Valencia is Spain’s third largest city and it is a Spanish city of note, and after spending one day in Valencia, you will most likely be left wanting more.
While you won’t be able to see it all on a one-day itinerary, you will get an excellent sense of the city, see the main tourist attractions, and more.
Valencia is one of the most beautiful spots in Europe. Between the stunning cobblestone streets, ancient sites, historical architecture, art galleries, science museums, and more, it is one of the top cities in Europe to visit.
But how do you see it all in just one day in Valencia? That is what I am here for. Join me as I run through everything you need to know, from when to visit and how to get around, plus a great one-day itinerary to follow too.
Luckily, Valencia is quite a compact city and the Valencia itinerary below is designed to be walkable from one attraction to the next. This means you won’t have to use public transport at all if you don’t mind being on your feet all day long.
But, if walking all day long doesn’t sound so great, here are the best transportation options to get you to all the attractions.
Valencia has an excellent bus service that will get you around the city with ease. You can buy a ticket for 1.50 Euro onboard for a single journey or you can get a Valencia Tourist Card which includes free transport and discounts to some of the most famous attractions.
Valencia is home to nine metro lines and using the Metro is the easiest and most efficient way to get around the city. The trains are comfortable, air-conditioned, and affordable, and there are stops around most of the city.
The metro doesn’t go to every part of the city, but when it doesn’t there is a tram that does. These are also easy and quick but chances are you won’t need to use them on the Valencia itinerary.
The Hop-On Hop-Off Tourist Bus goes to all the major attractions in the city center and you can choose to get on and off it whenever you like.
It is a great way of seeing the sights conveniently and it does stop at a lot of the attractions in the Valencia itinerary below.
My biggest piece of advice for your one day in Valencia is to use Google Maps. The app will guide you around the streets as you walk, suggest the fastest routes, and even tell you exactly which public transport options are the fastest and most convenient.
The best time to visit Valencia is in the shoulder seasons of March, April, May, September, and October.
Visiting Valencia during these months will give you more affordable prices for your flights and accommodation, it won’t be so busy with tourists, and the weather will be around 25 degrees Celsius and sunny.
You can, of course, visit Valencia all year round but the summer months of July and August are super hot, the most expensive, and the city is packed with visitors which makes getting around a little more stressful.
Visiting in winter will give you the most affordable flights and accommodation, and the city won’t be very busy at all. But, the weather can be hit or miss so bring a rain jacket. Another thing about winter is the city won’t be in full flow like it is in the warmer months.
Below you will find a one-day in Valencia itinerary that shows you the best places in the city. As I mentioned earlier, it is designed to be walked from one spot to the next.
Remember to use Google Maps to navigate your way around and feel free to adjust the itinerary to your liking too, everything is just a suggestion.
The first stop on your one-day in Valencia itinerary is Mercado Central. Depending on where you are staying, it will be a short walk away or a quick hop on the metro or bus.
The Central Market is open from 7 am so you can get there early if you feel like making the most of your day. Sitting in the Old city center, the Central Market is one of the biggest markets in Europe with two floors and hundreds of different stalls.
Before you go into the market, be sure to admire the building from the outside as the architecture is pretty great featuring both Gothic and Art Nouveau styles.
Once inside, enjoy strolling around and finding your breakfast along with a delicious coffee. Everything from fruit to chocolate churros and more will be on offer so take your pick!
Next up on your one-day in Valencia itinerary is the wonderful Silk Exchange which is literally just a one-minute walk away from the Central Market.
The Silk Exchange is an iconic landmark of Valencia and dates back to the 1400s. It is a huge building with a presence that seems a little empty of life from the outside, but the inside is where all the magic is.
As you walk in, be sure to look up as the entire ceiling is decorated while the columns and marble floors only add to its charm. The space inside is overwhelmingly big and was historically used as space for merchants to trade their goods.
You have the option to join a guided audio tour which will give you more insights into the exchange’s history. It doesn’t take too long so don’t worry about using up time on your one day in Valencia and you can always leave whenever you like.
