Valencia, the birthplace of Paella, is a beautiful city with friendly and hospitable people. It was honestly the only thing that motivated my family and me to plan a holiday trip to this city. However, Valencia might not sound like a dream destination, but it is worth a visit.
The colourful yet ancient Valencia is home to many beautiful things and has much more to offer than people assume. With the best food, access to fascinating museums, ancient cathedrals, a fantastic central market, and beautiful beaches, Valencia is a must-visit place. This gorgeous port city allows you to explore, enjoy and devour the traditional food that it has to offer.
However, if you are planning on visiting this city with your family, save this guide that will help you explore the best places of this beautiful city and make your time memorable and fun here.
Where is Valencia Located?
The beautiful city of Valencia is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It lies near other major cities of Spain, including Barcelona and Madrid. Valencia is home to beautiful coasts running along the borders. These coasts are perfect for enjoying a stroll with your family as the clean sandy beaches provide an exceptional and peaceful experience.
Valencia is one of those cities where you will find ancient heritage buildings and modern artistic towers side by side. In my opinion, it is undoubtedly the best part about it. The mix of these two can be seen in every bit of their culture, cuisines, traditions, festivals, and everything native to this port city.
What is the Best Time to Visit Valencia?
Even though the best time to visit a city or plan a holiday trip depends on every individual participating in the trip, there are certain times when the weather and atmosphere of the city are just perfect for exploring. Valencia is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, and the best part about this city is that it neither gets too cold nor too hot.
However, April to October is the best time to visit this city because most museums and popular tourist spots are open for more extended periods, allowing you to explore them easily. Since Valencia is also famous for its festivals, most of those are held between these months, which means you will get the chance to attend at least one of them, and if lucky, who knows, you might attend two of those.
How to Get There?
Since Valencia has only one airport, it is pretty crowded but caters to international and domestic flights, making it easier to access. The Valencia airport (VLC) is located only 8 kilometres away from the centre of the city. However, if you are travelling from any city in Spain to Valencia, you can also opt for Train as it is budget friendly and convenient too.
Sea transport might sound a bit weird, but since Valencia is a port, it is completely normal. Valencia has proven to be one of the most important commercial ports in the Mediterranean Sea, and It also offers passenger transportation services to and from Italy. You can also find cruise ships docked at Poniente Pier, with which you can explore the city or just enjoy a fun getaway to participate in water activities.
Best Things to Do in Valencia
Valencia, a city rich in culture and tradition has a lot more to offer than people assume and it can only be discovered after a visit. This epic city is more of a hidden gem. If you are planning on visiting this fascinating city with your family, some of the best things you can do there with your family are mentioned below along with the necessary details
The following details and popular spots about the epic city of Valencia will help you to explore the right places, visit the best spots, and enjoy only the traditional dishes this city has to offer.
Pay a Visit to The Central Market
Built-in the year, 1928, Central Market is the largest fresh produce market in Europe. The enchanting aromas and smells will awaken your senses as soon as you step inside the market. The stalls inside the market sell amazingly fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, herbs, spices, seafood, and everything you might need to create a traditional Spanish cuisine.
Apart from the variety of stuff, the friendly vendors represent the traditional and unique culture of Spain through their selling tactics. Even if you don’t want to buy anything from the central market, it’s worth paying a visit as the design of the market is a work of art that needs to be appreciated.
You can also find traditional desserts and cuisines being sold in the market, which are definitely worth a try. Even though we didn’t intend to buy anything, their fresh tapas were so fresh and mouthwatering that we had to try them.
Explore the Bioparc Valencia
If you love animals and nature, Bioparc Valencia is your place to go and believe me, it is a must-visit if you are going to Valencia with your family. This fascinating park is spread over 25 acres of land and is home to some of the rarest animals in the world, and it isn’t like every other zoo.
Many people think of Bioparc Valencia as a regular zoo, but it is the absolute opposite because many animals coexist and roam freely in the vast and beautiful area of this park. The best part about Bioparc Valencia is that each animal is allowed to roam around in suitable habitats and breath fresh air openly.
My kids absolutely loved visiting this park because there were certain boundaries for wild animals, whereas there were none for harmless ones. To make this trip memorable, we played a game of animal bingo on our way back.
