Shopping in Spain’s third-largest city is a joy rather than a chore, with lots of independent shops as well as all the Spanish high-street favourites.
A walkable centre means you drift from medieval monuments in golden stone to avenues lined with elegant Art Nouveau buildings, stopping at pavement cafes along the way.
Strolling or cycling through the Turia Gardens that curve around the city brings you to the jaw-dropping architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences. Keep going and you hit the beach, which stretches for miles.
Being right on the Mediterranean and surrounded by vast market gardens makes Valencia one of the best cities in Spain for food.
During the Open Kitchen event from November 19-29, dozens of top restaurants offer special discounted menus for lunch and dinner.
Get a taste of how Valencia likes to mix the traditional with the modern at Seu Xerea near the Cathedral at Conde de Almodóvar 4, where British chef Steve Anderson puts an Asian spin on Mediterranean ingredients.
Order a Valencian giant oyster with gin fizz foam while you are deciding what else to have. The tapas menu is excellent value and includes a main course and dessert.
Toddle across the street to Café de las Horas at Conde de Almodóvar 1 to share a jug of Agua de Valencia (cava, orange juice, gin and vodka) or maybe just knock back an absinthe margarita.
Walk across Plaza de la Virgen and up Caballeros where there are lots of bars if you want to carry on.
Start with a freshly squeezed orange juice outside the Art Nouveau Central Market at Plaza del Mercado, where the fabulous local produce is sold at more than 1,000 stalls under domes adorned with stained glass and mosaics.
Pick up some iberico ham, olive oil or pimenton paprika as gifts for foodie friends and have a snack at one of the bars.
Cross the road to La Lonja, the 15th-century silk exchange, which is one of the best examples of Gothic civil architecture in Europe and has World Heritage status. It will be a key venue for the Valencia: City of Silk 2016 programme of events.
Wander through the lanes behind La Lonja towards the city’s Cathedral on Plaza de la Reina and try to get your head around the mix of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture.
Inside, see paintings by artists including Goya and a chalice purported to be the actual Holy Grail. It is worth climbing the Micalet belltower for panoramic views across the city to the sea and countryside.
Book ahead for lunch at Quintana at Conde de Salvatierra 9. The modern Valencian menu includes rice dishes with langoustines or iberico pork.
Emerging from the restaurant, you are well placed for a few hours’ shopping on the adjoining streets. Try to remember that you are supposed to be buying presents for people other than yourself and don’t forget to look up as many of the shops are housed in beautiful buildings.
Stop for a coffee or a traditional horchata (tiger nuts mixed with crushed ice and sugar) at the Art Nouveau Colon Market on the corner of Jorge Juan and Cirilo Amaros, which now houses cafes, restaurants and shops.
Stroll across to the increasingly lively Russafa neighbourhood for dinner at Canalla Bistro at Mestre Josep Serrano 5.
Always buzzing, this laid-back place run by Michelin-starred chef Ricard Camarena (his main restaurant is around the corner) serves tasty dishes such as spicy tuna tartare and a terrific pastrami sandwich. I recommend sharing the organic Galician steak.
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It even has a cookery school. From Paella To Pintxo: Best Cooking Schools In Spain
Head to the spectacular City of Arts and Sciences, designed by Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela. Take some photos of the sculptural white science museum, planetarium and opera house against the blue sky, but spend most of your time in the Oceanografic marine park being mesmerised by the belugas, sharks and walruses.
Take a taxi to Casa Montana at José Benlliure 69 in the Cabanyal, the old fishermen’s quarter by the beach. Once a traditional tavern, it is now one of the best gastrobars in Spain with superb tapas and wines by the glass but still has a local feel.
Meander through the Cabanyal, where the streets are lined with elaborately tiled houses, to the beach and soak up the sunshine while strolling along the promenade.
Pop into the cool La Mas Bonita on Paseo Marítimo de la Patacona for a smoothie and a slab of Nutella cheesecake to set you up for the journey home.
Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Valencia.
This article was written by Annie Bennett from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.