6 things to see in Valencia’s historic centre
I hope you are having a nice Tuesday so far!
With the posts I am writing lately I feel like Alice from Wonderland, just getting lost in different magic places. I keep on wandering around, looking for adventures in different little charming spots.
Nevertheless, today I am changing roles with Mr White Rabbit. I would love to give you a quick tour of Valencia’s historical centre and show you the 6 spots you can not miss if you come around for a visit!
Will you let me walk you through the places where I grew?
Valencia is a city located on the east coast of Spain, and it is the third biggest in the country, right after Madrid and Barcelona. From my humble point of view, I consider this city the perfect spot for having an office break because of its historic centre; its arts and science architectural complex; its beaches; its numerous green spaces; its fantastic food, and let’s not forget about the great climate!
I made the decision to show you a small part of it every time I visit this charming city, starting with the historical side of it. But…Tick tock.. tick tock… we are running late! So let’s go to the heart of today’s matter.
Hare my favourite 6 things to see in Valencia’s historic centre:
- North Station
This is where our journey begins: at the main railway station in Valencia. The meeting up spot for every kind of teenage social group you can think of. It is located right next to the bullring.
- Plaza del ayuntamiento
Also known as the Town Hall Square. Spoiler alert: The Town Hall is located in here!
The building was constructed in the 18th Century in an eclectic style. As if it was not beautiful on its own, it is accompanied by local florists spread all over the square.
Many important events take place at Plaza del Ayuntamiento: every single important protest, new year’s Eve, and even the daily mascleta (daily fireworks) during the week of Fallas local festival.
- Central market + streets around
If you keep walking for a few meters, you will be able to find the Central Market modernist building belonging to the 20th century. Unlike me, if you have to chance to stop by when it is opened to the public, you will be able to see the inside of this historical building. Not only the architecture is impressive but I can also assure you the ambience and the fresh, traditional local food will leave a very pleasant taste in your mouth.
The streets around the market do also have their special charm, don’t you think so?
- Squares combo: Plaza de la Reina & Plaza de la Virgen
Both squares are located one next to the other. I feel they both reflect the spirit of the city and they both fit in the perfect definition for “Valencia”.
They are both surrounded by many restaurants, cafes and tapas bars. From both, you can see the Cathedral of Valencia and the Micalet bell tower: a tower -with never ending steps- that will lead you to an amazing viewpoint from which you will be able to see the whole city of Valencia. This stop is a must, not only because of the breathtaking views of the city but also because the tickets to access the Micalet are incredibly cheap!
- Flavours combo: Coca de tomate + horchata
When visiting Plaza de la Virgen and Plaza de la Reina, I would strongly recommend you to stop by one of the many coffee shops or restaurants surrounding the area. Just pick an outdoor table from where you can enjoy the Valencian atmosphere.
Here is what you should (MUST) order if you wish to try Valencia’s most traditional flavours:
- Horchata: Tiger nut milk drink, Valencia’s local drink by excellence.
- Coca de tomate: handmade flat bread common in the Valencian and Catalonian regions. Cocas can be either open -like a pizza- or closed, as in folded over like a turnover. The main ingredients for the base bread are eggs, fluor, sugar, salt and it is always filled in with a few topings such as vegetables, including tomato, and in some cases tuna, meat, or pine nuts.
- Rosquilletas: AKA thick breadsticks. This is what every Spanish child has had as a snack during midday school breaks for several years! I can not emphasize how present rosquilletas are in Valencian people’s lifes.
- Agua de Valencia: Okay, who goes to Spain and does not drink a bit of alcohol even if it’s in the shape of wine? Agua the Valencia is the Valencian cocktail by definition. It is made with Champagne, orange juice, vodka and gin.
- Barrio del Carmen
Last but not least, this is our final stop. This area can be described as the Valencian Shoreditch: it the trendy -yet not that expensive- area where all the nightlife of the city is concentrated. The trendiest restaurants and typical bars are around every corner!
No, we are not partying together. I just wanted to share with you how is it like to walk through during the daylight. The graffittis on the walls are spread all over the streets.
Some of them are quite interesting and funny. The small door painted on the blue wall is known as the house of the cats. Actual street cats live in it and you can get to see them as you approach the wall.
I hope you enjoyed this quick trip with me as much as I did preparing it. And I also hope for us to get lost together a few more times.
Special thanks to Eric Benajes, for capturing the magic with me in these amazing photos. You can now check out his website by clicking on the link available on his name!
This White Rabbit is going back to her den labours. But before leaving, I would like to close this post with one of my favourite quotes extracted from one of my favourite books:
“If you don’t know where are you going, any road can take you there”
Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland
Thanks for reading me!
Jumpsuit – Topshop
Sandals – Zara
Bag – Zara
Lipstick – So Chaud, MAC