What to see and do in Valencia in two days

by | Aug 10, 2023 | Blog, Valencia

A pleasant Mediterranean city
If you just have two days to visit this city, we recommend a route taking you to some of its most famous sights. Get ready for strolls around the pedestrianised city centre, views of the sea, and the classic paella. You’ll want to enjoy every moment in Valencia.

DAY 1:
You can spend the first day in the historic city centre. Take your time discovering all Valencia’s most famous heritage buildings, mainly in the Gothic style. You can do it all in a leisurely walk.
A morning in the historic quarter
Just five minutes’ walk from Plaza del Ayuntamiento, a good start to a day in Valencia is a breakfast of cold horchata with fartons (cakes) in one of the traditional horchaterías on Plaza de la Reina. It’s a local speciality, but more importantly… it’s delicious! While you’re in one of the city’s prettiest and busiest squares, enjoy the atmosphere, buy an ice cream in an unusual flavour, and admire the silhouette of the Cathedral and the belltower, known as “el Miguelete” and one of the symbols of Valencia.

Did your breakfast fill you with energy? In less than 5 minutes you can reach Plaza de la Virgen, with another view of the Cathedral, and the Basilica of La Virgen de los Desamparados. Now it’s time to have a look inside the Cathedral (did you know the Holy Grail is supposed to be here?) and climb the 207 steps of the Miguelete tower (51 metres tall) for a really unforgettable view.
Back at ground level, you’re very close to the curious Plaza Redonda, a circular space surrounded by traditional craft shops and tapas bars, and another star attraction, the Valencia Silk Exchange, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Visiting the Lonja and the Mercado Central
Time for some tapas. Many people regard the 15th-century Lonja de la Seda or Silk Exchange as the prettiest sight in Valencia. We recommend going inside to see its delicate spiral columns and peaceful courtyard full of orange trees. Opposite, you will surely notice the striking Art Nouveau architecture of the food market, Mercado Central. As stunning as the exterior is, the real experience is inside. There are over 1200 stands selling food and drink of every kind, and the colours and scents of fruit, vegetables and spices are overwhelming.

Left: Interior of La Lonja / Centre: Miguelete Bell Tower / Right: Central Market in ValenciaLeft: Interior of La Lonja / Centre: Miguelete Bell Tower / Right: Central Market in Valencia

As you will undoubtedly be feeling hungry by now, you can take the opportunity to have lunch in the market’s Central Bar with a menu based on the fresh seasonal produce all around you. Alternatively, you can take a table at one of the many bars and restaurants on the stairs around the Lonja, Plaza del Collado, Plaza del Negrito or Calle Caballeros to try clóchinas al vapor (mussels), tellinas (clams), esgarraet (pepper salad), patatas bravas, etc.

Afternoon in the Turia Gardens and cool evening
After a good lunch, you might like a stroll in the Turia Gardens. Five minutes from Plaza de la Virgen, you’ll find the magnificent 14th-century Serranos Towers. From here you can enter the Turia Gardens, a park that winds nine kilometres along the former course of the river Turia. A lot of people like to cycle from end to end! If you’re an art lover, you could stop along the way at the Valencia Institute of Modern Art (IVAM), with artists like Julio González and Ignacio Pinazo among its collections.

Tourists at the Serrano Towers in ValenciaTourists at the Serrano Towers in Valencia
If you still have the time and energy, you could pass by the National Ceramics Museum just to see its very photogenic façade. Otherwise, it’s time to look for a place to have dinner and a drink, on a square in the charming Carmen district or the trendy Ruzafa neighbourhood.



The Gothic Cathedral is Valencia’s most important religious building, and its tower, “el Miguelete”, is one of the symbols of the city.

DAY 2:
Today we’ll explore two very different sides of Valencia: avant-garde architecture in the City of Arts and Sciences, and the seafront, bathed in the inimitable light of the Mediterranean.

A morning in the City of Arts and Sciences
You can reach this innovative cultural complex, designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava, by walking or cycling through the Turia Gardens. But as you already did that yesterday, you could take a bus instead (EMT line 95), or the metro (the Alameda stop is about 15 minutes from the site).
You’ll want to set aside the whole morning to see the Palau de les Arts, the Ágora, the Hemisfèric (an Imax cinema), the Science Museum and the Oceanogràfic (Europe’s largest aquarium). If you’re travelling with children and you don’t have time to see everything, the aquarium is the best option (another day you could take them to see the Bioparc).

Left: City of Arts and Sciences / centre: Paella on an open fire / Right: Tourists on Valencia beach.Left: City of Arts and Sciences / centre: Paella on an open fire / Right: Tourists on Valencia beach.

A paella by the sea
You must be thinking… I’ve been in Valencia since yesterday and I still haven’t had a paella. The local dish par excellence is always delicious, but accompanied by a sea view, it’s a thousand times better. It takes about half an hour on bus line 95 to reach the Marina and El Cabanyal-Las Arenas beach (or Malvarrosa beach in summer, if you fancy a swim) where you can enjoy an authentic Valencian paella or a stew of freshly-caught fish. There are several regular bus lines (1, 2, 19, 31 and 32) and some special summer lines to Valencia’s beaches.

A spectacular sunset at La Albufera Natural Park
For a really special sunset in Valencia you should get out of the city centre and go to La Albufera Natural Park, just over 10 kilometres away. Here you’ll find wild beaches and dunes, rice paddies, and a huge lake where you can take a boat ride and watch the sun go down in a blaze of colour. If you don’t have a car, it takes about half an hour to get here on EMT bus line 25 or the Albufera Tourist Bus.

La Albufera Natural ParkLa Albufera Natural Park
Don’t forget your camera, because you’ll take some of the most beautiful photos of the trip. If you have more than 2 days, we recommend spending a whole day exploring this area, especially in summer if you want a day at the beach.

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