Valencia was founded as a Roman colony in 138 BC. The city is situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea. Its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain.
The original Latin name of the city was Valentia (Latin pronunciation: [waˈlentia]), meaning "strength", or "valour", the city being named according to the Roman practice of recognizing the valour of former Roman soldiers after a war.
I went to Valencia to visit a friend of mine who studied in same class with me in Finland. At that time I was living near to Barcelona. I come to Valencia around November, at that time the weather in Barcelona is getting a bit cold, but in Valencia, you still can go to the beach and enjoy the sunshine.
When should you come to Valencia?
I would recommend on March, since there is a biggest festival called Falles. (Google Falles Festival, Valencia, you would be amazed how awesome that festival is).
Where to go?
There are several city beaches, and three major beaches outside of Valencia.
Playa de Malvarrosa and Playa e Levante o de la arenas are the most popular city beaches, just north of the port.
El Saler is the nicest and best developed beach near Valencia. Devesa is undeveloped and has nice surroundings. At Devesa and Playa Pinedo there are nudist sections. These beaches are located south of the port.
What to do during the festival?
Go around and see the various fallas, but especially the Sección Especial.
Pay to enter one of the bigger fallas to get a closer look at the individual ninots.
See la mascletà and the la nit de foc.
See one of the various parades, especially the ofrenda.
See the virgin made of flowers.
Buy churros or buñelos at one of the many stands on the street.
Go to one of the temporary bar/nightclubs set up on the street and dance all night long.
What to eat?
Local paella OFCOURSE — There are several versions of this tasteful rice dish: Paella Valenciana, with meat (chicken and/or rabbit usually), Paella de Marisco, with fish or seafood, or even Paella Mixta, with meat and fish at the same time, the least popular amongst locals. It is very difficult to say which is the "real" paella, as every person has his/her own version (Though NO paella that deserves this name contains sausage, ham or meat broth, for instance). If you want to eat an authentic Paella, try it at the Malvarrosa beach area; you will find there are several good restaurants. The authentic Valencian Paella is made only with fresh ingredients, in a special iron pan and using a fire made with wood (not gas or electricity). Vegetarian Paella is called "Paella vegetal" or "Paella de verduras"
Llet merengada — A kind of milk-based soft ice cream with a cinnamon-lemon taste.
Bunyols — Fried doughnuts, sometimes round shaped, sometimes like rings. Widely available only during March. Dip them in hot chocolate. Sometimes they are too oily, so don't eat a lot of them or you will not be hungry again for several hours. If you can choose the 'carabasa' (pumpkin) version, you should try it. They are generally tastier.
And one thing I forget to mention is Orange! Valencia's Orange is famous among Spain. If you walk around Valencia, you would see Organge trees are all around the street.