Valencia, Spain´s third largest city, is a modern, vibrant city renowned for its amazing nightlife. Set in a rich agricultural region to the east of it (Levante) it was occupied by the Romans, Visigoths, and moors before Jaime 1 of Aragon took control of it permanently. Famous for its fiestas like Las Fallas in March where giant figures are burned or its July Fair. Not forgetting throughout the year the mock battles between the Christians and Moors. The land of la paella or rice dishes, horchata (a tiger nut drink), and of turron made from honey and almonds. There´s a lot more to Valencia than its oranges or football team!
Head for its Old Town, Barrio el Carmen, which is surrounded by the River Turia which having been diverted elsewhere is now a dry, riverbed park. Palau de la Música, Valencia´s striking, Concert Hall sits on it with its distinctive glass enclosure which looks out onto gardens. Valencia is full of baroque facades the most amazing of which is the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas which inside houses the National Ceramic Museum. The views of the city from the Cathedral roof are special and reveal a city full of blue-domed churches. There´s a spectacular lantern with windows glazed from alabaster which is widely used as it lets in the Valencian light. Not surprisingly Valencia has one of the biggest markets in Europe with its modernist, iron, girder, and glass design. The Museu of Bellas Artes has one of the best collections in Spain of works from Bosch, El Greco, Goya, Velázquez, etc opposite there´s a fantastic park.
Perhaps the most iconic sight in Valencia is the recent City of Arts and Sciences to commemorate the most excessive period in the city´s history just before the world global crisis. A masterpiece by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava. It includes Oceanogràfic, Europe´s biggest aquarium. With seven different marine environments, almost 45,000 specimens of 500 different species can be seen, such as dolphins, belugas, walruses, sea lions, seals, penguins, and sharks. Don´t miss the exhibition taking place daily in the dolphinarium; Hemisfèric, a digital 3D cinema; Príncipe Felipe Science Museum which offers different interactive exhibitions about science and technology; for music lovers the Palau de les Arts; Umbracle, a massive garden with Mediterranean plants and contemporary sculptures; Ágora for events and the pedestrian Assut D´or Bridge.
Elevation: 15 m
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