Valencia was high up on my bucket list, my boyfriend and I went in December for a long weekend. Being fans of the show Travel Man, this was our attempt at 48 hours in Valencia.
Valencia Day One
We arrived at midday on a Thursday. The fantastic metro system made it easy for us to get straight from the airport to the city centre. It was pouring with rain when we first arrived, which is quite rare in Valencia. After a short 10 min walk from Xàtiva up Avenida del Marqués de Sotelo, we found our hotel Marqués House. We were keen to experience an authentic Valencian trip, so staying in the older part of town in a boutique hotel was essential for us. Above all, Marqués House had amazingly friendly staff, the room had a king-sized comfy bed, lots of amenities and a balcony.
Once settled in, we started our adventure of Valencia with a trip to the Hotel bar named Cafe Madrid. Having researched before our trip, I knew Cafe Madrid was a stunning bar with a strong reputation for tasty cocktails. We started the night firstly with Agua de Valencia, a cocktail with Valencian orange juice, cava, gin & vodka, definitely a punchy way to start the night. I also had myself a Cafe Madrid cocktail which was very similar to an espresso Martini, so I very much enjoyed it.
Firstly, we had a cocktail and them embraced the Spanish culture of Pincho, small snacks eaten at bars. Restaurants didn’t open for dinner till past 8.30 pm so dinner was late for us.
Then, we enjoyed a selection of pinchos at Sagardi before heading to a craft beer pub for a couple more drinks until dinner. Valencia is famous for its paella so we had a traditional Valencian paella with chicken, rabbit and green bean for dinner.
Valencia Day Two
We started the day firstly with a walked from our hotel to the Brunch Corner for breakfast. We enjoyed fresh fruit juice, plenty of morning tea as well as scrambled eggs, toast with thick yummy bacon.
Having fuelled up for the morning, we had out activewear/trainers on ready for a long walk along the beautiful Valencia park. I was amazed at how lovely the park was with lots for people to do. There were playgrounds for children, outdoor gym equipment, and so many runners, joggers, dog walkers, cyclists getting their healthy daily dose of exercise. At the end of the park was Valencia’s stunning architectural modern structures which include the Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia, the Hemisfèric, the Museu de Les Ciències Príncipe Felipe & the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.
After our long morning walk, we in desperate need of refreshment. We went to the Colón Market for a couple of beers & croquettes Spanish style.
Following Colón Market, we wandered back to the hotel but stopped off for Vermouth at Calle del Mar.
We had a quick afternoon seista at the hotel before starting our Friday night off at a rooftop bar. The bar had a fantastic view over the main city centre square and was beautiful with all the Christmas lights and the ice rink. After a couple of vermouths here, we headed back to the hotel bar, Cafe Madrid for more of their fabulous cocktails. We got to sit at the bar so had front row seats to see the bartenders with their mixology tricks.
For dinner, we headed to a fantastic restaurant called Valen & Cia. This restaurant was recommended to us by a friend, so we had high hopes. The interiors we’re super cool with quirky giant lego people, exciting posters and lots of magnum bottles. Food-wise, we very much enjoyed the roast chicken croquettes, the asparagus tempura with curried aubergine & grilled marrow with steak tartare. The waiters were super friendly, and we really enjoyed our evening with Valen & Cia.
Valencia Day Three
We started our morning off with an espresso from Goat Coffee store, a tiny coffee shop. Quite literally a doorway with a coffee machine making fantastic coffee.
On our last day, we explored the Central Market of Valencia (Mercado Central). There were market stands selling everything from meats and fish, to fresh fruit and veg to even electronics and gifts. We grabbed a quick breakfast of fresh Valencian orange juice and a Spanish omelette made with courgettes.
We spent the rest of our final day walking around the park and exploring more of the old town of Valencia.
I was surprised at how much I loved Valencia as a city break, the city has a fantastic atmosphere. It is not very touristy where we stayed, which was great for what we wanted. We got to feel like we were embracing Valencian/Spanish culture. However, I was also impressed with how amazing the cocktails were, I loved the local Vermouth, and the food scene was brilliant. I can’t wait to return again and experience Valencia in summer-time as well as explore more of Spain.