Become an expert in Valencian paella, visit its ancient and futuristic architecture or marvel at the art of Valencia, there are hundreds of plans and places to visit near the Turia River and in this post you find a top with the best things to do in Valencia. Join me.
1. Take a city-tour
Valencia boasts a rich history and its architecture, both futuristic and contemporary, deserves to be known, if possible accompanied by an expert. You can take a walking tour of the Old Town. Add spice to your adventure with a guided tour of the City of Arts and Sciences with wine and tapas tasting or hop on motorized transport. Choose from:
- Hop on the sightseeing bus. The Hop on Hop Off bus offersan easy way to see the city and, you can do it at your own pace. These buses run 17 stops from 9:30 am to 10:00 pm and you can choose between 24 or 48 hour tickets with audio guide in English.
- Have fun in an electric tuk-tuk. If you feel like getting to know Valencia with air conditioning and without having to walk too much, consider a Tuk Tuk ride from the center to the promenade, one of the best options for small groups.
- Ride aSegway. Personalize your experience by riding the best Segways in Valencia, the most comfortable, practical and entertaining way to go around the Turia Gardens and the historic center.
- Take a bike tour. Whether you choose to rent a bike or participate in a guided bike tour, this is one of the top activities in Valencia, aligned with its ecological and sustainable vision.
2. Visit the City of Arts and Sciences
This is a majestic art complex where you can choose what you are most passionate about. In 1998 the first part of this futuristic work designed by Santiago Calatrava was inaugurated and today you can visit all its buildings, namely:
- The Science Museum. This is the most modern building for its popularization of science in an entertaining environment. Constantly its rooms and exhibitions are renewed around its three floors located on 40,000 m2.
- Umbracle. A path of 17,500 m2 that houses fountains, sculptures and gardens with vegetation adjusted to the seasons of the year.
- The Oceanografic. One of the largest oceanographic aquariums in Europe thanks to its 110,000 m2 where there is a building for each ocean and representative sea. Make a note of your visit among your things to do in Valencia with children, between the friendly beluga whales and the activities of the place, they will be delighted. And the adults? A good meal in the underwater restaurant, an experience of another level.
- The Palace of Arts of the Queen Sofia. A building where performing arts and classical music are exhibited in four large-capacity halls.
- The Agora. A contemporary Greek-inspired square to bring Valencians and tourists together for sporting events and concerts.
The atmosphere is stimulating to say the least. Valencia is considered the design capital of the world and this complex is a sign of recognition. I recommend that you consider a Valencia Segway Tourrenting a bike or scooter to get to know every corner of the complex in comfort.
Details of interest
- Hours: Tuesday to Thursday between 10:00 am - 6:00 pm and Friday to Monday between 10:00 am - 7:00 pm.
- Address: Avenida del Professor López Piñero, 7, Valencia.
3. Discover the Sistine Chapel of Valencia
Be sure to stop by the Church of San Nicolás de Bari and San Pedro Mártir, one of the oldest places in the city and a key example of exquisite baroque architecture.
During the 17th and 18th centuries there was a transformation from Gothic to Baroque, especially in the decoration. In this temple the arches and vaults were softened and painted with scenes from the life of St. Nicholas and St. Peter Martyr. The lunette division of this pictorial cycle and its beauty make the vault of St. Nicholas comparable to the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. The 2,000 square meters of frescoes have been restored by one of Pablo Picasso's pupils and the work captivates visitors.
The church was donated by King James I of Aragon to the Dominican monks, who dedicated it to St. Nicholas the Bishop. It was founded over 700 years ago on the site of a Roman temple and is now a testament to history, a mixture of Gothic structure and landmark Baroque decoration.
Details of interest
- Hours: Monday to Sunday between 10:00 am - 7:30 pm. Saturdays between 10:30 - 18:30 hours. Sundays between 13:00 - 20:00 hours.
- Address: Calle de los Caballeros 35 Access to the tour through Calle Caballeros nº 35.
