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Valencia in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Valencia is one of the most interesting tourist destinations in Spain. Therefore, if you have the possibility to take advantage of two days to visit the most important sites of the city, I advise you to follow this itinerary that I have prepared for you.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Valencia in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Valencia, Spain | ©Pedro

2 days in a place may seem insufficient to enjoy everything there is to know in that place and if we talk about a city like Valencia, even more. However, with a good logistical organization it is possible that in such a short time you will know a large part of the best things to see or do in Valencia. At least from a tourist and traditional perspective in which it is interesting to see the historical buildings and the most important monuments of the city.

So I invite you to continue reading this compilation of plans and activities that I have prepared for your two days in Valencia. So you will have perfectly coordinated entertainment alternatives for you to have two days of fun. As well as so you can return home knowing that you knew some of the most important corners of the largest city in the Valencian Community.

Day 1: Marvel at the city's center

Valencia Cathedral| ©Gianni T
Valencia Cathedral| ©Gianni T

Valencia is the capital of the Spanish autonomous community that bears the same name and if you take into account its metropolitan area then it is ranked as the third largest urban settlement in the country behind Madrid and Barcelona. It is an important academic center for Spanish university life and is a tourist epicenter for those who come to the country in search of a good combination of the Mediterranean Sea and the cosmopolitan way of life of the Spanish cities.

On the first day of your visit to this beautiful town it is a good idea that you dedicate yourself to walk the streets of its geographic center. For the truth is that in this area are most of the most important historical buildings, many neighborhoods of surprising beauty and for many is also contained the essence of what distinguishes Valencia from other Spanish destinations.

So thinking about your interests to take advantage of every moment of your day I have coordinated a series of activities in a specific order that will allow you to enjoy your short stay as if you were a full season touring the peculiar and captivating Valencian streets.

Have breakfast in the Plaza de la Reina and then visit the cathedral

is one of the most important spaces in this place. It is a good place to have breakfast on the first day of your visit, as there is enough commercial movement in the area so that you have several alternatives to choose from. I highlight the Terraza de Santa Catalina and Bertal Homenage as two good options among the local offer.

In turn, when you have finished breakfast you can walk north across the square to reach the beautiful Cathedral of Valencia. You will arrive from the south façade and therefore you may be interested in seeing its impressive north front, but first it is advisable that you propose to climb the 200 steps of the Micalet. This is a tall gothic style bell tower with an octagonal structure from where you can enjoy panoramic views of this section of the city.

The interior of the Chapel of the Holy Chalice is another great spectacle of architecture and if you want to see the church from the best possible perspective you need to get to the Plaza de la Virgen. Which is a very nice place in its own right where you can also see the Real Basilica De Nuestra Señora De Los Desamparados. Keep in mind that if you are arriving early in the city you can book a private transfer from Valencia airport to the center so that you can get directly to this area without having to waste time going through your accommodation first.

  • Location: Pl. de l'Almoina, s/n, 46003 València, Valencia, Spain.
  • Prices: The price to enter the cathedral per person is approximately 2 euros. Keep in mind that this gives you access to the Micalet.
  • Hours: it changes throughout the year according to Catholic holidays, but on average it opens from 10 am to 6:30 pm every weekday. Except on Sundays when it opens at 2 pm.

Stop by the Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange) and go shopping at the Central Market

If you head south from the Plaza de la Virgen through the narrow streets of this section of the historic center you will reach the Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange) in less than 6 minutes. This building is of great historical importance to this city, as it is the historic site where commercial transactions took place during the Valencian Golden Age. Its architectural beauty is so significant that this is a building declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

The exterior of the building is a real spectacle, but the most relevant are the internal lobbies that are the maximum representation of Valencian Gothic. It is therefore a good idea to quickly visit the halls of this great structural complex before continuing with the next stop of your visit. And the fact is that this commodities exchange is located right in front of the Market Square. This means that the Central Market of Valencia is just across the street.

This beautiful modernist building that is distinguished by its impressive main facade is an excellent place for you to have a shopping session of the best Mediterranean products. As well as the best preparations from the fertile agricultural region of the Valencian Community.

