Valencia city- the capital city of the Autonomous Community of Valencia, located in the south of the bustling cities of Madrid and Barcelona and lies another favorite Mediterranean destination, which is the third largest city in Spain. Thanks to the unique and satisfying feeling here, the city attracts numerous tourists to flock anually .
Scattered throughout the city are old and new landmarks that highlight the rich history of Valencia. Two examples of Valencia’s old and new landmarks are the Valencia Cathedral and the City of Arts and Sciences. Here are the top 5 attractions of this city:
1. Initial construction for the Valencia Cathedral started during the late 13th century until 15th century. Subsequent construction continued on for centuries which resulted in other artistic styles like Romanesque, Renaissance, French Gothic, Baroque, and Neoclassical further influencing the mainly Mediterranean Gothic styling of the Cathedral. The Cathedral is said to house the legendary Holy Grail, the cup supposedly used by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper. The Valencia Cathedral is also home to some of the best Quattrocento paintings in the Iberian Peninsula thanks to the efforts of Valencian Pope Alexander VI.
2. The futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, on the other hand, is famous for being one of Valencia’s modern jewels in the realm of architecture. The City of Arts and Sciences complex boasts of an IMAX cinema, planetarium, botanical garden-slash-art gallery, and many more. Most of the buildings were helmed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava who is also a Valencia native. Architectural highlights of the complex are the Prince Felipe Science Museum, an interactive science museum shaped in the skeleton of a whale; the Queen Sofia Palace of Arts, an opera house and performing arts center; and the Oceanographic, the largest open-air oceanographic park in Europe designed in the shape of a lily pad and spearheaded by another world-famous architect, Felix Candela.
3. Valencia has recently played host to some of the most prestigious international sporting events like the America’s Cup and the Formula One European Grand Prix. The America’s Cup Port, the modern complex built to accommodate the America’s Cup competition, is one example of the infrastructures built during the revamping of Valencia City. Apart from serving as base for the America’s Cup teams, the complex also features the America’s Cup Park, a leisure park filled with shops, fun activities, exhibitions, and restaurants for its visitors.
4. Of course, a trip to Valencia is incomplete if you don’t get to taste their most famous contribution in the culinary realm: paella. Not many people know that paella is a regional dish originating from the Valencia area, specifically the area near Lake Albufera. The Valencian paella is made up of white rice, meat from rabbit, chicken or duck, land snails, green vegetables, and seasoning. The modern Valencian paella continues to utilize the original ingredients used by their ancestors. There are a lot of restaurants in the Valencia area that serve delicious paella, but the best place to get the most delicious paella is the village of El Palmar. This sleepy little town lies between El Saler and El Perello, just outside of Valencia, and is near Lake Albufera. It makes sense that that the area which grows the paella rice used by Valencians is the place where you can get the best paella in the city.
5. Finally, another must-not miss Valencia attraction is the Fallas festival. Although tourists troop to Valencia during the 15th of March, Fallas officially starts during the last Sunday of February. The main festivities take place during the 15th and last until the 19th. A true Fallas experience requires you to stay in the area for the entire five-day duration. During these five days, tourists are treated with a daily barrage of fireworks, parades, street parties, paella, music, and more! Colorful Fallas monuments and puppets called ninots fill the streets of Valencia all throughout. On the final night, these Fallas are burnt in large bonfires all over the city.
Tourist accommodation in and around Valencia ranges from 4 and 5 star “Brand name” hotels such as Holiday Inn and Hilton, to cozy family owned and run Bed and Breakfast establishments or “Hostals” as they are called in Spain.
Which ever type you choose, prices can vary widely between different suppliers, so it is advisable to use a hotel comparison site such as RoomRateCompare.com. This ingenious, simple to use website quickly searches up to 32 different websites for 115 Hotels in Valencia at once, to guarantee you the lowest prices for your stay.