The 27 best sights of Valencia – description and photos

Top 15 Valencia attractions: detailed overview, photos, description, map

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and one of the most beautiful European cities . Valencia is beautiful at any time of year. It is a city that will impress you with its outstanding historic architecture, ultra-modern buildings, pleasant climate and sunny green parks.

Most of Valencia’s attractions are within walking distance of the historic center . The only exceptions are a few marvellous natural spots which are not too shy to spend a little time visiting.

For your convenience while visiting the city, keep a map of the sights of Valencia. Note that all of Valencia’s main attractions are concentrated in the center of the city within walking distance of each other. The exception is the City of Arts and Sciences, which will have to be reached by public transport (about 15 minutes by bus from the center).

Valencia sightseeing map

15 Valencia sights

1. City of Arts and Sciences

La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is an architectural complex that has become a true symbol of the city and the modern face of Valencia. It was designed in 1996 by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrave and is now an outstanding example of modern architecture. This futuristic landmark of Valencia is suitable for both cultural enrichment and entertainment.

The cultural and entertainment complex, which will impress you with its combination of dazzling white and azure blue, includes several buildings:

  • L’Hemisfèric: IMAX cinema, planetarium, laser theater
  • El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe: Science Museum
  • El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía: Opera house.
  • L’Hemisfèric: IMAX movie theater, planetarium
  • L’Umbracle: Gallery and botanical garden.
  • L’Oceanogràfic: oceanographic park.

A visit to the science museum costs €8.00, the planetarium €8.80. It is possible to buy combinations of tickets to several places. Opening hours are from 10 a.m. to p.m. (usually until 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to 8 p.m. depending on the day). More information on the official website.

City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia: Sights in Valencia

2. oceanographic park

The city of arts and sciences is home to the largest Oceanarium in Europe, which means this is a sight not to be missed in Valencia. The Oceanogràfic covers 110,000 square metres and is a truly magnificent experience. There are 500 different species of animals (40,000 specimens) including sharks, penguins, giant jellyfish, dolphins, seals and walruses.

The animals are kept in 9 aquatic aquariums shaped like towers . Oceanographic Park includes above and underground levels, many tunnels and panoramic viewing planes, which create the effect of presence. For example, you are sure to be impressed with a 35-meter glass tunnel with huge sharks. All kinds of inhabitants of the tropical seas and polar oceans are represented in the marine areas. There is also a mangrove area, a garden with more than 80 different species of plants and even a dolphinarium!

The cost of a visit to the oceanarium is 29,10 €, you can buy combined tickets with other sites of the City of Arts and Sciences. Opening hours: every day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (check the official website for the exact time).

Oceanographic Park in Valencia

3. Central Market

Another key attraction of Valencia, which reflects the gastronomic preferences of the inhabitants of the city, is the Central Market (Mercado Central) . Built in the historic center of Valencia, it was one of the best examples of Valencia’s modernist architecture. The facade looks more like a cathedral than a marketplace. The Mercado Central is the largest market in Europe and focuses on the sale of fresh produce.

The square is divided into two big pavilions: the first one sells fruits and vegetables and the second one fish and seafood. Here you can buy typical Valencian products for a relatively cheap price, but the sheer number of tourists will hardly allow you a free stroll between the stalls. The Central Market in Valencia is open from 8 to 14.30 Monday through Saturday. Admission is free.

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Central Market

4. the silk exchange

Opposite the central market is one of Valencia’s most beautiful landmarks, the Lonja de la Seda (silk exchange). This building is a unique example of late Gothic architecture and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Its construction began at the end of the 15th century and lasted during the first half of the 16th century, becoming the first commercial center in Valencia. Within its walls were farming deals in rice, cattle, fodder, flour, seeds, pulses, soap and chocolate. That’s why this landmark of Valencia is also referred to as the “Trade Exchange”. The name “Silk Exchange” stuck because silk cloth from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century was the most powerful industry of the city.

Today the silk exchange in Valencia is open to the public as a museum, so the old interiors of the building will surely help you to feel the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9.30 to 19.00 and on Sunday until 15.00. Visiting the museum costs 2 euros, on Sundays and public holidays – for free.

Silk Exchange

5. Town Hall Square

A few meters from the Stock Exchange is Town Hall Square, the main administrative square of the city (La plaza del Ayuntamiento) . The square is surrounded by modernist buildings, which were built in the first half of the 20th century. At the head of the architectural composition is the town hall with its colorful clock tower (Ayuntamiento de Valencia), which is made in the Baroque style and covers an area of more than 6,000 square meters. Nearby is another landmark of Valencia – the monumental Palace of Communications (Palacio de correos y telégrafos) .

