Valencia, the third-largest city, is a beautiful city that is worth visiting on any trip to Spain. If you are on a cruise and are making a stop at Valencia, you must seize the opportunity to explore this stunning city. Valencia has a host of exciting attractions that cater to all types of tourists, regardless of whether you are a history buff, an art lover, or a foodie. In this blog post, we’ll share some insights into what to see and do in Valencia, Spain, a most fantastic destination, from a cruise stop.
My First Impressions
Wow, Valencia, Spain is so beautiful! This Spanish city reminded me a bit of Tallinn (Estonia) and a bit of Athens (Greece) with the old architecture, narrow streets, and food markets. During my Costa Toscana cruise, Valencia was a port of call for our weeklong adventure.
I chose a city walking tour, which spent four hours walking around town, sightseeing, and tasting the flavors of Valencia. In June, the temperature was around 85, but felt like 93 degrees Fahrenheit.
City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences is an incredible feat of modern architecture and design. It features a stunning futuristic structure that houses three popular spots: the Oceanografic, Science Museum, and the Hemisferic.
A visit to the City of Arts and Sciences will give you an excellent chance to fully appreciate the modernism movement that this city has become known for around the world. The design of the buildings is unlike anything you have ever seen before. You won’t be able to resist capturing memorable moments here.
A trip to Valencia is not complete without visiting the gorgeous Art Nouveau Colón Market designed by architect Francisco Mora Berenguer. It is an open-air home to flower stalls and some of the best restaurants in Valencia, where locals gather to purchase goods and local delicacies. The architectural masterpiece is actually three sections, enclosed at the ends by brick and stone triumphal arch entrances.
The Colón Market is home to a number of well-known businesses, including Carnes Varea, Brocades Cafe, and Manglano. Watch for culinary events that take place regularly at this heavily visited market.
I was part of a cruise excursion food tour around Valencia, Spain, in which we visited the market to sample a delicious pastry (fartons) and horchata (tiger nut milk drink) from Daniel. Fartons are a regional elongated pastry that is glazed with sugar and tastes wonderful dunked in the horchata. It is made from flour, milk, sugar, oil, eggs, and a leavening agent.
Other things we did included a wine tasting, walking tour of the Old Town, drive through Valencia as our guide pointed out points of interest, and a few other food stops for a quick bite.
El Carmen: The Old Town
Valencia’s old town, El Carmen, is full of life, color, and vibrancy. Lose yourself in a maze of narrow cobbled streets and explore this fascinating part of the city. Indulge in tapas dining or reserve the time for shopping in some of the best-known boutiques Valencia has to offer.
This city is so pretty, with fancy clock towers, whimsical painted benches, picturesque fountains, panhandlers dressed as Disney characters providing paid photo ops, and several shops selling everything from yarn and sewing goods to cheesy souvenirs an expensive artwork.
Keep an eye open for the cool street murals.
One of the main highlights is the Cathedral del Seu, a truly magnificent building with stunning works of art and intricate details. The Miguelete Tower, at the top of the cathedral, offers stunning views across the city.
La Lonja de la Seda
La Lonja de la Seda, the Silk Exchange, is a UNESCO World Heritage site listed as one of Valencia’s most iconic buildings. Built in the 15th century in Gothic style, the building was the largest-ever mercantile hall and a hub for trade in the Mediterranean during this time.
An admiration of the Silk Exchange’s detailed stonework, imposing columns, and intricate ornamentation will leave you in sheer awe and wonder of the city’s history and culture.
Valencia Beach is one of the city’s most enduring attractions. It is a place where you can soak in the sun, take a dip in turquoise sea water, and enjoy a range of other outdoor activities such as paddleboarding, surfing, and kayaking. A glance at the modern structures will leave you no less impressed.
After a busy day hopping from one activity to another, take time to relax at the cozy cafes, bars and indulge in the local Paella Valenciana, a local delicacy famous all around the world.
Valencia is an absolute must-see destination for any traveler cruising to Spain. Whether you want to explore the city’s history, indulge in its food, soak in the sun on the beach, or be fascinated by its stunning architecture, Valencia packs a powerful punch.
A visit to this beautiful city is sure to be unforgettable, and I’m certain you’ll want to add it to your list of must-visit travel destinations!
Valencia Spain Photo Gallery
I was hosted by Costa for this familiarization cruise. All opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.