9 Unusual Things To Do In Valencia
Valencia is still underrated as a tourist destination. It “only” has about 2-4 million visitors each year, which is still a lot. But compared to the roughly 30 million visitors every year in Barcelona, it’s not that much after all. The city has a lot of traditional touristy things to offer but there are also many cool, unusual things to do in Valencia.
Play Some Games In Front Of The Cathedral
Every traditional what-to-do list for Valencia will tell you to go inside the cathedral. Which is very impressive but one of the unusual things to do in Valencia is to play some games outside the cathedral. By chance, I found the games right in front of the cathedral. You can play memory and 4 wins, make a tornado inside a big glass cylinder or try your skillfulness by trying to navigate a ball through a labyrinth. And while doing all of those things you have the cathedral of Valencia in your background view.
Look For The Holy Grail In Valencia
Have you heard the story of the holy grail? The artefact with magical powers, and nobody even knows what it looks like (or if it exists at all). It comes up in countless movies like Indiana Jones, computer games like Assassins Creed and books like The Da Vinci Code. People have looked for it since the Middle Ages. Now the search is over, it’s in Valencia! Some people believe that the Holy Chalice in the cathedral of Valencia is the holy grail of the legends. It’s supposed to be the cup which Jesus used to share wine with his apostles at his last supper.
Don’t believe in legends? Check it out anyway. Looking for the holy grail is definitely one of the most unusual things to do in Valencia or anywhere for that matter.
Ride a Bike In a Former River Bed
I’m usually a bit unsure about renting a bike in a foreign city but Valencia is one of the most bike-friendly cities I’ve ever been in.
Actually, renting a bike is not one of the unusual things to do in Valencia since so many people do it. It is an unusual thing for me to do however, that’s why renting a bike is on the list.
Everywhere is easy to ride, since Valencia is mostly flat and most bike paths are separated from the main streets. But you really want to rent a bike so you can go on it through Túria park. This 9 km long park is one of Spain’s biggest inner city parks. This park used to be a river but in the 1950s the river got redirected because there were too many floods. And in the 80s the park opened. Now it’s a popular place to hang out, do sports or go for a bike ride. Don’t forget to have a look at the 18 bridges as you cycle underneath them.
Cook Your Own Paella
The worldwide-known Spanish dish Paella comes originally from Valencia. Some Spanish people will not call it a traditional Spanish dish but a traditional Valencian dish. Traditionally it contains chicken and rabbit but you can easily make a vegan version.
Everyone goes out to eat paella in a restaurant. If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Valencia you should cook your own paella! Or you can even do a day trip to the village where paella was invented.
What better way to experience life in Valencia than by cooking your own vegan paella? To make the experience even more authentic you can go to the central market to buy all your ingredients for the paella.
You can even buy a paella pan at the market if your apartment doesn’t have a traditional paella pan. Even though you can technically use any pan, it’s a better experience to make it in a traditional paella pan. The word paella means frying pan after all in Valencian. So the pan must be important 😉
Feel Like a Lilliputian At Gulliver Park
Do you know the story of Gulliver, who travels to the island of Liliput which is inhabited by tiny people? You can feel like a Lilliputian by climbing on top of a lying Gulliver at Gulliver park. Sounds like one of the many amazing, unusual things to do in Valencia? Well, it is, but the queue for it is massive. The lying Gulliver is a climbing frame with slides, so basically it’s a playground for kids. If you want to climb Gulliver yourself prepare for queuing up for quite a bit and for being surrounded by a lot of kids.
Otherwise, you can go up to the bridge and look down on Gulliver. For a really good shot of Gulliver, you would need a drone though. He’s so big, that even from the bridge you’re too close to the statue.
Count How Many Graffiti Men You Can Find
The street art scene in Valencia is amazing, especially in the el Carmen neighbourhood you can find so much beautiful graffiti. So walking around and looking at street art is quite a usual thing to do. For the unusual things to do in Valencia you walk around and count how many pieces you can find by David de Limon. He’s the artist behind the guys with big eyes, who has been described as a ninja by some.
The first day I was in Valencia I already noticed the spray-painted little person. And the more I walked around, the more of them I saw. You can make a fun little game out of it and count how much graffiti you can find. Unfortunately, I started my counting a bit late. But I tried to get a picture of each of those figures and created a folder on my laptop just for those pictures so I wouldn’t count any of them double. I managed to find 43 of the little guys! Try how many you can find and let me know about it in the comments.
Visit The Cat House And Hope Someone Is Home
If you like graffiti you’ll end up in the El Carmen neighbourhood. In this neighbourhood, you can find more unusual things to do in Valencia. Look for the tiny cat house and don’t miss the ugly statue of a cat on top of the wall. Apparently, it’s supposed to be a safe haven for stray cats. I don’t know if the cats know that though. At least I didn’t see any cats in the proximity of the cat house.
Look For The Smallest House In Valencia
Go to Plaza Lope de Vega and look for the narrowest house in Europe and the second narrowest house in the world. It’s known under the name La Estrecha, which is the neighbouring bar. Today the inside of the two buildings is merged into one building, the facade still portrays the two original houses. The facade of the narrowest house in Valencia only measures 107 cm! There’s even a story that the girl who used to live in that building had to get dressed on the street for her communion because the festive dress was too big for the house.
The house looks very cool, but I’m not quite convinced that it’s really the smallest house in Europe. I’ve been to more than one other city which proclaims that they have the smallest house. Nevertheless, it’s one of the unusual things to do in Valencia and you can even measure the house and compare it with other tiny houses in the world.
Learn About Plants In The Botanical Garden
In every other city going to the botanical garden would not be that unusual, but considering how empty the garden was, I thought it must be one of the unusual things to do in Valencia.
Go for a walk surrounded by about 4500 different plants. Every plant is labelled and all plants are sorted by type. The entrance fee is €3, a very reasonable price for such a big park. My favourite part was the cacti. They have so many huge cacti, I love that. Cacti and palm trees always remind me of summer and holidays. I also really liked that you can go into every small and the big glasshouse. There are multiple benches you can relax on and if you’re lucky one of the cats living here might come to say hello.
I love these ideas! We often travel with our young children and are always looking for things they will enjoy (which mostly includes fun activities like this!) I’m pinning this for later.
I really like doing unusual things as well and not always the same old in every city.
Great post! Looks beautiful!
What a beautiful location! Thank you for these wonderful suggestions. You inspired to want to go there for myself.
I’m glad you liked my tips 🙂
How cool! I had no idea I needed to visit Valencia until reading this. What a beautiful place full of fun experiences!
Valencia is definitely worth a visit 🙂
How I love straying off the beaten track when traveling and I love this post for that. I must look for that tiny house when next i’m in Valencia. Looks like a nightmare! Thanks for the tips.
Yeah, I cannot imagine how it must have been living in such a tiny house!