How to Spend 3 Days in Valencia Spain

Welcome to Valencia Spain! The city that offers the perfect blend of culture, history, and delicious cuisine! With its incredible architecture and beautiful beaches, there is no shortage of things to see and do during your 3 days in Valencia Spain!

Having just returned from Valencia, I think you landed the perfect number of days to visit Spain’s third-largest city.

What to see in Valencia in 3 days will include a mix of historical landmarks like the amazing Cathedral, admiring some architecture like the City of Arts and Science and getting a taste of food at the Central Market is just the start.

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Summary of 3 Days in Valencia

view of city rooftops while spending 3 days in valencia

If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to read this whole article now, use this chart to see how to visit Valencia in 3 days.

chart that shows how to spend 3 days in valencia-spain

Day 1 of Your Valencia 3 Day Itinerary

church on square with palm tree in valencia 3 day itinerary

Let’s spend your first day in Valencia Old Town.

Valencia’s Old Town is a must-visit for any visitor to the city. Dating back to Roman times, it houses iconic landmarks, a maze of narrow streets with centuries-old architecture, and charming squares.

It’s small enough that you can explore it in one day, and on foot. The best way to enjoy it is with a little curiosity and willingness to get lost. That’s why I’ve intentionally included lots of free time for you to explore it on your own and not be so regimented with the itinerary.

That’s how I like to explore and hope you do too. Now, here’s what to see in Valencia‘s Old Town.

MORNING

Exploring the Maze of Streets

As the sun slowly arrives and gently shines on Valencia’s Old Town, I love to begin my day by wandering through its maze of streets. I especially liked the ancient streets near Portal de Valldigna, and 15th century archway to the old Arab quarter.

You also will want to find the ancient city walls of València. These are the old walls built in the Roman to Moorish times. Disappointingly a lot of it is hard to see or access due to the amount of rebuilding in this area. Regardless, it’s very cool to seek it out and trace the remains of the wall knowing you are in the oldest part of the city.

See the Medieval Towers

The 14th century towers of Valencia functioned as the primary gates of the walled city helping to protect the city during Medieval times. Two remaining towers you’ll want to visit are Torres de Serranos and the Torres de Quart. You can climb the towers for panoramic views of the city for €3.

If you love street art, make your way to the El Carmen district of Old Town. Walk along Calle de Guillem de Castro for the best ones to scout out.

Visit to Valencia Cathedral

Next, find your way to the heart of Valencia – Plaça de la Reina – a busy public square surrounded by historic buildings and lively cafes. You’re bound to lay your eyes on the square’s main attraction – the awe-inspiring Valencia Cathedral.

Its exterior with its mix of Gothic and Romanesque architecture will impress you. Inside, is even more amazing. The highlight is the Chapel of the Holy Chalice, said to hold the Holy Grail. If you are a history buff or interested in religion, I recommend taking a guided tour. You can learn a lot more about the symbolism and history from an expert guide. I did not and regret that decision.

While you’re inside the Cathedral, don’t miss climbing the Bell Tower. Ascending the cathedral’s bell tower, El Miguelete rewards you with one of the best views of Valencia. The climb is steep with 207 steps but worth every step for the incredible vistas.

Walk the full exterior of the Cathedral, as behind it, through a passage that leads you to a smaller square called Plaça de la Verge with a beautiful fountain.

AFTERNOON

fountain with statues while spending 3 day valencial itinerary

Lunch Recommendations

Spaniards eat lunch later than we North Americans do. So be ready to scout out a restaurant you would like to try and arrive at between 1 and 1:30 pm. With so many to choose from – let your stomach be the guide.

I ate at a cozy restaurant near the charming Plaça Redona, a round plaza where the buildings curve around it and tiny little streets spiral away from it. It’s a must-see as it’s unique to the other public squares you will see in Valencia.

I chose an Italian restaurant that was delicious and where a lot of locals were eating, always a good sign! It’s called Lattee Farina– both with terrace dining and interior. I opted for the interior and got a lovely table in the mezzanine overlooking the restaurant and by a window looking out onto the street. It was divine, both in atmosphere and food.

outdoor market when in spending three days in valencia

Another great option for lunch is to visit the Mercado Central – one of Europe’s largest food markets. If you do, another recommendation that I tried and loved is Central Bar – a traditional tapas restaurant that has limited seating around its bar and open kitchen. Expect a wait in line to get a coveted seat, but it’s worth it.

I got seated beside a local (shout out to Jose who works at City Hall) and he told me, that he comes here two to three times a week for lunch. It’s his favourite place- good prices and good food he said as we toasted our wine glasses and he was right!

Explore The Silk Exchange

Spend your afternoon at the Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda), a UNESCO World Heritage site and just one of the reasons to visit Valencia.

This architectural gem transports me back to Valencia’s silk trading glory days. Inside, the Silk Museum you can learn more about the city’s silk production history, from mulberry trees to luxurious fabrics. Or, you can simply enjoy the grand entrance hall and admire the details of the architecture.

