Home of the most famous Spanish dish, Paella Valenciana, and one of the most spectacular examples of modern architecture – the City of Arts and Sciences – this sunny Spanish city has everything you could dream of for a Spanish holiday. Nice weather, beach, epic food and good old-fashioned Spanish charm. Every guide will tell you to visit the Cathedral, but we will elevate your trip with 5 unusual things to do in Valencia to enjoy it like a local.
5 unusual things to do in Valencia to enjoy it like a local
- 1. An unusual yet epic thing to do in Valencia: Picnic by the Arts and Sciences museum
- 2. A very active unusual thing to do in Valencia: Rent a bike and explore the Turia Gardens
- 3. Free walking tour to unveil the secrets of the main landmarks
- 4. A very local things to do in Valencia: Grocery shopping in Mercado Central
- 5. And the most unusual thing to do in Valencia: Enjoy an Almuerzo like the locals
1. An unusual yet epic thing to do in Valencia: Picnic by the Arts and Sciences museum
Head to the closest charcuterie place you can find and get ready for a picnic with one of the most stunning views you can find in the city of Valencia.
Serrano ham, fuet, pan con tomate, olives, some lovely Valencian wine… grab your blanket, find some shade in the park surrounding the museum, and treat yourself to a rustic picnic with the most modern background.
2. A very active unusual thing to do in Valencia: Rent a bike and explore the Turia Gardens
Once upon a time, the river Turia crossed the city of Valencia on its way to the sea. Unfortunately, after a terrible storm, there were huge floods and the city was a mess.
They decided to redirect the river so it will not happen again, and the dry area in the city that was once the river became a wonderful garden.
Explore these gardens from one side to the other and discover the wonders within it like Gulliver (the most epic playground), the City of Arts and Sciences, Palau de la Música and all the lively and lovely areas of this epic city garden.
3. Free walking tour to unveil the secrets of the main landmarks
There’s no better way to get a feel of a city than having someone spill the beans on the historical anecdotes, unusual facts and major events that took place near the main landmarks.
There are free walking tours starting in Plaza de la Virgen, covering all the main buildings nearby including the Cathedral, Miguelete, Llotja de la Seda and so on.
4. A very local things to do in Valencia: Grocery shopping in Mercado Central
Mercado Central is one of the most beautiful buildings in Valencia and houses some of the most delicious foods you’ll find.
This farmers’ markets is a great example of all the Spanish yumminess. Meats, seafood, olives, charcuterie, cheeses, vegetables… all top quality. You name it, you will find it in Mercado Central.
Head to Mercado Central any morning from Monday to Saturday before 3 pm and get everything you need to turn any meal into a remarkable one with authentic Spanish flavours.
- If you are looking for a place to stay in Valencia on a budget Venecia Plaza Centro, a basic but functional hotel located right in the City Hall Square and just a short 3 minute walk from the tube and train stations. Have a look here>
- If what you need is a special occasion hotel do not miss Palacio Vallier, a reconverted nineteenth century palace. Have a look here>
5. And the most unusual thing to do in Valencia: Enjoy an Almuerzo like the locals
Almuerzo in Valencia is a meal in between breakfast and lunch that will, however, probably make you skip lunch and go directly into siesta.
Many bars in the city offer an almuerzo menú between 10 to 12 pm. It includes a drink, a bocadillo (baguette), a coffee, and it costs around 5€.
What is unique about this meal is that to decide what to have in your bocadillo, you normally head to the bar and they have on display all the ingredients for you to pick: tortilla, sausages, cheeses, peppers, calamari… the only limit is your imagination, and, well, the bread’s loading limit before it breaks.
Some bars offering almuerzo in the city are:
- La Pérgola (Paseo de la Alameda, 1)
- La Peseta (Carrer del Crist del Grau, 16), Puerta del Mar (Carrer dels Transits, 4, Valencia)
- Casa Montes (Plaça del Bisbe Amigó, 5, Valencia)
- Bar Mestalla (Calle Poeta Micer Mascó, 25, Valencia)
But there are many more. Just watch out for a sign outside the bars that says “Almuerzo” or “Esmorzaret”.
We hope with this list of unusual things to do in Valencia your trip will feel less like a tourist trap and more like a local adventure!
Save money on your trip to Spain to experience all the unusual things to do in Valencia!
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