The Top 15 Free Things To Do In Valencia
The Spanish city of Valencia is known for many things. This coastal treasure is rich in history and culture, and also offers some incredible beaches and natural areas that are fun to explore. Spain can also be a surprisingly affordable vacation destination. Despite being a wealthy nation, the cost of living is often surprisingly low, making it an attractive destination for travelers on a budget.
If you're looking for free things to do in Valencia, you've come to the right place. Getting the best out of Valencia doesn't have to mean spending a fortune. Many of the city's top things to do are completely free. And even those that aren't can be remarkably affordable.
To make things easier on yourself, don't forget to drop off your bags with Bounce luggage storage in Valencia. Traveling light in the city will make it much easier to get around and enjoy great things to do like the city's palm-filled botanical garden, world-class cultural venues, and the occasional UNESCO world heritage site. The only thing that should be heavy is your wallet after you save money on all these free things to do.
Free walking tours
Many companies offer free walking tours for those visiting Valencia. Most tours will take in the city center and its more important historical monuments, many of which are easily within walking distance of one another. A free walking tour is a great way to start your exploration of Valencia because it will give you some background and insight into what there is to do so that you can explore further. Although the tours are free, you should remember to tip your guide for their services. Just because it's a free walking tour doesn't mean the guides should get nothing.
Plaza de la Virgen
It's often the case in Spanish towns that the best thing to do is simply hang out and enjoy the weather and the local culture. There are few better places to do that than Valencia's Plaza de la Virgen. Located just outside Valencia Cathedral, this is the place to see tourists and locals mingle and share in the vibrant life of the city. A drink or meal at one of the many sidewalk cafés here will cost you something, but the entertainment and the people watching are free. That's why it ranks high on the list of free things to do in Valencia.
Valencia's central market, or Mercado Central, is an icon of the city and Valencia's most famous market. As well as being a tourist attraction, it is very much a real part of the local culture, and the place where many Valencians come to do their shopping. Along with the stalls of mouthwatering fresh produce, you'll find great places to eat and sample Valencian cuisine. But if you want to keep your visit completely free, you can still have a good time wandering through the stalls and seeing what they have to offer. You're not under any obligation to actually buy anything.
Plaza de la Reina
Right in the city center and within walking distance of Valencia Cathedral, you'll find another stunning public square. Plaza de la Reina is known for its carefully manicured flowerbeds and the iconic church tower that occupies the square. It's also a great place to hang out and soak up the lively atmosphere of Valencia, and it won't cost you a penny. One of Valencia's most budget-friendly attractions, the square is the perfect place to get a window on local life and explore at your own pace.
Street art hunting
Valencia's street art scene is a colorful and vibrant part of the local culture. As you wander through this old city, you'll find examples of modern art just about everywhere. You can even take a walking tour that will bring you to some of the most impressive examples of street art, where locals and international artists compete for wall space. If you want to keep things free, or you just prefer the thrill of discovery, you can set out to find exciting street art by yourself. For art lovers, it's one of the best free activities you'll find in Valencia.
Outside the center of the city, Valencia also offers beautiful beaches studded with palm trees and with the stunning backdrop of the glittering sea. Spending a day on one of Valencia's many blue flag beaches, such as Playa de las Arenas or Playa de la Malvarrosa, is a perfect option for budget travelers since it needn't cost you a penny. The sun and the sea are free for everyone to enjoy, and may be all you need to enjoy a great vacation. Still, if you are willing to spend a little money, you'll find the boardwalks along the beaches filled with trendy cafes where you can sample delicious food and watch the world go by. Don't forget the sunscreen!
El Carmen Neighborhood
El Carmen is one of Valencia's most exciting and vibrant neighborhoods. Located in the center of the old city, El Carmen is the historic heart of Valencia. The narrow cobblestone streets contain some of the city's most intriguing historic ruins along with some hidden gems. You'll also find several museums, great restaurants for outdoor dining, and one of the best of Valencia's markets in this area.
The El Carmen neighborhood really comes alive at night. This town district is also the heart of Valencia's nightlife scene, making it a great place to dine or dance the night away. It's in this area that you'll find many of the most unmissable things to do in Valencia at night. But whether you choose to explore by day or by night, you'll find plenty of interesting things here to keep you entertained on a budget.
