Yearning to spend 3 days in Valencia?
Good, because I guarantee that you’re going to absolutely LOVE Spain’s third largest city; a charming, Mediterranean metropolis that sits along Spain’s mesmerizingly beautiful, east coast.
However, aside from the city’s alluring beauty:
You’ll enjoy adding the world famous City of Arts and Sciences museum, as well as the La Lonja de la Seda (civic building)UNESCO world heritage site, to your Valencia itinerary.
Just be sure to relax, in between all that sightseeing, and savor some of the city’s delicious local foods, like paella and horchata, and exquisitely rich, red wines.
Yet, it gets even better!
As a result:
You’ll be able to experience more of the city’s fantastic beaches, museums, and cuisine, since your Euro goes a lot further here.
If all this awesomeness has you even the tiniest bit curious about some of the top things to do in Valencia, then you owe it to yourself to sit back, relax, maybe grab a churro (or 10 since I don’t judge), and enjoy this expert’s guide to 3 days in Valencia.
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Top Places to Stay in Valencia
When deciding where to stay in Valencia, Spain, try and pick a hotel that is as close to the city center as possible.
You’ll be in the heart of Valencia and surrounded by some of the finest restaurants, shows, and stores in the entire city.
You’ll be just a short walk away from top Valencia attractions like the Silk Exchange, City Hall, and Valencia Cathedral (to see if your hotel is close to Valencia’s top attractions, visit this Valencia Tourist Map).
- For the best luxury hotels in Valencia, try Vincci Lys (rooms here start at $165 per night) and Vincci Mercat (rooms here start at $120 per night)
- For affordable, boutique hotels, try Casual Vintage Valencia (rooms here start at $90 per night) and Host & Home (rooms here start at $70 per night). Both hotels are small so be sure to book a room well in advance.
- For a budget hotel, try the Colegio Mayor La Concepción (rooms here start at $66 per night) a fantastic place that is just a 20-minute walk north of the city center.
Day 1 in Valencia
Start your 3 days in Valencia at La Manera Coffee & Cocktails, a trendy new restaurant that serves all your breakfast favorites, as well as a variety of vegan options for anyone with special, dietary needs.
Grab your beach bag and head to Platja del Cabanyal, one of the best beaches in all of Valencia.
Just a 15 minute drive from the city center:
You can easily get to the beach by using a cab or by taking the number 32, red bus from the Pl. de l’Ajuntament – Barques station.
Buses depart every 15 minutes and take between 30 and 45 minutes to arrive at the Pavia – Platja de la Malva-rosa stop near the beach.
You’ll quickly see that Platja del Cabanyal is a busy Spanish beach with smooth white sand, temperate waters, a palm tree lined boardwalk, and a sea of lounge chairs that are available to rent.
This nautical oasis truly is one of the most beautiful places in Valencia!
While at the beach:
We paid about 6 euros, per chair, for the entire day.
All you need to do is pack a towel, sunblock, water, and a bathing suit and you’ll be fully prepared for a fantastic day of fun in the sun.
Just a short walk from the beach, you’ll find the lovely neighborhood of El Cabanyal, a historic fishing village that is just oozing with charm.
Take some time to explore this area and admire the ecclectic assortment of vibrant ceramic tiles, and colorful houses, that Valencia is known for.
Before returning to the city center:
Stroll over to Jijonenca for some ice cream and horchata, a refreshingly cold and milky, tiger nut beverage that Valencia is famous for.
Late Afternoon/ Evening
As the sun slowly descends through the sky:
Make your way over to Torres de Serranos, an iconic tower that was built over 600 years ago as part of the ancient gates, and walls, that once protected the city.
Built in Valencian style, Gothic architecture:
This tower is just a 5 or 10 minute walk north of the city center.
Pay 2 euros to climb to the top and enjoy mesmerizing, panoramic views of the city.
