Guide to Arts & Culture in Valencia
Food & Wine
As a destination, Valencia really does have it all. Arts & culture, beautiful food and wine, clean beaches, big name and boutique shopping... This city in southern Spain is an endless labyrinth of amazement. Bragging rights include its City of Arts & Sciences, and Valencia is also the current (2022) World Design Capital. And of course there's all the sunshine! 320 days a year of it, in fact. Travelers are guaranteed to soak up the city's warmth any time of the year. I've recently relocated from Vancouver, Canada and could not be happier with the decision. From our apartment in El Botanic, to morning runs in the Turia, to evening tapas with a glass of one of the regions excellent rosés, falling in love was fast and easy. That being said, I'm confident you will find Valencia to be open, innovative and exciting when you visit!
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Where to stay in Valencia, Spain
MYR Plaza Mercado & Spa
Modern all-suite hotel with a full-service spa and gorgeous city views.
Market Suites, Valencia
Collection of eight modern suites close to Valencia's Central Market.
Hotel Marqués House
Upscale hotel featuring marble bathrooms and a rooftop terrace in Valencia.
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Things to do in Valencia, Spain
The City of Arts & Sciences is a must for all ages as there's always something incredibly cool to experience between the science museum, Europe's largest aquarium and the Palace Of The Arts.
From there, you can enjoy a walk in the Turia, which is part of a river that flowed though the city before it was diverted to prevent floods in 1969. The riverbed is now a lush green space that's well-loved by runners and dog owners alike.
Just outside the Turia's walls sits the Museu de Belles Arts, which is worth a stroll through and is totally free to visit.
Then skip over to Valencia's Botanical Gardens for a blend of science, culture and nature that offers insight into local and global flora. Get up close to the world's beautiful biodiversity any time of the year.
Day trips from Valencia, Spain
If you're interested in diving into all things Valencian ceramics, do yourself a favor and skip the Ceramics Museum and head out to Manises instead. It is easy to access via the metro (as is the VLC airport, by the way), just walking around the center will provide loads of centuries-old eye candy. Head inside their museum for more!
Places to eat & drink in Valencia, Spain
Here's my restaurant and cafe roundup to date:
Federal Cafe: Central, great vibe, food and coffee. Bright and airy. Laptop friendly.
Cult Cafe: Really sweet, corner cafe with a variety of vegan and gluten-free items. My husband loves the acai bowl, while I love their oat milk latte.
Dulce De Leche: Whether craving sweet or savory, this is a popular spot. I prefer the vibe of their Russafa location, where you can sit outside or inside the modern, plant-filled space.
La Romana Gelato: Modern cafe with a wide variety of gelato flavors, including delicious vegan options.
Boa Beach: Super casual, relaxed boho atmosphere. I took friends here over the summer and they loved it. Great for breakfast, brunch or lunch.
Habitual: Refined dining, located in the lower level of Mercado de Colon, without the high prices you might expect from celebrated chef Ricard Camarena. You can have a wonderful dinner here on a menu that's rooted in Spanish culture with global influences. Just outside the restaurant, you'll find Camarena's Bar X, which is a great option for fresh tapas and drinks.
Masa Madre: In the mood for authentic Roman-style pizza? This is the spot.
Latte & Farina: Great for casual Italian with delicious pastas and pizza.
La Gobernanta (Carrer de la Conquesta, 8): Walking through busy Placa del Tossal and trying to find a cute spot for our small group, we stumbled on this great little bistro in a quiet alley. I recommend for tapas and a drink - or stay for dinner. You can sit at a table in the alleyway, but they have a lovely interior space.
Casa Carmela: Renowned for their paella and confirmed by foodie friends as one of the best places to eat this traditional dish... It's also on the beach! Lunch-only (Tues - Sat); reservations required.
Navarro: his is basically my Whole Foods (various locations). Drop by if you need super healthy snacks, supplements, essentials oils, etc.
Need to Know
For more city travel tips, check out my guide to Italy: A Guide to Food and Culture in Turin, Italy and my guide to Sweden: A Weekend in Stockholm, Sweden.
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