If the question you’re asking yourself is “is a day trip to Valencia worth it?” Then, I’ll cut the long story short with a very simple, very certain yes. Not only is it one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, it may well be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. If the opportunity presents itself to go for the day, or overnight, then take it.
There are many different ways to get to Valencia from various places around the Costa Blanca. You can get the tram to Alicante and then the train from Alicante, you can get the ALSA bus which picks up from various destinations, or the quickest and most convenient is driving. If you haven’t got access to a car in Spain, then I’d definitely recommend renting one for a few days. You’ll have plenty of places to go and Valencia will end up being just a 90 minute drive from some of the furthest places away along the Costa.
A couple of weeks ago, we decided to take Rio to Valencia for the first time. Although he’s a fully fledged travel dog now having visited beautiful places like San Sebastián, Madrid, Barcelona and Granada, he’d never been to Valencia, his nearest city. We had to change that one, didn’t we!
Strangely enough, every time Alex and I have been to Valencia, it’s been the winter. I’ve only been once in the summer time. But, I can in all confidence say that winter is my favourite time to be in Valencia. I find the skies are much bluer in the winter, and the visibility is much further. It’s also much nicer weather to wander around and visit all of the tourist sites. Plus, stopping at various bars for a tapas or quick glass of wine isn’t a desperation for a drink like you get in the summer.
Valencia is much more relaxed, in general. Another positive is that there are far fewer crowds about. Photos are easier to get, the only downsides you might consider is that there are less hours of daylight and nightlife isn’t as vibrant. Though, I see it that you get less hours of sun, but more usable hours of sun.
The first place we headed for was the Arts and Science Museum. It’s always been the most impressive and favourite parts about our trips to Valencia. The architecture of it allow is incredible, paired with the glorious blue water that surrounds it makes for fantastic photos. We seriously love the rooftop garden above it too, that I hear doubles as a pretty happening nightclub on a weekend.
We then made a beeline for the town hall. It’s one of those plaza’s that seems to be buzzing no matter what time of year you go. There’s always people sitting outside enjoying a cafe and basking in the sun. There’s always a fancy dress character or two wandering around (which you’re best to avoid!)
We didn’t get too long in Valencia this time we went, but we took Rio to everywhere we wanted to take him. If we were heading back for longer, we’d definitely stop for another paella on the beach front of Malvarosa. There are loads of beautiful restaurants along there that serve delicious Spanish dishes. The only thing I would say is always make sure you park in a proper car park with CCTV. It’s down by the Malvarosa where our car had a window smashed and lots of things stolen from it, so take extra care.
It’s also worth taking a wander along the huge park in Valencia, on a glorious summers day a few summers back, I walked the entire length of the park with a friend and it’s a lovely walk. It’s the Cabacera Park and has a pretty lake in it.
I’d also say to check out Gulliver’s Park, especially if you have kids with you. It’s a unique free play park where children and adults alike can clamber and slide on the body parts of the character, Gulliver. It’s absolutely massive and you’ll have a great time sliding about!
The last thing we did in Valencia was heading to the Albufera park in Valencia, following the recommendation of a child in my class. I’m so glad we did. We got there at around 18:30 and accidentally made it five minutes before sunset. The place was filled with couples and families waiting to see the sunset. It’s such a beautiful place where the sun slowly falls behind the mountain. The lake is so large that it looks as though you’re looking out at sea. It’s without a doubt one of the most impressive sunsets I’ve seen along the Valenciana region.
You could also check out the bullring, the Roman ruins, the bioparc, or spend an entire day in the oceanografíc. Not to mention, there are gorgeous hiking trails you can do or spend some time at the stunning beaches or around the pool, if your hotel has one.
You can certainly see most of Valencia in a day, but if you’re wanting to see much more and go at a slower pace then you won’t be bored or short for ideas if you stop over. We have stayed near to the Plaza de Ayuntamiento and it was ideal for location. It also meant bars were aplenty for breakfast before heading out in the city.