- For other places with the same name, see Valencia (disambiguation).
Valencia (València in Catalan/Valencian), is a charming old city and the capital of the Valencian Community. With just over 800,000 inhabitants in 2020, it is Spain’s third-largest city and, after Barcelona, the most significant cultural centre along the Spanish Mediterranean coast. It is the capital of the autonomous Valencian Community, and is known for tourism and cuisine. In March visitors flock to the city for the annual UNESCO-listed Falles celebration, but the city is worth visiting at other times of year for its paella, ultramodern architecture, and good beaches.
The Spanish name Valencia is pronounced [baˈlenθja] (bahl-EHN-thyah), while the Valencian pronunciation of València is [vaˈlensia] (vahl-EHN-see-ah).
Valentia Edetanorum was established as a Roman colony in the second century BCE. In the early 8th century CE the Moors invaded, and Balansiyya became the capital of the Muslim Taifa of Valencia, thriving as a trading centre for paper, silk, ceramics, glass, and silver. With a brief interlude of Christian control in the 11th century under El Cid, the city remained in Muslim hands until the Christian Reconquista led by King Jaime I of Aragon in 1238, and was incorporated as a kingdom under the Crown of Aragon.
Valencia experienced its golden age in the 15th century, with a growing population and flowering of Valencian culture and the arts. Significant monuments from this period include the cathedral’s Micalet, the UNESCO-listed Llotja de la Seda, and the Torres de Serrano (Serrano Tower). During this period it became one of the most influential cities of the Mediterranean, and helped to fund Christopher Columbus's first voyages to the Americas.
In 1609 the Spanish government ordered the expulsion of all Jews and Moriscos from the kingdom to north Africa. Muslim descendants made up about a third of the population of Valencia and the surrounding region, and their forced removal brought about a major economic downturn, and in some nearby communities, economic collapse. It was more than a century before the city began to recover.
In the 20th century, Valencia was the capital of Republican Spain from 1936 to 1939, and during the Spanish Civil War sustained heavy bombardment by Franco’s forces, both by air and sea. Franco retaliated for Valencia’s Republican past with cultural and ideological repression, and forbade the use of the Valencian language. In 1957 the Túria River overflowed its banks leading to catastrophic flooding of the old city centre with more than 80 dead. The river was consequently diverted to the south of the city, but it was not until the return of democracy that the original abandoned riverbed was finally converted into a park – now one of the city’s most outstanding features.
In the 21st century Valencia has continued to evolve. In 2007 and 2010 the city hosted the America’s Cup, and from 2008 to 2012 hosted the Formula One European Grand Prix. Architecturally, too, the city has changed, most notably with the construction of the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (City of Arts and Sciences) by internationally-renowned Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava. The 2015 election of a new leftist coalition city council, after decades of control by the conservative Partido Popular (PP), brought renewed focus on expanding and improving existing infrastructure, including adding three new metro lines and expanding the city’s already extensive bicycle path network. This ongoing transformation has turned a once little-considered medium city into a meatier and more interesting destination.
- Tourist Info Valencia. All offices sell the Valencia Tourist Card, which is available for 24, 48, or 72 hours, and allows free public transportation (including the metro to/from the airport), free admission to museums and monuments, and discounts at some shops, restaurants, and tourist services. All offices can also sell individual tickets to the City of Arts and Sciences and to the Bioparc, and can help with last-minute hotel, restaurant, and concert reservations.
- 1 Tourist Info Valencia - Reina, Plaça de la Reina, 19 (main office), ☏ +34 963 153 931, fax: +34 963 153 920, [email protected]. M-Sa 09:00-19:00, Su and holidays 10:00-14:00; closed 25 Dec and 1-6 Jan.
- 2 Tourist Info Valencia - Ayuntamiento, Plaça de l'Ajuntament, s/n (booth in the plaza by city hall), ☏ +34 963 524 908. M-Sa 09:00-19:00, Su and holidays 10:00-14:00; closed 25 Dec and 1-6 Jan.
- Tourist Info Valencia - Airport, Planta de Llegadas (arrivals hall), ☏ +34 961 530 229, fax: +34 961 598 451, [email protected]. Mar-Oct: M-F 08:30-20:30, Sa Su and holidays 09:30-17:30; Nov-Feb: M-F 08:30-20:30, Sa 09:30-17:30, Su and holidays 09:30-14:30; closed 25 Dec and 1-6 Jan.
- 3 Tourist Info Joaquín Sorolla, Carrer de Sant Vicent Màrtir, 171 (in the Joaquín Sorolla train station), ☏ +34 963 803 623, [email protected]. M-F 10:00-17:50, Su and public holidays 10:00-14:50; closed 1-6 Jan, 25 Dec.
- 4 Tourist Info El Cabanyal, Passeig de Neptú, 3 (near the Hotel Balneario Las Arenas), ☏ +34 628 789 837, [email protected]. Mid-Jun to mid-Sep: Tu 10:00-13:50, W-Sa 10:00-13:50 14:50-16:50, Su and public holidays 10:00-13:50; closed M.
- 5 Tourist Info Puerto, Moll de Ponent, s/n, ☏ +34 963 674 606, [email protected]. Open only during cruise stopovers.
- 6 Tourist Info Comunitat de València (Tourist Info Valencian Community), Carrer de la Pau, 48, ☏ +34 96 398 6422. M-Sa 09:00-18:50, Su and public holidays 10:00-13:50; closed 25 Dec, 1 Jan, 6 Jan. Can offer advice and information about other destinations within the Valencian Community, including day trips from the city.
- Summer — Like most European countries, August is a slow month as many of the residents are on vacation. At this time of year Valencia is hot and humid with temperatures averaging between 30-35°C (86-95°F) by day and 20-25°C (68-77°F) by night.
- Fall — September and October are more active months and the weather can permit beach outings as late as late-September. Important events take place during this season. November can be quite gloomy and does not receive a lot of sunshine.
- Winter — Average temperatures revolve around 10 °C and the weather is mostly cool and damp. Some sidewalk cafés remain open.
- Spring — The annual Falles festival unofficially marks the beginning of spring. Cafés and restaurants open their terraces and life spills out onto the street once again.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Valencia's official languages are Valencian, which is considered a dialect of Catalan by many linguists, and Spanish. Even though it is similar to the Catalan spoken in Catalonia, Valencians are very particular about their language being referred to as "Valencian", and often find it offensive when people refer to it as "Catalan". In the capital of Valencia, which is the third largest city in Spain, not many people speak Valencian, nor are they offended if addressed in Spanish. However, outside the capital, Valencian is often preferred. As in Barcelona with Catalan, it helps to be sensitive to this language dynamic. However, the linguistic issue is not as controversial as in Barcelona and most people in Valencia speak Spanish as their first and often their only language. Road directional signs are generally bilingual in Spanish and Valencian.
The English-speaking skills of the locals can be hit or miss. Most people under 35 speak some English and some quite a bit, but most would prefer being addressed at first in Spanish or Valencian. French is also spoken or understood by some.
- 1 Valencia Airport (VLC IATA) (is in the neighbouring town of Manises, 9 km from the city centre), ☏ +34 961 598 500. Major airlines serving Valencia from several domestic and European airports are Air Europa, easyJet, Iberia, Ryanair, Transavia, Vueling and Wizz Air amongst others. Wi-Fi is available throughout the terminal (free for the first 30 minutes), and there are a number of restaurants and duty-free shops after security.
Metro Valencia lines 3 and 5 go directly to the town centre and link the airport to the main train station, Estación del Norte (beside the Xàtiva metro stop), running every 8 minutes and taking about 21 minutes. A one-way ticket to the city centre costs €3.90, plus an additional €1 for the cardboard ticket with rechargeable chip; tickets can be purchased at a manned service counter (English spoken) and at vending machines which do accept credit cards - don't get confused, the paper tickets with magnetic strips are recharchable. There are no trains between the hours of midnight and 05:30.
Fernanbus operates bus line 150[dead link], with buses departing every 15 minutes and terminating at 2 Àngel Guimerá, 48, with a full schedule and route map online. Tickets cost €1.50 and the journey takes about 30-40 minutes.
A taxi stand is just outside the arrivals hall. A ride from the airport to Carrer de la Pau, in the heart of the historic city centre approximately 11 km away, costs around €20-23 with an additional 'airport supplement' of around €5 (Jan 2015). The tariffs are on display in the taxi in Valencian, Spanish and English but are difficult to see. The same journey back from Carrer de la Pau to the airport is half the price!
Book a taxi by calling a radio taxi company or book online at BookTaxiValencia.
- Direct Taxi Valencia, ☏ +34 960 077 705, [email protected]. Reservations can be made online.
- Radio Taxi Manises, Carrer de Villafames, 56 (Manises), ☏ +34 961 521 155, [email protected]. 24 hrs.
- Radio Taxi Valencia, Carrer dels Gremis, 8, ☏ +34 963 703 333. 24 hrs. Reservations can be made online, or via their smartphone app (iPhone and Android).
- Taxis de Valencia, ☏ +34 961 119 977. Reservations can be made online.
- Taxi Valencia, ☏ +34 661 719 393, [email protected]. Reservations can be made online.
- Andy offers transfers to Valencia city and other major cities around. Reservations and payment can be made online.
The main train station is 3 València - Estació del Nord (Valencia - Estación del Norte / Valencia - North Station), which is in the city centre, next to Plaza de Toros and near the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento). The main building is a well-preserved modernist structure dating from 1917, and had been declared a National Historical Building. This station is only used by suburban, commuter, regional and mid-distance trains. Facilities include a tourist information office, storage lockers, several cafés and a car rental office. The access to underground station Xàtiva, served by Metro València lines 3 , 5 and 9 , is just in front of the main entrance of the train station. Being an important hub for the public transport network of the city, the location is served by several bus lines which allow connection to any district or neighbourhood of Valencia.
Long-distance and high-speed (TGV, Euromed) trains arrive at 4 València - Joaquim Sorolla (Valencia - Joaquín Sorolla) train station, 800 m from the main station. Facilities at this station include storage lockers, a café and car rental office. A free shuttle bus connects the station to València - Estació del Nord with a departure every 10 minutes. This station is served by Metro València lines 1 , 2 and 7 , using the underground station Jesús.
The national train company is Renfe. Tickets can be booked online on their website, where significant discounts ('Web' and 'Estrella' fares) are available for early bookings. Valencia is connected with Madrid by AVE high-speed trains, that run over the Madrid–Levante high-speed rail line. The journey takes approximately 1 hour 35 minutes. Other major cities, such as Barcelona, are connected with Valencia by Euromed, Alaris, or Talgo trains. The journey to Barcelona takes approximately 3 hours.
5 Estació d'Autobusos de València (Estación de Autobuses de Valencia / Valencia Bus Station), Avinguda de Menéndez Pidal, 11 (Túria metro), ☏ +34 963 466 266. A dozen bus companies operate here, with arrivals from almost every big city in Spain and most cities in the Valencia region. Ticket offices are on the upper floor, as are a café and information booth.
