Fancy exploring València old town by bike? Choosing to pedal is a fantastic way to get around and explore the city, particularly in the summertime. València only experiences 10-12 days of rain per year and so the sun is (often) shining and the bicycle routes are extensive and easy to navigate. Here is a route for a DIY bicycle tour of València city.
We hired bicycles from Bed and Bike in the old town for a very reasonable €7 per day or €13 for two days. The bikes are in good nick and come with locks and helmets if required. It was the cheapest rental we found when walking around the old quarter.
On our own steam we pedalled all the way down to El Saler beach in the south, across to the northern city beaches of La Malvarrosa and Playa del Cabanyal and made a DIY bicycle tour of the city centre.
Here is our recommended DIY bicycle route of València city centre.
The DIY bicycle tour of València
The city is easy to navigate on bicycles, as we’ve already harped on about. But it’s also well worth cycling around the city on a Sunday as many of the main monuments and museums are free to enter. We had a blast and saw so much all at a wonderfully free price. Plus by the afternoon, the old town streets are super quiet – it’s a delight to cycle around having them all to yourself!
Check out our blog and handy map of the museums and monuments you can visit for free on a Sunday. We’ve also marked the ones that are always free.
No excuse not to really!
Here are our highlights. Click on each for some more detail about each museum and monument.
- Torres de Serranos
- Bombas Gens Centre D’art
- Torres de Quart
- Centre Arqueològic de l’Almoina
- La Lonja de la Seda
- Plaça Redona
- Museo Marqués de dos aguas (National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts “González Martí”)
- Plaza de Toros de València (Bullring of València)
- Estació del Nord
We start our tour at the Torres de Serranos. There are some lovely little cafés around the base of the towers to grab a coffee or have a little breakfast before you embark on your ride.
The Torres de Serranos, built in the 14th century, was used as a defensive system and also as the gateway into València. It is one of the two last remaining gates as the Catholics destroyed the other ten including the wall that encapsulated the city. The tower is considered to be the largest Gothic gateway in Europe.
Interestingly, people were alerted that the gates would close to the city at 8pm every evening by a bell and anyone not returning in time would have to sleep outside the city walls. This led to the Valèncian saying of “Dormir a la luna de València” meaning to sleep under the Valèncian moon which now people say to mean hurry up!
You can walk up through the many levels to the top to see views of the Barrio del Carmen and Turia River Gardens. Don’t forget it’s free on Sundays (10:00 – 14:00) and €2 on other days.
Situated in an old hydraulic pump factory built in the 1930s and offering over 1,500 works by 150 different artists, this cultural centre is great to wonder around if you’re into art and photography. There’s a permanent photography collection and some super interesting art works to view. Free access but closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
This city gate, built in the 15th century is one of the two left standing with Torres de Serranos. Torres de Quart played a vital part in stopping Napoleon’s troops in 1808 during the War of Independence against the French. You can still see the cannon ball scars left on the tower walls today.
Interestingly, whilst there are no Arab buildings left in the city as they were destroyed by subsequent conquests, Arabs did help build the towers as is evident by the window designs.
It’s free to head up to the top on Sundays (10:00 – 14:00).
This archeological museum is considered to be one of the best in Europe. It houses a subterranean space to view an amazing collection of monuments from the Roman, Visigoth and Arab cities. There’s a pool of water at ground level where you can see the Roman city remains below which looks incredible from both above and below.
Free entrance on Sundays 10:00-14:00!
Built in Gothic style in the 15th century, this building is magnificent. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996 and is one of the emblems of the Silk Route in Valencia. It has four main areas to visit; the trading hall, pavilion of the consulate, the great tower and the orange tree courtyard (patio de los naranjos). Free on Sundays 10:00 – 14:00!
Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús de la Compañía just at the back of La Lonja de la Seda is also worth popping your head into to ogle at the decor whilst you’re in the area.
Redona meaning round is a circular square also known as “el clot” meaning the hole. It’s a curious place full of shops and restaurants.
This museum is built Baroque style and houses the largest national collection of ceramics. Its ceramics go back as far as the 18th century and includes pieces by Picasso. The exterior design itself is worth swinging past for. Free admission on Saturday afternoons and Sunday (10:00 – 14:00).
The city’s bullring is also worth cycling past to view the outside. We didn’t enter.
This is the main railway station in València and was built in Art Nouveau style. It’s worth at least cycling past to admire the grandeur.
And this concludes our tour. We headed back into Barrio del Carmen for a long lazy lunch after all the pedalling and would recommend you do the same!