By Kenya Barrett
Welcome to one of Spain’s largest cities, Valencia. Filled with tons of parks, beaches, restaurants, and landmarks, this city is tough to completely explore in just one day. There are however many options for travelers on a budget, so here are some great free things to do in Valencia!
Spend time at the beach
Since Valencia is a coastal city, it’s no surprise that beaches and sandy shorelines are in abundance. It’s important to note that some of these beaches are private and/or require an entrance fee. However, visitors can enjoy a few free beaches in Valencia including Playa de las Arenas and Playa de la Malvarrosa. Both feature a wide stretch of beautiful sand that is surrounded by several restaurants, cafes, and bars. If you head a bit south, you can also enjoy Playa de Gandia which is famous for its pink sands!
Visit Jardines del Turia
Time in nature is always nice, especially when you don’t have to pay to experience it. A perfect place to embrace Valencia’s natural beauty is at Jardines del Turia. This urban park spans nearly six miles and is named after a dried-up riverbed that was known as the “Turia.” The area features a lush garden, a few ponds, parks, and picnic spaces. Travelers can come here to clear their heads and enjoy a fresh breath of air within the bustling metropolitan.
Explore Museo de Bellas Artes
Art enthusiasts can head over to the Fine Arts Museum in Valencia to enjoy a day of perusing masterpieces from various Spanish artists – free of charge! Ranked highly as one of the best museums in Spain, the Museo de Bella Artes is home to a collection of works that range from personal portraits to a series of engravings. Visitors can view the art pieces of Francisco Goya, Gonzalo Perez, and Giovan Battista, among others.
Enjoy the day at La Lonja
You cannot spend time in the wonderful city of Valencia without exploring La Lonja. This UNESCO World Heritage Site originally served as a housing space for the city’s silk exchange trade during the 15th century. Today, the Gothic structure stands tall as a museum of sorts where you can learn more about its importance during the silk trade era. The building also contains a chapel and a courtyard filled with several orange trees. Visitors can enjoy free entrance to this landmark on Sundays. Be sure to take advantage of the audio tour of La Lonja which provides an in-depth look at the usage of the structure during the 15th century.
Discover Bombas Gens
Once known as a hydraulic pump factory back in the early 1930s, Bomba Gens later transitioned to a full-on modern art gallery that houses a collection of contemporary works. By 1938, the structure served as a bomb factory during the Spanish Civil War – which later influenced the site’s name “Bomba Gen.” Today, visitors can enjoy an eclectic display of photographs, sculptures, and paintings from local artists in the area. Art lovers can stop by the building to view exhibitions that change every few months, at no cost.
Stroll around Mercado Central
Located across the street from La Lonja is Valencia’s iconic grand market, Mercado Central. Visitors can peruse this large indoor market for everything from delicious Spanish food to souvenirs. Locals visit this area to purchase fresh produce including meats, fruits, and cheeses but also enjoy tapas from the street vendors. Though purchasing food/souvenirs can cost a few Euro, simply walking around is considered one of the best free things to do in Valencia.
Enjoy panoramic views from Torres Serranos and Torres de Quart
These two great structures are all that's left of the grande city walls that once surrounded Valencia. Torres Serranos was built in the 14th century as an entry/exit to the north and Barcelona, whereas the Torres de Quart was built in the 15h century and faces Madrid in the west. Marvel at sweeping views of the surrounding landscapes while atop these two magnificent structures, both of which are free to climb on Sundays (and cost €2 every other day).
Check out the Plaza de Toros
If you're wondering what to do in Valencia for free, then head to Plaza de Toros on a Sunday. This 19th century bullring was built in a neoclassic design and resembles the Roman Colosseum, making it one of the most beautiful buildings in Spain. Visitors can come to watch events, concerts, and peruse the museum which showcases the history of the building.
If you’re interested in visiting a few of these cool spots in Valencia, check out our affordable Valencia vacation packages and get ready to explore!