- 7 Port de Valencia (Puerto de Valencia / Port of Valencia).
- 6 Baleària, Estación Marítima, Moll de la Túria, ☏ +34 902 160 180 (call centre), +34 966 428 700 (customer service), [email protected]. M-F 10:00-14:00 16:30-22:15, Sa 18:30-19:30, Su 18:00-23:30. Operates daily ferries to/from Ibiza (5 hr, €49) and to/from Palma de Mallorca (7½ hr, €55). Snacks are available at the terminal, as are a taxi stand and free Wi-Fi.
- 7 Trasmediterranea, Moll de Ponent, s/n, ☏ +34 902 454 645, [email protected]. Operates daily ferries to/from Ibiza (6½ hr, €64) and Palma de Mallorca (8 hr, €50), and weekly ferries to/from Maó (Mahón) (15 hr, €78). The terminal has a restaurant, free Wi-Fi, and a taxi stand.
Streets in Valencia have two names, Valencian and Spanish, but most street signs are in Valencian only. Maps may list street names in Valencian or Spanish and rarely both, while addresses may be given in either language, which could create some confusion. Addresses in this guide are generally listed in Valencian.
The city has begun changing some Franco-era street names to those commemorating other figures, especially women. By late 2017, about 50 streets had been renamed, with more planned; online mapping services are largely up-to-date but printed maps will likely not be.
Aside from going to the beach and the City of Arts and Sciences, exploring the hub of the city requires no public transportation. Much of this city can be done walking, stopping for a coffee or a beer, and then walking more, all very leisurely. It's not necessary to have the mindset of mastering a complex public transportation system. However, for longer trips, see below for some pointers.
By public transportation
Travellers visiting for a short period may want to consider purchasing a Valencia Tourist Card, a one-, two- or three-day pass which allows for unlimited travel on all metro and bus lines, including to/from the airport, over a period of 24 hours (€15), 48 hours (€20), or 72 hours (€25). The card also includes free admission to public museums and monuments, discounted admission for other tourist attractions, and additional discounts at some shops and restaurants. The card can be purchased at any tourist office, including at the airport, or purchased online for a discount and picked up on arrival at a tourist office.
For travellers not interested in the package, or staying longer than three days, the rechargeable SUMA 10 card provides a flexible means of getting around. It is valid for both metro and bus travel. This card allows for ten journeys, including transfers begun within 90 minutes of commencing your journey. The included transfers comprise unlimited transfers between metro (or tram) lines, and a single transfer to or from bus lines (i.e. between buses or to/from the metro). Cards are not personalized, and a single card can be used by multiple people (deducting multiple journeys, of course).
The SUMA 10 cards are sold in ticket offices in metro stations, and as of 2022 cost €8 for a single zone. There is an additional fee of €1 for a cardboard cart and €2 for a plastic card. The cards can be recharged at any metro ticket machine. Since 2022, this ticket replaces the previous Bono transbordo and Bonometro cards, so guides still referencing these are outdated.
The public transport network is divided into zones A, B, and C (see map, remodeled in 2022). There is a significant overlap between zones A and B. Most tourist destinations, including the beach, are located in zone A. Zone C consists solely of the airport.
The EMT (bus) website has a very helpful route-planner, useful for planning journeys not only by bus but also by metro, bicycle, and Valenbisi (see the bicycle section below).
The Metro Valencia consists of nine lines (three of which are tramlines) and connects the suburbs with the city. This metro system is not extensive, but can get you to major points within the city. Maps and timetables can be downloaded here. As of 2018, the one-way fare for a single zone is €1.50. The ticket costs an additional €1 and contains a rechargeable chip.
Make sure to always keep your ticket, as you must present it when getting off as well. If you want to enter the tram, you must buy a ticket from the machine (at each tram stop), and then validate it before you get on.
If you use the metro a lot, you should consider getting a 10-fare SUMA 10 card (see above).
Standard bicycles are permitted during the workweek only on portions of the network which operate above ground. On Saturday, Sunday and holidays they are permitted throughout, while folding bicycles may be transported at any time. No bicycles are permitted at all during Fallas and the night of San Juan. Pets in carriers and guide or personal assistance dogs are also permitted.
EMT runs buses to virtually every part of the city, both day and night. A single ticket costs €1.50 (no transfers), payable to the bus driver on entry.
For frequent travellers, a the rechargeable Bonobús card is available in kiosks and tobacco shops. It will allow you ten rides for €8.50 (as of early 2018). However, the SUMA 10, which is also valid and metro and tram lines, usually is the cheaper and more convenient option (see above). Bonobús cards can be recharged at kiosks or online.
For travellers with smartphones, there is a very helpful official EMT app (iPhone and Android), which has a route planner and a QRT reader.
Most bus stops now have digital displays listing the arrival times for the next bus. At those stops lacking the digital display it is still easy to find out the next arrival times, by using either a QRT reader (like the one built into the EMT app), or by sending a SMS with the unique number of the bus stop to a number displayed next to the posted route plan.
By tourist bus
8 Valencia Bus Turistic, Plaça de la Reina, 10, ☏ +34 699 982 514, [email protected]. Daily 09:30-20:00 (office). In cooperation with the city's official tourism office Valencia Bus Turistic operates a hop-on, hop-off bus service which covers two routes: the Historic Route, which covers most of the centre of the city (schedule available here), and the Maritime Route, which visits the Royal Marina, the City of Arts and Sciences, and the beaches (schedule available here). Each route includes a guided commentary in multiple languages, and the two routes intersect at three locations; it is permitted to combine both routes, if desired. Tickets can be purchased at any bus stop, tourist information centre, and in many hotels. 24/48 hour tickets: €17/19 (adults), €10/11 (children 7-16), free (children under 7); 12% discount with the Valencia Tourist Card (available at tourist information centres).
Valencia is essentially flat, and cycling has become a popular way for visitors to get around. The city has established a comprehensive network of dedicated bicycle paths and lanes, and the Turia river park very conveniently cuts across the city, making it possible to get from one end to the other with minimal time in traffic. Drivers are now accustomed to interacting with cyclists in traffic, although pedestrians still occasionally wander into bike paths. Riding on sidewalks without demarcated bicycle paths is not permitted, but this is generally not enforced. At night lights are required, and a helmet and reflective vest are recommended. A bicycle route map can be downloaded here[dead link].
The city operates Valenbisi, a popular bicycle sharing program, with 275 stations distributed throughout the city. No reservation is necessary – once you have a Valenbisi card, go to the interactive station terminal, follow the instructions in Valencian, Spanish or English, and choose a bicycle. You can return the bicycle to the same or any other station with available docks.
A short-term subscription costs €13.04 and gives you access to unlimited use of the bikes for 7 days; the first half-hour of any journey is free, then €1.04 is charged for the first two additional half-hours, with €3.12 charged for every additional hour. However, if you park the bicycle in an available dock before the first half-hour is up, you can take out a new bicycle and reset the clock for no additional fees.
Weekly cards can be purchased at any station terminal with a credit card. For periods longer than one week, an annual subscription is necessary and costs €27.12, with reduced tariffs for each additional half-hour. These cards must be purchased online and are sent by mail; however it is possible to bypass this hassle and attach your Valenbisi subscription to a valid Bonometro, Bonobús, or Bono transbordo card – see the website for details.
There are also many bicycle rental shops in town, with most charging around €10-15 a day, depending on season.
- 9 DoYouBike, Carrer del Mar, 14 (near the cathedral), ☏ +34 963 155 551, [email protected]. Daily 09:45-14:00, 17:00-20:15. Rents bikes. Other locations at Carrer de la Sang, 9; Avinguda del Port, 141 €2/hour, or €9/day during the week, €12/day on weekends, helmet and pump €1.
- EcoBikeRent, Carrer d'Ercilla, 23 (near Central Market), ☏ +34691773051. Daily 09:30-20:00. Also offers electric scooter rental. Other locations at Carrer de Roteros, 1; Carrer de les Avellanes, 6; Carrer de Quart, 9 from €5.
- Bike in Mind Valencia, Calle Donoso Cortés 12 46005 Valencia, ☏ +34 684054683, [email protected]. Every Day from 09:30 AM to 08:00 PM. Bikes and E-Bikes Rental in Valencia. from 6 € / 4 hours, 9 € / all day.
- valenciaGUiAS, ☏ +34 963 851 740, fax: +34 963 850 827, [email protected].
- 10 Valencia BIKES Pechina, Passeig de la Petxina, 32. Daily 09:30-20:00. Another location is at Carrer de la Tapineria. €5/hour, or €10/day.
In the city, especially the centre, having a car is more of an impediment than an advantage, and visitors may well find it easier to just park it and walk.
Monuments and architecture
- 1 Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias / City of Arts and Science), Av Autopista del Saler, 5 (take a city bus from the train station or the metro to Alameda station), ☏ +34 90 210 0031. Call Centre: M-F 09:00-20:00, Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 10:00-15:00. This ultra-modern architectural complex on the former Turia riverbed was designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava and Spanish-Mexican architect Félix Candela. If you don't want to pay the steep admission charges to the individual sights, you can wander around the complex and appreciate the architecture from outside for free. Combined admission for all sights: €36.25 (adults), €30.85 (students), €27.55 (other concessions); valid for 3 days, however the same venue cannot be visited twice. There is a 10% discount for tickets purchased online.
- 2 El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe (Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe / Príncipe Felipe Science Museum). Winter M-Th 10:00-18:00, F Sa 10:00-19:00; spring/fall and Christmas season daily 10:00-19:00; summer daily 10:00-21:00. A science museum designed to resemble a whale skeleton, it has interactive exhibits on three floors. €8 (adults), €6.20 (concessions).
- 3 L’Oceanogràfic. Hours vary by season, open daily [dead link]. The largest oceanarium in Europe, and the second-largest in the world, has seven sections devoted to different ecological zones. The building was designed by Félix Candela to resemble a water lily. Highlights include a dolphinarium, a walk-through shark tunnel, a shark tank (open for public diving), and spherical bird aviary. There are several restaurants on-site, and with so many attractions it’s easy to make this into an all-day affair. €29.10 (adults), €21.85 (concessions).
- 4 L’Umbracle. A botanic garden landscaped with plants native to Valencia. The park also has the Jardí d'Astronomia (Jardín de la Astronomía / Astronomy Garden) and the Passeig de l'Art (Paseo del Arte / Art Promenade), which has permanent and temporary exhibits of large-scale contemporary art, mostly sculpture. Free.
- 5 L'Àgora. A multi-use covered plaza, designed for sporting events, concerts, and special exhibits.
- 6 Pont de l'Assut de l'Or (Puente de l'Assut de l'Or / Assut de l'Or Bridge). The striking cable-stayed bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava and completed in 2008, crosses the dry Túria riverbed. At 125 m high, the bridge tower is the highest point in Valencia.
