What To Do In Valencia In December
Visiting Valencia in December will allow you to enjoy many popular holidays celebrated this month, and to take in the vibrant Spanish culture. Here are a few suggestions on what to do.
Bike the Turia Gardens
Biking the lush Turia Gardens in the summer is a bit too much, with the scorching sun and high temperatures. So renting a bike in Valencia in December is totally worth it! Do some exercise outside while enjoying the scenic views of the gardens.
The Turia Gardens is simply the former river bed. Valencians re-routed the river outside of the city in the 60’s. Consequently, the long and narrow thread of the park runs across the whole city. In fact, it is the largest urban park in Spain!
There are two biking lanes, each – on the sides of the “river”. You can get a bike through the Valenbisi city rental system or from one of the many bike rental places in the Old Town.
What else can you do in the Turia Gardens? Go for a jog or do yoga against the unearthly backdrop of the futuristic complex of City of Arts & Science! Or do other cool free things in Valencia.
Eat Pumpkin Fritters with Hot Chocolate
Valencia’s traditional way of warming up is to eat airy and light pumpkin fritters buñuelos with hot chocolate. Get a large cup of chocolate and dip your buñuelos into it, like locals do.
In December get this delicious Valencian treat at Horchatería Fabian – a locally loved traditional place where they make the best product. And always from scratch!
Go on a Tapas & Wine Tour
There is no better way to learn about the local cuisine in a short period of time, than going on a food tour. If you want to know how locals eat their dinner in Valencia, join my tapas & wine tour!
I take small groups to the historic village of Ruzafa, away from tourist crowds. During the 3,5 hour tour we sample some of the best local tapas dishes and drink multiple Spanish wines – wine is served at each of the 5 stops! Experience the festive Valencia in December on a tour!
The Holidays in Valencia in December
Constitution Day – December 6th
In all of Spain on the 6th of December the Consitution day is celebrated to commemorate the Constintution referendum’s approval in 1978. There are usually concerts and performances in the centre of Valencia on this day for the general public, including kid-friendly activities.
Immaculate Conception Day – December 8th
Also, a nation wide holiday in Spain on the 8th of December. It’s a religious holiday that commemorates the patron saint of the Spanish Armed Forces. Usually there are performances on in the main squares on this day.
Christmas Eve in Valencia – December 24th
First of all, a festive Christmas atmosphere is already in full effect at the beginning of December. There is no snow in Valencia in winter, and the temperatures almost never drop below zero, but there are plenty of bright colorful lights and instricate X-mas decoractions in the streets.
One of the local Christmas traditions is to put on display the Nativity Scene represenetation (Belén). It’s a representation of the quarters where Jesus was born, together with the family and the domestic animals. Beléns can be small or very big. You can see them not only in churches, but in many shops and public spaces.
Valencians usually celebrate this holiday at home with the family. Mothers cook up a tonne of food. The typical starter at the holiday table during this season is the irresistible freshly caught and prepared seafood. The main course consists of a generous piece of nice meat, such as lamb. The almond nougat turrón and the Spanish sparkling wine cava are always present at the X-mas table. And of course, there is plenty of alcohol.
If you happen to know a local and he or she invites you to a X-mas dinner at their place, prepare to eat a lot of amazing home cooked food (and enter a food coma).
Visit the X-mas markets that start popping up at the beginning of December. They sell all sorts of holiday decorations, souvenirs and more.
Holy Innocents’ Day – December 28th
Most countries celebrate The Fool’s Day on the 1st of April. Yet in Spain the holiday of jokes and pranks is on the 28th of December. So be prepared!
New Year’s Eve – December 31st
Largely a holiday celebrated at home. Yet Spain’s teenagers get permission to stay up all night once a year on this day, so they take a full advantage of it: all the night clubs in Valencia are full of teens. So don’t say I didn’t warn you!