A Solo Traveller's Guide to Valencia

City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia
City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia | © Pixabay
Photo of Clare Speak
Writer27 July 2017

The idea of travelling solo can be intimidating, but if you take the plunge you’ll find it can also be exhilarating and intensely rewarding. With a little planning, your solo trip might just be one of the best you’ve ever taken. And Valencia, a small, safe and friendly city packed with activities that are easy to enjoy alone, is the perfect place for a solo adventure.

Visit the top attractions

Enjoy the freedom of setting your own schedule, see only the sights you’re really interested in, and head for any unusual or off-the-beaten track sights that you fancy, without worrying if others in your group will be entertained or not. Here’s our guide to the best attractions in the city to get you started.

El Miguelete, Valencia. Photo: Flickr

Explore the Old Town

Head for the fascinating El Carmen neighbourhood in the Old City district and simply wander through the cobbled streets. Who knows what you’ll come across? The area is home to everything from street art murals to medieval architecture. Getting a little lost in the tangle of narrow lanes is all part of the fun. Alone, you can go where you please and duck into whichever quirky shop or cafe catches your eye. It’s completely safe to wander around alone here, just take the same basic precautions as you would anywhere else if walking here at night.

Portal de la Valldigna, Valencia. | © Flickr/carquinyol

Get to know the public transport

If you’re travelling a bit further you don’t need to worry about travelling alone within Valencia. The city has a speedy and reliable system of buses, trams and metro trains, plus taxis here are cheap and safe, too. Even getting around at night is simple and safe with the night bus system. Ticket machines can be used in English and there’s a helpful English-speaking metro ticket office at the airport, but you might also want to check out this guide before you go.

Take time out to relax

Not only will you have plenty of “me” time when travelling alone, you can do whatever you like without having to cater to the demands of others. If you feel like doing absolutely nothing, Valencia is a great place to be: relax in a city park, hop on a tram to the beach or hit the spas.

Check out the cafes

It’s true that eating lunch alone in a restaurant in Spain can feel awkward, as it’s pretty unusual to see Spaniards eating alone ever. But thankfully it’s totally normal to sit in a cafe and relax by yourself over a coffee, gelato or Valencian brunch (almuerzo) of tomato on toast and fresh orange juice. Stroll through the Old Town or Ruzafa districts and you’ll find no end of appealing cafes, ice cream shops and horchaterias where you can try the local drink, horchata, made of tiger nut.

La Estrecha cafe, Valencia. Photo courtesy of La Estrecha.

Meet new people

Travelling alone is a great way to expand your horizons and meet people you might never otherwise get to know. If you feel like socialising, head for one of the city’s many language exchanges – no matter how good, bad or nonexistent your Spanish language skills are, you’ll be welcome. Some of the best ones can be found at Tyris on Tap and Cafe Berlin. You can also join a day trip or event through Meetup.com – the city has a relatively small but active and friendly community.

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