What to do in Valencia in 48 Hours

February 26, 2018
ciudad de las artes y las ciencias valencia city of arts and science
We arrived in Valencia, a bike friendly city with pink sunsets by the Mediterranean sea, on a Friday afternoon. We unpacked our bags at the Tryp Oceanic Hotel (which is very close to the City of Arts and Science) and went to have lunch. While doing research to plan the trip I had read that restaurants around that area are expensive and food is not good and they are right. Even though I was forewarned we had lunch there because we had been on a long trip and were starving so there was no other option. We had a terrible lunch at a place called Tapearte. It was like they had dropped the salt shaker on our plates... But we didn't let that ruin our day so we started exploring the City of Arts and Science. It is a futuristic place with modern architectural marvels. The buildings are impressive and offer many leisure options:
  • Hemisferic: an IMAX Cinema 
  • Principe Felipe Museum of Science
  • Reina Sofia Palace of Arts
  • Ocenaografic: the biggest aquarium in Europe 
  • Umbracle: a palm tree promenade that looks like an oasis in the concrete jungle.
  • Agora (currently closed due to maintenance work): a covered plaza in which concerts and sporting events are held.
ciudad de las artes y las ciencias valencia city of arts and science umbracle
ciudad de las artes y las ciencias valencia city of arts and science umbracle
ciudad de las artes y las ciencias valencia city of arts and science
On Saturday morning we woke up early because we had a busy schedule. We had to explore the Old Town before lunch time because we had reservations at a paella restaurant at the seafront. We took bus number 19 (it goes from the old town to the beach and stops by the City of Arts and Science which is half way). We got off at the North Station, probably the most beautiful train station in Spain. The Art Nouveau facade is decorated with colorful bas-relief. Don't walk by without going in and seeing the beautiful ceramic tiles and mosaics that decorate it.
estacio del nord estación del norte valencia
estacio del nord estación del norte valencia
On our way to the old town we saw the Town Hall, another architectural beauty. The first place we explored was El Mercado Central (central market). Since it was Saturday morning the place was full of people shopping for groceries. There are also a few stands outside the market, if you look closely at the ones below you'll see a handful of paelleras, the special pan where paellas are cooked.
mercado central market valencia
mercado central market valencia
Valencia oranges are famous worldwide and are considered the best in the world. They are used to make the traditional agua de Valencia (water from Valencia) a drink that combines champagne and orange juice.
mercado central market valencia naranjas oranges
mercado central market valencia
Opposite the market is La Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange Market), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built during Valencia's golden age, the 15th century, it was devoted to mercantile transactions.
lonja de la seda valencia silk exchange
lonja de la seda valencia silk exchange
lonja de la seda valencia silk exchange
Pit stop to have the most famous drink of Valencia: horchata. This has been my favorite drink since I was a little girl so we couldn't leave the cradle of this delicious and refreshing beverage without having one. Horchateria Santa Catalina is an iconic place that has served horchata for over two centuries. They also serve chocolate con churros and homemade ice-cream.
horchateria santa catalina horchata valencia
horchateria santa catalina horchata valencia
horchateria santa catalina horchata valencia
Next stop was the baroque cathedral. We climbed the 207 steps of the tower (called Miguelete) to get some amazing city views. I thought a lot about Miguelete the two following days because of my sore muscles... One hell of a workout that was.
Behind the cathedral is the bustling Plaza de la Virgen and the picturesque Barrio del Carmen where you can find the most wonderful hidden gems.
plaza de la virgen barrio del carmen valencia
casco antiguo old town valencia donde comer where to eat
casco antiguo old town valencia donde comer where to eat
We made it in time for our reservation at Casa Carmela, an iconic paella restaurant. The paella was amazing but let me give you some advice: if you book this place, choose the first turn which is lunch at 1:30 pm. If you choose the 2nd one (3:30) you'll have to wait a long time even if you have booked a table. Paella takes a long time to cook, so we started having lunch around 4:30 pm, not fun.

