What to visit in Valencia?
Valencia is a bustling city on Spain’s warm, welcoming Mediterranean coastline. It is the third largest city in the country in terms of population (only Barcelona and Madrid are larger). Over the past few decades, a building boom has turned this once quiet coastal town into an interesting and exciting urban destination. A host of free attractions, from historic sightseeing spots to energetic and colorful festivals, mean that visitors can fill their itineraries without having to empty their wallets. Despite lacking the notoriety that Madrid or Barcelona enjoy, Valencia is definitely a worthwhile stop for any European vacationer.
What to visit in Valencia:
The City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences complex includes four buildings: L’Hemisferic is a Laserium, Planetarium and IMAX cinema, the Science Museum is one of those museums where it is forbidden not to touch, L’ Oceanographic is a giant marine park or aquarium and the Palau de les Arts is an Opera House.
The Port and the Beach
Valencia is hosting of the 32nd America’s Cup, the international yact race, in summer 2007. Visit the port and enjoy with the team bases, the house of America’s Cup, the superyacht pier and the port sheds. After, walk by the promenade seafront in the Las Arenas, La Malvarrosa and Alboraya beaches.
The Serranos Towers
The Serranos Towers are considered to be the largest Gothic city gateway in all of Europe, and were constructed at the end of the 14th century by Pere Balaguer as part of the city’s fortification. They provisionaly housed prison cells and served as a triumphal arch on many festive occasions.
The Cathedral, El Miguelete and Plaza de la Virgen
Each of the three gates of the Cathedral has a diferent style: Irons Gate (baroque), the Apostles Gate (gothic) and the Palace Gate (Romanesque). The bell tower El Miguelete where you can enjoy amazing views. And the Plaza de la Virgen sits on the site that once was the forum of Roman Valencia.
Plaza del Mercado: Lonja de la Seda (Silk Market), Santos Juanes and Mercado Central
The Plaza del Mercado is home to 3 buildings of interest, the Silk Market, one of the best examples of gothic civil architecture in Europe which is Patrimony of the Humanity (UNESCO), the Santos Juanes Church in baroque style and the Central Market, a colourful market in a beautiful modernist building.
Iglesia de San Juan del Hospital
San Juan del Hospital is one of the oldest churches in Valencia, built around 1261. The temple has a single nave covered with a pointed barrel vault. Inside, you may contemplate the magnificent chapel of Santa Barbara and others chapels with painted murals from the Gothic period.
Museo de Bellas Artes San Pio V
Located in a Baroque building recently renovated, The Fine Arts Museum San Pio V is one of the most outstanding painting archives in Spain, renowned for its collections of primitive Valencian painters, although there are also works by El Greco, Velázquez, Murillo, Goya, and some archeological pieces.
Museo Nacional de Ceramica Gonzalez Marti
The National Ceramics Museum Gonzalez Marti is housed in a palace that dates from the 15th century and was refurbished in 1740 on rococo style with a magnificent alabaster entrance. Inside, you can find the 19th century rooms and a collection of tiles made in the Royal Ceramics Factory in Alcora.
The Jeronime monastery of San Miguel de los Reyes
The Jeronime monastery of San Miguel de los Reyes was erected in the 16th century over the old abbey. The facade is in the Renaissance style and is framed by two towers with salomonic Baroque columns. The monastery also has two cloisters surrounded by arch galleries.
The Botanic Garden was founded in 1567 for the study of medicinal plants. In 1802 it was installed in l’Hort de Tramoyeres, where it is currently situated. The restoration that was concluded in the year 2000 allowed for the reclamation of this spectacular green space.