15 Best Places to Visit in Valencia

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15 Best Places to Visit in Valencia

Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain, known for its futuristic architecture, historic charm, and culinary delights.

Nestled on the Mediterranean coast, Valencia boasts stunning architecture, rich cultural heritage, and delicious cuisine.

Begin your journey at the City of Arts and Sciences, an architectural masterpiece featuring an interactive science museum, an opera house, and an oceanographic park.

Best Places to Visit in Valencia

From its historic landmarks to its cutting-edge attractions, here are some of the best places to visit in this dynamic city.

1. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

The Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences) is a spectacular cultural and architectural complex designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela.

This futuristic city within a city features a series of striking buildings and structures, each with its unique function and design. Highlights include:

  • L’Hemisfèric: A massive eye-shaped IMAX cinema and planetarium.
  • Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe: An interactive science museum resembling the skeleton of a whale.
  • L’Umbracle: A landscaped walk with a variety of Mediterranean plants and contemporary sculptures.
  • Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia: A stunning opera house and performing arts center.
  • L’Àgora: A multifunctional space for events and exhibitions.

The complex is surrounded by beautiful gardens and reflecting pools, making it a perfect spot for leisurely walks and photo opportunities.

Location: Quatre Carreres, 46013 Valencia, Spanyol.

2. Oceanogràfic

Oceanogràfic
Photo: Pixabay/ELG21

Located within the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, the Oceanogràfic is the largest aquarium in Europe.

This impressive marine complex houses over 45,000 animals from 500 different species, including sharks, dolphins, belugas, and sea turtles.

The Oceanogràfic is divided into various habitats, representing different marine ecosystems such as the Mediterranean, Arctic, Antarctic, and Red Sea.

Highlights include the underwater tunnel, which offers a mesmerizing view of sharks and other marine creatures swimming overhead, and the dolphinarium, where visitors can enjoy spectacular dolphin shows.

The Oceanogràfic also focuses on conservation and education, making it a fascinating and informative experience for all ages.

Location: C/ d’Eduardo Primo Yúfera, 1B, Quatre Carreres, 46013 València, Valencia, Spain

3. Mercat Central de València

The Mercat Central de València (Central Market) is one of the largest and most beautiful markets in Europe.

Housed in a stunning modernist building, the market features an impressive iron structure, colorful ceramic tiles, and a magnificent central dome.

Inside, the market is a bustling hub of activity, with over 1,200 stalls offering a wide variety of fresh produce, seafood, meats, cheeses, and local specialties.

Visitors can sample delicious tapas, sip on freshly squeezed orange juice, and soak in the lively atmosphere.

The Mercat Central is a feast for the senses and a must-visit for food lovers and those looking to experience local culture.

Location: Pl. Ciutat de Bruges, s/n, Ciutat Vella, 46001 València, Valencia, Spanyol.

4. La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia

La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia
Photo: X/Robert Suski

La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia (Silk Exchange) is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important Gothic buildings in Europe.

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Built between 1482 and 1548, this magnificent structure was originally used for trading silk and other goods.

The building’s architecture is characterized by its intricate stonework, elegant columns, and vaulted ceilings.

Visitors can explore the impressive Hall of Columns, the beautiful Orange Tree Courtyard, and the Consulate of the Sea, where maritime trade disputes were once resolved.

La Lonja de la Seda is a testament to Valencia’s prosperous mercantile past and a must-see for history and architecture enthusiasts.

Location: C/ de la Llotja, 2, Ciutat Vella, 46001 Valencia, Valencia, Spain

5. Bioparc Valencia

Bioparc Valencia is a unique and immersive zoo that offers visitors the chance to experience animals in environments that closely resemble their natural habitats.

Located in the Cabecera Park, the zoo is designed to provide an educational and engaging experience while promoting conservation and respect for wildlife.

The park is divided into several themed areas, including the savannah, equatorial forests, and Madagascar.

Visitors can observe a wide variety of animals, such as lions, elephants, gorillas, and lemurs, in spacious, well-designed enclosures.

The zoo also offers interactive exhibits, educational programs, and animal shows, making it a fantastic destination for families and animal lovers.

Location: Av. Pío Baroja, 3, Campanar, 46015 València, Valencia, Spanyol.

6. Serranos Towers

Serranos Towers
Photo: X/Richard Hazell

The Serranos Towers, or Torres de Serranos, are one of the most iconic landmarks in Valencia.

These imposing Gothic towers were part of the city’s medieval fortifications and served as the main entrance to the old city.

Built in the late 14th century, the towers are characterized by their impressive stone structure, crenellated battlements, and arched doorways.

Visitors can climb to the top of the towers for panoramic views of the city and the Turia Gardens.

The towers also host various cultural events and exhibitions throughout the year. The Serranos Towers are a testament to Valencia’s rich history and offer a glimpse into its medieval past.

Location: Plaça dels Furs, s/n, Ciutat Vella, 46003 València, Spain

7. Valencia Cathedral

Valencia Cathedral, also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral–Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia, is a stunning architectural gem located in the heart of the city.

Built on the site of a former mosque, the cathedral’s construction began in the 13th century and showcases a mix of Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, and Renaissance styles.

One of the cathedral’s most treasured relics is the Holy Chalice, which is believed by some to be the Holy Grail.

Visitors can explore the beautiful chapels, climb the Miguelete tower for panoramic views of the city, and admire the intricate frescoes in the Chapel of the Holy Grail.

Location: Pl. de l’Almoina, s/n, Ciutat Vella, 46003 València, Valencia, Spanyol.

8. Jardín del Turia

Jardín del Turia
Photo: Google/Alexander Kacharava

The Jardín del Turia is one of Spain’s largest urban parks, stretching for 9 kilometers through the heart of Valencia.