- 7 Catedral de Santa María de València (La Seu / Valencia Cathedral), Plaça de la Reina, s/n, ☏ +34 96 391 8127, [email protected]. Nov-Mar: M-Sa 10:00-17:30; Apr-Oct: M-Sa 10:00-18:30, Su 14:00-18:30; last admission 45 min before closing. It was the site of a Roman temple, then a Visigothic cathedral, and then a Moorish grand mosque. It is now the seat of the archbishropic of Valencia. The current Gothic structure was begun in 1262 and remodeled numerous times, resulting in a structure with elements from three distinct architectural periods. Especially notable are the Puerta de los Apóstoles from the 14th century, and the Puerta del Palau, the oldest doorway of the cathedral, which is Romanesque with Moorish influences. €9 (adults), €6 (reduced).
- 8 Capella del Sant Calze (Capilla del Santo Cáliz / Chapel of the Holy Chalice). The focus of this side chapel is a chalice of agate, believed by the devout to be none other than the Holy Grail. Of the handful of similar chalices with the same claim, this is deemed by many scholars to be the most likely candidate as it has been dated by experts to the 1st century BCE.
- 9 Micalet (El Miguelete). Daily 10:00-13:00, 16:30-19:00. The unusual octagonal bell tower, with a height of 51 m, was built in the 14th and 15th centuries. It provides a pleasing view of the city. €3 (adults), €1.50 (children under 14).
- 10 Cripta arqueològica de la presó de Sant Vicent Màrtir (Cripta Arqueológica de la Cárcel de San Vicente Mártir / Archaeological Crypt of the Prison of San Vicente), Plaza del Arzobispo, 3, ☏ +34 962 084 573. M-Sa 09:30-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. This Visigothic chapel has on display objects discovered during its excavation including a Visigothic altar, Roman mural, Muslim artifacts, and a sculpture of the early Christian Saint Vicente Mártir, who is believed to have been buried here. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and holidays.
- 11 Llotja de la Seda (La Lonja de la Seda / Silk Exchange), Carrer de la Llotja, 2, ☏ +34 96 208 4153, [email protected]. M-Sa 09:30-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. This UNESCO landmark is considered to be one of the most significant secular Gothic buildings in Europe. It was built between 1482 and 1533 on the site of an earlier oil exchange. The Llotja consists of four distinct parts: the Sala de Contractació (Trading Hall), also known as the Saló Columnari (Hall of Columns); the Sala Consulado del Mar with its magnificent ceiling; the unfinished Torre (tower) with its debtor prison (temporarily closed to visitors), and the Pati dels Tarongers (Patio of Oranges). Some of the Gothic gargoyles are quite naughty. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and holidays.
- 12 Església de Sant Nicolau (Iglesia de San Nicolás / Church of San Nicolás), Carrer dels Cavallers, 35, ☏ +34 963 913 317, [email protected]. Oct-Jun: Tu-F 10:30-19:00, Sa 10:30-18:30, Su 13:00-20:00; Jul-Sep: Tu-F 10:30-21:00, Sa 10:30-19:30, Su 11:30-21:00. Established in the 13th century, the church was expanded in several phases, culminating in the current 15th-century Gothic structure. During the late 17th century extensive Baroque renovations were carried out to the interior, the most significant of them being ceiling frescoes. This remarkable set of frescoes completely covers the vault of the nave and the presbytery, and illustrates the lives of St. Nicolás and St. Peter. They were designed by the Italian master Antonio Palomino and painted by his student, Dionis Vidal, and have been completely restored.
Tourists are not permitted to visit during mass or other liturgical celebrations. €5 (adults), €4 (seniors/students/disabled), free (children under 12).
- 13 [dead link] Monestir de Sant Miquel dels Reis (Biblioteca Valenciana Nicolau Primitiu / Monastery of San Miguel de los Reyes), Avinguda de la Constitució, 284 (Els Orriols), ☏ +34 963 874 000. Tours: Sa Su and holidays 12:00, 13:00; no reservation required. Founded in the 16th century, this massive Renaissance building is considered by some historians to be the early model for the more well-known El Escorial near Madrid. In 1835 the monastery was dissolved and came under control of the state; it was used for a time as a school, an asylum, and during the Franco period as a prison. It was fully restored in 1997-2000, and now houses the central library of the Valencian Community, the collection of which includes many of the original volumes kept here during the building's monastic period. Guided architectural tours of the building are offered on weekends (Spanish/Valencian only). Free.
- 14 Torres de Quart (Porta de Quart), Plaça de Sta Úrsula, 1 (at the end of Carrer de Quart), ☏ +34 96 208 3907, [email protected]. M-Sa 09:30-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. This medieval tower was part of the wall that surrounded the old city; the numerous pock-marks are from gun battles during the Spanish War of Independence from the French (1807-1814). Great views of the city can be had from the top. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and holidays.
- 15 Torres de Serrano (Porta de Serrans), Plaça dels Furs, s/n, ☏ +34 96 391 9070, [email protected]. M-Sa 09:30-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. Built in 1392, this gate was also part of the ancient wall and for a time also served as a prison. The gate has been massively renovated and somewhat modernized, but is still interesting. It is across the street from the park. This tower also offers excellent views. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and holidays.
- 16 Almodí (Almudín), Plaça Sant Lluís Bertrán, s/n, ☏ +34 96 352 5478 x4521, [email protected]. M-Sa 09:30-14:00 15:00-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. Constructed in the early 14th century on the site of a Moorish palace, the building is essentially Moorish in design and used to function as the municipal granary; its name is derived directly from 'almud' (Arabic: bushel). The building was fully restored in 1996 and is now a venue for temporary art exhibitions. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and holidays.
- 17 Banys de l'Almirall (Baños del Almirante / Almirante Muslim Baths), Baños del Almirante, 3-5, ☏ +34 963 152 024, [email protected]. Tu-Su 11:00-14:00. Although constructed in 1313 after the Christian reconquista, the bathhouse was built in the Arabic style and is considered to be an excellent example of Moorish architecture. It was used continuously as a bathhouse until the 20th century, and is one of the few remaining such structures in Spain. It was fully restored in 2005. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions).
- 18 Drassanes del Grau (Atarazanas del Grao / Royal Shipyards), Plaça Juan Antonio Benlliure, s/n, ☏ +34 96 352 5478 x4299. Tu-Sa 09:30-14:00 15:00-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. These Gothic shipyards date to the early 14th century, and attained their current layout in 1500. Trade ships were built and repaired here, as well as galleys used for defense against Barbary pirates. Later the building was used as a storehouse for salt, and now functions as a venue for temporary exhibits. Due to the shifting coastline over the centuries, the shipyards are now two blocks inland from the shore. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and holidays.
- 19 Palau de Cervelló (Palacio de Cervelló / Cervelló Palace), Plaça de Tetuán, 3, ☏ +34 963 525 478 x4496, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 16:30-20:30, Su and holidays 10:00-15:00. Built in the 18th century as the residence of the counts of Cervelló, this palace became the official residence for visiting royalty following the demolition of the Palau Reial de València. The building now houses a museum, the Municipal Archive, and the Serrano Morales Library. On the ground floor is an exhibit (in Catalan and Spanish) illustrating the historic events which took place here, and on the upper floor are the grand ballroom and Serrano Morales Library, with original murals and furnishings. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and holidays.
- 20 Casa de Sant Vicent Ferrer (Casa Natalicia de San Vicente Ferrer / Home of San Vicente Ferrer), Carrer del Pouet de Sant Vicent, 1, ☏ +34 963 528 481. M-F 11:00-13:00, 17:00-20:00. Sant Vicent Ferrer, the principal patron saint of Valencia, was born in this house in 1350. The house was renovated numerous times, and has a chapel, well, and 18th-century ceramic tile panels depicting the life of the saint. Free.
- 21 Torre de l'Àngel (Torre del Angel / Angel Tower), Plaça de l'Àngel (Carmen). One of the few vestiges from Valencia's Muslim period, the semicircular 11th-century tower was once part of the Muslim city wall. It is now a private dwelling, but can be viewed through a fence.
- 22 Centre Arqueològic de l'Almoina (Centro Arqueológico de la Almoina), Plaça Dècim Juni Brut, s/n (behind the cathedral), ☏ +34 96 208 4173, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 09:30-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. This extensive site was uncovered in 1985 during preparations for new construction, which was then cancelled. Excavations revealed archeological remains dating from the Moorish, Visigothic, and Roman periods. After completing excavations, the city of Valencia converted the site into an underground museum. Highlights include Roman baths, a Moorish courtyard, and various artifacts. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions); free on Su and public holidays.
- 23 Museu Nacional de Ceràmica (Museo Nacional de Cerámica / National Ceramics Museum), Poeta Querol, 2, ☏ +34 96 351 6392, fax: +34 96 351 3512, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 16:00-20:00, Su and holidays 10:00-14:00. This very ornate Baroque palace once served as the residence of the Marqués de Dos Aigües, and is now a museum. The ground and first floors showcase a collection of stagecoaches and period furniture, while the upper two floors house an extensive ceramics collection with a focus on historic Valencian pieces. Of particular note are Moorish ceramic tiles from the main mosque which was on the site now occupied by the cathedral, and six plates designed by Picasso. Photography permitted, no flash. €3 (adults), €1.50 (concessions); free on Sa afternoon and Su, 18 May, 18 Apr, 12 Oct, and 6 Dec.
- 24 Museu d'Història de València (Museo de Historia de Valencia / Museum of Valencian History), Camino Viejo de Chirivella, 1, ☏ +34 96 370 1105, fax: +34 96 370 1136, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 09:30-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. Housed in a former reservoir, this well-designed museum is dedicated to the developmental history of the city, from the Roman era until the present. Although labels are in Valencian and Spanish, booklets with English translations are available at the front desk. Constructed in 1850, the building is interesting in its own right as an excellent example of 19th century industrial architecture. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and public holidays.
- 25 Centre Cultural la Beneficència (Centre Valencià de Cultura Mediterrània / Centro Valenciano de Cultura Mediterránea), Carrer de la Corona, 36, ☏ +34 96 388 3565, fax: +34 96 388 3608. This 19th-century former hospice was completely refurbished in 1995, and now in addition to hosting two museums it also functions as a cultural centre and venue for special exhibits.
- 26 Museu de Prehistòria de València (Museo de Prehistoria de Valencia / Prehistory Museum of Valencia), ☏ +34 96 388 3579, [email protected]. Tu-Su 10:00-20:00. This museum is devoted early regional history, with collections from the Paleolithic to the Visigothic periods. A special highlight is the Guerrer de Moixent (Warrior of Moixent), an early Iberian bronze sculpture from the 5th or 4th century BCE. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on weekends and public holidays.
- Museu Valencià d'Etnologia (Museo Valenciano de Etnología / Valencian Museum of Ethnology), ☏ +34 96 388 3614, [email protected]. Tu-Su 10:00-20:00. The focus of this museum is on cultural traditions in the Valencian Autonomous Community, with three permanent exhibits focusing on life in the country, in the mountains, and in urban areas. Rotating temporary exhibits examine historic and sociological issues. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on weekends and public holidays.
