5 Unmissable Experiences in Valencia for First-Time Visitors
Valencia, Spain is a vibrant city with a rich history and culture. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there are plenty of things to see and do in Valencia. Here are the top 10 must-see attractions and activities to add to your itinerary.
Visit the City of Arts and Sciences.
The City of Arts and Sciences is a futuristic complex that includes a planetarium, an opera house, a science museum, and an aquarium. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in science, technology, and architecture. The complex is located in the Turia Gardens, a beautiful park that used to be a riverbed. Don’t miss the chance to take a walk or rent a bike and explore the park while you’re there.
Stroll through the Turia Gardens.
The Turia Gardens are a must-visit for anyone traveling to Valencia. This beautiful park stretches for 9 kilometers and is the perfect place to take a stroll, rent a bike, or have a picnic. The park used to be a riverbed, but after a devastating flood in 1957, the river was diverted and the park was created. Today, it’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, with plenty of green spaces, playgrounds, and sports facilities. Don’t miss the chance to explore this unique and beautiful park during your visit to Valencia.
Try the famous Valencian paella.
No trip to Valencia is complete without trying the famous Valencian paella. This traditional dish originated in the region and is made with rice, saffron, and a variety of meats and vegetables. The best place to try it is in the Albufera Natural Park, just outside the city. Here, you can enjoy a delicious paella while taking in the beautiful scenery of the park and its surrounding rice fields. Don’t forget to pair it with a glass of local wine or a refreshing horchata, a traditional drink made from tiger nuts.
Explore the historic center and its landmarks.
Valencia’s historic center is a must-visit for any first-time visitor. Start at the Plaza de la Virgen, a beautiful square surrounded by historic buildings and home to the stunning Valencia Cathedral. From there, wander through the narrow streets of the Barrio del Carmen, a charming neighborhood filled with colorful buildings, street art, and trendy bars and restaurants. Don’t miss the iconic Torres de Serranos, a medieval gate that once served as part of the city’s defensive walls.
Visit the Central Market for local food and drink.
The Central Market, or Mercado Central, is a foodie’s paradise and a must-visit for anyone interested in trying local cuisine. This bustling market is home to over 1,000 stalls selling everything from fresh seafood and meats to fruits, vegetables, and spices. Grab a freshly squeezed juice or a cup of horchata, a traditional Valencian drink made from tiger nuts, and explore the market’s colorful aisles. Don’t forget to pick up some local specialties like paella rice, saffron, and cured meats to take home with you.