If you are planning to spend 2 days in Valencia this weekend itinerary will help you explore the best that this stunning Spanish city has to offer.
After spending over a month living here, exploring the history and museums, eating tons of tapas, and even checking out the local fútbol teams, I can say without a doubt that after spending 2 days in Valencia, you will be planning a return trip to explore more.
This Valencia itinerary will help you get a taste of the history, culture, and outdoor lifestyle that has made Valencia a haven for expats from around the world and is quickly becoming a Digital Nomad hub as well.
There is an abundance of things to do in Valencia. If you have more time, be sure to check out our 3-day Valencia itinerary or explore some of the surrounding area with our guide to the best day trips from Valencia.
How to Get to Valencia
Valencia Airport is connected to most major airports around Europe, however, if you are coming from the US or further afield, you may have to fly into Madrid Airport or Barcelona Airport first and then take a high-speed train to Valencia from there.
You can find all of the route options including planes, trains, and rental cars on 12Go. It will allow you to check timetables, find the cheapest prices, and book your travels directly.
Once you are in Valencia, you can use the excellent public transportation network to get around without a car.
Best Hotels in Valencia
However, if you are coming for a weekend to simply enjoy the beaches in Valencia, then you’ll want to book a place in El Cabanyal.
From here you can walk to all of the top attractions in Valencia and explore. Here are our top picks for every budget.
- Blanq Carmen Hotel: This beautiful hotel is located in one of my favorite neighborhoods in Valencia, El Carmen. It has a rooftop pool to as which turns into a stylish bar by night. The breakfast is fantastic and the rooms are stylish and comfortable. You are close enough to walk to the best local tapas bars or across the street for a stroll through Turia Park. Rooms start at €90 per night. Book a stay at Blanq Carmen Hotel here.
- Hotel San Lorenzo: Between the two neighborhoods of El Carmen and La Xerea, San Lorenzo is in a great location for exploring the different things to do during your two days in Valencia. At San Lorenzo, you get old-world vibes with upscale finishes and excellent service. Rooms start at €90 per night. Book a stay at Hotel San Lorenzo here.
- Home Youth Hostel: If you are looking for a budget place to stay where you can meet fellow backpackers to explore more of the city with, then Home Youth Hostel is a great destination for you. Beds start at €24 and the location is unbeatable. You step outside your door and walk straight out to the Central Market, the Lonja de la Seda, and tons of awesome restaurants. Book a stay at Home Youth Hostel here.
Day 1 of 2 Days in Valencia
Start your day right with a strong coffee at Cafe de Camilo. They roast their own beans that you can take home as a souvenir, or you can simply have a cafe con leche for under €2 and head out on your way to explore more.
While you’re in this vicinity, check out the skinniest building in Europe. At only 42 inches or 107 cm wide, the narrow La Estrecha as it’s known, was originally built as a family home with one room on each of its five floors. It is now part of the bar next door (which serves up a deliciously cold caña by night).
From here, wander through Plaza Redonda, a round plaza filled with restaurants that you’ll no doubt be noting down to return to later for lunch. El Leon Bar and Bistro is my personal favorite.
Valencia Cathedral and Old Town Exploring
The rest of your morning should be spent exploring the historical sites around the Ciutat Vella or Old Town of Valencia.
A place you don’t want to miss is the Valencia Cathedral, home of the supposed Holy Grail (the cup Jesus drank from during the Last Supper). You can explore the interior of the cathedral, but the best part (in my humble opinion) is climbing up to the top of the cathedral’s tower, El Micalet.
The only way to get to the top is to climb the tower’s 207 winding stone steps. From the top, you can see the entire city, all the way to the coast.
Once you’re done, wander through Plaza de la Reina, the open area in front of the cathedral. It will eventually lead you to one of the main streets in the Old Town, Sant Vicent Màrtir.
The street is packed with souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants, and ice cream stands. It is always bustling with people, especially during the busy summer months.
