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Why This Underrated Coastal City In Spain Is A Top Trending Destination Right Now

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The popularity of Spain seems to know no limits – this sunny European country broke tourism records last year and already looks like it’s on course for more of the same in 2024.

Headline acts like Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville quite rightly capture a lot of the attention when it comes to travel in Spain, but the country is blessed with a wealth of other cultural destinations definitely worth the extra time and effort.

traveler in a red dress stands in the main square in valencia spain

One of my favorites of all time has to be Valencia – and it seems I’m not alone. 

All the signs point towards this historic icon becoming one of 2024’s top trending destinations in Spain.

Its Cool Rating Is On The Rise

Recent data from the local government in Valencia shows that the region is really trending with travelers right now. 

In the first month of this year, Valencia saw 29% more international tourists than in the same period last year, which means its popularity is growing faster than other regions including Catalonia, Madrid, and even Andalusia.

aerial view of the old town of valencia at sunset with the serranos towers in foreground

By taking a trip to Valencia this spring or summer, you could be ahead of the curve and enjoy everything it has to offer before it becomes even more popular with tourists and, subsequently, more crowded.

A Great ‘Destination Dupe’

With Barcelona looking like it’s going to be one of the most overcrowded destinations in all of Europe this year, Valencia makes for a fantastic ‘destination dupe’ – which many travel industry leaders are predicting will be a heavy trend this year.

Valencia is situated about three hours down the coast from Barcelona by train and offers many of the same things but with fewer downsides.

the silk exchange historic building in valencia spain

The city tells a story of history dating from 2,000 years ago to the present day – from the well-preserved ruins of the Roman Valentina to the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Silk Exchange, right up to the present day at the ultra-modern City of Arts and Sciences.

The city also has an incredible food scene – it’s the birthplace of paella – and a couple of excellent beaches, which are easy to get to via the city’s reliable and clean public transport that includes buses and metros.

Malvarrosa Beach with walkway along the sea front in valencia spain

You can grab a 72-hour tourist transport card for just $25.

A City For Quieter Moments

One of my favorite things about Valencia is just as quickly as you can find tight, bustling streets with intoxicating sights and smells, you can also find tranquility.

Running right through the center of the city is a dried riverbed that has been turned into a beautiful park known as Turia Garden.

view of the turia garden in valencia spain from above

The Turia River was diverted away from the city in the 1950s after a devastating flood, but what they have chosen to do with this five-and-a-half-mile pathway through the city is more of what modern cities need.

It’s the perfect place for a quiet stroll, running, cycling, or even for viewing some of Valencia’s main sights, like the Serranos Towers, which used to be the main gateway into the old walled city.

solo female traveler walking across a footbridge in valencia spain on a sunny day

More Affordable Than The Mainstream

Spain is not known for being super-expensive, however in downtown Barcelona or Madrid, you can find yourself paying a little more than you’d like.

That’s not the case with Valencia – it’s very possible to find good quality hotels and Airbnbs for as little as $120 per night, depending on the time of year.

aerial view of the mestalla soccer stadium in valencia spain

If you’re willing to try a more budget hotel or even a hostel, you could find yourself paying in the $60-$100 per night bracket.

My Three Things Not To Miss In Valencia:

  • Take some time out to visit Malvarrosa Beach and enjoy some more of that quiet time I was talking about earlier. The beach is not your typical tourist trap and is more often frequented by locals relaxing.
  • If you are even a tiny bit interested in soccer, shell out the €15 it costs to go on a tour of the Mestalla Stadium, home of Valencia CF. Built in 1923, it’s one of the steepest soccer grounds in the world and truly captures Spain’s passion for the sport.
  • If you’re a foodie, you can’t miss a trip to Valencia’s Central Market – the largest fresh produce market in Europe no less. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s worth it for the smell and to absorb some real Valencian culture.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Jacque

Saturday 9th of March 2024

I stayed in Valencia 5 years ago for three months and loved the quietness of the city. Biked almost every day around the city of Arts and Sciences as I was merely two minutes away by bike from where I lived. I frequented the beach as well and ate lunch there.