I had a very quiet visit to Valencia. I arrived in the afternoon of a Saturday and left before sunrise on Monday. Valencia has a very rich history as one of the oldest cities in Spain, originally settled by the Romans.
On Saturday I wandered the endless twisting alleyways through the historic center. It was a feast for my eyes. I let my mind take a break and just enjoy my surroundings, and then indulge in some paella and a glass of wine.
I took advantage of the ample sunshine and was off to the beach early Sunday morning. I wanted to walk so that I could go through Jardí del Túria (Turia Gardens) which is a park created in the old path of the Turia river (It was redirected after a vicious flood in 1957). On my way there I was able to see Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences).
My most important advice I can give to anyone going to Valencia, especially in the summer, is do not do this walk. I did it, and I regretted it deeply. It was one of those things I wish I read somewhere to not do. It can easily be done on a bicycle and be far more enjoyable, or with public transport (this is how I got back to the center). Yes, it is a beautiful city, but at about 40˚C it is not worth the exhaustion. This was the only day I suffered from a heat rash and dehydration.
The beach was beautiful and peaceful as I got there in the morning but it filled up quickly as the day went on. You can rent a chair and umbrella, from what I have seen, almost anywhere along the beach.
I left the beach to make it to the Valencia Cathedral for their afternoon hours available on Sundays during the summer. It is highly suspected that the Holy Chalice here is the Holy Grail used by Jesus during the last supper.
You can pay €2 to go up into the tower and get an aerial view of Valencia. It is worth it! If you can climb all of the stairs as I believe there is about 200. It was breathtaking. It costs €4 (includes an audioguide) to enter the Cathedral which is where you can view the Holy Grail.
Valencia was one of those cities that reminded me of my childhood dream of experiencing Europe. It had so many beautiful buildings, streets, food, beaches, just everything was really what I love so much about smaller cities, like Verona in Italy. It has so much charm and hasn’t been run down by mass tourism.
I still to this day don’t know why I didn’t go into La Casa de los Dulces because I probably would have bought so much candy I would cry. So future-self was definitely looking out for me. On the note of food regrets (really this is a real problem it is FOMO for food) this ice cream place had the most interesting flavors. Some I would be adventurous enough to try like Tortilla de Patata or Red Bull, but I am not quite sure about Sardinas de Bota or Tomate. What is the craziest ice cream flavor you’ve ever tried?
My map is a bit limited for Valencia because I was only here for a short time (less than 24 hours) and I got sick while there. I would love to add some food and nightlife recommendations so if you have any, comment below!
Owner of wanderinghelene.com. Anthropologist, content creator, castle explorer, coffee drinker, and lover of markets and very old places!