Valencians are mad about football. Its top team, Valencia CF, is renowned for the intimidating atmosphere of its Mestalla stadium, which has also hosted many a game of the Spanish national team. And Levante UD also has a loyal following, despite fairing not so well in the league. It comes as no surprise then that many bars and restaurants will be showing the European Championship games so that locals and football fans visiting Valencia in the next weeks don’t miss out on the action.
Here is our pick of some of the best places in Valencia to watch Euro 2016:
The Casino de Valencia has come up with a fun way of enjoying the beautiful game. It has its own “mini football pitch”, a special area covered with turf, stands and a giant HD screen where all the games will be shown. What is more, fans can place live bets as they watch the games, and the Casino is also throwing in some extra prizes to be won.
If you have ever seen a game of the Spanish national team, you may have come across Manolo el del Bombo. A legendary character, following the team everywhere with his signature black flat cap and his relentless drumming (that is the “bombo” or drum). Well, Manolo has his own bar in Valencia, right next to the Mestalla stadium. What better place to watch the football amongst all the memorabilia from his travels?
Those sightseeing in the old town can stop to watch a match while having a bite to eat at Moltto restaurant and bar in the iconic Plaza de la Reina. As temperatures soar, they bring out TV screens to the terrace, so you can watch the action in the open air. And those who are not interested can simply admire the views of the Cathedral and its Miguelete bell tower or simply watch the world go by in this lively square.
Irish bars are always a good bet to find TV screens showing national and international sports. Also in the Plaza de la Reina, Finnegans is a popular place where you frequently find British visitors following the Premier League, and will no doubt be showing the Euro 2016 games. You can also try St Patricks (Gran Via Marques del Turia 69), where a good atmosphere is guaranteed. Or for a more Spanish Celtic atmosphere, try Max Max Traditional Celtic Pub (Calle Vinalopo 11, in the University quarter).
If you can’t afford to miss a single minute of the game, try the Sportime Café (Avenida Blasco Ibanez 138, near the University). This is a classic destination for sports fans, with 40 screens distributed throughout the bar, even in the toilets!
Worried about missing out on precious sunbathing time on the beach? No problem! Just a few steps from Valencia’s Malvarrosa beach is Vivir sin Dormir, a beach pub lounge and restaurant on Paseo de Neptuno, the seafront promenade. Enjoy a paella by the sea while watching the lunchtime kick off games, before returning to your sun lounger.
One of the most popular attractions in Valencia is the stunning City of Arts and Science. Here, you won’t need to walk far either to catch up on the scores after visiting the Oceanographic marine park or the Science Museum. On the Rocks (Paseo de la Alameda 45) is a lively gastropub and late night bar where you can enjoy a meal and stay listening to great music with a celebratory drink (or drowning your sorrows) after watching the game.
Or make it a night out in Ruzafa, the most alternative neighbourhood in Valencia with a true bohemian vibe. At Ubik (Literato Azorin 13), a quirky bar-cum-bookshop, you can watch the game while enjoying a Valencian craft beer, whilst those not so keen on football can just pick up a book to read.
There are plenty of options to follow 2016 without having to miss out on any sightseeing. And you can also add football-related visits, like a tour of the Mestalla stadium. Here you can learn about Valencia Football Club’s 90 years of history before walking down the tunnel into the famous turf. Can you hear the fans cheering?