in Valencia during the Fallas festival (from March 15-19), be sure to head to the Museo Fallero. This museum is dedicated to the unique and internationally-known Valencian festival, which celebrates spring and Saint Joseph’s Day with a carnival of bonfires, fiesta, fireworks and a healthy dose of satire.
The Fallas are a series of colorful, cartoonish, and satirical works of art that are built by Valencians in large workshops months before the festival. They range in size from 3 to 30 meters high, and are conceived to embody pith, good-humored comments on daily life.
Located inside the City of Arts & Sciences, Oceanografic is Europe's largest marine center. This aquarium is a must-see for anyone visiting Valencia, especially with kids.
Designed by the vanguard architect Felix Candela, this aquarium was opened to the public in 2003. It's the perfect place to learn about marine life and get a glimpse of some of the most fascinating creatures in the world.
There are plenty of attractions to keep you busy at the Oceanografic, including a 4D film, a dolphin show and more. It's also home to a variety of restaurants and eateries, so you can find something to suit your tastes.
4. Plaza de la Virgen
Right in the heart of Valencia's historic district, the charming Plaza de la Virgen offers tourists and locals alike a respite from the bustle of city life. Bounded by three of Valencia's most emblematic buildings - the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Basilica de la Virgen de los Desamparados and the Palace of the Generalitat - this quaint square plays host to several cafes and outdoor terraces that serve traditional Valencian fare accompanied by picturesque views.
Aside from its renowned architectural landmarks, the square is also home to the Virgen de los Desamparados, the patron saint of Valencia. On the occasion of the annual Las Fallas festival, throngs of people make their way to the square and offer flowers in front of the statue.
5. Mercado Central
Mercado Central is one of Europe’s biggest fresh food markets and, if you’re looking for an authentic experience in Spain, this is the place to be. It’s a vibrant maze of hundreds of stalls selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to meat, fish and groceries.
It’s also home to a number of bustling restaurants where you can sample some of the city’s best paella for very reasonable prices. It’s an ideal way to sample local cuisine and learn more about Valencia’s history.
Located in the centre of Valencia, Apartamentos Mercado Central is only 800 metres from Norte Train Station and 1.5 km from Turia Gardens. It offers air-conditioned accommodation with free WiFi and a kitchenette.