The town hall square is the scene of the traditional Valencian festival of lights, the Fayas, which takes place in March and is most celebrated in Valencia. Every year between March 1st and 19th there is a huge pyrotechnical show in the middle of the square, which is why the whole town gathers there. Every last Sunday of the month, Town Hall Square is completely pedestrian from 10:00 to 20:00.

Town Hall Square

6. North Station and the Bullring

Even if you are not planning to travel by train, the main railway station in Valencia (Estación del Norte) is definitely worth a visit. Its building is a modernist monument of imposing dimensions, the work of the architect Dimitrio Ribes. Its facade is remarkable for its decorative richness and large proportions. Once in the lobby of the station you are transported back in time to the beginning of the century with its old wooden cabinets, decorated ceilings and mosaics.

Next to the North Station is another famous landmark in Valencia, the Bullring La Plaza de Toros. It was built in the mid-nineteenth century and is a striking example of neoclassical architecture. It was built by the Valencian architect Sebastian Monleon Estell. His design was inspired by the Colosseum and Nîmes amphitheaters.

North Station and Bullring: places of interest in Valencia

7. Biopark

If you are visiting the city with children or if you enjoy observing animals yourself, then you must visit one of Valencia’s main natural attractions, the BioParc. The peculiarity of this zoological park is that it lacks the typical barriers between visitors and animals (cages, gates). It gives you the feeling of being in an area where animals live in the wild.

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The Valencia Zoo specializes in African fauna and is divided into 4 zones: dry savannah, wet savannah, forests of equatorial Africa and Madagascar. The zoological park covers an area of 80,000 square meters and hosts 116 animal species (800 specimens) . There is a restaurant with delicious Mediterranean cuisine on the territory of the zoo, where you can continue to watch the animals strolling around you.

The park is quite large, so allow 3-4 hours for a visit. If you plan to see all the sights of Valencia in one day, a visit to the Biopark will probably have to be postponed until the next time. The cost of visiting the zoological park is 23.8 €. The park is open every day from 10.00 until evening (usually until 18.00 and 20.00). See the official website for details.


8. Queen Square and St. Virgin Square

Plaza de la Reina is one of the bustling and lively squares in Valencia. This is a very beautiful square with lots of tourists and a lively atmosphere. The name of the square is dedicated to Queen Maria, the first wife of King Alfonso XII. In this square there are the best tourist cafes and restaurants that will give you a real atmosphere of Valencian Spain.

Nearby Queen Square is another of Valencia’s landmarks – the Plaza de la Virgen. In its center is a fountain, whose main figure symbolizes the river Turia. This square is essentially the heart of Valencia, because it was the beginning of the construction of the city. Around the square there are three main symbols of the city: the Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de Valencia), the Basilica of the Holy Virgin of the Forsaken (La Basílica de la Virgen de los Desamparados) and the Government Palace (el Palacio de la Generalidad).

Queen Square and Santa Maria Square

9. St. Mary’s Cathedral

Near the Queen Square is the main pearl of the city – the Cathedral of Santa Maria (Catedral de Santa María de Valencia), which is one of the most famous sights of Valencia. The temple was built in XII century in the Gothic style with Baroque, Renaissance and Neoclassical elements. Inside the cathedral there is the Holy Grail, which dates back to the first century and was given to the cathedral by King Alfonso the Great in 1436.

If you want to enjoy the panoramic views of the city you must climb the bell tower of the cathedral, the Miguelete Tower, built in the XIV century in Gothic style. It has been the best vantage point in Valencia for centuries and is a true witness to the history of the city. From the top of the bell tower you can see many of the sights of Valencia, but you will have to climb the 207 steps if you want to reach the top.

The cathedral is open from 10.00 to 18.30 and admission costs 7€. The price includes an audio guide, including one in Russian. The Miguelete Tower is open from 10.00 to 19.30, admission costs 2€.

S. Maria's Cathedral - a Valencia landmark

10. El Carmen

After visiting the main squares in Valencia you can take a stroll in the oldest district of the city, El Barrio del Carmen. It’s a fascinating mix of history and contemporary trends in the form of street art and graffiti. Here you can find authentic boutiques for the lovers of vintage clothing. Here is another interesting landmark of Valencia – a miniature cat house (La casa de los Gatos), created in 2003 by sculptor Alfonso Juste Navarro.

