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
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.
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).
How much time to spend in Valencia
2 or 3 days is enough to visit all of the top Valencia landmarks.
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.
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.
Unique Tours in Valencia
For more ideas check my full article The Best Day Tours From Valencia.
What to eat 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 Visit, Old Town Tour, Wine & Tapas, Traditional Paella Cooking Class & Dinner, Valencia Street Food Tour, Wine 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 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 Best Day Tours From Valencia, The Coolest Hikes near Valencia, Beautiful 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
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
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
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
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.
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.
- Accommodation: For short stays, I usually book via Agoda, Booking, and Hotellook
- Tours&excursions: My favorites for guided tours are GetYourGuide and Viator
- City breaks&sightseeing: Go City helps to avoid multiple entry fees and paper tickets
- Travel Insurance: find the best trip insurance plans via VisitorsCoverage, EKTA, and Insubuy
- Flights: To find the best deals I like WayAway and Aviasales
- Airport Lounge: Get independent airport lounge access worldwide via Priority Pass
- Train&bus tickets: Currently, I book via RailEurope, Omio, and Busbud
- Car rental: To find the best deals I use Rental Cars, Discover Cars, and GetRentalCar
- Transfers: For individual transfer services I like Kiwitaxi
- For Foodies: Eatwith is great for finding culinary experiences with locals
- Cruise Reviews: To find the best cruise offer I check out Cruise Critic
- Suitcases&Luggage: To eliminate problems of early arrivals/late departures I find helpful Radical Storage
- Compensation for delayed/canceled flights: AirHelp is useful for all flight cancellation or delay claims
- To avoid roaming fees I use Airalo eSIMs around the world
- Budget-friendly stays: Check Hostelworld to find the best deals around the world
- Events: To find the best offers I use Ticketmaster and TicketNetwork
- Renting Bikes: to find motorcycles, scooters, quads, and bicycles I use BikesBooking
- Package Tours: head to CheapOair, Expedia UK, Tourhub, and loveholidays
- For Bloggers: To monetize my blog I use Travelpayouts