Getting to Valencia by road
Valencia boasts a modern road network, which makes it easily accessible from any city, whether on the peninsula or beyond.
The AP-7 highway of the Mediterranean, which runs from north to south along the entire eastern coast, connects with the European motorway network and with the A-23 Sagunto-Somport and A-3 Madrid-Valencia highways.
What to know if you need to drive in Valencia
You know we always recommend taking public transportation or cycling; there's a reason we're a destination that boasts of its sustainability creds, and that's also the 2024 European Green Capital.
But if you need to travel around Valencia by car, there are some things you should know in order to park easily, spend less and charge your car, not to mention the restrictive traffic measures in the Ciutat Vella district.
Where to park in Valencia
Parking for free in Valencia isn’t easy, but there are private parking lots all over the city.
In the historic center, there are two municipal parking lots open 24/7: one in Plaza de Brujas, next to the Central Market, and in Plaza de la Reina, very close to the Cathedral. In the Ensanche area, you have the Mercado de Colón parking lot.
In the City of Arts and Sciences, there are two parking lots: one under the Umbracle and the other in the Oceanogràfic. Both charge a flat rate of 7 euros a day if you buy a ticket to any of the buildings of the City of Arts and Sciences.
You can check other parking lots on this website, with rates starting from €1.20 an hour. Another alternative for short-term parking is ORA.
Parking with ORA: what it is and how it works
ORA is the parking system regulated by the City of Valencia. It's basically a low-cost metered system that lets you park on the street. Although the website details the exact schedules and prices by area, here's a summary of the highlights.
The general schedule is from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and is divided into three categories:
The Blue Zone is where everyone can park. It has two rates, one general and the other for the center, which is the busiest.
The Orange Zone is for residents and visitors, but it is somewhat more expensive than the blue zone.
The Green Zone is for residents only. So if you're in the green zone, you can't park there.
There are countless smart parking meters in all of them and you can pay with both cash and by card.
Here's a tip: if you haven't memorized your car's license plate, do so because you'll need it to start your parking time with ORA.
Another factor to keep in mind is that the maximum parking time is two hours.
You're no doubt wondering, what if I want to stay longer ?
In that case, you'll have to renew your ticket at the parking meter or through one of the apps. For example, Telpark and Elparking work great. Simply download one to your mobile phone and follow the steps shown. Keep in mind that geolocation is important. So if it's your first time using them from your current location, it's best to do so next to the car.
Free parking in the white zone
The white zone is a free parking area. There aren't many chances to park for free in the center of Valencia, and the free public parking lots are located far from the center. So if you want to park for free, we recommend you do so in neighborhoods far from the center, like Beniferri or Benicalap, and using public transportation to get around Valencia by bus, metro or tram. An example is the free parking lot in Parque de Cabecera. While you're there, you can visit the park or go in the Bioparc.
Closer to the center, next to the Mestalla stadium, on Paseo de la Alameda, you can find a free parking area, although it's usually full.
Near the City of Arts and Sciences you can try your luck on Calle Antonio Ferrandis, Avenida de Francia or Avenida de la Autopista de El Saler.
If you go to Cabañal beach, you can park for free in the Calle Eugenia Viñes parking lot, although it's very hard to find a place, especially in summer. Another alternative, albeit for a fee but very cheap, is the Parking Norte in the Marina de Valencia. On Malvarrosa beach, you can park in the white area of the Paseo Marítimo parking lot, entering through Avenida de los Naranjos.
Your car doesn't need an environmental sticker in Valencia, but...
You've probably heard of the new climate change and energy transition law regulating low-emission zones. And what will sound even more familiar is the environmental label that is required to drive a vehicle in certain cities.
Well, although you do NOT need this environmental sticker to enter Valencia with your vehicle, you should know that there is a restricted access area in the historic center known as the APR zone.
What is the APR zone?
It stands for Residential Priority Area and it's part of a series of measures to protect the heritage sites and improve the quality of life in the Ciutat Vella district of the historic center of Valencia. Only authorized vehicles or public transportation can access it, and entering without authorization is subject to a fine. So if you were planning to drive downtown, check this map to see where the APR is and the nearest parking lots.
Where to charge your electric car in Valencia
If you're driving emissions-free because you're coming in an electric vehicle, you'll need to charge it. The best way to search for the charging points available is through apps such as Electromaps or through its website, which will show you the nearest address and the status of the chargers that are located throughout the city.
Where to rent cars in Valencia
And if you're here without a car but want to rent one, there are endless options. The main car rental companies are present at the airport and train stations. If you're looking for private transportation or need a bus because you're in a group, you can check the companies that offer this service.