In fact, it is very likely that these two sites together with the cathedral and its famous tower are part of the guided tours of the essential sites of Valencia. Indeed, they are in the historic heart of the city and in the district where most of the UNESCO declared heritage sites are located.

Get to know the essential elements of Valencia and its World Heritage sites

Go to the Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas

Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas| ©Daniela M
Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas| ©Daniela M

When you start walking west from the Central Market to the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas you will have created a virtually perfect square route in the center of Valencia. Which is ideal knowing that the idea is to take advantage of the walks to get to know the characteristic beauty of the area.

When you get to this site you will notice that the beautiful Valencian architecture is an inexhaustible resource. And the fact is that this is an old mansion that stands out for its facades with a very marked rococo style that are crowned by imposing towers that create the perfect setting next to the entrance covered with alabaster marble.

If you wish, you can enter to visit the museum dedicated to ceramics that today is located inside. This is an excellent idea, since the façade of the structure is only a small part of the decorative universe that defines this important construction.

Keep in mind that many of the best Segway tours in Valencia follow a route quite similar to the one you would have taken up to this point in the day. Therefore, they can be a good option if you are not interested in entering any of the sites mentioned above, nor do you like the idea of walking.

  • Location: this palace is located in the historic center of Valencia, between the streets Poeta Querol, Calle de la Cultura and Calle de San Andrés.
  • Entrance fees: the entrance to the museum costs about 3 euros per person approximately.
  • Hours: it is usually open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm and then reopens from 4 pm to 8 pm. On Sundays and holidays it is open from 10 am to 2 pm and on Mondays it is closed.

Have an authentic Valencian paella for lunch.

By early to mid-afternoon your appetite is most likely already eating away at your good mood. So after visiting that picturesque mansion it is extremely appropriate that you dedicate yourself to enjoying an authentic Valencian paella in some of the best nearby restaurants in this tourist district that is full of gastronomic establishments.

Less than 200 meters away, on Calle del Mar is located La Riu, a beautiful family tavern with a typical Valencian decor where you can enjoy traditional and authentic versions of paella, the signature dish of this Spanish region. In this place you can also accompany your meal with an excellent repertoire of regional wines.

On the other hand, if you are interested in a more innovative and conceptual proposal then it is preferable to go up to Calle de la Paz and then go down to Calle de en Sala to the LAVOE restaurant. This is an establishment specialized in paellas and fideuá under a more modern concept. Which for many food critics makes it one of the best and most elegant rice restaurants in this section of the city.

Keep in mind that enjoying a good paella is one of the best things to see or do in Valencia in summer. Although this is really something you can't miss no matter what time of year you visit the city.

Head north to the Turia Garden

The Turia Garden is one of the most beautiful urban parks in all of Spain and is a cultural and urban axis of great importance for the city of Valencia. When visiting this city it is essential that you walk through some of the sections of this kilometer-long public space. For this reason it is a good idea to head towards the Puente del Real from any of the two paella restaurants I have mentioned after lunch.

Keep in mind that the idea is to walk from the bridge to the north end of the park where the Serranos Bridge is located, so you can walk a good part of the park and you can go directly to the Serranos Towers. These are two monumental towers of Valencian-style Gothic architecture that belonged to a medieval wall and offer a panoramic view of the area.

That is an ideal place to catch the sunset and you have to appreciate the fact that the previous walk in the Turia Garden is one of the best things to see or do in Valencia with children. Since it is a space that allows them to play freely to drain all the energy they have possibly contained for the other more adult activities of the tourist itinerary.

End the day touring the bars of Barrio del Carmen

The Barrio del Carmen is an old district that is geographically contained between the Turia Garden, the Serranos Towers and the Quart Towers. It is characterized by its narrow streets, the medieval style of some of its buildings and the wide diversity of nightlife establishments ranging from bars and nightclubs to cafes, restaurants, bookstores and dozens of terraces.

It is an emblematic place among the Spanish nightlife and is currently one of the most bohemian neighborhoods of the city. As a result, it is a good idea to walk its streets, especially Calle de los Caballeros, to start a day of partying in moderation, so that the hangover does not take its toll on you the next day.

