Hi everyone, here’s everything ready for a new adventure in the Spanish cities of Valencia. And you, are you ready? If you aren’t, we will give you a minute meanwhile we start to present the city where we will spend our (symbolic) day.
Valencia is located on the eastern coast of Spain where the river Turia starts. It is considered a large city thanks to its number of inhabitants and it is commonly called “Cap i Casal” (capital) to by the Valencians. Tourism, agriculture and wine are the strengths of Valencia but not only this, also the culture has an important place. Valencia is famous for its University, one of them is the Universitat de València. An international tourist interest are the Fallas (also called Festes de Sant Josep a celebration in honor of the homonymous saint) they are traditional festivals declared Immaterial Heritage of Humanity for Unesco. These are held every year from the end of February to mid-March. Well, it’s time to explore the city we’re in. Let’s go!
To know more (what to eat, where to eat, where to have fun, things to visit…) continue to read.
Due to its rich history and all the events that make the city an interesting place, Valencia can be considered an open-air museum where coexist both modern and ancient.
PLACES TO VISIT (MUSEUMS/THEATERS..)
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía
- Catedral de Valencia: is the cathedral of Valencia, an impressive Catholic building in Gothic style. Inside there is the Chapel of the Holy Goblet (probably used by Christ in the Last Supper) and some precious objects. You will be able to go to the top of the bell tower El Miguelete and enjoy the panoramic view of the city.
- Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias: is a complex of five different structures divided into three themes: art, science and nature. The great structure is all based on a game of colors that despite they have neutral shades createa great harmony with the surrounding landscape. The complex consists of the following buildings: Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Hemisfèric, Umbracle,Pont de l’Assut de l’Or, Ágora, Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe, Oceanogràfic.
- Torres de Serranos: is one of the many gates that one protected the city of Valencia. Its name comes from two theories: first theory is that this was the point where you could reach the Los Serranos road the second one that a very important family lived on this road. Torres de Serrans and Torres de Quart are the only surviving gates after the final demolition of the walls.
- Torres de Quart: as we have just mentioned it is another gate of Valencia (it looks like the entrance of a beautiful castle!) and its name comes from the place where it is located, Quart de Poblet. Torres de Quart is located in an important part of the city, where two famous streets meet: the Carrer de Quart and the Carrer de Guillem de Castro.
- Museo de bellas artes: is one of the most important art galleries in Spain. It has more than two thousand works (from the 14th to the 15th centuries) and is located inside the palace of St. Pius V. The building has three sections: one dedicated to archaeological finds, the other dedicated to sculpture and the last one to the contemporary art. As regard the art, the most famous works are those of the artist Diego Velázquez and Gonzalo Pérez; however there are many other important authors.
- Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno: an important museum of modern art, whose the aim is the diffusion of the 21st century art. The museum houses permanent/temporary collections, paintings, sculptures and art galleries and photographs.
- Museo Nacional de Cerámica: a museum dedicated to the ceramic collections and it is located in the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas. Its appearance may look dark, both inside and out, but we assure you that it’s just a majestic example of ancient art (a clear example of don’t judge a book by its cover!). The facade is able to make you understand the great work and value of this building as it shows the Virgin and to lower part two other characters that symbolize two rivers. The building is divided into three floors with some sections: on a floor there are the rooms, on another one the ceramics and in the end some rooms that house garments, sculptures and paintings. It is also possible to attend musical and artistic events.
- Museu de Prehistòria de València: is the prehistoric museum in Valencia where there are archaeological objects dated from prehistoric times to Visigothic ones. The museum is divided into sections, on the lower floor there is a bar and several laboratories, on the other floors all archaeological remains that are chronologically ordered (for example the fifth room is dedicated to the Mesolithic and so on). In proximity of the museum there is its library.
- El Centro Arqueológico de l’Almoina: is the historical museum of the city where it is possible to know about the history of the city from the start to the medieval times (all this in chronological order). The museum was built next to the archaeological remains, which will make the visit even more interesting.
- Museo Valenciano de la Ilustración y la Modernidad: is a temporary exhibition center where there are temporary and permanent exhibitions. Mostly the temporary ones are the most modern ones, the permanent ones show the oldest and varied collections. The museum also contains remains of the Almohade Tower and a miniature Valencia dating back to ancient times. In the same building there is the library containing various documentation.
