We might be a remote work program but rest assured we always have plenty of time to explore and have fun when work is done. After spending 6 weeks in Valencia we want to share our personal highlights with you of our favorite clubs, cafes, restaurants and parks.
Without further ado, here are our 16 favourite things to do in Valencia (that are not the obvious City of Arts and Science).
Although flamenco comes from the southern Andalucia it is also popular here in Valencia – especially with tourists. While there are a lot of touristy places to see some average flamenco for over 50 €, we found one exceptional place you should check out.
We highly recommend visiting Café del Duende. This tiny bar is nestled away in a less frequented are of El Carmen, but it’s so worth the visit IF you’re there on time! The place opens at 9 pm (at least on Thursdays) and the show starts at 10 pm but they don’t take reservations.
The first time we arrived at 9.05 pm and were sent away because the place was already packed full. Next week we brought wine, arrived at 8 pm and waited in front of the entrance to be the first in line. It worked and for 10 € (with a drink voucher) we got to see a truly beautiful show with two amazing dancers, two passionate singers and a very talented guitar player. The place was packed but the small location makes it a truly intimate experience.
One of the must-dos while in Valencia
We wanted Sushi but the Place was full so we accidentally stumbled upon Beirut and decided to go in, a decision that was rewarded with delicious food and friendly service! The restaurant is centrally located in the Ruzafa area and was surprisingly uncrowded at lunchtime.
We recommend the tasting menu. The waitress kept bringing more and more little bowls filled with delicious hummus, falafel, tasty meat skewers and rice. The absolute highlight was the dessert. It was something I never had before in my life (all those wasted years): Muhallabia! This is milk pudding with rose water, sprinkled with pistachios.
If you’ve never experienced the wonders of a silent disco, it’s about damn time you try. Picadilly is the HP Valencia crews favourite night club. Even people in our group who hate clubbing (a.k.a. me) had a great time there.
Come in and get yourself a pair of glowing headphones. You can switch between 3 channels, although the 3rd channel always seemed to be less exciting than the other two. With the headphones, you can always switch it up if you don’t like what the DJ is playing. The light on the side of the headphones changes depending on what channel you’re listening to, so you always know what sound your friends are grooving to right now.
Make sure to bring an ID to leave as collateral to pick up your headphones.
Radio City Funk Night – Bar with Live Music
Radio city is an Institution in Valencia and they offer a lot of different events throughout the week, from flamenco, language exchange to funk night. Besides free entrance and cheap drinks this weekly event features live funk music that will even get yo mama to shake it.
The best part about it is that it’s an open mic, so you have random people with instruments or just their voice on stage who jam together, creating some pretty awesome stuff! Later they turn it up with a DJ putting on hot tunes into the early hours.
It happens to the best–after weeks of tapas, jamon and paella, you start to crave something different. If you like sushi (and can work up an appetite), you should visit our favourite all-you-can-eat sushi place in Ruzafa.
For only 16 € you can order everything your heart desires, all kinds of sushi, tempura, fried noodles and more. If you ask nicely they will even arrange it on a pretty wooden boat to get you the perfect Instagram picture.
You know those places that are not pretty but have character? Liverpool is one of them, an enclave of everything that’s good and British in Valencia, from the Beatles, to darts and pints.
We spent many nights in the company of locals, singing old school rock songs on a tiny stage at the end of the bar. If you’re worried about singing on stage – dont be! The level of talent is… pretty average. It doesn’t matter how well you sing, just how much enthusiasm you have.
Favourite HP Valencia moments: Our guys on stage absolutely crushing it with the Backstreet boys, followed up by a drunk man singing a Spanish song about needing to pee.
Forget everything you thought you knew about bakeries. If I die I might not go to heaven but my ghost will haunt Dulce de Leche (if ghosts can eat pastries, that is). Imagine every possible sweet delight, all beautifully decorated like little artworks and for a surprisingly affordable price. The cakes are so Instagrammable and delicious, that 90% of our weekly Donut Buddy get-to-know-you meetings went there.
Do yourself a favour and visit one of their 2 shops in Valencia. We can’t really recommend anything specific… because everything is so so good. Trust us on this one.