4. Delight yourself with a gastronomic tour
This city is known for its excellent food and drink and, with one of the best gastronomic tours of the city you will be able to taste some of its exquisite dishes. Delight in the gastronomic tasting prepared by the local hosts, who are experts at telling their Valencian cultural heritage through authentic culinary delights.
Often this type of tour focuses on learning how to prepare the typical seafood paella in one of the kitchens of the Ruzafa market. Another popular option are the tapas and wine tastings that lead visitors through some of the bars in the Old Town.
And if you prefer to combine your time in **Valencia'**s central market, bodegas and bars with a taste of all its emblematic dishes, sausages, beers and wine, the gastronomic tours with multiple tastings have your name on them. Iberian ham, Manchego cheese, juices, local beer, wines and cava are just some of the frequent selections, all to please discerning palates.
5. Take a tour of the museums
Whoever visits Valencia is attracted among other things by the range of cultural offerings that the city has to offer and a tour of the museums is one of the essential activities. From art galleries to museums of international reference, I invite you to discover a Top 5 with its best exponents (not to mention the complex of the City of Arts and Sciences):
- Fallas Museum. A walk through the cultural revelry of the fallas that includes the collection of the "ninots pardoned" since 1934, following the Valencian society. You can find it at Plaça de Montolivet, 4.
- The Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM), in an avant-garde city like this province, the art institute must enter among the fixed visits and the place is divided into two venues located at: Carretera Guillemo de Castro, 118. and Carretera Rigobert Albors, 8.
- Valencian Museum of the Enlightenment and Modernity (MuVIM) revolves around the Age of Enlightenment through the Enlightenment thought to reach Modernity. A building to reflect on critical thinking through different eras. You can find it at: Quevedo 10 and Guillem de Castro 8.
- National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts González Martí A museum that makes an impact from its entrance. The architecture of the gabled palace serves as a frame to present collection pieces and you can visit them at Calle Poeta Querol 2.
- Museum of the tin soldiers Do you want to see more than 100,000 tin soldiers in perfect condition? In this museum you can do it, as well as participate in the agenda of regular activities. Find them at: Calle Caballeros 20-22.
6. Visit the Caves of San José
If you've ever dreamed of exploring a world-class cave complex, you're in luck! The San José Caves, located in Vall d'Uixó, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is a complex of natural caves formed around one of the longest subway rivers in Europe, with a length of 2,500 meters.
This geological enclave is one of the most important in Spain. And with your excursion to the Cuevas de San José you walk through its internal galleries, navigate by boat on the river that takes you to walk through a space full of ancient cave paintings, while you explore this incredible cave complex formed approximately 250 million years ago.
7. Stroll through the Albufera Park
This is one of the best excursions in Valencia for the adrenaline rush during the 4x4 ride through the Albufera Park and then finish sailing in a traditional boat.
In Arabic literature this park finds its space as the Mirror of the Sun and as you move along its trails about 30 kilometers from Valencia, the imprint of the 100 kilometers of rainforest tells its story, amplified with guided tours.
The 4x4 + boat ride combined reach the rice fields and the lake where you can admire the bird migration, especially if you write down your tour among your things to do in Valencia in winter, the best time for bird watching. In the late afternoon, you have the opportunity to take a dip in El Saber Beach after the boat ride. Bring your swimsuit and get ready to enjoy this paradise.
8. Discover the Cueva de la Mora route and the mountain springs
It is worth to know the medieval village of Bocairent and with this tour you will visit its winding streets, the Moorish caves and mountain springs of Pou Clar. Get ready to hike among the ancient Arab caves to crown the tour in its pools.
The Moorish Caves (Covetes dels Moros) were unearthed by the Berber tribes living in the village, who created this route of caves to shelter their belongings and hide from their enemies. Today, we can explore their natural escape rooms by climbing through them.
Thanks to the variety of caves that this site offers, the guide chooses together with the group between moderate or easy hiking, thus defining the natural cavity to be explored. In addition, the group takes some time walking through the narrow streets of Bocairent while the views take them back in time before having lunch.
