The Ultimate 3-Day Valencia Experience: From Paella Heaven to Futuristic Wonders

Valencia in 3 Days: Valencia offers the best of both ancient charm and modern marvels. With just 3 days, you can explore the Gothic grandeur, scientific wonders, and beachside bliss that define this sun-drenched Spanish city. General Pro Tip: The Valencia Tourist Card is a must for free public transport and entry discounts.

Day 1: The Historic Heart


La Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange)

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is more than just a building; it’s a peek into Valencia’s rich history. Its intricate Gothic architecture tells a tale of economic prosperity and cultural prominence.

  • Local Tip: Beat the crowds by arriving before 10 am.
  • Pro Tip: Don’t forget to photograph the orange trees in the courtyard.
  • How to Reach: Metro Line 3 to Colón station, followed by a 10-minute walk.


Mercado Central

Step into the buzzing atmosphere of one of Europe’s oldest food markets. From the freshest produce to artisanal cheeses, this is a food lover’s paradise.

  • Local Tip: Go churro-hunting; you won’t regret it.
  • Pro Tip: Look out for small-batch olive oil; it’s an edible memento.
  • How to Reach: Just a 5-minute walk from La Lonja.

Valencia Cathedral & Plaza de la Virgen

This architectural marvel is a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles, and it purportedly houses the Holy Grail itself.

  • Hidden Gem: The Miguelete Tower offers sweeping views.
  • Pro Tip: The audio guide is a gem; it makes the visit far more enriching.
  • How to Reach: A casual 10-minute walk from Mercado Central.

Barrio del Carmen

With its vibrant mix of old and new, this area is a cultural feast for the senses. From ancient ruins to edgy street art, there’s no shortage of things to see and experience.

  • Local Tip: The hidden garden at the Centre del Carme is a must-see.
  • Pro Tip: The Agua de Valencia at ‘Café de las Horas’ is the city in a glass.
  • How to Reach: A 15-minute walk from the Cathedral.
Valencia, Spain

Day 2: A Symphony of Arts and Sciences

City of Arts and Sciences

Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, this ensemble of futuristic buildings is a spectacle that represents the new age of Valencia. Between the science museum, the opera house, and Oceanogràfic, you could spend an entire day here.

  • Local Tip: Start your day with the Oceanogràfic—it fills up quick.
  • Hidden Gem: Adjacent Gulliver Park has an imaginative playground that delights both young and old.
  • How to Reach: Bus no. 95 from Xàtiva Metro Station.

Turia Gardens

This park runs through the city like a vein of green, offering a natural respite in an urban setting. With bridges designed by Calatrava himself, Turia Gardens is the city’s own outdoor museum.

  • Local Tip: Keep an eye out for free outdoor concerts at the Palau de la Música.
  • Pro Tip: Paddleboats are a unique way to explore this stretch of green.
  • How to Reach: Only a 10-minute walk from the City of Arts and Sciences.


It’s the Brooklyn of Valencia—indie boutiques, art galleries, and a multicultural food scene that can’t be beaten.

  • Local Tip: Don’t skip the Mercat de Russafa for some gourmet local treats.
  • Hidden Gem: Ubik Café offers a cozy atmosphere for book lovers and coffee aficionados alike.
  • How to Reach: Metro Line 1 to Xàtiva, then a 15-minute walk.
Valencia, Spain

Day 3: Sun, Sea, and Gastronomy

Malvarrosa Beach

A stretch of golden sand against azure waters makes this beach the place to relax and soak in the Mediterranean vibes.

  • Local Tip: Early risers get the beach almost to themselves.
  • Pro Tip: Watersports are a fun way to get active; prices are more affordable in the morning.
  • How to Reach: Tram no. 4 from Benimaclet station.

Casa Montaña

This authentic bodega is a window into Valencian cuisine. With its historic interior and an extensive selection of wine, it’s a gastronomic journey through the region.

  • Local Tip: Opt for the local cheeses; they pair wonderfully with the Valencian wines.
  • Pro Tip: The quieter back rooms offer a more intimate dining atmosphere.
  • How to Reach: Bus no. 32 from Malvarrosa Beach.

Port of Valencia

An evening in Valencia isn’t complete without a stroll through this bustling port. With the Mediterranean breeze in your hair, it’s the perfect place to unwind.

  • Hidden Gem: For the best paella in town, head to La Marcelina.
  • Pro Tip: The graffiti art on the old warehouse walls is more than Instagrammable—it’s a local secret!
  • How to Reach: A 20-minute walk from Casa Montaña.
Best areas to stay and to avoid

5 Best Areas to Stay

  1. Barrio del Carmen: In the heart of Valencia’s old town, perfect for history buffs and night owls.
    • Pro Tip: Lots of tapas bars for late-night snacks.
  2. Ruzafa: The trendsetting district with vintage shops, art galleries, and craft coffee shops.
    • Pro Tip: Ideal for those looking for a vibrant, young atmosphere.
  3. Near Malvarrosa Beach: Beachfront hotels for the ultimate sea and sand experience.
    • Pro Tip: Get a hotel with beach gear rentals for added convenience.
  4. Ciutat Vella: Another charming old town area, great for first-time visitors.
    • Pro Tip: Close to most sightseeing spots; you’ll save on transport.
  5. El Pla del Real: Near the Turia Gardens and City of Arts and Sciences, a quieter residential area.
    • Pro Tip: Good for families and those looking for a peaceful stay.


5 Areas to Avoid

  1. Orriols: Known for higher crime rates, far from the city center.
  2. Benicalap: Lackluster and far removed from Valencia’s typical attractions.
  3. Tres Forques: Offers little in terms of touristic interest or local charm.
  4. La Petxina: While not inherently bad, it’s not ideal for tourists due to its distance from major sights.
  5. Nazaret: Industrialized and lacks the scenic or cultural spots Valencia is famous for.