Essential city information that everyone should know before traveling to Valencia in Spain.
This guide will include helpful tips and info covering:
- 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
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
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.
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
Alsa coaches depart and arrive in Valencia at the Estació d’Autobusos de València bus station, located on Menéndez Pidal St 11.
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.
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.
Valencia distritos and barrios
The main areas of Valencia you are likely to visit as a tourist are:
- Ciutat Vella “Old town”
- Del Carmen
- The city of arts and science
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
If you want to know more about what to do in Valencia – check out this post My train trip to Valencia and all the city highlights
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
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
If you’re looking for a travel guide to take with you on your trip to Valencia, take a look at these great guides…
Some other Spain travel information from Seeking the Spanish Sun you might find interesting…
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