Valencia is one of the largest cities in Spain, but to me, it was a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of tourist season in Barcelona. Valencia is just a 5 hour bus ride from Barcelona. My bus ticket cost approximately 30 euros, but only because I bought the ticket at the bus station in Barcelona. Note: The Alsa website only accepts Spanish credit cards. However, I was informed after the fact, that they do accept PayPal.
Five Things to Do in Valencia:
Bike through the Jardines de Turia to the Beach
The Jardines de Turia are 9 kilometers of old river bed that were transformed into a beautiful, public park. The park runs through the center of Valencia and its designated bicycle lanes make for a smooth, scenic ride through the city. The end of the park is only a short distance to the sandy, sprawling beaches of Valencia.
Bicycles are by far the best mode of transportation in Valencia and can be rented for as little as 9 euros per day. Hostels usually have deals for bike rentals as well, I rented a bike for 10 euros for two days through Feetup Hostels The Red Nest and Passion Bikes.
Visit La Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias
La Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias is must-see cultural center for art and science lovers. La Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias is home to Europe’s largest aquarium, L’Oceanografic, Palau de les Arts, L’Hemisferic and the Museu de Les Ciencies Principe Felipe. The center is conveniently located at the southeastern end of the Jardines de Turia and is easily accessed by bike or public transport. I visited the Museu de les Ciencies during Pixar’s 25th anniversary exhibit. It cost 8 euros for a ticket to the exhibit, which included entry to the museum.
Get wild in Bioparc Valencia
The Bioparc, unlike most zoos, has no fences separating the animals from visitors. Instead the zoo utilizes natural barriers, such as boulders and foliage to give visitors the illusion of being in the animal’s environment. This is the one thing I regret not doing in Valencia, as many people told me it was an amazing experience.
Eat Paella Valenciana
Valencia is where the Spanish rice dish, paella, originated. Traditional Paella Valenciana recipes contain rabbit and chicken. Most restaurants throughout Valencia serve paella, however I was told by a local that the dish is generally only served at lunchtime. Click here for more info about Paella
Visit the Torres de Serranos
Built at the end of the 14th century, the Torres de Serranos is one of the 12 gates found along the old medieval city wall of Valencia. Originally built as a defense mechanism, the tower later housed prisoners. The Torres de Serranos is one of the largest Gothic city gates in Europe. On Sundays entry to the Torres de Serranos is free.
Wikipedia entry on Valencia