As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t bother to do any research on Valencia before I came. Valencia to me meant sunshine and oranges. Neither of those things were realised until the last couple days of my trip. But sometimes it’s good to break expectations (I’m not sure why).
Having sunshine on those last couple days made me really appreciate it. I did one of those ‘free’ walking tours which you can do in practically every city, where a Scotsman or Welsh guy will show you around the city while laying down some history and some lamish jokes you’ve heard on one of the other free walking tours. ‘Free’ means you give a tip at the somewhat awkward conclusion of the tour, and from what I gather I think the average is 5-10 euro given that they cater to backpackers.
Valencia reminded me of Malaga, without the Franco-era hideous buildings outside the centre which Malaga unkindly offers. Parts of Valencia, such as Zona Carmen and around Plaza de la Reina reminded me of Barcelona (little streets, graffiti, boutique shops). I stumbled on a great second hand bookstore in Valencia, Loved Books, with the most expensive price averaging 6 euro (Calle Tapineria, 18).