- 27 Museu dels Soldadets de Plom L'Iber (Museo L'Iber / Tin Soldier Museum), Carrer dels Cavallers, 20-22, ☏ +34 963 91 8675, [email protected]. Sep-Jun Tu-Su 11:00-14:00, 16:00-19:00; Jul Aug daily 10:00-14:00, 15:00-20:00. In an old Gothic palace, this is the world's largest private collection of tin soldiers of about one million pieces. Figures represent periods of Valencian, Spanish, and world history. €5 (adults), €3 (concessions).
- 28 Museo Histórico Militar de Valencia, Carrer del General Gil Dolz, 6, ☏ +34 96 369 1904, [email protected]. M-Sa 10:00-14:00 16:00-20:00, Su and holidays 10:00-14:00. Built in 1898 for an infantry regiment, the building now houses a collection of over 3,000 objects, most of them from the 19th and 20th centuries. Free.
- 29 Museo de l'Arròs (Museo del Arroz / Museum of Rice), Carrer del Rosari, 3 (EMT bus 2/19: stop Dr Lluch-Armada Española; Metro line 5: stop Marítim-Serradora; Metro-Tram line 6: stop Grau-Canyamelar). Tu-Sa 09:30-14:00 15:00-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. The Museum of Rice of the City of Valencia is in the refurbished and restored old Serra’s Mill. It tells the story of the industrial process of rice processing, a cereal whose growth goes deep into the wetlands of the City. €2 (adults), €1 (seniors, children, students, groups).
- 30 Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda (Museo de la Seda / Silk Museum), Carrer de l'Hospital, 7, ☏ +34 697 155 299, [email protected]. Su M 10:00-15:00, Tu-Sa 10:00-19:00. The Moors introduced silk to Valencia, and it became a major hub of the silk trading route during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Valencian silk weavers' guild was established in the late 15th century, and in 1494 acquired this building, which remained the guild's headquarters throughout its history. The building was remodelled extensively during subsequent centuries, and was fully restored in 2016. Now a museum, it showcases various aspects of Valencia's silk trade and production. €6 (adults), €4.50 (seniors/students), free (children under 5); free multilingual audioguide.
Art museums and galleries
- 31 Museu de Belles Arts de València (Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia / Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia), Carrer de Sant Pius V, 9, ☏ +34 96 387 0300, [email protected]. Tu-Su 10:00-20:00; closed 1 Jan and 25 Dec. This 17th-century former palace houses over 2,000 pieces of art, with a primary focus on art of the 14th to 17th centuries. Highlights include an excellent collection of medieval altarpieces, a collection of engravings by the Italian artist Piranesi, and a handful of minor works by Velázquez, El Greco, and Goya. Photography permitted, no flash. Free.
- 32 Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM / Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno / Valencian Institute of Modern Art), Guillem de Castro, 118, ☏ +34 96 386 3000, [email protected]. Tu-Th 11:00-19:30, F 11:00-21:00, Sa Su 11:00-19:30; closed on 25 Dec and 1 Jan. This museum focuses on Spanish and international modern art and photography, and hosts regular special exhibits, workshops, and lectures. A library, gift shop, and café are onsite. Photography permitted, no flash. €6 (adults), €3 (students), free (seniors, disabled, unemployed, children under 10); free admission on Sunday.
- 33 Museo del Patriarca, Carrer de la Nau, 1, ☏ +34 96 351 4176, fax: +34 96 351 1351, [email protected]. M-F 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 12:30, 17:00, 18:00; Sa 11:00, 12:00, 12:30. Managed by the Seminary of Corpus Christi, this museum has a small collection of paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries, with special highlights including works by Juan de Juanes, El Greco, and early Flemish masters. The collection can only be viewed with a tour, offered in a number of European languages; to be sure there is a tour in your language it is best to reserve ahead, either by phone or online. €7 (premium tour including museum, courtyard, church, and chapel), €5 (standard tour including the courtyard, church, and chapel), €4 (museum tour only); €6 (premium tour for concessions and VLC card).
- 34 MuVIM (Museu Valencià de la Il·lustració i de la Modernitat / The Valencia Museum of the Enlightenment and Modernity), Quevedo 10 y Guillem de Castro 8, ☏ +34 963 883 730, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 16:00-20:00, Su and holidays 10:00-20:00. The museum is devoted to civics and culture, with special exhibits focused on such topics as graphic design, photography, and cinema. The building and garden were designed by Valencian architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions); free on Sa, Su, and public holidays.
- 35 Bombas Gens Centre d'Art, Avinguda Burjassot, 54-56, ☏ +34 963 463 856, [email protected]. W 16:00-20:00, Th-Sa 11:00-14:00 16:00-20:00, Su 11:00-15:00. This former factory from the 1930s has been transformed into an exhibition space for Spanish contemporary art, with a special focus on photography. The building has an interesting history, as it was used to make industrial pumps, and later during the Spanish Civil War was used by the Republicans as an air raid shelter and to assemble armaments. Free.
- 36 Casa-Museu Benlliure (Casa-Museo Benlliure), Carrer de la Blanqueria, 23 (El Carme), ☏ +34 963 911 662, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 09:30-14:00 15:00-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. This was once home to two generations of the Benlliure family, headed by prominent Valencian artist José Benlliure. The early 20th-century residence has been maintained in three distinct sections, including the primary house with original furnishings and artworks, a lovely courtyard and garden, and a second building with a private study and more artworks. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and holidays.
- 37 Centre Cultural Bancaixa (Centro Cultural de Bancaja), Plaça de Tetuán, 23, ☏ +34 96 064 5840, fax: +34 96 387 5578. Tu-Su and holidays 10:00-14:00 17:00-21:00, M 10:00-14:00. The former 19th-century residence is a cultural centre which hosts excellent, well-curated temporary exhibits of contemporary art and photography, by Valencian, Spanish and international artists. Free.
- 38 Centre del Carme, Carrer del Museu, 2, ☏ +34 96 192 2640, fax: +34 96 192 2641, [email protected]. Tu-Su 11:00-21:00. The former convent hosts rotating special exhibits showcasing local history, and historic and contemporary artists from Valencia and outside the region. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and holidays.
- 39 Fundación Chirivella Soriano (Palau Joan de Valeriola), Carrer de Valeriola, 13, ☏ +34 96 338 1215, fax: +34 96 338 1217, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 17:00-20:00, Su 10:00-14:00. This well-preserved 14th-century Gothic palace houses a permanent collection of contemporary Spanish art, with rotating exhibits. €4 (adults), €2 (concessions).
- 40 Centre Cultural La Nau (Centre Cultural de la Universitat de València), Carrer de la Universitat, 2 (Xerea), ☏ +34 963 864 377, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 16:00-20:00, Su and holidays 10:00-14:00. Built in 1498, this was once the library and main building for the University of Valencia. Today it is used by the university primarily as a venue for photography and art exhibits, and for classical music concerts. Free.
- 41 Galería del Tossal, Plaça del Tossal, s/n (entrance in an above-ground glass structure in the middle of the square), ☏ +34 963 981 803. Tu-Sa 09:30-14:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. This unique underground gallery has been designed around the remains of a city wall from the Moorish period, complete with arches. The gallery is a venue for temporary exhibits of Spanish and international contemporary art. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free (children under 12); free on Su and holidays.
Parks and gardens
- 42 Jardí del Túria (Jardines del Turia / Turia Gardens). Daylight hours. After catastrophic flooding in 1957, the Turia River was diverted to the south of the city, and the former river bed was converted into a 7-km-long elongated park which spans many neighborhoods, ending at the City of Arts and Sciences. The park encompasses soccer and rugby fields, an artificial boating lake, athletics track, playgrounds, fountains, and cafés. Abundant bicycle paths make it an ideal place to get in a little exercise and sun. Free.
- 43 Parc Gulliver (Parque Gulliver / Gulliver Park), ☏ +34 96 337 0204. Sep-Jun daily 10:00-20:00; Jul-Aug daily 10:00-14:00, 17:00-21:00. The centrepiece of this unusual playground is a 70-m-long sculpture of Gulliver (from the classic book Gulliver's Travels), who has been tied to the ground. Visitors can climb on and slide down the giant figure, much as Lilliputians might have. The sculpture was designed by Valencian artist and illustrator Sento Llobell. Free.
- 44 Pont de la Trinitat (Puente De La Trinidad / Trinitat Bridge). The oldest bridge in the city, with the current structure dating to the early 16th century. The two 17th-century sculptures of Valencian saints used to be on another nearby medieval bridge, and were relocated to this bridge in the mid-20th century.
- 45 Pont de l'Exposició (Puente De La Exposición / Exhibition Bridge). Designed by Santiago Calatrava and built between 1991 and 1995, the bridge resembles a comb, hence the nickname 'La Peineta'.
- 46 Jardí Botànic (Jardín Botánico de Valencia / Botanic Garden of Valencia), Carrer de Quart, 80, ☏ +34 96 315 6800, fax: +34 96 315 6826, [email protected]. Nov-Feb: 10:00-18:00, Mar Oct: 10:00-19:00, Apr Sep: 10:00-20:00, May-Aug: 10:00-21:00; open daily except 25 Dec, 1 Jan, and during inclement weather. Established in 1802 by the University of Valencia, this lovely garden maintains extensive collections of plants from a number of different habitats. Most of the greenhouses date from the latter half of the 19th century, while the modern research centre was completed in 2000. €2.50 (adults), €1.50 (concessions), free (children under 7); €10 (10-visit ticket).
- 47 Jardí de Montfort (Jardín de Monforte / Monforte Garden), Plaça de la Legió Espanyola, s/n (entrance on Carrer de Montfort), ☏ +34 96 325 7881. Daily 21 Mar - 20 Sep: 10:30-20:00, 21 Sep - 20 Mar: 10:30-18:00. This formal Neoclassical garden was designed in the mid-19th century by Valencian architect Don Monleón for the aristocrat Marqués de San Juan. It was declared a 'National Artistic Garden' and is now maintained by the city of Valencia, which opened it to the public in 1973. Free.
- 48 Bioparc Valencia, Av Pío Baroja, 3 (main entrance), ☏ +34 90 225 0340, [email protected]. Daily, hours vary by month and season: 10:00-18:00 in winter, 10:00-19:00/20:00 in spring/fall, 10:00-21:00 in summer; detailed hrs available here. As far as zoos go, this is more animal-friendly than most. Focused exclusively on African fauna, the modern zoo has been thoughtfully designed to provide maximum space in natural settings for its residents. A special highlight is the walk-in lemur exhibit (no touching or feeding). €23.80 (adults), €18 (children 4-12), €17.50 (seniors), free (children under 4).
- 49 Jardín de Viveros (Jardines del Real / Royal Gardens), San Pío, V, s/n, ☏ +34 96 352 5478 x4304. Summer: daily 07:30-21:30; winter: M-F 07:30-20:30, Sa Su 07:30-21:30. Established by the Moors in the 13th century as gardens for the royal palace (no longer standing), this pleasant and popular park is the second-largest park in Valencia, after the Turia gardens. The park includes a rose garden, sculpture garden, bicycle track, and aviary. During the summer various festivals are held here. Free.
