9 June 2016

Top 6 Things to Do in Valencia

Five months have passed since I have last been in Valencia, the place where I studied during the first part of my Erasmus in Spain, and I have just realised that I didn't write many travel posts on it. But no worries, because I decided to catch up and created a list of top things you need to do when travelling in Valencia, not just as a tourist but through a more local lens. At the bottom of the post you can also find some extra suggestions on the city. Valencia is a beautiful city, but it can be easy to skip some must-dos as some of its gems are well hidden.

1 - Stroll around Valencia city centre
I know that this might sound obvious to you, but the city's historic centre is perhaps also its best bit. It's so pleasant to just stroll around the little Valencian streets and occasionally stop for a café con leche (coffee with milk) or pop inside a second hand bookstore. The centre is where you can see most museums and the city's beautiful ancient buildings, including Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Plaza de la Virgen, Plaza de la Reina, the museum of the ceramics and more.
2 - Visit the Lonja de la Seda
The Lonja de la Seda, or Silk Exchange, holds a special place in my heart because it's a space I fell in love with from the first time (and I've gone back something like four times). I like the story behind it, as it was the space where merchants would meet in the Renaissance, and sell textiles and other goods, and it is meant to give Valencia an important cultural value. The architecture is unique and I love the Moresque motives.

3 - Visit the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
Even though I'm not a science person (which is why I haven't actually been inside the Oceanographic museum), the Arts and Sciences is a unique complex that you need to see once in your life. It's so spacious and airy that it conveys a sense of freedom, and it just feels great to sit on a bench and look up, walk around it or even run and dance. You've got enough space anyway!

Look at the size of the little people compared to the buildings! They look like Oompa Loompas haha

4 - Relax on the Playa de la Malvarrosa
Valencia's beach is literally my favourite one in all of Spain because it's so wide and relaxing. There is always space for everyone there and I've never found it packed with tourists (this might not be true for July and August). It's definitely not the social type of beach like, for instance, Barceloneta, as it doesn't offer as many bars and restaurants but people do go for a walk on the sea side and meet on the beach itself. I often went there on my first months and always had a good time.

5 - Excercise along the Turia
A few years ago, the river Turia dried up and the Valencia town hall decided to grow a park on it where people could go jogging, cycle, exercise, and chill. When I was in Valencia, I didn't go there much but I did pass through it cycling a few times and it was always pleasant. This will definitely insert you into the Valencia local life!
6 - Watch a Football Match at Mestalla Stadium
Despite the fact that I can't care less about football, I decided to go and watch a match at Mestalla with my friends because it seemed like a must-do, and kind of because I wanted to try something new and different during my Erasmus. The show was very exciting and I had fun watching Valencia CF play... and win :) So yes, even if you're not a football fan it's worth checking if there are any cheap tickets (I found one for 12 euros). I was pleasantly surprised to see how polite the Valencian fans were (as opposed to the Gent ones... sorry Dutch people), so staying on their side of the crowd wasn't dangerous in any way.  
Valencia is an amazing city that's got a lot to offer. Although it's not my favourite place in the world I did have a good time there and I think it's worth visiting when in Spain.

What are your favourite things to do in Valencia?

Read fellow blogger Jan from The Crazy Tourist's Guide to Valencia here! The post includes some useful, non-touristy tips, so make sure you check it out :)

Read more posts on Valencia here in the Spain / Comunitat Valenciana section.

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  1. This place is absolutely breath-taking, Assia! I felt like I was right there....what beautiful photographs. I might have to add this place to my bucket list :)

    -Lor //

    1. Thanks a lot Lor :) If you happen to pass from Spain it is definitely worth to stop by!