We had desserts at a trendy beach bar: La Más Bonita (literally the most beautiful). There's a queue any time of the day so better make reservations ahead. I had read online that their cakes are among the best in town and I can confirm it. We ordered the nutella cake and the red velvet and both were scrumptious. Apart from sweets they have a menu full of healthy and delicious food.
After an evening walk along the beach we called it a day and went back to our hotel.
la mas bonita patacona playa beach valencia donde comer where to eat
la mas bonita patacona playa beach valencia donde comer where to eat
la mas bonita patacona playa beach valencia donde comer where to eat
la mas bonita patacona playa beach valencia donde comer where to eat
We devoted Sunday morning to the Oceanografic, the biggest aquarium in Europe. We saw dolphins, penguins, tortoises, belugas and other sea life from all around the world. The tickets are pricey (€30) but if you love sea life it's worth it. The place takes about 3-4 hours to see.
oceanografic valencia ciudad de las artes y las ciencias
oceanografic valencia ciudad de las artes y las ciencias
oceanografic valencia ciudad de las artes y las ciencias
We always like to see the main sights at night if possible and we knew the City of Arts and Science had to look amazing when lights are on. Unfortunately, we didn't make it by blue hour but at night it's spectacular too. The Reina Sofia Palace of Arts (below) looks particularly beautiful at night. To me it looks like something between a spaceship and a helmet, what do you think?
ciudad de las artes y las ciencias valencia city of arts and science nocturno noche night
ciudad de las artes y las ciencias valencia city of arts and science nocturno noche night umbracleVALENCIA ESSENTIALS


where to eat in Valencia 
what to do in Valencia in 48 hours

57 comments

  1. Beautiful photos and wow, you guys did a lot in 48 hours! I am sorry to hear about your breakfast being ruined and waiting more than 2 hours to have paella but it sounds like the rest of the trip was amazing! Oh and I love horchata too. Such a delicious drink any time of the day. Yum!

    Maureen | www.littlemisscasual.com

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  2. This place looks beautiful and fun!! My husband and I want to do a tour of Europe one day, so this guide is perfect for us to plan our stop in Valencia.

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  3. You must have run the entire time to see all of that in 2 days! Great photos.
    Glad you stopped by https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/02/preparing-for-next-exhibit.html

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  4. Wow Valencia looks absolutely stunning! It wasn't even on my radar before reading this post but it definitely is now!

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  5. Oh my goodness! Everything is so beautiful and magical I want to go NOW!!!

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  6. Wow it looks incredible there, I love the architecture
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  7. Great sharing of useful info ... I've been there once as well but can't remember anything oops!

    https://4highheelsfans.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/get-low/

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  8. This is such a fabulous guide. It looks absolutely gorgeous there! x

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  9. Been hearing a lot about Valencia lately and it's definitely becoming more and more appealing, although I'm not going to lie, I'd go for the red velvet cake! Never found that in Europe yet! #CityTripping

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  10. You have such beautiful photos! These are wonderful tips! The bright colours here make you want to just jump right into the pictures!!

    xo
    Meghan and Victoria
    https://pictureitpretty.com

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  11. Your Valencia trip seems amazing dear Cristina. So many gorgeous bright places and beautiful buildings. Love the gauzy scarf so much and how you styled it!

    Welcome by Thursdays and join my linkup pretty lady. Also, starting this Sunday I am running a monthly style linkup so welcome by. Have a great day! Ada =)

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  12. Everything looks so beautiful and that red velvet cake looks sooo good!

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  13. Valencia looks gorgeous!! I would love to visit this place one day. Thanks for sharing your trip with us and the photos look amazing <3

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  14. I can only hope that one day I get the chance to put this guide to use!

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  15. Messy Cutting BoardFebruary 28, 2018 at 5:24 AM

    Oh what a stunning place!! I will have to add this to my places to visit when my kids get older!! Love everything about this post!

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  16. Valencia is one of the cities I completely missed going to when I was in Spain :( I didn't realize it has so much to offer.
    #citytripping

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  17. Al ver este post me han entrado unas ganas tremendas de ir a Valencia.

    Te dejo nuevo peinado en mi canal
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3f8GJvht7U

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  18. This is sooooo gorgeous!!! Travel goals for sure!!

