Very few cities can harmoniously combine the historical and the modern as well as Valencia. Based in Spain, the city is a metropolis which is known for its culture, theatre, museums and cinemas. Known for being the country’s main Mediterranean port, the fine sand, sparkling waters and pleasant weather have quickly made Valencia a tourist haven.
There are few cities in the world that have been able to combine the architecture that reminisces of the past along with the latest modern architecture, and Valencia is one of them. The third largest city in Spain, Valencia is all about culture, food, and nightlife. The city is gorgeous with its green ribbons of parks that run throughout the city and a beautiful combination of contemporary buildings, churches, museums, farmlands, parks and old quarters. The city has so much to offer that tourists often find themselves with little time and many things to do in Valencia. Valencia is an old city with memories that take us as far back as 138 BC. Just strolling on the streets to feel the pulse of history vibrating through the city is one of the fun things to do in Valencia. The city has preserved historical monuments and showcases places like Plaza de la Virgen and Arts and Science Centre. Visit the Cathedral as it’s another obligatory thing to do in Valencia. The Cathedral is a fine example of Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque architecture. This very cathedral was first built as a temple by Romans and later a Mosque by Muslims.
There are many places to visit in Valencia including the Silk Exchange Market that was termed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Visitors also look forward to the following places to visit in Valencia: The Modernist Central Market, Estación Del Norte, and Santiago Calatrava. Other things to do in Valencia include watching all those medieval churches like Saints John, Santa Catalina, San Nicolás, San Martin, El Templo and Knights Templar. Valencia is a very active city with all its festivities, fairs, and conferences. Moreover, Valencia is also a port city as it borders with the Mediterranean Sea. With a vast sea and sandy beaches, the seaside is another spectacular place for tourists to visit. While Valencia has all kind of traditional food items worth trying, a visitor cannot leave the city without tasting their famous Paella. Watching the gothic bell tower of the cathedral known as Miguelete Tower is also one of the things to do in Valencia while touring. In order to have a splendid view of the city, the top of this tower is the place to be. History enthusiasts would be thrilled to see the two gates from the medieval wall in the city known as Serranos and Quart Tower that has been well-preserved by the city.
A trip to Valencia can never be complete without a visit to the magnificent City of Arts and Science. The ‘city’ features numerous works by the famed architect Santiago Calatrava whose buildings can be found across Valencia as well. The complex is devoted completely to the science and the arts and if you are with family or friends, a stopover there will not disappoint.
One of the things to do in City of Arts and Science is to visit the Oceanografic, considered Europe’s biggest aquarium to date. Boasting 7 marine environments and more than 40,000 species of marine life such as walruses, belugas, seals and dolphins, the facility offers a memorable experience to visitors year round. The Dolphinarium is the main attraction in the aquarium and shows are held on a daily basis.
Some other things to do in City of Arts and Science is to visit the Hemisferic which is a large 3D cinema that boasts a massive 900 meters high concave screen. In other words, audiences are almost enveloped by it while they are watching documentaries on screen for a truly immersive experience. A number of films are screened in the cinema on a daily basis and each viewer is also given a pair of 3D glasses for their viewing pleasure.
Erected during Valencia’s golden age during the 15th century, Lltoja de la Seda stands as a testament of the once prosperous Kingdom of Valencia when it was at its economic peak. Also known popularly as the Valencia Silk Exchange, the location offers the best example of Gothic civil architecture that was popular at the time and has been preserved to this day.
There are things to do in Lltoja de la Seda that most people only dream of. Visitors entering the architectural marvel first see the magnificent columns that are shaped like palm trees and the halls are filled with several intricate carvings which depict the history of the society dating back to the Renaissance. One of the most attractive aspects is the main façade which overlooks the Plaza del Mercado.
One of the things to do in Lltoja de la Seda is to visit its three distinct buildings as well as the Courtyard of Orange Trees which bring the entire facility together into a perfect rectangle shape. The Contract Hall with its huge columns is a sight to behold as well and stands as the most important room in the Valencia Silk Exchange. Deals were made in its confines that were the basis of monumental decisions regarding the trade routes.
No need to travel the high seas for a glimpse at marine life when you can see it up close and personal in the L’Oceanografic in Valencia. Home to more than 500 species of marine mammals such as manta rays, whales, walruses and sea lions, there is no way anyone can get bored here. Boasting 9 underwater towers that feature two levels, the larger than life aquarium is a joy to behold.
One of the most relaxing things to do in L’Oceanografic is to spend hours gazing at the marine life floating by. It is perhaps the only place in the world where visitors can watch the polar oceans and the habitats the Arctic and the Antarctic islands offer to sea creatures. The Dolphinarium is a particular favorite with visitors who come with children in tow for obvious reasons.
You might think that things to do in L’Oceanografic do not get better but you will be wrong. There is an entire area dedicated to mangrove swamps and another that features marshlands and more than 8 different types of plants. This also includes an underwater restaurant where you can have dinner literally surrounded by the aquarium and watch fish swim by. Visit each building to get the full experience.
If you want to experience Valencia’s jaw dropping culture and traditions, then you should arrange a trip to Mercado Central in your travel plans. The market is huge and is housed in a single building. Boasting iron vaulted beams and hand painted tiles that feature a number of colors and natural light illuminating the market itself, just stepping into the market will cast a spell on you.
Gaping at the décor is one of the things to do in Mercado Central you can do besides shopping to your heart’s content. The sheer size and scale of the market might disorient you at first but the international imports and local products will quickly grab your attention. There is a massive intricate glass dome that is about 30 meters high and patterned with glass that offers amazing photo ops!
One of the things to do in Mercado Central is to browse the almost endless food stalls. All of the produce is fresh, local and traditional so if you are an aspiring chef, sampling them would only improve your palette. Don’t be surprised with the huge slabs of meat on display; that’s just how the locals prefer to examine fresh ingredients but one thing is for sure, you will not come out of the market unfazed.
Animal lovers fall in love with Valencia Bioparc for a reason. It is the only space in the city which features a number of species that can be found across the globe. A new generation zoo, the park offers visitors a personal and up close look at animals that they might have seen only behind bars and on television.
In fact one of the most exciting things to do in Valencia Bioparc is to enjoy watching the wildlife without barriers. Many of the animals were brought in from Madagascar, Africa and the Savannah and each is provided a habitat that they can reside in, in peace. The park boasts a spectacular landscape in which a number of different species co-exist in harmony. Needless to say a trip to this park will remain memorable for years.
The landscape has been recreated to make the animals more comfortable with their surroundings so if you see giraffes, rhinos, lions, warthogs roaming about without worry, don’t worry. There are things to do in Valencia Bioparc that you can boast about for years as well. The park is a place to understand, enjoy and interact with wildlife in a manner that no other place offers.