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One of the largest markets in Europe, spanning 85,000 square feet, was constructed over a century ago. The market offers an array of products ranging from farm-fresh produce, cheeses, and jamon to specialty items like Spanish tortillas and baked goods. During your visit to the central market, do not miss the opportunity to dine at the Central Bar, a restaurant managed by the renowned Michelin-star chef Ricardo Camarena. Their bocadillo is a must-try item on their excellent menu. Additionally, they serve other daily tapas that should not be overlooked. It's no surprise that the sandwich was named after the chef, given its taste and quality.
Plaza de la Virgen, which has been a central square in the city since the Roman Empire. Take a seat on the tarazza and soak in the sights and sounds of this bustling spot, perfect for people-watching. If you're feeling adventurous, stop by La Polleria in the plaza and indulge in their delicious waffle on a stick, which is shaped like… well, let's just say it's the first thing you'll eat that day. You'll know it's good once you try it! After devouring that high-calorie treat, it's time to burn off some energy!
If you're up for a challenge, climb the bell tower of Valencia Cathedral, also known as El Miguelete, which is just around the corner from the Cathedral de la Santa Maria. The bell tower consists of 208 steps that lead to the top. After reaching the bell tower, don't miss the opportunity to explore the magnificent cathedral and view the holy chalice, also referred to as the holy grail, which holds significant importance in the Christian faith.
Visit Cafe de las Horas and try a pitcher of Agua de Valencia to quench your thirst. This beverage is made with Spanish sparkling wine, cava, gin, vodka, and fresh-squeezed orange juice from Valencian oranges, making it a unique drink. Welcome to Cafe de las Horas, one of the perfect spots in Valencia to enjoy this well-known drink. However, be careful not to drink too much, or you might find yourself stumbling on the beautiful tile floor.
Paella, the national dish of Spain, originated in Valencia. We tasted freshly-made paellas, including paella de marisco with shrimp and shellfish, and Valencia with beans and chicken, although it doesn't have snails or rabbit. Valencia has a variety of rice dishes that you should try. Keep in mind that if you want to eat like a true local, you should avoid ordering this dish for dinner.
The Horchateria Santa Catalina, with a rich history spanning over 200 years, is one of the oldest horchatarias in the city of Valencia. A must-try when visiting Valencia, their horchata is made from chuffa or tiger nuts, giving it a distinct flavor different from the rice-based horchata found in the US. Sweetened to perfection, this refreshing summer drink is simply delicious. Don't forget to try their soft farton and Valencia specialty, bunuelos - big fried dough sprinkled with sugar, perfect when dipped in chocolate. There's nothing not to love about it!
If you're seeking a perfect aperitif accompanied by tapas, the Market Colon is an ideal spot to visit. The building boasts a stunning architecture and offers both indoor and outdoor dining. Take a seat, relax, and indulge in some gourmet foods while enjoying the lively atmosphere with music and people-watching. You don't want to miss the best restaurants Valencia has to offer, located downstairs in the market. Although the prices may seem steep, it's definitely worth checking out, particularly if you're looking for a cool spot in a hip area that remains vibrant throughout the day and night.
Let's escape the city and go to the ocean! With so many beaches to choose from, the easiest one to get to is Playa de la Malvarrosa. If you're an early bird, catch the sunrise, or take a stroll down the boardwalk and grab a cocktail or lunch at one of the many restaurants and bars lining the beach. If you're looking to relax and soak up some sun, bring your towel and jump into the warm Mediterranean sea.
Explore Turia Park, which is among the most expansive parks in Europe, covering a distance of seven kilometers or approximately four and a half miles. This park was created by the city after a disastrous flood in the 1950s by converting an old riverbed into a vast green area. The park boasts numerous sculptures, fruit trees, and water features!
The City of Arts and Sciences, considered one of Spain's 12 treasures, is an ultramodern architectural complex and a top tourist attraction in the city. A popular activity among visitors is to test the acoustics of the complex by standing at opposite ends of the large arch and speaking to each other. With Vicky and Hodu giving it a try, we can hear them clearly despite the distance. It's an impressive experience, as if the person is standing right next to you. Undoubtedly, a super cool thing to do!