In the center of the district of El Carmen is a square with the same name and fountain, headed by the Antiguo Convento del Carmen. Several pedestrian streets converge on this square, making it a meeting point for youth and teenagers on weekends.

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El Carmen district in Valencia

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11. the Towers of Serranos and the Towers of Cuart

Walking around the Carmen area, don’t forget to walk up to the Torres de Serranos . From the 14th century they were part of the gateway guarding the old part of the city from the outside. The Serranos Towers, built in Gothic style, are one of the main icons of Valencia and an invaluable architectural monument. The towers have not managed to cheat time and keep their walls completely intact, but you should not miss the opportunity to climb to the top of them. The panoramic view of the city from there is no less impressive than from the height of the Miguelet Tower.

A 10-minute walk from the Serranos Towers is the Las torres de Quart. These twin towers were also part of the medieval wall that once surrounded the old city. The towers of Cuart are truly enormous, and their size gives us a clear idea of why they were the city’s defensive line. Unlike the towers of the Serranos which are polygonal the Towers of Cuart are cylindrical and in this way you can distinguish these monuments of Valencia from each other.

The Cuart Towers and the Sierranos Towers are open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00 and on Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 14:00. Admission costs 2€, on weekends and Sundays admission is free.

The Towers of the Serranos and the Towers of the Cuart

12. Royal Gardens

The Royal Gardens (Jardines del Real-Viveros) are one of the favorite places for Valencians to spend time outdoors. It is now a modern park and used to be a palace garden. But the gardens still retain the grandeur of past centuries: hedges, fountains, and sculptures make the park truly royal. The real highlight of the park is the rose garden, which presents more than 100 species of roses. Admission is free.

Nearby is the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia, which is not only an architectural masterpiece, but also offers a rich collection of art. The museum is open from 10:00 to 20:00 Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free.

Also in the Royal Gardens is the Natural Sciences Museum (El Museo de Ciencias Naturales) where you can see the best specimens of South American fossils in all of Europe. The museum is open from 10:00 to 19:00 Tuesday through Sunday. The cost of a visit is 2 euros. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays visiting is free from 15.00 to 19.00.

Royal Gardens

13. Promenade of Valencia

It would be an unforgivable mistake to visit the Mediterranean without doing so, so even if it’s cooler, head to the top tourist attraction in Valencia, the Paseo Marítimo. The promenade offers a spectacular view of the golden seashore that fills up with people in the summertime.

Paseo Marítimo stretches along the city beaches and even when it’s cold, the promenade is a very animated tourist spot with many cafés and restaurants where you can sample traditional Valencian dishes. Various sculptures and monuments have been erected along the promenade, adding to the beauty of this picturesque place. In the evening the promenade becomes one of the noisiest places in town with open-air discos.

The seafront of Valencia

14. Turia River Gardens

One of Valencia’s main attractions is the Jardín del Turia . It is a public urban park covering an area of 110 hectares with a length of over 7 km. Currently, more than 3 million people visit the Turia River Gardens each year, making it the most visited park in Spain and one of the largest in Europe. Numerous playgrounds and sports grounds have been built here, fountains have been erected and beautifully landscaped gardens have been arranged. The park has become a regular place for hiking, biking, walking with children and exercising in the fresh air.

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The history of the origins of this city park is extremely interesting. It was founded in 1986 after the flooding of Valencia in the 1960s, which destroyed a large part of the city and led to many victims. The city council decided to change the course and drain the river and at first they wanted to build motorway interchanges in its place. But after numerous protests by citizens who wanted to preserve the natural part of the city, it was decided to create a park and recreational area . The gardens of the Turia River continue from the City of Arts and Sciences to the Biopark.

Turia Gardens

15. Albufera Nature Park

There is nothing more beautiful than spending a day in El Parc Natural de Albufera, which is located 5 km south of Valencia. It is the largest freshwater lake in Spain and a place of great ecological interest. Rare species of aquatic birds winter here, which are included in the Red Book, which is why the place is declared a closed nature reserve.

The rich waters of the lake have traditionally attracted the interest of fishermen and farmers, leading to real gastronomic delights . Be sure to try the delicious fish dishes and authentic Valencian paella. In the afternoon, there’s nothing better than a quiet boat ride on the Albufera, where you can quietly admire the reddish hues of the sunset over the water surface.