- El edificio del Almudín: declared a national monument, the portico is an exhibition and museum center with temporary exhibitions with some painters, all managed by the city of Valencia.
The most popular theaters in Valencia are: Teatro Olympia, Teatro Talia, Teatro Rialto, Teatre Micalet, Il Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, opera theater that together with the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is part of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (which we have just mentioned at the beginning of the section).
Museo Nacional de Cerámica
Plaça de l’Ajuntament
Let’s continue to discover the things to do and to see in Valencia.
- Oceanogràfic: we have already mentioned the structure when we talked about the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias but now we will know it better. It is the largest marine park in Europe containing more than a thousand species of animals including walrus, penguins, seals, flamingos. The most beautiful areas are the underwater gallery, the panoramic restaurant (it seems to be at the bottom of the ocean!), the dolphinarium and finally the movie theater. There is a risk of spending hours and hours there because there is so much that you can do and see but we assure you that every minute spent in it is well spent!
- Bioparc: it is a zoo that hosts several species of animals from the African continent and several waterways. The beautiful things in this zoo are that animals live freely in the recreated habitat thet is identical to their natural one (for example is is recreated the Africa’s environment, dry, humid and so on since the animals come from that country) there is also no barrier or cage to create that distance between man and animal but you will feel closer to the animals. Within the Biopark there is an outdoor amphitheater where some shows and scientific demonstrations are shown.
- Albufera: it is a lagoon located on the Spanish coast in the south of Valencia. It is part of the natural park of Albufera, a beautiful protected area. You can also choose to go on a boat trip and maybe enjoy a beautiful sunset or just admire the surrounding landscape but also go hiking and knowing the local wildlife. This place is an unexpected beauty that if you have time (maybe you can save this place as the last attraction to visit) you MUST visit.
- Jardí del Turia: it is a large urban garden containing sports fields, a botanical garden and several parks, including the most famous one that is Parc Gulliver. The main attraction of the park is the monumental sculpture of Gulliver from which you can access to slides, ramps. The character represents himself when he comes to Lilliput and was tied by the locals (we say this because it was made so that visitors can walk on just as the Lilliputians did on his body when he arrived). The garden is also crossed by the bridge Pont de Assut de l’Or, which has the highest pole in the city.
- Umbracle: Umbracle is a public garden but more like that, it looks like a pedestrian bridge (as it has in the shape) next to the rich vegetation. Above this “bridge” there are about fifty arches that in the evening offer a show that is really unique.
- Jardines del Real: they are public gardens where there are fountains, structures, statues and lot of local flora. A place to explore and enjoy! Along this garden we add another one, the Jardín de Monforte. Also this is so beautiful and full of architectural details, ponds, squares and boulevards that are so characteristic.
- The most characteristic squares in Valencia are: Plaza de la Reina and Plaça de l’Ajuntament (maybe the most important one in the city). In the Plaza del Mercado is held the famous Mercado Central. The outside structure is as beautiful as its interior. There is so much color but above all many stalls to admire. It is always interesting to take a tour and why not to taste the delicacies that Valencia offers (which are also quite cheap!).
- Another strong point of Valencia are the beaches, among these we can find: Playa de la Malvarros (has a beautiful promenade flanked by the palm trees), Playa de Las Arenas, El Saler, Las Arenas, La Patacona. On the beaches of Valcencia you will find many places where you can go out for a drink, such as terraces or open air venues while during the day there are many water sports you can decide to practice.
- An alternative tour that can do in Valencia is the street art tour, where you can admire the famous graffiti of the artist Hyuro. There are so many well known paintings (we like to call them like this because of their beauty) and one more beautiful than another. The street art starts at Calle Peydro till Plaza de la Merced, near the Ayuntamiento Plaza. In addition to this another valid tour is the Free Tour Valencia (bike tour).
A sure thing is that you can’t avoid to participate at the lively nightlife of Valencia… Let’s see where you can go.
Here are some places: Barrio del Carmen district, Calle Caballeros, Plaza Canovas, La Avenida de Aragon, Plaza del Cedro, the university area of Avenida Blasco Ibáñez and of course in the summer is full of open air disco (like those along the Paseo Neptuno).