- 50 Museu de Ciències Naturals (Museo de Ciencias Naturales / Museum of Natural Sciences), Av General Elío, s/n, ☏ +34 96 352 5478 x4313, fax: +34 96 353 9956, [email protected]. Tu-Su and holidays 09:30-19:00. The museum is divided into several segments, covering Valencian contributions to the sciences, the ecology of the Valencian region, and of course paleontology with the requisite dinosaur skeletons. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions); free admission on Su and holidays.
- 51 Palau Reial de València (Palacio Real / Royal Palace), Av General Elío, s/n, ☏ +34 96 146 1752. Established by the Moors, then rebuilt by Christians, this building served as the royal Valencian residence until its demolition in 1810. It was forgotten and then rediscovered in 1986. The partially-excavated site is now surrounded by a fence with informative panels in Valencian, Spanish, and English. Free.
- 52 El Carme (El Carmen). In the old centre, it is the perfect place for a stroll where you can witness the transition from a forgotten area to an up-and-coming diverse neighbourhood. Barri del Carme has many outdoor cafes and trendy shops. There is an interesting mix of people, from lifetime residents, to alternative types, hippies, gays and lesbians, and other assorted people. The neighbourhood swells at night with revelers, but please respect the neighbours who live there.
- 53 El Cabanyal (Cabañal) (along the beach). Established in the 13th century as a fishing village, in the 19th century the town became known as a beach getaway before being annexed by Valencia in 1897. Along with easy access to the beach, it has many charming historic tiled buildings and great bars and restaurants, and is the setting of the annual Semana Santa Marinera (described below under 'Do'). For many years the area directly east of the Valencia-Cabanyal train station was badly neglected, and squatters and other nefarious types moved in. Although the related political and legal disputes have since been resolved, for the near future this specific area is still best avoided at night.
- 54 Russafa (Ruzafa) (S of the centre). Ruzafa (from Arabic رصافة – rusafa, or 'garden') was established in the 9th century as a Moorish pleasure garden, and evolved into a farming community. It was independent until 1877, when it was annexed by the city. Today the barrio is known for its cultural diversity, hipster shops and cafés, great restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
- 55 Benimaclet (N of the centre). Benimaclet (from Arabic بني مخلد – bani mahlad, or 'sons of Majlad') began as an Arabic farmstead, and was an independent farming community until 1878. Preserved are its central square and parish church, and charming pedestrian alleys. Due to its proximity to the University of Valencia, it is known for its large student population, many immigrant shops, and good bars and restaurants.
- 56 Tribunal de les Aigües (Tribunal de las Aguas / Water Tribunal), In front of the cathedral's Puerta de los Apóstoles (SE corner of the Plaça de la Verge), ☏ +34 96 391 4445. Every Thursday at noon; it is best to get here no later than 11:30 to secure a good spot. The horta (Spanish: huerta), the fertile region surrounding Valencia, has relied on artificial irrigation since antiquity. The tribunal was developed to mediate disputes between farmers, and is believed to date back to Roman times; it has operated in its current form since the Moorish era. The court consists of nine representatives who meet in public and issue judgments on water rights and usage. Proceedings are conducted in Valencian and verdicts are issued orally. Although today the court is largely ceremonial, verdicts are considered legally binding by the highest court in Madrid and by the EU. In 2009 it was listed by UNESCO as an 'intangible cultural heritage'. Free.
- 57 Cementerio General de Valencia (Valencia General Cemetery), Carrer de Sant Doménec de Guzmán, 27, ☏ +34 963 773 061. M-Sa 09:00-18:00, Su and holidays 09:00-14:00; 23 Oct - 01 Nov: daily 09:00-18:00. In use since 1807, the cemetery has some interesting mausoleums and funerary sculpture and is the final resting place for a number of notable Valencians, including members of the artistic Benlliure family, painter Joaquín Sorolla, and writer Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. For visitors with a smartphone there is a helpful app (iOS and Android; Spanish and Valencian only) which describes walking routes and gives grave locations. Free.
- 58 Mirador Valencia (El Mirador del Ateneo Mercantil / Ateneo Viewpoint), Plaça de l'Ajuntament, 18 (entrance between Café Rialto and Café & Tapas), ☏ +34 963 520 488, [email protected]. Daily 10:00-20:30; last lift to the top at 20:00. The viewpoint is on the rooftop of a private social club, and offers excellent 360° panoramic views of the city. €3 (adults), €2.5 (seniors, disabled, children 11-16), free (children under 10).
- Street art. Valencia has become a magnet for street artists both homegrown and those hailing from abroad, many of them internationally-renowned. Works range in size from smaller stencils to giant murals, with the greatest concentration in el Carmen (Carme). There are also clusters of great art in Ruzafa, Benimaclet, Cabanyal, and other neighbourhoods.
- 59 La Dama Ibérica, intersection of Carrer de la Safor and Avinguda de las Cortes Valencianas (Campanar). The monumental sculpture dominating the roundabout was designed by internationally-renowned Valencian artist Manolo Valdés and completed in 2007. It was inspired by the Iberian sculpture Dama de Elche ('Lady of Elche'), which was discovered in Elche and now resides in Madrid's National Archaeological Museum. Valdés's version is an 18-m-high steel structure covered with 22,000 miniature replicas of the modern version, made of cobalt-blue ceramic by fellow Valencian artist Manuel Martin.
Things to do during Falles
Things to be aware of
One of Spain’s most spectacular fire festivals, Falles (Spanish: Fallas) can be best characterised as a fire-fireworks-gunpowder street party extravaganza. The festival draws up to two million visitors annually, and is listed as a UNESCO ‘intangible cultural heritage’.
Its origins date to the Middle Ages when the city’s carpenters burned piles of scraps in the streets and plazas near their workshops on 19 March, the eve of the day of San Josep (Spanish: San José, or St. Joseph). In the 18th century, it became customary to fashion these piles of junk with papier mache into human figures and sculptures, called ninots (Valencian for 'dolls'), which were assembled to form larger fallas. Eventually these fallas began to take on a satirical nature.
Around 1870, Falles and Carnival were banned. In response to this, a popular movement arose to revive and preserve these traditions, resulting in a competition in 1885 for the best and most artistic falla. This prompted the development of casal fallers, neighbourhood associations which work year-round raising money and designing their fallas. Today there are about 400 casal fallers which each design an adult falla (falla mayor), and a smaller children’s falla (falla infantil); more than 400 of these fallas are burned on public streets every year. Many fallas reach 25-30 m in height – the best of these are in a special category Secció Especial (Spanish: Sección Especiál) and compete for the top prize, awarded annually by the City Council.
A secondary feature of Falles are daily fireworks events, including gunpowder demonstrations (mascletàs) and large nightly fireworks displays (castillos del fuego). Along with these displays, people set off fireworks all day in the streets, beginning early in the morning and continuing throughout the day, making the city seem like a war zone and making it very difficult to catch any sleep.
Key events and dates
- La Despertà (the 'wake-up call'). Last Sunday of February. Beginning at 07:30, brass bands parade down Carrer de la Pau and Carrer de Sant Vicent Màrtir to the Plaça de l'Ajuntament, followed by falleros and falleras throwing firecrackers. At noon more bands perform at the central square, and the season's first mascletà takes place at 14:00.
- 1 Cridà (the 'call'), Torres de Serrano. Last Sunday of February. Crowds gather along bridges and the Túria river bed to hear the fallera mayor (principal fallera) announce the beginning of the Falles season at 20:00. Fireworks conclude the event.
- 2 Mascletà, Plaça de l'Ajuntament (Plaza de la Ayuntamiento). 2-19 March, 14:00. This is 120 kilos of gunpowder translated into a multi-sensory ‘symphony of noise’, and must be experienced to be understood, as it includes not just the noise but also the intense smell of gunpowder as well as the vibrations which can be felt through the entire body. The event is very popular and you should arrive at least an hour in advance.
- Batalla de las Luces (Las Calles Iluminadas / Battle of the Lights) (Ruzafa). 11-18 March. Casal fallers around the city decorate their streets with expensive street lighting displays, the most elaborate of which compete annually for the top prize. Three of the top contenders every year are in the Ruzafa district, with the fourth in La Roqueta.
- 3 Falla Cuba-Literat Azorín, intersection of Carrer de Cuba with Carrer del Literat Azorín (Ruzafa).
- 4 Falla Sueca-Literat Azorín, intersection of Carrer del Literat Azorín with Carrer de Sueca (Ruzafa).
- 5 Falla Cuba-Puerto Rico, intersection of Carrer de Cuba with Carrer de Puerto Rico (Ruzafa).
- 6 Falla Convento Jerusalén-Matemático Marzal, intersection of Carrer del Convent de Jerusalem with Carrer del Matemàtic Marzal (La Roqueta).
- 7 Exposición del Ninot (Ninot exhibit), Sala Arquerías, Museo Príncipe Felipe (City of Arts and Sciences; venues can change). 1-14 March. The current year's ninots are placed on display, with visitors voting for their favourite ninot. The winning ninot is spared the flames of the Cremà and added to the permanent collection of the Museu Faller de València (listed below). €3 (adults), €1.50 (children/seniors).
- Cavalcada del Ninot (Ninot Parade). 15 March. The ninots previously exhibited are now paraded through the streets, before being included in the falla monuments.
- Plantà (Planting). 15-16 March. The 15th marks the start of the assembling the elaborate 'fallas', which have been laboured over during the previous year. Construction must be completed by 08:00 on 16 March, or the falla will be disqualified for the competition. Tourist information offices have free maps available showing locations of the Selección Especiál fallas.
- 8 L'Ofrena (La Ofrenda / The Offering), Plaça de la Virgen. 17-18 March. The falleros and falleras from each 'casal faller' bring flowers in offering and used to decorate the mantle of an enormous effigy of the Virgen de los Desamparados in the Plaça de la Virgen. Participants are dressed in traditional clothing, and the processions follow two main routes, each terminating at the cathedral: one proceeds westward down Carrer de de Pau / Calle de la Paz, and the other northward up Carrer de Sant Vincent Màrtir / Calle San Vicente.
- Els Castells (fireworks displays), Passeig de l'Albereda. 15-18 March. A nightly fireworks display between midnight and 01:30, with each night more impressive than the previous one, until culminating in the final display on the 18th, which is known as La Nit del Foc (the Night of Fire). This is also very crowded and you should arrive early to see it. The best location to view this is from pedestrian bridges crossing the Turía Park riverbed, or even better, from below the Palacio de la Musica.
- Cavalcada del Foc (Cabalgata del Fuego / Fire Parade), Route: Carrer de Russafa, Carrer de Colón, Porta de la Mar. 19 March, 19:00. A parade featuring all types of spectacles involving fire. This parade may be canceled in inclement weather.
