Valencia might be the third-largest city in Spain, but it still remains somewhat of an underdog. If you wish to explore some of the less frequented cities in Spain, then this 3 days in Valencia itinerary is perfect for you. You can check off historic sites, beaches and amazing culinary delights.
3 days in Valencia Itinerary: Planning your trip to Spain – Travel Tips
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Valencia is located on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula with the Gulf of Valencia near it, on the Mediterranean Sea.
With only 800,000 citizens, the city is significantly quieter than Barcelona or Madrid. But don’t let that put you off – Valencia definitely belongs on your Spanish bucket list. It’s known for being the City of the Arts and Sciences – and just like other Spanish cities, you’ll find one astonishing building next to another.
In Valencia, you can easily combine buzzing nightlife with long chill days at the beach. And most importantly of all, paella was invented here!
Here’s a complete Valencia travel guide to help you plan your visit.
Tourist Visa to Spain
Spain is an EU member state, so if you require a visa to European countries, then the same applies for Spain/Valencia (Schengen Visa).
Nationals from the United States and Canada can stay up to 90 days in Spain without a visa.
EU Nationals need no visa for visiting Valencia or Spain.
Flights to Valencia Spain
Although not as popular as Barcelona or Madrid, you will be excited to know that many airline companies are flying to Valencia, so the city is gradually becoming increasingly popular among tourists.
So from London to Valencia is about 2.50 hours away, and fares start as low as €20 ($25 USD) on budget airlines. Getting to Valencia from Zaventem takes around 2 hours 15 minutes, and fares start at €110 ($125+ USD).
How to move around in Valencia: Transportation Tips
You can take a taxi from Valencia airport (VLC) into the city centre. This is the most convenient way into the center, and the 15-minute ride will cost you around 20 euros.
Alternatively, you can hop on the metro. There’s a stop and ride from Valencia Airport into the center, which costs around 3.90€. Make sure you check in advance which stop is closest to your hotel!
The bus is the cheapest option – you can buy a ticket from the driver for 1.45€. To get the bus from the airport, head to line 150 and you’ll find a stop near the taxi stand and parking lot.
Buses leave every half hour (but not at all on Sundays and holidays!) and stops in the center at Paseo de la Pechina, Avenida del Cid, Barón de Cárcer and Angel Guimerá.
- For sightseeing purposes, you can also book a hop on and hop off bus tour for 48 hours
- The Valencia Tourist Card is great for a 3 day trip to the city, where you can enjoy free rides on public transport. You can check prices and availability here.
- The best way to move around in Valencia is on foot. However, renting a bike is definitely worth it, as the city is super bike-friendly with many well-maintained bicycle paths. Valencia is a flat city, ideal for cycling.
- Bike rentals are available at reasonable prices in Valencia. You can book a 3-hour bike tour here.
Where to stay in Valencia
The advantage of a small city is that you can easily explore it in two to three days, so you don’t need to take any extra holidays off work.
Another good thing is also that the hotels in Valencia are not too expensive. If you’re looking for accommodation for your stay in Valencia, here are a few of my particular favorites:
Hotel Vincci Palace is located in the middle of the city center, close to all the city’s highlights. An overnight stay here will cost you around 70 euros per night.
LAS ARENAS BALNEARIO RESORT
Are you looking for a hotel near the beach? Las Arenas Balneario Resort is definitely for you. The hotel has a lovely swimming pool and plenty of rooms with a sea view. An overnight stay here will cost you 200 euros per night.
If you prefer to stay a little closer to the center (but still want to enjoy the luxury of a swimming pool), Vincci Mercat is a perfect choice. An overnight stay here costs around 150 euros per night.
Day 1 of the 3 days in Valencia Itinerary: Old town walking tour, Take an authentic Valencian Paella Cooking Class, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Valencia Cathedral, La Lonja de la Seda, Agua de Valencia
There are so many wonderful and interesting things to do during your stay in Valencia.
To ensure you make the most of your time there, I’ve put together a list of the top things to do in Valencia:
Tour of Old Town of Valencia
Start your sightseeing in Valencia by embarking on a 1.50-hour walking tour. Wander the winding souk-like streets dating back to the Moorish rule with a local guide. This tour covers the Torre de Serranos, the fountain, and the city’s gothic architecture.
Torres de Serranos are towers that were built as a defense for one of the most used entrances of old Valencia, and they’re a wonderful example of Gothic architecture.
This is a great tour to learn about the city’s past, its Arabic heritage, and more. The guide also takes you to a silk craft workshop where you can catch a weaver at work. Check out this affordable walking tour here.
