Perfect paellas, an space-age style City of Arts and Culture and a great seaside location are just three reasons to visit one of Spain’s most vibrant cities.
And if you love Spain but are looking at timeshare exchanges and want a change from Malaga or Alicante next time around, Valencia ticks a lot of boxes.
If you’ve never been, late summer and autumn are both good times to go and soak up its inimitable old-meets-new, urban-meets-beach style atmosphere.
Here are 5 tips on what to do and see in the beautiful, relaxed city of Valencia:
1) SEE THE SPACE-AGE STYLE CITY OF ARTS & CULTURE. Whilst Gaudi’s ornate Sagrada Familia cathedral is Barcelona’s architectural icon, Valencia’s contemporary landmark, the space-age City of Arts and Culture, is nothing short of a modern wonder. It houses a lot of the city’s best attractions including the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, the Science Museum, the Hemisferic IMAX and Europe’s largest Aquarium, the Oceanografico, so you can’t visit Valencia without a visit to “CAC”!
2) GO GREEN. Part of Valencia’s charm is its relaxed semi-urban pace and the fact that there’s plenty of breathing space. There are so many parks and gardens, including the Jardin Botanico and Jardines de Monforte it’s not surprising it’s known as the city of flowers are light, reflecting the brilliant variety of blooms that flourish in the warm Valencian sunshine.
3) CYCLE THE CITY. Not literally, as the traffic can be daunting, but renting a bike and riding along the city’s beaches is a great way to explore more and burn off some extra calories.
4) SHOP FOR CERAMICS. There’s plenty of pretty pottery at the city’s famous Ceramics Museum, so if you’re in the mood for brightening up the kitchen back home with some super-sized Spanish salad bowls, this is the place to soak up some design inspiration. It’s also a good place to spend a hot afternoon if you need a break from the sun and after your visit you can shop for Valencia’s famous blue azulejos, local coloured tiles, at one of the city’s artisan boutiques such as Taller Artesania Yuste.
5) EAT LIKE THE LOCALS. Don’t leave without squeezing in a food foray to El Mercado Central de Valencia – yes it’s a cliché, but no visit to the city would be complete without at least a 30 minute pit-stop to the beautiful building of Valencia’s Central (food) Market. The beautiful domed glass ceiling with orange blossom design is stunning, and the whole space is light, bright and airy.
Feast your eyes on the seafood, meats, fruit, veg, cheeses, olives and spices (this is the place to pick up some manchego cheese or chorizos) and if you fancy a picnic on the beach, this is the place to fill your picnic basket.
Mercado Central de Valencia,Plaza del Mercado 1,46001 Valencia, España, Phone: 0034 963 829 100
Discover more on the Valencia Tourist Board website www.turisvalencia.com