Valencia: What you need to know before visiting

Essential city information that everyone should know before traveling to Valencia in Spain.

This guide will include helpful tips and info covering what you need to know about Valencia:

  • Valencia facts
  • Arriving in Valencia
  • Getting around Valencia
  • Valencia distritos and barrios
  • Valencia attractions
  • Spanish & Valencian language basics
  • Valencia average food costs
  • Things to be aware of
  • Useful websites

What you need to know before visiting Valencia

Valencia city facts

  • Valencia is the 3rd largest city in Spain
  • It is on the South East coast of the country
  • The language spoken is Spanish and Valencian, a dialect of Catalan
  • The airport in Valencia is called “Manises”
  • The currency is Euro
  • Valencia is the home of Paella
  • Valencia has Europe’s biggest aquarium
  • Valencia region has more blue flag beaches than any other area of Spain
  • In March every year, 2 million tourists visit Valencia to join in the Fallas festival
  • Ceramic and silk were important local productions and historically major exports

Arriving in Valencia

By plane

Valencia airport is quite small, it has 2 terminals in one building. Terminal 1 is where the majority of flights arrive with low-cost airlines flying in from all over Europe. After arriving at the airport, you can take either the Metro, bus or a taxi to the city:

  • Airport Metro: The journey from the airport on Metro line 3 or 5 is approximately 15 mins and a one-way ticket costs €4.80.
  • Airport bus: The Aerobus stop is outside departures and the journey to the city takes 20 mins, it costs €2.50 and runs every 20 mins. Or you can take the slower, less frequent 150 public bus for €1.50.
  • Airport taxi: The official metered taxi rank is just outside arrivals. Its approximately €25 per car and is 20 mins drive.


By Train

There are 2 main train stations in Valencia, Joaquin Sorolla and Estacio del Norte. They both connect to other Spanish cities but Joaquin Sorolla is the newer station that offers the long distance highspeed services by Renfe AVE and Euromed from Alicante, Madrid and Barcelona.

If you need more info on taking the train from Madrid to Valencia – read this post My train trip to Valencia

By Coach

Alsa coaches depart and arrive in Valencia at the Estació d’Autobusos de València bus station, located on Menéndez Pidal St 11.

By Boat

Valencia has a big port, if you arrive by boat you can reach the city centre by bus, tram or metro. From there it’s easy to connect to the airport or train stations if you need to. There is a tourist information office at the cruise port on the West dock. If Valencia is your port of call on a cruise you can purchase a Valencia cruise card which gives you public transport access and some local discounts.

Valencia Old Town

Getting around Valencia


In the historical area around the Old Town in central Valencia it’s easy to walk from landmark to landmark. If you want to head out to the City of Arts and Science or to the beach it will take you 1 hour + walking.


The metro is quite straightforward, there are 6 lines that cover the city centre and some suburbs. But it does not go to the beach, you will need to take the tram.


The tram service (lines 4, 6 and 8) runs alongside the Metro, routes are marked as TRAMVIA on the Metro map. If you take the tram you need to buy tickets at the machine before boarding and validate it.


The bus service is extensive in Valencia and the maps can look quite confusing as there are over 35 routes. Plan ahead and use the official EMT online map or journey planner.


It’s easy to hail a taxi on the main roads and there are taxi ranks near Plaza de la Reina and Plaza Canovas. The taxi is available if the green light is on.


There are many car hire companies in Valencia and driving up the coast or to other cities is pretty easy. The big companies are all located at the airport and train stations. I would not recommend driving in the city centre, it is very busy.


Valenbisi is the public bike hire and there are bicycle stations all over the city. The first 30 mins hire is free, you just need to register and pay by card for 1 week or 1 day hire. You then take the bike from the docking station and return it to any other station you prefer. For more instructions and prices click here.

RELATED article: Check out our perfect 2-day itinerary for visiting Valencia – A weekend in Valencia

Valencia distritos and barrios

The main areas of Valencia you are likely to visit as a tourist are:

  • Ciutat Vella “Old town”
  • Del Carmen
  • Ruzafa
  • The city of arts and science
  • L’Eixample
  • Canbanyal
  • Poblats
  • Extramura

Valencia attractions

The main must-see sights in Valencia are:

  • Old town
  • Mercat Central
  • Valencia Cathedral
  • Plaza de la Virgin
  • Plaza de la Reina
  • La Lonja
  • Science museum
  • Turia park
  • Oceanographic aquarium
  • Malvarossa beach
  • Albufera nature reserve
  • BioParc zoo

*RELATED article: If you want to know more about the highlights of Valencia read – My train trip to Valencia and all the city highlights

Valencia City of Arts and Science

Spanish & Valencian language basics

Spanish is mostly spoken in Valencia but you will find locals speaking in a Catalan dialect called Valencian and some street signs will have both languages.

