If you are planning to visit Valencia, the third largest city in Spain (right after Madrid and Barcelona), you can either visit it as part of traveling around Spain or as a weekend get-away if you are based in Europe.
Traveling to Valencia will not disappoint, but to make your trip easier and more enjoyable, we have prepared a quick travel guide for this lovely Spanish city.
How to reach Valencia
If you are traveling around Spain, you can either fly into Valencia or travel there by bus or train. If you are based in Europe check out low-budget airlines. Regular prices for a return flight are around 40-50 euros, but if you’re lucky, you can even get them for as little as 20-30 euros.
How to explore Valencia?
Valencia has excellent local transport network – you can use buses and metro. Metro is also the best way to reach the city center from the airport (choose line 3 or 5).
If you enjoy being more active during exploration of Valencia, your best bet is renting a bike. Valencia has great cycling paths all around the city. The average price for renting a bike is 9 EUR/24 hours. You can also get bikes for kids, including helmets, which cost 5 EUR/24 hours. If you’ll be traveling to Valencia with a toddler, child seats are available for 5 EUR/24 hours.
You can also register to use the city bikes.
Best tourist attractions in Valencia
Valencia is perfect travel destination for all kind of interests. It does not really matter if you’ll be traveling to Valencia alone, with your love one or with kids. Valencia has amazing architecture, history and its city vibe is great, especially in the evening. There’s also Europe’s largest aquarium, modern ZOO, colorful markets, long sandy beaches… You can read more about tourist attractions in Valencia here.
Food in Valencia
Spain is great destination for foodies as it has loads of culinary goodies to try. Valencia is not known just for general Spanish food, but has some of their own dishes, which you should definitely try them out. Check more about the food in Valencia here.
Don’t forget about the Spanish siesta, what actually means that in the afternoon most of the restaurants and bars are closed. You can get lunch from 1-4 pm and dinner mainly after 7-8pm. Some of the most popular tapas bars open around 8-9pm.
Accommodations in Valencia
We would recommend you to find accommodations close to the city center or at least near the metro station, to make your travel from and to the airport easier. The old city center is not too big, so you can easily walk around it on foot.
Hotel prices with breakfast are pretty expensive, but if you’ll book a hotel room without breakfast, there are many bakeries around the city, where you can grab a bite for 7-8 euros (toast with Iberian ham, eggs, coffee, freshly squeezed juice).
If you’ll be traveling to Valencia with kids, the best option for accommodation are apartments. We heard many good reviews for the SingularStays Apartamentos, which can be found on different locations around Valencia. Staying in an apartment, you can make your own schedule for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what will come very handy during the sieasta, especially if traveling to Valencia with kids.
Our recommendation for the hotel: Hotel Conqueridor – hotel is just steps away from the old city center, but its location is still on a quiet street, what makes it very pleasant. The location was ideal for us – there were numerous bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants around the hotel. We also had a metro station few meters away and we were also not far from the central train station, where lots of Chinese restaurants for cheap bites can be found. The Hotel Conqueridor is not the cheapest one, but it is a good value with perfect location. Oh and if you’ll decide to take the breakfast as well, you won’t be disappointed either.
Prices in Valencia
Some tourist attractions in Valencia might be a bit expensive – the most expensive are the Bioparc, Oceanografic and Science Museum, but you’d be better off when taking the combination of these tickets to lower the costs.
But otherwise we did not find Valencia too pricy:
- Coffee with milk from 1,20-1,70 EUR
- Paella: we heard you can get it as cheap as 2,50 EUR near the Botanical garden, but a nice choice is also taking a daily menu in restaurants, which normally includes starter, main dish (paella) and desert or coffee. Normal prices for these kind of daily menus are around 9-12 EUR. The drink is not included in the price, but we’d go for the local wine.
- A delicious and quick snack can be found in some snack bars and on central market – paper bags with cheese, Iberian ham and sausages, which cost 1 EUR.
- Made sandwiches with Iberian ham, cheese and tomato sauce to make everything juicier cost around 2-3 EUR and are good in size.
- You can get mix fruit basket at the central market for 2 EUR.
- Some bars have happy hours in the evening, where a drink gets you a free tapa. The prices depends on what you’ll order, but normally a drink costs, 2,50-5,00 EUR. But the real tapas bars will charge you for every tapa you take from their bar – we paid 2,10 EUR for a (delicious) tapa at Orio bar.
- You can eat very cheaply around the train station, as there are great choices of Chinese restaurants. We paid 2,50 EUR for a big portion of noodles with veggies.
- If you travel to Valencia low budget, your best option is to buy food from grocery stores. Just to make a point – a bottle of water will cost 0,23 EUR in a grocery store and 1,50 EUR in a news-stand.
Payment methods in Valencia
You can pay with cash, Maestro cards or different credit cards – most commonly used are Visa and MasterCard. There are plenty of ATMs as well.
If you’ll be using local transport, consider buying the Valencia Card. You can have one for 24, 48 or 72 hours or even for a week. Having the Valencia Card all the local transport is free of charge, including the metro to and from the airport, and you also get different discounts or even free access to some museums and sights. The Oceanografic, Bioparc and Science museum are 15% off. There are even some tapas bars, restaurants and shops, where you get discount, showing the Valencia card.
Safety in Valencia
We did not have any problems in Valencia and we can easily say the city is not really problematic, but use your common sense, like everywhere else in the world.
Communication in Valencia
You will be best off to know Spanish or to learn at least few basic words. Even though Valencia get lots of foreign visitors, locals are not very strong in English.
Traveling to Valencia with a baby / child
If you ask us, Valencia is a great family destination. There are lots of sights, where kids will have a blast, but Bioparc, Oceanografic and Science museum are really the best one to choose from. Kids and parents will also love the fact that Valencia has many outdoor playgrounds. The best ones will be find at Turia gardens, including the Gulliver Park, which is free of charge to use.
Valencia is built on a flat area and their sidewalks are wide, so you won’t have any problems using the baby stroller.
The only down size in Valencia, when traveling with kids, is the siesta. Most of the bars and restaurants are closed for few hours in the afternoon. Normally they open later than kids need their dinners and that is exactly why, we would recommend you to rent an apartment during your Valencia trip. Even though you are still breast feeding and you want to enjoy evenings out in a restaurant, I am afraid that most of the restaurants in Valencia don’t even have the space for your baby stroller along the table.
The tourist attractions which mostly attract families have nursing/changing rooms where both parents can access. If you don’t feel like changing your baby or breast feeding him/her outside, you can even find few changing/nursing rooms across the city – mostly in shopping malls (Nuevo Centro, El Saler, Aqua Multiespacio). There’s even a nice looking changing/nursing room at the central market, which was made in collaboration with Ikea. Some changing rooms can also be found in museums (Valencian modern art institute, Prehistorical museum, Valencian institute of the illustration) and restaurants (Kimpira).
As for the hygiene, we did not see any problems either. But just in case, don’t forget to have a good travel health insurance while traveling outside your home country.
Best time to visit Valencia
It is actually hard to say, what would the best time to travel to Valencia be, as every month has its pluses and minuses. If you’ll be there during summer, prepare for lots of visitors and high temperatures. The best season is probably autumn and spring – but during the spring, Valencia can often be windy. And then here are also two months (January and November) which normally mean low season for European cities and the best time to avoid crowds and higher prices.
We needed way too long to finally decided to travel to Valencia, but when we did, we loved it. We first planned to visit Valencia with our baby boy, but because he got ill, grandparents took over him and instead of a family trip, we had a romantic weekend get-away, which was not bad either. But one thing is certain – we will be back and next time our little munchkin is going with us as well.