Definitive guide

Most picturesque places in Valencia

The most charming places in Valencia, where you’ll feel like you’ve fallen into the pages of a fairytale.

One of our favourite things about Valencia is how much beauty can be found around its every corner. Breathtaking views over vast lagoons, quaint sceneries with flowers blooming over cobbled streets, ancient stone arches sprouting between small tiled houses will make you feel like you have just entered a postcard.

City of Arts and Sciences

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is an avant-garde complex dedicated to science, culture, and the arts. This hyper-futuristic compound will make you feel like you just walked into the future. You will find yourself strolling on slender footbridges suspended over shallow and clear water pools. The gigantic, biomorphic architecture all around will tower over you.

City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia
This enormous, futuristic complex creates a landscape that looks straight out of a Denis Villeneuve sci-fi movie.

This city of glass and white steel is made up of six structures, all resembling organic beings. The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is often referred to as El Tiburón, The Shark. The planetarium-cum-IMAX cinema Hemisfèric resembles a giant mechanical eye, while the Àgora exhibition centre looks like a blue whale leaping out of the water.

Completing the complex are Europe’s largest aquarium, the Oceanogràfic, which develops over several buildings shaped like water lilies, and the urban garden Umbracle.

Port Saplaya

Just 8 kilometres (5 miles) north of Valencia, Port Saplaya, has a whimsical and quaint vibe. The town develops mostly on the shallow waters of the port. This, paired with its small colourful houses by the canal, have earned it the nickname Little Venice.

Port Saplaya and its colourful buildings, Valencia
Bright colours, palm trees, and quiet waters are the defining elements in Port Saplaya.

But fear not, Port Saplaya is definitely not as touristy as you might expect, and is thus perfect for a relaxing walk by the canals or a quiet afternoon at the nearby beach.

Torres de Serranos

You’ll find this historical treasure in the Carme neighbourhood, right in front of the Turia Park. You can walk the same steps that millions of travellers have walked through the centuries, crossing the Serranos Bridge and passing under the Serranos Towers to enter the city.

Torres de Serranos en Valencia
The Towers have stayed pretty much unchanged for hundreds of years, so gazing at them as you cross the Serranos Bridge feels like looking back in time.

The Serranos Towers are an unmissable chance to experience the grandeur of mediaeval Valencia. Inside the towers, you’ll get to enjoy a unique blend of military and ceremonial Gothic architecture. Climbing to the top, you’ll enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the TuriaPark and Ciutat Vella though pointed arches and stone terraces.

El Carmen

The neighbourhood of El Carmen is one of the most charming in the city. This area is also the most visibly mediaeval, with narrow cobblestone streets, centuries-old churches, ancient remains and other historical attractions.

El Carmen neighbourhood in Valencia
The murals in El Carmen are often replaced or painted over, transforming the neighbourhood overnight.

The Old Town is a place that vibrates with a thousand memories, where ancient history lives side by side with modern and colourful street graffiti. Old houses with iron balconies look over the alleys that lead to lively squares. There, the gurgling of water fountains mixes with the chatter of small cafes and the laughs coming from tapas bars and live-music venues.

Albufera Natural Park

The Albufera Natural Park is an ecological preserve, home to a unique habitat. Numerous bird and plant species can be found in the area’s lush forests, especially those who hike through the park or go on a boat ride on the lake.

Sunset over Albufera Natural Park next to Valencia.
Sunset over the Albufera lagoon is ideal for a quiet and introspective evening. Author: Marcela Escandell. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Albufera is also famous for its rice fields and vast lagoon, which will make you feel like you’re hundreds of miles away from the city, almost as if in a distant and secluded place. We particularly suggest visiting the lagoon at sunset for a fairy-tale-like scenery.

El Cabanyal

El Cabanyal-El Canyamelar is another neighbourhood in Valencia, this time a sea-side mostly residential area. It is famous for its quiet pedestrian streets, whimsically-decorated houses, and casual bars and cafes.

Café place in Cabanyal neighbourhood in Valencia
El Cabanyal has that typical sea-side town unhurried and care-free charm.

The architecture of the neighbourhood is considered by many a perfect showcase of popular Modernism. Its characteristics are an eclectic taste, with low and narrow houses decorated with colourful tiles and fanciful sculptures. The combinations of colours and shapes used here give the are a unique charm and dream-like atmosphere.

Plaza de la Virgen

Plaça de la Mare de Déu, also known as Plaza de la Virgen, is one of the most emblematic squares of the city, and one of the most charming. It is located in the heart of the city’s old quarters, where the Roman Forum once stood.

Plaza de la Virgen in Valencia
In Plaza de la Virgen locals and tourists alike like to sit down and enjoy the cheerful atmosphere.

On most days, you can find locals relaxing on the stone benches of the square, having a drink and enjoying the splashing sound of the fountain waters and the view of the nearby mediaeval monuments.

To the side of the square, a private passageway above an arch joins the Catedral de Valencia and the Basílica de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats.

Beaches

Valencia enjoys about 7 km (more than 4 miles) of continuous, broad, golden beaches. The sand is kept clean and the spaciousness makes it so that the beaches never feel crowded, even in high season.

Cabanyal beach in Valencia
Even when there are a lot of people, you can have quite a bit of room to yourself, as the beaches are so broad and long.

You keep closer to the city centre and stay in the more upscale and luxurious beaches. Here you’ll find trendy beach cafes, cocktail bars, and renowned restaurants. Or you can also go for very quiet and wild beaches like El Saler, a little further away from the city.

Introduction
Most picturesque places in Valencia