Valencia’s most typical products
Buying a souvenir is the sweetest way to say “I was thinking about you”. So during your trip to Valencia, make time to visit these special places where you’re certain to find the perfect gifts to give friends and family when you return home. They’re small mementoes that represent the identity of the Valencia Autonomous Region and perfectly express its unique nature. Some are highly original, so forget buying the typical paella-shaped fridge magnet and choose something special and creative.
The choice is endless. You could opt for locally farmed products (and there are plenty), hand-crafted goods and ceramics that can be both surprising and traditional, or other unique artistic objects and fabrics that paint a picture of a modern and attractive region. Don’t worry, we’ll help you with some suggestions.
Rice and oranges, Valencia’s most typical products
It would be unforgivable to leave Valencia without having tried paella or having found out about the traditional way to prepare this dish—the star of the regional (and national) cuisine. So chuck a couple of kilos of rice in your suitcase as a souvenir and invite your family and friends around for a delicious paella when you get home. Make it with love and the results are sure to be great.
But Valencia doesn’t live on rice alone. There are other certified products that also enjoy their deserved fame and that can easily be packed into your car boot. Oranges, olive oil, tiger nuts, Benicarló artichokes, Júcar persimmon and Xixona nougat all make fantastic gifts.
Where can you find them? It’s easy to do, but one great idea for tracking down all these tasty souvenirs is to head to Valencia’s Central Market (Mercat Central) or to a smaller neighbourhood market because that’s where you’ll find the best prices. Another option is to visit one of the many stores specialising in gourmet products where you’ll have many more items to choose from, including some from the farmland around Valencia.
Orxata, wine and beer
Orxata is without a doubt the most refreshing drink typical to Valencia. It originally comes from Alboraia and is principally made from tiger nuts but ingredients also include cinnamon, water and sugar. Don’t forget to try Valencian wine, which is developing an excellent reputation. Good examples are the designation of origin Utiel-Requena and the Alicante-based MGWines Group—an alliance of several wineries that are committed to supporting the native grape varieties of their regions. Valencia has several specialist shops that sell hundreds of leading local wines.
Valencia has also won deserved fame for its craft beers. They can easily be found in local shops, but if you have the chance to visit the Mercat Colón market you’ll come across the Las Cervezas del Mercado store, where you’ll be spoilt for choice for souvenirs of this type.
Ceramics in your luggage
Ceramics hold the place of honour among products typical to Valencia. The Valencia Autonomous Region is a land of pottery and several towns focus on this craft, such as Manises and Paterna. Many leading companies in the ceramics world have based their headquarters in Valencia, for example Lladró, which has a store in Carrer del Poeta Querol, and Porcelanosa. If you’re interested in hand-crafted goods, we recommend visiting the Centro de Artesanía de la Comunitat Valenciana [Crafts Museum] or the street market held every Sunday in Plaça Redona.
If you like art, make the most of your museum visits to buy souvenirs from the museum shops. They make an interesting and attractive choice of gift for your friends and family. You can find a wide range of books, handkerchiefs, costume jewellery, games, fans, and much more that are decorated with motifs from key works by the artists exhibited in each museum. Don’t miss the IVAM shop. You could also visit Atypical Valencia, a highly original store where you’ll find t-shirts and bags printed with firework designs, El Micalet tower construction games, ‘Valencian’ notebooks and fallera [queen of the Falles festival] cut-outs.
From fallera costumes to espadrilles
If you want to find a truly special gift, head to specialist shops such as Rafael Català or Tejidos Dalila to surprise your loved ones with original souvenirs such as a regional fallera costume complete with all its accessories: shawl, jewellery, comb, tassels, etc. If you decide against it because, for example, you’re not sure of the right size, you could always opt for an apron printed with a picture of a fallera or some typical espadrilles. These can be found in any shoe shop, and with a spot of luck you’ll also find esparto rope shoes and bags, especially if you visit L’Espardenyeria Valenciana.
Football, another souvenir of Valencia
Valencia is, unsurprisingly, a footballing city so if you’re mad about this sport you could pop to the shops in the Valencia FC or Levante UD football stadiums. Here you’ll find shirts, boots, balls and merchandising of every kind. If you’re more of a motorbike fan, you should check out the Circuito Ricardo Tormo racetrack. And if you’re passionate about sailing, what better than a visit to the Real Club Náutico de Valencia [Royal Sailing Club] to stock up on souvenirs or anything else that takes your whim.
And if you want something totally original, make sure you don’t miss the Souvenir event held one Thursday each month by Needles and Pins Vintage. You could bag yourself an exclusive Valencia-inspired work of art while sipping a beer and enjoying some snacks. Once a month the owners of this shop invite two local artists to exhibit their pieces of work inspired by the city of Valencia. No middle-men: straight from the creator to the buyer.