Valencia is Spain’s third largest city and a popular tourist destination, with a great coastal location on theÂ MediterraneanÂ Sea. Here are our ten tips on what to do in Valencia.
City of Arts and Sciences
This futuristic architectural gem is a complex housing all kinds of cultural and tourist focused places to visit – including museums, an IMAX cinema, an opera house and a planetarium. It was famously designed byÂ Santiago Calatrava and features prominently in promotions about Valencia.
City of Arts and Sciences by ho visto nina volare
If you’re travelling with young children then they will definitely enjoy the Fallas Museum (Museo Fallero) – yes, it’s also connected to Las Fallas Festival and includes some of the papier mache sculptures which have been saved over the years from the ritual burning.
Fallas Museum sculpture byÂ Heatheronhertravels
L’Oceanographic – Sea World
Heather visited L’Oceanographic in Valencia with her family and said it was the highlight of the trip for her children. It’s within the City of Arts and Sciences complex and has a big range of sea life on display in various large aquariums and tanks. There’s also an excellent dolphin show held three times a day.
Dolphin show byÂ Heatheronhertravels
Las Fallas Festival
The Las Fallas festival takes place in March each year and is one of the biggest festivals in all of Europe. It’s all about fire and the culmination of five days of festivities is a big bonfire of the figurines and statues made especially for the festival.
Las Fallas climax byÂ undeadbit
See a Bullfight
Valencia is not exactly a capital of bullfighting traditionally, but it has a large bull ring close to the main station so many tourists opt to try out a bullfight here. They take place both during Las Fallas and also during a festival in July called Feria de Julio.
Bullfight in Valencia by J>Ro
One of three Valencia museums that Heather has particularly recommended, the bullfighting museum is a small one located next to the main bull ring and features costumes, historical displays, a stuffed bull and some video displays. It might be a good middle-ground to visit if you’re not altogether sure about the idea of seeing a bull fight – lots of interesting cultural input here.
Near the bullfighting museum byÂ Heatheronhertravels
La Lonja de la Seda
A beautiful World Heritage-listed building, La Lonja de la SedaÂ was Valencia’s silk exchange building back in the 15th century. These days it’s simply an architectural wonder, recently renovated, and the bonus is that entry is free.
La Lonja de la Seda byÂ Heatheronhertravels
El Mercado Central
One of Europe’s oldest and largest markets, El Mercado Central features some 1,000 different stalls and fruit, vegetables, fish, and other foods, as well as being simply an interesting hive of local and visitor activity. It covers 8,000 square metres so you will need to snack on some of its products to give you the sustenance to see it all!
El Mercado Central by pablovenegas
More than just a ceramics museum, this interesting collection of artwork and ceramics – even a display of ceramic tiles built in to a traditional Spanish kitchen – is housed within theÂ Palacio de Marques de Dos Aguas, a fantastic baroque and rococco building.
Kitchen in the ceramics museum byÂ Heatheronhertravels
A lovely part of the city of Valencia is the Turia Gardens, a long strip of park starting near the city centre, and home to many sportsgrounds, much activity, and some great cycling possibilities. Heather recommends hiring bikes in the city centre and riding through the Turia Gardens.
Turia GardensÂ byÂ Heatheronhertravels