Valencia Itinerary 3 Days
Find out where paella was born in this short guide on what to do in Valencia in 3 days, a town that creates a perfect mix between modern and ancient.
It’s a place to get lost in the alleys of the old town, and maybe find yourself again, stopping in one of the many places to eat some tapas.
The best advice I can give you is to read this guide and then forget the navigator, the maps and simply enjoy the city, the alleys and have fun finding churches and fountains.
Delve into the city of arts and sciences to learn more about this modern complex.
What do you say, would you like to find out what to do in 3 day Valencia itinerary?
Stand do you agree I’d say that we’re wasting further precious time and getting to work right away!
In the article you will also find a map of the places I suggest you visit which, if you wish, you can use it to orient yourself during the visit.
Day 1: itinerary in the historic center of Valencia
PS: one of the best ways to start exploring the city is to take part in a free walking tour with a local guide.
This will help you both to get your bearings and to get some interesting information about the city.
Connect to the official free tour page and find out if there is still availability for your dates.
1: Torres de Quart and Serranos
Crossing the threshold of the historic center of Valencia by going through the door that connects the two towers of Serranos or those of Quart, immediately puts you in the right mood to visit the city.
These towers are two old walls, which represented the entrances to the city.
The Torres de Serranos is better preserved than the Torres de Quart, but both are worth a visit for views over the old town.
Both consist of 3 practicable floors, on which you can go up (for €2 – free with the Valencia Tourist Card ) to enjoy a panoramic view of the city, thanks to the terraces facing the historic centre.
They constituted the ancient wall through which it was possible to access the city.
Once you’ve seen it from above, it’s time to discover the city.
Direction? Cathedral, in search of the Holy Grail (seriously!).
Read on to find out what else you can’t miss in Valencia in 3 days.
2: The cathedral of Valencia: a must see
The cathedral of Valencia is not only a beautiful place outside to take some pictures.
On the contrary, going inside to see the paintings is a must if you pass by here.
But the most fascinating, and perhaps controversial, part is the Chapel of the Holy Chalice.
Inside, in fact, the Holy Grail is kept : here is the chalice which is said to have been used by Jesus to institute the Holy Eucharist during the last supper.
Nothing proven, but inside the Valencia Cathedral you will find a cup covered in gold and precious stones (including 2 rubies and 2 emeralds).
3: The Turia Fountain and the Virgin Square
The “Fuente del Túria” is one of the symbols of Valencia, both because it is located in the same square where the Cathedral (Plaza de la Virgen) is located, and for what it represents.
In the center of the fountain is a large statue of a reclining man, positioned there to symbolize the Turia River.
The man carries an important symbol of the city in his hand: the cornucopia, the horn of plenty with fruit and vegetables.
All around this statue and surrounded by water, there are 8 statues of women, all with an amphora, from which water flows.
These 8 representations symbolize the 8 channels that receive water from the Turia river and thanks to which it is possible to irrigate the countryside around Valencia.
4: The Garden of the Turia
The Turia Garden, or Jardín del Túria, is an immense urban park that extends over 9 kilometers, a short walk from the center of Valencia.
The park develops on the bed of the old Turia River, which has been diverted to avoid the continuous flooding of the city.
Today it is a real green lung for the city and an earthly paradise for everyone: for those who want to lie down on the grass and listen to the parrots, for those who want to read a book, they will find several at the foot of the trees, and for those who desire for a walk or jog in nature.
If you have children with you, however, you can easily reach Gulliver Park (inside the Túria Garden) where you will find a 70-metre-long sculpture of the giant Gulliver, protagonist of the story “Gulliver’s Travels”.
It’s easy to understand why it’s one of the most famous parks in the city and why you can’t leave it out of the things to see in Valencia in 3 days!
5: Lonja de la Seda (the silk market)
It is one of the most important structures in Spain and certainly in Valencia, not for nothing a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But, what is it about? Although it was built before the discovery of America, it is an extremely well preserved building.
“Lonja” literally means loggia: it is under these arcades that numerous traders met to negotiate the prices of their goods.
Inside you can admire several spectacular halls with columns, representations of all kinds and writings reminding traders to be honest.
You can access for €2 (free with the Valencia Tourist Card ), or by taking part in a guided tour of the city and the Lonja de la Seda, a choice I recommend if you want to explore this World Heritage building in your 3-day itinerary in Valencia.
6: Central Market and Colon Market
One of the things to see in Valencia are the two local markets : in one, the Mercado Central, located a stone’s throw (literally) from the Lonja de la Seda, you can buy fresh and local products, or treat yourself to a snack based on Jambon Iberico .
Be warned though: Valencia’s central market closes at 3pm.
