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3 Days in Valencia

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!

It may not be the most popular place to visit when backpacking around Spain, but there are lots of things to do in Valencia such as visiting the beach and the magnificent cathedral.

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 Valencia itinerary will guide you on how best to spend your time in the city, what to do, a rough guide on costs and some great hostels in Valencia you can stay at!

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3 Days in Valencia Itinerary

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

Top Tip – Save money on various attractions with the Valencia Tourist Card

My Experience in Valencia

tom and friends in a hostel in Valencia
Me and friends in Valencia

I decided to visit Valencia during 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 things to do in Valencia, such as the City of Arts and Sciences and the various Gothic buildings around the city. You can go to Valencia in 3 days, but if you can stay for longer, you will be able to see almost everything in the city.

One 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 remain, 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! The 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!

Good

  • Valencia is much calmer than other big cities in Spain such as Barcelona and Madrid. I found it a relaxing place to spend my Easter break when I visited for the first time. There’s lots to see and plenty of nice places to relax too.
  • It’s also a much cheaper city than most others in Spain. I was surprised by how little accommodation and that there were so many fantastic restaurants serving food at cheap prices. If you want a cheap city break in Europe, Valencia is a good place to go!

Bad

  • 3 days is probably the most you need in Valencia. Once you’ve seen most of the sights such as the City Hall and Torres de Serranos, for example, there’s not an awful lot else to do.
  • There are a lot of derelict areas in Valencia, which is a legacy of the corruption scandals that have plagued the city. I got lost walking by some abandoned housing past the Ciudad de las Artes and Ciencias, and the area by the Marina was a weird ghost town too.

What To Do in Valencia in 3 Days

View of Valencia

There’s plenty to do in Valencia and it can be hard to know where to start at first. Unlike spending 3 days in Barcelona, it’s not immediately obvious what you should do in Valencia.

The city center has a lot of interesting attractions such as Valencia Cathedral and its stunning bell tower known as El Miguelete, while the El Carmen neighbourhood is home to the stunning City Wall!

The beach in Valencia is a must-visit too, especially during summer and you can find plenty of fascinating museums such as the Ceramics museum you can check out too!

If you’ve never visited Valencia before, there are a few places you have to visit that I’ve listed further down in this section. Below is a list of some of the best tours you can do in the city too!

One thing I recommend getting before you visit is the Valencia Tourist Card. You can get one for 24, 48 or 72 hours and it will provide you with lots of benefits.

You get free access to public transportation in the city, which includes buses and the metro. Free entry to over 15 museums and discounts on entry to over 130 attractions in Valencia!

This card will save you a lot of money as opposed to if you didn’t have one. So even though it’s an expenditure before you get there, it will save you money in the long run allowing you to enjoy one of the best places in Spain!

Here are a few places I recommend you visit on your 3 days in Valencia:

  • Eat Paella – Valencian paella is the original form of the dish that’s most associated with Spanish cuisine, so you have to try it while you’re in the city! There are plenty of places that serve delicious paella, and you can get it in most menu del dias! I also recommend trying agua de Valencia, a cocktail made with cava and orange juice!
  • Plaza del Ayuntamiento – This square is home to the town hall and a beautiful fountain that stands in the middle of it. It’s a picturesque location you must check out when you visit Valencia.
  • City of Arts and Sciences – These futuristic buildings are home to some fascinating museums and were designed by the renowned architect, Santiago Calatrava. The stunning architecture means they are an attraction in themselves despite the museums inside!
  • Beach – Valencia’s position by the Mediterranean Sea means there are a few beaches to choose from, with the most popular being Malvarrosa. It’s a perfect place to go on a warm day and relax in the sun!
  • Turia Park – This beautiful park is on the site of the old riverbed that flowed through the city. It’s huge and will take you a long time to walk from one end to the other, and it also has a lot to see here. You can visit the beautiful Turia Gardens and the surreal Gulliver Park, which is a perfect place to visit with kids!

Valencia Itinerary – Day 1

The first of your 3 days in Valencia starts with a walking tour to get used to the city, a trip to the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences and ends at Lonja de la Seda, which was the old Silk Exchange.

Walking Tour

Valencia Street View

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!

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 such as check out the museums and opera house.

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

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

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 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The building is architecturally impressive, and if you can go inside, you should do it.

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

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

Valencia Itinerary – Day 2

The second day in Valencia starts with a visit to the home of the local football team at the Mestalla, a trip to the beach and a visit to the beautiful Valencia Cathedral!

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 center, 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

Malvarrosa is the main beach in Valencia, and it’s a giant 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 the old town of Valencia, which is saying something given how many there are in the city.

Built in the 13th century, its Gothic style of the building located in Plaza de la Virgen is visually striking. Inside, the cathedral is even more impressive, especially as the cathedral avoided destruction when the city was bombed during the Spanish Civil War.

