Hi Goyers! I'm Paula, the founder of Goya Languages. Today I want to tell you a bit more about my favourite place in the world: Valencia.
Valencia is my hometown. A dream city. It has everything you can ask for: beautiful blue skies, a large beach for long walks by the sea, amazing architecture, traditions and great food. It is the original place to eat Paella, the famous Spanish dish. If you want to know what to do in Valencia, keep reading this top list from the eyes of a local.
Plaza de la Mare de Deu. Picture by Paula Ruiz.
Firstly, we recommend a minimum stay in Valencia of a long weekend or a week. This way you can enjoy your experience in the city and get to know the best things to do and see in Valencia. It is a city with nice weather throughout the year. My favourite months to visit the city are March (if you wish to come for Las Fallas - See our post to learn more here: Las Fallas de Valencia), June and September. Avoid August as it is extremely hot.
Here are 5 things to do in Valencia that you cannot miss!
1. Let's get started with some food and drinks.
Paella Valenciana with chicken and rabbit. Pixabay.
Rice is very important in Valencia. It grows at La Albufera, a natural setting and habitat for thousands of birds. A lake that connects with the sea, with the best sunset views.
The most famous dish from Valencia is Paella. Make sure you try it at a very good restaurant, and not just anywhere. Our favourite place is "Vernetta" and they also make other famous rice dishes such as Paella with seafood, or Arròs del Senyoret, delicious! Don't miss the opportunity to come with us to Valencia, and attend a workshop by the Maestro Pablo Ruiz, to learn how the real Paella is made.
When it comes to drinking healthy drinks, Valencia is known for their oranges and sweet orange juice. A refreshing orange juice is a true pleasure in the mornings or having brunch with some toasts and tomato spread. However, if you like fresh orange juice, a naughty version of this drink is 'Agua de Valencia', which has vodka, martini and champagne too.
Also, Horchata is a tiger nut drink, that tastes like heaven. Santa Catalina, Sariers and Ring are some of the most authentic places to try Valencian horchata and Fartons.
For those who wish to visit the markets, and buy some fresh food, head to the Central Market or the local markets such as El Cabanyal or Algiròs. For some dinner or drinks with friends, the Mercado de Colón is worth a visit.
Mercado de Colón. Picture by Paula Ruiz.
2. Stroll around the old town.
Town Hall - Ayuntamiento. Picture by Paula Ruiz.
Strolling around the old town is one of the best free things to do in Valencia. The buildings are utterly stunning, and mouth-dropping. You'll be stopping by every corner to admire the beauty of the architecture. Especially, when you arrive at the Plaza de la Reina and Plaza de la Virgen with the Cathedral as the main attraction. The Barrio del Carmen is one of the most historical areas, and the Serrano and Quart Towers will impress you.
3. Walking and cycling along the beach and the River Turia.
Playa de las Arenas. Picture by Paula Ruiz.
The Valencian beach is almost 6 km long. The part of the beach that is located in the city is perfect for long walks or cycling. The sand occupies a great part of the beach, and the sea is quite distant from the promenade, that's why we say there's a spot of sand for everyone. The water is perfect for swimming or standup paddling, and it is not too cold, especially during summer. By the beach, there are also restaurants and nightclubs open until late at night for the party-goers.
Another worth walk or cycling route is along the river Turia. The water was diverted after a devastating flood in 1957, and it became a wonderful park almost 7km long. You can see lots of people jogging, doing yoga, playing football, or just strolling. The perfect setting for a picnic or just chilling under a tree.
4. Visit the Arts and Science City.
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Pixabay.
This is one of the main attractions of the city thanks to its futuristic architectural style. It is at the river Túria, and the architect was Santiago Calatrava. There are 4 main buildings: The Opera (with the shape of a shark), the Hemisferic (with the shape of an eye), the magnificent Science Museum, and the Agora (mainly used for sports and fashion events). They all are surrounded by water, which makes a special effect of reflection and a beautiful picture. The Arts and Science city end close to the Oceanográfico, for those who want to visit the museums of sea life and see the animals.
Avoid the midday hours as it gets really hot during summer.
5. Visiting a local winery and brewery.
There is an organic winery and brewery whose products are from Valencia. They craft their beers, wines, vermuths, and now also Gin so carefully, that the result is a truly tasty flavour, and no artificial ingredients or pesticides added. It is a family run business called Fernández-Pons. You can also find their products at Gourmet shops and restaurants. They also do wine tasting experiences and offer some tapas during your visit. A really nice experience!
I hope you enjoyed my suggestions and that you are looking forward to visiting Valencia.
Come with us to Valencia for an intensive Spanish course and an amazing activity plan to discover the city with our local guide. You'll improve your Spanish, discover the history and traditions, learn how to cook Paella, enjoy a wine and beer tasting at a local brewery and do many more fun things to do in Valencia.
Check the dates for our trips and more information in the button down below. See you there!
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Text: Paula Ruiz.
Images: Pixabay, Paula Ruiz.