Are you mad about sports but maybe more from the comfort of a chair, as a spectator? Whether it is football, basketball, hockey, rugby or even cricket, you can watch great sport in Valencia without breaking a sweat. You just need to get ready to cheer your favourite team and enjoy!
Football is, without doubt, one of the most popular sports in Valencia. English fans will be familiar with some of the Spanish stars nurtured at Valencia CF such as Juan Mata and David Siva. And the club’s ground, Mestalla, renowned for its intimidating atmosphere, has always attracted fans from around the world. You can get tickets fairly easily for most games at the ground, club shop or online. If there isn’t a game, try a tour of the stadium instead. To get there, Aragon metro station is the closest.
Of course, Valencia CF is not the only football club in town. Levante UD, historically the underdogs, are flying relatively high in La Liga this season. Their Orriols ground (Machado metro station) is much smaller, but not less atmospheric. Just beware that most stands haven’t got a roof, so be prepared to face the weather (or, most likely, get a tan!). Tickets are sold at the stadium or the club shop in the Colon shopping district.
If you prefer watching football on TV, there is no shortage of bars in Valencia that regularly show games from Spanish or European competitions. Enjoy the lively atmosphere at Mulligan’s Irish Tavern (Yecla 24) or the huge screens at Dodo Wear & Lounge (Las Barcas 5), both close to the University.
Basketball is also very popular in Valencia, understandably so, as Valencia Basket is the current champion of the Liga Endesa and Spain’s Supercup. The first team plays at the Pabellón Municipal Fuente de San Luis, more popularly known as La Fonteta (Hermanos Maristas 16), near the City of Arts and Sciences. Besides, the club has just unveiled a new state-of-the-art training centre, L’Alquería del Basket, to attract more youngsters to the game. Here you can also watch games from lower leagues.
Valencia is home to one of the best hockey arenas in Europe. The Polideportivo Virgen del Carmen Beteró (Campillo de Altobuey 1, metro Serrería) is fit to host Olympic games and a regular training ground for the Spanish national team. As for rugby, you can watch rugby union local teams such as CAU Valencia and RC Valencia. And don’t be surprise if you stumble across a cricket game as you walk along the Turia Gardens, as this is where Levante Cricket Club trains and plays.
And for the ultimate Valencian experience, try a game of traditional pilota valenciana. You could describe it as a sort of doubles (or triples) tennis game, but played with bare hands. Spectators sit very close to the action so watch out for those flying balls! You can enjoy a game at the Trinquet (pilota court) de Pelayo (calle Pelayo 6), and follow it with a nice meal at its newly-opened restaurant.
It is not just team sports that you can enjoy in Valencia. The nearby Ricardo Tormo Motor Racing Circuit is the place to cheer the best international riders at the Moto GP Valencia Grand Prix (10-12 November 2017). The circuit also hosts other motorcycling and car racing events throughout the year.
Finally, it’s worth remembering that Valencia is an ideal place for running. You can join the elite runners – or simply watch from the sides – at events like the Half Marathon (22 October 2017) or the Marathon (19 November 2017). And in 2018, the city will host one of the top events in the running world calendar, the IAAF World Half Marathon Championship.
Mad about sports? Valencians certainly are!