In June, my mum and I enjoyed an awesome weekend city break in Valencia. It was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law, so that we could spend some time together, I guess.
Valencia is not far from where I live, but this was the first time I ever visited it, and believe me I enjoyed it immensely!
It’s the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. The two official languages spoken in the city of Valencia are Spanish and Valencian, a dialect of Catalan. The names of the monuments that appear in this post are in Valencian and English.
Where Is Valencia, Spain?
Valencia is located on the east coast of Spain, 351 kms south-west of Barcelona and 358 kms south-east of Madrid.
How to get to Valencia
Valencia has an international airport, so it’s possible that you can travel there directly from your country.
If you’re travelling from Madrid, you can take any of the long-distance trains. With the high-speed train AVE you can get to Valencia in aproximately 2 hours, which is great. I don’t recommend you taking the REGIONAL train, which will take you more than 7 hours to arrive there.
Stimulating Weekend City Break in Valencia
The North Station (Estació del Nord) is the main railway station in Valencia. It’s located in the city centre, next to the bullring (Plaza de Toros).
The style of this building belongs to the Valencian Art Nouveau movement. It was opened in 1917 and declared Good of Cultural Heritage in 1987.
Indeed, both the exterior and the interior of the building are majestic.
Unfortunately, bullfights are still held in some parts of Spain. This is the bullring of Valencia, which is right next to the North Station. You can buy tickets online here.
Central Market of Valencia
The Central Market of Valencia (Mercat Central de València) is a historical building in the heart of the Old Town or Ciutat Vella.
It was built at the beginning of the 20th century and its architectural style is the Valencian Art Nouveau, too.
Something I love about food markets is the striking colours of fruit and vegetables.
Reina Sofia Palace of the Arts
La Rosa Restaurant, Valencia
On Saturday, we went to eat lunch at La Rosa, a delightful restaurant right in front of the beach.
There’s a terrace outside, where you can have drinks after lunch while you relax in front of the sea.
The waitress served us pa amb oli (bread with olive oil) as an appetizer. This is very typical in Valencia.
We also had another traditional Valencian dish: tomato salad with tuna and mojama (tuna jerky). It can’t be seen in the picture, but the tomato slices were HUGE—and tasty!
As a main course, we ate one of my favorite dishes: rice with lobster. It was effing amazing! My mouth waters just looking at these pictures…
Church of Saint Martin
The church of San Martin was founded in the fourteenth century by King James I, the Conqueror. Its architecture is a mixture of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles.
Corpus Christi Valencia 2018
We arrived at Plaça de la Reina (literally: “The Queen’s Square”). There was a lot of expectation but we didn’t know what was going on. People were wearing umbrellas, not because of the rain. It was extremely hot that day!
A local told us that they were celebrating Corpus Christi that day.
Corpus Christi—which literally means “the body of Christ”—is a Christian festival celebrated on the first Thursday after Trinity Sunday. Normally, it falls on a holiday, but in countries where it is not a holiday, it is celebrated three days later, that is, Sunday.
At midday, the popular “El Capellà de les Roques” (The priest of les Roques) rides through the city on a horse wearing a black velvet blanket. He invites all the people attending the procession to commemorate the party.
I still can’t believe how lucky we were to be able to witness that show without even planning it.
Torres de Quart
We continued walking until we arrived at Torres de Quart (Quart Towers) are one of the two fortified gates of the medieval wall of Valencia that still exist.
Jardins del Reial
Our last stop was the Jardins del Reial (Royal Gardens), an urban public park inaugurated at the beginning of the 20th century.
There, we find this magnificent tree.
So this is our little trip to Valencia. I hope you enjoyed it and that it encouraged you to travel to this fabulous Spanish city. And don’t forget to give your opinion in the comments section below!