- La Cremà (The Burning). 19 March, 22:00-01:00. At the end of a week displaying the 'fallas' are burnt. The fallas infantiles are burned at 22:00, the fallas mayores are burned anytime between midnight and 01:00, and the falla at the Plaça Ayuntamiento is burned last at 01:00. The most impressive to see are the fallas in the Secció Especial, because these are the largest and most dramatic when they burn. These tend to be very crowded and one should arrive early, preferably an hour in advance. A good strategy is to visit a selection of fallas beforehand, and then to choose one to watch burn.
If you can't be in Valencia at the time of the festival, you can at least get an idea of what it's all about by visiting one or both the following museums.
- 60 Museu Faller de València (Museo Fallero / Falles Museum), Plaça Monteolivete, 4 (Montolivete), ☏ +34 96 352 5478 x4625, fax: +34 96 394 1934, [email protected]. M-Sa 09:30-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. Since 1934 ninots (papier-mâché figures) voted as the best of the year have been spared the final flames of the Falles festival. Along with photos and posters, these figures are showcased in a building which has served as a lepers' hospital, barracks, and prison. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and public holidays.
- 61 Museu de l'Artista Faller de València (Museo del Gremio de Artistas Falleros / Museum of the Guild of Falles Artists), Avda San José Artesano, 17 (Benicalap), ☏ +34 963 479 623, [email protected]. M-F 10:00-14:00 16:00-19:00, Sa 10:00-14:00; closed in Aug. €3 (adults), €2.50 (students), €2 (seniors/disabled/children under 12).
- Semana Santa Marinera (Setmana Santa Marinera / Marinera Holy Week) (Cabanyal). Week before Easter Sunday. As elsewhere in Spain, Valencia celebrates Holy Week with street processions of penitents, organised into fraternities. Although not as well known as the more elaborate processions in Andalusia and Castile and Leon, Valencia's own unique traditions date back to the 15th century and are centred in the neighbourhood of Cabanyal, formerly an independent fishing village. Especially noteworthy are the Good Friday morning processions: two separate fraternities carry a crucifixion effigy to the beach, say a prayer for those who have lost their lives at sea, and place a laurel wreath in the ocean. This practice is unique in Spain and has been designated a 'Fiesta of National Touristic Interest' by the government.
The processions, routes, and times may vary from year to year. The Valencia edition of ABC (in Spanish) publishes detailed routes and schedules of each day's events.
- 62 Museo de la Semana Santa Marinera (Semana Santa Museum), Carrer del Rosari, 1 (Port), ☏ +34 963 240 745, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 16:30-20:30, Su and holidays 10:00-15:00. This small museum has exhibits explaining the Semana Santa Marinera traditions with costumes, documents, and photographs. Free.
- 9 [dead link] Festival Internacional del Viento (International Kite Festival), Platja de Malvarrosa (Cabanyal). April. Held annually since 1997, the two-day event includes exhibits, kite-making demonstrations, and competitions. Free.
- Festivitat Verge dels Desemparats (Festividad de la Virgen de los Desamparados, Festival of Our Lady of the Forsaken). Second Sunday of May. The day is devoted to celebrating the Virgen de los Desamparados, Valencia's patron saint. After a formal mass at 08:00 in the Plaça de la Virgen, a ceremonial procession transfers the effigy of the Virgin from the royal chapel to the cathedral next door. A second traditional procession begins at 18:30, in which the effigy follows a more circuitous route around the city centre, accompanied by showers of flower petals and dancing in the streets. This procession proceeds along Carrer dels Cavallers, Carrer de la Bosseria, Plaça del Mercat, Carrer de Sant Vicent Màrtir, Plaça de la Reina, and Carrer de les Avellanes before finally returning to the cathedral at Plaça de l'Almoina.
- Festa del Corpus Christi (Fiesta de Corpus Christi). 60 days after Easter, usually late May or early June. The city has been celebrating Corpus Christi since the late 13th century, and holding feast day processions since 1355. The main procession, known as the Cavalcada del Convit (Spanish: Cabalgata del Convite) begins at 12:00 and follows an itinerary established in the 18th century, which begins at Carrer de la Batlia, heads south along the western side of the cathedral to the Plaça de la Reina, and then up Carrer d'Avellanes and finally terminates at Plaça de l'Almoina. The parade features several medieval dances and rituals unique to Valencia, the most famous of which is La Moma i els Momos, in which a man in white dress and white-veiled face is surrounded by seven men clothed and veiled in black; the dance represents the fight of virtue against the seven deadly sins. Also noteworthy are the dances of the Nanos (dwarves) and Gegants (giants), in which dancers wear oversized heads and costumes respectively, and La Poalà, in which participants at the end of the route are doused with buckets of water.
16:30 marks the start of a second procession, the Pas de les Roques (Spanish: Paso de las Rocas, or Parade of Carriages), the highlight of which are the antique horse-drawn carriages. This parade follows a more circuitous route along Carrer dels Cavallers, Carrer de la Bosseria, Plaça del Mercat, Carrer de Sant Vicent Màrtir, Plaça de la Reina, and Carrer de les Avellanes before finally returning to the cathedral at Plaça de l'Almoina. A third procession begins at 17:30, with the same dancers featured in the 12:00 parade, and following the route of the carriage parade. The final procession, the Solemne Processó (Spanish: Solemne Procesión) begins at 19:00, with participants from parishes and guilds followed by biblical characters and finally by the monstrance. Free.
- 63 Casa de les Roques (Casa de las Rocas / Museo del Corpus), Carrer de les Roques, 3, ☏ +34 963 153 156. Tu-Sa 09:30-14:00 15:00-19:00, Su and holidays 09:30-15:00. The horse-drawn carriages used in the Corpus Christi parades, known as roques (Spanish: rocas, or 'rocks'), have been stored in this building since the mid-15th century. Eleven carriages are on display, the oldest of which was built between 1373 and 1392. Other items exhibited are costumes and historic documents, as well as a 25-minute video about the processions (in Spanish).
- Fira de Juliol (Feria de Julio / July Festival). 1-31 July. Held annually since 1871, this month-long festival includes daily free and ticketed music and dance performances in parks and plazas, open-air cinema, sporting events, and fairground rides. Every Saturday at midnight there are large fireworks (locations vary). The mid-month Gran nit de juliol, always on a Saturday, features street parades and free outdoor concerts, and most museums remain open until midnight or 02:00. The tourist office can offer a detailed schedule of events.
- Els Focs de la Fira (Correfoc: literally 'fire-running'), last Friday before the Battala de Flors; parade begins at 23:00. This energetic festival began in medieval Catalonia and is celebrated throughout the Catalán/Valencian-speaking region. Participants dress as devils with pitchforks and dance through the streets to drums, setting off fireworks and interacting with spectators. The route varies from year to year, but generally is in the area near the North Train Station and the Porta de la Mar. The many flying sparks can burn holes in clothing, so it's a good idea to wear older clothes or not get too close to the action.
- 10 Batalla de Flors (Battala de las Flores / Battle of the Flowers), Passeig de l'Albereda (Paseo de la Alameda). Last Sunday of July: parade begins at 20:00, battle begins at 21:00. The highlight of the July festival, the 'Battle of the Flowers' was first held in 1891. This unusual event begins with a parade of horse-drawn floats, on which are perched falleras in traditional dress. The floats circle around a closed off section of the avenue four times, and prizes are awarded for the most beautiful float. Then the fun begins: mountains of softball-sized marigolds have been distributed around the ring, and seated audience members proceed to pelt the falleras with the flowers, who defend themselves with tennis rackets and hurl flowers back into the audience. After the parade, the general audience is allowed into the ring, and a general melee begins. €30 (ringside seats purchased in advance), free (general audience).
- Nou d’Octubre (Diada Nacional del País Valencià / Valencian Community National Day). 1-9 October. This annual public holiday has been celebrated since 1338 and commemorates the date in 1238 when King James I of Aragón entered the city, freeing it from Moorish rule. In the week leading up to the 9th there are free concerts and parades around town, including a correfoc ('fire-running') which takes place on the preceding Saturday evening in the El Carme district. During this same weekend nine governmental palaces which are ordinarily closed to the public are opened for general visitation (Sa and Su 10:00-20:00, free admission). Of these the 15th-century Gothic 64 Palau de la Generalitat (Palacio de la Generalidad / Palace of the General Assembly) is the most remarkable, and is well worth the long queue to see the well-preserved interior.
Formal festivities commence at midnight on 8 October with a fireworks display from the Túria River park by the Pont de l'Exposició (by Alameda metro station). At noon on the following day a formal procession carries the Valencian flag from the Ayuntamiento (City Hall) to the 65 Jardí del Parterre (Parque del Parterre / Parterre Park), where a wreath is laid before the equestrian statue of King James.
The highlight of the 9th itself is the parade of Moros i Cristians (Spanish: Moros y Cristianos), which commences at 11 Plaça d'Alfons el Magnànim and proceeds down Carrer de la Pau and Carrer de Sant Vicent, finally terminating at Plaça de l’Ajuntament. The parade starts at 18:30 but it is best to find a spot about a half-hour before the parade begins.
The 9th of October is also the day of St. Dionysius, which for Valencians is similar to Valentine's Day. In a tradition dating to the 18th century, it is customary for men to give their sweethearts a mocadorà – a small bundle of marzipan treats shaped like fruits and wrapped in a handkerchief. Beginning a week before the 9th, these can be purchased at pastry shops and even some supermarkets.
- 1 [dead link] Palau de la Música, Passeig de l'Albereda, 30 (Mestalla), ☏ +34 963 375 020, fax: +34 963 370 988, [email protected]. 10:30-13:30, 17:30-21:00 (ticket office); tickets can also be purchased online. Designed by José María de Paredes and opened in 1987, this is considered to be one of Europe's most important concert halls. The building is marked by an enormous glass greenhouse-like structure which also serves as the main entrance. In addition to classical music, jazz concerts are also performed here.
- 2 Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (City of Arts and Sciences), ☏ +34 90 220 2383, +34 96 197 5900, [email protected]. Ticket office: M W F 10:00-14:30, opens again 3 hrs prior to performance; T Th 10:00-19:00 or until performance; Sa Su and holidays opens 2 hrs prior to performance. This opera/concert house has four halls and covers an area of 37,000m². A schedule of events can be found here.
- 3 Teatro Principal, Carrer de les Barques, 15, ☏ +34 963 539 260. Box office: Tu-F 11:00-13:00 17:00-20:00, Sa and holidays 17:00-20:00. Valencia's oldest theatre was opened 1832 and has a Rococo interior. It is the venue for a varied program of plays and musicals (in Spanish), modern dance, ballet, and concerts.
- 4 Teatre Olympia (Teatro Olympia / Olympia Theatre), Carrer de Sant Vicent Màrtir, 44, ☏ +34 963 517 315. Box office: daily 17:00-21:00, ½ hr before performance. Built in 1915 by Valencian architect Vicente Rodríguez Martín, the theatre is a venue for plays, musicals, and flamenco performances. Tickets can be purchased online.
