After a friend insisted (like a madman) that I should travel, I picked up a random destination and went abroad for the first time.
It was only for two days and I walked more than 25 km. I do consider myself an explorer because, most of the times, I was walking on the streets where tourists were none.
*a tourist is someone who’s guided by a map
*an explorer is someone who’s guided by heart and emotions
If you’ll follow the steps I’ll provide you, it will cost you less than €150 to visit Valencia for two days, including airplane tickets, metro tickets, accommodation, and food.
Buying the plane ticket
Two months ago, a friend was insisting on buying a ticket to a random destination.
I went to the Ryanair’s website and checked if there’s any route from my hometown to anywhere in the world. After noticing I can go to Valencia, I bought the ticket without caring about anything else.
I haven’t even read the policy of the company – I usually don’t. But when it comes to flights that I maybe want to cancel, I may want to know there’s no canceling option – haha.
So, I bought the two-way ticket on 22nd of March and it was €53.22.
As a short parenthesis, when I arrived at Valencia’s airport, I’ve met some Romanians and they told me they bought the same ticket only 3 weeks in advance (not 2 months, like I did) with only €30.
My plane was leaving on 18th of May, from Craiova, at 20:55 and arriving in Valencia at 23:10. Also, was leaving on 21st of May, from Valencia, at 6:55 and arriving in Craiova at 11:05.
Searching for accommodation
Because it was too early to book something, I’ve started only to look for some accommodation on Couchsurfing.
I was telling people that this is my first time traveling abroad and I’m looking for a place to stay. A few of them responded and said that I’ll have to contact them again, like two-three weeks before the actual visiting time.
So I waited. And then, when the 1st of May came, I started contacting them again and look for other Couchsurfers that can offer me accommodation for a few days.
After contacting more than 30 (I guess) and having no results, I stopped trying to find free accommodation – which was ideal – and started looking for some cheap accommodation on Airbnb or Booking.
On Airbnb, you can stay at other’s people home and pay a small accommodation fee.
On Booking, you can find cheap places to stay, like hostels.
I had success finding accommodation on booking – a really nice hostel with €15 per night. It’s called The River Hostel and I had the breakfast included in that price.
The visit – Two full days in Valencia
Leaving Craiova and arriving in Valencia
You know that moment when someone says that flying for the first time is a unique experience and most people are afraid?
Well, it wasn’t my case. Actually, I’ve found it really fun.
But that wasn’t the same for the person that was sitting next to me on the plane.
She was a Romanian girl, the same age as mine, and she was really scared of flying. She also had a 5 years old son. While for me it was all fun and I loved looking out the window and admire the view, she was close to some panic attack.
We talked during the whole flight and she relaxed a little bit.
I noticed she’s that type of crazy extrovert that’s saying out loud what she’s thinking and I really enjoyed the conversation I had with her, which was a little bit odd – but in a positive manner.
Except for the fact that, at one point, almost instantly, the situation became really odd.
The little guy says that he needs to pee.
At that moment I was hoping that he won’t pee on the chair and there’s enough time for her mom to take him to the bathroom. Right on the next second, I see his mom grabbing an empty bottle from the bag and helps her son pee.
I was like “… ok! This is a new level of odd … Are people doing this all the time during flights? Maybe I should get some empty bottles with me next time I’ll travel.”
After arriving at Valencia’s airport, I’ve started asking for guidance so I can reach the subway.
But wait … the employees of the airport are not speaking English. What the fuck?!
I had to walk around for like 5 minutes before I found someone I can talk to and ask for directions.
Luckily, I found other Romanians that were able to guide me or that were in the same situation as mine. We finally managed to find the subway.
From the airport to any part of the city, the subway ticket costs €4.90. Also, remember that you’ll have to keep your ticket because you’ll have to use it again when you’ll leave the subway station.
It was a 25 minutes ride with the subway and I arrived at the hostel I booked.
I was too tired I had to ask twice how to find my room. The receptionist mentioned twice the number of my bed, but it was like I didn’t hear it – also, it was written on my key’s trinket.
So, I just went upstairs and fall asleep.
