Valencia, Spain – Historical Sites and Futuristic Architecture in One Place
The hot sun of August always makes us dream of nice sandy beaches, trips and parties, so we thought we’d talk a bit about Valencia, the lively and ever-sunny Mediterranean city.
We visited Valencia three years ago, during a one-week work trip. Ever since that visit back in August 2008 we have planned to spend another holiday here, when we would visit all the attractions of the city and take pictures all day long.
The city combines various kinds of summer fun for all: tourists looking for fun in the sun won’t be disappointed by the fine sand beaches, crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the nightlife of Valencia, while the numerous museums and historical sites together with the modern and sophisticated buildings are just what the sightseeing and photography passionates are looking for.
Above all, we were delighted by the kindness and open-mindness of Valencians, as well as by the delicious Valencian traditional food – the best paella we ever had!
Valencia is the third largest city in Spain, with approximately 800,000 inhabitants and is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, thus the Mediterranean climate with daily temperatures up to 34 degrees Celsius in August (the warmest month of the year) and no less 10 degrees Celsius in January (the coldest month of the year) – according to wikipedia.org.
Agriculture (the Huerta – the area surrounding the city – produces the largest amount of citrus in Spain), shipping (Valencia is the largest port on the west cost of the Mediterranean) and tourism are the strongest sectors of the economy in this region of Spain, employing most of the workforce in the city.
Some Useful Piece of Advice You Should Keep in Mind When Visiting Valencia
During the summer, humidity can be high and together with high temperatures might cause discomfort; so if you are sensitive to heat, you should minimize sun exposure during midday hours.
In Valencia, the siesta is strictly followed by most people, so it is very likely that between 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm most museums, shops, exhibitions or state institutions are closed – however, there are some exceptions: gas stations and many hypermarkets don’t take siesta breaks. Our advice is you should take advantage of these non-working hours to walk and relax in the parks, gardens or those romantic, ancient streets of the city.
If you love taking long walks, it would be wise to avoid the city’s suburbs such as Malvarossa and Carmen, especially at night, when these areas may not be the safest place for a tourist – but then again, as a precaution, you should avoid taking long night walks in the suburbs of any city you’re not familiar with. The best thing would be to seek an opinion at the reception of your hotel, just to be sure.
Book yourself a day to visit the City of Arts and Science (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències), a huge complex which, since its official opening in 1998, aims to become the main tourist attraction in Valencia – read on and find out why you should not miss the opportunity to visit the largest architectural project of this community.
Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències
The complex comprises eight groups of buildings with original and surprising shapes:
L’Hemisfèric: includes a cinema and is shaped like a giant eye.
El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia – Queen Sofia Palace of Arts.
El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe – a huge museum, with an area of 40,000 sqm.
L’Umbracle – a walk next to the L’Hemisfèric.
L’Àgora – hosts various sporting events.
El Puente de l’Assut de l’Or.
Las Torres Valencia – three unfinished skyscrapers.
L’Oceanogràfic is the largest aquarium in Europe. The aquatic ecosystems of multiple areas of the world such as the Mediterranean, Arctic and Antarctic areas, the Red Sea and tropical seas where reconstructed here, so that the visitors are able to admire more than 500 species such as dolphins, walruses, sea lions, turtles, penguins, crustaceans and various species of plants.
In addition, L’Oceanogràfic houses a dolphinarium – perhaps the most popular attraction among children – as well as a number of restaurants where you can dine. The greatest attraction in terms of restaurants is the underwater restaurant, located in the centre of the lake.
The price for a ticket to L’Oceanographic is 24.50 euros, but you can get group discounts if you visit with your family and/or friends; you can also get discounts if you’re a student or if you buy tickets to multiple sites in the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències.
Posted on: August 10, 2011