People Watch at Plaza del Ajuntamento

city hall with people and pigeons in 3 days in valencia

Next, walk to Plaza del Ayuntamiento where you’ll find L’Ajuntament de València, or City Hall. It has elegant architecture as do many of the other buildings surrounding the square. Grab an ice cream at Lucciano’s and watch the lively energy of the crowds.

Admire the Beauty of the Ceramics Museum

Even if you are not a museum-goer, you absolutely must go and see the exterior. It’s a former palace and the details, colour and architecture is incredible.

If you do want to go inside, you will be able to view the extensive collection of traditional Valencian pottery, intricate tiles (azulejos), and contemporary ceramic art tracing its evolution through the centuries.

Plaça de Sant Nicolau: A Hidden Gem

A short walk from the museum leads you to the charming Plaça de Sant Nicolau. This quaint square with its shady trees, inviting benches, and the stunning Church of San Nicolás

Day 2 of Your 3 Day Valencia Itinerary

gardens with tall palm trees in 3 days in valencia

Let’s spend your second day in Valencia by visiting three top attractions – Turia Gardens, the City of Arts and Science complex and Valencia beaches.

Choose how you want to spend your time. I encourage you to follow your interests. If you love the beach – that means you will spend less time at Turia Gardens and the Arts & Science complex.

I do recommend that you rent a bike for the day. It’s the best way to get to all three sites very easily and it’s fun!

Ride Through Turia Gardens

The Turia Gardens has a fascinating history—where it was once the Turia River until a major flood in the 1950s led to the river being diverted. The city decided to turn it into a beautiful park space. Locals fondly refer to it as El Riu or “The River”.

Stretching for more than 9 km, this urban park is incredible. Lots of picturesque walking and cycling paths, tall shade trees, flower gardens, and various sports facilities.

Starting at Cabecera Park, which marks the northernmost point of Turia Park there are two spots unknown to most tourists: Colina, a charming hilltop viewpoint ideal for catching the sunset, and a repurposed ancient amphitheatre that has become a favourite hangout spot for locals.

Admire the Architecture of The City of Arts and Sciences

modern white building in valencia 3 day itinerary

Within Turia Gardens you will see the amazing modern architecture of Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela. This iconic complex opened its doors in the late 20th century, and continues to look futuristic today!

Here are the buildings you will see:

  • Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is my favourite and gets your attention due to its elegant design that some say resembles a bike helmet. This opera house hosts world-class performances, concerts, and cultural events.
  • Oceanogràfic is Europe’s largest aquarium showcasing diverse marine ecosystems including playful dolphins to majestic sharks.
  • L’Umbracle is a landscaped walkway with an open-air sculpture gallery filled with native Valencian flora and other botanical plants.
  • Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe resembles a giant whale skeleton. Inside this science museum, it offers interactive exhibits of scientific wonders, technology, and natural history.
  • L’Hemisfèric houses an IMAX cinema, planetarium, and laserium and offers immersive experiences in astronomy, science, and audiovisual arts.

If any of these experiences interest you, I recommend you get tickets in advance to avoid long lines. If not, admiring them from the exterior is just as rewarding.

Enjoy a Beach Day at Playa de la Malvarrosa

beach with straw umbrellas and sea in valencia in 3 days holiday

Unwind at Playa de la Malvarrosa, Valencia’s popular urban beach. The golden sands, refreshing Mediterranean waters, and vibrant beachfront promenade offer the perfect setting for relaxation, water sports, or a seaside dinner at one of the many charming restaurants lining the coast.

Day 3 of Your Three Days in Valencia

beach with castle at top of rocky hill in valencia in 3 days holiday

Spend your third day exploring beyond Valencia. And, I’ve got two great options for you.

Discovering Albufera Natural Park

Take a day trip (with a group tour) from Valencia to discover the beautiful Albufera Natural Park. Learn about the park’s diverse wildlife, rural surroundings and the park’s rice fields. This day trip includes a boat ride and cooking class to learn how to make an authentic Valencian paella.

Check availability and pricing

Exploring Peñíscola

Take a day trip (with a guided tour) to Peñíscola as I did. It’s known for its impressive medieval castle (Game of Thrones filming location) perched atop a rocky promontory, and even better its panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and well-preserved old town.

Wandering cobbled streets within the fortified walls will transport you back to medieval times. Quaint shops, tapas bars and cozy restaurants can be found at every turn. Visiting Peniscola was one of the highlights of my entire Spain trip.

Check availability and pricing for the tour I took

As a Holidaymaker

There you have it – your 3 day itinerary in Valencia!

Based on this itinerary I don’t recommend you purchase a Tourist Card. If you were staying longer and able to visit more museums then yes, it might be.

I hope this has been helpful for your Valencia visit. You might also be interested in knowing the best time to go – for the weather and cultural festivals or trip planning resources, visit my Spain travel page with all my articles and resources.