Guide of the Best Places to Visit in Valencia, European Green Capital 2024

Valencia, a city where history meets modernity, offers a myriad of fascinating places to explore. From stunning architecture to vibrant local festivals, this guide will take you to some of the most iconic sites you can’t miss during your visit to this charming Mediterranean city, which is also European Green Capital 2024, a distinction with which the city is committed to improving the environment and quality of life for citizens and visitors alike.

Exploring the History of Valencia: Monuments and Sites Not to be Missed

Valencia’s old town is a treasure trove of historic architecture and must-see monuments. The Valencia Cathedral, with its mix of Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque styles, is famous for housing what is rumored to be the Holy Grail. Not far from there, the Lonja de la Seda, a Valencian Gothic-style building that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, fascinates visitors with its detailed engravings and historical significance as one of the most important trading centers in medieval Europe. For those interested in exploring further, the Barrio del Carmen offers a labyrinth of alleyways leading to hidden squares where street art and vintage stores provide a modern contrast to ancient history. A stroll leads to the imposing Quart Towers that give access to the Botanical Quarter.

Combine Culture and Gastronomy: A Tour of Valencia

Valencia is known for its vibrant gastronomic scene as much as for its cultural richness. A perfect day in the city might begin with a visit to the City of Arts and Sciences, an impressive complex of futuristic buildings designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. After soaking up some modern culture, head to the Central Market, one of the largest public markets in Europe. Here, you can sample fresh local produce and delicacies such as horchata, a typical Valencian drink. The cosmopolitan Mercado de Colón, with its gastronomic and leisure offerings, connects with an exploratory walk to the Ruzafa neighborhood, where you’ll find an interesting mix of cafés, stores and art galleries.

The eclectic city combines the experience of the Mediterranean Sea, with the Malvarrosa and Patacona beaches in the heart of the city, along with the attractive Port of Valencia with its gastronomic and leisure offer. In turn, all connected to the emerging Cabanyal neighborhood, and countless historical monuments dotted throughout the city such as the Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas in the historic center and the monumental gates of the old walled city: the Serrano Towers and Quart Towers.

Festivals and Local Fairs: One More Reason to Visit Valencia

You can’t talk about Valencia without mentioning its colorful festivals and fairs, which are a vital part of the local culture. Las Fallas, the city’s most emblematic festival, transforms Valencia in March with huge figures (ninots) displayed in the streets before being burned in spectacular bonfires. Valencia hosts countless music and performing arts festivals in the open air or in renowned venues, as well as major marathons and sporting events. These festivals not only offer fun and entertainment, but are also a window into Valencian traditions and community life.