After a few minutes of walking, you’ll find yourself in another of the city’s beautiful plazas, Plaça de l’Ajuntament or the City Hall Plaza.
The buildings around this area are breathtaking, including the City Hall building itself, which you can visit for free most days of the week. Head up the stairs once through security and walk out onto the balcony.
Lunch at Central Market
If you would prefer to dine at a restaurant, head back to Plaza Redonda to the above-mentioned favorite El Leon Bar and Bistro. There are tables outside where you can enjoy a few drinks and plenty of delicious tapas.
However, I highly recommend spending at least some of your 2 days in Valencia inside the stunning Mercat Central, the city’s central market.
Like many beautiful cities in Spain, the central market is a meeting place, a hub for the community. This means that in addition to having tons of stalls selling seafood, meat, cheese, freshly baked bread, and tons of produce, there are also places to eat and drink.
Unlike any other city in Spain, the market in Valencia has a food stall that is run by a Michelin-starred chef.
Central Bar by Ricard Camarena, is an outpost of the chef’s main restaurant which currently holds two Michelin stars. While you may wait weeks to get a table at his restaurant, you only have to wait 15-20 minutes to get a table at Central Bar where you can sample some tapas versions of the chef’s top dishes as well as plenty of other delicious Spanish classics.
La Lonja de la Seda
One of the most majestic buildings in Valencia, visiting La Lonja during your 2 days in Valencia is an absolute must.
La Lonja de la Seda was once home to the silk exchange here in Valencia. Originally built between 1482 and 1533, the Gothic-style architecture is some of the best preserved in the country.
Entry is free on Sundays, so if you are visiting on a weekend, you may want to wait until then for your visit. Otherwise, it is only €2 to enter and it is well worth it. You can grab an audioguide which I highly recommend so that you can learn even more as you tour the interior of this historical site.
Sunset at the Beach
Even if you are not staying by the beach, no trip to Valencia is complete without a sunset with your toes in the sand.
You can easily catch the bus from the downtown area to one of the city’s three nearby beaches. If you plan to take the bus, be sure to download the EMTicket App. You can download it for Android here or Apple here. This allows you to buy up to 10 tickets at a time which will save you money on each ticket.
If you are only going to take the bus once or twice, you can pay with any contactless card or Apple Pay when you enter the bus.
If you are visiting during the summer, you’ll have plenty of daylight well into the evening. You can bring a blanket and relax on the sand, take a dip in the Mediterranean, and then head to one of the chiringuitos or beach bars that sit right on the sand and have a few drinks while watching the sunset.
Even in the cooler months, evenings by the beach in Valencia are spectacular. Many people come down to have a few drinks or play beach volleyball with friends. There is always a convivial atmosphere.
Tapas at Casa Montaña
While you’re near the beach, you can end the night with tapas and drinks at the famous Casa Montaña.
Casa Montaña was founded in 1836, so in addition to being one of the most famous places to eat in Valencia, it’s also one of the oldest.
Sit amongst wine barrels while you dine on tons of different seafood options. The stuffed squid and fried sardines are two of my personal favorites.
The wine menu here is extensive, so wine lovers will be particularly happy to spend the evening sampling much of what they have to offer. If you are visiting on a weekend, especially during summer, be sure to book a table a day or two in advance.
Day 2 of 2 Days in Valencia
Your second day in Valencia can be a sort of choose-your-own-adventure. You spent most of day one seeing the main sites in the old town, so now it’s about exploring the things that are most important to you.
Do you prefer food tourism? In this case, don’t miss the chance to take a food tour around Valencia.
Perhaps you’d rather take a bike tour that includes stops at different major tourist sites around the city.
Or do you love museums? Dozens of different amazing museums around Valencia are worth exploring.
