• Fri. Sep 23rd, 2022

Where to sleep, what to eat and what to do

ByKeith M. Jones

Aug 16, 2022

Without a doubt, Valencia is one of the most exciting cities in Spain. From beautiful Mediterranean beaches to electric nightlife, you’ll never run out of a new experience. It is a place full of contrasting architecture, with futuristic buildings nestled inside the exquisite old town. You’ll fall in love with the laid-back lifestyle and friendly atmosphere, making it a major struggle to eventually get back to your 9-5.

Need help planning your next trip? Let me introduce you to my last stay in Valencia for some sunny inspiration.

where we stayed

Hotel Palacio Vallier is in the most stunning part of the ancient old town of Valencia. Just a few steps from the cathedral and overlooking the beautiful Jardines De La Generalitat, the 19th century mansion offers a peaceful escape from the surrounding hustle and bustle.

The hotel has 31 rooms and boasts an intimate and comforting atmosphere, allowing you to completely disconnect after an active day in the city. Meanwhile, the elaborate interiors inspired by art deco will give you all the best Instagram opportunities. The space throughout the hotel has been very well thought out and perfectly complements the natural lighting. I especially enjoyed getting ready in the evening as the sun set and the evening buzz outside intensified.

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A particular highlight of the stay was the roof terrace, which allows you to capture the views of the whole city and its historic buildings. If (like me) you love this moment of golden hour, you will really fall in love with this terrace. Tip: order a naughty cocktail at Lladró Lounge Bar for the perfect complement to sunsets.

We stayed in a lovely first floor room which had a quaint little balcony that overlooked the sunny street. The room was very exclusive with its chic interior, minimalist design and marble bathroom – allowing me to live out my childhood princess fantasy. The bathroom also stands out with its unique frosted glass which gives both the shower and the toilet their own privacy – allowing you and your partner to use it as you please.

With a glass of champagne in hand while relaxing in a king size bed, my little London apartment truly felt like a million miles away. Not only did the room provide a little haven of peace, but it was extended when we dined at the Exquisite The Perfumery Restaurant for our breakfast each morning. With a huge selection of everyone’s favorite breakfast items, we were asked to choose one dish from the three course menu. With the patio doors open and the morning energy flowing, it was a perfect way to start the morning and prepare for a busy day.

What we have done

Explore the city by bike

The best way to see Valencia is by bike, especially since the city is full of cycle paths and the infamous Turia Park. The park is no less than 9 kilometers long and crosses the entire city, starting from Valencia Zoo and ending with the Mediterranean Sea. It’s also completely flat, so if you’re a runner and feeling energetic on your vacation, this will be your spot. Another good reason to visit the park is to see the buildings of the City of Arts and Sciences. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the future with the beautiful architecture – a must-see during your visit. If you fancy renting bikes for the day, we picked up our bikes at Happy Tourist Center – I loved my bike so much, I wanted to take it back to London with me!

Try the signature cocktails

Valencia is also known for its signature cocktail, Agua De Valencia. Also known as ‘Valencia Water’, this simple but refreshing Spanish drink includes freshly squeezed orange juice, sparkling wine, vodka and gin – a great drink before your night out. If you fancy trying this delicious drink, head over to Cafe de las Horas where you can dine in a glamorous and iconic setting, which must be seen in person to fully appreciate.

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Bioparc Valencia

A real highlight of our trip was visiting Bioparc Valencia which wouldn’t be an obvious choice for me on vacation, but I ended up falling in love with the place. With nearly 150 different African species and beautifully designed habitats, the zoo’s intention is to give all visitors the opportunity to experience animals in their natural environment. With the barriers of individual habitats being nearly invisible, it makes you feel like you’re walking through the wilderness of an African-inspired continent. The park is divided into four main areas and you have the chance to get up close with gorillas, elephants, lions, giraffes and even those cheeky meerkats. The park is open 365 days a year and ticket prices for adults are £25.30 and you can easily spend a whole day there.

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where we ate

During our stay in Valencia, we dined in the beautiful Yarza restaurant. Nestled in the Cánovas district, Yarza specializes in local cuisine – think fish from the nearby market, mature meats and infamous rice dishes. We sampled a selection of delicious plates which included zucchini flowers stuffed with cod brandade and cuttlefish with beef meatballs and onions. My favorite was the dessert which was a gooey hazelnut coulant, served with vanilla ice cream. The restaurant is very contemporary, with a spacious and elegant setting which made the experience really special. Yarza had the most outstanding staff and Manu, the chef, made us feel truly at home – a must if you fancy a truly memorable evening.

valencia, spain travel guide where to stay, what to eat and what to do

Jaime Lee

We also spent the evening at Lisa Negra, a restaurant located in the heart of the historic downtown area of ​​the city and definitely one for all foodies. We loved the elegant vibe and the rich, traditional textures that really brought the space to life. The first thing that stood out was the open kitchen as our table faced it directly so we could watch all the action going on and our food grilled over an open flame. The restaurant specializes in grilled meats, quality seafood and meats cooked over a wood fire. Dishes include bluefin tuna belly, denía red prawns and caramelized potato salad. A distinct favorite was the traditional Valencian paella and yellow butter flan – it was literally the most beautiful of desserts! Side note – keep an eye out for the beautiful tableware in the restaurant which was provided by Costa Nova.

valencia, spain travel guide where to stay, what to eat and what to do

Jaime Lee

Trick :

When visiting Valencia, another easy way to get around the city would be to use the Free now app, which works exactly the same as the UBER and Bolt apps in the UK. We used it to and from the airport and for all of our parties – had no problems with the app and all the drivers were very friendly and helpful.

While discovering the city, it is really useful to know that the tap water is drinkable! If you end up visiting the city on hot summer days, you can refill your reusable water bottle at the many water fountains dotted around the city.