With a sunny Mediterranean climate and more than 300 days of sunshine a year, there's never really a bad time to visit Spain’s third-largest city. There’s a busy social calendar as well, so regardless of which month you choose to go, festivals and other cultural events are likely to keep you busy.
Striking Gothic and Modernist architecture, terrific dining and nightlife scenes and world-class museums are just some of Valencia’s attractions. Here's our guide on the ideal time to visit Valencia.
High Season: June to August
Best time for festivals
During Valencia’s high season, accommodation prices tend to go up by up to 50%. Expect a typical Mediterranean summer: long, hot, sunny and humid days, especially right by the coast. It’s the best time of year to celebrate Valencian culture and take part in a massive food fight.
Shoulder Season: March to May & September to October
Best time for sightseeing
Ideal weather for walking around the city, since days tend to be warm but not overly hot, and you can visit various attractions without the summer influx of visitors. Accommodation prices spike during particularly popular local festivals, though.
Low Season: November to February
Best time for budget travelers
Valencia’s colder months are mild by European standards (though there are a few cool and rainy days in winter) and all the attractions operate as normal. Budget travellers can take advantage of cheaper accommodation and a less frenetic dining scene.
In other European countries, January is typically a quiet month, with everyone going back to work after the Christmas excesses. However, in Spain in general and in Valencia in particular, the biggest winter festivities during the coldest month of the year are awaited with great anticipation by children, keen to take part in the Three Kings parade on January 5-6, complete with dozens of floats and sweets thrown into the crowd.
Key Events: Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos, San Vicente Mártir
Weather-wise, it’s still quite cold, so this is an ideal month for checking out Valencia’s many indoor attractions, from world-class museums to futuristic aquariums to medieval churches. But walking around the city's green spaces is particularly rewarding at this time of year, since you’re likely to see the delicate almond and orange blossoms in bloom as Valencia prepares to shake off the cobwebs of winter with its lively Carnival (Shrove Tuesday).
Key Events: Carnaval
This month literally kicks off with a bang, with fireworks on March 1 signaling the prelude to the Las Fallas festivities – Valencia’s biggest festival. On the night of March 15, falleros erect the elaborate fallas (papier-mache towers), which are then judged for the next three days before being set alight during the city’s biggest pyrotechnic display of the year. Las Fallas also means 24-hour street parties, open air concerts and nightly fireworks displays.
Key Events: Las Fallas de San José, Semana Santa, Fiesta de San Vicente Ferrer
The rainiest of spring months, with all of Valencia’s green spaces in full bloom; the ideal time to visit the Jardins del Real (Royal Gardens) or wander along the Jardins del Turia (Turia Gardens). Easter processions – well worth catching – take place either in March of April, depending on which dates Easter happens to fall.
Key Events: Semana Santa, Fiesta de San Vicente Ferrer
Arguably the loveliest month to be in Valencia, with long, sunny, warm days, but no signs yet of summer crowds. The sea is still chilly, but it’s a perfect time to wander the streets and check out the Modernist architecture and other landmarks.
Key Events: Virgen de los Desamprados
Temperatures begin to heat up as the city gets ready for its Corpus Christi parade, complete with costumed giants and folk dance troupes. Locals head for the city’s beaches, and it’s a good idea to join them, particularly on the Noche de San Juan (Summer Solstice), when bonfires on the sand illuminate all-night parties.
Key Events: Corpus Christi, Noche de San Juan
A hot and humid month, with accommodation prices rising as visitors from other parts of Spain and beyond arrive in Valencia for a bit of sun, sea and sand. It’s time for the city’s biggest festival celebrating the best of Valencian life and culture, from film and theater to a brass band competition, bullfighting festival, concerts and the wildly popular Battle of the Flowers parade.
Key Events: Feria de Julio
Valencia is quieter during the hottest month of the year, as much of the business community that’s the city’s life blood is on holiday, so there are bargains to be had at business hotels. On August 29, thousands of Valencians (and visitors) head for the nearby town of Buñol to literally paint it red…with tomatoes, during Spain’s biggest annual food fight.
Key Events: La Tomatina
Another fantastic month to be in Valencia, as the summer crowds have gone but the weather stays warm and sunny – during the week, you have the beaches largely to yourself, and the sea is warm and ideal for swimming. It's also a good time to catch open-air concerts in the port area and celebrate paella, Valencia’s (and Spain’s) national dish on September 21.
Key Events: El Día Mundial de Paella, open-air concerts in the Marina
The sea is at its warmest, though the weather can be quite rainy at times. Accommodation prices drop, particularly on weekends, with the exception of October 9, when one of Europe’s biggest fireworks festivals takes place. It's followed the next day by Día de la Comunidad Valenciana, the commemoration of Jaime I’s 13th century victory over the Moors, marked by costumed parades.
Key Events: Festival International de Pirotecnia, Día de la Comunidad Valenciana, Open House València, Valencia Half-Marathon Trinidad Alfonso, Clec Fashion Festival
Nights are closing in, and the weather’s getting cooler. It's a good time to be eating out at Valencia’s best restaurants, with special offers during the 10-day culinary fest. There are also plenty of other cultural events taking place across the city.
Key Events: Festival de les Arts, Cuina Oberta, open-air concerts in the Marina
Festivities are in full swing during the weeks preceding Nochebuena (Christmas Eve), with a splendid Christmas tree set up in the main square and Christmas markets and nativity scenes across the city. Christmas itself is quiet – a time to be with family – but things perk up again on Nochevieja (New Year’s Eve), when you can mingle with the crowds in the plazas and try to eat your “good luck grapes” as the clocks chime midnight.
Key Events: Nochebuena/Navidad, Nochevieja
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