I visited Valencia with my best friend in July. It was lovely and hot, but also quite busy. We’d both had a really rough few months at work, so decided we wouldn’t do too much on our visit, and instead enjoy the sunshine and relax.
We flew from Heathrow and it was a pretty short flight. To get from the airport to the centre we decided to take a taxi as we were so tired. It took about 45 minutes as we hit some traffic. You can also get on the Metro lines 3 or 5 (red and green) directly from stop ‘Aeroport’ to the centre in 30 minutes for a much better price.
Valencia had a lot to offer. It is the third largest city in Spain and has a rich history. It was founded as a Roman colony in 138 BC. Then in 714 Moroccan and Arab Moors occupied the city, introducing their language, religion and customs. In the 1200s, the Christians came and conquered the city, dividing the land amongst nobles and demolishing existing religious houses and building churches/cathedrals on their sites. Valencia has also been the capital of Spain twice – in 1812 and again between 1936-37. It’s rich in beautiful architecture and is great to explore over a weekend.
My highlights were:
ONE. Valencia Cathedral & Micalet Tower.
I just love doors. I know it’s weird, but a good door just makes me happy. I also loved the Gothic architecture of this cathedral. The picture below is taken from Plaza de la Virgen which also has a nice fountain in it. We then walked round to the Micalet Tower of the Cathedral, which (after a lot of steps) gives stunning views out over Valencia.
TWO. City walk of beautiful architecture
I loved just strolling round the city and taking in all the buildings. We did a walk which visited the Bullring, Train Station (Valencia Nord), Ceramics Museum, City Hall, Central Market, multiple churches and City Gates. We didn’t go in to anything, though I would have liked to visit the museum at the Bullring and climbed up the city gates – we just ran out of time. The buildings were beautiful though.
THREE. The City of Arts and Sciences
What a weird place. I wasn’t sure if I loved it or didn’t like it, but in the end decided on the former. It was really futuristic. Within the buildings there is an aquarium, Imax cinema, planetarium, science museum and an opera house! You can even go zorbing in the water pools here. The Umbracle (photo below) is a cool greenhouse which turns in to a club at night time! We spent the morning walking around here, then walked through Turia Gardens back to the city centre.
FOUR. The Beach
OK, so Valencia’s beaches aren’t Caribbean level, but they’re still nice to walk along. The fronts are pretty touristy but the food is still good. We even got to watch some filming for a Spanish movie going on as we drank copious amounts of Sangria. I also liked the famous Valencia sandcastle!
FIVE. Paella and Sangria
Valencia is the home of Paella. Traditional Valencian Paella consists of white rice, green beans, meat (chicken and rabbit, sometimes duck), garrofó (a variety of lima beans or butterbeans), and sometimes snails! And it is delicious. Minus the snails. Eat as much of it as you can, and pair it with Sangria! Perfect.
Thank you for reading! Has this article been helpful or inspired you to visit Valencia? Have you already been to Valencia? What did you think of it? Leave your comments below!