Take an authentic Valencian Paella Cooking Class
After a walking tour of the old town, join a chef and learn how to make an authentic Valencian Paella, and omelet cooking class. This experience includes picking up from the old town at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, which is the main square, and then once you are done with your cooking class, you can continue on with your sightseeing.
So in the cooking class, you will learn about the cooking process of Paella and Spanish Omelette, and also enjoy a Valencian snack with a drink.
You can also take back a participation certificate to show off at home.
Plaza del Ayuntamiento – Marqués de Dos Aguas Palace
The Plaza del Ayuntamiento is the main square of Valencia, and after your cooking class you can take a stroll at your leisure, or sit down for a drink to cool off.
While you are there, you can check out the Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas, which is one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in the city. Its doorway is very stunning, so don’t forget to snap a photo there.
The City Hall is also located in the old town.
If you have time on your hands, do visit the National Ceramics museum displaying ceramics from all over the world. The museum is officially called the National Museum of Art and Decorative Arts ‘González Martí’ and it has ceramics, textiles, and decorative art exhibits on display.
Cathedral of Valencia
The Cathedral of Valencia is another must-visit place in the city. This is where the holy grail of Valencia stands.
The cathedral also has a Baroque main entrance and it is stunning with a unique mix of architectural styles, including Renaissance and Gothic.
Located inside the cathedral in the chapel is said to be the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper.
La Lonja de la Seda
Head to the Silk Exchange next, which is one of the many iconic buildings throughout the city,
La Lonja de la Seda is considered to be one of the most famous monuments of Gothicism that Europe has to offer. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Soak in sunset views of Valencia from the Micalet
Finish the sightseeing on day one, by visiting the most characteristic tower in Valencia – Micalet. Climb 207 steps of the spiral staircase to the terrace of this bell tower, and soak in an impressive 360º view of the city. Perfect for sunsets!
Agua de Valencia
In the evening, savor amazing Spanish cuisine.
While you are at it, don’t forget to try the ultimate cocktail in Valencia. Its name seems pretty harmless: Agua de Valencia or ‘water of Valencia’ … but it is anything but water.
It’s a cocktail with fresh orange juice, cava, vodka, gin, sometimes an orange liqueur, and some sugar. Super delicious – give it a try!
Day 2 of the 3 days in Valencia Itinerary: Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències complex, Mercado Central Valencia, Jardín del Túria Bike tour, El Carmen
On day 2 of your Valencia itinerary, you will explore the finest in the city, and that is the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències
Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències
The white futuristic buildings of the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (the City of Arts and Sciences) are truly iconic to Valencia.
It is also one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. The City of Arts and Sciences is home to a large complex with multiple unique structures.
Santiago Calatrava, born in Valencia in 1951, is the world-known architect behind these constructions. You can encounter his work in various places throughout the city.
The complex is situated at the southeast end of the former riverbed of the river Turia. Here is what you can explore at the City of Arts and Sciences:
- Oceanogràfic Valencia – This is the largest aquarium in Europe, so make sure you pay a visit here. The entrance tickets are 31.30 euros per person.
- L’Hemisfèric – This is the central or focal structure of the City of Arts and Sciences. It is an IMAX Cinema, planetarium and laserium. The building looks like a giant eye, signifying the “eye of knowledge”. Here is an entrance ticket to the L’Hemisferic.
- Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe or Felipe Science Museum – From the giant eye to the skeleton of a whale, this is an interactive museum of science, and it is huge, occupying around 40,000 m² on three floors.
- L’Umbracle – You can also smell flowers at this amazing complex. L’umbracle is an open structure enveloping a landscaped walk with plant species indigenous to Valencia.
You can book a 2-hour tour of the complex along with an entry fee to the largest aquarium in Europe – Oceanografic.
Other buildings include Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (which is an Opera house), and L’Àgora (concert house).
Mercado Central Valencia – Central Market
For the afternoon make way to Mercado Central Valencia (this location is about 16 minutes by car or 20 minutes by public transport).
If you didn’t know this already, there’s one in absolutely every Spanish city – which is the mercado. This covered market hall is a typical Spanish concept and a place where locals go for their daily shopping.
The most beautiful and famous mercado in the city is the perfect spot to socialize and enjoy a café con leche or a vino.
Jardín del Túria
In the evening, take a walk at the most famous park in Valencia. Jardín del Túria is a green vein of almost 10 kilometers that runs through the city center and was previously situated at the mouth of the River Turia.
