15 Top Attractions in Valencia Spain You Don’t Want to Miss

If you’re at the exciting beginning stages of planning your trip to Valencia, Spain, you’re in luck!

I’ve created a comprehensive list of the top attractions in Valencia Spain that you won’t want to miss during your visit.

Whether you’re drawn to historical sites, cultural experiences, or want to know where to find the best views, this guide covers it.

I just returned from Valencia and I know this information helped plan my trip. And now I am passing it on to you.

I narrowed down my complete list of Valencia attractions to only include the must-see places to visit in Valencia, like the Cathedral, the Silk Exchange, and the central market.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase something through the links, at no additional cost to you. Read my Affiliate Disclosure.

List of the Top Attractions in Valencia Spain (A-Z)

city view of valencia spain as one of the top things to do

If you’re in a hurry, here is the full list of the attractions Valencia offers visitors.

I’ve marked my top 5 must see Valencia attractions with a star. ⭐

  1. Albufera Natural Park (Parque Natural de la Albufera)
  2. Botantical Garden (Jardí Botànic)
  3. Ceramics Museum (Museu Nacional de Ceràmica i de les Arts Sumptuàries Gonzàlez Martí)
  4. Central Market (Mercado Central)
  5. Churches (Iglesia)
  6. City of Arts & Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias)
  7. City Squares and Plazas (Plaza and Plaça)
  8. Old Town of València (Ciutat Vella)
  9. Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda)
  10. Towers (Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart)
  11. Town Hall of Valencia (Registre de l’Ajuntament de València)
  12. Turia Gardens (Jardines del Turia)
  13. Valencia Beaches (Playas de València)
  14. Valencia Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de València)
  15. Valencia Zoo (Bioparc València)

I hope you read further, but if you are in a rush, save and pin this article for later.

15 Valencia Tourist Attractions

1. Valencia Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de Valencia)

tower, church with dome as one of the top attractions in valencia spain

Explore the historic Valencia Cathedral. It is a must see Valencia attraction due to its blending of Gothic, Romanesque, and Baroque styles from the 13th century and housing the Holy Grail according to legend.

As part of your visit here, don’t miss going up the adjacent tower called El Micalet.

Don’t be discouraged by the line; here’s how it works: visitors ascend the tower in groups due to the narrow circular staircase, making it a one-way route.

Every 30 minutes, a group goes up (and down). Keep in mind there are 207 steps to the top, which is twice the usual depth; even as a fit runner, I found myself winded and my legs shaky at the summit. The longer it takes you to get to the top, the less time you will have to enjoy the amazing views. At the 20 minute mark, you will get a warning to start your descent to the bottom.

The cost is only €3, and it’s truly worth it! Offering the highest vantage point in Valencia with 360-degree views of the city, despite the wire fencing that may obstruct your view slightly.

2. Valencia Old Town (Ciutat Vella)

The best sightseeing in Valencia can be found behind the well-preserved medieval walls dating back to the 14th century.

As I strolled through the charming streets, it felt like I was stepping back in time to the Middle Ages, with traces of the ancient Roman and Moorish Wall, now in ruins.

One of the best things to do in Valencia Old Town is to get lost in the narrow streets. As I did, I came across some interesting street art, like the Rosita Amores, interesting artisan shops and cozy restaurants.

I also discovered a few hidden gems, like The House of Cats (La Casa dels Gats)—a safe haven for city cats that enter through a miniature wall art.

3. Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda)

outside steps of building with steel doors at popular valencia tourist attraction

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 15th-century Gothic style building is one of the best things to do in Valencia for free. It served as a trading hub during Valencia’s golden age as a major silk production centre. The city played a key role in the silk trade network that connected Europe with the Middle East and Asia during the Renaissance.

The building’s stunning Gothic architecture reflects Valencia’s prosperity during this period, which can be seen through its intricate stone carvings and impressive Hall of Columns.

4. City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias)

as top attractions in valencia spain white modern buildings with  greenery

This white, modern, futuristic architectural complex designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela features some iconic buildings that I enjoyed admiring from its exterior.

The highlights include:

  • L’Hemisfèric: a stunning IMAX cinema and planetarium
  • Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe: a science museum
  • L’Umbracle: a landscaped walkway and garden area with great views of the complex
  • Oceanogràfic: the largest aquarium in Europe
  • Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía: an opera house and performing arts center
  • Àgora: a space used for concerts and events featuring a retractable roof
  • Pont de l’Assut de l’Or: a futuristic bridge crossing the Turia Gardens and connecting different areas of the complex

5. Central Market (Mercado Central)

indoor market with tile and dome roof as one of the best attractions valencia offers

You won’t want to miss visiting one of Europe’s largest indoor markets. Similar to other European markets, Mercado Central boasts rows of fresh produce, local specialties, and food stalls offering everything from tapas to churros dipped in chocolate.

