Planning one day in Valencia can feel overwhelming with so much to see and do in the city. There is no chance you’ll get through it all on a day trip, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get the chance to add a whole lot of great things to your Valencia itinerary.
We recently visited Valencia in one day and had a blast! While there are enough things to do in Valencia to spend several days there, you’ll still get a good overview of the city in a day.
I suggest dividing your day in two so you get some time in the City of Arts and Sciences and some time in the old town.
Valencia is one of the best coastal cities in Spain and going on a day trip is such a great experience. In this post, I’ll go through what to see in Valencia Spain in one day so that you can start planning the perfect trip!
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Table of Contents
Best time to visit Valencia in one day
Valencia is a great travel destination all year round, though it’s a popular summer destination. Winter in Valencia offers mild daytime temperatures that easily can reach 20+ degrees Celsius. However, the night temperatures drop drastically to 8-10 degrees, so it’s important to wear layers.
Spring and fall are great for sightseeing and September-October are still beach months in Valencia. Yet, with only a day in Valencia, I would spend the day exploring instead of chilling at the beach.
The summer months are hot with around 30 degrees Celsius in the daytime, so make sure you bring enough water, cover with a hat, and slap on enough sunscreen so you don’t get sunburnt.
How to get to Valencia
Valencia is well-connected with the rest of the world through Valencia International Airport, but is also easily reached by train and bus from other Spanish cities.
If you’re campervanning in Spain, it’s complicated to find parking, especially if you have a larger vehicle. For us, it’s fairly easy as Persistence (The Van) is small and can easily be parked up with other cars so we found free street parking close to the City of Arts and Sciences and walked from there.
With a normal car, you can also look into underground paid parking for the day as it’s safer than street parking. This way, you can enjoy your Valencia one day itinerary without worrying about the car being broken into.
Where to stay in 24 hours in Valencia
If you’re staying the night, one of the best areas to stay in Valencia is the old town. There, you’re within walking distance from the main attractions, restaurants, and bars.
Here are some of my top hotel picks:
LUXURY: Only YOU Hotel Valencia – a fantastic 5-star hotel set in Valencia Old Town with restaurants, a bar, and a fitness center. The service is great and pets are welcome.
MID-RANGE: SH Ingles Boutique Hotel – a great boutique hotel with quirky decor set in the heart of the old town. It has a restaurant and bar on-site and welcoming staff.
BUDGET: Cosmo Hotel Boutique – a lovely hotel in the heart of the old town. Quiet and modern rooms with a friendly atmosphere.
How to spend one day in Valencia (itinerary)
City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences, also known as Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, is one of the most impressive places to visit in Valencia in 1 day. Starting your day there makes sense as it’s one of the most prominent landmarks in Spain.
Whether you choose to enter any of the museums or just go for a stroll between the futuristic buildings, it is truly interesting. I loved the architecture and the water landscapes where you can even rent a paddleboard to cruise around.
For a different adventure, why not jump on one of the bike tours in Valencia that go by the City of Arts and Sciences?
If you want to explore any of the museums, I recommend booking in advance. Here are some popular ticket and tour options:
- Valencia: City of Arts and Sciences Segway Tour
- Valencia: Oceanografic, Hemisferic & Science Museum Combos
- Valencia: City of Arts and Science 3D Movie at Hemisfèric
- Valencia: Principe Felipe Science Museum Entry Ticket
You can easily expect to spend 2-3 hours at the City of Arts and Sciences as there’s plenty to see. If you don’t enter the museums, I suggest taking a look at the Garden of Astronomy. It’s free and super interesting as an interactive outdoor museum.
Lunch in the Old Town
Whether you visit the City of Arts and Sciences by segway tour, walking, or taking public transport, I suggest heading back to the old town for lunch.
There are so many lovely cafes and restaurants to choose from. Some great vegan options are Lo de Ponxe En El Kinto Pino for vegan tapas and Khambú, a vegan food truck with awesome vegan fast food!
Valencia Cathedral is one of the most unique cathedrals I’ve seen in Spain and is extremely picturesque from the outside.
Still, it’s well worth stepping inside its 13th-century old walls. Mostly Gothic, you can see hints of many different architectural styles.
I particularly enjoyed the Capilla del Santo Cáliz with its detailed stone carvings and chains on the walls. A visit to the cathedral should definitely top your list of what to do in Valencia Spain in one day.
To get the most out of your visit, I recommend a guided tour, and this walking tour includes the cathedral, St. Nicholas Church, and Lonja de la Seda. It’s a great way to see some spectacular places and learn about the history.
Lonja de la Seda
Lonja de la Seda is a must-visit during any 1 day in Valencia itinerary. The 15th-century Silk Exchange is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The interior is impressive with its tall, spiraling columns and the orange garden is beautiful, especially if you visit Valencia in winter before the oranges have fallen off the trees.
The old silk trading place is an architectural wonder that holds centuries of history and is worth visiting with a guide. I loved this walking tour that included the cathedral and the Church of St. Nicolas too.
Stroll through the old town
Spend the rest of the day getting lost in the old town and admire the incredible architecture. Plaza Redonda is a unique round square with 3-storey buildings surrounding it. There you will find interesting arts and crafts shops so you can shop for local souvenirs.
My favorite building might just be Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas where the National Museum of Ceramics (pictured below) is located. The architecture and details are just mindblowing. Inside, you can see works of Picasso besides other ceramic pieces.
Climb the Torres de Serranos for epic views of the old town. They were originally built in the late 1300s as part of the city walls but became free-standing towers when the city walls were demolished around 500 years later.
Altogether, the old town is full of quaint squares, beautiful architecture, and lovely restaurants and bars to end the evening of your Valencia day trip.
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO OF OUR LAST DAY TRIP TO VALENCIA
Reflections on this one day Valencia itinerary
Summing up this Valencia 1 day itinerary, there is enough to do without making it stressful. Valencia is such an amazing city so it certainly deserves taking the time to walk around and take it all in.
With only one day in Valencia Spain, it’s a good idea to book guided tours of the old town and the City of Arts and Sciences to get the most out of the day.
It also ensures you don’t miss out on the best. Nonetheless, this itinerary covers what I think is the most noteworthy for 24 hours in Valencia. The city is also great as a base for exploring all the fun day trips around Valancia.
Still need convincing? Read my top reasons to visit Valencia.