Valencia amazed me a lot for its beauty and warmth
I returned there in late February 2020, after 10 years (month plus, month minus) since I had gone there just after finishing my studies. I remembered very little of the city, except that it was very welcoming, warm and full of life! In this post, I would like to talk about all the useful information for a trip to Valencia, data collected during my short weekend trip (from Friday evening to Sunday evening).
The city has excellent public transportation, which includes buses, trams and the underground. I walked for two days far and wide without problems, without ever having to do very long stretches on foot.
There are 9 subway lines, numbered precisely from 1 to 9, and two of these arrive from the city centre to the airport (line 3 and line 5). The stops “Àngel Guimerà”, and “Colon” are the two main points of exchange in the area of the historic centre. Buses and trams also have excellent coverage of the city, including the historic centre.
Subway tickets can be purchased both at automatic machines and at ticket offices with an operator. You will find the vending machines in all the stations, ticket offices with an operator only in larger stations. Remember that automatic ticket machines do not always accept all banknote denominations.
The city is divided into four areas, and the cost of the ticket increases accordingly to how far you will go:
Single journey: € 1.50 for one area (€ 2.10, € 2.80 and € 3.90 for 2, 3 or 4 regions respectively);
Return ticket: € 2.90 for one area (and € 4, € 5.30 and € 7.40 for 2, 3 or 4 areas respectively);
“Bonometer” (10 trips): € 7.60 for one area (and € 11, € 14.70 and € 14.70 for 2, 3 or 4 regions respectively);
Airport ticket: € 3.90 (charged as if it were in zone 4);
NB: when you take the ticket, you also pay 1 euro for the card, which is rechargeable and you can then reuse it.
Bus and tram
The bus and tram ticket costs € 1.50 per way. At some tram stops, I saw the automatic machines for the purchase of tickets; for the bus, however, you can buy it on the bus itself.
The airport is 20 minutes by underground from the historic centre; the city of arts and sciences about 40 minutes by bus. So let’s talk about acceptable times, especially in case you want to go to see museums and places outside the centre.
Cost of living
I found a city with very affordable prices! There are all types of accommodation. Many hostels around the city, many even in the centre, and even hotels have (often, but not always) more than affordable prices if you have a small budget.
There are restaurants and clubs for all tastes: from the cheap one to the super chic one, passing through the McDonald, and the more touristy places. So you can choose a different location for every evening without affecting too much the budget for your holiday. Museums often have low-priced tickets, 2 or 3 euros, and some have free admission on certain days (as happens in Italy, usually, on the first Sunday of the month, so to speak).
During my trip, I had the opportunity to take advantage of the Valencia Card, which was provided to me directly by the city tourism board. There are three types: 24 hours (15 euros), 48 hours (20 euros) and 72 hours (25 euros) and all three include unlimited use of public transport for their entire duration. If you buy it online and pick it up on-site, a 10% discount is applied (24-hour card – € 13.50, 48-hour card at € 18 and the card from € 72 to € 22.50).
On the tourism board official website, in the section dedicated to the Valencia Card, you can also find other variations (for example, the 7-day card which does not include public transport). Once you have ordered the map, if you have done so from the Visit Valencia website you have three options for collecting the card:
1) have it sent to your home (€ 15 shipping costs);
2) have it delivered to the hotel (€ 3.40);
3) collect it in one of the city tourist offices (free collection);
I was able to use the 48-hour card, including public transport. Valid from the first time you use it, you just have to show the card at the museum cashier, and you can take advantage of it.
Comfortable? Obviously yes: times are “cut” at the cashier of museums, no queuing at the machines for metro tickets and so on.
Is it worth it, in terms of costs? As I have often said, concerning these cards, it is convenient concerning the number of museums and attractions you want to visit. What do you mean? If you don’t want to see any museum (extreme case), obviously not! But if you’re going to see as much as possible, the total cost of admission to museums starts to get substantial! The whole “saved” then becomes more significant if we also take into account the savings on public transport tickets.