One of the best ways to get around Valencia, Spain is to cycle. Valencia is a flat and bicycle friendly city that has a good network of cycle paths that connect the old town to the rest of the city. Besides, cycling allows you to exercise and burn away all the paella you've eaten and you get to cover more ground in a day!
We actually covered both the City of Arts and Sciences, as well as the La Malvarrosa in a single day! Here, we'll cover our one day itinerary in Valencia by bike and also go through how you go about renting a bicycle!
How to rent a bicycle in Valencia, Spain?
For just a day's use we recommend looking for the many bike shops in Valencia's old town (or wherever you may be staying!). We got our bikes from Rent Bike Virgen right next to Casco Antigua, close to the Central Market. It is a family-run store that has great rental rates of 9 euros for a full day of cycling. However, do note that unless your hotel or accommodation has a safe place where you can lock your bikes, you'll need to return the bikes before they close (8pm). You will also need to store your ID with them as a deposit for the bikes.
Rent Bike Virgen
Plaza de la Virgen, Carrer de la Batlia, 2, 46003 Espana, Valencia, Spain
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am to 8pm
Nearest metro: Colon or Alameda
Valenbisi Short Term Ticket
The alternative to these bike stores would be the Valenbisi Short Term Ticket. Perfect for those who are intending to use these bikes for a few days and when you would like to make short trips. The short term ticket can be purchased at any of the Valenbisi Credit Card Terminals. All you'll need is your credit card and you can purchase the ticket that lasts for 7 days. This costs 13.50 euros and the trick to utilise this fully will be to ensure that you make short 30 minutes trip and find the next Valenbisi stand. The stands are located throughout Valencia so it shouldn't be a problem to find them but the downside is that there will kinda be a ticking time bomb in your head, telling you to return the bikes every 30 minutes.
So whichever you choose, grab a bike and let's get cycling!
Where to cycle in Valencia, Spain?
The easiest route to cycle in Valencia is the one that we took, from the old town out to Torres de Serranos, to Turia Gardens and head for the City of Arts and Sciences and finally reaching the beach La Malvarossa!
Valencia's Old Town can easily be covered by foot. Should you choose to explore that area by bike, you may then have to navigate through lots of cars and people. But cycling out of the old town is relatively people-free and there are lots of bike paths that allow you to speed through and enjoy the scenery and breeze!
Start your day early to get the most out of your cycling trip!
10am: Head to your choice of bicycle rental company and rent a bike!
10.30am: Cycle towards Torres de Serranos
The Torres de Serranos or Serranos Towers is one of the twelve gates that formed part of the ancient city wall. the entrance to Valencia and leads out to the royal road to Barcelona in the past. Today, it is one of the two remaining gates in Valencia and it marks the entrance to Valencia's old town.
For just 2 euros, you can head up the tower to get a magnificient view of the Turia gardens and Valencia's old town. After you've reached the Torres de Serranos, you know you're out of the old town. Then, head towards Turia gardens!
Torres de Serranos
Plaça dels Furs, s/n, 46003 València, Spain
Tuesdays to Saturdays - 10am to 2pm; 4.30pm to 8.30pm Sunday and public holidays from 10:00 to 15:00 h.
11am: Start your bike journey in the Turia Gardens
Right in front of the Serranos Tower, you'll see this bridge and just down below you'll find the Turia Gardens.
Do note that you'll probably have to push your bicycle down a rough rocky path here before actually starting to cycle. Otherwise, you can cycle to the next bridge or on the opposite bank to find a slope to cycle down. We took the fastest route because the park looks too inviting!
Stretching over 9 km, the Turia Gardens is the largest urban park in Spain. It spans over 18 bridges full and brings you through to all the various attractions and museums along either banks.
I really like how the city repurposed the former riverbed of the Turia into this large sprawling space. Here, you'll find lots of fountains, green spaces, orange trees, and sporting facilities. It was a park that was bustling with activity yet still providing that calm and tranquility you'll need in an urban city. Cycling down the Turia gardens also meant that you can cover more ground as compared to walking or running.
If you're still wondering why the Turia isn't here any longer, it is because the city diverted and altered the course of the Turia river to prevent constant floods from happening in the city. This was done after the devastating flood on 14 October 1957 and the gardens was inaugurated in 1986.
