Valencia, in a beautiful coastal location located 350 km from Barcelona, lives up to the local phrase “a piece of heaven fallen to earth” and is also considered one of the cheapest destinations in Europe. Under the warm glares of the southern sun, its palm-fringed plazas are alive, and its churches shine with vividly colored azulejo domes. While the major Spanish cities have a more metropolitan, high-energy vibe, this port city has a more laid-back vibe and a dedication to highlighting its natural charms. There are relics of a 100BC Roman colony and ultra-modern structures here. Join our list of the top 10 attractions in Valencia, Spain!
The National Ceramic Museum is situated in a 15th-century palace remodeled in the rococo architectural style. A monument of the Virgin Mary flowing twin fountains from her hands crowns the front entryway. More than 5,000 specimens of traditional pottery from Valencia, azulejos from Teruel, and faience from Toledo and Seville are displayed in the museum.
Other noteworthy exhibits include ancient Greek, Roman, and Arab pottery and excellent porcelain from the Silk Route and Japan. Modern paintings, including works by Picasso, are also included in the collection. The fully-equipped 19th-century Valencian kitchen with traditional tiles is a centerpiece of the exhibit.
The González Mart National Ceramics Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday.
The Bioparc, which opened in 2008, spans 25 acres north of the park and is constructed by rerouting the Turia River. Rather than fencing and caging the animals, they employ natural landforms such as giant boulders, ditches, and rivers.
Observing the animals will make you feel instantly transported to Africa, like the savannah, Madagascar, and equatorial Africa. The terrain was designed to keep animals as close to their natural habitats as possible, and the zoo is particularly well-known for its enormous collection of African species. For example, lions, giraffes, antelopes, and rhinoceros, coexist on the savannah, much as they do in the wild. Hippopotami and crocodiles chill in the lake, while gorillas live in a lush tropical forest.
Bioparc is actively devoted to resource sustainability and animal protection, heating water with solar panels and recycling more than 95 percent of it. So, if you want to put your money into a good cause while enjoying a trip, you should visit here!
Malvarrosa Beach in Valencia, Spain, is the best urban beach in the world, thanks to its nearly limitless sand tongue and calm waves. Las Arenas is a neighborhood that sprouts immediately next to the beach and continues down the coast.
You won’t expect the beach and the avenue that borders it to have such a youthful and carefree vibe. There are numerous bars and restaurants along the path, and it has a pleasant ambiance year-round thanks to the beach palms and al fresco dining. The beach has both the Q and Blue Flags, the highest marks for visitor satisfaction, flying proudly over it. Here, you may choose from a wide variety of sports and other activities at the seaside. Activities range from beach and foot volleyball to surfing, scuba diving, and massages. It is also a well-equipped beach with services like wheelchair access, showers, pathways, beach chairs, and a red cross stand.
The Paseo Maritimo is a beautiful seaside promenade close to the beach where guests may go for a stroll, ride roller skates, go for a jog, or stop at a restaurant for some paella and wine. There is also a museum dedicated to the life and writings of Valencian writer Vicente Blasco-Ibáez housed in his former home on Malvarrosa Beach.
The Town Hall Square, or the Plaza del Ayuntamiento en Valencia, is a huge open space filled with majestic buildings and ornamented with flowers, green grass, and a fantastic fountain, in contrast to the small lanes and historic structures of the Old Town. Florists have long made the square their home in Valencia, and you can still find numerous stalls selling their wares today.
The spectacular town hall and the post office buildings were created in the neoclassical style by architect Miguel Angel Navarro between 1915 and 1922. Guided walking or biking tours of the city’s architectural highlights are available, as are opportunities to further your understanding and appreciation of Spanish culture via activities like culinary classes and wine tastings.
Many of the city’s significant structures surround the urban square at the heart of the town. The Cinematic Institute and the Teatro Rialto are among these. Other notable buildings in the area include Town Hall and the major post office. A monument of Francesc de Vinatea, the hero of Valencia, is in the center of the plaza, which also features a circular fountain and a wall of flower stands. The plaza is the place to be in the spring because it is where most of the festival’s significant activities occur. There are historical excursions that take visitors to many of the important structures in this area.
When the flood-prone Turia river was redirected around the city, these gardens were established, making them the most prominent urban gardens in Spain. What was once the riverbed is now Turia park, which features a bike route that spans the city and a few other attractions. The gardens aren’t only attractively groomed, but they also feature a variety of recreational amenities, including skateboard parks, fountains, gigantic chessboards, and more.
They designed a one-of-a-kind route with rose gardens, sports arenas, ponds with scented plants, and palm and orange trees. It was in 1986 that the gardens were officially opened to the public. Towards the west, the gardens are bordered by Cabecera Park and Bioparc. Toward the east, they are surrounded by the future City of Arts and Sciences. The Turia Gardens link the Bioparc’s African savannah and the Oceanogràfic’s underwater world and ecosystems. At the same time, the City of Arts and Sciences is home to a stunning opera hall and the Palau de Les Arts.
