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Valencia Airport: Everything You Need to Know

Valencia Airport: Everything You Need to Know

The Valencia Airport (airport code: VLC), also called Manises Airport due to its proximity to the town of Manises, is located 8km or 5 miles from downtown Valencia.

It is a wonderfully small airport that is easy to get through as a passenger both in arrivals and departures and one that I have frequented several times now.

If you are trying to figure out how to hire a car at Valencia Airport, what the best Valencia Airport hotels are, and how to get from the airport to the downtown area, then this article will cover all of that and more.

Here’s what you need to know about Valencia Airport VLC.

Terminals in VLC Airport

Technically there are two passenger terminals at the airport in Valencia. I say technically because in every way other than name, there is only one terminal building in the airport.

T1 and T2 as they are called are located within the same building and almost all flights leave from T1. Unless you are flying with Air Nostrum, you will use the main terminal, T1, which is where all gates are located.

Inside the terminal, you will find ATMs where you can get Euros out upon arrival. There is also a tourist information desk in the arrivals area of the airport. You will find ample bathrooms and a few water fountains before security around the check-in areas.

Once through the security and into the departures terminals, you will find restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, duty-free, and more toilets and water fountains. There is free WiFi all over the airport that you can easily connect to on your phone, tablet, or laptop. There are also charging points all over the airport.

Lounges at the Airport in Valencia

The Sala VIP Joan Olivert is the only lounge located inside the Valencia Airport. It is through security in T1 and is accessible for a fee of €45 if you do not have access through Priority Pass or your credit card.

The Joan Olivert Lounge offers complimentary snacks and small meals (usually cold), an open bar, newspapers and magazines, TVs, and a children’s play area. Children under 5 years old who are accompanied by an adult enter for free.

The lounge is open from 5 am to 10 pm.

check in desks at an airport.

All check-in desks are signposted and queues don’t tend to be very long.

Arrivals at Valencia Airport

When you arrive to Valencia Airport, depending on where you are traveling from, you will either come straight through to baggage claim or you will enter the Schengen Zone through immigration first.

Since the airport is relatively small, you will not wait more than a few minutes to get through immigration, especially if you are an EU passport holder.

If you are entering from outside the Schengen, you will have your passport stamped by an immigration officer. Sometimes the line can take up to 30 minutes if there is a large flight or several flights have arrived from the UK at the same time.

If you have checked luggage and are coming from outside of the Schengen and you have arranged for a car to pick you up, plan to be 30 minutes to an hour from the time your plane lands until you are stepping out into the Spanish sunshine.

man sitting on a chair at an airport waiting.

There is plenty of seating in Valencia Airport once you get through departures.

Departures at Valencia Airport

Valencia airport check-in and security lines tend to be pretty quick (certainly quicker than at Madrid or Barcelona airports!).

Flights to the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands should be given the most amount of time because most people are checking at least one bag, so the line for bag drop tends to be longer than internal Spain flights.

If you are flying to one of these destinations, I recommend giving yourself two hours before your flight. Many airlines don’t even open their check-in desks until two hours before, so it is pointless to arrive before this time.

Two hours is the perfect amount of time to get in line, check your bags, get through security, and then grab a snack, a coffee, and some duty-free before you get to the gate.

Once you are through departures there aren’t a ton of food options, so if you’re picky, be sure to pack some snacks. There is a Burger King as well as a few Spanish cafes with coffee, tortillas, tapas, and some other international snacks (crisps, cookies, sweets, etc).

signs inside and airport in several different languages.

All of the signs in the Valencia airport are in Valencian, Spanish, and English.

Getting from Valencia Airport to Downtown Valencia

There are several ways to get from Valencia airport to Valencia city center.

One of the cheapest ways is to take the metro. Two lines leave from the airport; lines 3 and 5. You can take either of these lines to Xativa station, which is right outside of the Valencia Nord Train Station. From here you can get the bus anywhere else around the city.

