From a cultural point of view, Valencia is one of the most interesting cities in Europe. It has a history dating back to the Romans, so there are plenty of interesting sights. At the same time, Valencia is also very modern, with areas such as The City of Arts and Sciences. Overall, there are lots of things to see, and here is a guide to the best attractions in Valencia!
While Valencia isn’t the largest or most visited city in Spain, it can certainly be considered one of the to cities to visit in the country. The tourists that go there always end up loving it. Perhaps it is due to the great weather, the nice and unique food, or the attractions. In any case, you’ll need some nice things to do in Valencia, and you can start out by experiencing these attractions.
Quick note: For all travelers, we also recommend getting a Valencia tourist card. It gives you free access to public transport, lowered entry prices to most attractions, and discounts in several shops and restaurants. You can book it for 24, 48 or 72 hours, depending on your needs.
Torres de Serranos
Our favorite attraction in Valencia. Torres de Serranos are two towers that are also connected. In fact, it looks a bit like an old medieval palace, but actually the towers and the connecting building were made to protect the city.
In the past, Valencia was surrounded by walls, and this was one of the few entry points. The towers and the entry point were built during the 14th century, and they have lasted throughout the ages. Torres de Serranos were renovated briefly in the 1930s, and since then they have been standing in perfect condition. For just a few euros, you can go up into the towers – where you can enjoy a marvelous view of the city from many different angles!
As an attraction, Torres de Serranos has become somewhat of a Valencian symbol. Perhaps it is because if the waving flag on the top of the left tower. We highly recommend going there, and in fact there is a popular guided tour you can join – it starts at the tower and then moves on to other parts of the city.
Catedral de Valencia
The place of the cathedral is often considered to be the absolute centre of Valencia. Located by Plaza de la Virgen, the central square of the city, Catedral de Valencia is easy to spot, and it is a must-visit attraction.
You can get into the church and enjoy the beautiful interior. It is open almost every day of the year. Aside from seeing Catedral de Valencia itself, be sure to enjoy the whole area. In front of the cathedral, and around all corners of the Virgen-square, there are other great sights, such as a fountain and several important buildings. The square was made by the Romans, approximately 1,900 years ago, and it was later decided that it was a perfect place to build a cathedral.
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The style of the cathedral is very unique, and by going into it, you can get a great cultural experience. Also, the main tower is amazing to see, and it is one of the tallest buildings in Valencia’s Ciutat Vella – the old part of the city.
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
From a historic part of Valencia to a brand new one – let’s take a look at Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, or The City of Arts and Sciences, as it is called in English.
A bit southeast of the historic centre, you will find this area. It is full of modern, even futuristic buildings – you will be stunned by the architecture. But there’s more to it than just the surface, because each building has something unique inside.
For example, you can visit the planetarium, the interactive museum, the opera house, or L’Agora – a place where there are frequent events. The absolute highlight in The City of Arts and Sciences is L’Oceanogràfic, so we will describe that separately, as it is an attraction that goes beyond what you can possibly imagine:
L’Oceanogràfic is the largest aquarium in Europe. It covers over 110,000 square meters, and it holds about 42 million liters of water.
On the inside, you can see over 500 species. You will find fish, bird, penguins and several other species too. The oceanarium is split into different parts, each part is dedicated to a certain ocean or sea. For example, one department represents the Mediterranean, while another represents the tropical seas, and another that represents the Arctic Sea.
People of all ages can enjoy this attraction. We consider a visit to L’Oceanogràfic as one of the best things to do in Valencia – by far. A modern attraction that is both fascinating and fun. For just a bit over 30 euros you can get in – and we recommend booking the entry ticket in advance, since it gives you the opportunity to avoid long lines! Book it here!
This late-Gothic building is very unique – both for its look and for its history.
La Lonja de la Seda, or La Llotja as the local Valencianos call it, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It used to be an important exchange for trading items and goods such as silk and oil.
Construction started in 1482, and the building was finished around 60 years later. It’s a historic place for its influence on Valencia – and it’s a very spectacular building, especially on the inside, so be sure to step in and see it.
If you’re interested in learning more about the famous silk trade and Valencia’s financial history, then you should book the silk trade tour where you get more information about everything. You can book it at GetYourGuide where it gets perfect reviews.
