Valencia, Spain: Where Modern Meets Historical

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain, third biggest city following Madrid and Barcelona, is the perfect location for a short two-day trip. Considering the fact that all the tourist locations were centralized, it made every destination easily accessible by foot. The only transportation we really had to take was to and from the beach and it was very easy to figure out with the help of Google Map. I swear by it so much that I had to download it on my friend’s phone and hide her Apple Map.

Valencia, Spain

Beach at Valencia, Spain

Sleep

The fact that this was a short two day trip, my friend and I decided to check off one of the things on our once in a lifetime bucketlist, stay at a hostel. Located right in the heart of the city, Valencia Lounge Hostel, with its reasonably affordable rate and cute decor, was naturally our number one choice. We were so happy to have arrived to a location that looks exactly like it does in the pictures off Tripadvisor, and more than relieved to see we had our own secure bedroom. Although we had to share a communal washroom, we discovered they included a private shared bathroom with a full standing shower (if they didn’t, we were going to risk it and not shower for the day, don’t judge us).

Valencia, Spain

If I had to complain about one thing, it would be the noise control. Sleeping was a bit difficult since we were in the middle of all the happening tourist locations and situated on the first floor of the building, it was hard to get a good night’s sleep with all the rummaging on the streets and the Bell tower El Miguelete’s hourly reminder. Overall though, we couldn’t have asked for a better first hostel experience.

Valencia, Spain

Eat

Would it be a true Spanish experience if we didn’t have paella or sangria (or drink half of one like I did) or tapas? Naturally, we gravitated towards a small bar that offered all of the above. Smothering mayo over our patatas bravas and seafood paella, we secretly cursed ourselves for ordering two sets instead of one.

Paella at Valencia, Spain

Devouring fried calamari and prawn croquettes after a long “tiring” day of laying on the Malvarrosa beach was definitely one of my favourite pastimes in Valencia. Asides from fearing the occasional wind blowing up sand onto our plates, and the burning sensation on my shoulder from the sun, I finally understand why some people would choose to be a beach bum.

Tapas at Valencia, Spain

Play

I wasn’t lying when I said the best part of Valencia is the fact that all the locations are so close to each other you could walk everywhere. My friend and I spent most of our days walking from location to location, constantly stumbling upon historical architecture without having the means to visit them.

Valencia, Spain

Walking from our hostel to San Nicolás de Bari to grabbing a bite and enjoying the street performance at Plaza de la Virgen to strolling through connecting parks of Jardín Del Turia and Parque Gulliver to finally reaching my favourite spot, the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Science).

Valencia, Spain

Visiting the modern architecture of the Art and Science museum during sunset is the perfect time for photographers. With the sunlight hitting the white, blue and gold architecture and reflecting cotton candy colours into the sky, everything was absolutely breathtaking, prompting me to take way too many pictures of this one location.

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Repeat

A short 3-4 hour train ride from Barcelona, I would highly recommend Valencia as a short two day trip location. Especially because I may have went during off-season, there weren’t crowds of tourists lurking around busily taking pictures of everything and the weather was a mix between a sunny warmth and a cool fall chill. The architecture contrast between the modern and historical was really what made me fall in love, so if you’re an architecture fiend then Valencia, Spain is the perfect place to visit. Let me know in the comments below what your favourite thing to see on a trip is!

Valencia, Spain

[All images are my own]

Claudia Cheung