Not far from the Torres de Serranos:
You’ll also find a charming, rainbow-colored, park bench, just northeast of the Església I Palau del Temple, that is perfect for some incredible Instagram shots that will definitely make all your followers jealous.
Continue onwards toward the Gate of Valldigna, and marvel at one of the few remaining pieces of the old city wall.
Also done in Valencian style, Gothic architecture:
This archway was built in the 1400s and is home to an exquisite reproduction of a historic altarpiece that was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
But after all this Valencia sightseeing, I bet you’re starving!
If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then you MUST end your night with some delicious paella, a rice-based, famous food in Spain that is cooked in a large skillet and served with meat, seafood, vegetables, and more!
For some of the best paella in all of Valencia:
Walk 10 minutes to La Riuá, a family owned restaurant that is a favorite among locals since they’re known for cooking award-winning paella that is best paired with a young and fruity, local red wine, like tempranillo.
Day 2 in Valencia
Grab some coffee and breakfast at La Fornarina, a fantastic local coffeehouse that serves a mouthwatering selection of fresh pastries and desserts.
Because let’s be real:
When you’re on vacation, it’s never too early for dessert.
Take a leisurely stroll over to the ever gorgeous, Pont de les Flors, which literally means bridge of flowers.
Truly quintessential, Valencian beauty.
We try to walk across this bridge whenever possible since it’s just so incredibly beautiful!
Needless to say, you’ll want to take a lot of photos here…
Continue on towards the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia’s modern campus of museums like L’Hemisfèric (planetarium and IMAX theater), L’Oceanogràfic (the largest aquarium in Europe)and El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe (science museum).
During your 30-minute walk, you’ll meander through the Jardín del Túria Tram XIII, a beautiful park filled with pools, statues, gardens, and flowers everywhere.
We definitely stopped along the way to dip or toes in the cool and refreshing water of the pool.
You’ll know you’re at the City fo Arts and Sciences when you see the unique design of the complex, modern architecture that is meant to represent the eye from the “eye of knowledge’ while the L’Oceanogràfic aquarium is meant to resemble a water lily.
In the many pools of this science center:
Adults can rent out clear canoes while children can play in inflatable bubbles that actually float on top of the water.
Children, and adults alike, will also love El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe since it is one of the coolest science museums that I’ve ever too.
Most of the exhibits here are totally interactive. Therefore, you’ll get to do all sorts of fun things like taste the differences in the salinity of the world’s oceans, take your own blood pressure, and even solve some puzzles.
If you have time:
You can also visit some of the other buildings in the museum complex, places like L’Umbracle (an open-air, landscaped garden where you can do the walk of the sculptures), El Palau de las Artes Reina Sofia, (an opera house), and El Pont de l’Assut de l’Or (a scenic bridge).
***If you’re interested in visiting the City of Arts and Sciences, you can save money by purchasing a combined ticket to the Hemisferic, Principe Felipe Science Museum, and the Oceanografic aquarium. You can visit all three museums in one day or use the pass over a 2 or 3 dayperiod.***
Once you’re done exploring all of these amazing museums:
It’s time that you treat yourself to a uniquely wonderful, gastronomic experience at one of Valencia’s top restaurants, Canalla Bistro.
Just a 20-minute walk from the City fo Arts and Sciences:
This iconic restaurant is owned and operated by chef Ricard Camarena and specializes in creative, eclectic culinary experiences that are divinely delicious.
Be sure to make a reservation in advance since this restaurant is quite popular.
At this modern, high-end chocolate shop:
You’ll find a variety of chocolate bars that are made with high-quality ingredients and that come in innovative flavors like Chai Tea, Mocachinno, Matcha Tea, Safron Cardamum, and more!
Once you’ve enjoyed a nice, relaxing meal:
Head back to Valencia’s city center and stop by the Plaza of the Virgin, one of Valencia’s most popular, and beautiful, town squares.
