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I’m all about helping you make the most of each trip, so I thought a post dedicated solely to essential Valencia travel tips should be handy. After sharing the best free things to do in Valencia and hidden gems you should check out, I figured that the logistics and other tips I’ve learned from personal experience are equally as important.
So let’s dive into all the things you should know before planning a trip to the beautiful city of Valencia.
TRIP PLANNING TIPS FOR VISITING VALENCIA
HOW TO GET TO VALENCIA
Both international and national flights arrive daily at Valencia’s airport, which is located only 10 km (about 6.2 miles) from the city center. You can also get to Valencia by train from Barcelona or Madrid. Compare train and flight prices in one place on Omio (former GoEuro).
WHEN TO VISIT
As a coastal city sitting on the Mediterranean, Valencia offers pleasant weather from spring to fall. Even though you can also visit in winter and absorb some Christmas spirit, I’d say March to October (maybe even November) are the best months to plan your trip.
While July and August are obviously busier, March is when you can attend the most amazing festival called Las Fallas. Welcoming the spring, this celebration is an experience of a lifetime. For more info about it, read my Fallas travel guide.
WHERE TO STAY
The old district of Ciutat Vella is probably the best area to stay in Valencia (unless you’re visiting during the Fallas festival when most of the city is blocked – see my recommendations on my Fallas post). You’ll be at the center of all the action, surrounded by the most beautiful streets, historical landmarks, and countless restaurants and bars.
Here are a few highly-rated accommodations in Ciutat Vella:
You can also find great places to stay in the hipster neighborhood of Ruzafa or the coastal neighborhood of Poblats Marítims.
TAKE DAY TRIPS
I absolutely LOVE taking day trips outside the big city. Though Valencia itself is incredibly gorgeous and interesting, there are tons of places around it that are also worth the visit.
A classic day trip is El Palmar and the Albufera National Park, the exact place where the paella (Valencia’s most famous dish) was born. You can visit it on your own by bus or book a guided day tour.
Another little town to visit is the colorful Port Saplaya, which is located only 8 km (less than 5 miles) away from Valencia and can easily be reached by bus.
Here are a few other day trips from Valencia that are reachable by public transportation.
HOW TO GET AROUND
Valencia’s public transport system includes both Metro and buses, and you’re gonna need both to explore the city.
To get around Ciutat Vella (the old district and the most touristic part of Valencia), you can either walk or use buses. Surprisingly, the Metro is only convenient when you want to move between different parts of the city and doesn’t cover the most visited one.
Another option to consider is a bike rental. With about ten different rental companies, it’s a super popular way to get around the city.
HOW TO GET FROM THE AIRPORT
Apart from taxis, there are two easy ways to get to the city. Metro lines 3 and 5, and bus number 150 (doesn’t work on Sundays. Consult all stops here) go directly from the airport to the city center, and the journey should take about 30-45 minutes.
YOU CAN ENJOY IT ON A LOW BUDGET
I wouldn’t call Spain a budget-friendly destination, but there are plenty of places to visit in Spain that are suitable for all budget ranges, and Valencia is one of them.
From cheap eats and tapas bars to accommodation to attractions, you can enjoy the best of Valencia even if you’re on a tight budget. This city offers dozens of cheap and free things to do and see, including visiting some of its most famous landmarks.
VALENCIA TOURIST CARD – YES OR NO?
In comparison to other European city cards, the Valencia Tourist Card is pretty budget-friendly. It offers unlimited use of public transportation and countless discounts you can check out here. However, whether it’s going to save you money depends on what exactly you want to do and see.
If you only have one day in the city and you won’t visit that many paid museums and sites, though the card isn’t expensive, I’m not sure it’ll be worth the investment.
For a longer stay, I’d consider purchasing it, but again, it all depends on how many and which touristic spots you’re planning to visit (many can already be visited for free or a very low admission).
Read reviews and get your 24/48/72-hour Valencia Tourist Card here. You can also purchase a 7-day card that doesn’t include public transport.
LEARN SOME BASIC SPANISH (AND VALENCIAN)
Like other places in Spain, the region of Valencia also has its own language called Valenciano, which sounds similar to Catalan. The locals also speak Spanish, but English is a whole other story. Most people speak very little English or not at all, so it’s better to know some basic phrases.
GO TO A FOOTBALL GAME
Football is a huge part of the Spanish culture, and attending a game is a must. The atmosphere and energy in the stadium, as well as the love of the fans for their team, are unbelievable. You don’t have to be a fan to enjoy and appreciate this experience.
Tickets are available on Valencia CF’s official website, and you should purchase yours a few weeks in advance, if possible.
FOOD RELATED VALENCIA TRAVEL TIPS
WHERE TO EAT PAELLA
Paella, oh, paella. What’s better than getting the opportunity to feast on Spain’s most recognizable rice dish where it was actually born? Now, I’m not saying there aren’t any tourist traps, but when you know where to find those traditional restaurants, you’re in for a major treat.
Here are a few of my most favorite spots to devour some authentic paella:
La Pepica (Passeig de Neptú, 6): Opened in 1898 and beloved by Ernest Hemingway, this restaurant is one hell of an institution in Valencia. It is quite big, but still manages to feel homely and inviting, and the paella is delicious.
El Coso (Passeig de Neptú, 12): From the decor to the service to the food itself, I had such a positive experience here. I would definitely go back for one more bite!
La Riua (Carrer del Mar, 27): With a unique decor of ceramic tiles and plates surrounding you and the most amazing food, the traditional atmosphere in this restaurant will surely win you over.
Good to know: The paella is usually made for a minimum of 2 people, and the prices stated on the menus are for one person.
DON’T PAY FOR HOTEL BREAKFAST IN ADVANCE
Apart from the fact that a hotel breakfast in Spain is not always worth the money, Valencia is packed with the sweetest bakeries and cafes. A few to check out are Ubik Cafe, La Petite Brioche, and Dulce de Leche, but you can find dozens of other great breakfast and brunch spots.
OTHER VALENCIA TIPS
DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT THE SIESTA
In a big city like Valencia, not everything shuts down during siesta time. You can go sightseeing in Valencia from morning to evening, and most tapas bars and restaurants are open during these hours (1 PM – 4 PM) since it is when the locals eat their lunch.
IT’S A SAFE CITY
In general, Valencia is considered a very safe city. Nevertheless, I always recommend following basic safety rules like watching your belongings and avoiding walking alone at night, just like you would in other cities.
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