Valencians use the park for sports and recreation. The shade under the trees is wonderful to chill out on a warm day. It’s also a super popular place for children’s parties and picnics.
You can explore 3 green parks running through the city, and the wonderful neighborhood of El Carmen. Check this out here.
El Carmen is the nicest neighborhood in Valencia. It is located in the middle of the historical center and is the hip district of students and artists.
Here you can discover plenty of street art, made by well-known artists in Valencia. This is also a great place to eat, so stop here for dinner after your bike tour. You will find lots of cozy tapas restaurants and bars in this area.
Day 3 of the 3 days in Valencia Itinerary: Beaches in Valencia, sunset cruise
No Valencia travel guide would be complete without mentioning the beaches. Here are my top picks for the best beaches in Valencia,
- Las Arenas beach: A few minutes from the center you will find Las Arenas beach, with its breathtaking Paseo Marítimo, where you can enjoy an authentic Valencian paella.
- La Malvarrosa beach: Make sure you also pay a visit to the vast La Malvarrosa beach. You’ll find the recently restored Casa-Museo de Vicente Blasco Ibáñez – which takes you back in time to when local writers wandered around Valencia.
- Platja de Llevant: Popular beach area for swimmers. The beach has sunbeds, and an amazing promenade to chill out.
In the evening you can embark on a sunset cruise.
You can book a romantic boat ride, where you can enjoy the sunset view for 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can book the boat tour here.
If you didn’t try the cocktail before, then you can do so now – Agua de Valencia for two.
During the trip, you will be able to see the new Royal Marina, and then the whole of the Valencian coastline from the waters.
Other things to do in Valencia 3 day itinerary: Day trips from Valencia Ideas
You can easily head to nearby areas in Valencia for a well-rounded experience. Here are some options,
- 5-hour bike tour to Albufeira: From the old town of Valencia, you can embark on a bike tour riding through the Turia Gardens, City of Arts and Sciences, and end up in the cute town of El Palmar. Once you are in this town you can go on a relaxing boat trip to the natural lagoon of Albufeira which is located about 13 miles south of Valencia. You can explore the Albufera National Park, surrounded by wetlands, which is also home to 250 different bird species. Book the tour here.
- Jeep Safari Mountain Adventure: Don’t want to bike? Then hop on this jeep adventure to Serra Castle and soak in views from El Garbi viewpoint. The tour takes you to the Calderona Mountains, which are located about 30 minutes from downtown Valencia. Book this tour here.
- Surprise Wine Tour: On this 6-hour tour, you can visit a surprise winery in the Designation of Origin of the Valencian Community. This tour also includes lunch, and you can enjoy the tasting of three wines. You will return to Valencia by 5:00 pm which will allow you to enjoy the sunset boat ride if you are interested (from day 3). Here is the suggested tour.
Las Fallas Festival Valencia City (if visiting in February – March)
Las Fallas Festival is the largest and most spectacular street party in Europe. It all started in the 18th century, with carpenters burning their old things in honor of their patron saint San José.
The party starts on the last Sunday of February with La Crida. This is the transfer of the key from the city to the Fallera Mayor (the queen of the festivals) at the ancient Torres de Serranos.
From the beginning of March until the 19th, there is a deafening firework display at the town hall every afternoon.
Got some time to spare during your stay? Take the ferry to Ibiza! It takes around 4.5 hours to get to the beautiful island. Or head on a southern Spain road trip.
Eat Delicious Food in Valencia – Check out the best restaurants and markets
When it comes to food in Spain, I’m sure paella is one of the first things you think of.
Valencia is actually the birthplace of paella – so when you visit this city, you simply cannot leave without having eaten this typical rice dish.
But where is best to sample this world-famous local dish?
From tapas bars to paellas, below is a list of wonderful restaurants in Valencia that I think are definitely worth a visit:
- La Pepica – Paella has been served here since 1898. You won’t be disappointed!
- Mood Food
- Central Bar – Situated in the Mercado Central
- Bouet – Visit here for something different, with an Asian touch
- Marina Beach Club Valencia – Head here for a drink, a bite to eat or just a dance overlooking the sea
- Restaurante Al Tun Tun
- Restaurante Sierra de Aitana
- Mercabanyal in El Cabanyal – The food hotspot of Valencia. It’s a small food hall that has a splendid terrace with a sea view.
So that’s a wrap. Spain is an amazing country, and each city is special. I hope you found my 3 day Valencia itinerary useful for planning your trip!
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