Spend a Day at the Malvarrosa Beach
The beautiful, sandy, and well-maintained Malvarrosa beach is a great place to visit with your family. The crystal-clear blue water of this beach makes it unique and beautiful, and watching the sunset at this epic beach was one of the best memories.
You will also find a beautiful promenade next to this beach, Paseo Maritimo. My family loved skating and walking around this promenade which is sea-facing, and you get the chance to take a stroll with one of the best views. You will also find some of the best seafood restaurants around the area that serve some amazing seafood dishes, including the best Paella.
The famous painter and writer Vicente Blasco-Ibáñez also lived near this fascinating beach. However, his house is now converted into a museum in which his personal belongings and writing are displayed. If you have extra time, don’t forget to visit this epic place.
Dine at the Epic L’Oceanografic Aquarium
Located inside the city of arts and sciences is the L’Oceanografic Aquarium. It is the largest aquarium in Europe as it can hold 11 million gallons of water and is home to around 45000 individuals spread around 500 species. Some species include dolphins, sharks, stingrays, beluga whales, and penguins as well. Who wouldn’t love to explore such a fascinating place?
This beautiful aquarium is structured into different areas, each of which represents a different part of the seven oceans. Some of them are the arctic region, Antarctic region, temperate seas, tropical seas, and three others. There is also a different enclosure for dolphins since they are used to different temperatures.
This aquarium is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Valencia for all the right reasons. The best part about the L’Oceanografic Aquarium is that you can dine in with the fish as there are restaurants inside the aquarium. The dine-in area of these restaurants is surrounded by huge glass walls that give you an opportunity to enjoy a different fish-eating experience.
My entire family was personally quite intrigued by this innovative idea of dining with the fishes. Even though the food there is a bit expensive, the ambiance and fishes make the experience worth every penny.
Visit the Archaeological Museum of the Almoina
As mentioned earlier, Valencia is a city with rich history, dating back more than 2000 years. All the history and unique traditions of the past years are beautifully reflected in the walls of the Archaeological Museum of the Almoina. Located near the cathedral, the museum is filled with ancient relics from the past that give you an opportunity to explore the history of Valencia.
The Archaeological Museum of the Almoina is a popular tourist spot with free entrance on Sundays and public holidays. The fascinating architecture of this museum preserves every piece of history. Even though my family and I have visited a lot of museums in the past few years, the way things were presented in the Archaeological Museum of the Almoina got my attention.
Discover the City of Arts and Sciences
Whether you are talking about visiting Spain or Valencia, you will definitely hear about going to the epic City of Arts of Sciences, and believe me, it is all worth the hype. This beautiful fascinating city consists of a grand opera house, a gorgeous aquarium, an epic IMAX theatre, a lovely science museum, a plaza, and last but not the least, a breathtakingly stunning outdoor art gallery.
The weird, yet amazing shapes of these buildings make them unique. It is also one of the reasons why this city of arts and sciences lies on the list of 12 treasures of Spain. However, make sure to buy the tickets beforehand as the place is quite popular and people from all around the world come to visit this place.
Since my family was quite anticipated about this tour, we dedicated an entire day to visiting the City of Arts and Sciences and enjoyed and experiencing every part of the place properly.
Enjoy the Traditional Dishes
Visiting Valencia and not enjoying the traditional dishes the city has to offer can be one of the biggest regrets. Since Valencia is mainly popular for Paella, not eating this epic dish at the place it was born can be one of the best regrets. However, there are various other things along with Paella to devour as well.
From delicious Fartons to flavorful pumpkin flan, Ice cold horchata, bunuelos, Mediterranean mussels, sweet potato cakes, and whatnot, you will get everything here in the best form. So, make sure to enjoy some epic and flavorful dishes here in Valencia, preferably seafood, as it is the freshest of all foods.
Valencia is undoubtedly a city rich in cultures and traditions, but this epic city is usually ignored because of the other famous cities in Spain. The hospitality, kindness, and variety of everything you get in Valencia are enough to encourage you to pay a visit to this beautiful city. All the ancient buildings, unique cathedrals, modern museums, and delicious food of this city contribute to a part that makes it beautiful and worth a visit. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and discover this amazing city!