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Top 10 Things To Do: See In Valencia
Valencia is Spain’s 3rd largest city and is located on the country’s central eastern coast. It is also one of Spain’s oldest cities. Valencia city has been conquered, reconquered, razed and rebuilt numerous times. Valencia was invaded and subsequently controlled by the Moors for over 500 years and much of the architectural influence of that era remains, mixed with the later ‘traditional’ Spanish styles of the Christian reconquest era. The ‘Golden Age’ of Valencia occurred during the 15th century during the height of the Renaissance. This was a time of prosperity both economically and culturally for the city.
When you visit Valencia you will want to spend most of your time outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and the spectacular scenery. You will find modern and old Valencia living side by side. Here is a list of suggested things to look at in Valencia:
1. Walk through the Turia gardens. This dry riverbed meanders through the city and you are never far from it. There are a whole host of attractions within it and it should be the first stop for anyone wanting to get to know how beautiful a city park can be with a bit of imagination.
2. la Plaza de la Virgin: Located in the historic district, the plaza is a major gathering point for the festival of Los Fallas which occurs from March 15-19 annually. This brief festival of parody is a time in which the citizenry make fun of the faults of society and Spanish politics. Major monuments around the plaza include el catedral, the Roman Museum, and the Church of Saint Joseph.
3.Visit the Fallas Museum: Located near the City of Arts and Sciences (See number four) the Fallas Museum is small and intimate unlike the Fallas Fiestas themselves, and gives a great overview of what the Fallas are and how they have developed over the years. Very cheap to get in.
4. El Mercado Central: This 8000 square meter space market is one of the oldest running in Europe. Vendors sell meat, vegetables, fruit fish and more in over 1,000 stands. Come for the sights, smells and tastes in the early morning and then grab breakfast or lunch at one of the many restaurants and tapas bars surrounding the market. Changes with the seasons. Springtime is just a strawberry festival.
5. La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias: Images of the iconic center for Arts and Sciences can be seen on almost every website and pamphlet about Valencia. The center houses a museum, an IMAX theater, an aquarium, a planetarium, a laser dome and an opera house. Visitors young and old are encouraged to exercise their brains while touching and interacting with exhibits.
6. El Parque Natural de la Albufera: Centered around a gorgeous lagoon, this nature reserve south of Valencia is a great spot for the tired traveler to retire for some peace and quiet outside of the hustle of the city proper. Over 250 species of migratory birds frequent the area during the summer months. Three separate canals connect the wetlands and lagoon to the Balearic Sea (part of the Mediterranean)
7. Visit El Catedral: This gorgeous cathedral is set in the center of the ancient Roman quarter of Valencia. Like many ancient buildings in coastal Spain, elements of Moorish, Baroque and renaissance style are present from conquerors of different religious backgrounds that have controlled the city throughout its history. Many additions to and subtractions from the cathedral were made during the 1600s, 1700s and early 1800s and the present day building is a beautiful collision of stylistic influences. The famous chalice known as the Santo Caliz sits in the cathedral, said by some to be the fabled Holy Grail.
9. City Bus Tour: Go on the City Bus Tour as it will surprise you with the variety of things to see in the city.
10. Agua de Valencia: In the evening Valencia becomes more enjoyable and fun . When you go out in evening don´t forget enjoy a jug of Agua de Valencia, a mixture of Vodka, Champagne and orange juice that should not be taken lightly because the hangover the next day can be brutal.
Valencia has loads of other things to do and each person will find his/her own top things to do. I would love to hear from you guys, please share with us the things you liked while you were in Valencia.