What to do in Valencia on Vacation

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f you’re planning your first trip to Valencia, you are probably wondering how to sift through the plethora of Internet articles and guide books that flood the aisles of Waterstones or Barnes & Noble telling you what to do in Valencia during your vacation. The possibilities are endless: typical experiences include discovering Valencia Old Town, celebrating the festival of Fallas, visiting Albufera Valencia, or exploring The City of Arts and Sciences. Locals or travelers well-accustomed to the city might also mention ‘l’esmorzaret’ (a typical Valencian lunch). We think these experiences are essential to your visit, but like we said, the possibilities are endless, and there are countless, surprising ways to enjoy your time in Valencia to the max.

What to do in Valencia in March – Fallas (March 15-19), the festival of a lifetime

If you find yourself in Valencia mid-March, it’s an absolute necessity for you to stick around for the celebration of Fallas. The festival is so big, in fact, that every year more than one million people travel to Valencia to take part in the celebrations. If you’re heading to Valencia but not in March, don’t worry: all year long, clubs known as “Casales Falleros” host members from each “falla” to socialize and perform all sorts of cultural activities. These clubs provide a special kind of cultural immersion; one visitor said the experience of having a typical Valencian lunch and dressing herself with traditional Valencian costumes made her feel truly integrated into the culture.

Albufera: Intriguing Landscapes

Wondering what to do in Valencia if you love the outdoors? Satisfy your adventurous side and head to Albufera Valencia, a nature reserve just south of the city. There, you’ll find Spain’s largest lake, plus wetlands that are home to some of the rarest species of bird in the region, as well as other intriguing wildlife. Spend the day relaxing on a boat as you coast through the beautiful wetlands and take in just how profound the landscapes really are – these sights have not changed for centuries. In the nearby village of El Palmar, you can spend the evening trying succulent traditional dishes that feature local seafood, including eels caught directly from the lake. It’s as if you’ve travelled back in time… all the while you’ll be concocting plans of how you can stay a little longer.

What to do in Valencia if you’re hungry before lunch: L’esmorzaret

While most foreigners would associate the culinary traditions of all Spaniards with famous ‘tapas’ and in the Basque Country specifically with ‘pintxos,’ these small appetizer plates are less popular among the locals in Valencia. Instead, Valencians prefer ‘l’esmozaret,’ or, in Castilian, ‘el almuerzo’ – otherwise known as an early lunch. Around 10:00-10:30 AM, Valencians will head to their favorite local bar to meet with friends and family. Meals usually consist of rolls, salads, peanuts, pickles, Spanish omelette, sandwiches, fresh produce, and olives. To top it off, some will drink cremaet, a famous coffee drink with a dash of flambéed liquor. Check out La Pascuala, Bar Marvi, and Central Bar in Central Market for your first taste of l’esmorzaret, or go ahead and ask a local for their favorite recommendation.

Photo credit: Diario de Gastronomía.

 Valencian Nightlife

If a little bit of partying features on your list of what to do in Valencia then you’re in luck. Valencia has a vibrant nightlife scene that you’re sure to enjoy. Home to a large number of both local and study abroad/Erasmus students, the El Carmen and Russafa neighbourhoods have things on offer for every night of the week. Why not check out Marina Beach, L’Umbracle, and High Cube? Or simply take a wander through the streets, soaking up the atmosphere and popping into the bars? The city maintains a pleasant, bustling atmosphere late into the night so why not simply wander through the streets, soaking it up and popping into some of the many bars? If you do head to one of the clubs though, then be prepared for a late night – its typical for Spaniards to head to the ‘discotecas’ no earlier than 1:30 AM!

The City of Arts and Sciences

We can’t talk about Valencia without at least mentioning the City of Arts and Sciences. One of our most quintessential landmarks and a popular postcard image, it represents the modern architecture of Valencia and deservedly features on every ‘What to do in Valencia’ list, making it a major attraction for visitors. While we definitely recommend exploring the City of Arts and Sciences from the ground, we offer several tours in Valencia involving food and wine tastings that will allow you to view the complex from the highest terrace in Valencia. As you can imagine, the views are truly exceptional, allowing you to fully appreciate the architecture and scale of the entire complex.

From up on the terrace you can see even more than you might expect. You’ll have a unique perspective of the true nature of Valencia: the old buildings coexisting alongside the futuristic architecture of the hand of Calatrava and the Opera House. You’ll see how the city buzzes along and how there’s always something new to explore. Taking in these unsurpassed views, all whilst tasting delectable Valencian wines and delicious, authentic local food, our tour offers you the perfect way to add a luxury touch to your trip to our favorite city on earth. Click below or contact us to arrange your memorable gastronomic experience.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this ‘What to do in Valencia’ list as much as we enjoyed writing it. If you enjoyed this blog post and the taste it has given you to experience Valencia for yourself then we think you would also enjoy reading our Valencia Events post, detailing some of the biggest and best events happening in Valencia throughout the year, and our Valencia Sights post which describes how to enjoy the most special and most typical Valencian views. Or feel free to have a browse of our blog where we have a whole range of posts. From wine and food, to traditions and insights into high quality gastronomy we hope we have something for everyone to enjoy reading.