Valencia is a city that oozes history. A walk around the old quarter will transport you from the days of the city’s Roman foundation in the year 138 B.C., visiting the museum of the Almoina, to the times of El Cid and the Moors, of which the medieval wall gates of Serranos and Quart were witnesses, and beyond. The beautiful Gothic building of La Lonja (Silk Exchange) is a reminder of the city’s Golden Age in the 15th century, when it was at the heart of the silk trade. And you will also find jewels of Modernist art like the Central and Colon markets, as well as extravagant Baroque churches and palaces like the Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas, now home to the Ceramics Museum.
It is also a very modern city where you can spend the days shopping in department stores and high end boutiques and the nights sipping cocktails like the typical Agua de Valencia in the trendy bars of the bohemian Ruzafa district. You will also find the most futuristic buildings as you walk along the Turia Gardens, the 8km green ribbon that was the Turia river until this was diverted after disastrous flooding in the 1950s. Here, the stunning City of Arts and Sciences, a complex designed by the renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, has become the city’s number one tourist attraction.
Above all, Valencia is a city that embraces the sea and offers an authentic Mediterranean atmosphere. The beaches of Las Arenas and Malvarrosa are buzzing in the summer, and also at weekends throughout the year, as locals head for a stroll in the sun followed by a paella at one of the restaurants along the seafront. Nearby you will find the old fishermen’s quarter of Cabanyal, with its colourful tiled buildings and traditional tabernas. And the Marina Real Juan Carlos I, revamped to host the America’s Cup in 2007 and 2010, is now becoming the new gastronomic and cultural hub of the city.
One more thing is guaranteed in Valencia: wherever you go, you will find a warm welcome from locals who are immensely proud of their city and their traditions, and happy to share them with you.
Opposite La Lonja, you will find the oldest food market in Europe, located in a fantastic building in a true Valencian style. The market is just as lively now as it was a hundred years ago, as if time stood still. Be amazed by Valencia’s daily life and of course, this is a great place to buy some local delicacies.
The City of Arts and Sciences
The Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, or City of Arts and Sciences, is a futuristic complex designed by Santiago Calatrava that has become the number one attraction in Valencia. Walking around taking photos of the stunning buildings is a pleasure in itself, and that does not cost anything. However, it is well worth the entrance fee to explore the various exhibits inside.
Las Animas Puerto
Las Animas Puerto is one of the trendiest nightclubs in Valencia. They play R&B, house and music from the 1970’s and 1980’s, a great mix on different dance floors. The nightclub is located at the entrance of Port America’s Cup with a stunning view over the beach and ocean.
Good to know
The public transport system consists of a network of buses, underground trains and trams. It is easy to get around Valencia and the metro is both the fastest and the easiest. Ticket prices vary for a single journey. You can buy combination tickets that include all means of transportation. The Valencia Tourist Card is a good option for tourists.
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