Cathedral in Valencia

3 Days in Valencia (Itinerary + TIPS!)

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3 days in Valencia may not sound like a lot of time to explore this interesting Spanish City.

However, if you spend those 3 days wisely you can see a lot more than you would think!

Valencia may not be the most popular place to visit when backpacking around Spain, but there is a lot to do here.

The city is the home of paella, and there are several intriguing cultural places to see, not least the City of Sciences and Arts!

My 3-day itinerary of Valencia will guide on how best to spend your time in the city!

How to spend 3 days in Valencia

Quick 3 Days in Valencia itinerary
Day 1 – Walk around Valencia, City of Arts and Sciences, Llotja de la Seda
Day 2 – Mestalla, Playa de la Malvarrosa, Valencia Cathedral
Day 3 – Mercado Central, Marina, Turia Park

My thoughts on Valencia

I decided to visit Valencia on my Easter break while I was teaching English in Barcelona. It was only a short 3-hour ride on the train, and I was excited to visit a city I had wanted to see for a while.

I was impressed by Valencia. The city is a vibrant hub of people, with the modern meeting the old in one of Spain’s most interesting cities.

There are a lot of places to see in Valencia, such as the City of Arts and Sciences and the various Gothic buildings around the city. You can do Valencia in 3 days, but if you can stay for longer, you will be able to see almost everything in the city.

Ione thing I should note is that if you venture towards the Marina area past the City of Arts and Sciences, the blight of corruption that hit the city in the 2000s becomes evident.

The Marina area was heavily developed during that time for the America’s Cup and Formula 1 events the city used to host. However, they are now left derelict.

The buildings that played host to the America’s Cup are falling to pieces. While the remnants of the F1 track remains, with other parts closed off.

It was a bit strange walking around these areas. It felt like they should be much busier than they were. The area is a testament to what corruption at a high level can do to a city.

One thing I should note is that Valencia is cheap. You can eat a two-course meal for €8.90 in most restaurants during lunch! Accommodation was also surprisingly cheap!

Valencia was an interesting city, with a lot of quirks and a lot to see. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back again!
Valencia Street View

Some of the best things to do in Valencia

City of Arts and Sciences

View of Valencia

If you think of an image of Valencia, it’s likely a vision of the futuristic buildings of the City of Arts and Sciences will pop into your head.

A recent addition to the city, the buildings have become synonymous with Valencia.

While they are beautiful buildings, they are also home to interesting exhibits and museums.

There are a lot of things to do in the complex, and you could easily spend a long time exploring all the complex has to offer!

The City of Arts and Sciences is a must-visit during your 3 days in Valencia. The architecture and the activities you can do here, make it a great destination!

Paella

Paella in Valencia

Paella may seem like a strange thing to include on a 3-day itinerary of Valencia, but there is a reason.

Let me explain:

The dish originated in Valencia, as such, this is the place you want to sample it. Almost every restaurant will serve some form of Paella. So you won’t be short of choice!

If you want to learn more about the history of paella and its origins, you can do a Paella food tour.

Not only will you learn more about the dish, but you will try your hand at cooking it, and get to the sample the goods. Plus, you’ll know how to cook it authentically for when you return home!

A great deal all around!

Click Here To Book Your Paella Cooking Class

Valencia itinerary – Day 1

Free Walking Tour

Whenever I arrive in a new city, the first thing I do is go for a wander around. My walks are completely unplanned, so if you prefer some structure a walking tour is a good idea.

Most hostels in Valencia offer walking tours for free. You simply go along, follow the tour guide around and learn all about the history and culture of Valencia.

It’s a good way to get an introduction to the city. As it’s free, it won’t cost you anything either, a great way to start your 3 days in Valencia!

If you want to see the city at a faster pace, you can do a bike tour, which takes you to all the main attractions in Valencia! It’s a good alternative to the walking tour if you want a more professional experience!

Click Here To Book Your Cycling Tour

City of Arts and Sciences

The City of Arts and Sciences is arguably the most popular tourist attraction in Valencia. There are several reasons for this.

Let me explain:

The architecture of the buildings is stunning. It’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer size of the complex. It sprawls over a vast area and is full of great things to do.