You can watch the citizens of Valencia stroll by as you enjoy the square’s marvelous fountains and charming, historic buildings.
The true highlight of any visit to this square is a trip to Valencia Cathedral.
Built in the 13th century:
This cathedral is a mashup of different architectural styles and is rumored to be home to the true, Holy Grail (you’ll have to speak with Indiana Jones for verification).
You’ll need to pay 7 Euros to enter the cathedral and cathedral museum, and another 2 euros if you want to climb to the top of the bell tower, the Tower of Micalet.
Both experiences are absolutely worth the price of admission, especially since you can enjoy gorgeous, sweeping views of Valencia from the top of the bell tower.
TOP your day off right (Get it, top, tapas? Okay, well I thought it was cute) with an authentic and delicious tapas experience at Escalones de la Lonja.
And while all of their tapas, or small shared plates, are delicious:
The patatas bravas (potatoes with a spicy sauce) and paella are exceptional.
And although this restaurant can get quite busy:
The staff are friendly and attentive, making this the perfect to end your second day in Valencia.
If you’re looking for a nice drink, order the Agua de Valencia during your visit. SOO GOOD.
Day 3 in Valencia
Start your last day in Valencia by visiting Playa Port Saplaya, a gorgeous beach that is lined with a variety of colorful homes and businesses.
Just a 20 minute taxi ride from Valencia city center.
Playa Port Seplaya can also be reached in about 50 minutes, using the yellow, 112 bus.
Just get off at the the Primado Reig-0.20 stop and prepare for a bit of a long walk to the beach.
Rent a nice lounge chair for a few Euros, and just relax while you enjoy the soft sand and the calming sound of the waves.
When you need a respite from the intense heat of the sun:
Head over to this funky little tiki hut, on the beach, that not only serves refreshing drinks but that also has this quaint little chair swing and vibrantly colored decor that is totally Instagram worthy.
After a long morning in the sun:
Head back to Valencia city center and enjoy some delicious local foods from the Central Market of Valencia.
Known for its fresh produce, artisan meats, and local cheeses, this market is also a fantastic place to purchase some Spanish wine to bring home with you (Do this and your great aunt Mildred with love you forever).
While exploring the market:
Be on the lookout for sumptuous samples of tapas that market vendors may be offering to entice potential customers.
After snagging a free sample or two:
It’s just a short walk down the road (the walk is literally a minute) to La Lonja de la Seda or The Silk Exchange.
Open until 7 PM every evening (except Sundays when it closes at 3 PM):
The Silk Exchange is Valencia’s most well-known UNESCO World Heritage Site since it sits inside the city’ historic civic building; an edifice that was first constructed in the 15th century and that stands today as a beautiful example of late Gothic style architecture.
To enter the building:
Visitors must pay 2 Euros; a fee that is waived every Sunday and public holiday (Sundays are also the only day of the week when guests can see the museum’s exquisite coin and stamp collection).
Before you leave though:
Take a moment to marvel at the stunning ceiling in The Hall of Columns and stroll beneath the enchanting orange trees in the building’s outdoor courtyard (it’s kind of your duty since the orange tree is a symbol of Valencia itself ).
While you’re in the area:
Stop by the charming Plaça de La Companyia, or La Compania square, and then continue on for another 10 minutes, to the Modernisme Plaza of the City Hall of Valencia.
Within this Plaza:
You’ll find a fantastic assortment of statues, fountains, shops, and delicious eateries like Waffle Time, a perfect spot for anyone who has a sweet tooth and who is craving a sweet waffle.
If you’d like to explore the interior of Valencia’s City Hall while you’re here:
You can pay 3 Euros for a guided tour, before 2 PM between Monday and Friday (you can prearrange an after-hours tour if need be), of the building’s balcony, crystal room and on-site museum.
But, before you go back to your hotel and call it a night:
Be sure to grab a delicious cocktail from the delightfully chill, Ateneo Sky Bar Restaurant.
