Back in February, my mom and I took a girls’ trip to Valencia the day after my husband, mom, and I got back from Paris. Paris had been quite the crazy busy trip for us with all the sightseeing and walking around; each day was packed with things to do and places to see, so I was really looking forward to a relaxing trip.
We flew direct to Valencia from Frankfurt International airport via Ryan Air; it was low season, and the flights were inexpensive. It was dark by the time we got into Valencia, and we checked into the AirBnB attic apartment which we absolutely loved! The apartment had a nautical theme; the living room was our favourite. The location couldn’t be beat; it was really close to the beach.
After checking in, we walked over to a convenience store to grab some essentials such as eggs, Cheetos (LOL), and some fruit. We then looked for restaurants nearby and decided to go to the Lonja Del Pescado for dinner. Restaurants in Valencia open for dinner at around 8pm, which seemed really late to us. We walked over and got there just after 8pm and before we knew it, the place was packed! We looked at the ordering sheet the had (they didn’t have a menu with descriptions) and we found ourselves not knowing what 95% of the items were. The waitress was surprised that we had no idea what we were ordering and didn’t know where to begin explaining. We asked her what was popular so she pointed at a few items, and we decided to share a Fritura Especial and some bread. Basically, our main dish was just a bunch of fried seafood, but let me tell you, it was delicious!
On Sunday morning, we wanted to get some pastries and coffee, so we went to check out a bakery we found online. On our way there, we passed another bakery which looked great, and we also saw a 15k in progress. I saw a group of 5 women wearing matching t-shirts, which made me nostalgic for my running days and when I ran with my old running buddies… We crossed the street when there was a break in runners and when we got to the bakery we were looking for, we decided to go back to the first one we saw because it looked nicer. We tried a few different pastries and took the rest home along with a baguette.
Since a lot of things are closed on Sundays in Europe, we wanted to go to a place that’s open every day of the week: the beach! There were a few clouds in the sky, but we were able to get a lot of vitamin D. We walked all the way to the pier. Here are my favourites.
After going to the end of the pier, we knew it was time for paella (when in Valencia.. ;)), so I asked our Airbnb host for a recommendation, and she suggested we have lunch at Casa Carmela and to have a seat at the bar. We happily obliged and walked about 45 minutes to the restaurant. We rewarded ourselves with a couple of cold Heinekens, which is just what we needed after a long walk in the sun. While waiting, we were served with some olives and onions as a little appetizer, and we also ordered a cheese platter. At the bar, there’s a TV set up which shows you the kitchen and you can watch the cooks making the paella. While drinking our beers, we spotted and ordered a pitcher of sangria… The paella is presented to you before being served.. Everything was incredible and we highly recommend Casa Carmela.
After lunch, we went to an indoor flea market, and I know we purchased something, but I just don’t remember what that was.. I think my mom bought a scarf. We had a low-key evening where we hung out in the apartment and had paella leftovers.
On Monday, we had some eggs and baguette for breakfast, then we went to get some coffee and pastries at the bakery. Afterwards, we were on the hunt for children’s clothing for my nephews, and our host recommended El Corte Inglés which is a department store. We took an Uber there [side note, the Uber drivers rent their vehicles, so they all have the same model car, and they’re all required to wear suits which feels a bit more luxe]; the department store was huge, and the clothes were so beautiful! We had some issues finding the sizes that we wanted, but we did manage to find some adorable sweaters and pants for the boys. We had a quick bite at the store’s cafe area; since the food was cold, we’re pretty sure it was really meant to be takeout.
Once we were done shopping, we walked over to the City of Arts & Sciences which was just a few minutes away. Per their website,
The City of Arts and Sciences is an entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex in the city of Valencia, Spain. It is the most important modern tourist destination in the city of Valencia and one of the 12 Treasures of Spain.
We walked around the buildings, and my mind was blown; they are so different from anything I’ve seen before.
Once we were done admiring the architecture, we took an Uber back to the apartment. We thought about the sunset, and asked for a recommendation for a good spot to see it. The Marina Beach Club is what our host suggested, and as we got closer, we realized that we weren’t facing west, so it wasn’t going to be a great beach sunset. I think the upstairs in the Marina Beach Club would’ve been a good place, but not what we were looking for. The colors were still beautiful.
For dinner, we wanted to have tapas (when in Spain… ;)) and we went to Casa Montaña around 8:30pm, not wanting to be too early for dinner. And were we surprised when there was quite a few people waiting to be seated! This place is so popular that even though they start dinner at 8pm, people get there at 7pm and have a seat at the bar. We hung out outside with a few others and the wait wasn’t too bad. We tried a bunch of different things and it’s been too long since we were there, so I don’t remember what we had, except that I think our favourite was a pepper stuffed with tuna.
On Tuesday, we had a light breakfast, hung out for a bit, then checked out around 10:30am. Our flight wasn’t until about 7:30pm aso we had some time to kill in between. We used a Nanny Bag luggage storage to store our bags while we walked around. The way it works is that you log into the Nanny Bag website or app, and schedule a drop off and pickup at a partner shop or hotel that is convenient to you. There is a small fee per bag, but it’s definitely worth it!
Our mission was to check out the Central Market and try some food there, and then walk around a bit. The market was beautiful! We purchased small bites of different things, such as sandwiches, and had fresh squeezed orange juice (some with strawberry juice as well). It was all delicious and we liked being able to try a bunch of different things.
After the market, we went to get some hot chocolate and churros, but the hot chocolate was more like a pudding or atole (a corn starch beverage).. we weren’t sure whether to drink it or dip the churros in it! We ventured out to explore a bit more of the city.
We had a little bit of time to kill before we picked up our bags (the store was closed in the middle of the afternoon) so we sat and enjoyed the sunshine.
We had such a great time and I can’t wait to go back!
Have you ever been to Valencia? What was your favourite place/part?
p.s. I will have a process video for the Project Life spreads, but the recording was a bit problematic so I was unsure of whether I should post it but I’m going to anyway..