The Mercado de Colon, on the other hand, is ideal if you want to sit down and eat something at a table.
It consists of several rooms on 2 floors, but in the lower part you can find a fishmonger, a butcher and a fruit stall.
7: The Town Hall Square
Walking through the city, I found myself in front of a fountain.
This is how I discovered the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the town hall square, and the central fountain.
Around the fountain you’ll see some historic buildings, including the town hall and post office building the Edificio de Correos y Telegrafo – the ideal place if you have a postcard to send (or the ideal excuse to send one).
Day 2: the City of Arts and Sciences
If you have leafed through some guides on Valencia, you will have read this sentence several times: “ In Valencia you will find a perfect mix between modernity and history ”.
Indeed there is no better definition to describe this city.
Modernity is represented above all by the City of Arts and Sciences (the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències): a complex of 6 bizarre as well as modern structures, in which a very specific theme develops in each of them: the Oceanographic, the science museum, the Hemisfèric, the Queen Sofia Palace of Arts, the Agora and the Umbracle.
But don’t worry: names only complicate things! Read the next paragraphs and look at the photos of the attractions to choose which of these to include in your itinerary of what to see in 3 days in Valencia.
Tickets for the City of Arts and Sciences
PS: each attraction within the City of Arts and Science has a different cost.
If you intend to visit at least 2 of these attractions, I suggest you buy the combined ticket online, valid for 2 days, to get a cheaper price.
Here are the rates for each attraction:
- The ticket to the Oceanogràfic, the aquarium of Valencia, costs €31.90
- It costs €8 to enter the Hemisféric
- The entrance to the Principe Felipe Science Museum also costs €8
- The Umbracle, on the other hand, is free.
Hours : Valencia City of Science is open from 10am to 7pm.
Where it is: the address of the City of Arts and Sciences is Av. del Professor López Piñero, 7, 46013 València, Valencia Click here to open it on Google Maps.
What to see inside the City of Arts and Sciences
1: Oceanografic: the aquarium of Valencia
The oceanographic of Valencia is one of the 6 structures that make up the City of Arts and Sciences: it is a large marine park, the largest in Europe in fact, with an equally large aquarium.
Here you can take a leap into the Arctic, seeing penguins and puffins with your own eyes; see the depths of the Mediterranean Sea and those of the Ocean; enter an aviary and see the pink flamingos up close (be careful where you step, they could shit on your head), eat in the underwater restaurant and watch a choreographed dolphin show.
You can purchase single entry tickets to the Oceanographic online here.
2: The science museum
The science museum is the second building you will come across after the oceanographic.
It is not the usual museum in which to simply observe: this is a museum in which to touch, test, try.
A kind of playground for young and old.
On the top floor of the museum, in fact, you will find several stations where you can admire science in action: you will be able to step on a special scale, which will make a cylinder of water fill with the exact amount of water that is in your body; you will be able to take a standing jump and see if you are as strong as a cheetah; you will be able to test how difficult it is to keep your balance on an unstable surface and you will be able to go to Mars.Inside the Science Museum you will also find the Foucault pendulum, constantly in motion, demonstrating the rotation of the Earth (flat earthers, sorry to disappoint you…).
Find entrance tickets to the science museum on this page for less than €10.
You will easily notice the Hemisfèric inside the City of Arts and Sciences: it is located next to the science museum, has a spherical shape and is in the center of a pool of water.
This kind of very shallow pool is useful for 2 things: the first is to rent a small boat and be able to go for a ride, while the second is to make the structure look like an eye when the lights of the structure come on in the evening, reflecting itself in the clear waters that surround it.
Inside the Hemisfèric, you will be able to attend the projection of some three-dimensional films, projected on a circular structure: when purchasing the ticket, you will have to choose which film to see and based on that, show up 15 minutes before the screening.
You can choose between different universe or nature themed programs.
It’s actually not something you shouldn’t miss inside the City of Arts and Sciences, it’s nice, futuristic on the outside, but the advanced reality can definitely be improved (perhaps with better movies?).
On this page you can buy the ticket and see the schedules, which change according to the period.
The single ticket costs around €8.
4: Queen Sofia Palace of Arts
It is perhaps the most beautiful building in the entire City of Arts and Sciences, so futuristic that it looks like a ship from another planet.
In this structure there are 4 theaters, where theatrical, musical and dance performances take place.
The Umbracle is free to enter.
So you won’t need any tickets (and luckily I would add!!).
It is a long tree-lined avenue of about 300 meters, where there are palm trees, plants and flowers of all kinds, but all from Spain.
Here you can also walk in the evening, when the lights are turned on and have a panoramic view of the City of Arts and Sciences from the panoramic terraces.
