A Valencia Emblematic Free Walking Tour should be on everyone’s ‘to do’ list when visiting Valencia in Spain.
This tour will take you to areas that are less well known and off the usual tourist path. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about Valencia. They have some great stories to tell, so we won’t spoil your fun here by telling you about all their little ‘gems’.
How to Enjoy Your Valencia Emblematic Free Walking Tour
- Ensure you are at the meeting point at the Plaza de la Virgin at least 10 minutes before the tour starts.
- Look for the orange umbrella labelled Free Tour Valencia
- Introduce yourself to the Guide to let them know you are there and part of the tour
- Bring water
- Don’t forget your camera
- Free Walking Tours are just that, free, but if you enjoyed the tour please tip the Guides
- Get ready to learn a lot about Valencia and see sights hidden down alleyways that you would not know about unless you had taken this walking tour
The Emblem of Valencia
Located in the meeting place for the tour – Plaza de la Virgin – is the roman symbol of Valencia – the Cornucopia. A cornucopia symbolises plenty and abundance. Don’t be like us and not look down when you are walking around the city, we must have walked past it a dozen times before realising it was there.
The Palace of the Borgia’s
The Palace of the Borgia Family located at Carrer del Duc Alfons el Vell, is also known as Palacio de las Cortes which was built for the Borgia family by the Dukes of Gandia in 1492. Alexander Borgia became the first Spanish Pope – he was known as Pope Alexander VI. The Palace is quite narrow and was used more as a Valencian Royal Court as the family moved to Rome.
There was originally one main gate at each cardinal point of the city. The original Roman City walls extended for 4km around the city. Each night at 8pm the Gates would be closed, for those who did not make it back in time they had to sleep outside. Bells were rung at various times leading up to 8pm to warn the workers. The saying ‘to sleep under the Valencian moon” comes from the workers who did not make it home.
The doors are the original doors dating back to the 14th Century. The small gates were only opened on Market day – one would be used for the Christians to enter and the other for the Muslims.
The Flag on top of the gate in the Flag of Valencia – the Aragon shield of red and yellow. You will notice as you walk around the city that the manholes have the Aragon Shield shown.
In 1239 James I fought the Muslims, during this day a bat was seen flying around. The bat was seen as good luck and was included in the Coat of Arms for the city. The Valencian Football Team also has the bat as a symbol.
Pont Dels Serrans
The Pont Dels Serran is a 16th-century Gothic bridge covering the Turia River of Valencia. In 1957 a massive flood damaged the city of Valencia and 300 citizens died. The Government decided to dry the 10km river bed in case of more flood damage. Today it is a beautiful parkland where you can cycle, play various games or just relax under the many trees and enjoy Spanish life.
Pont de La Trinitat
Pont de La Trinitat was built during the 14th century. Both bridges have holes – these were so that the sailors could place wood panels in the bridge to lock the boats in from the currents of the river.
On the bridge there are statutes of Pope Alexander Borgia and Pope Vincent – both built as a protection of the city from the rising waters.
Church of San Juan del Hospital
The oldest Catholic Church in Valencia dating back to the 13th Century. It also houses the oldest cemetery dating from the medieval times in Valencia. The remains of Constance Augusta, the Empress of Greece can be found in the Chapel of Santa Barbara.
La Nau University
La Nau founded in the 15th century has been the seat of the University of Valencia. Priests lived in the nearby Monastery and studied in the University where there were no shops which meant no distraction.
Today you will find the retired residents of Valencia taking lessons in the University.
Palace of the Marques de Dos Aguas
Built in the Gothic style in the 15th Century for a noble Valencian family the Palace is located centrally in Valencia. You can not miss its facade, it is one of the most elaborate we have come across. A mix of Rococo, neoclassical and Oriental architectural styles and the gates at the entrance are in the Baroque style. As you enter the ground floor there is a fine display of carriages, one of those belonging to the Marquis de Dos Aguas.
It is now a famous Spanish Ceramic Museum which is located on the 2nd floor.
To Travel Too Tip:
On Sundays it is free to enter.
Central Post Office Valencia
Construction began on the Post Office during 1915 and completed several years later. The strange looking tower on the top of the building is a replica of a Telecommunications Tower.
Valencia City Hall
We ended our tour at the Valencia City Hall in Ayuntamiento Square. It was constructed in the 18th century and houses the City History Museum. During the week of the Fallas Festival it is the ideal location to view the daytime fireworks (yes, daytime! we were a little surprised at that). The Fallas Festival is held in March each year and heralds in the Spring.
If you would like to take a Free Walking Tour of Valencia we would recommend this tour as well as their Valencia Essentials Tour, once you have completed both you will have a great understanding of one of Spain’s loveliest cities.
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