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

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

Valencia Itinerary – Day 3

The last of your 3 days in Valencia starts with a trip to the Central Market, then to the Marina which was the site of the Formula 1 that was held in the city and ends at Turia Park, where you can explore the beautiful Turia Gardens!

Mercado Central

entrance to Mercado Central in Valencia

Without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Valencia is the Mercado Central (Central Market). 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 and fresh produce 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 the Central Market 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

This large park in the city centre 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 this beautiful 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

It can be confusing visiting a new place and wondering where you should, how to get around and how much things cost.

This section will answer all of this and give you a rough idea of when’s best to visit Valencia.

Where to Stay in Valencia

There are a lot of hostels in Valencia, and 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 to go 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 hostels 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!

Product Image Product Name / Description Primary Button
Our Pick
  • Excellent and cheap hostel located close to Turia Park that has a bar making it great to meet new people if you're solo travelling

Our Pick

Excellent and cheap hostel located close to Turia Park that has a bar making it great to meet new people if you're solo travelling

Great hostel that has a lot of events making a good place to meet new people

A clean and comfortable hostel located in the centre of Valencia

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 that 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!

If you want to try somewhere like the famous Café de las Horas, which is one of the best restaurants and tapas bars in the city, expect to pay a little extra!

You’ll be able to find somewhere cheap to stay too if you’re on a budget. The hostels in Valencia were very inexpensive and there are plenty of them!

A big outgoing will be on museums and attractions, but these aren’t overly expensive and if you get the Valencia Tourist Card, a lot will either be free or discounted!

Apart from the above, your remaining expenses will likely consist of any tours you book and excursions to other places while you’re in the city. Purchasing travel gifts for friends and family needs to be factored in if you buy a lot, so I’d consider that too before you visit.

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 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 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 plan your trip to Valencia for March/April or September/October to get the best of both worlds.

Below is a season-by-season guide on what to expect in Valencia weatherwise.

Valencia in Spring

Spring is a good time to go to Valencia if you want to avoid the heat of summer. Temperatures will be in the 20s, but not in the high 30s. The city won’t be too full of tourists either.

Average temperatures from low to high: 9.7°C – 14.6°C / 49.5°F – 58.3°F

Valencia in Summer

Summer in Valencia is hot and temperatures can push into the 40s, but are more likely to be in the 30s. This is peak tourist season, so the city will be much busier than at other times of the year.

Average temperatures from low to high: 18.6°C – 30.2°C / 65.5°F – 86.4°F

Valencia in Autumn

Autumn is still warm, especially if you visit in September and October. This is another good time to visit to avoid the warmer weather of summer and the bigger crowds.

Average temperatures from low to high: 10.8°C – 27.9°C / 51.4°F – 82.2°F

Valencia in Winter

Valencia doesn’t get too cold during winter with average temperatures around 7 to 10 degrees. If you don’t mind colder weather, it’s a good time to visit!

Average temperatures from low to high: 7.1°C – 17.1°C / 44.8°F – 62.8°F

How To Get 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 entire city like me, you can use Valencia’s excellent public transportation instead!

Many bus and metro routes 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.

Estación del Norte is the main train station in the city, and will be the main point of entry if you’re travelling from Barcelona or another place that’s not too far away.

It’s in the city center so you’ll have no difficulty getting to the city, which makes travelling to Valencia by train so appealing.

Valencia Airport is the main entry point for those travelling from abroad. It’s only 5 miles from the city center, so it’s easy to hop on the metro on the L3 or L5 lines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 3 Days in Valencia Enough?

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!

How many days are needed in Valencia?

You’ll need at least 3 days to see everything in Valencia.

The city is bigger than most people realise and if you stay for a weekend or just a day, you won’t be able to do much apart from seeing the main sights.

By staying for three days, you give yourself to look around the city, visit the beach and maybe take a trip to a few spots outside Valencia too!

Is Valencia or Seville better?

It depends on what you want to do. If you want to go to the beach Valencia is better, as there’s no beach in Seville. While Seville is probably the better destination for cultural activities such as flamenco and the beautiful La Giralda!

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Looking For More Travel Guides?

3 Days in Malaga – Head down to southern Spain to get some more sun after your trip to Valencia!

3 Days in Seville – Seville is another fantastic Spanish city you have to check out!

3 Days in Porto – Porto is an underrated city over the border in Portugal, you can visit on a wider Iberia trip!

3 Days in Madrid – It’s not hard to reach the Spanish capital from Valencia, and it’s a great place to visit afterwards!

3 Days in Lisbon – The Portuguese city is on the other side of the Iberian peninsula, but it’s a beautiful place and one you should visit given the chance!

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Valencia in 3 days

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