Don’t forget to look up! This late 19th-century market is one of the most attractive, adorned with intricate details on the ceiling.

One place I was eager to visit is the Central Bar, renowned as a foodie hotspot where locals come for lunch. I intentionally arrived after the lunch rush to secure a stool at the bar top, and it was well worth the wait.

6. City Squares and Plazas (Plaza and Plaça)

public square with people and buildings and palm trees as one of the best attractions valencia offers

As you wander through the labyrinthine streets of the Old Town, they will lead you to some of Valencia’s lively public squares. Some of the highlights I recommend visiting include:

  • Plaça Redona, with its unique circular shape, is a hidden gem lined with traditional shops and cozy restaurants
  • Shops and cafes surround Plaza de la Reina, and the iconic Valencia Cathedral, it’s one of the livelier squares I visited
  • Plaza de la Virgen is next to the cathedral, and it’s a charming square featuring the Basilica of Virgen de los Desamparados and the Palau de la Generalitat
  • Valencia’s main square, Plaça de l’Ajuntament, is lined with impressive architecture such as the City Hall
  • Plaça de la Verge, with its picturesque fountains and historical buildings, is a popular gathering spot, especially during traditional festivals like Las Fallas which I was lucky enough to see

7. Churches (Iglesia)

notable church is a valencia attraction with church tower and bell

There are at least a dozen noteworthy churches in Valencia. Most of them you will come across as you walk from attraction to attraction.

After visiting many of them, I’ve only selected a few of my favourites that I think are worth visiting.

  • Visit St Nicolás Church (officially known as Església de San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Màrtir) for its stunning frescoes and convenient location in the Old Town
  • Near Plaza de la Reine visit the soaring Gothic architecture of the Church of Santa Catalina
  • The church of Los Santos Juanes would be worth seeing IF it’s free to get in (it was for me) and once the renovations are done
  • The Church of Patriarca is a historical complex that includes the church, a public square with a fountain and a college
  • Near Plaça Redona, you’ll want to pop in to see the church of San Martín with a blend of Gothic, Neoclassical and Renaissance elements

8. Towers (Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart)

The towers of Valencia, built in the 14th century, functioned as the primary gates of the city and played a vital role in Valencia’s defence system during Medieval times.

Among the noteworthy towers that remain are the Torres de Serranos and the Torres de Quart. You can climb the towers for panoramic views of the city for €3.

9. Town Hall of Valencia (Registre de l’Ajuntament de València)

flowers with two girls on grass in front of city hall as one of the top attractions valencia offers

The Town Hall of Valencia lies in the heart of the city centre on the lively Plaça de l’Ajuntament (Town Hall Square). Constructed in the 18th century in Baroque style, it remains the administrative center for Valencia’s local government and serves as a venue for civic events and ceremonies.

10. Ceramics National Museum (Museu Nacional de Ceràmica i de les Arts Sumptuàries Gonzàlez Martí)

fountain with museum with marble and elaborate windows as valencia tourist attraction

One of the most beautiful buildings in Valencia (I revisited it multiple times) is the Ceramics Museum which is housed in Valencia’s historic Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas.

It’s a 15th century palace featuring elaborate Rococo architecture on its façade, be sure to walk around its perimeter to appreciate it fully and find the pretty fountain found on one of its corners.

Inside, you can explore a wide collection of ceramics, including delicate porcelain and vibrant Valencian tiles (azulejos). There are also textiles and furniture to look at, giving you a peek into palace life back then.

11. Turia Gardens (Jardines del Turia)

This now beautiful urban park was once the former Turia River, which had to be diverted after a major flood in the 1950s. Locals still call it El Riu or The River.

Over 9 kilometres long, the park offers scenic walking and cycling pathways, gardens, and sports facilities. I rented a bike, as it was a fun way to see the entire park using the easy trials.

At its northernmost point, opposite the Mediterranean Sea, Turia Park begins at Cabecera Park, a popular spot among locals. They have the insider scoop on two hidden gems unknown to tourists: Colina, a scenic hilltop lookout perfect for sunset views, and an ancient amphitheatre turned hangout spot.

12. Botantical Garden (Jardí Botànic)

A destination featuring a Botanical Garden always earns a spot on my itinerary. Not only does it provide a relaxing break from a busy day of sightseeing, but I also love admiring beautiful gardens.

