Apart from being a great destination for its beaches and weather, Valencia’s historical center has an amazing cultural heritage and it’s definitely worth taking a day (or two) to visit. Less than a 15 minute walk from the International Coworking office, Valencia is easy to get around on by foot just about anywhere.
Whenever you have a free day or afternoon to wander around the old, windy streets and spectacular monuments, you can use this guide so that you can do a little tour all by yourself!
Our little tour starts at Serranos Towers which, along with Quart Towers, make up the remains of Valencia’s medieval walls which surrounded the city (now the Old Town of Valencia). They were built between 1392 and 1398 and represented the symbol of a city in the middle of its economic expansion process. This monument was the main access to the city in the past and it’s located in front of Serranos Bridge, through which loads of merchants used to come to the city from different territories.
If we keep walking straight on towards Virgin Square (Plaza de la Virgin) we will find Valencia’s Cathedral. Its construction began in 1262 and it was built above the Old Mosque of Valencia which was there from the time of the Moors. The Cathedral took several centuries to be finished and, as a result, we can now observe elements from different architectural styles such as Romanic, Gothic and Baroque.
Right inside the Cathedral stands the bell tower known as El Miquelet. It owes its name to the 10 tonne bell called Miquel, which you can find at the top of the tower, if you dare to climb to the top! The building is 70 meters high and the only way to get to the top is by a spiral staircase. However, we can assure you it’s worth it: the staircase leads to a terrace from which you’ll have an amazing view of the entire city.
Going deeper into the historical center, we’ll find the Silk Market, commonly known as ‘Llotja de València’ or ’Llotja de Mercaders’. This monument was built between 1482 and 1538 and represents the wealth and magnificence of the Valencian Golden Century (XV). It was a place for commercial exchange among merchants from all over Europe during the medieval era. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996 by UNESCO.
In order to discover the Central Market (Mercat Central) of Valencia we just need to cross the street. Valencians used to come to this market to buy food, clothes and anything and everything they needed to live. In the past, it was just a gathering of merchants organized in little stalls. However, the need for a proper building became obvious and that’s why we can now enjoy this Modernist-like building in the historical center of the city. Today it is no longer used for everything, but is limited to food stalls where you can find things like fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, Spanish ham, local delicacies, and also some prepared dishes. There are a few places to actually sit for a meal too. Drop by if you want to find fresh high-quality food or even to drink a beer and have a walk around!