Valencia, the third largest city in Spain, is often portrayed as a port centre along the southeastern coast, where the Turia River and the Mediterranean Sea intersect. With its history dating back to 138 BC, Valencia offers deep historic value in addition to their innovative buildings and concepts constructed for the new millennium. The influence of the Mediterranean is deeply felt in its cuisine and several beaches, along with their multiple lakes and walking trails. It is the centre for trade, culture, cinema, theatre, and museums - showcasing it’s appealing charm from the architecture of Llotja de la Seda to the modern aquarium that is L’Oceanografic. While a weekend here is not enough time to explore all its beauty, listed below are a few suggestions on how to spend 48 hours in Valencia, Spain:
Experience Agua de Valencia at Cafe De Las Horas
Similar to the North American sangria, Agua de Valencia is a cocktail made of the occasional champagne, orange juice, vodka, gin, and sugar. Ingredients are subject to alter, though the basic recipe serves as quite the delicacy in the city. While Agua de Valencia can be ordered in numerous restaurants, perhaps the best variation can be found at Cafe De Las Horas. A Victorian bar located in the North Ciutat Vella, Cafe De Las Horas offers a grand set of exotic cocktails and drinks deemed worthy to uncover. Set in an intriguing atmosphere surrounded by fresh flowers and a dimly-lit diner, the bar is highly regarded as serving one of the best Agua de Valencia cocktails in the city.
Play in the Water Balls at The City of Arts and Sciences
No, water balls aren’t only meant for game show purposes - and now you finally have a chance to try them. An activity for all ages, these life-sized plastic balls have a 2-meter diameter size that allows you to feel the sensation of walking on water. The attraction is located beside the City of Arts and Sciences, an entertainment-based complex that is also proudly recognized as one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. The building, which is a grand tourism hub, is made up of numerous elements: the IMAX cinema and digital projections, the landscaped Umbracle, the Science museum; the L'Oceanogràfic, which is the largest aquarium in Europe; and the Hemisferic lake, which is where the water balls are located. The activity is weather permitting, with a cost of $5 € to participate.
Take a Hike Throughout Their Historic Streets
Valencia is a historic city, and with that comes historic monuments and locations. To take in all of its past and present glory, we suggest initiating your own personal tour amongst the landmarks. Start at the Valencia Cathedral, a Roman Catholic parish church that was consecrated in 1238. With its location between two city squares, begin walking through Plaza de la Virgen, a beautiful centre that is surrounded by monumental buildings such as the Palau de la Generalitat. After exploring the stunning area, keep hiking until you reach the Plaza del Mercado, the city’s central market. Inside, there are more than 1000 selling posts with the options of fresh fish, vegetables, meat, and fruit. The building is a symbol of modern architecture in Europe and holds World Heritage status, so don’t forget to bring some change - and your appetite - before entering.
Eat Paella at Restaurante Navarro
Paella is seen as quite the delicacy in Valencia. A rice dish topped with vegetables and meat, this household cuisine has made a stamp in Spanish culture and has slightly altered since its origin in the mid-19th century. It is served in numerous restaurants throughout the city, though considered to be one of the most favourable is the paella at Restaurante Navarro. Located behind the Town Hall Square, Restaurante Navarro is a family-run venue that proudly serves traditional Valencian cuisine. Their dishes are cooked with a fierce love for food; with the paella ranging from the options of cod and cauliflower to noodles and rabbit. This is a must-try dish when visiting the city, so don’t miss out on tasting this Spanish delight at a seasoned restaurant.
As Spain’s third largest city, Valencia is often overshadowed by the headlines of Madrid and Barcelona. While it’s considered as a rising destination on traveler’s bucket lists, the city’s lack of heavy tourism also has its advantages. The nightlife can be enjoyed without bustling, large crowds, and the attractions can be discovered by tour guides or by your own personal expedition. It is both an innovative and historic destination, and while the above suggestions are some of the best things to do in the city, there is still so much to explore when spending a weekend in Valencia, Spain.