Tag Archives: valencia

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Valencia Eating Out

Valencia Eating Out? Eating Late is the Norm 👩‍🍳

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Discover the vibrant culinary scene of Valencia, where indulging in delectable delights goes hand in hand with embracing the local culture. Join us as we delve into the enchanting world of eating out in Valencia, where the norm is to savor your meals fashionably late.

From sizzling tapas and mouthwatering paellas to tantalizing seafood and innovative fusion cuisine, Valencia offers a gastronomic adventure that will delight even the most discerning food enthusiasts.

For our 4-day trip to Valencia, we selected in advance a number of interesting restaurants with good reviews. The only problem was these restaurants were dotted around the outskirts of the city and not particularly easy to get to. Our dining plans therefore had to be revised to fit in easily with the locations of our planned activities.

Valencia Eating Out

Valencia Eating Out – Turia Gardens

Tapas Early Evening

If you’re expecting to eat out in restaurants at ‘standard’ mealtimes, you’ll need to revise your plans in Valencia.

On our first evening, after much searching we could find only a couple of cafes and pubs serving tapas. Many restaurants only stay open until 4:00 in the afternoon, and the ones which re-open in the evening often don’t start business until 8:30 or 9:00 pm.

The Kram Bar

If you want to eat at a civilized hour – around 6:00 or 7:00 pm – you’ll end up eating an assortment of tapas at one of the many small cafes.

The ones we tried were actually quite good – notably the Kram Bar, adjacent to the Kram Hotel on Avda Campanar.

Valencia Eating Out

Valencia Eating Out – Tapas at the Kram Bar

Here we ate a tasty selection of tapas including croquetas ibéricos, goats cheese with tomato jam, dates with bacon, crujiente de gamba and fried chicken wings.

Together with a couple of glasses of wine this cost just €29 for two.

Shahi Restaurante

We went well out of our way to find the Shahi Indian restaurant, which had good traveler reviews. The actual meal we had was OK, with pappadams, okra, meat samosas, paneer, roti, lamb chops and a spicy chicken madras.

Together with a bottle of wine our bill came to €49.

Shahi Restaurante

Valencia Eating Out – Shahi Restaurante

Valencia Eating Out – Turangalila

One of the culinary highlights of our trip to Valencia was a visit to the (in)famous Turangalila. Decorated in a capricious maximalist-style, the Turangalila is a late-night restaurant and show combined. Its theatrical decoration, Gothic furnishings, mythological figures, and exuberant ‘hostesses’ create an unforgettable atmosphere.

We had called the place a week earlier to book a table for the Saturday night, but they were fully booked. Instead, we were able to book a table for the following Tuesday – our last night – which co-incidentally was also Halloween.

In line with Spanish traditions, the restaurant didn’t open until 9:30 pm, and we arrived shortly after 10 pm. We were extravagantly greeted by Lisa Dust, our host(ess), and led to our table in the colorful and kitsch salon.


Valencia Eating Out – Turangalila main salon

It felt like we’d entered the set of Liza Minelli’s Cabaret.

Our table was immaculately set, and 2 of our hostesses went to pains to explain the menu to us in English (we were the only foreigners in the place).

It being Halloween, many of the other guests were sporting pointy hats and gruesome face paint. However, they couldn’t compete with the lavish makeup and costumes of our ‘lady’ hosts.

For starters we were offered a tasty selection of tapas to share, including pate, croquettes, cappaccio of meats and cheese and pasta. The main course was a choice of meat, fish and vegetarian, and there was a large choice of deserts.

All of the food was impeccably presented and very tasty.

Valencia Eating Out

Valencia Eating Out – One of the deserts at Turangalila

To accompany our food we were offered complimentary drinks throughout the evening, as well as coffee and mixed cocktails during the show. As for the show itself, this started around a quarter past midnight after the dinner dishes had been cleared away.

The ‘girls’, who had so far been working hard serving food and drink, changed into their even more audacious cabaret gear for the nights entertainment.

The songs of course included such classics as ‘New York, New York’ and Shirley Bassey’sI Am What I am’. The music interludes were punctuated by sections of stand-up comedy, most of which was lost on us.

The locals were in uproar, so if your Spanish is up to it, it must be hilarious.

Turangalila - Valencia

Valencia Eating Out – Turangalila hostesses: They’re not as scary as they look…

The fun ended at around 2:00 am with everyone getting up to dance the salsa.

All in all an unbeatable evening of food, drink and entertainment – and all for just €35 per person.

Valencia Eating Out – Carrefour (no joke…)

If you’re self-catering in Valencia, don’t miss out on Carrefour. They have a few hypermarkets dotted around the city, and offer some good and inexpensive meal deals. Great for preparing a picnic in the park or the odd meal or breakfast back in the apartment.

We picked up a full Japanese meal there, including sushi, muchi and miso soups.

They also make delicious snacks from crispy baked bread loaded with tasty Iberico de Bellota Spanish hams and cheeses. Take these into the park with a half bottle of local wine and you’ll be set for the day.

Valencia - Picnics in the Park

Valencia Eating Out – Picnics in the Park

As for activities in Valancia, we were planning to visit the Museum of Illustration and Modernity, the City of Arts and Sciences, the Bioparc and the Oceanogràfic.