Albufera Natural Park
Just outside the city, Albufera Natural Park offers a chance to get in touch with the more natural side of Spain. This is the largest saltwater lagoon in the country, and is a sanctuary for many species of migrating birds. It's also home to historic fishing villages and is a great place to enjoy the Spanish sun and indulge in all kinds of water sports. You can reach Albufera by public transportation, making this the perfect place to take a break from the city. It's also a great place to come if you're on a family trip, along with these other family-friendly things to do in Valencia. Budget travelers and families alike will get a lot out of this unspoiled environment.
City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences is a sprawling complex of futuristic buildings right in the heart of Valencia. One of the city's top tourist attractions, this City contains Principe Felipe Science Museum, Oceanografic Aquarium, a planetarium and IMAX Cinema, green gardens, and an opera house, among other attractions. In fact, there's so much to do here that you could spend multiple days without leaving the City of Arts and Sciences.
Unfortunately for those on a budget, visiting isn't free. However, you can enter the ground floor of the Science Museum and see the temporary exhibits held there without paying. If you want to see the rest of what this extraordinary complex has to offer, you will need to pay. Still, you can save a little money on the price of admission with a Valencia tourist card, which gives you free public transport as well as free entrance to the City of Arts and Sciences.
As well as being one of the most stunning buildings in the city to visit, Valencia Cathedral is also completely free. First constructed in 1238 on the site of a Moorish mosque, this striking building combines elements from many different architectural styles and houses priceless works of art inside. It's even purported to contain a piece of the Holy Grail, though whether you believe that or not is up to you. Either way, it's a fascinating place to explore, and the perfect location to take a break from the sometimes frantic pace of the city.
Part of what makes Valencia such a great place to visit for budget travelers is the fact that many of its museums offer free admission. That's certainly the case with the Fallas Museum, which is free for anyone to visit on weekends and public holidays.
This museum is devoted to a unique local tradition, the Fallas Festival, which takes place in the city each spring. The festival involves the procession and then burning of elaborate figures, and many examples are preserved in this intriguing museum. It's a great rainy day activity and a good place to get a deep insight into the fascinating culture of the city.
El Miguelete Bell Tower
This elaborate bell tower has been an icon of the city since it was first started way back in the fourteenth century. At over 50 meters high, the tower offers incredible views over the city and all the way to the sea beyond. If you're feeling up to it, climb the 207 steps up to the top of the tower to see Valencia from a unique vantage point. Just make sure to time your visit well, because if you're in the top of the tower when the bells begin to ring, you'll be hearing that ringing for a long time afterward.
Fine Arts Museum
Another one of Valencia's incredible museums to offer free admission is the Fine Arts Museum. This is the second-largest art gallery in all of Spain, and it contains priceless artwork spanning centuries of artistic endeavor. It focuses especially on Spanish art, and has an entire room dedicated to the work of Francisco Goya. It also contains work by names like van Dyck, Velazquez, Pintoricchio, and El Greco. Lovers of art history won't want to miss this place, and even more casual visitors will come away with a new appreciation of the visual arts.
Located just outside the City of Arts and Sciences, Turia Park is the city's main green space and the location of the stunning Turia Gardens. This legendary botanical garden is free to visit and covers nine kilometers of River Valley in the heart of the city. As well as the thousands of plant species of the gardens, Turia park offers sports facilities, walking paths, and tons of green space to enjoy the sunshine and soak up the atmosphere.
If you're visiting Valencia with little ones, you shouldn't miss an encounter with a giant. Gulliver Park is based on the classic book Gulliver's Travels, and commemorates the scene when Gulliver finds himself in a land occupied by tiny people. The park is home to a giant figure with slides, tunnels, and climbing frames built into the folds of his clothes and even his hair. Kids will have a blast exploring, and maybe even burn off some energy so that you can enjoy some peace and quiet.
There's so much to do in Valencia that it's hard to imagine ever being bored. And even if you don't have a ton of money to spend, this city has plenty of attractions that are very affordable or totally free. Keep your money in your pocket and see some of the best the city has to offer for next to nothing.
And don't forget to drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage so you can explore more easily. Knowing your belongings are safely looked after will make it easier to enjoy all the great free things to do in Valencia.