Square of Saint Mary's and Valencia Cathedral Temple in old town. Every year, Valencia (third size population city in Spain)welcomes more than 4 million visitors.


Catedral de Valencia

Top choice in Valencia

Valencia’s cathedral was built over a mosque after the 1238 reconquest. Its low, wide, brick-vaulted triple nave is mostly Gothic, with neoclassical side chapels. Highlights are its museum, rich Italianate frescos above the altarpiece, a pair of Goyas in the Capilla de San Francisco de Borja, and in the flamboyant Gothic Capilla del Santo Cáliz, what’s claimed to be the Holy Grail from which Christ sipped during the Last Supper. It's a Roman-era agate cup, later modified, so at least the date is right. Admission includes an audio guide.

Various relics and a beautiful transitional altarpiece in the Capilla de San Dionisio are other noteworthy features.

Left of the main portal is the entrance to the bell tower, El Miguelete. Climb the 207 steps of its spiral staircase for terrific 360-degree views.

As done for more than a thousand years, the Tribunal de las Aguas (Water Court) meets every Thursday exactly at noon outside the cathedral’s Puerta de los Apóstoles. Here, Europe’s oldest legal institution settles local farmers’ irrigation disputes in Valenciano, the regional language.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Valencia attractions

1. El Miguelete

0.01 MILES

Turn left as you enter the main portal of the cathedral for the climb up to El Miguelete, the emblematic octagonal tower. It's apparently 51m high,…

2. Museo Catedralicio Diocesano

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Newly reopened, this cathedral museum is a good-looking blend of the modern and venerable. There are some excellent religious paintings here; it's…

3. Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados

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The Real Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Santos Inocentes Mártires y Desamparados, to name it fully, is Valencia's central spot for active Christianity…

4. Plaza de la Virgen

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Busy Plaza de la Virgen, ringed by cafes and imposing public buildings, was once the forum of Roman Valencia. The reclining figure in its central fountain…

5. La Almoina

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Beneath the square just east of Valencia’s cathedral, the archaeological remains of the kernel of Roman, Visigoth and Islamic Valencia shimmer through a…

6. Palau de la Generalitat


This handsome 15th-century Gothic palace, much amended over the years, is the seat of government for the Valencia region. Its symmetry is recent: the…

7. Baños del Almirante

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These Arab-style baths, constructed in 1313, functioned continuously as public bathing facilities until 1959. It's worth dropping in if you're passing by…

8. Almudín

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The 15th-century Almudín originally served as the city’s granary, storing wheat brought in from the surrounding countryside. Writing high up on the…