Set along the dazzling Mediterranean coastline, Valencia is a serious ray of sunshine in Southern Spain.
Although there is a huge tourist population and it is a consistent vacation destination for travelers every year, Valencia is home to a rich cultural heritage and vivacious city center. You’ll find remnants of the 15th century Silk Exchange, monuments ranging from the ornate Cathedral to the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences and bright beaches that pulsate with the lively personality of the city.
Valencia is Spain’s third largest city and offers visitors a taste of everything, which can make planning your vacation difficult. If you’ve chosen to escape to this paradise, you are going to want to look into filling your days with the following things:
1. Mercado Central (Central Market)
I’ll be honest, this is an intimidating place for visitors. This is where the locals come to do their shopping, but it is not your average market. You’ll be surrounded by ornate Valencian mosaics, colorful fruits and veggies and miles of booths selling local products. You’ll get a crash course in the culture with a visit to this market.
2. Plaza Ayuntamiento (Main City Square)
The city square of Valencia is an actual fountain surrounded by charming flower stalls and boutique shops. The architecture in the square dates back to the Golden Age, so you’ll get a look back in time while you peruse the shops.
3. Café con Leche
‘Café con leche’ loosely translated means ‘espresso with milk’. This might not sound like something to do but trust me, in Spain it is. You’ll quickly realize that the Spanish way of life is much slower and more relaxed than most Americans are used to. There will be a few hours in the middle of the day when you will have to find a café and simply enjoy a tiny cup of strong espresso with frothy milk. It’s going to be rough vacationing in Valenica, huh?
The Valencian people are beach babes! With the sparkling sunshine and smiling faces all around, spend a day at one of the magnificent beaches in Valencia. Malvarosa beach is close to the town’s center but is usually very populated. Benidorm is further away but is much larger and more popular with the locals rather than tourists so you are almost guaranteed to have more room to spread out.
5. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences)
This futuristic complex is situated on the outskirts of Valencia. You can visit all six areas that highlight cultural and scientific exhibitions.
The complex includes:
• Hemisferic IMAX Cinema & Planetarium
• Umbracle landscaped area
• Principe Felipe Science Museum
• Oceanografic Aquarium
• Reina Sofia Palace of the Arts
• Agora Concert Space