Took nearly two centuries to construct, and this beautiful hexagonal cathedral is the biggest Church in the city. The outside features both the original Romanesque style and sculptural additions made in the Middle Ages. Its interior is decked up in several paintings from the fourteenth century and has a fusion of architectural elements. Thanks to the magnificent dome ceiling and the dazzling rose window, the room has a rousing vibe. The high-vaulted nave, solemn in its Gothic magnificence, is decorated with Renaissance paintings and beautiful Baroque sculptures. Goya paintings and an Alonso Cano crucifixion are just a few of the works of art that adorn the numerous chapels.
The Chapel of the Holy Grail is a sanctuary feature due to its beautiful star-themed vaulting. This chapel’s ceiling fresco shows the 12 apostles and the Virgin Mary’s crowning. The Holy Chalice, a goblet from the first century CE revered as the vessel Jesus used to administer the Holy Eucharist, is kept in a shrine with the highest level of sanctity.
The Cathedral of Valencia also has an impressive collection of sacred art at its museum, the Museo Catedral de València. Numerous architectural and decorative styles from various eras are on display. Art by notable artists such as Mariano Salvador Maella and Francisco de Goya may be found in the museum’s extensive collection.
In addition to touring the cathedral’s beautiful interior and museum, visitors may climb the Miguelete Tower for breathtaking panoramas. The views from the tower’s summit are well worth the 207 steps it takes to get there. Visitors can pay a minimal fee to enter Miguelete Tower all year long.
This massive European aquarium is housed in this magnificent edifice created by architect Félix Candela as a piece of The City of Arts and Sciences.
It is a collection of buildings dedicated to one of the world’s most significant marine habitats and environments, Wetlands, Temperate and Tropical, Oceans Mediterranean, Antarctic, Arctic and Islands, and the Red Sea.
More than 500 distinct marine species are represented by 45,000 sea animals visible in nine towers that simulate underwater viewing. The tunnel, where you go encircled on all sides and overhead by swimming sharks, is the most striking of them.
The most popular attractions are beluga whales, sea lions, walruses, penguins, seals, sea turtles, and dolphins. In addition to witnessing sea life, you may explore mangrove swamps, marshlands, kelp forests, and other wetland settings with native plant species.
Enjoy dinner at the Submarine Restaurant within the Oceanogràfic de Valencia building if you’re searching for something unique to do. A circular tank surrounds the dining area, containing a chandelier resembling a jellyfish swarm. The menu emphasizes modern-fusion food with a Mediterranean flair. Lunch is served daily, and supper is served Monday through Saturday.
The Oceanografic de Valencia is open daily, and tickets for the Oceanogràfic aquarium and the Museu de les Ciències or the Hemisfèric can be purchased together, making your trip worthwhile!
The Lonja is a symbol of the city and a well-known civil gothic landmark all over Europe. In July 1931, it was designated as a National Historic and Artistic Monument, and in December 1996, UNESCO added it to its list of World Heritage Sites.
Situated on a rectangular plot of land measuring 1,990 square feet, the Lonja can be found in the heart of the city between the Central Market and the Temple of Santos Juanes. As Valencia expanded economically toward the end of the 13th century, the old Lonja was no longer adequate, and a new Exchange was commissioned.
Although construction began a year later, the first stone was laid in 1492. The leading figure involved in its construction was Pere Compte, a Valencian engineer and architect. There are three distinct sections and a garden or “orange patio.” The Columnario, also known as the Sala de Contratación, is divided into three longitudinal and five transversal naves, each supported by eight columns.
The central structure, Sala de Contratacion, was used for contract signing and is richly decorated with spiral columns. The merchant tribunal was held in one of the side wings, which also had a ceiling mural that was a royal tourist attraction. The detention cells for debtors punished by the tribunal are on the second side wing. This attraction is offered to the public daily, except Mondays!
The Central Market, located just feet away from La Lonja de la Seda, is a large marketplace that was erected in 1928.
The Art Nouveau structure is elaborately decorated with azulejos and colorful regional ceramics. Hundreds of market stalls provide fresh fruits, vegetables, and culinary goods from the Valencia region and other parts of Spain.
This public market is one of the oldest continually operating in Europe. It is open six days a week, excluding Sundays. The market is housed in a modernist roofed structure erected in 1914 and features several stunning stained-glass windows and space for over 400 businesses. Gifts, souvenirs, and food products are available for purchase here. The fish and offal annexes are particularly noteworthy. For those who want to take up the atmosphere, there are big tapas bars lying in the market in full view of many of the stores!
This contemporary building on the outskirts of Valencia is the place to go if you want to learn about the exciting world of the arts and sciences. This stunning piece of modern architecture marks the end of the diverted Turia River. The waterfront is home to futuristic and eccentric structures like the famous Oceanografic Aquarium. Hemisfèric, shaped like a massive eye with movable lids, has a planetarium and an IMAX cinema and is part of this collection as well. Natural history museum M.P.S. was inspired by the bones of a whale. In addition to the Agora, the Palau Opera House features four theaters, an opening roof, and moving platforms to link the building’s levels.
As expected, conferences, exhibits, and seminars on scientific and creative issues are often held at the City of Arts and Sciences. So, if you want to see something different from Valencia, you should definitely go here!