Here are some clubs:
- Electropura: pub/cocktail bar
- Karma Lounge & Nightclub: nightclub
- Sala de fiestas en Valencia Sala Maxx: lounge bar
- Nylon Club: disco
- Mya Club: disco
- La 3 Club: nightclub
- Radio city: locale
- Café Negrito
- Urbano Café
All i pebre
Now we just have to immerse in the sea… um.. we mean in the typical dishes of Valencia.
- The most famous dish of Valencian cuisine (and the one known around the world) is paella. Originally it was made up of rice, saffron, olive oil, meat (chicken or rabbit) and vegetables. After this the recipe had some variations, the meat was replaced by seafood. The most common variant is the paella de Marisco but there is also the Arroz a band which is a typical dish of Albufera (south valleys of Valencia). Two curiosities about this dish is that the paella takes its name from the metal container in which it is cooked that in Spanish is called “paellero” and then this dish is just born in Valencia.
- Arroz a Banda: a particular seafood risotto. Very tasty thanks to the freshness of local fish!
- All i pebre: a local dish composed of potatoes, garlic, eels and paprika.
- Fartón: it is a dessert in long and thin shape. It is very soft and sweet in fact is covered with icing but it is also very light (it is made with sunflower oil instead of butter). The sweet was born to be immersed into the horchata (a drink that we will present later) but also any drink as long as they are warm.
- Buñuelo: they are fried balls flavored with anise. They can be filled with salty or sweet ingredients or simply garnished on the surface.
- Here we come to the drink mentioned above, the horchata. This is a drink prepared with water, sugar and chufa (a tubercle of a local plant). You can find it in the bars or kiosks dedicated to the sale of this drink (they are called horchaterías and the most famous and well known is “Daniel” located in Alboraya, a district near Valencia). Another typical drink is the Agua de Valencia, a cocktail composed of orange juice, cava (Spanish sparkling wine), gin and vodka.
WHERE TO EAT (RESTAURANTS/CAFE’..)
A great way to appreciate the typical dishes of Valencia is in the typical restaurants of the city. Let’s find out where to enjoy them.
- Flor de Valencia: Mediterranean, European, Spanish cuisine.
- Almalibre Açai Bar Valencia: bar with healthy food, vegetarian, vegan cuisine. gluten-free menu option.
- Llar Roman: Mediterranean, European, Spanish, vegetarian, vegan cuisine, gluten-free option.
- Restaurante Navarro: Mediterranean, European, Spanish, vegetarian, vegan cuisine, gluten-free menu option.
- Gordon 10: steakhouse, barbecue, grill, Argentine cuisine, gluten-free menu option.
- Los Gómez Taberna: Mediterranean, European, Spanish, vegetarian, vegan cuisine, gluten-free menu option.
- Tanto Monta: for vegetarians with vegan options.
- El Forn del Carmen: Mediterranean, European, Spanish, vegetarian cuisine.
- Tasquita La Estrecha: bar with Mediterranean, European, Spanish, vegetarian cuisine.
- Ca la Mar: Mediterranean, European, Spanish, vegetarian, vegan cuisine.
- El Pederniz: Mediterranean, European, Spanish, vegetarian, vegan cuisine, gluten-free menu option.
- Gelateria La Romana – Valencia, Joaquín Costa
Today our trip in Valencia is over but Spain still has many destinations that are waiting to be discovered so continue traveling with us and let’s enjoy the next adventure!
Let us know your opinions about this place. If you liked it or not, if you’ve been there or you’re going to go there? What do you like least and what more? We are curious to read your opinions.
A big kiss to everyone.
Below we will list the accommodations that you can find in Valencia.
http://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?iata=VLC&aid=960457&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1 – accommodation near the airport.
http://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?city=-406131&aid=960457&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1 – accommodation in the city.
http://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?district=2534&aid=960457&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1 – accommodation next to the Ciutat Vella district.
http://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?landmark=54577&aid=960457&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1 – accommodation next to the port of Valencia.
http://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?landmark=257977&aid=960457&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1 -accommodation next to Joaquin Sorolla station.