Hostelworld Guide for Valencia

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Basking in over 300 days of glorious sunshine every year, Valencia is a city that boasts more than just one of Europe's most enviable climates. This city on Spain's Costa Brava has one of the country's best preserved city centres, Europe's largest urban complex and is only minutes from the beach. As it is the third largest city in Spain it is also a city that seldom sleeps, with a heap of bars and restaurants located in the vibrant 'Barrio del Carmen' district.






 

 

In this Guide...      

Useful Information
After Dark
Places to Eat
Top Attractions
Budget Tips
Where to Shop






 The Essentials


 Climate


Getting There

By plane: Valencia's Manises Airport is the only airport to serve the city and is where planes from all over Europe land. It is small and easy to navigate. Buses to the city leave from outside the departures floor and they cost €2.50 one-way.

By train: The city's principal train station, Estación del Norte, is located in the city centre and serves trains from all over the country.

By bus: If you are travelling to Valencia by bus you will arrive in the main coach station at Avenida Menédez Pidal, 13.

Getting Around

On foot: Valencia is a very compact city and you can cover the city centre on foot very easily. The old centre is connected by three squares - Plaza de la Virgen, Plaza de la Reina and Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

By metro: Valencia has a metro network but the chances of you needing to use it are slim.

By bus/tram: Valencia's bus and tram network covers some important places in the city. For instance, the bus is the easiest way to get to the Ciudad de las Artes de Las Ciencias and the best way to get to the beach is by tram.

 Useful phrases

Hello: Hola
Goodbye: Adios
Please: Por favor
Thank you: Gracias
You're welcome: De nada
Yes: Si
No: No
Of course: De acuerdo
Excuse me: Perdona
How are you?: Como estas?
Open: Abierto
Closed: Cerrado
What is your name?: Cual es tu nombre?
My name is...: Mi nombre es...
How much?: Cuanto Cuesta?
May I have the bill?: Me puede traer la cuenta?


Valencia boasts a climate that cities can only dream of. It remarkably enjoys more than three hundred days of sunshine every year, while its average temperature is 17°C. Spring and autumn are ideal times to visit as this is when the sun is shining and temperatures are bearable. July and August are the city's hottest months although it doesn't get as hot and sticky as other cities due to its northerly and coastal location.

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 Useful Information

Language: Valenciano, a dialect of Catalan, and Spanish
Currency: Euro
Electricity: 220 Volts, AC/50Hz
Area Code: +34 (Spain), no area code
Emergency Codes: Ambulance 061 / Fire 080 / Police 091
Time Zone: Central European Time (GMT + 1)
Central Post Office: Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 23
Main Tourist Office: Calle Paz 48

Consulates / Embassies

USA: +34 96 351 6973
UK: +34 96 521 6022*
Canada: +34 91 423 3250**
Australia: +34 91 353 6600**
South Africa: +34 91 436 3780**
Ireland: +34 91 436 4093**
Germany: +34 96 521 7060*
Italy: +34 91 423 3300**
New Zealand: + 34 915 230 226**
France: +34 91 423 8900**

*Consulate is in Alicante
**Number is for embassy in Madrid

 
Hostelworld Guide for Valencia www.hostelworld.com

 Cheap Eats


 After Dark


Al Pomodoro, Calle del Mar, 22 This pizzeria has numerous reasons as to why it should be visited - it is located in the centre of Valencia, its décor creates an extremely pleasant ambiance, and its lengthy menu is more than affordable. Starting at €5, pizzas are rather tasty and brought to your table by friendly, attentive staff. Open daily from 2pm-4pm and from 9pm to midnight.

Sagardi, San Vicente Márti, 6 The method in this tapas bar is simple - take your pick from the selection of tapas served on baguette slices (each with cocktail stick) from the glass counter. Bring to your table to enjoy. Once you're done bring your plate and your cocktail sticks to the counter to pay. At a euro a portion your bill won't be big. Open daily from 9am-midnight.

Mercado Central, Plaza Mercado, 6 Valencia's most colourful food market is one of the largest in Europe and has been since it opened in 1928. Closest to the entrance is the colourful, energetic fruit market where you can pick up fruit to keep you going for the day. Before you leave take a walk around the fish market which is another feast for the senses. Open Mon-Sat 8am-12.30pm.

