4 nights in Valencia - ideas folks?

May 1st, 2014, 02:07 PM
  #1  
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4 nights in Valencia - ideas folks?

Trip planning is a funny thing, isn't it? Having what I thought was a 10 day gap in my work schedule that we could use for a trip, I started off planning a trip to Italy, flying into Bologna and out of Rome.

That got shortened somewhat [it turns out DH is committed to helping to sail an old wooden boat to Ireland half way through the time i thought we had for the trip] but I could still see us enjoying a few nights in Bologna.

However, despite my encouragement DH couldn''t, and after detailed study of the available flight schedules, we plumped for 4 nights in Valencia, care of Ryanair. [I know but it'll be a good opportunity to test out their claims to have smartened up their act].

So we have 4 nights, arriving just after 10pm on sunday night at the end of May, and leaving early on the following THursday morning. Spain is one of the few places of course where arriving at what most of the rest or europe considers to be late is not a disadvantage. We have booked a hotel in the centre, the Melia plaza Valencia [though this could be cancelled with no charges if anyone has got a better idea] and will probably get a cab there given the time that we're arriving.

here's the website:

http://www.melia.com/en/hotels/spain...aza/index.html

it's about as central as you can get, so far as I can tell. Any suggestions for a first night dinner? preferably pretty close to the hotel? any other tips of what to see/do? I've got an ancient michelin green guide to Spain with info on the Cathedral, museums, a palace, etc. which altogether looks enough to fill a couple of days. is there an obvious place to go for a day trip? nearby attractions? what's the beach like?

we love tapas, so recommendations for tapas bars would be gratefully received.
annhig is offline  
May 1st, 2014, 02:43 PM
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The Melia is absolutely fine and if you see a great rate at the Astoria Palace ( ayre) hotel don´t be afraid to take it. a short block away and off the plaza.

I would walk up towards the cathedral square ( plaza de la Reina) and on your left you could stop at SAGARDI and grab a few tapas. They also have hot ones not displayed.. ask them about them. Or stop anywhere you see it is busy. There are a lot of places along there.. many new so I can´t recommend from personal experience.
Then if you are up to it a coffee at open air cafés in the square in front of ( Plaza de la Reina) or behind the cathedral ( Plaza deal Virgen).

When you go to the central market do not miss going into the Lonja, across the street .. which is our only World Heritage Building. The entrance has been changed to the BACKSIDE of this building. Do go upstairs, too.

Near Las Torres de Serrano is the really neat Rocas museum. it is a museum of the Large figures and floats used during Corpus Cristi processions. Be sure to go through all rooms up and down. Give your self at least half an hour. Nice places for a drink outside around there , too.
I come back from the states May 28th and I hope you are still here as I would LOVE to meet up for a coffee if you can fit it in.

Our train station is a gem on the inside.. look up at ceilings and admire the wall panels and mosaics around the old ticket windows.

You can buy a 10- ride pass combination for bus/metro and both use same one. Bus 19, 95 and 40 will take you close to the science center, which should not be missed. Bus 95 follows the dry river bed up and down.

Be sure to stroll along the nice small boutique lined streets of Jorge Juan and Sorni.. and stop at Mercado de Colon for a drink..
one of my favorite new places is on the corner Sorni and Grabador Esteve. La Petite Brioche. Not Spanish by any means.. which is a breath of fresh air for us!!

I have so many recs I really should just write an article and organize my thoughts a little better. I hope we can coincide. Enjoy your trip.

Museums: Bellas Artes , next to pleasant park,, which used to be attached to the royal palace here ( demolished)
Museo de La Historia de Valencia .. very very well designed museum with interesting period showcases, videos, reenactments, etc. Housed in an old water deposit from centuries a go.



.
lincasanova is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 03:20 AM
  #3  
 
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I can't add anything to the excellent info offered above, but in case you have not seen my trip report:


http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...e-blossoms.cfm

Valencia is a jewel of a city!
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 04:47 AM
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thank you both of you for your help - Lin for your invaluable local knowledge, and Eck for linking to your excellent TR which I now see I contributed to back in 2011. How time flies!

