Travelling And Exploring Sunny Valencia: Travel Guide

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Photo by Jennifer Cartwright

In January, I moved to a city I had never visited. With no idea if I would like this new place, I packed my suitcase with books and board games as precautionary distractions just in case I travelled all this way only to want to stay inside. 

However, Valencia surprised me. I’ve lived here for two months now and am still nowhere near running out of things to do. Located on the east coast of Spain, Valencia has plenty of culture but it also has a casual atmosphere making it a dream travel destination for the easily overwhelmed holiday go-er. Whether you want to flood your camera roll with tourist pictures or lie in the heat of this sun-kissed city, Valencia can provide. If you’re thinking about coming, here are some things you absolutely must do. 

Visit the City of Arts and Sciences

A collection of attractions dedicated to the arts and sciences including an iMax cinema (Hemisfèric), an aquarium (Oceanogràfic), and an opera house (Palau de les Arts), this is perhaps Valencia’s most well-known tourist attraction. With avante-garde architecture designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, the City of Arts and Sciences is the ideal place if you desire an aesthetically pleasing education. Even more, at night the sculpture garden L’Umbracle transforms into Mya, a nightclub which is guaranteed to be the prettiest night out you will ever have. Ticket prices across the attractions vary but it is certainly free to sit in the sun outside and take a picture by the Valencia sign!

Head to the Cabanyal beach 

Whether you want to catch a tan in the daytime or watch the sunset in the evening, there is nowhere better to go than the Cabanyal beach. With its 1km stretch, you’re guaranteed to find a space to sit back and relax on your holiday. Furthermore, the line of paella and tapas restaurants just one minute away means that you will barely have to move a muscle if you choose to stay here all day.

Grab a sweet treat  

If you fancy something sweeter than traditional Spanish cuisine, try one of Valencia’s cool brunch spots. Bastard Coffee & Kitchen offers great value for money where you can grab a main meal, coffee, refreshing drink, and dessert all for under 15 euros. Beverly is a date location Barbie would be jealous of with its all-pink interior. If your appetite is smaller, try churros and ice cream in the town centre for a pocket-sized indulgence. 

Climb the Miguelete Bell Tower

Connected to Valencia’s cathedral, the Miguelete Bell Tower is hundreds of years old and well worth a visit if you want to experience some history. With 207 steps on a steep spiral staircase, it is a challenging climb but certainly worth it to see a great view of the city from the top. 

Listen to great music 

Valencia’s motto is ‘vivir sin dormir’ meaning ‘live without sleep’, and with an array of music playing at all times of the day, it’s easy to understand why rest is difficult to get. Head to a club like Bowie Show Disco if you want to dance the night away to reggaeton. Or, if you want a more relaxed atmosphere, try one of the regular Sunday flamenco sessions at bar Taberna ElViento where you’ll hear authentic Spanish music all for the price of a drink. It’s also well worth checking out the regular live music events at La Fábrica de Hielo, where, once again, entry is free but you can choose to buy food and drink as you listen. 

Shop ‘til you drop

Valencia has no shortage of shops, your only limitation is the space in your suitcase. Head to the main town centre if you want the familiarity of high street brands such as Zara and Stradivarius. But if you want a one-off find, try shopping second-hand. The district Ruzafa has vintage shops on every corner you turn and there is no shortage of flea markets. It takes some work but you can get clothes as cheap as a euro and you can be pretty sure no one else you know will have the same thing. 

So with so much to do in Valencia, all you need to do now is book your ticket!

Words by Jennifer Cartwright

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