Shopping and Eating in Valencia, Spain
Valencia is one of the largest cities in the country of Spain.
Shopping in Valencia
Valencia offers the best shopping opportunities on the entire Costa Blanca coast. Here you will find most major chains, and the Spanish department store El Corte Ingles has several shops in the city, including a huge 7-storey department store just off Ciutat de les Arts in de les Ciències. You will find another large El Corte Ingles center at Plaza Alfonso el Magnanimo in the center east. El Corte Ingles is not very cheap, but the chain takes pride in selling only huge quantities of quality products.
Also, take the time to look at Valencia’s traditional and huge 1928 Mercado Centrale, where you will find close to a thousand stalls offering everything from fresh produce such as fish and meat, fruits, vegetables and flowers. There is always a buzzing life here, and even if you do not plan to buy anything, it is worth the experience, the smells, the sounds and the atmosphere.
Souvenirs in Valencia
You can also visit the small square of Plaza Redondo in Valencia’s old town, where you can buy traditional local crafts and souvenirs such as ceramics and leather products, clothing and wooden figures. This square is not so easy to find, but it is located about a hundred meters southwest of Plaza de la Reina.
In general about shopping in Valencia
The stores are usually open from 0930 to 1330 and from 1630 to 2000, but this varies. Most of them stay closed on Sundays, although some local businesses may consider staying open. The larger shopping centers, on the other hand, do not have siesta, but keep open continuously from 1000 to 1900 or 2000, El Corte Ingles to 2200.
Do not forget that they have VAT in Spain and that on all purchases over a certain number of euros, (at the time of writing about 90 euros) you can be refunded the VAT on departure. Not all stores have a VAT refund scheme, so look for the Tax Free Shopping badge at the entrance to buy products that cost a little money. Remember to bring a completed and stamped form and receipt.
Eating in Valencia
Valencia’s residents are immensely proud to be home to Spain’s most famous dish, paella. If you haven’t tasted it before, Valencia defined by AbbreviationFinder is the right place to debut. And if you have, find out here how it should really taste.
Please note that paella is really a lunch dish in the Valencian region. Many restaurants do not serve paella as dinner in the evenings. And if they do, there are often heated remnants from earlier in the day.
The word paella is valentian for frying pan, and tells a little about how this dish is cooked. It is based around meat or fish, cooked in a pan with vegetables, added rice, olive oil and saffron. And the dish “shall” be cooked with a wood stove, and not with electricity or gas.
Paella is traditionally eaten on Sundays and cooked in large quantities in connection with festivals. If you want to try making paella yourself, you can find a recipe in English here.
In general about eating in Valencia
Remember that in Spain people eat dinner late at night. Lunches are often between 1400 and 1600, which is why dinner is usually served as late as between 2100 and midnight, and many of the restaurants do not open until the evening before 1900 or 2000. However, the most touristy areas open for dinner earlier, when the travelers often have different dining habits than the locals in Valencia.
You will find several good eateries in the pedestrian streets around Passeig Russafa just north of the train station and bullfight stadium, around Plaza de la Reina, Plaza de la Virgen and in Calle Caballeros.
Some select restaurants in Valencia
If you want to try a better dinner in slightly surreal and beautiful surroundings, try the submarine restaurant Submarino on Oceanographic, where the fish swim around you while eating their relatives. It is far from cheap, but it is an experience you will remember.
Submarino is open every day of the week and offers both lunch and dinner. NB! Dinner is served between 2100 and 2230.
As a contrast to Submarino, it is cheap to dine at one of Valencia’s oldest dining establishments, Bodega Casa Montaña dating back to 1836. It is located on Calle Josè Bennliure 69 street in the harbor quarter of Cabanyal east of the city center, and serves fabulous tapas at prices you get in a good mood in an atmospheric room.
The opening hours of Bodega Casa Montaña are 1300 to 1600 for lunch and 1930 to 2330 for dinner. The restaurant is open every day of the week.
Few restaurants offer as rustic charm as La Riuà in Valencia. Also, the food is high quality. The family-run La Riuà restaurant is constantly winning awards as the best paella restaurant and offers well over ten different versions of the dish.
The address of La Riuà is Carrer del Mar, 27 in the historic center of Valencia. Opening hours are 1400 to 1615 for lunch and 2100 to 2300 for dinner. La Riuà is closed Mondays.
Special tips for lunch in Valencia
A beach visit is always tempting, and a trip to Playa la Malvarrosa should and should be combined with paella at La Pepica.
If you are lucky enough to get a seat at the famous La Pepica, you will have the opportunity, in addition to the Mediterranean views, to eat delicious seafood palais or the vegetarian variety. Here at La Pepica, Ernest Hemingway himself has spent days and evenings. The address is Paseo Neptuno 6. Opening hours are 1300 – 1530 for lunch 2030 – 2200 for dinner, seven days a week.
Nightlife in Valencia
To sample Valencia nightlife and local beverages, head to Barrio del Carmen. Here you will find everything from fashionable designer bars to punk clubs. In the streets of Calle Quart and Calle Caballeros, which go west from Plaza de la Reina, the vast majority will find a place they enjoy. The most popular beers at the bars, and the most common brands are San Miguel and Cruzcampo. Wine is consumed for almost every meal, but the Valencia region is by no means among Spain’s foremost wine producers.