Lin - thanks for confirming that the Melia will suit our needs; I've looked at the Astoria which is a bit cheaper but I must say that I am drawn to the rooftop swimming pool at the Melia. as we are arriving so late [for us brits anyway] I was intending to get a cab to the Hotel - are there any easier options that time of night? I know that Ryanair runs a bus which is certainly cheaper, but I don't want to be schlepping our luggage around at close to midnight and anyway it doesn't run on sundays. Your suggestion of meeting up is very kind but would have to be on the 29th as we go home early on the 30th - and you might not feel up to it after a long flight home from the US!

I think that my next task is to start working out where things are on a map and what to do on a Monday - when I see from eck's TR that lots of places are shut. a day trip to the Albufera looks nice [the TI offers one] but not perhaps on our first day in the city.

Thanks again both of you for your help.
annhig is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 04:49 AM
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You will love Valencia!

The market and the lonja are worth the trip by themselves. I want to stress the point made by Linda, the entrance to the Lonja is now on the BACK. There are tons of people walking to the old entrance (facing the market) and turning away disappointed thinking that it is closed.

There are two wonderful walks suggested by the town:

http://www.valencia-cityguide.com/to...n/itineraries/

The cathedral is worth a visit and the audio guide is rather good.

The city or Arts and Sciences, particularly the Oceanographic, are amazing! The zoo is quite nice.

The Turia riverbed is a wonderful place for a nice stroll or bike ride.

The beach and Paseo de Neptuno are certainly worth a visit. Keep walking towards Malvarrosa and the little restaurants begin popping up.

My favorite thing was to grab a table in Plaza de la Virgen in the evening and watch Valencia go by.

I want to be in Valencia. Preferably now. Right now.
marigross is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 05:47 AM
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I wonder if that swimming pool is new in the last 15 years! Sounds great! I would drove to meet up on the 29th.. we'll play it by ear.

Monday I'd go to the Central market ( very near your hotel) then meander towards the cathedral.. eventually end up at the Science center area( easiest just take a taxi) .. spend time there with photos.. or take in an IMAX movie, then continue on to the beach/ America´s cup area

http://www.valencia-cityguide.com/to...ons/monuments/


and have a nice lunch at L'Estimat

http://www.restaurante-cocinamediterranea.com/es/

or any of the Malvarrosa places hotel might also recommend. We also like a place called Bar La Aduana, just as you enter the port area across from the Chipperfield building and the Alinghi America's Cup building.


After lunch walk NORTH to Las Arenas 5* hotel and check out the old photos on the walls, maybe have a coffee ( 5E) on their amazing terrace and ask yourself if you a are in Valencia, or where?

http://hotelvalencialasarenas.com

.. or walk or take quick taxi way further north, all the way up to next section of beach called the Patacona ( 15 minutes or so) and have coffee/ dessert at La Mas Bonita.

This place gets really crowded fast on weekends.

http://www.lamasbonita.es

If you want to rent bikes one of the best places for best bikes is run by a friend across from the market on a side street called "Easy Way.
lincasanova is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 05:52 AM
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You can spend your days just wandering around looking at the architecture from so many different eras - my highlight was all those wonderful Calatrava buildings (the city of Arts and Sciences) - on the hop/on hop/off bus route and well worth the short journey, although I note lincasanova has suggested public bus numbers, which probably run more frequently and are cheaper.

Also wandering through the Turia riverbed was one of my highlights. We didn't enjoy the beach area much but we went at the wrong time of the year for that (Easter) and there will presumably be more life there by the end of May. Again the hop on /hop off bus goes there, so you could decide on the day if you feel like stopping off.

4 days is perfect for Valencia - we had a week and it was full on.

Apart from that, the recommendations above are really good.
littlejane is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 07:52 AM
  #8  
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more thanks to Lin - that Valencia website is really good as one of the first things you can see is when places are closed!

