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10 Things to Do in Valencia at Holy Week

Thinking of activities and plans to do during Easter in Valencia is not so complicated, as it is a very diverse city with entertainment for everyone. I invite you to find out about some of the activities that are available for you during these dates.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Valencia at Holy Week

Valencia Cathedral | ©Jorge Franganillo

The best things to do in Valencia are changing throughout the year, because in some specific times there are plans that have to do with the cultural traditions of this community. One of these times is Easter, which is an event that is lived in a different way within the Valencian Community.

My recommendation is that you continue reading this publication, as it collects those plans that can be entertaining for all types of tourists. Thanks to this information you will have a wide variety of activities to choose from and you will be able to put together an itinerary that fits your interests, the time you have available and the budget you have prepared for your trip to the city of Valencia.

1. Attend the events of the Semana Santa Marinera (Holy Week)

Maritime Holy Week| ©Nelo Cerdà
Maritime Holy Week| ©Nelo Cerdà

The way in which the representative acts and the different processions of the Holy Week take place in Valencia is quite different from the rest of the country. These events are known as Semana Santa Marinera and basically it is that all the maritime neighborhoods of the city of Valencia and its surroundings come together to celebrate three main acts that go from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

The blessing of Las Palmas is the first of them and it is quite similar to what happens in other Spanish cities. The differences begin to appear in the Good Friday processions, as the act is full of silence and moderation. During Easter Sunday there is also a parade worthy of being admired.

Another of the great differences of the Semana Santa Marinera is that many of these acts take place on the beaches of the coastal neighborhoods of Valencia. Among those that stand out are the Grau, the Cabanyal and the Canyamelar.

Depending on the date you arrive in the city you may have to move quickly if you do not want to miss these cultural events. Therefore, a private transfer from Valencia airport to your accommodation in the Poblados Marítimos district is a good way to get to the epicenter of the Valencian Holy Week in a comfortable and safe way.

2. The Oceanogràfic is a good plan for family entertainment

The Oceanogràfic| ©MAVARAS
The Oceanogràfic| ©MAVARAS

The largest aquarium in Europe is located in Valencia and its name is Oceanogràfic. This site is part of the most iconic complex in all of Valencia known as the City of Arts and Sciences. Among the distinctions of this aquarium is the fact that it has one of the ponds with the largest number of sharks on the planet, with 20 species and more than 100 specimens.

The structure of this place is just as impressive as that of the other buildings that make up the City of Arts and Sciences because throughout the Oceanogràfic it seeks to represent the main marine ecosystems of the planet. Therefore, in a tour through this place you can differentiate between pavilions that are intended for the Mediterranean Sea, another created specifically for wetlands and one that has the animals of temperate and tropical seas. As well as pavilions that focus on the life of the oceans which is complemented by the famous dolphinarium.

This activity is usually a favorite among locals because it is one of the best things to do in Valencia with children, which means it is a recommended plan if you need Easter ideas to help balance your tourist exploration of the city and the festive events with sites that are appropriate for people of all ages.

3. Don't miss the Encounter of Christ with his Mother on Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday in Valencia| ©Pedro
Easter Sunday in Valencia| ©Pedro

The tradition followed in Valencia's Semana Santa Marinera during Easter Sunday is so peculiar that it is worth enjoying, even if you are not interested in religious customs. The act basically consists of all the people gathering at the old Turia riverbed with the intention of eating typical products of the local gastronomy that were part of the Lenten menu.

The next part of this celebration has to do with some songs and praises that seek to celebrate the resurrection of Christ while the meeting of Jesus with his mother takes place. What makes this symbolic act so special is the moment when doves are released and the field where the participants meet is filled with flower petals.

Now, it all depends on exactly where you are in the city of Valencia, as it is also possible that you will only have the opportunity to see the procession that carries the Virgin of Solitude with her face uncovered. This happens after the parishioners remove the black veil that has been covering her face since the moment when she went into mourning with the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday.

4. Take the opportunity to visit the Cathedral of Valencia

Valencia Cathedral| ©Jorge Franganillo
Valencia Cathedral| ©Jorge Franganillo

The Cathedral of Valencia is one of the main architectural attractions of the city and at the same time it is a site that has a direct connection with the history of the Valencian Holy Week and with the origin of the traditions that today its inhabitants celebrate. For this reason, you should take advantage of your visit during this time of the year to enjoy a guided tour of this important historical monument.

The structure of the cathedral is characterized by its Gothic style as well as for having a tower that offers privileged views of the oldest part of the city. The name of this tower is El Micalet and if you observe it from the base you will realize that its octagonal shape makes it stand out in the landscape of this part of Valencia.

Without a doubt, visiting the Valencian cathedral is one of the best things to do on a three-day visit to Valencia. If you have less than 24 hours in this place and you are interested in knowing the most important buildings of the city then this is a place you should include in your logistic itinerary.

5. A tour of the historical treasures is a good investment of your time

Silk Exchange| ©Marcela Escandell
Silk Exchange| ©Marcela Escandell

On the other hand, you should keep in mind that the city of Valencia is one of the most important tourist destinations in all of Spain and inside you will find architectural wonders of the West such as the Lonja de la Seda, which is a site that is in fact declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

The Bullring, the North Station, the City of Arts and Sciences, the Turia Gardens and the palaces and buildings of the Ciutat Vella are just some of the most representative corners of this community. In addition, there are other urban areas such as the neighborhood of El Carmen or the luxurious area of El Ensanche.

