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If you are planning a weekend in Valencia – look no further. Here´s an Ultimate Guide to Valencia, full of local tips and ideas!

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Planning a Weekend in Valencia

About Valencia

Since I´ve been an expat in the region of Valencia for 10+ years, you will understand that I´ve already lost count of my numerous visits to the city.

My first weekend in Valencia took place almost 20 years ago: back then it was totally one of the most underrated cities in Spain. Nowadays, Valencia is one of the most visited Spanish capitals, after Barcelona and Madrid, and even a popular stop for the Mediterranean Cruises.

Nevertheless, I still enjoy an occasional weekend in Valencia. So, if you are planning your first visit to Valencia, I am sure it won’t be your last time in the city either.

Rat Penat Valencia
Lo Rat Penat – a mysterious bat on Valencia´s Coat of Arms (one of the popular Spanish legends explains its origins)

What is Valencia known for

First of all, Valencia is internationally famous as the birthplace of Spanish paella, which is still a favorite meal for the locals on Sundays.

Secondly, Valencia was once the birthplace of a few famous Spaniards in history: painters Joaquin Sorolla and Vicente Benllure, the writer Vicente Blasco Ibañez, the movie director Luis Garcia Berlanga, and the composer Vicente Martin y Soler. Also, don’t forget the architect Santiago Calatrava (who created The City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia) and the scandalous Borgia family (check the full list of Valencia sites related to them).

Another unique thing you should know about Valencia is the fact that the city is home to the Holy Grail (the cup from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper), one of Christianity´s most elusive relics.

Beach lovers would be happy to discover that Valencia has the biggest number of high-rated beaches in Spain (marked with a blue flag – a top local award). Some of the beaches are located within the city, like Playa Malvarrosa and Playa Cabanyal, others could be an easy Valencia Day Trip (like my favorite Benicasim).

Another unique feature of Valencia city is its globally famous Las Fallas Festival – one of the top Festivities in Spain (taking place every March).

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Traditional female outfits for the Las Fallas Festival in Valencia
preparing traditional paella
Preparing a traditional Valencian Paella – is a must on Sundays

How much time to spend in Valencia

2 or 3 days is enough to visit all of the top Valencia landmarks.

You can even manage to see a lot of Valencia in one single day. However, to check out all of the Valencia sights and explore Valencia day trips – you´d easily need a full week in Valencia.

But let’s say that for the first visit – a weekend in Valencia is enough to make a first impression.

Where to stay in Valencia

It really depends on your sightseeing plan.

If your travel goal is to enjoy a Valencia city break – pick central locations for your accommodation, like MYR Puerta Serranos, Cosmo Hotel Boutique, or Helen Berger Boutique Hotel.

In case you plan to do at least one Valencia day trip by train – hotels near the train station might be for you (since these are also quite central), like the stylish Vincci Lys, Zenit Valencia, or the budget-friendly Hotel 19-30 Valencia.

If you plan to rent a car and do some hiking near Valencia or Valencia Day trips, booking a hotel in the old city center might not be the best idea: you will lose time in traffic and pay for the overpriced parking. I really like the modern neighborhoods near the city of Arts and Sciences: Sercotel Valencia Alameda 41 or AC Hotel Valencia by Marriott.

Trying traditional Valencian almuerzo

Unique Tours in Valencia

Popular tours to enjoy Valencia include Essentials and World Heritages Sites Walking TourCity Highlights Guided Bike Tour, and Segway Tour of Old Town.

If you love Spanish shows – check Palosanto Flamenco Show and Flamenco Show with Dinner at La Bulería.

For more ideas check my full article The Best Day Tours From Valencia.

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What to eat in Valencia

You should definitely not miss paella and horchata. For more ideas, check out my posts Cute Cafes in Valencia and Traditional almuerzo in Valencia.

If you dream of experiencing the foodie arena of Valencia, you might love one of these unique tours: Daytime Tapas-Tasting Tour w/ Central Market VisitOld Town Tour, Wine & TapasTraditional Paella Cooking Class & DinnerValencia Street Food TourWine Tasting with Professional Sommelier, or City of Arts & Sciences Tour with Rooftop Wine & Tapas.

More Valencia Travel Tips

To explore the Valencia region like a local – check all of my Valencia articles: One Day in Valencia, How to Spend an Epic Week in ValenciaThe Best Day Trips From Valencia, Valencia With KidsBreakfast in Valencia – Cute Cafes You´ll LoveSpanish Eating Habits – Almuerzo in ValenciaValencia Day Trip to ManisesValencia Hidden Gems Blog Series, The Best Day Tours From ValenciaThe Coolest Hikes near ValenciaBeautiful villages of Valencia – Bocairente, Top Valencia Day Trips by train, Madrid To Valencia Road Trip, Fun & Adventurous Things to do in Valencia, An Ultimate 7-day Valencia Road Trip Itinerary, Unique Valencia Gifts to Get Right Now, Hiking to Penyagolosa: one of the Highest Peaks of Valencia, and The Borgia Sights in Valencia.