- 5 Teatre Talia (Teatro Talía / Talía Theatre), Carrer dels Cavallers, 31 (Carmen), ☏ +34 963 912 920. Box office: Tu-F 18:00-21:00, Sa Su 2 hrs before every show. The historic theatre was built in 1928 and mostly showcases local plays and actors, but is also occasionally a venue for dance and especially flamenco performances. Tickets can be purchased online.
- 6 Café del Duende, Carrer del Túria, 62 (Extramuros), ☏ +34 630 455 289, [email protected]. Th 22:00-02:30, F Sa 22:00-03:30, Su 17:00-23:00. This café is an intimate venue for flamenco performances, with well-known dancers and musicians hailing not only from Valencia but from across Spain. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays performances begin at 23:00 and last for one hour; on Sunday they begin at 20:00. As shows are very popular, it is advisable to get there at least an hour before the show in order to secure a seat – getting to the door 15 minutes before opening is even better. €10 (includes drink).
- 7 Espai Rambleta, Bulevar Sur, esq. Carrer Pío IX (Sant Marceli, in the S of the city), ☏ +34 960 011 511, [email protected]. Exhibitions: Tu-Th 10:00-22:00, F-Su 10:00-23:30; box office: Tu-Su 10:00-14:00, 2 hrs before performance. The cultural centre is a venue for music, theatre and dance performances, and hosts rotating temporary exhibits. It also has an onsite restaurant. Tickets for events can be purchased online.
Planetarium and cinemas
- 8 L’Hemisfèric (City of Arts and Sciences), ☏ +34 961 974 686 (guided tour). Ticket office: 10:00 until beginning of last film. Designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatravato to resemble a giant eye, this building functions as an IMAX and 3D cinema as well as planetarium. Multiple films are screened daily, with a schedule available online. For visitors interested in seeing the inner workings of the building, guided tours are available M-F at 12.00 and 16.00 in Spanish and English. The building also has a restaurant and shop. Shows: €8.80 (adults), €6.85 (concessions); guided tour: €28.
- 9 Albatexas Cinemes, Plaça de Fra Lluís Colomer, 4 (near the university in Algirós), ☏ +34 960 627 538. Screens second-run films, all in original languages, with Spanish subtitles. All tickets €3.
- 10 Cines Babel, Carrer de Vicent Sancho Tello, 10 (Mestalla), ☏ +34 963 694 530. An art-house cinema which screens films in their original languages, including many current releases. The cinema has an adjoining café, and offers mid-week deals of dinner plus a movie for a reduced ticket price.
- 11 Yelmo Cines, Avenida de Tirso de Molina, 16 (Campanar), ☏ +34 963 173 590. A modern cineplex which shows the latest blockbusters, with both dubbed and original language versions (VOS: versión original subtitulada).
There are two city beaches, and several major beaches outside of Valencia.
12 Platja del Les Arenes (Platja del Cabanyal / Playa de las Arenas), just north of the port, has a pleasant promenade with a number of traditional (and expensive) restaurants, bars, and ice cream shops. The more northern 13 Platja de Malvarrosa begins where the promenade ends, and is the setting for volleyball tournaments, kite festivals, and windsurfing. In the summer both beaches have lifeguards and first aid stations, toilets, and snack vendors, and are very crowded especially in the afternoons. To get there, take the metro or tram to Eugenia Vines or Arenas station, or take the metro to Maritim Serreria and continue with the tram to Neptu (all on one ticket).
To the north of and immediately adjoining Malvarossa is 14 Platja de la Patacona (Playa de la Patacona), which, although part of the municipality of Alboraya, is easily accessible from Valencia by public transport or foot. This beach is somewhat less crowded, and is also a good place to sample horchata, as Alboraya is a major producer of chufa, a key ingredient of the drink.
The beaches south of Valencia port are all part of Albufera Natural Park. They are generally well-maintained and far less crowded than the urban beaches, and easily reachable by public transport.
- Bullfighting (corrida de toros). Bullfights are staged in Valencia only during three short seasons, including Falles (mid-March), the Fira de Juliol (July Festival), and the Nou d’Octubre (Valencian National Day in October).
If you are put off by bullfighting, consider attending a recortes competition, an ancient nonviolent alternative practiced only in the Valencian Community, Navarra, La Rioja, and northern Castile-La Mancha. Recortadores leap, perform backflips, and occasionally pole-vault over charging bulls. The bulls are unharmed and not killed afterward, but it is very dangerous for the athletes, who are often matadors-in-training. While these events are not as well-attended as bullfights, popularity is growing. Typically there is one recortes event during each bullfighting season. Bullfights €12-120, recortes €10.
- 15 Plaça de Bous de València (Plaza de Toros de Valencia), Carrer de Xàtiva, 28 (next to North Train Station), ☏ +34 902 10 7777. A bullring and artistic monument, it is used for bull fighting and big shows. The stadium holds 12,884 people, and was built between 1850 and 1860 by Valencian architect Sebastián Monleón Estellés.
- 66 Museu Taurí de València (Museo Taurino de Valencia), Pasaje Doctor Serra, 10, ☏ +34 96 388 3738, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 10:00-19:00, Su M 10:00-14:00; closed 1 Jan, 1 May and 25 Dec. Has displays illustrating the development of Valencian bullfighting since the 19th century. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions); free on Sa, Su and holidays.
- Football: the city has two pro soccer teams:
- Valencia CF play in La Liga, Spain's top tier. 16 Mestalla stadium (capacity 48,600) is 1 km northeast of the city centre. They are long overdue for moving to Nou Mestalla stadium to the northwest, but ran out of money and construction work has halted.
- Levante UD were relegated in 2022 and now play in Segunda División, the second tier. 17 Ciutat de València Stadium (capacity 26,300) is 2 km north of the centre, near the Machado metro stop.
- 8 Don Quijote, Carrer dels Cadirers, 5, ☏ +34 963 553 174, [email protected]. A great school where you can take 4-6 hours of courses a day. All courses including beginner courses are taught entirely in Spanish.
- 9 Espanole (International House Valencia), Carrer de la Nau, 22, ☏ +34 96 353 0404, fax: +34 96 353 1929, [email protected]. A member of International House, a network of language schools all over the world. The school provides the students with lots of leisure time activities and even housing can be arranged by the school, either in a studio, in a shared apartment or in a guest family. Even the beginner courses are taught entirely in Spanish, which makes it difficult to follow the lessons in the beginning.
- 10 Linguaschools Valencia, Carrer Bernat y Baldoví, 11 (next to the Universidad de Valencia), ☏ +34 93 176 1536, [email protected]. Office hrs M-F 09:00-17:30. Organizes Spanish courses for foreigners, using the immersion method. The school is based in a real Spanish villa close to the old town of Valencia. Here, you can enjoy your classes, lounge on one of the terraces or study in the garden.
- 11 Route 66 Idiomas, Carrer de Moratín, 15-4, ☏ +34 96 342 7368, [email protected]. Offers courses in both Spanish and Valencian (Catalan). Students can choose to study 10-20 hours a week, or choose a less intensive long-term option of 3-4 hours a week.
- 12 Escuela de Arroces y Paellas, Carrer del Bisbe En Jeroni, 8 (Carme), ☏ +34 961 043 540. Daily. Offers cooking classes in English for several types of paella, including classic Valencian, seafood, and vegetarian. Morning classes on M-Sa also include a visit to the Mercat Central, and all classes include tapas, wine, paella and dessert, and a take-home paella pan with apron. €50-75 adults, €30-70 under 18.
- The area around 1 Plaça del Patriarca (Plaza del Patriarca) is a good place to look for the major national brands like Loewe, LLadró, Louis Vuitton, Dolores, and Farrutx.
- 2 Plaça Redona (Plaza Redonda). M-Sa 10:00-20:00, Su and holidays 08:00-14:00 (flea market). Designed by Valencian architect Melchor Escrig Salvador in the mid-19th century, this unique building was constructed around a round plaza, and was noted by Valencian novelist Vicente Blasco Ibáñez in his novel Arroz y Tartana. The building has been completely renovated and now is home to a number of shops for traditional crafts as well as tapas bars. On Sunday mornings it is home to a flea market.
- 3 Mercat de l’Escuraeta (Mercado de L’Escuraeta), Plaça de la Reina (just S of the cathedral). Daily from the second Sunday of May until Corpus Christi, usually at the end of May or early June. This traditional market dates back to the 13th century and Jaume I, when vendors set up extra stalls by the cathedral to coincide with the annual Festividad de la Virgen (feast of the Virgin). Items sold here include crockery and traditional cooking utensils, as well as pottery and other arts and crafts.
- 4 Frutos Secos del Carmen, Carrer de Dalt, 20 (El Carme), ☏ +34 696 945 745, [email protected]. A traditional local shop that sells all kinds of dried fruits and nuts.
- 5 Mercat Central (Mercado Central / Central Market), Plaça de la Ciutat de Bruges, s/n (El Mercat), ☏ +34 963 829 100. M-Sa 07:00-15:00. In a restored modernist iron and glass building dating from 1928, this is one of the largest markets in Europe. See how the locals shop for food and buy some fantastic fresh produce, meat, seafood, or olives.
- 6 Mercat del Cabanyal (Mercado del Cabañal / Cabanyal Market), Carrer de Martí Grajales, 4 (Cabanyal), ☏ +34 963 446 316, [email protected]. M-Th 07:00-14:30, F 07:00-20:30, Sa 07:00-14:30. Traditionally one of the better markets in the city for fish, this also has fresh produce and artisanal products. Has free Wi-Fi throughout the building, no registration or password required.
- 7 Mercat de Mosén Sorell (Mercado de Mosén Sorell), Plaça de Mossén Sorell (Carmen). M-W 07:30-15:00, Th 17:00-20:00, F 17:30-21:00, Sa 07:30-15:00. A smaller market, which was renovated in 2016, in the centre of the Carmen neighbourhood.
- 8 Mercat de Russafa (Mercado de Russafa), Plaça del Baró de Cortés, 9 (Ruzafa), ☏ +34 963 744 025, [email protected]. M-Sa 07:00-15:00. Designed by Julio Bellot Senet and completed in 1957, the market is at the centre of the vibrant Ruzafa neighbourhood. Inside are more than 60 vendors of all types of food products, as well as a bar and café.
- 9 El Rastro (Flea market), Plaça de Lluís Casanova, s/n (Mestalla: car park of the Valencia Football Club), ☏ +34 962 084 736, [email protected]. Su 08:00-13:30. Valencia's enormous second-hand market is a good place to pick up all sorts of odds and ends, ranging from vintage toys to Valencian ceramics to bicycle parts. Vendors are licensed and there is a police presence, but do beware of pickpockets.
- 10 Mercadillo de Ruzafa (several streets NW of the Mercat de Russafa and by the parish church). M 09:00-14:00.
- 11 Mercadillo de Cabanyal (Cabanyal street market) (several square blocks E of the Mercat del Cabanyal). Th 09:00-14:00. One of the larger and more colourful weekly street markets.