 The birthplace of paella

Spain is a country famous for many delicacies. One of these is 'paella', a rice-based dish with various ingredients which vary from region to region. Valencia is the perfect city to sample it as this is where it was invented. Typical Valencian paella consists of rabbit and chicken.

La Riuá, Calle Mar, 27 There are many places where you can sample paella in Spain but, as Valencia is where it was invented, this is by far the best place in the country to try it. This restaurant (which you may need to book in advance) is known for top quality food at decent prices. Open daily from 12 noon-4pm & 9pm-midnight.


Turmix, Calle Dr. Chiarri, 8 Located deep in Barrio del Carmen district, Turmix is where the locals go to party until the early hours. Each night has a different theme so one could be house, the next could be techno and the other could be drum 'n' bass. It's tough to locate but worth it if you find it. Open daily from 10pm-4am.

Bar Negrito, Plaza Negrito Bar Negrito is one of Barrio del Carmen's most popular hangouts and, during summer months, the crowds regularly spill out on to the square of the same name. The crowd is young, the atmosphere is lively, and the drinks flow until early in the morning. Everything you want, really. Open daily from 6pm-3am.

 Gay / Lesbian Valencia

Just as most of Valencia's bars and clubs are in Barrio del Carmen, so too are its main gay venues, and in particular on or around Callel Quart. La Goulue (Calle Quart, 32) is one of the city's favourite gay bars, as is Venial (Calle Quart, 26) on the same street. For those looking for a quiet, relaxed evening Trapezzio Café (Plaza Músico López Chavarri 2) is just the spot.

La Claca, Calle San Vicente, 3 Sometimes it is the sounds of the 80s that keep La Claca's occupants on the dancefloor, and other times it is 'indie' music. But it's not always music though as this bar is renowned for its café-theatre which is staged regularly. Something for everyone! Open daily from 6pm-3am.

The Lounge Café-Bar, Calle Estamiñería, 2 There is always something going on in this Irish-run bar. Monday is 'language night', Tuesday is 'student/quiz' night, while Wednesday is 'half-price cocktail' night. Make sure to drop in between 8.30pm and 9.30pm which is happy hour every night! Open daily from 9.30pm-1.30am.

Finnegan's, Plaza de la Reina, 19 Valencia's token Irish bar is more expensive than other bars but it attracts a lot of thirsty English-speaking people, making it a good place to make new friends. Open daily from 12 noon-1am/3am.

Latex, Avda. Constitución, 29 'Latex' is regarded by many as the best club in Valencia. House music is what blares from the speakers (generally) until the early hours of the morning. Open Fri & Sat 10pm-5am.


 Don't Miss


 Mark Your Calendar


Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Guillem de Castro, 118 Opened in 1989 in Centre Julio González, the Valencian Institute of Modern Art showcases some of Spain's most remarkable modern art. Along with permanent collections other programmes include talks, courses, workshops. Open daily from 10am-8pm; admission €2.

Plaza de la Virgen/Plaza de la Reina/Plaza del Ayuntamiento Valencia's compact city centre is dominated by these three squares, all of which have their own qualities. Plaza del Virgen was once the forum of Roman Valencia and is now home to hundreds of pigeons. Further south, Plaza de la Reina is where you will find one of the entrances to the city's cathedral. Last on the trail is Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the largest of the three and home to an enormous fountain and some of the city's most beautiful buildings.

Catedral de Valencia, Plaza de la Reina There are many places of worship around the world that claim to house the 'Holy Grail', the cup used by Christ during the Last Supper. Valencia's cathedral is one of them. Dating back to 1262, it is a mix-mash of different architectural styles, and its bell tower boasts breathtaking views over the city. Open daily from 7.30am-1pm & 5pm-8.30pm; admission free/€2 for tower.