City of Arts and Sciences
One place that you don’t want to miss on your 2 days in Valencia itinerary is the City of Arts and Sciences. It is one of the most photographed places in all of Valencia. This stunning architectural marvel is packed with things to keep you busy for an entire day.
The construction of this area began in 1996 and the most recent building was completed in 2009. It is part of the beautification that the city is doing in the Turia Park area, a dried-up river bed that has been turned into a hub of outdoor excitement in Valencia.
Inside the different buildings at the City of Arts and Sciences, you’ll find an IMAX, a Planetarium, a theater, the largest oceanographic aquarium in Europe, an interactive science museum, a botanical garden, and so much more.
Museums to Explore
If you like exploring different museums, be it art, history, or culture, there is plenty to enjoy on your second day in Valencia. These are my absolute favorites.
- Art Modern Institute Museum of Valencia: Without a doubt, one of my favorite art museums in Spain. Modern and contemporary art lovers will not want to miss exploring the different exhibits at this wonderful museum.
- Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia: If you love places like the Prado in Madrid or the El Greco Museum in Zaragoza, you’ll love this fine arts Museum.
- Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts: This is a museum for history and architecture lovers. Both the exterior and interior of this former palace will blow you away. On the ground floor of the museum, you’ll find old carriages used by the families who once lived here as well as some rotating art exhibits. Follow the marble staircase up to see how the other half lived. The rooms have been set up to demonstrate life for the 18th-century aristocrats who used to call this palace home.
- MuVIM: Known as Museu Valencià de la Il·lustració i de la Modernitat, this museum is small but interesting. On the lower floor, you’ll find the ruins of an old fortress. On the main floor, you’ll find a complete scale model of the city as it looked during the 18th century. Upstairs is a small exhibition hall and then outside in a second building you’ll find a larger exhibition area with fascinating temporary art exhibitions.
Take a Tour of Valencia
If you want to get to know the city better during your two days in Valencia, consider taking a tour.
Whether you want to dine on the best paella in Valencia or get out to explore more of the history with a knowledgeable guide, these are our top picks for those who are visiting Valencia for the first time.
- Guided Bike Tour: Biking is one of the best ways to explore Valencia (except when it’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in August). This bike tour will take you all over the city to explore some of the most emblematic places around Valencia. It lasts for three hours, so you can take your time exploring with a very knowledgeable guide. Book that tour here.
- Catamaran Sunset Cruise: With only 2 days in Valencia, an evening tour is a great way to add an extra fun activity to your sightseeing while still being able to pack your daylight hours full of activities. Seeing the sunset from the water and being able to look back over the Valencian coastline is a pretty special way to end your trip to the city. Book that tour here.
- Paella Making Class: Paella comes from Valencia, so this is the place to learn how to make it! Learn about the history of the dish as well as each step it takes to make this famous Spanish classic. It also doubles as a souvenir, a recipe you can take home and replicate with your friends. Book the paella cooking class here.
- Tapas Tour: Taking a food tour around local restaurants and bars is one of my favorite things to do when I travel and this is one of the best tours out there. Explore lesser-known spots with local guides who will share their knowledge about the local cuisine with you over a few glasses of cava and plenty of delicious food. Book a tapas tour here.
Dinner in Valencia
On your last night in Valencia, you will want to enjoy a meal to remember.
If your budget is tight, you’ll find tons of great tapas spots where you can share different plates with friends or family and eat very well for very little.
A few of my favorite spots in the city for tapas are:
- El Molinon: A great little Asturian cider bar with a handful few tables inside to create a very intimate environment. The tapas here are some of the best in the city. Be sure to book a table if you want to come on a weekend.
- La Lateria: If you’ve been to Portugal, this style of bar may feel familiar. It is a tapas bar that focuses on tinned seafood (an incredibly popular thing here) as well as local cured meats and cheeses.
- Bodega La Rentaora: Great hot tapas, platters of cheeses and cured meats, and excellent service. They also have an extensive wine menu. Reservations are an absolute must in summer.