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  19. I know the feeling! I ordered the red velvet cake because it's so hard to find here. Same happens with carrot cake, if it's on the menu I don't think it twice because it's quite unusual in Spain.
    As you may have guessed I have a really sweet tooth and I'm a huge fan of The Cheesecake Factory ;)

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  20. I would absolutely love to go here someday! Your pictures are amazing and I'm definitely adding this to my bucket list.
    Krissy | https://www.thoughtfullyunraveled.com

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  21. what an amazing city!
    I hope to visit it some day!
    thanks for sharing this fabulous guide!

    https://modaodaradosti.blogspot.ba/

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  22. Now you have an excuse to come back :)

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  23. It looks like paradise there. I love the palms trees, and the blue skies.
    http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

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  24. That is so beautiful! I'm going to put it on my bucket list! Thanks for sharing!
    Teresa from http://nanahood.com/disney-social-media-moms-celebration-photos

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  25. Your photos look amazing!!! I just booked a holiday and now regret it isn’t Valencia!

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  26. I hope I've been able to bring back some memories!

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  27. Great food and great weather, this city has so much to offer!

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  28. Woah the red velvet cake looks absolutely delightful and I love the look of all of the fresh fruit too! I've never been to Valencia but you've certainly got me craving a visit now!

    HEather xoxo
    https://www.hefafa.me.uk

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  29. Thanks! So glad you like them, bright colors make me happy :)

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  30. Never thought of Horchata being so popular there, on a Mediterranean coast!

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  31. Thanks so much, Ada! You comments are always so sweet and thoughtful.

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  32. Thanks, Ivana. I'm so glad you liked it

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  33. Gorgeous images! I hope I'll get to visit Valencia one day! :)

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  34. I live in Spain, so I've been to Valencia several times. I actually went for this crazy festival last March called Las Fallas. Yes 4:30 is late, but Spaniards eat lunch around 2:30-3 anyway. I've fully accustomed myself to their schedule living over here. Everything is a lot later.

    Nina
    aworldofdresses.com

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  35. Wow, what beautiful pictures! I am looking to travel more in the next year . I would love to see the aquarium as I love aquariums, right up my alley,! love your outfit for sightseeing too, cute sneakers!
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx
    www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

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  36. What a lovely place. Thanks for sharing this.

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  37. Valencia is truly my dream trip. Thank you for sharing these images/words.

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  38. How absolutely beautiful!! Ive never been to spain. On my list for sure now 🙂

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  39. What a beautiful vacation. La Lonja de la Seda looks magical. You have lovely photos here dear. Nicely done!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  40. Beautiful pics!
    Valencia looks like such a wonderful city
    xx
    http://anoddgirl.blogspot.com.au

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  41. You’ve brought back some happy memories of my visit to Valencia. I’d love to go again one day. I do love the contrast of the futuristic arts and science building and the old town. Being near the beach is a bonus too! Thanks for linking #citytripping

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  42. You definitely should stop there! If you decide to visit Spain, let me know. I can help you out :)

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  43. We did, but it was so much fun :)

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  44. Loved all of the gorgeous photos and reading about your experiences. I cannot decide if I like the modern architecture or the historic more, as they are each gorgeous in their own rite. Sounds like a wonderful place to visit!

    Thanks for linking up with Fabulous Friday, Cristina!

    Jennie - A Pocketful of Polka Dots

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  45. You sure know how to make the most of your time! Great photos and tips!

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  46. These photos are gorgeous, Cristina! I love the different kinds of scarves you sport :)
    That penguin is also the most adorable thing!!!

    ~Lor

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  47. Great post and great guide, your pictures look amazing! I love that you give tips on how to make the most of your time and you saw so much!

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  48. Thanks for stopping by, Lor! I miss having you around on social media

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  49. If your ever come to Spain, be sure to add it to your itinerary, you won't be disappointed!

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  50. The contrasting architecture was one of my favorite things in Valencia too! Thank you for the link-up, they are such a great way to meet people and to promote our blogs.

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  51. Thanks so much, Courtney. I'm so glad you liked it :)

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