Thinking about spending 2 days in Valencia?
Valencia tends to get overlooked as a tourist destination, with visitors flocking to Madrid or Barcelona instead. But that’s a shame because this beautiful city – the 3rd largest in Spain – is filled with attractions both old and new.
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It has some of the most diverse architecture you’ll ever see – a curious mix of Moorish, Gothic, Rococo, and Art Nouveau! The historic Old Town is beautiful and compact, so it’s easy to explore on foot.
And it has a distinctly modern side, with interactive museums housed in breathtakingly unique buildings.
The weather is lovely, averaging around 300 sunny days each year, and there are plenty of places to enjoy it! These include 12 miles of sandy beaches, some within easy reach of the Old Town, and a stunning park dividing the Old Town from the new.
And if all that wasn’t enough, Valencia was the birthplace of paella, everyone’s favorite Spanish dish!
In this guide, we will help you plan your 2 days in Valencia with a detailed itinerary containing the best things to do. We’ll share our tips for some of our favorite places to dine, plus our recommendations for where in the city to stay, whatever your budget.
We recommend buying the Valencia Tourist Card to save money during your weekend in Valencia.
The card gives you free urban transport, free admission to public museums, and discounts in restaurants and shops. You’ll find that it soon pays for itself!
You’ll spend the first of your two days in Valencia exploring some of its most important cultural and historical attractions, including a stop for lunch at the city’s bustling market.
Start your day with a fabulous breakfast at Trencat, a cozy coffee shop located in the city center. The food is delicious and affordable, with plenty of choices, and the coffee is some of the best you’ll taste in Valencia!
Next, it’s just a 5-minute stroll to your first attraction and the city’s most famous landmark – Valencia Cathedral.
Also known as Saint Mary’s Cathedral, it was built in 1238 and is mainly Gothic in style, with touches of Baroque and Romanesque architecture. It is quite beautiful inside, featuring works by local artists and a stunning main altar.
Attached to the building is the ornate El Miguelete belfry, named for its largest bell, Miguel. Inside is a spiral staircase with 207 steps you can climb.
It’s quite a challenge, but the stunning views of the city from the top are worth the effort!
Opening hours for the cathedral vary throughout the year, and entry is €8.00, which includes an audio guide. Tickets are discounted if you have the Valencia Card.
Immediately adjacent to the Cathedral is the lively Plaza de la Virgen, one of the city’s most famous squares.
Marked on one side with the beautiful Fuente del Turia (Turia Fountain), it is a lovely place to stop for a coffee and watch the locals go about their daily business.
There is also some exceptional architecture to admire here, including the Basílica de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats and the Palau de la Generalitat, a 15th-century Gothic palace that is now the seat of government for the Valencia region.
Just steps away from the square is the Almoina Archaeological Museum, the next stop on your itinerary.
Here you can see archaeological remains from various points through the city’s history. These include the ruins of Roman baths and a forum, the baptistery, an apse of a Visigothic cathedral, and part of the alcázar (fortress) from the Muslim period.
For your last stop before lunch, head to La Lonja de la Seda, just 5 minutes away. This UNESCO heritage-listed 15th-century building was once a silk exchange and is beautifully constructed, with lovely rooms and halls to explore.
Be sure to check out the Hall of Columns and its amazing vaulted ceiling. At the time of writing, entry is free, but payment systems are shortly to be implemented.
For lunch, head to the Central Market of Valencia, housed inside a stunning Art Nouveau building.
One of Europe’s largest markets, it has many bars and restaurants where you can enjoy local specialties. Be sure to try Horchata Valenciana, a wonderfully sweet drink made from tiger nuts.
After lunch, take a 10-minute stroll to the El Carmen neighborhood in the northwestern quarter. This lively district is Bohemian in nature, filled with narrow lanes lined with various bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops.
It’s an exciting place to visit, a mixture of beautiful historic buildings and modern-day street art. From here, make your way to the edge of the Old Town to visit the Serranos Towers.
Once part of the city walls that surrounded Valencia, these now mark the northern entrance to the Old Town. For a fee (currently €2) you can climb to the top for spectacular views of the city and river.
Now it’s time to head south and visit the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. This bustling square – popular with locals – is dominated by the neoclassical Town Hall and is also home to the city’s Central Post Office.
Be sure to pop in for a look – it is pretty ornate inside, with a sweeping staircase, columns, and spectacular glass dome roof.