Littlejane thank you too for joining in - which was the HOHO bus you used - was it the one run by the city?

did you get a Valencia card BTW? I'm debating whether it would be worth getting the 72 hour ones as we'll be there for about that length of time.

and thanks to Marigross, we won't be making that mistake about thinking that the silk place is shut! What a mine of information fodors is! I'm really looking forward to this.
annhig is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 07:56 AM
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Ann, this is my (very long) trip report with 4 days in Valencia at the very end in case you are interested:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...in-between.cfm

We returned for 3 weeks to Valencia in 2013 and loved every second of it. We took the tour to the Albufera and enjoyed it very much.
marigross is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 08:15 AM
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Valencia is a beautiful city often overlooked because of
its location. We spent a week two years ago and loved it.
We stayed near Las Arenas , enjoyed walking by the beach and having lunch or dinner in one of the nearby restaurants.
danon is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 08:40 AM
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I really am not sure the Valencia card is worth it.. 10 ride metro /bus passes are under 10E. Do the numbers. I don´t even know what it includes anymore since it has evolved since they first started it. It might depend on each individual case. I'll have to take a look at it.

And of course, I meant to say I'd "LOVE" to meet up.

Valencia is often overlooked or people come for an evening, miss half the stuff, don´t get a good feel for the place unfortunately and write reviews.

I think you'll find its size and hidden corners and open spaces make it a very peasant vacation place.
lincasanova is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 08:48 AM
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Taxis now have fixed rate FROM the airport. 20E. No supplement. TO the airport is what it marks on the meter.
lincasanova is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 09:25 AM
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Lin,
It took us several trips to Spain before we visited Valencia.

Barcelona, Madrid, Andalusia......seems to be the most often discussed itineraries here.
I still hope for AVE from Barcelona to Valencia !
danon is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 12:00 PM
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Danon- it's taken us several decades and a number of trips to Spain to get round to visiting Valencia; we will have been to Madrid, Andalucia, Barcelona, and northern Spain as well before finally getting there. I have no idea why it is so low down on everyone's list.

Lin - it's good to know about the taxi from the airport, I'm pretty sure that's what we'll do. we're lucky that we've got several days there so we won't be falling into the error of just spending one night there. My DH just loved hidden corners - the tackier the better - so I'm sure we'll be fine with that. and I think you're probably right about getting the 10 metro/bus tickets if they are that cheap.

Marigross - thanks for the endorsement of the tour to Albufera, it's nice to know from someone who's been. can you get lunch while you're on the trip? and thank you so much for your wonderful TR - I loved reading it again.
annhig is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 12:27 PM
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one thing that I think we'll be doing on the Monday is to visit the Museo de bellas artes to see the new Salle Sorolla:

http://sorolla.museobellasartesvalen....es/en/node/63

it opens at 11am, which should just give us time to explore the central market and have breakfast. Any recommendations near the Melia or at the market for breakfast? the hotel one gets good reviews but at €16 it's a bit steep for us, plus if we spend that much on breakfast, I feel obliged to eat enough to take me through the day, and then we don't get to lunch, which is such a waste of a mealtime in Spain!
annhig is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 12:37 PM
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I meant to add thanks to TDudette for telling me about Sorolla, who I'd never heard of until about a week ago!
annhig is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 12:57 PM
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Ann, there is not a time allocated for it but I believe that you can let them know you want to stay for lunch and you can leave with a different bus from the one you arrived in. Also, it was advertised that we would stop at El Palmar but that did not happen.
marigross is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 12:58 PM
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Sounds crazy but the popular chain "100 montaditos" has a great little breakfast for 1'90E. coffee, toast or croissant or toast with tomato and ham ( supplement for that).or 2'50E with orange juice added. But any place will be fine. You can get simple "desayuno popular" all over for 3 euros or so. Walk towards the market ( two blocks) and there are several sidewalk cafés around there. Careful with your bag while dining outside ( and inside) everywhere. Summer is here and thieves are more alert than we are..

I have never been robbed.. but I DO take care. But it happens everyday.
lincasanova is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 01:01 PM
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Marigross.. didn´t the bus take you across the cute little bridges after the stop at the lake on the main road? That is where the restaurants are.. that town is called El Palmar.Yes, I believe you can catch a later bus back. Just have to coordinate it all.

This place is REALLY NICE...

http://www.arroceriaduna.es/es/
lincasanova is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 01:02 PM
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but not on that bus route
lincasanova is offline  

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