A place of contrasts that offers the visitor a fascinating historic center together with many futuristic buildings. This is Valencia, one of the friendliest cities in Spain to spend a few days. In addition to the cultural effervescence of its streets, it is always a pleasure to swim or stroll on its Mediterranean beaches. Naturally, it is essential to try its typical dish, the “paella” (the real one!) and other delicacies such as the “clóchinas” or the “horchata”.
Any time is good to go to Valencia, although there is a special day, March 19, in which the famous Fallas are celebrated, with gigantic “cardboard sculptures” in flames. Its Mediterranean light, its mild climate and the enchantment of fire make this city a special place to stay.
Cultural walk: between the classic and the avant-garde
Valencia can be visited by walking. One of the most fascinating points is the Plaza de la Reina, with the Cathedral and the Miguelete tower, whose 207 steps are worth climbing to admire the wonderful view from above. Also in the center are the Silk Exchange – one of the most beautiful buildings in Valencia, declared a World Heritage Site, with the idyllic Orange Courtyard – and the modernist Central Market – Europe’s main fresh produce market, which can be visited through the stalls is a unique experience. A few meters away are the National Museum of Ceramics with its wonderful facade and the Quart and Serrano towers. In addition, you can visit the museums, such as the IVAM, or numerous corners that surprise for street art. A little further from the center is the most modern face of Valencia: the City of Arts and Sciences. Created by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, it has become a real symbol with proposals such as the Oceanogràfic, the largest aquarium in Europe. It is essential to take a photo in front of the original shapes of these structures.
A “paella” in front of the beach
The proposal to go to one of the great beaches of the city and enjoy a “paella” in front of the sea has no equal. This is because Valencia enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Malvarrosa beach is one of the best known options. The fine golden sand and the crystal clear waters of this place recall the famous paintings by Sorolla dedicated to the city. How can you resist the temptation to take a dip? Those looking for “wilder” landscapes can visit El Saler or go as far as El Palmar and taste the local “paella”. The day can end with a sunset at the Albufera, a navigable lake near the sea, known as the “mirror of the sun”, where you can contemplate the best sunsets in the Mediterranean. The beach is not the only open-air destination that the city offers . Indeed, you can even stroll through the large urban garden of the Turia or visit the Bioparc as a family. At sunset, there is nothing better than sitting on a terrace or eating in an innovative or starred restaurant, and experiencing the lively nocturnal atmosphere of the Carmen district or of new trendy areas for foodies such as Ruzafa.