There is not a whole lot of information out there about Valencia in English. Most of them time if I do a search about Valencia I get stuff about Spain. In case anyone plans on coming to Valencia, Venezuela, here is a list of my favorite things that you can do here.
Best Massage– Hesperia Spa- For about $5US (this includes a 20% tip) you can get a fantastic massage in a very nice environment.
Best Place for a Hair Cut & Mani/Pedi– Hesperia Salon- Right next door to the spa is the salon where you can get a great haircut, mani/pedi, waxing, dye job, and makeup done. I’ve only done the haircut and mani/pedi a few times, but a friend has gone there at least once a month to do the works!
Best Laser Hair Removal– A little place on the second floor of Trigaleña Plaza. You can buy a package for six areas of the body for about $15US per visit.
Best Place for One Stop Shopping– Kromi– Sometimes they have a line going around the block to get stuff (becoming more and more frequent), but that is usually a sign that they have something good. I’ve heard that they restock on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so try to go right after school gets out to beat some of the lineups.
Best Home Goods Shopping- Epa– I only went here during orientation week because I was able to find everything I needed in one go.
Best Place to Grocery Shop Without a Line (also liquor store- Panda– This store carries a bit of everything, is a bit more expensive than Kromi, and has less lines.
Best Store to Find Hard to Get Stuff– Mini Market in CC Cotoperi– There are two mini markets in this plaza and both of them are ran by Chinese ladies. They have baking stuff, some shampoo, beauty supplies, household stuff, and it isn’t that expensive either.
Best Spot to Find Something that Nobody Else Has in Stock– a market stand on Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays almost across from CC Cotoperi– The very large woman who runs this stand charges the highest prices that I’ve seen in Valencia because she knows that if you are buying from her it means you haven’t found something anywhere else. She usually has some milk, sugar, coffee, laundry detergent, and toilet paper when nobody else does.
Best Health Food Shop (with fresh tortellini too)- Tortellini Express– I usually stop in here a couple times a week after working out at my gym. They have really yummy fresh tortellini, a variety of nut butters, rice cakes, natural yogurt, organic eggs, quinoa, and other surprise ingredients that I don’t see anywhere else.
Best Bakery– Mansion de Pan– Fresh bread, sandwiches, desserts, fresh juices, canned goods, they have it all! There are three branches that I know of in Valencia. My friends tell me that the one in Trigalena has excellent pizza too.
Best Street Food– Calle de Hambre– Next to the Mansion de Pan in Monongo- I’ve only gone here once because parking is horrible, but you can find a little bit of everything at really affordable prices.
Best Sushi- Sakehana (though many of my friends love Taka Sushi too)- It is just down the street from me and they make great rolls and they have fabulous ceviche.
Best Chinese Food- Every Sunday there is a Chinese Farmer’s Market where you can find fresh tofu, dumplings, and soy milk. Also at the attached Centro Comercial Profesional you can find tons of little Asian shops & restaurants.
Best Mexican Food & Margaritas– Frida’s– It has wonderful ambiance, cute quotes, strong drinks, and tasty Mexican food. Every time I eat here I leave happy!
Best Pizza– Bacchu– I love their super thin crust pizza so I don’t feel guilty eating the whole thing by myself!
Best Bar with Character– El Baño Pub Bar– It is decorated like a bathroom, has rock and reggae. I was waiting for a band to set up and the owner gave my friends and I several free sangrias.
TIP: Especially when it comes to restaurants and markets, you should download and use the Foursquare app. There have been many times that I have done a Google search and not found what I was looking for and then turned around and searched on Foursquare and found it in no time. Foursquare works well in all of the cities I have been to in Venezuela.
Best Place for your Daily Workout– O2 Training Center– I pay less than $15US per month for unlimited classes, a personal trainer 5 days a week, and full access to the gym. It is also right down the street for me which makes it super convenient!
Best Place for your Weekend Extra Hard Workout– Cerro Casupo– If you like hiking up hills (or running like some hardcore locals do) then you should join lots of people who go every weekend at Casupo.
Want to Get Out of Town for the Day/Weekend?
Best Beach Escape– Parque Nacional de Morrocoy– I try to go to Morrocoy at least once a month because it is just that beautiful! It is usually about $7US per person to take you out (and pick you up) in a small 5/6 person boat out to the cayos.
Best Place to Retreat from the World- Hacienda la Concepcion– I’ve only been there once so far because we don’t have many three day weekends, but next year I might just go there for an overnight because it is so relaxing.
Do you live in Valencia? Are there places that I should add to the list? Do you disagree with any of my choices?