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Capital of its own autonomous region and Spain’s third largest city, Valencia is a thriving metropolis of about a million people. It is the largest port on the west coast of the Mediterranean
Founded in Roman times, Valencia’s history has been shaped by everything from Medieval time and the Moorish crusades up to the Spanish Civil War.
Valencia has shaken off its reputation of a port city and is now recognized as an important artistic and cultural hub. It’s famous for its impressive architecture, proximity to the sea and as being the birthplace of Paella.
For information about Gay Rights in Spain, please see our Gay Madrid City Guide page.
Although Valencia has not hit the gay tourism radar as much as say Madrid or Barcelona, the gay scene here is extremely vibrant. There are Gay Bars, Gay Dance Clubs, Gay Saunas and Gay Cruise Clubs scattered throughout the city.
Valencia Airport (VLC) also known as Manises Airport is located around 8km from the city centre. It is Spain’s tenth largest airport and is well connected to destinations throughout Europe, with a couple of stops in the Middle East and North Africa by flag carriers and the budget carriers.
Metro lines 3 and 5 link the airport to the city. Single tickets cost €3.90 and take 25 minutes. Services run from around 5.30am to half past midnight Monday to Friday with reduced hours weekends and public holidays.
A cheaper alternative is taking bus line 150 into town for €1.45. The journey takes 45 minutes. It runs Monday to Saturday from 5.30am to 10pm with reduced service on Saturday. It does not run on Sundays or public holidays.
A taxi rank operates from the airport and journeys into the city centre should cost around the €20 mark. Any journey to and from the airport has an automatic supplement of €5.40.
Valencia has scheduled ferry services to and from the Balearic Islands and Algeria. It is also a popular destination for some cruises. Metro lines 4, 5 and 6 provide rail access to the port.
The Estació del Nord offers good connections to destinations in mainland Spain. A high speed service runs regularly to both Valencia and Madrid. Unlike other European cities, there are no direct international connections.
The best way to take in the sights is by foot. To traverse the city in a straight line shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes, varying depending on what pace you’re taking. You’ll only need to take transport if travelling further afield.
By metro and tram
FGV operates Valencia’s modern metros and trams. They run from 5.30am to 11pm Monday to Friday and from 6am to 11.30pm on weekends. Singles start at €1.50 and ten journey passes at €7.20 depending on zone of travel.
Buses are a good way of taking in the city. Tickets start at €1.50. Services start at 4am and end at 10.30pm Monday to Thursday with a night service lasting until 2am (3.30am Friday and Saturday). Buses do not run on Sundays.
Taxi ranks are common place and you can hail a taxi from the side of the road. Official taxicab companies are white with green lights on top. Private taxi firms exist but note that meters start as soon as the driver picks up the call.
Valencia has an excellent range of hotels to suit all budgets. For some of the best Valencia hotels for gay travellers, visit our Gay Valencia Hotels page.
City of Arts and Science – an impressive modernist building by noted architect Santiago Calatrava.Here you’ll find a planetarium, science museum, an IMAX cinema and more. You can take walking tours here.
Valencia Cathedral (The Seu) – impressive Gothic cathedral that has also collected Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical architectural styles over the centuries. You can take a trip up the Micalet Tower for views of the city.
The Silk Exchange –impressive example of the Valencian-Gothic style of architecture. This is a fascinating glimpse into Valencia’s economic history.
The Mercat Central – Modernist building and a perfect spot to pick up fresh ingredients, especially if you’re going to make that Valencian classic Paella.
Playa de Malvarossa – the most popular of Valencia’s city beaches. Here you can find beach bars, cafes and hotels to unwind and relax at.
Costa Del Azahar – north of Valencia is this beautiful stretch of coast that is notably less developed than the rest of the Costas. Worth extending your stay purely to explore the gorgeous villages dotted up and down the coast.
Valencia has a pleasant Mediterranean coastal climate. April and May are the best time to visit as temperatures are warm and crowds aren’t so big. Winters are comfortable and quieter but some attractions have reduced opening hours.
In March the city hosts the Fallas where large papier-mâché models, usually satirical, are built and displayed in city blocks. Fireworks are almost incessant and a general party vibe prevails. There is also a pride festival in June.
Spain is a Euro area country. Cash dispensers are widely available. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted. Hotels, banks and some local businesses also operate foreign exchange desks.
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