Ham, Cheese & beer at Café Museu, Valencia, Spain

Memories of Valencia, Spain

In Europe, Memories, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Spain, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Who would refuse a relaxing break in the Spring sunshine?

Certainly not me…. Valencia really is a welcoming city, its bigger sister Barcelona (just up the coast) is an equally lovely city but Valencia feels like it is keeping a little something back for itself.

City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain

You can easily just stroll a few streets away from the main plazas and you will find some wonderful tapas bars serving to locals and tourists alike.




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Highlights


El Mercado central is a delightfully restored indoor market with around 1,000 stalls across two main halls, one being completely dedicated to fish and seafood.

The exterior of the Mercado Central, El Mercat, Valencia, Spain

This is a great place to experience a genuinely bustling working market. The wonderfully appealing Art Nouveau influences can be seen internally and externally, throughout.


As is often with any town or city, just strolling around the streets and lanes exploring different nuances, can frequently be a highlight.

A mural for Shabby Chic in the Carrer de la Tapineria, Valencia, Spain

The old historical town of Valencia is no exception, wandering along the cobbled streets peering around corners to see what you will come across next. What you will notice when strolling around is the street art and intricate murals, some of them are fantastic.


The relaxing plazas of Plaza de la Virgen or the Plaza de la Reina.

A fresh coffee & orange juice, Valencia, Spain

These squares are a great place to grab a coffee, take the weight off of your feet and watch the world go by.






There is an amazing mix of architecture throughout Valencia, the façade of the ceramic museum truly is incredible, do try and get to see it.

González Martí National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts, Valencia, Spain

Valencia cathedral houses in a chapel, what is believed by many to be the true Holy Grail, it’s not for me to say, but it is quite incredible either way.

The chapel of the Holy Grail inside the Cathedral, Valencia, Spain

The Turia Gardens is an ingenious example of recycling.

The Turia river repeatedly flooded Valencia, so the river was diverted and the old river bed transformed into a park and gardens, to be enjoyed by everyone. 

Looking down on the Jardin del Turia from the Pont del Real, Valencia, Spain

The old bridges that straddled the original river, now span across the gardens, which make this quite unique.






At the eastern end of the Turia gardens is the City of Arts & science.

This is probably one of the most photographed parts of Valencia and a complete contrast from the old town.

The Hemisferic, in the City of Arts & Science, after dusk, Valencia, Spain

Once again this recreational area can be appreciated by all ages and a photographer’s delight when the sun goes down of an evening.


If you have time, visit the Silk Exchange which is just near the central market, it is only a couple of Euros to get in.

The Hall of Columns in the Silk Exchange or Llotja de la Seda, Valencia, Spain

Equally for free, stroll into the ticket hall of the main train station.

Inside the ticket hall of the north Station, Valencia, Spain

It is like stepping back in time, the ceramic tiling is amazing.

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Pleasures


Strolling around the old town on a warm evening and finding a welcoming local bar.

The Tasquita La Estrecha, a welcoming bar, Valencia, Spain

  • Perhaps this shouldn’t be mentioned as a pleasure, but the cost of Spanish wine is so reasonable. I know I am used to London prices but my Spanish wine experiences so far are all very positive.

The wonderful varieties of tapas, there are so many to choose from and it is so pleasant not to be rushed into the late evening.

Tapas at the Cafe Infanta, Valencia, Spain

The top of the list of culinary delights I experienced has to be Paella.

Traditional Paella from La Pepica, Valencia, Spain

As Valencia is its spiritual home, there is a lot of competition.






Although it was not quite beach weather in March but sinking your toes into the sand on Playa La Malvarrosa has to be a pleasure.

The golden sands and blue sky of the Malvarrosa Beach, Valencia, Spain

Discovering the last few traces of the Formula 1 pits, complete with tyre marks was a bonus.

The abandoned Grand Prix pits of the F1 circus, Valencia, Spain

As although we went to the harbour area especially for this, we thought that all traces of Grand Prix circus from 2008 to 2012 would have disappeared, as this was a street circuit.






Treasures


Agua de Valencia, a local cocktail we’d read about just prior to leaving for Valencia.

Aqua de Valencia

In the sunshine this really does slip back a treat, particularly after a long day sightseeing.


Another local delicacy is Horchata & Fartons.

Fartons, churros and horchata for breakfast, Valencia, Spain

Horchata is an ice-cold refreshing milk drink, made from chufa nuts (tiger nuts) and accompanied with fartons (pastry fingers), to dunk into your horchata.

It does sound bizarre, but is very tasty.






What I would do differently


  • Stay for longer, 3 nights is not enough to fit everything in.

Visit L’Oceangraphic: Due to our time constraints we were unable to fit this in, but it is always good to have an excuse to revisit an enjoyable location.



A slight disappointment


  • Nothing springs to mind as a disappointment with Valencia other than having to leave.

  • Sitting on the tarmac at Gatwick for 2 hours prior to departure, due to French air traffic controllers striking, wasn’t a highlight. But hey ho, it gives you a bit more time to prep for your trip ahead.



Point of Note


  • This was first time on one of our trips that we stayed in an apartment hotel, for this mini break we did not need all the trimmings that a hotel offered. We were certainly not disappointed, the apartment was located in the heart of the old town, reasonably priced, well-equipped and clean & tidy. What more could you ask for?

  • If you are staying in the old town, it’s probably a good idea to try and get your bearings when you arrive. The streets aren’t quite a confusing as Seville, but can become like a maze when the sun begins to set.

My lasting memories of Valencia will be the friendliness of the locals and the feeling that although tourism is large part of the cities income, it certainly doesn’t come across as the overriding influence in their daily lives. Valencia feels very family orientated and the draw of the surrounding Turia gardens lends itself to this extremely well.






Have You

Visited Valencia? What are your memories of this vibrant Spanish city?

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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