Valencia, Spain – Historical Sites and Futuristic Architecture in One Place

L'Hemisfèric

The hot sun of August always makes us dream of nice sandy beaches, trips and parties, so we thought we’d talk a bit about Valencia, the lively and ever-sunny Mediterranean city.
We visited Valencia three years ago, during a one-week work trip. Ever since that visit back in August 2008 we have planned to spend another holiday here, when we would visit all the attractions of the city and take pictures all day long.
The city combines various kinds of summer fun for all: tourists looking for fun in the sun won’t be disappointed by the fine sand beaches, crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the nightlife of Valencia, while the numerous museums and historical sites together with the modern and sophisticated buildings are just what the sightseeing and photography passionates are looking for.

Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües

Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües

Above all, we were delighted by the kindness and open-mindness of Valencians, as well as by the delicious Valencian traditional food – the best paella we ever had! You’ll have a wonderful time regardless if you’re staying at somewhere modest or at 5 Star Hotels Spain; something for everyone.

Short Facts

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain, with approximately 800,000 inhabitants and is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, thus the Mediterranean climate with daily temperatures up to 34 degrees Celsius in August (the warmest month of the year) and no less 10 degrees Celsius in January (the coldest month of the year) – according to wikipedia.org.
Agriculture (the Huerta – the area surrounding the city – produces the largest amount of citrus in Spain), shipping (Valencia is the largest port on the west cost of the Mediterranean) and tourism are the strongest sectors of the economy in this region of Spain, employing most of the workforce in the city.

Some Useful Piece of Advice You Should Keep in Mind When Visiting Valencia

During the summer, humidity can be high and together with high temperatures might cause discomfort; so if you are sensitive to heat, you should minimize sun exposure during midday hours.

In Valencia, the siesta is strictly followed by most people, so it is very likely that between 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm most museums, shops, exhibitions or state institutions are closed – however, there are some exceptions: gas stations and many hypermarkets don’t take siesta breaks. Our advice is you should take advantage of these non-working hours to walk and relax in the parks, gardens or those romantic, ancient streets of the city.

If you love taking long walks, it would be wise to avoid the city’s suburbs such as Malvarossa and Carmen, especially at night, when these areas may not be the safest place for a tourist – but then again, as a precaution, you should avoid taking long night walks in the suburbs of any city you’re not familiar with. The best thing would be to seek an opinion at the reception of your hotel, just to be sure.

Book yourself a day to visit the City of Arts and Science (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències), a huge complex which, since its official opening in 1998, aims to become the main tourist attraction in Valencia – read on and find out why you should not miss the opportunity to visit the largest architectural project of this community.

Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències

The complex comprises eight groups of buildings with original and surprising shapes:

L’Hemisfèric: includes a cinema and is shaped like a giant eye.
El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia – Queen Sofia Palace of Arts.

El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia and L'Hemisfèric

El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (left) and L’Hemisfèric (right)

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe – a huge museum, with an area of 40,000 sqm.
L’Umbracle – a walk next to the L’Hemisfèric.

L'Umbracle

L’Umbracle, next to the L’Hemisfèric

L’Àgora – hosts various sporting events.
El Puente de l’Assut de l’Or.
Las Torres Valencia – three unfinished skyscrapers.

L'Oceanogràfic

L’Oceanogràfic

L’Oceanogràfic is the largest aquarium in Europe. The aquatic ecosystems of multiple areas of the world such as the Mediterranean, Arctic and Antarctic areas, the Red Sea and tropical seas where reconstructed here, so that the visitors are able to admire more than 500 species such as dolphins, walruses, sea lions, turtles, penguins, crustaceans and various species of plants.

red bird

A beautiful red bird at the L’Oceanogràfic

In addition, L’Oceanogràfic houses a dolphinarium – perhaps the most popular attraction among children – as well as a number of restaurants where you can dine. The greatest attraction in terms of restaurants is the underwater restaurant, located in the centre of the lake.

Dolphinarium

Dolphinarium at the L’Oceanogràfic

The price for a ticket to L’Oceanographic is 24.50 euros, but you can get group discounts if you visit with your family and/or friends; you can also get discounts if you’re a student or if you buy tickets to multiple sites in the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències.

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26 Responses to “Valencia, Spain – Historical Sites and Futuristic Architecture in One Place”

  1. Nice photos Love traveling the world on Thursday Visiting from Travel Photo Thursday – Come add your link, like facebook page and comment http://www.eileenludwig.com/tranquil-day-beach-yellow-umbrellas/

  2. I really love the shot of L’Hemisfèric–I’ve never seen anything like it!

  3. Leigh says:

    You have some great shots in there and loads of useful info. Think I’ll give Valencia a pass during the summer.
    Love the architecture.

    • Adrian B. says:

      Thanks, Leigh. Valencia is definitely worth a visit anytime of the year.

  4. Muza-chan says:

    Great pictures :)

  5. Absolutely love the door in the picture of Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües. So much detail! Beautiful.

  6. I had no idea that Valenica had so much to offer. Much to see and do! Futuristic architecture is not among my favorites, but I like to see places in that style anyway. El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia looks very interesting.

    • Adrian B. says:

      Indeed, Valencia has a whole lot of interesting sights to offer to it’s visitors, whether you’re into sightseeing and photography, entertainment and nightlife, lazy sunbaths or wildlife watching.
      El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia looks like an UFO, don’t you think? :)

  7. jim says:

    Love that Red Ibis!

  8. An underwater restaurant?? How fun! And your photos are gorgeous. :)

    • Adrian B. says:

      Thanks!
      We haven’t had the chance to try the underwater restaurant, but I’m sure it would have been quite an experience.

  9. those pictures you took are so good they look like post cards. and that architecture is sweet.

  10. I have been all over Spain (it’s my favorite country) but have yet to see Valencia. I want to visit there so bad! Great photos and information. :)

    • Adrian B. says:

      Thanks, Michael.
      You should visit Valencia. We’ve been there once and we plan to visit again, as soon as possible.

  11. Sailor says:

    Beautiful pictures!

  12. […] features two of the eight groups of buildings comprising the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències in Valencia, Spain: L’Hemisfèric and El Palau de les Arts Reina […]

  13. Sherry says:

    I’ll be in Spain next year for at least 3 months, and I can’t wait to go to Valencia. So glad wrote a post on these places. I didn’t realize that the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències was so big! All the more reason to go. And by the way, your photos are all truly beautiful, in particular that of the Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües. I am most especially looking forward to is eating a true Valencian paella; this is where it came from, right?

    • Adrian B. says:

      Thanks Sherry and yes, apparently Valencia is the home of paella.

  14. […] from Valencia Posted by traveltosun on September 12th, 2011 We are back with our stories about Valencia and we are ready to show you two traditional recipes you can try in this part of Spain – […]

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