You can visit the City of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Felipe Science Museum and Hemisfèric too. If your trip to Valencia is with children, this is one of the best places to go.

They will love the various exhibitions, and it will keep them entertained for hours. You can book an all-in-one ticket, which allows you to visit all the sights on the complex, saving you money in the long run!

Click Here To Book Your Ticket Now!

Llotja de la Seda

View of the outside of Llotja de la Sea
Author: Dorieo

Llotja de la Seda is a gothic style building, the name means Silk Exchange in English.

It was an important mercantile building from the 14th century onwards in the city.

The building is architecturally impressive, and if you get the chance to go inside, you should take it.

You will find beautiful rooms with ornate decoration that show the grandeur and wealth had when it was an important trading hub.

There are a lot of magnificent buildings in Valencia, but Llotja de la Seda is among the best, and one that shouldn’t be left off your Valencia itinerary!

Valencia itinerary – Day 2

Mestalla

Mestalla

Valencia is a football-mad city, and as I’m football mad, I had to include the home ground of Valencia’s football team on the list.

If you’re not a football fan, it may be worth swapping this for something else further down the list. However, if you are a fan, I recommend you visit the Mestalla.

It’s not too far from the city centre, and the tour of the ground is well worth doing. You also get a free pen at the end of the tour, which is a nice bonus!

It costs around €10 and you will learn about the history of the club and the important role it plays in Valencia society.

The stadium is impressive, and if you get the chance to see a match you should take it.

Playa de la Malvarrosa

Playa de la Malvarrosa is the main beach in Valencia, and it is a giant of a beach!

It stretches for miles and is the perfect place to go on a hot summer’s day. It’s not too far from the city centre, but it’s probably easier to get there by bus or metro rather than on foot.

There are many restaurants and cafes close by, so it’s an ideal place to spend your first day in Valencia. You can eat and watch the sun come down over the Mediterranean.

The beach is an ideal place to relax, and you can make a whole day of it if you wish!

Valencia Cathedral

Cathedral in Valencia

Valencia Cathedral is one of the more impressive buildings in Valencia, which is saying something given how many there are in the city.

Built-in the 13th century, its Gothic style is visually striking. Inside, the cathedral is even more impressive.

The structure of the building is incredible, with large arches spanning the rooms inside. The cathedral also houses some 15th-century paintings too.

The beauty of this cathedral is undoubted, and you should take a few hours to take it in during your 3 days in Valencia!

Valencia itinerary – Day 3

Mercado Central

View of the entrance to Mercado Central in Valencia

Without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Valencia is the Mercado Central. It’s a public market located across from Llotja de la Seda in the centre of the city.

The building is hugely impressive. Built-in an Art Nouveau style, it covers 8,000 square meters and is one of the biggest markets in Europe.

While food is mostly sold in the market, many vendors sell souvenirs, and there are a few restaurants inside as well.

I love walking around markets and seeing the various products that are on sale. The hustle and bustle of markets and the smell is ecstasy for my senses!

If you feel the same way, then a trip to Mercado Central is something you have to do when you visit Valencia!

Marina

A back building in Valencia marina

The marina is one of the more interesting places you can visit if you’re in Valencia for 3 days.

The area was redeveloped in the early 2000s at great expense when Valencia hosted the America’s Cup and an F1 race.

Since then, the city has suffered corruption scandals, and this area has become neglected. The F1 track is disused, while the buildings used to house the America’s cup are derelict.

It amazed me how empty the area was, despite being built up. It’s worth visiting this area, to explore some of the abandoned areas, particularly the F1 track.

There are also several restaurants in the area,  which serve some excellent food!

Turia Park

View in Valencia

Turia Park is one of the best places to go in Valencia.

This large park in the centre of the city is a beautiful spot. It stretches for 7 kilometres from the biopic to the City of Arts and Sciences.

The Turia River used to flow through this part of the city, but it was diverted, and replaced with the park. A good decision if you ask me!

There are gardens and large stretches of land. This normally means you can see yoga classes going on.

Its length makes it an ideal place to go cycling, and you can use it to navigate different parts of the city and beyond!