Dating back to the 16th century, the Botanical Garden was established as a medicinal plant garden, now featuring over 4,000 plant species, including rare and exotic varieties. Stroll through themed sections such as tropical and desert plants. I visited during springtime and especially enjoyed the burst of colours from the seasonal blooms.

13. Valencia Beaches (Playas de Valencia)

sandy beach with umbrellas and sea as valencia tourist attraction

Valencia’s expansive sandy beaches, deserted during my visit, are perfect for enjoying sun, sand, and sea fun.

Next to the beach strip is a spacious boulevard for walking, followed by a line of restaurants with a bike path. Don’t miss out on trying authentic Valencian paella at one of these restaurants, or for a more casual dining experience, explore the beachside chiringuitos right on the sand.

14. Bioparc Valencia

Valencia offers a unique zoo experience by recreating natural habitats for its animals. The park is known for its immersive environments, where animals roam freely, and you can observe the animals in settings similar to their native habitats.

I don’t usually enjoy visiting zoos, but locals promised this wasn’t your typical zoo experience. Looking back, I wish I had made time to visit here, but I only learned about this local perspective towards the end of my trip.

15. Albufera Natural Park (Parque Natural de la Albufera)

One of the top places to visit in Valencia region (just beyond the city limits) is to visit the serene freshwater lagoon surrounded by rice fields.

Unfortunately, this is the only Valencia attraction that I didn’t visit, although I did see it from the van of another tour I took to Peniscola.

I recommend visiting with a tour guide so that you can gain insight into the long agricultural history dating back to the Moorish times this area is known for.

Valencia Attractions for Culture Seekers

two kids in traditional costumes as best attractions valencia offers

Valencia offers a wide range of museums catering to diverse interests, with approximately 20 major museums in the city.

These museums cover various themes such as art, history, archaeology, science, and ceramics, providing visitors with insights into Valencia’s heritage and culture.

Of the list below, I recommend either of these two after speaking with the Tourism Office:

  • Cripta Arqueològica de la Presó de Sant Vicent: Gives you Valencia’s ancient history at this archaeological crypt located beneath the former Sant Vicent prison, where you can explore remains from the Roman, Visigothic, and Moorish periods. ⭐

OR

  • La Almoina Archaeological Museum: Learn about Valencia’s Roman past which features excavated ruins, artifacts, and exhibits detailing the city’s ancient origins and urban development. ⭐

Others, if you have a keen interest in history, art and culture:

  • Casa Museu Benlliure: showcases works of Valencian artist José Benlliure in a historic house, turned museum
  • Museu Faller de València: learn more about the cultural items from Valencia’s celebrated Fallas festival
  • Antic Palau d’En Bou: get insights into Valencian aristocratic life through historical artifacts
  • Galeria del Tossal (muralla islàmica): explore Valencia’s Islamic heritage through ancient city walls
  • Palau de Cervelló: houses Valencian ceramics and decorative arts in a Renaissance palace
  • Art Modern Institute Museum of Valencia: features modern and contemporary art by Spanish and international artists
  • Fundació Bancaixa: hosts temporary art exhibitions and cultural events
  • CCCC (Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània): home to innovative and experimental modern art expressions
  • Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia: exhibits include paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from medieval to modern times by Spanish and European masters

Top Valencia Tourist Attractions for Families

square with children and tables and chairs as attraction valencia offers

I addressed a common traveller question in my article about how many days to spend in Valencia, highlighting numerous family-friendly attractions in Valencia.

Some of these attractions are mentioned in the list above, such as:

  • City of Arts & Sciences – especially the IMAX theatre, science museum and the Oceanogràfic aquarium
  • Valencia Beaches
  • Valencia Zoo
  • Turia Gardens

But here are a couple of new ones that are perfect for families:

  • Gulliver Park: a unique park inspired by Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, featuring giant play structures, and slides
  • Bike Tours: explore Valencia’s attractions on bikes with extensive dedicated bike paths allowing you to cover more ground while enjoying scenic routes along the Turia Gardens, old town streets, and beach promenades

As a Holidaymaker

I hope this article has helped you in the beginning stages of planning your trip to Valencia, exploring these top Valencia attractions is a great way to start envisioning your itinerary.

For more insights on Valencia’s allure and ideal trip duration, check out my two helpful articles: “Is Valencia Worth Visiting?” and “How Many Days to Stay in Valencia.”

If you have questions about Valencia, email me at renee@dreamplanexperience.com. Or, you can head to my Spain Travel Guide where you find the travel resources I use and all the articles I’ve written about Spain.

Happy planning!