Travelblog about the beautiful and versatile Spanish city Valencia. The trip started with booking the flight through Google Flights, which is a very easy way of searching the cheapest flights back and forth. Because it was so much cheaper if we stayed one night longer, the extra costs for staying another night weren’t a problem, so we stayed one night longer then we initially planned. We flew with Ryanair, budget and a fine flight of 2,5 hours from Airport Weeze(just across the border at Nijmegen, The Netherlands, in Germany) to Airport Valencia.
In the meanwhile we found a nice hotel through Booking, which met all our requirements. Good location in/near the citycenter, not too expensive and not a hostel in which you have to share a bathroom, shower, or toilet. This hotel we found through Booking was Hotel del Carmen. As we understood recently the hotel is sold to other owners now.
The hotel is situated at the edge of the old city center, very near to the Serrano Towers on a big bypass around the old center. On the other side of the road is the Turia Park. This park is made in an old riverbed, which is completely drained and the city of Valencia has created a park in the riverbed which is about 8 kilometers long and goes round the old center of Valencia from the Bioparc to the Ciudad de las Arte y las Ciencias (the modern part of the city).
In this park which is lowered in relation to the roads that run past it, it is nice to relax and enjoy the peace, or you can enjoy running, cycling, or other sports. There are public fitness machines, which are placed in different spots in the park, but there are also football fields, base/softball fields, rugby fields and an athletics stadium. What we have noticed, the Valencians love sports!
When we arrived the first night in our hotel we went for a drink on a terrace in the old center (El Carmen), which is no problem in Spain, because the terraces are open outside till 01.00 o’clock in the night. Officially the terraces have to close at that time.
The next day we went sightseeing in the old center on foot. We didn’t plan a route and just walked around and we were guided by what we saw and encountered. There were so many beautiful things to see in terms of buildings, squares, flowers and people, that we had the feeling of walking around in an open air museum. At various places in the city there are no normal street tiles, but it looks like marble on the floor. For us no problem and quite fine, but we have seen a number of bikers, who had more trouble with it and went down on the Plaza de la Virgen(central square near the basilica).
During the day you can enjoy your drink and food in one of the many outdoor cafés in Valencia, because you can eat here from morning till late at night. We had booked breakfast at the hotel, but there are also plenty of options for breakfast outside the hotel. Lunch is available all afternoon(often also hot food in three courses) and in the evening the Spaniards go for dinner around 10 o’clock, which can take till 1 o’clock with a little after-drink. The real going out in discotheques/clubs does not start in Valencia until 1 o’clock or 2 o’clock at night and continues until 7 o’clock in the morning.
At the Carer de la Concòrdia, number 3, you will find a very special club called Pinball. Pinball, run by a very nice Argentinian, is a club where you can relive the 70s. The interior is very vintage and completely in the style of the (disco) 70s. You forget here all the daily hectic. For those who want it, there is a nice dance floor where you can take a dance on ’70s rock with a crack in it’. You should actually go there to get acquainted with this very friendly owner. He does not speak English very well, so use your Spanish skills and enjoy a nice evening.
The second day of our stay, there was a hot air forecast with 40 degrees in the predictions. Since Valencia is on the coast and has several beaches, it was not difficult for us to think about what we were going to do that day. Packed with a couple of liters of water and sunburn we took the tram near our hotel to the beach. We saw in the tram that the inhabitants of Valencia had the same idea as we: seek cooling in the sea! On the way to the beach at around 10 in the morning we already had temperatures of 45 degrees!
That day we spent completely on a beach bed under a parasol interspersed with running to the sea and cooling down in the water. Afterwards we heard that we had experienced the warmest day in May in Valencia since 140 years. Well, for one day we could do well. 🙂 The rest of the days we had, with temperatures around 30 degrees, a wonderful temperature.
On our third day we walked through the Turia Park on foot to the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencas. This modern part is really a contrast with the old center, where the history of the city speaks. In this modern part you will find museums with art, science, an IMAX theater and the largest aquarium in Europe. We have not been inside in these sights, but the outside is also beautiful to see and walk in between the buildings and take some pictures.
On the way back we left the Turia park and we walked back through another neighbourhood towards the old center. On the way back we asked a Spaniard where we could eat something and we were recommended a restaurant, which was around the corner, where we could eat delicious. It was called Pizzaiolo and we ordered a menu del dia for 10 euro per person including a beer. And it has to be said, this was really delicous! We could hardly believe that it is possible for 10 euros, but if you find a good restaurant outside the center, you don not lose a lot of money for a delicious meal. After lunch we walked on and we saw sights such as Mercado de Cólon, La Lonja de la Seda, Mercado Central and Estación del Norte. Each and every one of these beautiful buildings is an experience to see.
The fourth day we looked at a botanical garden and we went shopping. Shopping is fine in Spain and especially the El Corte Inglès you can not miss. We visited a number of them. It is a kind of Harrods and there are several of them. We also climbed the Serrano Towers this day for a beautiful view of the city.
A day later the Valencia-Celta de Vigo match was on the program. We only had to score tickets in the morning. At breakfast we were also surprised by a running event, which passed in front of the hotel. The four-lane one-way street in front of the hotel was closed to traffic and some 20-25 thousand runners passed by, who took part in an amateur running competition of 16km. Nice to see during breakfast. After breakfast we went walking to the Mestalla stadium to buy the football tickets. The stadium was almost sold out, so the black market sellers tried to sell us cheaper tickets, but we bought our tickets at the checkout.
The match would start at 7pm, so we had a nice afternoon to relax in the park or in the city. We made sure we arrived at the stadium on time so that we could taste a bit of atmosphere. An hour before the match it was already busy around the stadium, but there was a lively crowd. When the coach of the opposing team arrived, the players were fired out, but it went well in a sporting way. Something we also saw during and after the match. The match was an experience, especially in terms of atmosphere, because in terms of football it was unfortunately not the best match. It was entertaining, so worth the money in that sense!
A day later we visited the Bioparc. For this we took the bus, because it was a long walk from the hotel and in the zoo it is also quite some walking. This zoo is also highly recommended. We found it one of the nicer zoos, which we have seen so far, with plenty of space for the animals and also very nice design and maintenance. Read more about the Bioparc in Valencia.
The last day of our stay in Valencia has arrived and we are satisfied and have been able to refuel in the Spanish sun! A week is a beautiful time to spend in Valencia. When you want to visit many museums you can really spend a lot more time in Valencia, because there are a lot of them, but for us this was perfect.
We leave the orange city with its famous Paella behind us and exchange it for our old familiar Deventer with the Deventer cake!
Oh yeah by the way: we have spent the night in Valencia perfectly in our nice hotel at a great location. Read more about Hotel Del Carmen (Blanq Carmen Hotel) here!