 Europe's largest urban complex

Ciudad de las Artes de Las Ciencias, Calle Arzobispo Mayoral, 14 Valencia's 'City of Arts and Sciences', Europe's largest urban park, is where you will find some of the world's most aesthetically pleasing buildings. Whether you decide to enter any of them or not, they have to be visited just for photographic reasons. The 'city' incorporates Palau de les Artes (the city’s auditorium), L'Hemisferic (a planetarium and IMAX theatre), Museu de las Ciences (Science Museum) and L'Oceanográfic (marine park). Opening times and admission prices vary.


January - Cabalgata de los Reyes Every January three men acting as the Three Wise Men parade through the streets of Valencia on floats, throwing sweets to the children of the city on the way.

March - Las Fallas Las Fallas isn't only Valencia's biggest and most important festival, but is widely regarded as Europe's largest spring festival. Lasting a week in the middle of March, the city is taken over by fireworks displays, parades and much more.

April - Moros y Cristianos Towns and cities all over the Comunidad Valencia province mark the 'Moors and Christians' festival when colourful parades march through the streets.

May/June - Corpus Cristi There are parades all over Spain to celebrate Corpus Cristi but the one in Valencia is by far the most spectacular. Held on the the ninth Sunday after Easter, the parade is led by 8 people sporting giant heads!

June - Noche de San Juan If you happen to be in Valencia on the 23rd of June get down to the city's beaches. Here you will discover bonfires, music and dance performances, people swimming in the moonlit sea...the list goes on.

July - Feria de Julio If you make it to this annual festival you'll find it hard to believe that it began as a horticultural fair. Today concerts are staged in the Viveros Gardens, fireworks displays light up the skies, and bullfights are held in Feria de San Jaime.

July - Certamen Internacional de Bandas de Música This song contest attracts bands from all over Spain. Some of the heats are held in the Plaza de Toros de Valencia bullring, the Colosseum-like building beside the train station.

August - La Tomatina Even though this festival is held in Buñol, a town 45 minutes outside Valencia, it is arguably the best-known of its festivals! The last Wednesday in August is when thousands of revellers throw tomatoes at each other for an hour!

August - La Cordà de Paterna In a town called Paterna just 5km outside Valencia, bonfires and fireworks are the theme of this annual festival which takes place on the last Sunday in August. There are over 100 crates of fireworks so expect a big bang!

October - Festival Internacional de Pirotecnia Valencia's skies are lit for the duration of the night on October 8th for this, the city's international fireworks festival.

 
Hostelworld Guide for Valencia www.hostelworld.com

 Neighbourhood Watch


 Retail Therapy


Russafa This up and coming district south of Valencia's main train station is one of the city's most multi-cultural which is largely due to the fact that it originated from Arabic gardens. It is unique in that it is so close to the city centre yet so far from it in various ways.

 The place to overindulge

Barrio del Carmen Heaving with bars and restaurants, Valencia's Barrio del Carmen district is the city's liveliest quarter after dark. Its main thoroughfare, Calle Cabelleros, is lined with tapas bars, restaurants and pubs, as are the streets and lanes which branch off it. For the lowdown on all the best places to eat and drink in the vibrant district pick up the Cool Carmen map. It's available in most hostels and lists the area's coolest bars and restaurants.

Cánovas Just on the outskirts of Valencia's old town, Cánovas is where you can begin to see the new side of the city. Dominated by Calle de Colón, here you will find the city's best shopping. Many of the world's best known chains have stores here, as well as El Corte Inglés, Spain's best known department store.

Benimaclet Due to its proximity to Valencia's universtiy, Benimaclet is something of a bohemian part of the city. For obvious reasons, there is a pretty hectic student nightlife here. There are also some excellent restaurants which are great value. It's a bit of a trek from the city centre but perfect if you're in search of something different.

La Xerea This central quarter is one of the city's most historic. Here you will find Almudín, one of the city's galleries in a building dating back to the 15th century, the Gothic Palacio de Benicarló which dates back to the same century and some of the city's most breathtaking churches and cathedrals.


El Corte Inglés, Calle Pintor Sorolla, 26 El Corte Inglés have stores all over Spain. This particular branch on c/Pintor Sorolla in Valencia's city centre is where to buy the latest fashions, among other things. Other branches around the city centre can be found on Callel Colón, in Avda. de Francia Shopping Centre and in Nuevo Centro Shopping Centre. Open Mon-Sat from 10am-10pm.

