It might be no surprise that my favourite blog posts are the ones telling about my travel experiences. I guess travelling is, besides fashion, my biggest passion. After I came home from Sri Lanka, I already felt the urge to book a new flight a few weeks later. As I didn’t want to spend my whole bank account on a new trip, me and a friend of mine decided to go citytripping in Europe. Valencia it was!
Valencia is a city on the East-coast of Spain, about 350 km from Madrid and a 2,5 hour drive from Benidorm. This city is quite popular among tourists, because of its weather and the fact that beach days can be combined with shopping sprees and cultural tours. Even though it feels a little like Barcelona, it’s not as crowded and touristic.
We stayed in Hotel Casual Vintage, which was a nice and simple hotel in the center of Valencia. The people were nice, the rooms were clean and the location was perfect!
Places to eat
Spain is the country of tapas, paella and pinchos, but a city like Valencia – of course – also has some healthy hotspots. We did a combination of both. Beneath you’ll find the places we’ve enjoyed during our three-day trip!
Sagardi is a typical Spanish restaurant and you won’t find many tourists in here. The concept is really simple: from the bar, you can choose the (cold) pinchos you like. In the meantime, waiters are walking around with warm pinchos. At the end, the cocktail picks are being count (€2,10 per pick) and your dinner price is calculated. Upstairs, there’s a more expensive restaurant, so if you’d like to keep it laidback and not too expensive, I would recommend to sit downstairs.
Dulce de Leche
For the best cakes and a coffee or tea, we would say: go to Dulce de Leche. This coffee bar/bakery has some fingerlicking cakes, which you won’t find on every corner in Valencia. We chose the banana caramel cake and a carrot cake with cheesecake frosting. Yum!
A very healthy hotspot, located on a small square in oldtown Valencia. For breakfast and lunch, this is a very good place to go to. Poached eggs with salmon or avocado, quinoa salads, chia puddings: name it and they have it.
I believe there are a lot of good tapas bars in Valencia, but we chose El Almacen because of the good rates on the internet. This small and romantic restaurant in the upcoming area Ruzafa has different kinds of tapas, but everything is made with much flavour and it’s not the regular tapas you’ll find on every corner in Valencia. We chose the menu of € 20, which meant we got about 6 different tapas. Highly recommended!
This might be the biggest hotspot of Valencia. Copenhagen is a trendy restaurant with all vegetarian dishes and has the greatest pastas, but also quesedillas, tapas and many more meatless options. Some dishes are quite small, but if you combine it with some tapas or one of the tasty desserts, you’re full anyway.
La Mas Bonita
A very cute little restaurant located at the end of the beach. The ocean blue interior and the smell of the sea create a real beachy vibe in here. The salads were small, not too special, but tasted very well. But La Mas Bonita also has sandwiches, juices, and delicious frappuccino’s (in flavours like Oreo, white chocolate and caramel). Be on time or make a reservation, because it’s a very popular place to go to. We were lucky to be on time, because there were a lot of people who needed to wait in line. Nevertheless, it’s worth it!
It’s paella time! For a good plate of this typical Spanish dish, I would recommend Ness in oldtown Valencia. Get the seafood paella or the Valenciana (with chicken), or choose from the other seafood picks on the menu. While having our dinner, our terrace even got company from a Spanish band and it made the whole atmosphere even better.
What to do: the cultural tour
You can’t go to Valencia without planning any cultural activities, so besides eating like monsters, we also did some city exploring.
Valencia is divided in old town and new town, so we did one city part a day, which was very easy to do, because Valencia is not that big. Most parts we did just by walking from one place to another.
The old town of Valencia was our favourite part of the city. The old buildings, small squares and authentic atmosphere really make you feel like you’re walking in a Spanish city. Pay a visit to the Mercado Cólon (indoor foodhall), get on top of the Tower to have a fantastic view over the city or take some pictures of the graffiti streetart in El Carmen.
New town and the beach
Best Valencia tip: hire a bike! There are a lot of bicycle paths and it’s easier and faster than taking a bus or walking in the heat of the sun. I would highly recommend the route from Valencia city to the beach. You’ll cycle through the park, where you’ll find all kinds of greens and many other cyclists. At the end of the park, there’s the ‘New City’, also called ‘City of Arts and Sciences’, which is a combination of several futuristic buildings (a science museum, an opera, the biggest aquarium of Europe, etc.). After this, you’ll get to the beach, with a promenade, many (fish) restaurants and some bars.
We also did a wine tasting in Valencia, which was something we had never done before. With a small group, we enjoyed three different wines (one cava, one white wine and one red wine) in a small wine bar and got to know more about wines in general and about Spanish wines. Just Google ‘wine tasting Valencia’ and you’ll find some in the area.
More into a chill day? Go to Marina Beach club, located at the main beach of Valencia. It’s not cheap, but you can use some of the entree price to spend on food and drinks the whole day. Plus, you can enjoy very good music and have a great pool at your disposal.