We arrive late to our spacious Valencia loft on the outskirts of the historic city center. After a two hour flight to Madrid followed by a two hour train ride, we’re happy to be in Spain’s third largest city along the "Orange Blossom Coast.” Unlike Madrid, Barcelona, or Sevilla, Valencia has only recently become a popular tourist destination. Yet in only a few days, we learn that there are plenty of reasons to visit.
So, in the spirit of how relaxed we feel in this beautiful place, we’re simply going to list our top 7 favorite things about Valencia. The bonus? They’re all completely local, cultural, and environmentally sustainable.
The largest park in all of Spain, this former riverbed spans 9 kilometers, snaking from one end of the city to the other. With bike paths, running paths, futbol fields, amphitheaters, and even a small lake, it has everything you could ever want in an outdoor space.
Sprawling, wide, and with gentle warm waters, Malvarrosa Beach is the perfect place to spend a summer (or early fall) day. We certainly did.
Valencia Cathedral and the Holy Grail
Valencia Cathedral is gorgeous, however the real draw is what’s inside. Just within the cathedral walls is what most historians agree is the chalice used during the last supper, or what became known as the holy grail.
Agua de Valencia
A Sangria-like drink made up of freshly squeezed Valencia orange juice, cava, gin and rum. Perfectly drinkable any time of the day, almost always on an outdoor patio. Need we say more?
Ciudad de los Artes y Ciencias
An incredible complex of architectural modernism that is home to an aquarium, planetarium, science museum, and convention center. It’s Valencia’s number one tourist draw.
Paella & Tapas
Many consider Valencia to be the birthplace of Spain's famed rice dish, paella. Translating to "one pan," there's even a number of restaurants that serve the vegetarian kind.
Like other cities across Spain, Valencia is also home to incredible tapas. Don't miss sauteed portabella mushrooms, tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, Spanish tortilla and bocadillos. Add a tall glass (or mug) of homemade sangria and consider your Spain bucket list complete.
Located in the historic center, this massive indoor market is where you can find all the Spanish goodies you’ve ever dreamed of, including cheese, fresh pressed juice, produce and even craft beer.