2020 has been a year of curveballs but lack of international travel makes it the perfect year to DISCOVER SPAIN! There are so many wonderful cities to see across Spain, right on your doorstep. Here we shine a spotlight on Valencia and why it is the perfect place for your next adventure, whether you only have one day to explore or a full weekend in Valencia.
If you are looking for a culture-filled weekend in Valencia, there are plenty of things to spark your interest. From architecture, to festival culture to art galleries, there is certainly never a dull moment.
The barrio of El Carmen, Valencia’s Old Town, is a haven for history buffs and Instagram lovers alike. Every corner of the city boasts not only a perfect photo opportunity, but is steeped in history dating back to 1238. The architecture tells the story of Valencia’s many different occupancies: travel through time as you discover Gothic, Baroque, Roman and Moorish architecture in just a few streets. Want to dine in Valencia’s oldest venue, the original walls of the city dating back to the 11th Century? Your local host would love to share the secrets of the city, before welcoming you into a secluded dining venue. This interior patio is the oldest venue in El Carmen and is sure to provide a special setting to discover traditional tapas and wines!
As well as history, Valencia has plenty to offer art lovers. The artist, Joaquin Sorolla, famously captured the "luz of Valencia" - the special glow that lights up Valencia. His work often features in art exhibitions across the city. From the most classic pieces to the truly modern, there is something to suit all tastes.
One of the largest collections of art from the 14th-17th Century can be found in the stunning Museo de las Bellas Artes. This gallery has the largest collections of Christian paintings in Spain. It is known as one of Spain's best art galleries, second only to the Prado in Madrid.
For modern art lovers, your first stop should be the IVAM, the institution dedicated to modern art in Valencia. Also noteworthy is the Centre Cultural Bancaixa which frequently hosts interesting exhibitions.
Valencians LOVE to celebrate! This is no truer than the annual festival of Valencia Fallas, where the whole city comes alive with parties, floats and bonfires! To discover more about the history of this unique event, make sure to visit the Museo Fallero. Throughout the year there are many excuses to celebrate, including Nou d'Octubre. This festival, unique to the Comunidad Valenciana, is where we celebrate the reconquering of the city dating back to 1238. It is traditional to see a mascletá in the main town hall square and the afternoon festivities includes colorful parades through the streets.
Often overshadowed by its big brothers Barcelona and Madrid, Valencia has been quietly becoming a gastronomy hub. The region is now home to 21 Michelin Starred restaurants!
Ever wondered why paella is from Valencia? The Valencian region is home to the freshwater lagoon of Albufera, where the rice is cultivated. This is a legacy left behind during the Moorish occupancy of Valencia. Traditional paella Valenciana is a meat dish, comprising chicken, rabbit, green beans and butter beans. But there is more to Valencia than just paella!
In Valencia, you are never more than a stone’s throw away from a great restaurant. The gastronomy has transformed dramatically over recent years, with many new and exciting offerings. The district of Ruzafa is known as being one of the best in innovative cuisine. With a multitude of offerings, there is everything from fusion tapas, to vegan-only eateries, to trendy bars.
Valencian wines are also becoming increasingly well-known around the world. In fact, Sea Saffron’s City of Arts and Sciences rooftop wine-tasting experience has just been voted Top 10 Wine Experiences in the World! We are incredibly proud of our region and the rich offerings that it has in terms of fresh ingredients and quality of local produce.
Try some of the best prizewinning wines from the region, accompanied by a menu of traditional local tapas; all with an unforgettable backdrop. Dine at Valencia’s highest private rooftop where you will obtain views of the entire city. Your local host will share stories of the origins of the food and wines and share what makes the menu so special.
Apart from being one of the most emblematic buildings in Valencia, the Mercado Central is a central hub for foodies. The largest food market in Europe, this food market is set in one of the most iconic Modernist buildings of Valencia. Located in the heart of the Old Town, its architecture mimics the domed structures of the churches. Yet, the use of materials brings it into the 20th Century.
Here you will find stall upon stall of incredible fresh produce. Be sure to take a look at the famous Valencian tomatoes! These incredible tomatoes grow in the coastal region of El Perello and grow in the sand rather than the soil! Key ingredients also worth checking out are the rice, notably the Bomba rice from Albufera, and the famous Valencian oranges. Valencia is also a former fisherman town so is never short of fresh seafood. You will even see live eels - the main ingredient of traditional Valencian stew, All i Pebre.
Valencia is one of the greenest cities thanks to the 9 KM Turia Gardens that run throughout the city. This city park is built in a former riverbed and is now a favourite spot for many Valencians. Whether you are after a morning jog, a leisurely stroll or a picnic, this beautiful space is always full of life. Set amongst the greenery, you will also find the City of Arts and Sciences: the finest feat of modern architecture in VAlencia. This futuristic complex is the work of Valencian-born architect, Santiago Calatrava, and makes for a truly impressive setting.
As well as spots of greenery, Valencia’s beaches are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Catch an unmissable sunset on the stunning coastline or experience a typical Paella Valenciana overlooking the sea. Playa Malvarrosa is the most well-known of the beaches in Valencia. Here you will find a wide offering or restaurants and port-side bars, the perfect spot for a sunset drink. It is also a popular fiesta spot if you are looking for more of a party atmosphere. Further along the seafront, you will find Playa Patacona. This beach tends to have a more chilled-out vibe - come down here to check out live music at La Fabrica de Hielo, eat from one of the food stalls at Mercabañyal or enjoy a drink at the beach chiringuito.
Sea Saffron lets you discover the most unique and emblematic venues in the city. Discover the historic roots of Valencia, entering the most ancient of sites in the city. This venue is set in the original city walls of Valencia, built under Moorish occupancy in the 11th Century! On the other side of the city, in Valencia's more modern district, you will find the unparalleled City of Arts and Sciences with its futuristic architecture. With Sea Saffron ascend to the highest private rooftop in the city where you can obtain the best views in the city!