Valencia is beautiful, and as Spain doesn’t fall asleep at 7pm. There is a lot to see, to do and to explore even with a full work week. Here are activities for one week that will help you to get to know important parts of the city in your afterwork time.
Must-Do: Get lost in the historic center of Valencia
Valencia is filled with beautiful architecture and it is breathtaking to walk around in Centro Historico. There are houses that look more like villas or castles, lining up next to each other, separated by old churches and some ruins that make it all look even more (sur)real. Take the first evening to take it in and make a playful challenge of trying to find the house you like the most. If you are lucky, you will find some of the huge wooden entrance doors to be open as you stroll by. If so, peak in and look at the masterly carved wooden ceilings and banisters. I never made it to snap a good picture. But you have to see it for yourself anyways.
Eat some tapas and beyond
At the end of the day as you start to get tired and the light is fading, Valencia has a lot of delicious food to offer. Go find some amazing tapas and pinchos or alternatively have some Paella. As this dish is originally from Valencia, you can find it everywhere. The food goes great with some Agua de Valencia, a mixture of cava (champagne), orange chuice, vodka and gin. Definitely worth a try. If this should’t meet your criteria, there is always Sangria and Spanish wine. Two great dinner choices would be „Bar and Kitchen“ for tapas in a small and quiet square or El Rall for paella.
Work out at the Jardí de Túria
Valencia offers the best park for a workout ever. You have never seen the likes of it. Here used to be the rather big river Túria, that flooded Valencia in 1957. As it was rerouted, a big and seemingly endless park was created in the middle of town. The landscapists designed “a unique itinerary of palm trees and orange trees, fountains and pine woods, aromatic plants and ponds, sports facilities and rose beds” (Visit Valencia). And it surely does deliver. Not only are there spots for soccer, basketball, football, baseball and skating just to name some, but there are separate paths for bikes, runners and people who „just“ take a walk. Next to playgrounds there are many different work-out parts for pull-ups, sit-sups and whatever you would like to train. If you make it to run down to the southern end, you can take a break and look at the super modern and great architecture of the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias, the city of arts and science.
The Spanish really know how to dress and how to create fashion. Hence some shopping is in order. Valencia offers a huge variety of stores, it seems rather endless. As they are usually open till 9pm, you have enough time after work to find some new outfits, bags and shoes to love that help to keep the memory of Valencia alive when leaving. You can find many international and national brands around the Plaça de l’Ajuntament and along Carrer Colon.
If you prefer to check some local artistry and find souvenirs, go back into old town and look around Barrio Carmen and check for example the “carrer de las cestas” (the street of baskets) in front of the Mercado Central. Around this area, you can find many small streets with local vendors. It should not be hard to find something nice around there.
Stroll through artist quarter Ruzafa
Continue your week (and shopping spree) by venturing to the “artist quarter” Ruzafa. You can find many great vintage stores and smaller boutiques around Carrer Sueca and Carrer Cuba. But do not neglect to take in your surroundings. It is apparently does not look as historic, but its architecture is still uber-charming. And the best part, there are actually not too many tourists hanging out here. There are lots of locals on these squares and the restaurants on the streets. Just join in. Nice Add On: it’s much cheaper than old town.
You can get your dinner at La Finestra. It’s a cute place with amazing mini pizzas. You order your pizzas for 1,50€ each and usually just get the next ones that are ready. Anything you wouldn’t eat you can tell them in order to avoid pizza toppings you really do not like. It’s a fun experience and as the pizzas are petite, you can keep trying different ones until you are satisfied.
Vamos a la playa
On Friday, try to leave work a bit earlier and take a cab to the beach. It’s right in front of Valencia and you can either just stroll along or take a dip in the sea. With a coastline of more than 485 km, the area of Valencia has some fine (and far stretched) beaches. I guess there is not much to say about why one should spend some time at the water: listen to the waves and let work fade away.
Hit the clubs
After coming home from the beach, take a shower (and a short nap), and go for some late dinner and drinks. And afterwards, if you still have some energy left in your body, try to check out the local club scene. As Valencia is also the port to Ibiza and has many universities and students, there is quite some party scene to explore. (How to find good clubs? Here is an overall guide, even though written for a different city.)