It’s a beautiful part of the city, and one you should the time to walk through and explore during your trip to Valencia.

Valencia Travel Tips

Where to stay in Valencia

There are a lot of hostels in Valencia, choosing where to stay can be a tricky process.

Choosing somewhere to stay in Valencia comes down to your preferences when travelling.

If you want to socialise, it may be best going to a livelier hostel. While, if you want to relax, a quieter option is your best choice.

You may only be on a 3 day trip to Valencia, but the right accommodation can make or break your visit!

I stayed at the River Hostel and thoroughly enjoyed my stay. It was a nice mix of lively and quiet. Plus, the price and location were fantastic.

Below, I have listed a few of the best hostels in Valencia you should consider staying at during your time in the city. If you aren’t a fan of hostels, I have also included some hotels on the list too!

The River HostelExcellent and cheap hostel located close to Turia ParkBook Now!
Youth Hostel ValenciaA modern hostel and clean hostel that has no bunk beds!Book Now!
Quart Youth HostelA clean and comfortable hostel located in the centre of ValenciaBook Now!
Are Hotel Astoria PalaceA plush, modern and clean hotel in the centre of Valencia.Book Now!
Eurostars Rey Don JaimeAn affordable hotel in the centre of the city.Book Now!
hotel KramerA recently refurbished hotel in the heart of the city. Brilliant facilities!Book Now!

Cost of travel in Valencia

I was pleasantly surprised by how cheap everything was in Valencia when I visited.

You can easily get good food and cheap accommodation at competitive prices. One of the best deals is the menu del dia most cafes and restaurants do. You can get two courses and a drink for under €10 in most places and as cheap as €7.90 if you’re lucky!

Whether you’re on a tight budget, or you have a little extra cash to play with, a trip to Valencia will not decimate your budget!

Below are the average prices for the essential services you will use during your three days in Valencia.

They take into account what you need to visit the city comfortably and don’t include take extras such as tours, nights out, souvenirs/clothing. They are deemed as ‘non-essential’ extras!

Bed icon

Accommodation

Hostel: Dorm – €10-18; Private – €40-50
Hotels: €35-100
Rental Apartment: €50-150

Restaurant Icon

Food and Drink

Breakfast: Free-€5
Dinner: €7-15
Takeaway meal: €3-5
Pint of beer: €2-4

 

Transport icon

Transport

Single Bus/Tram ticket: €1.50
Bike Rental: €2-5/day
Bus from airport to city centre: €1.50

 

Best time to visit Valencia

Architecture in Valencia
It’s hard to argue with the best time to visit Valencia being the summer months.

This is when the weather will be at its best, and you will be able to enjoy all the attractions in Valencia in glorious sunshine.

However, as with the best time of the year to visit Spain, it’s not that simple. The summer months are when tourism in Spain ramps up.

The weather is great and that means more tourists. If you want to avoid the crowds, it may be wise to visit Valencia during the spring or autumn.

I visited towards the end of March, and the city wasn’t too crowded, while the weather was warm for the majority of my stay.

My advice would be to aim to plan your trip to Valencia for March/April or September/October to get the best of both worlds.

Getting around Valencia

Valencia isn’t the biggest city, so getting around isn’t the most difficult task.

Most places are easily reachable by foot, which is how I predominately got around. This gives you the advantage of stumbling across lesser-visited spots in the city, such as the Marina area.

If you don’t want to walk around the city like me, you can use Valencia’s excellent public transportation instead!

There are many bus and metro routes that operate throughout the city. These would be best to use if you’re looking to go from one side of the city to another.

Another option is to rent a bike and explore the city this way. Valencia is a flat city, which makes it ideal for exploring by bike. Some hostels offer bike rentals, but if yours doesn’t, you can use one of the numerous companies based in the city.

Concluding thoughts

3 days in Valencia is a decent amount of time to visit this beautiful Spanish City. Ideally, you would want to stay for longer, but you can do a lot in 3 days.

There are a lot of things to do in Valencia, and although it may grab the attention in the way that Barcelona and Madrid, it is still a fascinating city to visit!

Have you been to Valencia? What did you do during your time there? Let me know in the comment section below. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Valencia in 3 days