There are many places to visit in Valencia, a city where centuries-old traditions coexist in harmony with new trends.
Getting lost in the streets and squares of the old town, seeing the magnificent modernist buildings, strolling through gardens and parks, climbing tall towers, visiting old churches or reaching the futuristic City of Arts, are just some of the many things to do in Valencia.
In addition, if to all this you add a delicious gastronomy of tapas, fish and seafood, in which the stars are the Valencian paella and the horchata with fartons, this city becomes a perfect option to enjoy to the fullest during a weekend .
Based on the experience of our last 3-day getaway to Valencia, we have made this list of the 10 essential places to see in Valencia. It is a vibrant and charming city and an old town that will make you fall in love. We started!
1. Plaza de la Virgen
The Plaza de la Virgen, located on an old Roman forum, is the most emblematic square and one of our favorite places to visit in Valencia.
With an impressive center, dominated by the enormous Fuente del Turia, which pays tribute to the Valencian river, it is surrounded by three important buildings: the Cathedral of Santa María, the Palace of the Generalitat and the Basilica of the Virgen de los Desamparados.
In addition to seeing these buildings, we advise you to sit on one of the terraces to have a drink and enjoy the great atmosphere of the square, something that we are sure will become one of the unforgettable moments of the trip.
An interesting way to learn about the history of the city is to book this free tour of Valencia, with a guide in Spanish.
2. City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences is an avant-garde style complex that was not without controversy for a long time due to its high price and the problems with the structure of some of its buildings.
Despite the drawbacks, this work by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, inaugurated in 1998, leaves no one indifferent and has become another of the most essential places to see in Valencia.
Among the important buildings that make up this complex are L´Hemisfèric, the Science Museum, the Umbracle, the Palace of the Arts, the Agora, the Bridge of l’Assut de l’Or and the Oceanographic.
We recommend arriving at the City of Arts taking a pleasant walk through the Turia Garden, from the historic center, once you are in the complex walk along the shore of its artificial lakes and climb the Monteolivete Bridge, to have the best perspectives .
A good option is to arrive at sunset to see the fantastic lighting of this small futuristic city and then return to the old town with bus 95 for only 1.50 euros per person. This is an important place to visit.
3. Central Market
Arriving first thing in the morning at the Central Market to be able to visit the more than 300 stalls with ease, is one of the best things to do in Valencia.
This market, which took 18 years to build, is one of the great jewels of Valencian modernism in the city where, in addition to marveling at the architecture of the building that combines metal and glass, you can buy all kinds of high-quality fresh products such as fish, seafood, meat, fruits and sausages. Due to the quality of its products and its size, this market is considered one of the best in Europe.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
4. Parish of San Nicolás
The Church of San Nicolás and San Pedro Mártir, located in the commercial Calle Caballeros and known as the Valencian Sistine Chapel, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Valencia.
This church was rebuilt in the 15th century in the Valencian Gothic style and later in the 17th century its interior was decorated in Baroque style. Its last major reform ended in 2016 and was carried out by Gianluigi Colalucci, responsible for the restoration of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.
For us it was one of the visits that most impressed us in Valencia, especially because of the excellent fresco paintings that fill the ceiling and interior walls.
The entrance costs 7 euros and includes an audio guide that will allow you to know the history of the church and not miss any interesting details. You can book the ticket directly from this page.
Visiting hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
5. The Cathedral and the Miguelete
The Cathedral of Santa María de Valencia with its famous bell tower of the Micalet or Miguelete, is another of the symbolic places to see in Valencia.
Inside this Gothic-style church built in the 13th century is the Holy Chalice, dating from the 1st century, which is supposed to have been the one used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Another of the wonders of the cathedral are the Renaissance frescoes on the High Altar from the 15th century and discovered 10 years ago.
To finish the visit, you can see Goya’s works in the Cathedral Museum and climb the more than 200 steps of the Miguelete to have the best views of the city.
You can enter the Cathedral through the Plaza de la Reina, another of the most popular and busiest in the city.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6:30 pm. Sundays and holidays from 2pm to 6:30 pm.
Price: 8 euros entrance to the Cathedral and 2 euros entrance to the tower.
6. The Plaza Redonda, one of the places to visit in Valencia
Walking through the narrowest streets of the old town until you find the original Plaza Redonda, is one of the best things to do in Valencia.
This square, formerly known as Plaza del Clot, stands out for its round shape, the four entrances located at the cardinal points and the local shops that surround it, as well as the haberdashery that still remain in the central area.
In addition, near this square is the historic Horchatería Santa Catalina, perfect to try a delicious horchata accompanied by the typical fartons that will serve as a resting point on a route through Valencia.
Nor can you leave the city without trying Valencian paella, one of the most typical things to do in Spain.
Although most restaurants in the center have it on their menu, we tried Rincón 33, one of the best restaurants to eat in Valencia.
7. Lonja de la Seda
The Lonja de la Seda de Valencia, declared a World Heritage Site, is another of the Valencian civil Gothic masterpieces and one of the essential places to visit in Valencia.
Located a few meters from the Central Market, this building was built between 1482 and 1548 thanks to the wealth that the city had at that time and being a silk-producing center.
Among the most outstanding rooms in this building are the Column Hall with 24 columns 17 meters high, the Patio de los Naranjos and the Consulado del Mar, with an impressive Gothic wooden ceiling.
A good way to visit and learn about the history of the fish market is to book this guided tour of the historic city center that includes the entrance fee.
The ticket price is 2 euros and it is also included if you buy the Valencia Card.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7pm and Sundays from 9:30 am to 3pm.
8. The Torres de Serranos
The Torres de Serranos is next to the Torres de Quart, the only two fortified gates that remain from the wall that surrounded the city in medieval times and two other places to see in Valencia.
These doors, built in the mid-15th century in the Gothic style, are very well preserved and you can climb to the top from where you get good views of the historic center and the surroundings, for only 2 euros.
La Crida, one of the most important events in the city that welcomes the famous Fallas festival, takes place from the Torres de Serranos through the Mayor de València fallera, on the last Sunday of February. This is one of the most emblematic old buildings in Valencia.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7pm, and Sundays from 9:30 am to 3pm.
9. Town Hall Square
The huge Plaza del Ayuntamiento, surrounded by great historical buildings such as the Town Hall or the Post Office building, is another of the essential places to visit in Valencia.
In the center of the square there is a large circular fountain that lights up at night in different colors and a landscaped green space and is one of the most symbolic places during the fallas, when the thunderous Mascletà took place.
To have a good perspective of this extensive square, we advise you to go up to the terrace of the Mercantile Athenaeum building.
In addition to the above, near the square is the impressive Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, one of the buildings that we liked the most in the city. This palace is included in the route of this free tour through modernist Valencia, one of the best free tours in Valencia.
10. North Station
The North Station, in the Valencian modernist style and inaugurated in 1917, is our last proposal on the list of the most beautiful places to see in Valencia.
This large station, the work of the architect Demetrio Ribesque, is the one that receives the highest passenger traffic in the Valencian Community, and stands out for its façade inspired by local agriculture.
Inside the station, we recommend entering a small room, an old cafeteria, which is located to the right of the entrance and which combines glass and ceramic decoration.
A good option, if you have little time, is to book the tourist bus that stops in this square and in all the important points of the city.
If you like the night and want to end your visit to the city in the best way, you can come to have a drink at the Mercado de Colón or in the trendy Ruzafa neighborhood, full of locals and a good atmosphere, which we are sure, will become in another of the places to visit in Valencia.
To organize the route through the city you can follow this guide to Valencia in one day.