Guides

Short breaks in Valencia – medieval markets, Mediterranean beaches and paella

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Take a short break to Valencia and become familiar with one of Spain’s most vibrant cities. Book a Valencia hotel and follow this inspiring guide to the city’s best sights.

Valencia short break day one, morning

Begin your short break in Valencia in the historic centre. Narrow, cobbled streets form an antique labyrinth, transporting visitors to medieval Valencia. Romanesque, baroque and Gothic styles meld at Valencia Cathedral, which draws visitors with its architectural mix and Christ’s chalice in the Holy Grail Chapel. Shop for hand-embroidered shawls and delicate table linens at Plaza Redonda before walking to Lonja de la Seda, the medieval Silk Exchange. The soaring stone columns of the Lonja stretch from floor to ceiling like strands of twisted yarn. Across the street the Central Market sells produce and paella ingredients, an ideal stop for a takeaway lunch.

Start: Historic centre
Nearest metro stop Pont de Fusta

Afternoon

Walk across the Turia Gardens, formerly the Turia riverbed, toward the blue dome of the Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts). Behind golden, 17th-century walls reside some of Spain’s most precious artworks by Valencia natives Vicente López and Joaquín Sorolla and Spanish legends Velázquez and Goya.

Start: Museum of Fine Arts
Nearest metro stop Pont de Fusta

Evening

Medieval history meets modern nightlife in the Carmen district. Feast on small plates of chorizo and Spanish cheeses at tapas bars along Calle Caballeros, washed down with Valencian wines from Alto Turia or Utiel. Before returning to your Valencia hotel, indulge in energetic salsa and flamenco shows over drinks on Calle Juan Llorens. And take your time. Valenciano pubs and restaurants are open late into the night.

Start: Carmen district
Nearest metro stop Pont de Fusta 

Valencia short break day two, morning

Travel along the Turia Gardens to the City of Arts and Sciences, a futuristic museum complex designed by Valencia-born Santiago Calatrava. The intricacies of the solar system fill projection screens at L’Hemisferic, while 45,000 sea creatures swim, sway and glow mysteriously in Europe’s largest aquarium, L’Oceanografic. Principe Felipe Science Museum houses interactive genetics games and light displays. Afterward, visitors relax at Umbracle, a peaceful park of elegant palms and floral plantings sheltered by Calatrava’s towering white arches. 

Start: City of Arts and Sciences 
Nearest stop Autopista del Saler at Avenida del Instituto Obrero de Valencia 

Afternoon

Visit Mediterranean Las Arenas Beach, a great, golden strand where you can sunbathe and swim surrounded by by rolling surf. Las Arenas joins Malvarrosa Beach on the north, both of which claim Valencia’s top resort hotels. Sip chilled glasses of horchata, a milky drink of tiger nuts, or Agua de Valencia, a refreshing combination of fresh orange juice and cava. 

Start: Las Arenas Beach 
Nearest metro stop Las Arenas 

Evening

After the sun sets, visitors stroll the Paseo Neptuno, a beachside promenade in Las Arenas, for people-watching and dinner. Pepica has been a Valencian favourite for decades, serving up steaming dishes of fresh seafood paella since 1898 indoors or on its beachfront terrace. The restaurant was once a favourite of Ernest Hemingway – photographs of the famous author cover the walls. 

Start: Pepica Restaurant, Paseo Neptuno 
Nearest metro stop Las Arenas