Walking Tour: Modernisme Meander

  • Start Mercado Central
  • End Mercado Central
  • Length 3.25km; 1½ hours

This walk takes in Valencia’s main Modernista buildings. After sniffing around Mercado Central, take in the elaborate stucco facade, with neo-Gothic pilasters above allegories of Valencia's fertility, of Calle Ramilletes 1. Follow Avenida María Cristina to Plaza del Ayuntamiento, site of the sober town hall and resplendent central post office, a lighter neoclassical affair with 1920s flourishes. Drop in and look up to savour its magnificent leaded-glass dome. Valencia’s biggest concentration of flower stalls fringes this open square.

At the end of Calle Ribera, detour to Estación del Norte, with its cute original Modernista booking area of dark wood, and adjacent hall with elaborate tile work. Take Calle de Russafa, then turn left for Casa Ortega (Gran Vía 9), with its ornate floral decoration and balcony, supported by a pair of handsome caryatids. Go left along Calle de Félix Pizcueta, then take the first right onto Calle de Cirilo Amorós. From here, lift your gaze above the modern, ground-floor shops to appreciate each building’s original structure. Pause by Casa Ferrer (No 29), garlanded with stucco roses and ceramic tiling. Continue northwards to the resplendent Mercado de Colón, a chic spot for a drink stop, then head northwest to Casa del Dragón (Calle de Jorge Juan 3), named for its dragon motifs.

Cross Calle de Colón, turn right along Calle Poeta Quintana and pass the mounted statue of a haughty King Jaime I to join Calle de la Paz. Back in the 19th century, Hotel Vincci Palace was known as the Palace Hotel, which was in its time Valencia’s finest. Both it and No 31, opposite, have elaborate, decorated miradors (corner balconies), while Red Nest Hostel (No 36) has delicate, leafy iron railings. Opposite, on the corner of Calle de las Comedias, Nos 21 and 23 have characteristically magnificent window and balcony work, and a columned mirador.

At the end of Calle de la Paz, continue straight, maybe calling in for an horchata at Horchatería de Santa Catalina. Then at Plaza Lope de Vega, turn left into Calle Trench to return to the Mercado Central.