Take a journey to the beautiful Spanish coast of Valen(theh)ia Spain. One of the best and 3rd largest metropolitan cities in the country. Last year I had the opportunity to spend 4 months learning about the culture, language and exploring some of the best touristic places and non-touristic gems I would love to share with you.
The weather in Valencia is extremely hot in the summer months, and can get very chilly between December-March. Although it doesn't snow and wont reach beyond 5 degrees in the winter months, In the summer it can reach 25-45 degrees, so load on that SPF 100 sunscreen and stay hydrated.
People generally dress very casual in Valencia, and comfortable. Mostly because of the extreme heat and relaxed lifestyle, Spaniards also spend most of their time in a bathing suit at the beach. If your travelling on holidays for the summer, bring lots of shorts, skirts, light-weight dresses and jeans for the night. Good news is Valencia is not "uneven" for walking around the streets, its mostly flat, so feel free to bring stilettos and pumps if you must.
What todo in the City of Valencia?
Although this city might be small compared to Madrid, it is comfortable to get around and see the most it has to offer.
The best shopping districts in Valencia are located in Colon, with the most incredible escalators towering inside the metro, that open to many shops to explore (Mango, Pull and Bear, H&M, Zara, Bershka) to name a few of my favourites.
Must Have food
When you come to Valencia, you have to try the Paella. Which is a Spanish dish of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, etc., cooked and served in a large shallow pan. I substituted the rice for small noodles and it was amazing! You can even order the black Paella which is made from Octopus ink, haha! if your feeling adventurous. If you want to order the best "take out" paella in Valencia I would recommend Es.Paella, which is located at Carrer de Sant Vicent Màrtir, 16, 46002 València, Spain in EL Carmen.
Another important style of food is the Tapas. So how it works is you take a plate at the restaurant and in a buffet style you can pick finger foods onto your plate (as many as you want) and the prices range from 1 euro to 2.50 euro per item. If you want good food I always recommend trying places away from the city centre.
The most important stations to stop downtown are Xativa, and Colon.
Important Places to Check Out
Valencia is the third largest city in Spain, with lots of important spots you can't miss. One of my favourite places is the Ciudad-Artes-y-Las-Ciencias (Centre of Arts and Sciences). One interesting fact about this place, is the movie Tomorrowland was recently filmed here a few years ago. Inside there is the science centre, more so for family and children to explore. Sometimes they have featured exhibits and concerts.
A unique outdoor building with beautiful palm trees surrounding a magnificent pathway. Underneath the building is a nightclub Mya, which has three disco rooms and some of the best parties in Valencia. On the terrace in Umbracle is an outdoor tourist attraction by day and a nightclub at night. You can go to and from the downstairs Mya on Fridays and Saturdays 12-6am. If you want to avoid paying 10euro cover, you can join the Language Exchange of Valencia https://www.facebook.com/valencialanguage/ and it's also a great way to meet other exchange students, buisness professionals and is meant for all ages.
Beaches in Valencia
Some of the best beaches in Spain are located near the city of Valencia. Here are my favourite spots you must check out.
Malvarrosa Beach, is the main beach for locals and tourists and the closest one to the downtown. It is the largest and most spacious beach you can relax on. The beach is massive and goes on for miles, and is clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. It generally doesn't feel as touristy and has a local vibe.
Directions: If you are travelling from the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias then you can walk to station Marítim - Serrería and then take the #6 direction Tossal del Rei to Las Marina then walk about 9 minutes to the beach front. If you want to arrive even faster, I would recommend renting a bike from Valenbisi, which allows you to travel all across the city and leave it anywhere at a bike charging station. http://www.valenbisi.com/. If you are coming from the downtown, you just need to get on the green line towards Marítim - Serrería. Another totally convenient option is taking the taxi. It would be better if you knew Spanish, because most don't speak much English. But it is really cheap to get around by taxi. Centro to Malvarrosa should only be 10-12 euros or less.
El Saler beach, is located 13 kilometres south of the city. Although it's much easier to get to by car rather than transit.
Port Saplaya beach, is probably one of my favourites and that is because the beach front is picturesque. There are small Spanish shops, restaurants and a beautiful cobblestone boardwalk with palm trees and white sand. There is a hidden gem called "Little Venice" down an alley way near the centre of the beach front. There are little nuts that frow in fields around the area called Chufa or Tiger nuts that make the traditional drink called Horchata, which you must try! You can even add ice cream to it with chocolate. It is also 100% vegan if you don't add milk.
Night Life in Valencia
If you have never been to Spain, but have experienced night life in your own city, get ready for a wilder experience. People typically eat very late in Spain meaning breakfast can be anytime between 8am-3pm or a snack that follows a siesta, and then Lunch at 3pm-5 and then 9-11pm is the usual dinner hour. Partying starts from 2/3am-6am. Definitely different than North American partying hours that start much earlier.
When living in Valencia, I came across some really cool clubs. One is called Mya, which is located underneath the Umbracle building in the city of arts and sciences. It is a 4 room club in the bottom level for ages 18-35, and they usually play a variety of music styles that include Baccata, Reggatone, Hip-hop, top 40 and EDM in separate rooms.
Avinguda de l' Autopista del Saler, 5, 46013 València, Spain
Another club is called High Cube, that is an outdoor barge, with floor levels inside/outside style. Ages 20-35 usually attend the events and it floats on top of the ocean water.
The club usually is open from 12pm-4am everynight at Carrer de la Marina, 5, 46011 València, Spain
Marina Beach Club, is a day/evening club where you can purchase a daybed from 100-150 euros, that includes drinks and meals offered. You also have access to the pool and will have a fantastic view of the ocean without sitting in the sand. They also have a live DJ from 11am-4pm. Age range is from 25-40 and you apparenly are not allowed to wear vibrant neon colours.
Carrer Marina Real Juan Carlos I, s/n, 46011 Valencia, Spain
Moon is another unique night club that is very typical Spanish. You can dance the baccatta, rigatoni and salsa dancing. It is a very fun and energetic place for all ages.
Calle San Vicente, 200, 46015 Valencia, Spain
If clubbing isnt your fancy, you could explore the life downtown Valencia. There are tones of bars, live music, and night owls around the city. Go ride your bike across in Le Jardin Del Turia, (Turia station) where the path leads you across the entire city. There is really lots todo in the city of Valencia, maybe take a walk along the beach front at night, go for a hike up the Valencian mountains, enjoy a nice picnik near a bridge or wander by foot and you never know what you might see. People in Valencia are so friendly and are always ready to have a good time.
Take the metro line to the station XATIVA, it is one of the main spots to start your adventure downtown. You can access shopping, food venues, the train station and more. The magnificent Plaza de Torros is located here, with amazing views.
If you want Spanish charm and the metropolitan city, I would highly recommend visiting this amazing destination. Its easy to get around, affordable and one of my top favourites you must put on your bucket list.
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