A Tour of Valencia

Valencia is located on the east coast of Spain, on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. The city is known for its festivals, mainly the Fallas de Valencia, when colourful ninots, giant papier maché structures, resembling celebrities, pop stars and political figures are burnt.

The city’s historical district is known for its architecture, with ancient buildings and cobbled plazas. The Barri del Carme is a neighbourhood located in the Old Town. There are many old buildings, chic cafés and local designer shops nestled along the narrow streets.

The river Turia runs through the city. There are three large bridges that cross the river, and many visitors use them as observation platforms with views towards the city.

Located in the historic center, the Seu is the Cathedral of Valencia, built in various architectural styles from several periods. Visitors can climb its tower, from where they can enjoy views towards the city and the sea. In the La Lonja part of town visitors will be able to visit the Iglesia de los Santos Juanes, known for its bell tower.

The City of the Arts and Sciences is a large cultural center standing on the coast. The white structure has become one of the city’s symbols. There is an Aquarium, a cinema, a Planetarium and a Science Museum. The Oceanografic is the large aquarium, which is located near the beach. Visitors can see dolphins, penguins, sharks and colourful exotic fish, some of which live in the outdoor area of the aquarium. The Science Museum has many interactive exhibitions and galleries devoted to several branches of science.

The Mercat Central is the city’s central market. Visitors can enjoy a walk around this traditional market, filled with colour and delicious smells, and buy fresh bread, cured ham, locally grown vegetables and wine for a picnic in one of the city’s parks.

As most of Spain, Valencia is known for its food. The traditional paella valenciana, a dish made from rice, several types of meat and spices which give it its yellow colour, hails from this region, and is served in most of the city’s restaurants.

For those who want to sail around the Mediterranean there are several tours by boat. The Island of Nova Tabarca is located a couple of kilometres off the coast, and there are several tours by ferry around the island, known for an old church and a fortress.

The Bioparc is the city zoo. Located a short distance away from the city center, this large zoo has no cages, allowing animals to roam around the park. There are many species of animals from Africa, and visitors will be able to see giraffes, giant gorillas and lions.

The city is located on the coast, and there are several kilometres of sandy beaches where visitors can relax. Las Arenas and La Malvarrosa are the city’s main urban beaches. Locals and visitors can enjoy aquatic sports, water rides and a wide selection of chiringuitos, beach side restaurants where one can enjoy paella and other local specialties. Less crowded beaches are located in the neighbouring provinces of Alicante and Castellón.

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Written by Ross French