As you can imagine, some of the best bar tours in Valencia run through these streets. So booking these types of guided tours might be a good idea if you feel this is a better way to enjoy the area on the terms and traditions of the locals.

Enjoy the best bar tours in Valencia

Day 2: Continue getting to know Valencia

City of Arts and Sciences| ©Pablo Simonetti
City of Arts and Sciences| ©Pablo Simonetti

For the second day of your visit to Valencia there will still be a couple of important sites to visit and therefore it is important that you adjust your energy and your willingness to follow the itinerary that I have also prepared for this second time.

And it becomes a priority for you that after a day knowing so many architectural wonders of Valencia's past you can also see other more modern and recent sites. Which have to do with the relevance that has taken this beautiful city since the mid-twentieth century until now in the twenty-first century.

Start the morning at the must-see City of Arts and Sciences

The City of Arts and Sciences is an impressive work of modern architecture designed by Santiago Calatrava that has reshaped the image associated with Valencia. For it is a thoroughly modernist landscape that to some even looks like a science fiction movie.

There are several individual buildings on this site that serve very different purposes. There is an IMAX screening room, a park, an interactive museum dedicated to science, a planetarium and a space dedicated exclusively to the performing arts.

If you want, you can tour its extension on your own, but a guided tour that also includes a wine and tapas tasting is an excellent way to start the day while getting acquainted with one of the most controversial and revolutionary architectural projects of recent times in the Spanish territory.

Then stroll through the streets of the Ruzafa neighborhood

Once you have completed your visit to this iconic site of Valencia's new urban reality, it is a good idea to head back to the center of the city, specifically to the Ruzafa neighborhood.

It is a practically perfect triangle that contains within it one of the greatest cultural diversities of the city with European, Asian and American communities living in harmony in one of the neighborhoods that has been fashionable for more than a decade among Valencian tourism.

A good activity you could do in this place to occupy your time beyond sitting in a cafe or restaurant is to participate in a workshop for the preparation of a seafood paella along with a guided tour of the Ruzafa Market. This is highly recommended, because you will be optimizing your time, so you will return home with a greater amount of knowledge than you had at the beginning of your trip.

Buy your seafood paella workshop and visit the Ruzafa market

Take the opportunity to visit the Estación del Norte and the Plaza de Toros in Valencia

North Station| ©Jorge Franganillo
North Station| ©Jorge Franganillo

Taking advantage of your visit to the streets of Ruzafa it is essential that you go to the northern end of the neighborhood so you can see from the outside the beauty of the Estación del Norte as well as the neighboring Plaza de Toros de Valencia.

If you wanted to, you could enter both sites, as the station is nowadays a functioning and undisputed tourist destination for architecture fans and the bullring as well. In fact, in the second alternative there is a museum that you could tour quickly depending on your energy and interests.

Keep in mind that both places are inseparable stops on the routes of the best tours of Valencia. Which is logical knowing that they are iconic spaces of the cultural identity of this city.

  • Exact location: the bullring is located at Calle de Xàtiva, 28, 46004 València, Spain. The station is located right in front of its western façade.
  • Entrance fees: to the station you enter for free while to the bullring it all depends on the event that is closest to the date of your visit. To the bullfighting museum of the bullring you can enter for about 2 euros per person.
  • Hours: the station is open daily from 5:30 am to 11:59 pm. The bullring has changing hours, but is usually open from 10 am to 7 pm every day of the week.

End the day with dinner at the Mercado de Colón

As a good dinner is always an excellent idea to celebrate it is advisable that you head to the Mercado Colón to get to know this early 20th century market that today has one of the largest varieties of gastronomic proposals in the city.

This place has become so influential in the culinary world of the city that it is usually an essential stop in the best gastronomic tours of Valencia. In fact, it is also advisable to join an experience like this if you feel like walking around the rest of the city.

  • Exact location: C/ Jorge Juan n.º 19, Valencia.
  • Entrance fees: the Colon Market is free of charge all year round.
  • Opening hours: open every day of the week from 7:30 am until 2 am. On Fridays it is open until 3 am.