Valencia is the third biggest and one of the oldest city in Spain, making it totally unique to other major cities. The atmosphere is so chill, yet full of artistic energy so you never get bored. Valencia is perfectly laid out so you never feel like you’re in a tourist trap, but still, everything you want is within your reach. So if you want a Spanish experience that actually feels authentic, run to Valencia.
What to Do
One of the most famous places to visit in the city is the City of Arts and Science, which is a complex of futuristic and unusual buildings that holds a museum, planetarium, an opera house, and more. There are bridges, pools, and so much to look at that even if you don’t go inside anywhere, just looking the buildings will bring curiosity and joy.
You will find the City of Arts and Science towards the end of Turia Park, which was once a riverbed but the city decided to drain it after a catastrophic flood in 1957 that killed 100 people. Now, it’s used as a massive park and green space that is 7 km in length and full of beautiful trees, pavilions, and places to picnic all year round.
The Central Market is another must-visit place in Valencia, and is housed in such a beautiful building. The high circular ceilings have lots of tiles and details that are so nice to look at, and because of them, the space never feels crowded no matter how many people are there. Pick up some local oranges or get a treat from one of the many stalls.
There is so much that Valencia is known for in the food world. The most famous is definitely their paella, which is different than the seafood paella most of the world is used to. Instead, the Valencian paella is made up of green beans, lima beans, rabbit, snails, and usually chicken or duck. The best place to get it from is definitely Casa Cesar El Delfin, and if you go there, go for lunch and get the menu del dia which includes three tapas, all you can drink alcohol and soft drinks, paella, homemade dessert, and coffee!
Valencia is also the home of horchata, a well-known drink in South America that originates in Valencia. This milky cinnamon drink is the perfect way to cool off during the summer, and one of the best places to get it is Horchateria Panach in the nearby suburb of Alboraia, just a few metro stops away from the City of Arts and Science.
When you go to Valencia, you might notice all the animals that people have. This love of pets continues into their coffee shop culture, as there are many cat cafes through the city! Many of the cafes actually have rescue cats that can then be adopted by the cafe patrons, so it’s very humane. One of the best is La Fabrica De Huellas, which functions as a cafe in the front where patrons can bring their dogs, and in the back, it’s cat city!