But wait. At 2 in the morning, I was awakened by the receptionist and some random guy. It seemed like I took his bed and had to move to my bed. Luckily, the receptionist was nice and let me continue my sleep. Though, the guy was insisting that’s the bed he wants to sleep in.
The first day
I woke up early in the morning, around 7:30 AM. Yeah, that’s early for me.
I stayed in bed for like another 30 mins and right after that, I went for a shower. Finished around 8:15, got my backpack and went downstairs for eating my breakfast.
At 8:50 I left the hostel with the first thing that I wanted to see in my mind – the sea.
But I didn’t take the shortest road to the sea because I wanted to see how the city really looks like.
So I decided to walk the city and discover it by walking into not so common neighborhoods.
This is the walking map from the 1st day.
I walked 17 km and it took me around 10 hours.
The purpose of the first day was to feel the city, see people’s faces, and go to the seaside. Didn’t have in plan to visit the Oceanografic, but I did it. And it was amazing. I’ll talk about it in a bit.
And a funny thing happened the first day. Somewhere between the kilometer 12 and 13 (you can see the checkpoints on the map) I saw a driving sign that was saying “Valencia >”. At that moment I realized I was one step away from leaving the city and I started laughing.
Somewhere around 18:30 I got back to The River Hostel, took a shower, and went upstairs. Got in my bed and watched a movie.
I was too tired and around 21:45 I fell asleep.
But not for so long because the fucker from the day before wanted something again.
You remember the guy I was telling you about, from the night before, right? The one that was whining about the fact that I was sleeping in his bed and not mine.
Well, these beds were in the same room, like 3 meters away one of another.
It was 22:30 and this guy wakes me up and tells me that’s not my bed and I have to move. I thought he’s joking and I said that we talked about the same situation the night before.
Suddenly, he started yelling.
“I do this! I do this!”
I was surprised and, at the same time, too tired of this idiot and his nonsense. So I moved on and left the poor bastard in his own close-minded perspective.
I remember being able to fall asleep around 00:15 and he wasn’t in his bed. When I woke up the next morning, almost at 8:00 AM, he wasn’t in his bed either. It looked like he didn’t even sleep there.
The second day
I was awakened by some dude falling out of his bed.
I remember hearing a thump and then some guy mumbling something. I took a look to see what was happening and this guy was on the floor. After asking him if he’s ok, he started mumbling something again. Both times in Spanish, so I let him continue his ritual of morning swearing – because I guess that’s what he was saying.
Right after that I took a shower and went downstairs, with my backpack, to eat breakfast.
I worked a little bit on my laptop and around 11:00 I left the hostel and as well checked-out.
This second day I had in mind some things that I wanted to visit – some museums and other stuff. I’ll share what I visited in a little bit.
Here’s the walking map of the second day.
I walked more than 10 km and it took me around 7 or 8 hours.
Right after that I went straight to the subway and headed to the airport.
6 things to do in Valencia in less than 20 hours with very low budget
Before starting, I would like to say that I broke everything down into a few categories.
So let’s get into it!
1. Feeling the city
This is what I did for most of the first day.
When I left the hostel on the first day, I wanted to go to the seaside. But on my way there, I walked slowly and admired the architecture of the city and tried to discover as many things as I can – things that usually are missed by tourists.
I’ve seen lots of cool places and filled my soul with various emotions delivered by the spirit of the streets.
Moreover, you can approach locals and ask the simple questions like “What’s the thing that you love the most about Valencia?” or “What’s the most important thing I should visit in Valencia?”
Talking with locals will give you the vibe of the city and that vibe will inspire you.
2. Go to the seaside
Shame on me because I’ve never been to the seaside in Romania.
But I’m glad I went to see the sea in Valencia. You’ll find cool places (like huge spots – not only on the beach) where you can meditate about life without anyone bothering you.
As well, you can go for a swim or just deep your feet into the wet sand of the beach and relax.
And even cooler than that, you can admire the sand art crafted by some crazy patient dudes.
Being near the Mediterranean Sea made me so relaxed I’ve started thinking about my life and all the struggles that I’ve had until now. Right there, on that spot, I opened my journal and wrote something on it – what I want to achieve in life and what are the next two steps that I’ll have to do when I’ll get back home.