It was the last section built within the City of Arts and Sciences.
Looking at it from the outside, it reminded me of a whale with its mouth closed emerging from the ground (someone else thinks it’s a mussel instead).
This palace is used to host sporting events, but can only be visited during these events.
As already mentioned, what I suggest you do is buy the combined ticket at a cost of €39.10, valid for several days to be able to visit 3 attractions and save money.
To deepen your visit to Valencia, however, I suggest you stay here for at least 4 days, dedicating 2 of these to the City of Arts.
Day 3: La Albufera, around Valencia
It might seem strange to answer those who want to know what to see in Valencia, indicating rice fields, but what better place to visit near Valencia than the one where paella was born?
In the Albufera Natural Park you will find rice fields, boats, fishermen, birds and many restaurants where you can eat the original paella.
It is not a place for mass tourism, or at least, not as much as we are used to.
The Albufera National Park is simply a place to be respected.
Here the tourists who feel dissatisfied have not had the opportunity to understand the authenticity of the place.
More than 70% of the National Park consists of green rice fields where rice is grown, the main ingredient of paella; here the herons take sustenance from the fields and the fishermen go out with their nets, hats and wooden oars.
If you are looking for a truly authentic experience, I suggest you book a 4×4 excursion and boat ride here.
What to do in the Albufera
On this lake you can take a boat ride for €4 per person, eat excellent paella in El Palmar and stroll along the paths just a stone’s throw from the water.
Boat tours depart mainly from El Palmar and Mirador d’El Pujol.
This point is also famous for its dreamy sunsets (by boat or on the quay).
You can choose between different routes to do in the area: the historical path of the Gola del Pujol, botanical, of the senses, historical of the Saler and the recreational one.
One caveat: you won’t find these routes easily because unfortunately the directions get a bit lost.
I advise you to park your car at the Mirador d’El Pujol (also called Embarcadero) and just after you will find the entrance to the trails.
I recommend: opt for closed and comfortable shoes because there could be mud.
How to get to the Albufera
The Albufera is approximately 25 km from Valencia.
By car you can easily reach it by following the directions on your navigator.
I’ll reassure you immediately: yes, you can also reach it by public transport.
You can do it via lines 24 and 25 of the EMT city buses.
Line 24 goes to El Palmar and line 25 to El Perellonet from the center of Valencia, in less than an hour at a cost of €1.50 each way.
You can get off at the Embarcadero or El Palmar stops and enjoy a traditional boat ride on Lake L’Albufera.
Another way to enjoy your trip to the Albufera Natural Park is by booking this excursion (select the afternoon time slot to enjoy the sunset).
On this bus, you will enjoy a complete visit to the Albufera Natural Park, discovering the rice fields but not only.
The beaches of Valencia
Just after the port of Valencia, you can enjoy a splendid view of the sea.
It is from here that a long avenue that runs along the sea begins, which takes you to the most beautiful beaches of the city, Les Arenas and Malvarrosa, with fine golden sand and clear water.
Accommodation in Valencia
You have several options for choosing where to stay in Valencia: you can opt for accommodation near the historic centre, choosing accommodation in the centre, or something closer to the beaches and the City of Arts and Sciences.
Here are the ones I have selected for you:
- Ad Hoc Carmen (from €59) : if you want to stay in the historic centre;
- Rooms Ciencias (from €68) : if you want to be close to the City of Arts and Sciences ;
- Cool Loft Malvarrosa Beach (from €113) : if you wish to be close to the beach.
Where to eat in Valencia
In Valencia there are not only things to see: if while you are around the city you feel like tasting one of the many Spanish delicacies, you will be spoiled for choice of places to choose: if at breakfast you want to treat yourself to a sweet awakening (in every sense), pop into Horchateria Santa Catalina: a place in the heart of the historic centre, where you can rediscover the Valencian flavors of the past.
For lunch, however, I suggest you stop by the Central Market or the Mercado de colon, to taste the typical Iberian ham (in the form of croquettes or sandwiches).
For the evening, on the other hand, I suggest you eat the REAL Valencian paella in the alleys that begin to fill up with tables at sunset, the one served still in the pan, based on rabbit or chicken.
You can treat yourself to some tapas or an actual dinner.
Remember: in Valencia you don’t have lunch before 2 pm and dinner after 10 pm. Except at the market, where you can also have lunch very early.
But don’t worry, you’ll soon get used to the gentle Spanish rhythms!
Here, these are the things to do in Valencia in 3 days, according to my experience.
Taste the original paella and enjoy the contrast between old and new.
Have a nice trip and thank you for relying on the advice of BonAdvisor.