The Bioparc takes one end of the Turia Gardens and the City of Arts and Sciences takes the other. Here, we suggest that you cycle down to the City of Arts and Sciences.
In the Turia Gardens, there are pedestrian paths, bike paths, and dirt paths. We do recommend beginners to follow the bike paths as they are smoothen out roads that make cycling a lot easier and enjoyable. There are some areas where you may have to take the dirt path due to mud or even puddles, but it isn't that difficult a route for beginners!
Depending on how fast you cycle, and whether or not you'll stop to take pictures or just enjoying the various spaces in the park, you'll take only about 10 minutes or so to reach the next major attraction...
11.10am: Arrive at Palau de la Música de València
The Palau de la Música de València is a venue where orchestra performances, concerts, and other cultural performances take place. Even if you don't head in, just admiring the architecture and the fountain outside from the Turia is amazing!
Palau de la Música de València
Passeig de l'Albereda, 30, 46023 València, Spain
11.20am: City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències) is a collection of museums, entertainment hubs, and architectural wonder in the city of Valencia. It is the most important and magnificent tourist destination and one of the 12 Treasures of Spain!
Since it is still early for Spanish lunch, park your bike at any of the bike stands and take some time to start roaming! :)
For those looking to experience everything, purchase the combined tickets. It is cheaper that way and you can even come back on another day if you aren't able to complete everything.
We do recommend purchasing the combined ticket as all venues are wonderful attractions and even better when #travellingwithkids
When you arrive here, aim to cover just one attraction before lunch. It is wise to check out the timings for the IMAX theatre for the hemisferic first and then decide which attraction to go on first.
We did the Science Museum and took about an hour or so. The museum's HUGE!
Do note that in this itinerary, you'll probably only be able to go for two of the attractions, leaving the other one for another day. You can combined that last attraction together with a shopping trip at Aqua, the shopping mall, located opposite the City of Arts and Sciences.
1pm: Make your way to the beach for lunch
Aim to complete one attraction and then make your way to the beach for lunch! To get to La Malvarossa, cycle towards the Oceanografic and you'll see a bridge in front of it. Take the bridge which is a shortcut as compared to the winding roads.
Then, follow the bike paths going towards the Valencian port.
If you continue cycling along the sea, you'll soon reach La Malvarossa!
The entire journey would take about 30 minutes because there's a little bit more pedestrian crossings where you'll have to spend time waiting for the lights to turn green! The bike paths are found just beside the pedestrian paths and they follow pedestrian traffic lights.
1.30pm: Have Paella at La Pepica
After all that exploring and cycling, you must be hungry... Enjoy the best seafood Paella at La Pepica by the sea!
We wrote extensively about our experience at La Pepica and a little about Paella and the port city of Valencia, so check it out in our blog post: Paella by the Sea in Valencia, Spain.
When you're there, don't just rush off after the meal, take time to also explore the wondrous beach!
Playa de La Malvarossa Valencia
This beach is one of the best beaches in Valencia and in summer, you'll see tons of people sunbathing, playing and swimming in the beautiful waters. However, since we were there in summer, it was amazing as we saw endless sand and waters!
Lunch plus enjoying the beach would take say about 2 hours and then off you head back to the City of Arts and Sciences to enjoy one more attraction (or two) and call it a day!
4pm: Back at the City of Arts and Sciences to enjoy one more attraction
The Oceanografic is more than just an aquarium. We were thoroughly amazed by the exhibits and the range of animals and sea creatures we could see there. It is DEFINITELY worth your euros!
The amazing architecture is one... It covers a small space but each exhibit is just... WOW!
We even get to see birds in an aquarium? That's just amazing!
Just strolling from exhibit to exhibit was seriously fun and writing about the oceanographic seriously requires one post on its own!
The dolphin show was also one of the best. There were so many dolphins and they did so many jumps! :)
Such that I could even catch them mid-air! :)
6pm: Heading back to the Old Town
Finally, after all that amazing sea life, cycle back to the old town and take some time to also enjoy the Turia Gardens and the City of Arts and Sciences in the evening light!
So there you go, that's an entire day of cycling while exploring the beautiful port city of Valencia. It isn't that bad a cycle for most beginners and definitely think that cycling is one of the best ways to cover a city!
Do you love cycling? Check out our other cycling adventures in Copenhagen, Denmark! :)