The next half of the tour is usually a natural spa experience when they stop at the natural pools of Pou Clar, where water pressure and depth present combinations for all tastes. True nature lovers will be delighted with this type of day trip from Valencia.
9. Day trip to the hot springs and Salto de la novia (Bride's waterfall)
With this type of tours in hot springs and the Bride's Waterfall you get at least 3 of the most beautiful places in Valencia chosen between:
- El Velo de Novia. The fixed stop on this type of excursion takes you to bathe in a natural waterfall that plunges down a cliff. The scenery is photographic.
- El Charco Azul. The corner to relax in the thermal waters of the also called Blue Lagoon, a backwater of the Turia River that runs at the foot of the hanging bridges of Chulilla. This geothermal spa is full of healing minerals and for centuries has been used by visitors.
- The Mijares Canyon, a place where you can choose between kayakingin the Mijares River, bathing in one of its natural pools or simply lying in the sun enjoying the scenery.
- The Estació del Nord, known as Valencia-Norte, is Valencia's main railroad station and since 1917 has captured the attention of visitors with its modernist architecture.
- Fountain of the Montanejos Baths. After walking through the rural areas of the city, you find this spa with an average temperature of 25° almost all year round.
10. Take a boat trip along the Valencian coast
Are you looking for a relaxing day with unbeatable views? If so, choose between catamaran or sailboat rides and sail along the coast of the city of the Turia. This river crosses the city and is home to one of the best beaches in Valencia: Malvarrosa beach.
Kayak, paddle surf, or enjoy the good vibes aboard the boats with unbeatable views and let the sea breeze and the waves rock you with this boat ride.
11. About BIOPARC
This is an animal contact park where you can feed chimpanzees, gorillas and elephants, discover caves, see leaping lemurs, walk through the cycle of life among giraffes, rhinos, leopards, antelopes, tigers, lions and more.
BIOPARC ranks among the top zoos in Spain thanks to its approach of visitors to the wild nature of the African continent in a safe environment, while the animals live in an environment close to their natural habitat including landscape and vegetation.
Another of the reasons that places BIOPARC in this worthy place are its 100,000 m2 free of visual barriers with the animals. Its concept is that of immersion zoos and sensitivity towards the fauna. During your visit, the zookeepers and biologists guide you through the enclosure, which also presents film series, lectures and seminars to educate adults and children with entertaining activities.
Details of interest
- Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Address: Avenida Pío Baroja, 3, Valencia.
12. Follow the Silk Road
Valencia is a city that has many stories to tell. The Silk Route is one of them and, with this type of excursion you follow its steps through the Serranos Towers and the Plaza de San Lorenzo to observe the Valencian Parliament.
The next stop will find you in front of the headquarters of the Generalit Valenciana, where the Plaza de Manises is located. Continuing the route of this labyrinth of streets, you advance to the Plaza de la Virgen, where the Basilica of the Virgen de los Desamparados is located.
From there you continue walking to the heart of this route, the Lonja de la Seda, an ancient Gothic building declared a World Heritage Site that was used from 1482 to 1835 as a commercial center for the silk trade. Those who want to satisfy their curiosity about the commercial splendor of Valencia should visit this landmark.
After learning anecdotes, the last stops on the route are the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the Silk Museum and the Plaza de Toros or Estación del Norte.
Organize your trip to Valencia
If you are thinking about a trip to the city of Valencia I will tell you that both winter in the city of Turia and summer can be times of high tourist influx as its wide and beautiful coastline softens the temperatures throughout the year and is a very popular destination in Spain.
To better plan your trip I recommend that you consult in advance the transfers between the airport and the center of Valencia. Although they are only about 10 kilometers away, having them booked in advance will give you peace of mind upon arrival.
Finally, to make it easier for you to distribute all the plans you can make on your trip to Valencia, I leave you our most complete travel guides so you only have to pack your suitcase and enjoy.