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This lush, green oasis was created in the former riverbed of the Turia River, which was diverted after a catastrophic flood in 1957.

The park features beautifully landscaped gardens, walking and cycling paths, playgrounds, sports facilities, and cultural attractions.

Highlights include the futuristic bridges designed by Santiago Calatrava, the Palau de la Música, and the Bioparc.

Jardín del Turia is a perfect place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or a day of outdoor activities.

Location: 46003 Valencia, Spain

9. Sant Nicolau de Bari i Sant Pere Màrtir

Often referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of Valencia,” the Church of San Nicolás de Bari and San Pedro Mártir is a breathtaking example of Baroque architecture and art.

Originally founded in the 13th century, the church underwent significant renovations in the 15th century, and its interior was later decorated with stunning frescoes by Antonio Palomino in the 17th century.

The frescoes, which cover over 2,000 square meters of the ceiling and walls, depict scenes from the lives of Saint Nicholas and Saint Peter Martyr.

The church’s intricate altarpiece, beautiful stained glass windows, and ornate decorations make it a must-visit for art and history enthusiasts.

Location: C/ dels Cavallers, 35, Ciutat Vella, 46001 València, Valencia, Spanyol.

10. Plaça de la Mare de Déu

Plaça de la Mare de Déu is a historic square located in the heart of Valencia’s old town.

Surrounded by significant landmarks such as Valencia Cathedral, the Basilica of the Virgin, and the Palace of the Generalitat, the square is a vibrant hub of activity.

The central fountain, dedicated to the Turia River, adds to the square’s charm.

Plaça de la Mare de Déu is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike, offering a picturesque setting for enjoying the city’s rich history and lively atmosphere.

The square often hosts festivals, events, and traditional celebrations, making it a cultural focal point of Valencia.

Location: Plaça de la Verge, 4, Ciutat Vella, 46001 València, Valencia, Spanyol.

11. Plaça de l’Ajuntament

Plaça de l'Ajuntament
Photo: Google/Jefferson Azevedo

Plaça de l’Ajuntament is the main square of Valencia, located in the heart of the city.

It is surrounded by impressive buildings, including the City Hall and the Central Post Office, both showcasing stunning architectural designs.

The square is characterized by its beautiful flower beds, palm trees, and a large central fountain.

Plaça de l’Ajuntament is a bustling area, with shops, cafes, and restaurants lining the surrounding streets.

It is also the venue for various cultural events, including the famous Fallas festival, where large, intricate sculptures are displayed and then burned in a spectacular ceremony.

Location: Pl. de l’Ajuntament, Ciutat Vella, 46002 Valencia, Valencia, Spain

12. Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe

The Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe is an interactive science museum located within the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias complex.

The museum’s design, inspired by the skeleton of a whale, is a striking example of contemporary architecture.

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Inside, visitors can explore a wide range of exhibits covering topics such as space exploration, human biology, physics, and technology.

The hands-on displays and interactive installations make learning fun and engaging for visitors of all ages.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs, making it a fascinating and informative destination for science enthusiasts.

Location: Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias, Av. del Professor López Piñero, 7, 46013 Valencia, Spanyol.

13. Gulliver Park

Gulliver Park is a unique and imaginative playground located in the Jardín del Turia.

The park’s main attraction is a giant, 70-meter-long sculpture of Gulliver, the protagonist of Jonathan Swift’s famous novel “Gulliver’s Travels.”

The sculpture is designed as an enormous playground, with slides, ramps, climbing areas, and hidden passageways, allowing children to feel like Lilliputians exploring the giant figure.

The park also features beautifully landscaped gardens and picnic areas, making it a perfect spot for families to enjoy a fun and adventurous day out.

Location: Jardín del Turia, s/n, Camins al Grau, 46023 Valencia, Spanyol.

14. Quart Towers

Quart Towers
Photo: X/Gustavo Rodríguez

The Quart Towers, or Torres de Quart, are medieval defensive towers that were part of Valencia’s old city walls.

Built in the 15th century, these imposing Gothic towers served as a gate and fortification to protect the city.

The towers bear visible scars from cannonball impacts during the Napoleonic Wars, adding to their historical significance.

Visitors can climb the towers to enjoy panoramic views of the city and learn about Valencia’s medieval defenses.

The Quart Towers are a testament to the city’s rich history and offer a glimpse into its past.

Location: Plaça de Santa Úrsula, 1, Ciutat Vella, 46003 València, Valencia, Spain

15. Mercat de Colón

Mercat de Colón is a beautifully restored modernist market located in the Eixample district of Valencia.

Designed by architect Francisco Mora Berenguer and completed in 1916, the market features a stunning iron structure, colorful ceramic tiles, and intricate decorative elements.

Today, Mercat de Colón is a gourmet market and a social hub, offering a wide range of high-quality food stalls, cafes, and restaurants.

Visitors can sample delicious local products, enjoy a leisurely meal, or simply admire the market’s architectural beauty.

The market also hosts various events, making it a vibrant and dynamic destination.

Location: Carrer de Jorge Juan, 19, L’Eixample, 46004 València, Valencia, Spanyol.

Conclusion

Valencia is a city that seamlessly blends its historical heritage with modern innovation, offering visitors a diverse array of attractions.

From the futuristic wonders of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias and the marine marvels of Oceanogràfic to the bustling Mercat Central and the historic La Lonja de la Seda, there is something for everyone.

Whether you’re exploring ancient towers, enjoying a day at the zoo, or immersing yourself in local culture and cuisine, Valencia promises an unforgettable experience.

Its unique charm, stunning architecture, and vibrant atmosphere make it a must-visit destination on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

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