discover valencia

Valencia Spain: Top European Destination

Discover the beautiful Spanish city of Valencia

Valencia, well known as the city of arts and sciences, is a fascinating and romantic city with an interesting history and so much to explore and indulge in. Do not miss out on a visit to Valencia Spain.

I ended up in Valencia after spending some time in other Spanish cities and towns that were very vibrant – I am talking about Ibiza and Benidorm…so Valencia was a welcome solace from some of the crazier parts of the country.

I say “ended up” because it wasn’t planned – and unplanned travel can often bring some of the most rewarding experiences.

Read on for some of my highlights of this almost mystical city.

The picturesque old town plazas are bustling with tourists and buskers. Take time out to enjoy lunch in one of the pretty squares and people-watch.

Stroll through the old town until you reach the old Turia river bed park. The riverbed was transformed into a park after it became necessary to divert the river following disastrous flooding that took place on the region up until the last severe incident in 1957, and in the 70’s it was transformed into magnificent gardens crossing the city east to west. Seven ancient waterways are still in use today.

I particularly loved the Gothic and Baroque influenced architecture and old town skyline speckled with blue domes and steeples.

But don’t forget to check out the spectacular contemporary structures too, in particular, Santiago Calatrava’s City of Arts and Sciences.

Discover the sights of Valencia

A great way to get a feel for the city is to take one of the city sightseeing tours from Plaza de la Reina. They run on 2 routes: through the old town and along the maritime area. You can buy tickets for the tours online, from the tourist office or from the bus driver.

Along the way, you will discover the history and some interesting facts about each district, and you will be able to hop on and off at selected stops, allowing you time to visit the attractions, some of which include:

  • Plazas
  • Gardens
  • Architecture
  • Churches
  • Museums
  • Beach

  • Shopping
  • Fountains
  • Sculptures
  • Bridges

Tickets to some of the attractions can be purchased directly from the bus driver.

There is a long time tradition of music which is why the city introduced municipal music schools and made music a compulsory school activity for primary school kids. If you have time, take in a concert.

The Valencians brag about paella and seafood – apparently it’s the best in Spain. Unfortunately I don’t partake of either so I can’t comment…but you should try out some local food while you are there.

I did however enjoy some incredible vegetarian meals while in Valencia. Please take a look at my post: 3 Scrumptious Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurants in Valencia.

The city is a lot smaller than it seems at first, and can easily be explored on foot. Take your camera but be aware of pickpockets (as in all busy tourist destinations).

Valencia was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen and I highly recommend including a few days in Valencia on any European trip.

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