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Home of Paella

Valencia is where paella first simmered over a wood fire. It's a vibrant, friendly, mildly chaotic place with two outstanding fine-arts museums, an accessible old quarter, Europe's newest cultural and scientific complex – and an exciting nightlife scene.

This you may not know!

  • Paella is the local dish of Valencia and in the olden days your status was marked by the ingredients.  Rich Paella had chicken and rabbit and duck, and peasant Paella had vegetables and snails.
  • Check out the amazing street art around the Ciutat Vella
  • Make sure you tour the city late evening into the night.  The way the light hits the buildings is magical.

1. Turia Riverbed

This is the area where the Turia River used to run through, but was dammed up to protect the city from any further floods. Nowadays the old riverbed is 12km of parkland, and full of sights to see. Grab a bike and cycle the entire park, starting from the zoo at one end, going past running tracks, impressive water sculptures, beautiful bridges and talented buskers, all the way down to the water where you end up at the City of Arts and Sciences complex

2. Bull Fighting Ring

The arena holds seating for 17,000 people and still hosts events every Saturday during the summer season. There is also a Bull Fighting Museum located nearby, but be warned, the museum contains a very graphic video of a bull fight! A tour of the arena and museum will only take you an hour to do.

3. Old Port

The old port of Valencia is the second busiest commercial port in Europe and is a huge part of the city’s buzzing life. Wander around sites such as the Clock Building, the promenade or the gorgeous long stretch of sandy beach known as Playa Malvarrosa. A great place to also check out some modern bars and restaurant and soak up the sun.

4. City of Arts and Sciences

Located at the end of the old Turia Riverbed, this is one of the coolest examples of modern architecture in Europe. Designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who has designed buildings worldwide, this is a futuristic complex featuring the Palace of Arts, an aquarium, Science museum, IMAX cinema, planetarium and much more.

5. Plaza de la Reina

This is one of the oldest and busiest squares in the city. There are many sights to be seen here within the old town, such as the kilometer mark 0 and the grand old Cathedral. It is also a great place to base yourself as you explore the rest of the city. Make sure you take the time to look at the cathedral as you can learn a lot about the city’s past from this one building. There is also some famous artwork and supposedly; the Holy Grail – the vessel used by Jesus during the Last Supper.

Eats

1. The Central Market

A visit to the oldest running food market in Europe found in Valencia is an absolute must. It is a great place to sample local products like olive oil, cheeses, meats and local wines. Try paella here, the Valencian version with rabbit, or the more touristy but still delicious seafood paella.

2. Asodores Pipol

A tapas bar that suits large groups looking to eat from a set menu at great value. Great place to try some Valencian specialties at a reasonable price.

3. Valor Chocolates

If you have a sweet tooth then you must pay a visit to Valor Chocolates, a scrumptious café/shop where you can have one of their rich hot chocolates, sucked down through a churro (Spanish donut), among other scrumptious menu items!

4. Boatella Tapas

Boatella Tapas has a great variety of seafood and vegetarian items available. You can also try the famous Aqua de Valencia by the jug, a tasty mixture of Valencian orange juice, sparkling wine and spirits.

5. 100 Montaditos

100 Montaditos is a cheap Spanish chain where all the students like to go. You can choose from hundreds of montaditos (filled baguettes).

Drinks

1. Radio City

Located in Carmen, the one of the best areas for heading out in Valencia, you’ll find Radio City at the top of many people’s list. They usually play international music with a large dance floor and a separate bar area for socializing. There’s also a heap of cultural events that are on throughout the year such as films, flamenco and special music nights.

2. Las Animas

Located just outside of the main touristy area, this club is frequented by mostly locals. Las Animas has an alternative / hipster vibe and is considered a bit of a hidden gem.

3. Horchateria de Santa Catalunan

This is voted as the best place to try the famous local horchata drink (nonalcoholic) on Trip Advisor. Made from tiger nuts, horchata is a creamy nutty drink you must try at least once, and this is the place to do it.

4. Music Box

Music Box is a western style club in the center of Barrio del Carmen that appeals mostly to tourists, but also attracts a lot of locals. You’ll hear a blend of tunes pumping out, but mainly the top 40 dance hits.

5. Fox and Congo

This bar always has a good crowd of locals and tourists and plays English dance tracks. Located in Bario del Carmen area, Fox and Congo is conveniently located near other venues.

Click the coloured pins to find out how to get here

Recommendations

The walk from the city centre to the beach and Cup Port Village along the old river bed was a great tip from our Guide."

Ben, Canada