A modernist market in Valencia that should definitely be seen. Mercado Central is located in the middle of the city, and it’s a popular place among tourists as well as locals.
It was built in 1928 and it is a perfect example of the local architecture style – Valencian Art Nouveau. Before the current market was built, there was still a market at the same place, but it was outdoors and it was replaced by this very interesting building.
You can buy great food here. At some places inside the market, they sell raw groceries, other places they sell prepared foods that you can eat immediately. It’s also a nice place to go for a fresh juice.
Mercado de Colón
The other market in Valencia. This one arguably looks even better, and it has distinctly better quality, although worse quantity. While Mercado Central is full of local vendors selling products for affordable prices, Mercado de Colón is a more expensive place where you will find actual restaurants and bars.
The Colón market was designed by Francisco Mora Berenguer and constructed between 1914 and 1916. The building itself is therefore older than Mercado Central, and it is really quite stunning. In fact, Mercado de Colón has been declared a national monument of Spain!
The Turia Park
Jardin del Turía, or The Turia Park as we would call it in English, is the most beautiful park in Valencia. Going here is a great idea, because it is actually the largest city-based park in all of Spain.
It spans over 12 kilometers in length and covers over 100 hectare in total. It is located around the edges of historical Valencia, and it allows you to walk from the deep centre to The City of Arts and Sciences without encountering any traffic on the way!
The Turia Park is very green, and it’s a popular place for doing exercises. One of the best things to do in Valencia is to do a picnic here. At the same time, the park is a completely free attraction, as you can stop by any time. It is open throughout the year and it has been like that ever since 1986 when it was first inaugurated.
Estadio de Mestalla
The football stadium of Valencia is called Estadio de Mestalla. A legendary venue where you can watch Valencia CF play their home matches – and where there are several other events, too.
It is the only legitimate cauldron in Spain. While not as big as Camp Nou in Barcelona or Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid, it is certainly more intimidating, and no other Spanish stadium can re-create the mood or the environment inside Mestalla.
Try to book tickets to a match if you are there while Valencia plays a match. Otherwise get a guided tour. When visiting the stadium, you should also take a walk around the neighborhood of Mestalla, where there are many nice restaurants.
Plaza de Toros de Valencia is the famous bullfighting arena of the city. There are many different opinions about this kind of activity, but we can’t get around the fact that bullfighting is an essential part of Spanish culture and that this arena is worth visiting – if not for the activities, then for the architecture.
The arena is really large. It was inspired by the Colusseum in Rome and from the outside, it can even be slightly reminiscent of the old Roman arena. Construction started in 1850 and it was finished nine years later. In the middle of the 20th century, it was renovated, and today it is standing in great shape.
It fits around 12,000 people. There are still regular events, and you can either attend those or book a guided tour. Plaza de Toros de Valencia is one of the largest bullfighting arenas in Spain, and for many tourists, it’s one of the most interesting sights in Valencia. It is located in the modern part of the city in L’Eixample, close to the entrance to the Ruzafa neighborhood.
Museo de Bellas Artes
Finally we cover a Valencia attraction that is purely a museum.
Museo de Bellas Artes is arguably the most popular art museum in the whole region. At least it contains the best collection if you ask experts.
Inside the museum, you’ll find over 2,000 art pieces in absolute world class quality. Artists such as Goya, Velázquez, El Greco, Pinturicchio and others have their art displayed here.
The museum was opened in 1913, but most of the collection origins from the Renaissance years – from the 14th to the 17th century. It is located completely central in the city, not far from Torres de Serranos, the first attraction we described.
A walk around the city
Valencia is a beautiful city, so you should set aside some time to walk around. By doing this, you can discover even more interesting parts, so it is one of the best things to do in Valencia. The city is very walkable, and you can quickly get from one important sight to another. Alternatively you can also rent a bike or a scooter and get around that way, which is cheap. There are many options.
Overall, Valencia is an awesome place to go on holidays, as you can see historic sights, experience modern attractions, go to the beach, eat nice food, enjoy a vibrant nightlife, and much more. We hope that this guide to attractions in Valencia has been helpful, and if you have anything to add, feel free to write below!