Best known for its oranges and its yearly fire festival, Las Fallas — when locals create huge paper maché effigies, burn them, and set off fireworks by the ton, Valencia has far more to offer than citrus fruit and flames.
Spain’s third largest metropolis, Valencia is home to the sleekly modern Ciutat de les Artes I les Ciències, two great beaches, and a charming old town.
Like elsewhere in Spain, it’s fairly inexpensive to eat and drink here, and the city center is very walkable.
A budget travel guide to Valencia, Spain
Here are our favorite tips on making the most of your time and budget when visiting Valencia.
From cities across Europe, you can fly budget airlines like easyJet and Ryanair directly into the Valencia Airport starting at around €100 for round-trip flights. Book ahead and go carry-on only for the best prices. If you’re already in Spain, there are high-speed trains from Madrid and Barcelona. For an even cheaper trip from Spanish cities, check out the riding service BlaBlaCar or regional buses.
Free and cheap attractions
Exploring Old Town and markets
In the mornings, you can window shop and explore in Valencia’s Old Town, stopping off at its three main squares, Plaza de la Virgen, Plaza de la Reina, and Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Browse the artisan eats on offer and people-watch at the city’s Art Nouveau food market, Mercat Central. Or wander around at the City of Arts and Sciences — entry is kind of expensive (from €8 up to €32 for a combined ticket), but you can snap shots of the amazing architecture without a ticket.
Free and cheap museums
Art lovers can tour the Museo de Bellas Artes free of charge, and spend some time wandering the Turia Gardens afterward. Learn about the local-bull fighting culture at Museo Taurino or about Valencia’s ancient history up to Roman times at the Museo de Prehistoria (both museums cost €2).
Weekends mean free entry at the rococo Palacio del Marques de dos Aguas (Saturdays after 4 pm, and Sunday mornings), and UNESCO world heritage site La Lonja de la Seda (all weekend), a 15th-century silk exchange.
Strolling on beaches
Cheap eats in Valencia
Paella may not be the cheapest thing you can order for dinner, but Valencia is definitely the place to spend some extra euros on it. As the dish’s birthplace, Valencia has plenty of it on offer. Skip the seafood paella popular elsewhere in Spain in favor of the traditional Valencian version that includes rabbit, chicken, beans, and saffron cooked over a wood fire at Casa Carmela (c/Isabel de Villena, 155).
Not up for rice? Try Boatella (Plaza del Mercado, 34) just across from Mercat Central for inexpensive tapas.
Save money on beers and cocktails out in Benimaclet, a neighborhood popular with students. Splurge on “Agua de Valencia”, a cocktail of fresh orange juice, champagne gin, and vodka, in the beautiful Victorian surroundings at Café de las Horas (c/Condé de Almodovar, 1).
Valencia has great budget accommodations starting at €30 a night. For basic, inexpensive rooms, try hostels, guesthouses, and pensiones. Try to book lodging near the main attractions in Valencia’s Old Town or the beach, where you’ll want to spend most of your time to save time and money on transit.
Apartments are also widely available here, and at starting at €50 a night, they’re worth the extra cash in money saved on meals out, if you’re willing to cook. Just double-check before you commit, some places are advertised as flats, and are actually just rooms with no kitchen access.
Book as far in advance as possible and expect to spend more on transportation to Valencia and accommodations if you decide to visit Valencia for Las Fallas, held every year around St. Joseph’s Day (March 19th).
Source: Euro Cheapo