Valencia is a fantastic city. I'm here at the moment and genuinely don't want to go home.
El Carmen in the center of the city is the biggest old town in Spain and filled with back streets and plazas. In fact there are different areas within the district and each have a different feel to them. The central food market in Carmen is amazing, the biggest indoor market in Europe apparently with over 1000 stalls. There's a great little bar inside but getting a seat is hard as people queue for ages but sometimes you can get lucky.
The amount of restaurants and bars is mad, literally everywhere. Personally I prefer the old tapas joints that have been there for years but tbh you'll be spoilt for choice. All sorts of bars as well. Craft beer is taking off big time if you like that but pretty much everything you can think of from wine, gin cocktail, vermouth bars. You'll never go thirsty anyway.
Outside of Carmen there are some great neighbourhood's/ barrios to explore. Colon, El Cabanyal, Benimeclet and many more and they all have a more local feel to them. Probably the best neighbourhood in the city is Russafa/Ruzafa. A 20 minute walk from Carmen and just behind the train station. Evening's are best with road side bars and restaurants all over the place and the intersections especially good. Carrer Cadis and Sueca are the main streets but the whole area is really cool.
The main beach in the city is called Malvarossa and is stunning. It starts at the Marina and goes on for miles. It has a California feel to it and great just to walk along. Malvarrossa to Patacona takes about 35 minutes and filled with places to eat and drink. September will be great for a swim as well.
The jewel of Valencia is Turia Gardens. A 7km long park which cuts through the city. It's the old river which was tured in to a park in the 50's due to it flooding all the time. As you walk or cycle through the scenery changes all the time, it's absolutely beautiful. Cycling is the best way of getting round the city, cycle lanes everywhere and more being added all the time. Loads of cycle hire places or Boris bikes dotted all over the place. Public transport is great as well with the buses and metro very cheap and very reliable.
Sorry if I've gone on a bit but it's a great place 😂😂