3. Visit museums & parks
Valencia is full of museums (and other buildings) that you can visit. Lots of them don’t require an entrance fee.
On my second day, I visited the following: Museu de Belles Arts, Porta de Serrans, Museu de Prehistoria, Museu de les Ciencies and went by Hemisferic IMAX and Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (Opera Valencia).
As well, I wanted to visit the Museo Taurino but unfortunately, it was closed. L
Regarding parks, there are lots of them. I visited just the Gulliver Park and I really liked it. If you want to discover all the parks from Valencia, all you have to do is to go to Google Maps and zoom in where you see some green space. There’s definitely a park worth visiting.
Free breakfast and free city tour with The River Hostel
If you’ll choose this hostel, you’ll get free breakfast included in the price of €15 per night. As well, from Thursday to Monday you’ll get a free walking tour of the city.
I decided not to choose the free city tour simply because I thought I will get bored.
If there’s a group of people with whom you’re traveling, you’ll have to stop every time the group stops. And, maybe, there are things that you won’t enjoy as much as the group will. So, instead of being bored while traveling with a group of people, why not be excited while discovering things by yourself?
Until now, no fees needed
As you can see, I didn’t mention anything about money until now.
So, if you’re only paying for the plane ticket, the subway ticket, the accommodation, and food, you’ll spend less than €100. Regarding food, I’ll talk in one second.
Two ways ticket – as cheap as €30-50
Two nights of accommodation – €30
Subway tickets – €10
Food for two days – €10
Can you spend €50 more? If you can, there are two more things you can do.
4. Visit the Oceanografic
IT IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
I saw lots of species of fishes, birds, mammals, butterflies, crocodiles, dolphins, and so on.
It took me more than 3 hours to see everything and I was a bit on a rush. And seeing all these very different species made me realize we are not alone in this world.
5. Eat some traditional food
But don’t just go into the first place you’ll see, especially if it’s in the middle of the city.
While you’re walking around, try to look for a place that inspires you and where the employees don’t speak English – that’s how you know you won’t pay extra just because you’re a tourist.
I haven’t tried anything that’s traditional food because I’m not that much into food.
Also, I was mentioning earlier that you can live with €5 per day for food.
If you’ll go to a supermarket, you’ll be able to buy a bottle of water (1.5 liters) with only €0.25 – €0.45. You can buy fruits (€1 for like 4-6 bananas) or sandwiches (€1-2 for one sandwich). As well, I remember noticing a place where you could buy a small pizza with only €1.
6. Do you have more than 20 hours?
Being curious, I’ve searched for other things that are happening in Valencia.
And what’s the best place to look for events? Facebook!
I remember finding a Theater Forum event and wanting to go there but I didn’t have the time. Though the ticket was €5, I’m sure there are events with zero entrance fee.
Here’s a link to it: http://www.lafabricadehielo.net/evento/artes-escenicas/que-hacemos-con-la-abuela/.
And no, I don’t speak Spanish at all. If you’re like me, not being able to speak or understand Spanish shouldn’t stop you to go to local events and try to have some fun.
There’s always something you can do. You just have to search for some events on Facebook and you’re good to go.
General thoughts about Valencia
I really love this city.
It is bike friendly – everywhere you want to go, there’s a bike like and you can rent bikes – and people seem to be always into running – if you’re in a park, there’s a chance to see someone running every 30 seconds.
The city is really clean and, if you want to, you can sit on the grass and relax, read a book or even get tanned.
For sure, I’ll visit it again in this lifetime. And if I’ll have to choose, it will be on the list of the cities that I’ll want to live in for a while.
General things I learned about traveling and I’ll avoid doing in the future
#1 Don’t buy the metro ticket for the next day – it will simply expire
#2 Don’t pay for the last night of accommodation if your plane leaves early in the morning – better sleep in the airport
#3 Don’t buy anything from the center of the city – it’s way too expensive
#4 Try to find accommodation on Couchsurfing or Airbnb and have your own room – sometimes you’ll meet crazy people who wake you up in the middle of the night just because you picked the wrong bed