Top Ten Places to Read a Book in Valencia
So, now that you’ve purchased a real life book, where to go and enjoy it? You may want to laze on the sofa, or the terrace (if you’re lucky enough to have one). But if you’re looking for a change of scene, here is our pick of the top ten places to read and chill in Valencia (with some suggested reading for each place).
1. The Turia
The former riverbed of The Turia is now a park which runs 9km long through the heart of the city. There are several different vibes to choose from, depending on where you want to chill. If you’re looking for something peaceful, natural and a little bit more rustic, head to the part of The Turia near Nuevo Centro. If you want landscaped features and futuristic backdrops, then where better than The City of Arts and Sciences? It’s worth noting that the local council has installed several new toilet blocks throughout the length of the park, so there’s no need to panic once the cafes close!
Suggested read: The Liar
2. Jardines Viveros
Another large but more traditional, gated park is Jardines Viveros. Located between Benimaclet and The Turia, there are plenty of benches, a natural history museum, a couple of kiosks serving drinks and snacks, and even some peacocks to look at! You can find a quiet corner beneath the trees, or sit on the terrace at the cafe with your book.
Suggested read: 4th of July
3. Jardin de Montforte
Said to be the last historical garden in Valencia, this is the place to go if you want to surround yourself with artistic culture while you read. There are 33 marble statues, beautiful plants and trees as well as relaxing, ornamental fountains. The perfect place to read a classic novel.
Suggested read: The Moonstone
4. Central Park
No, not the one in New York, but Valencia’s version: Parque Central. Located behind the Estacion del Norte and near the main train lines out of Valencia, this is Valencia’s newest park. If you don’t fancy testing your skills on the outdoor climbing wall, wander down the pretty pathways and find a quiet spot on a bench or near the tiny canals to get lost in your latest read.
Suggested read: I Heart New York
5. Jardines del Antiguo Hospital
If you’re looking for an oasis in the centre of Valencia, then this small park next to MUVIM is for you. There is a public library and a small Catholic Church, La Ermita de Santa Lucia, in the grounds. Plus, you’re next to some cool pavement cafes such as Resto-Bar Rivendel, on Calle del Hospital.
Suggested read: Angels and Demons
6. Centro Cultural La Nau
Hidden in the heart of Valencia, this historic building is part of the University of Valencia. It was the University’s HQ from the 15th Century, when it was founded, until the early 20th Century. In the neoclassical courtyard will find Cafeteria La Nau, where you can enjoy a drink or something to eat with book, and imagine that you are living in a different century. This place feels like a hidden secret right in the city centre.
Suggested read: Moll Flanders
If you love the buzz of city life around you while read, then you might want to head over to the ever hip Ruzafa. Here you’ll find a mountain of pavement cafes to choose from, including La Dulce de Leche (you are made from stone if you can resist one of their gorgeous cakes); Bluebell Coffee and Cafe Art y Sana.
Suggested read: Summer and the City
8. The Beach/La Playa
It is impossible to write about places to read without mentioning the expansive beaches of Valencia city. There is plenty of sand space for everyone here, as well as the Med for a dip when the sun becomes too much. During the summer there various chiringuitos (beach bars) to sip a drink in. If you want to read without too much distraction, head to Playa Malvarosa or Playa Cabañal. If you’re happy to hear beach club music while you read, you’ll be fine at the port end (Playa Las Arenas). Personally, heaven is hearing the waves gently roll onto the sand while I get lost in a good book….
Suggested read: It’s in his Kiss
9. La Playa del Saler
Accessible by car, bus or bike if you’re feeling energetic, Playa del Saler provides a slightly wilder, more refreshing location to enjoy your English books than the city beaches. Here, you’ll travel through pine trees to reach the beaches, which are accessed through small sand dunes. The Med has a little more breeze behind it here, so you’ll feel more energised if you’re reading by the sea here.
Suggested read: Body Surfing
10. Lago del Puchol
Just over the dunes from El Saler is the tranquil Lago del Puchol. The lake is a haven for bird-watching and and you can picnic close to the water’s edge. If you love relaxing in nature while you read, then this place is for you.
Suggested read: Birdsong
So, there you have it. Ten fabulous places to enjoy your secondhand English books in Valencia. We’re sure you’ll love at least one of these spots, but there are plenty more to be discovered around the city. Probably enough for another blog post…