Laser Tag – connect with your inner child
Exploring local ancient history and visiting museums and traditional fiestas – all that is great but sometimes you just wanna be silly and have fun. One of the most fun nights we had was playing Laser Tag with the whole gang.
If you wanna see grown people run around and scream like little kids, you should definitely try this! We split up in 2 teams and played for 40 minutes for just 10 €s a person. Be prepared to sweat – a lot!
Out true caffeine junkies soon started to call Bluebell their favourite spot because of its huge variety of 57 different types of coffee that they roast themselves. They also offer a good variety of cakes and and a nice little breakfast with delicious homemade jam. We especially loved their avocado toasts.
Try to get one of the tables on their quiet little patio to enjoy your drink in the sun. It goes without saying that we would only recommend a cafe with free wifi, right?
Turia Gardens – Valencias Green Lungs
The sporty people in our group loved to go to the Turia Garden for an early morning run. This beautiful park winds through Valencia and was once the riverbed of the Turia River. Here you won’t feel like you are in a big city but in the middle of the nature.
Many people practice other sports, such as cycling, boxing, karate, or even meditation in the park. It is a real haven of peace and will get you in a good vibes mindset to start your (work) day.
This park is also perfect for the famous Spanish siesta (life in Spain stops between 3 pm to 6 pm). This gives you time to relax on the grass underneath one of the many orange trees or even do a picnic like we did below palm trees and close to one of the many fountains.
Be ready to admire the stars if you stay into the night!
WARNING: this ice cream may ruin your life.
There is one thing we can all agree on: Italians do it better! At least when it comes to ice cream (…and pasta. And pizza). So when our intern Pauline claimed she found real italian ice cream in Valencia we simply had to try it, and we came back again. And again.
12 times in fact.
The employees are cheerful and you can taste ALL the delicious flavours before you decide. Isn’t it perfect? Our favourite flavours are “Bacio di Dama”, “Biscotto dela Nonna”,”Panna Cotta with caramelised pine nuts” and chocolate “Sacher”.
Ask for whipped cream to put on the top–it doesn’t get any better than this! The only problem is we never want to eat another type of ice cream again.
Camaleon – Spanish food modernized
For our first group lunch we went to Camaleon and people liked it so much that we came back several times. Their Spanish cuisine is made with fresh and seasonal produce and has a very modern and savoury style.
The “menu del dia” changes every day – and it’s a real pleasure every time to discover what the chef came up with. For 10.50 € you will have a complete and really tasty menu. Ask Chris if you do not speak Spanish–he’s a very friendly and smiling guy who will be happy to help you 🙂
Mercat Central makes waking up early worth it
This stunning Market hall built in 1914 will take you on a journey full of color and smells– mooooooost of them pleasant.
Fresh and dried fruit, bakery, spices, turron, chocolate, cheese–it’s a real delight for the eyes. If you have a sensitive stomach or are vegetarian we advise you to stay away from the fish and meat section though.
To avoid the tourists it’s best to wake up early. You will be rewarded by the morning sun shining through the colored glass windows.
La Majad – Cheese lovers heaven
If you love cheese as much as our French intern Pauline, you will be delighted to visit La Majad–Valencias first cheese bar. Here you will find cheeses from all over the world.
Make sure to visit the cold room! If you ask nicely, they will let you try any cheese before you buy.
TACTIC Escape Room – Pay to get locked up
Valencia has so many escape rooms and our people loved them so much, we even made a Slack channel just for that.
We tried many different ones but our favourite one was “La Casa Paranormal” which is a scary haunted house with difficult clues to find and riddles to solve. Scary sounds, cold hands touching you and a mysterious woman wandering through the dark is just a small sneak peek. No more spoilers – go do it yourself 😉
La Otra Parte – delicious Tapas close to the beach
For our very last group meal we chose to go back to “La Otra Parte”, a lovely Spanish restaurant that a few of our people discovered before. They serve delicious fresh tapas in a stylish decorated place and often organize events, like a flamenco guitar player and singer to accompany your meal.
Our favourite dishes: ceviche, calamaris, pimientos and carrillada.
And there you have it! Our favourite places in Valencia.
We had so much fun exploring these and hope you will have just as much visiting them. If you want to experience your own adventures, why don’t you join our next trip and discover cool places yourself with an awesome group of forward thinking people.