When you have found your accomodation in Barcelona already, and have visited all of its neighbourhood already, you should consider making a weekend trip to Valencia, Spain’s 3rd biggest city.
It takes about 3 hours to get to Valencia (Estacion del Norte) from Barcelona-Sants with the RENFE train, and we will show you why it is worth the ride!
1. Museo Nacional de Cerámica y Artes Suntuarias González Martí (Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas)
Ceramics museum in the Baroque Palacio de Marques de Dos Aguas
This museum used to be the palace of a fizzy Spanish nobleman, called Marques de Dos Aguas. He was prone to pomposity and pretentious kitsch, so he left us with his jaw-dropping riches.
Opening hours: 10 – 14 ; 16 – 20 , Sunday 10 – 14 , closed on Mondays
Location: Carrer del Poeta Querol, 2
2. Mercado Central de Valencia
The Central market hall of Valencia
The Mercat Central brings together almost 400 small traders and 1,500 people are involved in its daily activity. It is the largest centre of its kind in Europe specialising in fresh products and has always been known for the quality, variety and freshness of its products as well as the helpful, personalised service provided by its traders.
In addition to the market’s main activity, the innovative and business-like character of the traders has made the market grow and improve day by day. Nowadays, it is an important place for the sale of fresh products and a major cultural and tourist attraction not only for foreign visitors but also for the people of Valencia.
Opening hours: Mon – Sat , 8 – 14:30
Location: Plaza Ciudad de Brujas
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3. La Lonja de la Seda
Silk exchange of Valencia
This masterpiece of Valencian style Gothic architecture has been built at the peak Valencia’s golden age in the 15th century, and symbolizes commercial prosperity and the union of ethics and economy. La Lonja functioned as a silk exchange, which was a good of high value at that time. The honesty of its traders is honored by the inscription that runs around the main contract hall. UNSECO made it a world heritage since “the site is of outstanding universal value as it is a wholly exceptional example of a secular building in late Gothic style, which dramatically illustrates the power and wealth of one of the great Mediterranean mercantile cities.”
Opening hours: 9:30 – 19 , Sunday till 15
Location: Right next to the Mercado Central de Valencia
4. Catedral de Santa Maria de Valencia
The Cathedral of Valencia
Gothic architecture is the predominant style of this cathedral, although it also contains Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical elements. One of the supposed Holy Chalices in the world is revered in one of this cathedral’s chapels; this chalice has been defended as the true Holy Grail; indeed, most Christian historians all over the world declare that all their evidence points to this Valencian chalice as the most likely candidate for being the authentic cup used at the Last Supper.
The cathedral contains numerous 15th-century paintings, some by local artists (such as Jacomart), others by artists from Rome engaged by the Valencian Pope Alexander VI. You should definetly check out the panoramic view from the Torre del Micalet for 2€.
Opening hours: 8 – 20 every day
Location: Plaça de l’Almoina
5. Real Basilica de Nuestra Señora De Los Desamparados
The Basilica of the Helpless
It has been devotion for the helpless that made the people of Valencia want to build a basilica for their patron and embellish it, over several generations, since the 15th century. Excavations prove that square on which the basilica is located used to be the Forum Romanum of Valencia, which is why the façade is full of Roman inscriptions.
Opening hours: 7 – 14 ; 16:30 – 21 every day
Location: Plaça de la Verge
6. L’Iber, Museo de los Soldaditos de Plomo
This crazy place shows you the history of the world with 80,000 small pawns on 16 permanent exhibition rooms, ranging from Dinosaurs up to the Iraq war, passing through the Old Egypt, the Roman Empire, the medieval stories of knights and kings, the procession of Corpus Christi, Ancient civilizations of South America or the Spanish Civil War.
Opening hours: Wed – Sun , 11 – 14 ; 16 – 19
Location: C/ Caballeros, 20-22
7. Torres de Serranos
Torres de Serranos infront of Valencia’s Oldtown
The portal of Serranos, together with the one at Qart, used to be the main entrance to Valencia. It has been the showpiece of Valencia’s medieval wall, and have been perceived as a symbol of the city’s commercial expansion at the time of its construction. Merchants and kings alike went through passed this threshold to participate in Valencia’s glory days.
You will get an astonishing view of the city and the coastline from its roofs.
Opening hours: 9:30 – 19 , Sunday 9:30 – 15
Location: Plaça dels Furs
8. Palacete y Jardin de Monforte
This park with a surface of 12,000 square meters is the ideal place to take a break from your run through the city and enjoy what nature has got to offer. The beautiful garden architecture is complemented by esthetic statutes and vases, relaxing ornamental fountains and trimmed plants. It’s simply one of the most beautiful gardens in Valencia.
Entry: free Opening hours: everyday 10:30 – 18 or 20 (depending on season) Location: Plaça de la Legió Espanyola, 2
10. Ciudad de la Sciencia y Las Artes
Ciudad de Las Artes y Las Sciencias
This giant Mecca of science, arts and entertainment is an unavoidable stop for any Valencia tourist. It is worth spending days just in there, unfortunately most passersby just manage to walk through the Turia park and discover these Mars like buildings and to take some selfies with it in the background.
Science museum: 8€
Umbracle: for free
Opening hours: 10 – 18 every day
Location: Av del Profesor López Piñero, 7
Your trip over the weekend to Valencia by RENFE train. Click on one of the places inside Valencia in the box on the left and zoom in for a walk through Valencia’s Old town.