- 12 Mercadillo de Benimaclet (Benimaclet street market), Carrer de Juan Giner and Carrer del Reverend Rafael Tramoyeres. F 09:00-14:00.
- 13 Casa del Libro, Passeig Russafa, 11 (centro), ☏ +34 902 026 411, [email protected]. M-Sa 09:30-21:30, Su and holidays 12:00-21:30. Probably Valencia's largest bookshop and part of a national chain, it has four floors of new and used books, with a good selection of books in English and other languages. Pets are permitted.
- 14 fnac, Carrer de Guillem de Castro, 9-11, ☏ +34 902 100 632, [email protected]. M-Sa 10:00-21:30, Sa and holidays 11:00-21:00. This branch of the French chain has a good selection of English books on the first floor, along with DVDs and computer accessories.
- Librería París, ☏ +34 963 671 958 (information), [email protected]. This Valencian independent bookstore carries new and discounted books, with a selection of titles in English and other European languages, including in the travel section. It is also a good place to pick up Spanish cookbooks. There are four branches in town.
- 15 Librería París, Gran Via del Marqués del Túria, 74 (Eixample), ☏ +34 963 959 366. M-Sa 10:00-14:00 17:00-21:00.
- 16 Librería París, Plaça d'Alfons el Magnànim, 13 (centro), ☏ +34 963 520 273. M-F 10:00-14:00 16:30-20:30, Sa 10:00-14:00 17:00-21:00.
- 17 Librería París, Carrer de Pelai, 7 (near the train station), ☏ +34 963 525 440. M-Sa 09:30-14:00 16:00-20:30.
- 18 Librería París, Carrer de Navellos, 8 (centro, near the Plaça de la Verge), ☏ +34 963 918 133. M-F 10:00-14:00 16:30-20:30, Sa 17:00-21:00.
- 19 Librería Patagonia, Carrer de l'Hospital, 1, ☏ +34 963 936 052. M-Sa 09:30-14:00 16:30-20:00. For visitors who read some Spanish, this travel bookshop is a good resource as it stocks a good range of Spanish and regional travel guides, maps, and other travel accessories.
- 20 Aqua Multispacio, Carrer de Menorca, 19 (near the City of Arts and Science), ☏ +34 963 308 429, [email protected]. Shops: M-Sa 10:00-22:00, Su and holidays 11:00-21:00; restaurants: Su-Th 10:00-01:30, F Sa and holidays 10:00-04:00; gym: M-F 07:00-23:00, Sa Su and holidays 08:00-21:00. Along with the usual chain shops and restaurants, this large complex has two hotels, a cinema, a bowling centre, and a large gym and pool. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the building, and there is a taxi stand outside.
- 21 Centro Comercial El Saler, Avda del Professor López Piñero, 16 (near the City of Arts and Science), ☏ +34 963 957 012, [email protected]. Shops: M-Sa 10:00-22:00, Su 11:00-21:00; Carrefour: M-Sa 09:00-22:00, Su 10:00-21:00; restaurants: daily 10:00-24:00. Has a full range of standard international chain stores as well as restaurants and a Carrefour hypermarket. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the building, and there is a taxi stand outside.
- 22 Centro Comercial Nuevo Centro, Avda Pio XII, 2 (near the bus station), ☏ +34 963 471 642, [email protected]. Shops: M-Sa 10:00-22:00, Su and holidays 11:00-21:00; restaurants: daily 09:00-24:00. Has more than 80 shops and restaurants as well as a branch of Corte Inglés. Also has a children's playground, and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the building. There is a taxi stand outside.
- 23 La Galería Jorge Juan, Carrer de Jorge Juan, 21 (across from Mercat de Colom), ☏ +34 963 524 966, [email protected]. Shops: M-Sa 10:00-21:00; restaurants: M-Sa 09:00-21:00. Has 40 shops and a restaurant. Parking available.
Tips on Paella
- Paella. There are several versions of this tasteful rice dish: paella valenciana, with meat (chicken and/or rabbit usually), paella de marisco, with fish or seafood, or even paella mixta, with meat and fish at the same time, the least popular among locals. It is very difficult to say which is the 'real' paella, as every person has his/her own version (though no paella that deserves this name contains sausage, ham or meat broth, for instance). If you want to eat an authentic paella, try it at the Malvarrosa beach area; you will find there are several good restaurants. The authentic Valencian paella is made only with fresh ingredients, in a special iron pan and using a fire made with wood (not gas or electricity). Vegetarian paella is called paella vegetal or paella de verduras. Authentic paella can be rather dry, it's not a soup and shouldn't look like gumbo. Don't be shy about scraping the caramelized rice from the bottom of the pan, it's delicious!
- Arròs a banda (arroz a banda). A side dish of rice cooked in fish stock, usually served with alioli.
- Arròs negre (arroz negro). Also cooked in fish stock, this rice dish is black because it contains squid ink, as well as squid or cuttlefish, peppers, and paprika.
- Fideuà. This paella-like dish, with short noodles and fish, was invented in Gandía and can be usually found in paella restaurants. It deserves a try too.
- All i pebre. A stew made of eel, a snake like fish typical from the Albufera, a lagoon near Valencia. You can drive to El Palmar and taste it there. Delicious, but a very special taste. You can find good paella, and other traditional dishes at the restaurants there too.
- Llet merengada (leche merengada). A kind of milk-based soft ice cream with a cinnamon-lemon taste.
- Bunyols (buñuelos). Fried doughnuts, sometimes round shaped, sometimes like rings. Widely available only during March during the Falles celebration. Dip them in hot chocolate. Sometimes they are too oily, so don't eat a lot of them or you will not be hungry again for several hours. If you can choose the carabasa (pumpkin) version, you should try it. They are generally tastier.
- 1 Tasca Ángel, Carrer de la Puríssima, 1 (behind the Llotja), ☏ +34 963 917 835. M-Sa 10:30-15:00 19:30-23:30. This tiny but very popular tapas bar is known for its sardinas (grilled sardines), served with garlic infused olive oil and white bread. Other specialties include champiñones a la plancha (grilled mushrooms) and gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns). The place only has a handful of tables with additional seating at the bar, and tends to get very packed after 21:00.
- 2 La Pascuala, Carrer d'Eugenia Viñes, 177 (Cabanyal), ☏ +34 963 713 814. M-Sa 09:00-15:30. This is a very popular place for almuerzo (late breakfast or early lunch), and is especially known for its very large bocadillos. No reservations are accepted, but it's worth the wait for a table. €5 for bocadillo and drink (June 2016).
- 3 Kiosco La Pérgola, Passeig de l'Albereda, 1 (near the Jardí de Montfort), ☏ +34 963 699 079. M-F 08:00-16:30, Sa 08:30-16:00; closed for the month of August. This is a very popular lunch spot for delicious and cheap bocadillos. Their signature bocadillo is the Super Bombon, piled high with steak, jamón, lettuce, dressing, and french fries. The Bombon, which omits the french fries, is a slightly lighter version. Getting a table requires some patience, or reservations. Drink + bocadillo €3-4 (Oct 2017).
- 4 La Lluna (vegetarian), Carrer de Sant Ramon, 23 (at the Centre Cultural la Beneficència), ☏ +34 963 922 146. M-Sa 09:00-16:30, 20:00-24:00. Lunch menu €8-11 (July 2015).
- 5 Andalus Dolç, Carrer de Yecla, 16 (in L'Amistat), ☏ +34 963 254 771. M-Th 11:00-24:00, F Sa 11:00-00:30, Su 10:00-24:00. This restaurant-coffeeshop is a favourite with the local Moroccan community and serves a range of traditional Moroccan dishes, some of them vegetarian. It also has an excellent onsite bakery. €9.50 set menu (Feb 2016).
- 6 Ca la Mar, Carrer de Just Vilar, 19 (El Cabanyal), ☏ +34 963 259 827, [email protected]. Tu W 11:00-01:00, Th-Su 10:00-01:00. This very small restaurant serves creative tapas, with a number of seafood as well as vegetarian options. Pleasant seating is both indoor and along a pedestrian-only street. They also have a decent selection of wine, as well as the local Turía beer.
- 7 Cerveceria Alhambra, Carrer de Calixt III, 8 (Extramurs), ☏ +34 963 843 057. M-F 07:00-18:30; closed for the month of August. This small sidewalk eatery is known throughout the city for its excellent tortillas de patatas in a number of flavours, many of them vegetarian. Tortillas can be eaten either with a fork (pincho) or in a sandwich (bocadillo). Meatballs (albondigas) are also served here, but main attraction are the tortillas. €5 for tortilla and drink (Nov 2015).
- 8 Central Bar, Plaça de la Ciutat de Bruges, s/n (by Puerta 3 in the Mercat Central), ☏ +34 963 829 223. M-Sa 06:30-15:30. One of a trio of restaurants owned and operated by famed Valencian chef Ricard Camarena, this tapas bar is a good place to sample his food without breaking the bank. The menu changes daily depending on what's available in the market. Reservations are not accepted, so if you plan to visit for lunch be prepared to wait awhile for a seat. Tapas €4-9 (Feb 2016).
- 9 Mercat de Colón (Mercado de Colón), Carrer de Jorge Juan, 19 (El Pla del Remei), ☏ +34 963 371 101. Built in 1916 as a marketplace, this excellent example of modernist architecture now houses a number of cafés and tapas bars. Every Sunday at noon there are free classical music concerts.
- 10 Portland Ale House, Carrer de Salamanca, 10 (Gran Via), ☏ +34 96 381 0406. Tu-Su 19:00-02:00. Owned and operated by an American from Portland, Oregon, this place serves classic American bar food and burgers, along with a good range of local beers. For those looking to improve their Spanish (or English) there is an intercambio (language exchange) open to all Wednesday evenings beginning at 20:30.
- 11 Yuk Mi, Carrer de Salabert, 24 (Patraix), ☏ +34 963 787 022. M-Sa 13:30-15:30 20:30-22:30. One of only two Korean restaurants in Valencia, this family-operated restaurant is highly-regarded in the Asian community for its authentic home-style Korean cooking. Dishes can be modified to accommodate vegetarians, and diners can request how spicy (or not) they prefer their meal. Mains €8-12 (June 2017).
- 12 Alquería del Pou, Entrada Rico, 6 (southern outskirts, near Centre Comercial El Saler and the City of Arts and Sciences), ☏ +34 963 737 706. Daily 13:00-17:00; closed every Su in Aug. A favourite with locals, this hidden gem specialises in all types of traditional Valencian rice dishes and seafood, served in a garden setting. Mains €12-20.
- 13 [dead link] Bar Ricardo, Carrer del Dr. Zamenhof, 16 (near the Turía River Park), ☏ +34 963 226 949. Tu-Sa 08:00-24:00; closed public holidays. Operating since 1947, the restaurant serves traditional Valencian seafood, tapas, and sandwiches. It is also especially known for very good patatas bravas and ensalada rusa.
- 14 Bodega La Rentaora, Plaça del Mossén Sorell, 11 (El Carme), ☏ +34 670 396 302. M-F 20:00-01:00, Sa