Top Things to See in Valencia: Al Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary

Weekend in Valencia – Day 1

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A Weekend in Valencia: Valencia City Center
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Museo Nacional de Ceramica – one of the top Ceramics Museums in Spain

You should dedicate the first day of this Valencia weekend to the city´s Old Town area. Your must-stops for the day:

  • Plaza de Ayuntamiento – Valencia City Hall (the visit is free)
  • Palau de Comunicacionses – the Central Post Office ( the visit is free unless there´s a temporary exhibition inside)
  • Museo Nacional de Ceramica – one of the top Ceramics Museums in Spain
  • La Seu – Valencia´s Cathedral, where you can see the Holy Grail and get panoramic views from the tower
  • San Nicolas de Bari & San Pedro Martir or San Nicolas Church
  • Mercado de Valencia – Valencia´s Central Market
  • La Estrecha –  the narrowest building in Europe
  • Lonja de Seda – The Silk Exchange of Valencia
  • Portal de Quart – the Quart Towers, one of the old city getaways

You can visit all of the places mentioned above quite fast, except for Valencia´s Cathedral, where you might face a waiting line.

Also, inside the San Nicolas Church and the Ceramics Museums of Valencia, many of you might enjoy taking time to listen to the Audio guide and marveling at all the artsy decorations.

Weekend in Valencia – Day 2

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Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe – a must-stop during a weekend in Valencia

It is a great idea to spend the second day of your Valencia weekend around the City of Arts and Sciences. Your must-stops for the day:

  • Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe
  • Oceanografic Valencia

To see both places fully, you’d need at least one day in Valencia. If you are visiting Valencia with kids, you might potentially need even more time.

Nevertheless, if you are extremely efficient on the road and need more ideas for this second day – you can have a walk along the old riverbed of Turia to enjoy Jardi del Turia gardens, towards Museu Faller ( a museum dedicated to Las Fallas festival of Valencia).

Weekend in Valencia – Day 3

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A day trip to Albufera of Valencia
Casa Tipica Valenciana Albufera
La barraca Valenciana – an old traditional rural house in the Valencia Region ( only 81 of them are left today)

Even if you are visiting Spain in winter, you can enjoy a nice beach walk at Playa Malvarrosa and Playa Cabanyal. In summer, you can spend a day at the beach (however, keep in mind that the city beaches usually get quite busy – so, I always avoid them and prefer the beaches outside of Valencia).

If you are not into beach getaways, you should dedicate this last day of your Valencia weekend to seeing other lesser-known museums and sights of the city (or take a day trip: it´s up to you).

If you love nature and plants, head to Valencia´s botanical garden – Jardi Botanic. It can not be called one of the most beautiful gardens in Spain, but this place is still a nice oasis of greenery in the heart of the city.

Almost nearby, you have other cool museums of Valencia – Museu Valencia d´Etnologia and Prehistory Museum or Museu de Prehistoria de Valencia (both located in the same building). Modern art lovers can check out Valencia´s Modern Art Museum – IVAM.

If you have more time, head to one of my favorite secret museums in Valencia – Casa Museu Benlliure. This place used to be a house and studio of the local painter Jose Benlliure. The museum houses lots of traditional elements of furniture and decor, so it actually feels quite authentic and does not get crowded.

Every time I plan a solo trip to Valencia, I mostly enjoy these tiny lesser-known museums and temporary expositions.

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Museu Valencia d´Etnologia- a cool place to visit during a Valencia citybreak

Unique Valencia Day Tours:

Read more on Valencia

To make the most of your weekend in Valencia – check all of my Valencia articles: One Day in Valencia, How to Spend An Epic Week in Valencia, The Best Day Trips From Valencia, Valencia With Kids, Breakfast in Valencia: Cute Cafes You´ll Love, Spanish Eating Habits: Almuerzo in Valencia, Valencia Day Trip to Manises, Valencia Hidden Gems Blog Series, The Coolest Hikes near Valencia, Beautiful villages of Valencia – Bocairente, Top Valencia Day Trips by train, and The Borgia Sights in Valencia.

If you want to get some visual inspiration of the top Valencia landmarks – check out my IG Highlight Valencia City.

weekend in valencia spain travel

For more Valencia tips, ideas, and itineraries check my Pinterest boards – Travel to Spain and The Best of Valencia Region

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