5 amazing things to do in Valencia

Monday, 3 July 2017 Valencia

5 Amazing Things To Do in Valencia

On Saturday night, Jack and myself got back from Valencia. It was an amazing six days away in the third largest city in Spain. I was excited to see Valencia again, as I spent one day there during year abroad for the Fallas Festival which takes place every year, and there was so much I hadn't been able to see last time!

We got up to lots of touristy and not-so-touristy activities in Valencia, since there was so much on offer. Having more than just a few days in the city helped, as it's quite spread out, so it was lovely not rushing around from place to place in the heat. See below the 5 things you should definitely do if you pay a visit!

Paella on the beach 
This gorgeous sand sculpture above was found on the found on our second to last day. I would recommend dedicating a full day or two to the beach in Valencia, since you'll find if you're staying in the centre, the beach is ages away. We caught two buses to get there which wasn't particularly fun in 30 degree heat! Certainly bring water and flip flops and the usual stuff. We didn't have a parasol and it's no problem if you don't, as you can hire them all day for 4.50. I'll say that the shade will be crucial, as there is no natural shade on this beach!

Both my dad and friends had recommended stopping into one of the many restaurants perched on the beach, for the views and good food, of course. We had a Menu del Día which are incredible value for money; you normally get a first course, second course, a drink, coffee and dessert starting from nine to 13 euros! We picked one which had one of my favourite dishes, Arroz Negro which is rice cooked in squid ink, and we also had the classic Paella Valenciana, which consists of chicken, rabbit and green beans.

Whilst we thought the service wasn't great at where we picked, the food was fantastic. The beauty is that you can keep walking down the beach to find a menu that suits you!

Stroll through the City of Arts and Sciences 

5 Amazing Things To Do in Valencia

This is a much more touristy part of Valencia, and this unusual collection of buildings is well-known as the City of Arts and Sciences. The helmet-shaped building in the back is a music theatre, and the circular one at the fore is L'Hemisferic, an amazing 3D cinema! There is also a Museum nearby, and walking amongst the futuristic constructions felt extremely calming as they're surrounded by beautiful pools of water.

It felt so calming to walk through away from the bustle of city, I really recommend even if you don't plan to visit any of the attractions!

L'Oceanografic Aquarium

5 Amazing Things To Do In Valencia
We definitely chose the wrong day to visit here (picture queuing for half an hour in 30 degree heat on a family-filled Sunday) but the Oceanografic in Valencia is hands-down one of the best I've ever been to! It's also based in the City of Arts and Sciences, about a 10 minutes walk from the Museum of Arts. The ticket was around 25 euros each for students, but completely worth it. It took us a good 4 hours or so to see everything and we even saw a dolphin show! 

I liked that the tanks were incredibly spacious, and the animals had similar environments to how those in the wild live. There was a lot of information around the park about the extinction of these environments due to climate change, which was encouraging to see. I loved the aquarium, and I would completely recommend it to others, just make sure you visit on a weekday or during siesta if possible!

Do! Valencia Day Excursion

5 Amazing Things To Do in Valencia
This day-trip was completely unforgettable, and I would recommend it! It's run by two lovely people from the company Do! Valencia and they take you out of the city for the day to three or four separate natural beauties in the Valencian region. I won't tell you everything I saw but one definitive highlight was this waterfall we stopped at first. We carefully climbed over to this gorgeous torrent of water and the lovely tour leaders took pictures of us all, such a unique experience. I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise but for 69 euros for a day trip I would say go for it!

5 Amazing Things To Do in Valencia
Unlike L'Oceanografic, we decided to visit Valencia's zoo, the Bioparc on a weekday, essentially hoping to avoid hordes of loud and chatty Spanish children! They're a lot more annoying on a crazily hot day too. We were overjoyed to see it was half empty when we arrived, leaving us to wander round without rushing about in the heat. Like the aquarium, the animals roam around in massive enclosures, often living with other animals rather than alone. The most impressive example was seeing giraffes, hippos and lions all within the same area!

We got in for 20 euros each with a student card and it took us a good 3 or 4 hours to see everything so again I would recommend it! 

Café del Duende 

5 Amazing Things To Do in Valencia
On our last night, we headed to the popular Café del Duende for an evening of Flamenco. I saw it for the very first time in Seville and I was absolutely spellbound by it, so I couldn't wait to see it again! The group was made up of four performers, two female dancers, a guitarist and a singer. The connection between them was magical, which made the show altogether even more enjoyable for everyone. 

I could watch the speed of the feet moving for hours, and the uniqueness of the singers voice is something that gives you goosebumps! You can't book the show in advance, you turn up and pay on the door so certainly turn up an hour before the show starts as the little place filled up quickly! For 10 euros you also you get a free drink, if you can get down to one of their shows!
I had an amazing 6 days in Valencia and there was so much on offer to see and do! If you're looking for an alternative to Barcelona or Madrid I would completely recommend it! 

Thanks for reading! Have you been to Valencia? What did you get up to when you were there?

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