So if you have the time you should know that it is an excellent idea to participate in one of the best tours of Valencia that focus on offering you the accompaniment of a guide through these urban spaces in the center of the city. Especially because this area of the city is the one that has more to do with the history of Catholicism within Valencia and therefore several of the activities of the cultural framework of Holy Week are given along this area.

In addition, it is an excellent way to occupy your time and to explore this city in a proper way so that when you return home you can say that you have known it in its greatest splendor.

Private walking tour of the old town of Valencia

6. Go to Albufera to eat a good paella

Paella in Valencia| ©Hungry Dudes
Paella in Valencia| ©Hungry Dudes

The Albufera natural park is a beloved destination among Valencians because it is an estuary located a couple of kilometers south of the city that offers the ideal opportunity for those who want to have a boat ride and enjoy the afternoon. The area is also quite well known for the quality of the paellas that are cooked in the different restaurants that are located in the vicinity of the natural park.

So betting on an excursion to the Albufera natural park is one of the best things to do during Easter. Especially because it is an opportunity to taste an excellent Valencian paella during the time of the year when seafood and fish usually replace chicken and veal to follow the traditions of Lent.

Likewise, you do not need to be forced to eat a Valencian paella of fish and seafood, because the truth is that options with meat and chicken will still be available for those who have no intention of complying with the dietary limitations of the Catholic Lent.

You also have to know that during Easter the weather starts to be favorable to enjoy this type of outing again. So it becomes even more advisable to go to this site that is part of the best day trips from Valencia. Although the truth is that it is so close to the metropolitan area of the city that with a couple of hours you could tour the entire lagoon, enjoy a paella and return to the city without any inconvenience.

Excursion to the Albufera Natural Park

7. You can also eat a mona de Pascua Valenciana

Valencian Easter Mona| ©Marcela Escandel
Valencian Easter Mona| ©Marcela Escandel

The Easter mona is a specific Easter recipe that consists of a dessert that is eaten during Easter Sunday. In the case of Valencia this recipe is interesting, since it is a bun made of flour, eggs and sugar and it is given different shapes and finished with a hard-boiled egg or chocolate.

You have to know that if you spend Easter in this city then you will have the opportunity to get this typical sweet in most pastry shops and bakeries without any inconvenience.

If you participate in some of the best gastronomic tours in Valencia during this time of the year, it is likely that this dessert will be included in the menu of the experience. At least if it comes to a tour that focuses on knowing the most traditional restaurants that bet on the basic and elementary values of the Valencian culinary world.

8. Going out to a party is a pleasant plan for everyone

Party time| ©Cesar Pics
Party time| ©Cesar Pics

Easter in Valencia also has to do with nightlife for both adults and young people. This knowing that it is a very important tourist destination in Spain and not all people follow the values of Catholicism or are interested in their traditions. For this reason you should not miss the opportunity to go out for dinner to continue with a night of drinking in some of the most lively nightlife areas in the center of Valencia.

The Ciutat Vella is full of historic bars as well as restaurants that work late into the night and can be the ideal place to start your evening. The El Carmen neighborhood right next to this area is the place to go if you are interested in experiencing an alternative night out with innovative music styles in establishments that are just as quirky.

Also, Benimeclacet is the safest bet if you are interested in enjoying a low-budget night out because it is the area of choice when it comes to university parties in Valencia.

Either way, no matter the style of party that catches your attention, you have to know that the last days of Easter are one of the best times of the year to enjoy the nightlife that this city offers. Especially because for many people it is the forewarning of what is usually the summer season.

9. Enjoy the beach

Beaches of Valencia| ©kismihok
Beaches of Valencia| ©kismihok

The city of Valencia is one of the Spanish towns with the largest amount of uninterrupted coastline within what is the official territory of the town. For this reason, it is an extremely recommendable idea that you take advantage of your visit during Easter to spend a couple of hours on the sandy beaches of the Valencian capital.

Pinedo Beach to the south of the Grao area and the kilometer-long Malvarrosa Beach are two of the alternatives you have at your disposal without having to go too far from the city center. In fact, the Malvarrosa Beach can be reached directly with the Valencia metro, as it has its own station.

Another good way to enjoy the beaches of the city at this time with tourist influx is participating in a bike ride from the city center to these beaches that I have mentioned. Especially because you avoid dealing with public transport that is usually with interruptions in the service for the various processions that are made for religious reasons.

So an afternoon at the beach on any of the days of Holy Week is something that I highly recommend. Even more knowing that you could enjoy one of the best things to do in Valencia during the summer, but with the tourist prices of the spring.

Valencia Bike Tour from the city to the beach

10. Get to know the different cultural displays of the Semana Santa (Holy Week)

Valencia Museum of Fine Arts| ©(vincent desjardins)
Valencia Museum of Fine Arts| ©(vincent desjardins)

As the city council of the city is quite aware that Easter is a time of high tourist influx, then several of the Valencian museums have special schedules for a larger number of people to visit their facilities. For this reason, you should take advantage of knowing some of these sites. Especially if you keep in mind that in this specific week there are usually cultural exhibitions related to the religious history of the city or simply with other aspects of importance.

The Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia, the Valencian Institute of Modern Art and the Museum of History of Valencia are three sites that you could perfectly visit in a single day trip to Valencia. In addition, you could complement these visits with the exploration of some churches that will allow you to enjoy very important facets of the Valencian Holy Week.

Likewise, if you have the whole week at your disposal, then it becomes more advisable that you explore at least two or three of these museums at your leisure, because the truth is that returning home without seeing these museums would be a real shame.