Our plane lands when the sun is about to set and it’s dark by the time we take a cab to the heart of Valencia’s old town. Since we’re right in the city center we have to walk through a few alleys before we get to our apartment Citizentral Juristas. Using a ‘check-in machine’ we get access to our room. Although this sounds special it actually is a great and spacious place to spend a couple of days. We’re having tapas for dinner tonight. A lovely little place called Jamon Jamon is where we start our weekend in Valencia.
Tour through the center of Valencia
The next day we start by exploring the old town. Not before we have some breakfast at a place called Federal. Both tourists and locals seem to enjoy this spot. Once we decided on what route to take, Mercado Central is our first destination. It’s one of the biggest and oldest markets in Europe. You can pretty much get everything you want in terms of food. Dried fish, Iberico ham, vegetables: they’ve got it. The great thing is that you can taste it as well before buying. The building itself is spectacular as well. The beautiful stained-glass and dome in the center are really pretty. After we’ve seen enough of the market we head to La Lonja de la Seda. This used to be the epicenter of silk trading back in the days. Today it’s a museum with some orange trees in their lovely little courtyard.
You do get hungry from all this sightseeing. We heard about a rooftop restaurant called Petit Bistro. When we got to the door it turned out that only hotel guests could enter. We then decided to go back to the other Petit Bistro where we just came from. Luckily there was one table left where we had a nice lunch out in the sun.
Agua de Valencia aperitif
Our last stop for the day was the former city gate towers. After paying €2,00 and quite a steep climb up on the stairs you’re rewarded with a magnificent view of Valencia. After a short stroll through the park, we sat down in a cocktail bar for an Agua de Valencia. This famous local cocktail consists of cava, vodka, gin and orange juice and is a must when you spend a weekend in Valencia.
The park and the beach in Valencia
Breakfast was served at Brunch Corner – Sant Bult the next morning. Some lovely pancakes with fresh orange juice gave us enough energy for the day. Valencia’s Turia park is pretty special. Since the Turia river is notorious for its floods they started a diversion project. The old course of the river has been turned into an 11 kilometers long park. Locals use this park to jog, take a walk, bike or play any other sport. The outdoor-fitness equipment is being used on a regular basis. Lots of people are here to train their biceps and the rest of their body. It’s great fun to look at and you even want to participate. Wearing a skirt doesn’t help though.
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Supping in the park
We continue our journey towards the beach. Before we’re there we’re passing by the modern buildings of the City of arts and sciences. Next to the beautiful architecture, you can also have some good old fun in and around the water. You can hop on a small boat, sup around or control an electric toy boat. If you fancy something more active you can jump in a big airball on the artificial lake and try to walk on water. While I was there no one managed to stand up and walk. We then reach the end of the park. Since it’s a bit of a walk from here to the beach we take a cab that happens to stop right in front of us.
La Más Bonita restaurant
Our taxi drops us off at a restaurant called La Más Bonita. Since there is a bit of hipster Ibiza vibe a lot is written about this beach club. This does mean it’s busy with a lot of tourists and we have to wait a bit. After about half an hour there is a spot available in the ‘garden’. While the food was ok we really don’t know why this restaurant is so popular. After strolling around the boulevard of Valencia we took an Uber back to the old town. This is where we got a lovely cocktail at Cafe Las Horas with its red walls and extravagant decor.
What a wonderful weekend in Valencia
The last day of the weekend in Valencia merely consists of shopping and simply enjoying the city. We have some pinchos for lunch and grab a coffee in the pretty park. What a wonderful weekend in Valencia. The city has got it all: culture, amazing building, a park, a beach, lovely people and delicious food!