When we think of Spain, we often think of vibrant Barcelona or energetic Madrid. All too often, we forget that Valencia has a lot to offer those who are willing to venture further south. Valencia is Spain’s third largest city. It gracefully mixes old with new thus giving it a special feel. If Valencia is not on your Spanish bucket list, it should be. Here are my top five bucket list ideas for Valencia, Spain.
Wander the Central Square – Plaza De La Reina
Like any grand European city, Valencia’s old town is beautifully maintained for all to enjoy. Find a shady spot and people watch. Wander down hidden alleyways and discover that tapas restaurant without any tourists. Gaze up at the architecture. Valencia mixes medieval gothic and Moorish styles without missing a beat. You won’t be disappointed.
Visit the Holy Grail in Valencia’s Cathedral
The cathedral, located in the old town, is beautiful and well worth a visit despite the fact that it houses what is believed to be the real Holy Grail. Legend has it that the cup traveled from Rome centuries ago to its present location. When the Moors arrived in Southern Spain, the cup was hidden for hundreds of years. In 1427, the cup returned from hiding.
Be a Kid at the City of Arts and Sciences
By far, this was my favorite place in all of Valencia. I could have easily spent my entire vacation here. There are actually six parts to this city in a city. If you enjoy architecture as much as I do, this place will blow you away! It is a must-see!
Enjoy the Beaches
Valencia’s strategic location makes it an ideal beach/city vacation. The beaches are wide, clean, and not crowded. We were fortunate with the weather during our three days in Valencia. Enjoying our time on the beach added to our family’s memories of Spain.
Valencia gave birth to paella and it is as good as it gets. Paella can be found on practically every corner restaurant. However, to find really good paella, ask the locals for recommendations. We were lucky enough to have an amazing restaurant directly underneath our Airbnb rental. With a good glass of wine, eating paella in Valencia is life altering.
Valencia will always be a special place for our family. If you are planning to visit Spain, consider a stop in Valencia. You won’t regret it.