Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and is the capital of the province of the same name. Famed for its Las Fallas festival which attracts people from all over the world every year, as well as its traditional dish (paella), Valencia is a highly popular Spanish destination and has much to offer its plethora of visitors. In addition to this, the city offers a rich monumental heritage with a mix of both traditional gothic style buildings to current futuristic complexes such as the City of Arts and Sciences. This booming city also hosts a multitude of idyllic beaches not so far from the city centre where you can escape to relax in the sun and the soft sand. This is perfect during the summer months where temperatures can soar to average around 30°C. The city has two official languages; Valencian and Spanish however Valencian is the native language of the city. However, everybody speaks Spanish and not so many speak Valencian anymore but you will notice signs and road names written in Valencian. It is easy to see that there is much going on in this traditional city which is why it is so popular amongst many and regardless of what you are looking for from your stay, you will find it here in Valencia.
Places of Interest
Oceanographic (City of Arts and Sciences)
Here, you will find a Science Museum, a Planetarium, an IMAX cinema, an Aquarium and an Arts Museum. It is highly popular amongst visitors as there is much to see and there is the option of buying a ticket which will last for 2 days if you don’t have enough time. This construction is particularly famous for its architecture by Santiago Calatrava and as well as being a truly futuristic, exciting model, there is a plethora of things to do. In the Oceanographic you are able to observe numerous species of sea creatures as well as even watch live dolphin shows!
This interesting cathedral has three doors coming from three very distinct architectural periods. For a fantastic mirador of the city, it is recommended that you mount the Micalet tower which was once Moorish, however now has been Christianized. This provides a breathtaking view out onto Valencia.
The Lonja of the Seda
Declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1996, this building is the site of the ancient local silk trade. It has recently been refurbished and is a late Valencian Gothic style civil building originally built between 1482 and 1548. This is one of Valencia’s most popular tourist attractions and is well worth a visit.
This museum is dedicated to the famous annual Valencian festival named Las Fallas. This is held in March and local areas construct huge papier maché models which take a whole year to complete. During the last week, all of the Fallas are burnt except the ones which are deemed to be the best or most impressive and these gain a place in the Fallas Museum to be on display to visitors. During the Fallas festival, there are constant fireworks and firecrackers being set off as well as huge numbers of processions and traditions. This makes it a hugely popular event for people all over the world who fill the Valencian city every year for these celebrations.
Valencia is home to a variety of beaches however the most two most popular are Playa de Malvarrosa and Playa e Levante o de las arenas. These are located just north of the port. El Saler is deemed to be the nicest and most developed beach. This is located to the south of the port. All with fine sand, blue water, the Mediterranean breeze and a brilliantly warm sun, Valencia’s beaches are highly popular as they are located very near the city centre and make Valencia much more than just your average Spanish city.
Getting to Valencia
The Valencia Airport is located at 9km west of Valencia. This airport has flights with Iberia, Spanair, Lufhansa, AirFrance, Clickair, AirBerlin, TuiFly, Lagunair, Ryainair, Transavia, Vueling and several others. The bus going to the train station takes approximately 30-40 minutes and is regular at every half hour. The subway also links the airport from the main station and runs directly to the town centre. This again is extremely regular, running every 8 minutes.
Valencia’s bus station is by the river and approximately a 15 minute walk from the centre. There are buses travelling to and from almost every large Spanish city as well as most of the cities in the Valencian region.
There are numerous trains coming from Madrid, Barcelona, and many other Spanish cities. The main train station of Valencia, Estacion del Norte, is located in the city centre new the town hall so has easy access to other forms of transport also.
There are direct ferry routes going between Valencia and Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and Mahon.
Getting around the City
Valencia offers good public transport by the FGV (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana) which runs the Metro system of Valencia as well as other bus and rail services. Valencia is a beautiful city and much of the city can be done on foot. However, if you do get tired, the city’s bus company runs buses to almost every part of the city.