Here is a few helpful words and phrases in the Spanish – Valencian – English.

Hola – Hola – Hello
Buenas días – Bon dia – Good morning
Gracias – Grácies – Thank you
Por favor – Si us plau – Please
De Nada – De res – You’re welcome
Si – Si – Yes
No – No – No
¿Que tal? – ¿Que tal? – How are you?
Bien gracias – Bé gràcies – I’m fine thanks
Disculpe – Disculpi – Excuse me
¿Habla Ingles? – ¿Parla Anglès? – Do you speak English?
No entiendo – No entenc – I don’t understand
Lo siento – Ho sento – I’m sorry
Adios – Adeu – Bye

*RELATED article: To learn all about the different areas of Spain read – A quick guide to the different regions of Spain

Valencia Paella

Valencia average food costs

Prices will vary from place to place but this is a rough guide to give you an idea of the approximate costs:

Small bottle of water = €1
Horchata & fartons = €4-5
Coffee with milk = €2
Ice cream = €3
Beer = €2.50
Glass of wine = €3-4
Agua de Valencia cocktail = €5-6
Breakfast (toast, coffee and juice) = €3-4
Tapas = €3-6
3 course menu of the day “menu del dia” = €10-14
Paella = €15 per person (usually 2 person minimum order)

Things to be aware of

  • Spanish is not the only language spoken so try to learn a few Valencian phrases
  • Paella is mostly eaten at lunchtime by locals so if you want to get the good, fresh paella make sure you order it for lunch.
  • Authentic paella Valenciana will look quite different to other “paella” you may have eaten before
  • The best paella in Valencia is served down by the beach
  • Valencia is full of graffiti, some really great street art, some not so artistic but it’s everywhere
  • The “Valencian” oranges you get in the USA do not actually come from Valencia in Spain
  • Valencia has many beautiful citrus trees around the city but the satsuma like fruit is green for most of the year. They only turn orange in Autumn and are generally inedible
  • Walking to the beach from the city centre will take a while so maybe jump on the tram or hire a bike unless you enjoy long walks
  • Taxi prices in Valencia go up in the afternoon/evening, they have a “day” tariff and a “night” tariff

Useful websites

Valencia bus

Valencia metro

Valencia airport

Valencia tourist information

Some other Spain travel information from Seeking the Spanish Sun you might find interesting…

The best cities to visit in Spain

My trip south to the Costa del Sol

5 best winter sun destinations in Spain

What you need to know before visiting Barcelona

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  1. 19th December 2019 / 8:54 pm

    Totally awesome information. A thousand thank yous! We are going in April to kick the tires! Cheers

    • SeekingTheSpanishSun
      20th December 2019 / 10:42 am

      I’m so happy the info has been useful to you. Thank you for commenting and have a wonderful time in Valencia!

  2. 4th January 2018 / 2:04 pm

    I had no idea Valencia had Europe’s largest aquarium! I love that it’s home of paella and silk. Definitely buying those two when I go there. Great guide.

    • 4th January 2018 / 6:58 pm

      Thanks Sarah! You just have try the paella in Valencia and the aquarium is in the city of arts and science, check it out!

  3. 2nd January 2018 / 10:50 pm

    This is a great comprehensive guide to Valencia! I’ve never been, but this will be a huge help when I do go! It’s really great to see that the food prices are actually really reasonable. That’s great for budget travelers like me! I also love that there seem to be loads of options for getting around.

    • 3rd January 2018 / 7:07 pm

      Thank you Paige 🙂 Valencia is great for budget travellers, there are loads of cheap options for food, accommodation, travel etc and its a really fun city!

  4. 2nd January 2018 / 5:44 pm

    This is a complete guide to Valencia. Valuable information for first timers to Valencia. Valencia appears to be a charming city. I would love to look at the beautiful street art of the place and try out the Paella.

    • 3rd January 2018 / 7:03 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to read this article 🙂 The Valencia street art is amazing and the paella is soooooo delicious, you have to try it!

  5. 2nd January 2018 / 5:27 pm

    I LOVE all of the photos that I’ve seen of Valencia so this is on my bucket list! I love how you broke down some of the costs because that’s a huge deciding factor for me when planning a trip—I want to be prepared and have time to save up! 🙂 Thanks for this great guide.

    • 3rd January 2018 / 7:01 pm

      Valencia is an awesome city, you should definitely check it out and I hope this info helps!

  6. 2nd January 2018 / 4:31 pm

    Awesome Perri! I loved the way how your post covers everything one needs to know while visiting Valencia. Especially how you have laid out approx costs! Keep it going! Looking forward for more such posts 🙂

    • 2nd January 2018 / 5:00 pm

      Thanks Ashwini, I think it’s always good to have an idea of how much things will cost when going on holiday and you can never have too much information up your sleeve 🙂

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