Calle de Colón Bordering the south-eastern edge of Valencia's city centre, Calle de Colón is a busy thoroughfare that is on the go morning, noon and night. Much is due to the fact that it is where you will find stores of some of the world's best-known brands. Here you will stumble across an Esprit store, a H+M store, a Footlocker store and more.

 Bargain hunt

Mercato de Plaza Palafox Plaza Palafox, the square right beside Valencia's Mercado Central, is the location for one of its most central markets. Held every Sunday, here you can find everything from underwear to t-shirts and everything in between. As you would expect from most markets, there are endless bargains to be found. Open Sundays 8am-1pm.

Mercado de Plaza de la Reina Ok, so most of what is on offer at the daily market in Plaza de la Reina are plates and different types of pottery. Hence, carrying them all around Europe may not be feasible. But if you're only going to Valencia for the weekend and are looking to bring back a gift you may well find it here. Open daily from 9am-8pm.

Centro Comercial El Saler, Autopista del Saler, 16 Every city has its fair share of shopping centres and Valencia is no different. Centro Comercial El Saler is Valencia's largest shopping centre and covers three floors. On these three floors are 160 shops, while a cineplex can be found on the third floor also. Open Mon-Sat 9am-8pm.


 Budget Tips


 A Day in Valencia...


Visit the Museum of Modern Art for free If your trip to Valencia happens to take in a Sunday, and you like modern art, leave your visit to Valencia's Museum of Modern Art until the Sunday when entrance is free! Granted, you're only saving €2 but that €2 could go a long way!

Visit Valencia's churches and cathedrals Most of Valencia’s cathedrals and churches are free to visit. Many of them are also some of the city's most beautiful buildings. Notable ones include Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados on Plaza de la Virgen which dates back to 1652, Iglesia de Santa Catalina on Calle Zapatería, well-known for its bell tower, and Iglesia del Carmen on the square of the same name.

 Catch some rays

Chill out on Valencia's beach One of Valencia's finest qualities is its climate. This city on the Costa Blanca enjoys over 300 days of sunshine every year. As a result, its beach Playa de la Malvarrosa is one of its biggest attractions. Located east of the city centre, it gets busy at weekends. The easiest way to get there is via the high-speed tram which departs from the stop at Pont de Fusta.

Relax in Jardin del Turia This park spanning 7km was a river bed in a previous life when the River Turia used to flow through Valencia. Today it is the city's biggest and best known park and the perfect place to unwind if you need to get out of the old quarter for a couple of hours.

Visit Valencia's free attractions If you're broke, take note of Valencia's free attractions. These include Museo de Ciencias Naturales, a science museum in Jardines del Real, La Lonja across from Mercado Central which is a Unesco World Heritage site, and Museo de Bella Artes, Valencia's fine arts museum on Calle San Pío.


Plaza del Virgen is the perfect place to begin a day in Valencia. From here you can visit the square's church and the free art galleries in the area.

Visit Valencia's cathedral. Dating back to the 13th century, this cathedral is where you can see the Holy Grail, the cup Christ drank from at the Last Supper.

Check out Plaza del Ayuntamiento. This huge square is dominated by an enormous fountain and is also where you can see some of the city's most beautiful buildings.

Make a pitstop in Sagardi on San Vicente Márti. Grab some tapas snacks. There are loads to choose from and, at only €1 per portion, they're great value.

Hop on one of the buses bound for Ciudad de las Artes de las Ciencas, Europe's largest urban complex. You can't leave Valencia without seeing these futuristic buildings.

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Its two main attractions are the Museu de la Ciences and L'Oceanográfic - they are two of Spain's most popular tourist attractions. Take a couple of hours to explore either.

Get the night going in one of Valencia's numerous tapas bars to whet your appetite. There many along Calle Caballeros in Barrio del Carmen.

Since Valenica is the birthplace of paella, it would be a crime not to sample it here. 'La Riuá' on Calle Mar does glorious paella at a great price.

Finish the night bar hopping in Barrio del Carmen. 'Café-Bar Negrito' attracts large crowds after dark, as does 'The Lounge'.

 
Hostelworld Guide for Valencia www.hostelworld.com