We wouldn’t have too much time for idling in the park, then…

Hotel options in Valencia

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Valencia Long Weekend

Valencia Long Weekend – Airport Transfers & Accommodation

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With the budget airlines offering ridiculously cheap flights from all over Europe to a variety of destinations in Spain, a long weekend in Valencia  is hard to resist. Add to this a relatively low cost of living and accommodation options, and you’re onto a winner.

We budgeted €350 per person for a full 4-day and four-night trip, all-inclusive.

But is a total budget of €700 enough to cover flights, transfers, accommodation, restaurants, snacks and world-class entertainment over a period of 4 days for 2 people?

Valencia Long Weekend – Getting in and around

There is a good choice of budget flights to Valencia from a variety of countries around Europe. Our return flights cost just €57 per person.

Once you arrive, the easiest and cheapest way of getting into the city from Valencia airport is by metro. The metro station is clearly indicated from the airport arrival lounge and can be reached by foot in 10 minutes.

There are 3 multi-language ticket machines as well as a manned ticket counter. A one-way ticket from the airport to the center, or anywhere in Zone 1 costs €4.90. You can pay by card or cash.

Once in the center, most other metro journeys (staying within Zone 1) will cost €1.50 per trip. For a short visit of just a few days to Valencia , its cheaper and more practical to pay as you go.

Valencia Long Weekend

Valencia long weekend – The metro ticket machines

To properly get around Valencia, you need to use public transport. Walking, especially through the central park areas is very pleasant. However the distances are too great to comfortably get from one part of the city to the other by foot (we tried it… ).

Buses are an option, if you’re prepared to study routes and bus numbers. We took bus No. 95 a couple times (€1.50 per ticket). It travels throughout the day on a continuous circuit around Turia Gardens, and is a good option for getting to and from the City of Arts and Sciences.

The easiest and quickest option is the metro, but its not ideal. Many tourist attractions, like the City of Arts and Sciences are a good 30 minutes walking distance from the nearest metro station.

Valencia Long Weekend

Valencia long weekend – ”Er… where is this metro going?’

Make sure you take the right metro when returning to the airport at the end of your trip! There are 3 trains that travel towards the airport (No. 3, 5, and 9), but the No. 9 diverts to Riba-roja de Turia one stop before the airport. That mistake could be a deal-breaker if you’re running late…

Valencia Long Weekend – Where to Stay

Because of the sheer size of Valencia and its suburbs, you’d be well advised to choose an apartment or guesthouse close to the centre. It will cost you more, but will save you a lot of time walking and commuting.

Also, away from the centre there are fewer shops, restaurants and services: You’re really in the suburbs.

Valencia Long Weekend

Entrance to the Plaza Picasso Apartementos

Apartamentos Plaza Picasso

We chose an apartment about 4 km north of the old city, in the San Vicente district. Apartamentos Plaza Picasso is a 25-minute brisk walk from the nearest metro.

Although its a good 1-hour hike from here to the old city, it is close to the Turia Gardens, the Bioparc, the Turangalila restaurant and cabaret and (importantly) a huge Carrefour hypermarket.

So much for the plus-points.

Valencia Long Weekend
Valencia Long Weekend
Valencia Long Weekend
Valencia Long Weekend
Valencia Long Weekend
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The downside is the lack of anything else interesting or useful in this area. Apart from a few pubs and cafes, we couldn’t find anywhere decent to eat when we wanted it. The few restaurants we found either closed at 4 pm or didn’t open till 9 pm.

The Spanish like to eat late in the evenings, and often start work late in the mornings. This might go someway to explaining why the economy suffered a gigantic crash not so many years ago.

Our self-catering apartment cost €51 per night. It comprised 2 small bedrooms, a bathroom and a small living/kitchenette. Though compact, the apartment was clean and the furnishings were OK.

Valencia Long Weekend

Valencia Long Weekend

However, there were a lot of niggling small issues: The hob didn’t work, so apart from the microwave we couldn’t cook. There was no kettle for boiling water. The shower had just 2 settings – cold and scalding. The floor-to-ceiling windows were dirty on the outside. Instead of quilts, the beds used really uncomfortable sheets and over-covers, and the WiFi didn’t work.

… and lastly, despite requesting in advance an early check in, we weren’t able to check in until 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

Valencia Long Weekend – Getting Around the City

Valencia has a small city centre with sprawling suburbs to north and south following the course of the 9 km-long riverbed park, known as the Turia Gardens.

Much of these city suburbs comprise featureless high-rise apartment blocks, so its difficult to differentiate one area of the city from another. One thing we noticed throughout the city was an intermittent background odour of sewage.

Valencia Long Weekend

Valencia long weekend – Evidently, they’re a patriotic lot

As for tourists, when we visited it was either German Week or there must have been some super-cheap Ryanair flights from Frankfurt. We heard as much German being spoken as we did Spanish.

Wandering around the city, I’ve never in my life seen so many hairdressers! Every street seems to have 2 or 3 Peluquerias. So even if you can’t find a place to eat when you’re hungry, at least you’ll be immaculately groomed.

But we didn’t have time to pimp-up our hair-do’s. With 4 full days in the city, we had an agenda of attractions that we wanted to enjoy.

These included the City of Arts and Sciences, the Bioparc and the Oceanogràfic. We’d also targeted a few restaurants with stellar reviews.

In Valencia, there was going to be little chance to get bored…

Hotel options in Valencia

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