Once you are done at the Silk Exchange, it is just a 5-minute walk to the next stop on your Valencia itinerary, the Valencia Cathedral.
The Valencia Cathedral is one of the most famous sights in the city and is open from 10 am. You should be arriving just as it opens if the itinerary goes to plan and you will want to see the interior as well as the outside.
Before going inside, take in the stunning architecture and be sure to look at the awesome facade at the entrance. It is combined with the Door of the Irons, a multi-story entrance that features intricate carvings which are stunning.
Inside, you will see a lot more architectural delights and will see both Baroque and Gothic styles featured. You will also find some stunning paintings, beautiful stained glass windows, and lots of golden decorations too.
Once you are ready to leave the cathedral, head to Torres de Serranos via an 8-minute walk and use Google Maps to navigate your way there.
Torres de Serranos was once a part of the city walls of Valencia’s Old Town. The walls were built in the 14th century and used to have 12 gates locals used to enter. Today, there are only two gates left and this is one of them.
It is one of the most famous buildings in Valencia and one of the most important in the city center. The building is huge while the doorway is rather small, and you can’t help but notice the huge towers on either side.
You can go inside for just 2 Euros and it is worth climbing to the top of the towers for a great view of the city.
Once you are done at the towers, head to Plaza de la Virgin, just a 5-minute walk back through the Old Town.
Plaza de la Virgen is another important landmark in Valencia. It is a large square that is surrounded by history in the form of ancient architecture.
You will find the stunning city cathedral here as well as the pink basilica, and the magical Turia fountain. The Turia fountain depicts Neptune and is meant to represent the Turia river.
By this time, you are probably ready for lunch so pull up a chair at one of the many tapas bars or cafes that line the square. Choose to dine alfresco with a glass of wine or grab a takeaway and enjoy one of the many benches around the fountain.
Next up as you discover Valencia is the stunning Turia Gardens which are just a 12-minute walk away from the Plaza de la Virgen.
The Turia Gardens were once the bottom of the Turia River but after a huge flood caused a ton of damage to Valencia, the river was diverted to go around the city instead. What was left was covered in the stunning park.
This is one of the largest urban parks in Europe stretching some 9 kilometers and I would recommend hiring a bike to see the best of it. But, a walk-through it is just as good, especially if you are pressed for time as you can go via the park to your next stop.
The highlights of the park include the stunning Botanical Garden and the Royal Gardens. If you are stuck on time, is it best to walk through the park directly to your next stop which is the City of Arts and Sciences, about a 30-minute stroll.
The City of Arts and Sciences complex is a must-see do your day in Valencia. This complex is home to a collection of futuristic buildings that showcase a city of the future with incredible architecture surrounded by azure blue lakes and fountains.
The complex is also home to the Oceanografic and Prince Philip Science Museum along with the Hemispheric which is home to the IMAX and 3D cinema too. The beautiful Opera house is also located here and there are lots of green spaces for you to sit, relax, and reflect on the amazing sights surrounding you!
Feel free to enter any of the museums and sights if you have the time to spare as this is the last cultural stop on your day in Valencia.
One of the best things about Valencia is that it is on the beach and it would be a crime to leave without enjoying it.
From the City of Arts and Sciences continue walking until you reach the beach and find a spot of sand on Malvarrosa Beach to call your own. This beach is rarely busy, so you won’t have any trouble finding a space.
Take a swim in the sea and wash all that walking away while you reflect on all the great things you have seen on your day out. Once you are ready, hit one of the many bars for some drinks to wind down and then move on to a tapas bar for some food along the promenade.
Valencia is home to a lot of hotels so finding a hotel to your liking and budget will be a breeze.
Considering you are only spending one day in Valencia, I would recommend staying in the city center so you are within walking distance of all the attractions and don’t lose time traveling on public transport.
The best place to book a hotel is in Ciutat Vella, Valencia’s Old Town. Not only is this a stunning part of the city but it is also very close to the best places to see.
I would recommend using Booking.Com to find your hotel as it is the best way to book accommodation as it has a huge range of options and always has the best deals.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!