Not only are the drinks divine:
But this bar caters to a younger crowd, plays energetic house music, and offers patrons amazing views of Valencia’s nearby, City Hall.
If you have more than 3 days in Valencia, here are some other amazing things that you can add to your Valencia Itinerary!
- Visit Playa Patacona: This beach sits in between Platja del Cabanyal and Playa Port Saplaya. it’s known for it’s vibrantly colored changing rooms and is surrounded by a number of vibrant and airy restaurants. To get here, you can take a 20-minute taxi ride or take an hour-long journey on the red, number 19 bus.
- Shop along the Street of Saint Vincent the Martyr: Start at Valencia’s City Hall and walk south toward the Street of Saint Vincent the Martyr. Once here, you’ll find a ton of shops, as well as popular European brands like Mango, Stradivarius, Zara, and El Corte Ingles (a popular Spanish department store). Another fantastic shopping area in Valencia is the Carrer de Colon, located northeast of the Valencia bullring.
- Valencia Museum of Enlightenment and Modernity: With a collection of influential pieces that date all the way back to the 18th century, this museum showcases both contemporary and historic works of art from within the disciplines of photography, advertising, and design.
Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance!
I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled program to discuss one of the most mundane topics ever…travael insurance.
Travel insurance is definitely one of THE most boring things on the planet to discuss…except when you have a medical emergency and it saves you from incurring a lifetime of debt.
In that moment:
We all want to profess our undying love for travel insurance and tell anyone who will listen about the beauty, wonder, and pure magic that is this modern day miracle.
But I’ve been there.
I too have been tempted to save a few dollars (or yen, pounds, pesos, euros, etc.) by skimping on the travel insurance.
As you get older, wiser, and slightly grizzled, you, begin to see the error of your ways.
So moral of this parent size lecture?
Always get travel insurance, even if it’s not from the company I recommend (COUGH…WORLD NOMADS TRAVEL INSURANCE IS THE BEST).
Why, you may wonder?
Well, as a maven of travel mishaps, I’m someone who would trip over an escaped tiger, during my 3 days in Valencia, plummet down the side of a mountain, and end up in a full body cast, all after a quaint and leisurely stroll along the beach.
And while you probably aren’t as accident-prone as me, you also aren’t a psychic who can predict when you’ll need travel insurance.
That’s why you just need to suck it up, put your big girl (or boy) pants on, and purchase some decent travel insurance.
But what is the best travel insurance out there?
Personally, I LOVE World Nomads Travel Insurance!
Not only do they cover you in almost any country that you might want to visit, (besides SUPER offbeat places like Pakistan), but they provide an amazing level of coverage, make it easy to customize your plan, and even let you extend/change your policy while you’re traveling,
But, how do you know what plan to get?
If all your gear is worth less than $1000, purchase the basic plan.
If you’re a travel blogger like me and carry a camera, laptop, tablet, and phone, all of which cost well over a $1000, then the explorer plan is the way to go since it will reimburse you for any gear that is lost or stolen while you travel (Both plans offer emergency medical coverage of up to $100,000).
So, my wantanabe of wanderlust:
Go forth, buy travel insurance, and be the awesome traveler that I know you are.
You did it! You made it to the end of my itinerary for 3 days in Valencia, Spain!
I hope you feel a mild sense of accomplishment and now feel comfortable enough to plan the perfect weekend itinerary for Valencia.
So, if you’re ready to start planning your trip to Valencia, then pin this now and read it again later!
About Valentina’s Destinations:
Valentina’s Destinations was born out of my need to meticulously research, organize, and plan all of my own travel itineraries. I’m originally from Nis, Serbia, but my family moved to the US when I was young. Since then, I’ve been living in Chicago and traveling the world with my boyfriend, Remigijus. When we’re not traveling, I work as a physician assistant in the field of psychiatry since the mental health field is just as rewarding as traveling to me.