Albufera Natural Park

If you haven’t considered visiting Valencia, after reading this article, you’ll probably realize that it’s the perfect city for tourists. The main sights of Valencia can be visited in 1-2 days, but if you want to feel the atmosphere of the city, make sure you stay here at least a week.

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Landmarks of Valencia

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Below are the main attractions of the European city. Getting to know them will help you learn more about the history of Italy.

Porta de Serranos

The building has been preserved since the 14th century. The gate was used as a defensive structure. They were used to attack enemy troops. Earlier in the towers were stored museum pieces, among them a collection of clothes Prado.

Address: Plaza Fueros, 1.

Mode of operation: Tue – Wed, Sat. – from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Fri-Sun. – 3 to 7 p.m., Mon-Fri. – Mon-Fri.

The nearest bus stop is Torres dels Serrans – Comte de Trenor, buses 3, 28 and 95 go there.

The Towers of Cuart

The towers defended the territory of the city from the other side. The road to the heart of Valencia opens through these historic landmarks. It is built of stone and limestone in the Neapolitan style. A century ago the Cuart Towers functioned as a prison for women.

Address: Calle de Guillem de Castro, 68.

Mode: Fri-Sat. – From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday. – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mon-Fri. – day off.

To get to the towers, take subway trains 1, 3, 5 and get off at the Àngel Guimerà stop.

Généralitat Palace

These famous places should be visited by everyone who comes to Valencia. The palace houses the city hall and is sometimes open to tourists. Its construction began in the XV century. Thanks to the reconstruction in the XX century the palace has retained its original appearance.

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Address: Plaça de Sant Jaume, 4

Opening hours: Every 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month.

The closest metro station is Jaume I. Train 5 goes there.

See other places of interest:




Lonja de la Ceda

This building is called the silk exchange and was formerly used to trade silk. The complex includes several halls, a tower and an orange courtyard. All visitors should definitely visit the main columns hall. On the floor of the hall are marble in different colors laid out trading rules in Latin.

Address: Plaza del Mercado.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat. – Mon-Fri from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fri. – From 9.30 to 15.00.

The closest metro station is Pont de Fusta, served by the L4 line.

North Station

The building is relatively new, it was built in the twentieth century. What is the northern station famous for? With its Southern Art Nouveau architecture, original tiles and colored stained glass windows. Trains from the capital arrive here.

Address: Carrer de Xativa, 24.

Opening hours: Every day from 8:30 to 20:30.

The closest metro station is Valencia-Estacio Del Nord, and the train 18523 goes here.

Virgin Mary Cathedral

What to see for believers in Valencia? The main Christian cathedral of the city. Remarkable architecture of the classical Mediterranean style attracts tourists. In the Cathedral of Our Lady rests the Holy Grail, an important Christian relic.

Address: Plaça de l’Almoina.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat – Sat. – Mon-Fri from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fri. – 2pm to 3pm.

The closest bus stop is Placa de Reina and buses 4, 6, 8 and 9 go there.

Basilica of the Virgin Mary

This is part of the cathedral. The relics of Mary the Intercessor are kept in the basilica. All those who suffer turn to her. To the relics of the Virgin Mary people lined up in columns during epidemics and wars.

Address: Plaça de l’Almoina.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat – Sat. – Mon-Fri from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fri. – 2pm to 3pm.

The closest bus stop is Placa de Reina and buses 4, 6, 8 and 9 go there.

Church of the Saints Johns

The church is dedicated to the biblical characters John the Baptist and John the Theologian. It was built in the 12th century and was reconstructed several times. These famous monuments are popular among Orthodox tourists.

Address: Pl. Mercado.

Working hours: Mon-Fri. – From 7.30 am to 8 pm, Sunday. – From 8:00 to 20:00.

The town buses 7, 27 and 28 go there.

The church of St. Catalina

The church and chapel are dedicated to the great martyr Catalina. According to legend, she was brutally massacred because of her faith in Christ. The shrine was built on the site of an Arab mosque.

Address: Plaça de Santa Caterina.

Working hours: Mon-Fri. – 9.00 to 19.00, Wednesdays and Sundays. – Weekends.

The closest bus stop is Placa de Reina and buses 4, 6, 8 and 9 go there.

Where to go in Valencia for a tourist

The following are popular tourist spots where you can buy souvenirs and have a good time, local bazaars, shops and restaurants with national dishes.

Albufera Park

This natural park is located in the vicinity of the lake. Locals call it a small sea. These interesting places are famous for their landscapes and fauna. Tourists can watch waterfowl and go boating.

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