The second stop of our journey was Valencia. It’s a much quieter city than Barcelona or Madrid, which is surprising considering its size and coastal location. If you were unaware, like I was, Valencian (similar to Catalan) is the primary language followed by Spanish. Spanish is obviously common, but some of the city’s signage and bus information is written in Valencian.
Valencia is a gorgeous and modern city with so much beautiful architecture and inspiring street art.
We stayed in a beautiful studio apartment in the city center, Ciutat Vella. It was extremely convenient to everything we wanted to do. https://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p6211388
Sagardi – This Basque tapas bar serves bites on toothpicks buffet style. Help yourself and at the end of your meal, your server will count up your toothpicks for your bill. Be sure to grab a glass of Agua de Valencia while you’re at it.
La Valenciana Arroceria – We started out our dinner by being greeted with a glass of vermouth. The restaurant offered a multi-course pre-fixe menu that we shared plus an additional entree. It was way too much food, but we were more than happy with it. After dinner, we gifted a glass of a digestif. Our server offered some of the best service we had at any restaurant in Spain.
Sundal – We visited on an off night, so we were only the people in the bar. Still, we were happy to have some gin & tonics with free potato chips. Maybe on your visit the dark room will be busy, too.
Cafe de las Horas – This is a gay friendly cafe with plenty of outdoor seating in the plaza.
Horchatería de Santa Caterina – Drink plenty of horchata when you’re in town. We hit up this spot for some of the sweet stuff. You should also try it with the pastry, a fartón. They’re pretty large, so you may want to share.
Mercat Central – This market is located in a beautiful gothic building. It’s been updated with plenty of modern touches. We stopped by to sip on sangria and more horchata.
Playa de la Malvarrosa – The beach is a bit of a trek from the city center, but definitely worth your time. It was fairly quiet when we arrived, which was perfect. We rented an umbrella and chairs right near the water and napped for most of the day.
Platja de l’Arbre del Gos – This is a gay and clothing optional beach south of the city. It’s a much longer trip there, so we didn’t visit. But if you’ve got some time on your hands…
The City of Arts and Sciences – This gorgeous complex holds a museum, aquarium, garden, and opera house. We never went inside but spent a long time wandering the grounds and taking plenty of photos.
Túria River – The river has long since been diverted its banks have become a park that runs through the city. This was one of the only places I saw people actively working out. It’s a beautiful walk and there’s an interesting playground for children with a giant structure of the storybook character Gulliver.
Graffiti – I saw some amazing street art in various plazas and alleyways. Be sure to wander as much as possible.