At the end of the afternoon, walk for a few minutes further south to see the Bullring of Valencia. Bullfights are only held here a couple of times a year but the chief attraction is the arena itself.
Built between 1850 and 1859, its design was inspired by Roman architecture, particularly the Colosseum. To learn more about Valencia’s bullfighting heritage, visit the museum next door.
Your weekend in Valencia would not be complete without experiencing the beauty of flamenco dancing. The best place to do this is at La Bulería on Carrer del Bisbe Jaume Pérez, a stunning and intimate restaurant serving fine Mediterranean cuisine.
On the second of your two days in Valencia, you’ll see the modern side of this diverse city, then experiencing some of its natural attractions.
Ciudad Artes Ciencias is considered one of the 12 treasures of Spain, this cultural and architectural complex is Valencia’s top tourist attraction. It is made up of four venues housed in ultra-modern buildings in the former bed of the River Turia.
You can pay to enter each venue individually or buy combined tickets for a reduced rate.
The Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe is a modern interactive science museum. It is very much a ‘hands-on’ experience ideal for both adults and children, where you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about technology, science, and the evolution of life.
Hemisfèric is the entertainment center of the complex, with a 3-in-1 IMAX cinema, laser show, and planetarium. The eye shape of the building was designed to represent the eye of wisdom and gives you 900 square meters of screen to look at!
The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is the complex’s opera and performing arts center. It has a unique avant-garde design, and you can take a guided tour to learn more about the architecture and see the building’s enormous stage.
The final building is L’Oceanogràfic, Europe’s largest aquarium. It is home to the only family of Beluga whales in Europe and contains more than 500 marine species.
You can walk along Europe’s longest underwater tunnel and view the fish swimming all around you, plus visit penguins, walruses, and many more creatures.
Be sure to spend some time in the Jardín del Turia after leaving the City of Arts and Sciences. Formerly the bed of the river Turia that once ran through the city, it is crisscrossed by bridges and a lovely place to go for a walk or simply sit and relax after your busy morning!
There is a vast play area for children and bicycles, segways, and tandems available to hire.
After seeing all the sights of Valencia in 2 days, the best way to finish is by heading to the beach. Playa de la Malvarrosa is the most popular, a kilometer long and just minutes from the Old Town by bus.
In addition to relaxing on the sand, you can enjoy a drink at one of the many beachfront bars. You’ll also find plenty of play equipment for the kids.
Paella originated in Valencia, and the best place to enjoy it in the city is at Tasquita Del Mar, an authentic gem close to the cathedral. The service is great, the drinks are affordable, and the traditional rabbit and chicken paella are exceptional.
Are 2 Days In Valencia Enough?
If you’ve been wondering what to do in Valencia in 2 days, you can see from this itinerary that you can easily cover all of its main attractions.
But it’s important to remember that you will need two full days in the city to see and do everything. If your arrival time is late in the day or your departure time is early, we recommend adding an extra night to your stay.
Where To Stay In Valencia
Valencia is somewhat cheaper to stay in than some of Spain’s other main cities, and it’s easy to find suitable accommodation, whatever your budget.
Best Budget Accommodation
The River Hostel offers excellent value for money, especially considering its fabulous location next to Turia Gardens and just a few minutes’ walk from the cathedral. It has a mixture of private rooms and dorms, with shared bathroom facilities and a spacious common room.
There is an onsite café for breakfast and vending machines for drinks.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation
The Casual de las Artes Valencia is ideally located for exploring Valencia, situated between the Old Town and the architectural complex at the City of Arts and Sciences.
The rooms are spacious and air-conditioned, with a minibar, flat-screen TV, and private bathroom. The decor throughout the building is stylish, with reproductions of famous artwork, and the hotel even boasts a pool, which is a real bonus at this price point!
Best Luxury Accommodation
The five-star Hospes Palau de La Mar is one of the most elegant hotels in the region. This 19th-century building has a great location just 10 minutes from the city center and an excellent spa for relaxing after all that sightseeing!
There is also a gourmet restaurant serving traditional Valencian cuisine made with local produce.
Final Thoughts On This Itinerary For Two Days In Valencia
I hope that this guide has helped you plan your 2 days in Valencia. While the city is packed with things to see and do, its compact size makes it easy to see the best attractions even in a short visit.
Have a wonderful time and enjoy every moment of your stay!
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