When you come out of departures, follow the signs for the Valencia Metro. You will go down an escalator (or elevator) to the metro entrance. If you don’t have a metro card, you will need to get in line to buy a ticket.

You only need one card per group. You can put as many tickets onto one metro card as you need to. Simply pass the metrocard back to one another as you go through the turnstiles.

The line tends to be very long, but it moves quickly, so be patient. It can feel a little bit stressful because everyone is in line and thinks the line will take forever and they just want to get onto the metro. Just remember, you’re on vacation!

And if you don’t want to wait, get an Uber instead. You can get an Uber from the airport to the city center for about €25 depending on which part of the city you are looking to get dropped off at. A taxi takes about 15 minutes.

If you are traveling with a group or you would prefer to prebook your transfers to and from the airport, you can do so with a private transfer company here.

Getting from Valencia Airport to Alicante

If you are flying into Valencia Airport to get to the amazing beaches of Alicante, then your best option is to rent a car from the airport and drive yourself. It is under two hours to drive between the two.

The alternative is to get yourself from the Valencia Airport to the Valencia Nord Train Station (via the metro to Xativa Station) and then you can take the train to Alicante.

The most convenient and best group option is to book a private transfer. They will pick you up at the airport and bring you directly to your hotel. If you are traveling with a group, this is relatively inexpensive. Book a transfer here.

sign for a metro in front of an escalator at Valencia Airport.

Follow the signs for the metro which are very clear and you will easily make your way to the entrance.

Hiring a Car at Valencia Airport

Hiring a car in Valencia is a great way to get out and explore all of the fun day trips from Valencia like the castle in Xativa, the Roman ruins in Sagunto, and the beaches of Castellon.

While it is not essential, having a car is a great option if you are traveling with kids and you don’t plan to spend much time in the city center.

However, if you are only spending about 3 days in Valencia and all of that time you will be downtown or at the beach, you don’t need to hire a car from the Valencia Airport.

The public transportation in Valencia is fantastic and there are more than enough things to do in Valencia to keep you busy without needing to get out and explore further afield.

If you do plan to hire a car from Valencia Airport, I recommend checking prices beforehand on Discover Cars. This is the website I always use to find car rentals all over Spain (and the rest of the world too). They are one of the most transparent rental companies I have ever used and their customer service is exceptional.

You can find large rental companies like Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise, National, Budget, Sixt, and Thrifty as well as smaller companies like Victoria, Goldcar, and OK Mobility. They are all available when you search on Discover Cars so you can get the best possible deal. Book your rental car with Discover Cars here.

Escalators up to the departures area.

When you arrive at the terminal, just make sure you are on the right floor for departures. Signs are clear in English and Spanish.

Valencia Airport Hotels

Valencia Airport is so close to the city center, that a stay at the airport is almost unnecessary. You can take a taxi and be at your hotel in downtown Valencia in about 15-20 minutes and most flights arrive with more than enough time to get you somewhere before it’s too late at night.

You can also schedule a taxi with your hotel or with a local taxi company so that you can be picked up first thing in the morning, even very very early so that you can get yourself to the airport with more than enough time for a morning flight.

However, if you do feel like you need to stay close to the terminal, there are a few options nearby.

  • Hotel Aviación is about as close as you can get to the airport. It’s cheap and cheerful with clean rooms and a very cheap price. Rooms start as low as €45 per night. Book a stay at Hotel Aviación here.
  • Ibis Budget Valencia Airport is a slightly better option. It’s also a short distance from the airport and offers perhaps the nicest rooms in the airport area. You can hop out of bed and get over to the terminal without much lag time in between. Rooms start at €50 per night. Book a stay at the Ibis Budget here.
  • Travelodge Valencia Airport Hotel is exactly what you expect from a Travelodge anywhere else in the world. If you book far enough in advance on their website, you can get a great deal on a hotel room for as little as €35 per night. But even at short notice rooms tend to only be about €45-50 per night. Breakfast is available for an additional fee. Book a stay at the Travelodge here.