Dangers & Annoyances
Valencia is a very safe city and you are unlikely to have any problems.
- There's a small amount of pickpocketing at major fiestas.
- Theft of unattended belongings at the beach in summer sometimes occurs.
- Don't leave your bike unlocked.
The Valencia Tourist Card has numerous configurations, but all give free public transport and free or discounted entry to attractions. You'd normally need lots of sightseeing to make it worthwhile.
Emergency & Important Numbers
To call a Spanish phone number from outside Spain, dial your international access code, Spain’s country code (34) then the number.
|International dialling code||00|
|Spain country code||34|
|General emergency number||112|
Valencia is a very gay-friendly place, with an extremely relaxed attitude to sexuality. In some ways that means there's far less of a separate scene here, with a mix of folk to be expected in any bar or restaurant in Russafa or the Barrio del Carmen, for example.
Nevertheless there are some thriving GLBT bars and clubs, including the following:
Data speeds are quick, so the best way to get online is to buy a local SIM card. Wi-fi is also widespread in cafes and bars and ubiquitous in hotels. Internet cafes are increasingly rare.
ATMs are widespread. Cards are widely accepted, but cheaper restaurants may not do so and cafes and bars often will not.
- Bars Locals very rarely tip, though you may leave a coin or two for table service.
- Hotels Not customary to tip, though a euro or two for carrying bags is appreciated.
- Restaurants Not obligatory by any means. Round up or tip up to 5%; 10% is considered very generous.
- Taxis Not expected but many locals will round up to the next euro.
Typical opening hours:
Banks 8.30am–2pm Monday to Friday, some also open afternoons and/or Saturday mornings.
Restaurants 1pm–3.30pm and 8pm–10.30pm; most close one day a week and often also Sunday evenings.
Shops 10am–2pm and 5pm–8pm Monday to Friday, 10am–2pm Saturday.
Bars 4pm–1.30am, to 3.30am weekends.
Clubs 11am–6am Thursday to Saturday.
Valencia's main post office is on the main square. Expect to beat your postcard home.
The following are public holidays in the province of Valencia.
Año Nuevo (New Year’s Day) 1 January
Epifanía (Epiphany) 6 January
San Vicente Mártir (Feast of St Vincent the Martyr) 22 January
San José (Feast of St Joseph) 19 March
Viernes Santo (Good Friday) March/April
Lunes de Pascua (Easter Monday) March/April
San Vicente (Feast of St Vincent) 9 April
Fiesta del Trabajo (Labour Day) 1 May
La Asunción (Feast of the Assumption) 15 August
Día de la Comunitat Valenciana (Valencia Region Day) 9 October
Día de la Hispanidad (National Day) 12 October
Todos los Santos (All Saints Day) 1 November
Día de la Constitución (Constitution Day) 6 December
La Inmaculada Concepción (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) 8 December
Navidad (Christmas) 25 December
Taxes & Refunds
Sales tax (IVA) is added at a rate of 21% to most purchases, though hotel and restaurant bills only attract 10% and basic foodstuffs a lower rate.
Non-EU residents are entitled to a refund of the 21% IVA on purchases costing more than €90.16 from any shop. Ask the shop for a cash-back (or similar) refund form, which you can then present at an airport when you leave the EU. Leave plenty of time, as the queues for this are often long.
Travel with Children
Valencia is an easy place to take the kids. Hotels are used to requests for extra beds and often have connecting rooms or family suites. The plethora of apartment rental options is also handy.
The beaches are a good attraction, and riding there in the speedy tram is fun in itself.
The other great playground, year-round, is the diverted Río Turia’s 9km-long former riverbed. Of its numerous formal playgrounds, the giant Gulliver, in the Jardines del Turia, just asks to be clambered all over.
The innovatively presented Bioparc is a very entertaining zoo for kids.
Of the diversions at the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, the science museum, reasonably documented in English, and the IMAX cinema at Hemisfèric offer thrills for all. The fun is far from free, however, so research the range of family and combined tickets, available online.
The cafes of the Mercado de Colón do food all day and it's a safe, shady spot for a bit of family downtime.
A majority of sights, some hotels and most public institutions have wheelchair access. Most buses have descending ramps and most metro stations have escalators.