Located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Valencia provides a perfect combination of tradition and modernity, having evolved without relinquishing its historical roots. With mild temperatures throughout the year, the city surprises visitors with its blend of ancient and avant-garde architecture, the Royal Marina, kilometres of beaches, green pedestrian areas that cross the city from east to west, natural parks only 15 minutes from the city centre and its delicious cuisine, which uses fresh quality products to seduce with both traditional dishes and those prepared by chefs who have been awarded Michelin Stars.
All of the above, along with the Valencians’ Mediterranean lifestyle and events such as the Fallas, its varied cultural programming and food festivals make Valencia an unforgettable port of call.
Valencia leads the growth in urban tourism in Europe.
The cruise sector has undergone a period of spectacular growth thanks to the combined efforts of Valencia Tourism and the Port Authority in recent years: in 2016 the city received 181 port calls with a total of 403,264 passengers.
Even if only for one day and it’s difficult to choose, these are some of the not-to-be-missed options when visiting Valencia:
Historic centre: More than 2,000 years of history have really left their mark on one of the most important historic centres in Europe. The heart of the city boasts architectural gems from different cultures and civilisations, from its creation in the year 138 BC, to the Romans and the present day, without forgetting the Visigoths, Arabs and Christians, with Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque and modernist pieces.
City of Arts and Sciences
The former bed of the River Turia, whose course was altered due to continual flooding, has given rise to a 9-kilometre garden that runs through the city from west to east with interesting museums on both sides, sports facilities, children’s playgrounds and 18 bridges. The garden houses the City of Arts and Sciences, the avant-garde collection of buildings designed by Santiago Calatrava, with Europe’s biggest aquarium, a science museum, a 3D cinema and the Palau de les Arts opera house.
You can’t truly discover the essence of Valencia without strolling through the city’s seaside neighbourhoods, where the customs of the former fishermen are still present between small buildings of popular modernism. The urban beaches of Las Arenas, El Cabanyal, La Malvarrosa and La Patacona, with their seafront promenade, and the Royal Marina, border these neighbourhoods and they are unique places to go for a walk and to enjoy Valencian cuisine.
Excellent quality, locally grown ingredients, such as rice, oranges, tiger nuts and fruit and vegetables. Taking all that into account it comes as no surprise that the city is the birthplace of such an international dish as paella. Equally, the success and strength of haute cuisine, its four Michelin Stars and 28 Repsol Suns, make Valencian cuisine one of the most highly regarded in Spain.
Calle Colón and the surrounding area is ideal for shopping for international brands. Luxury can be found in Calle Poeta Querol. For those looking for something traditional, Plaza Redonda and the area surrounding the Central Market and Plaza de la Reina are perfect places to find a souvenir of your visit to Valencia.
The main tourist areas are open every day.
Visitors who live outside the European Union may apply for a VAT refund, at the
tourist office in Calle de La Paz, on purchases over €90.16 made in establishments
that offer the Premier Tax Free or Global Blue services.
For more information visit Turismo Valencia web.
Links of interest:
- State-owned Ports Body: www.puertos.es
- Valencia Tourism and Convention Bureau: www.visitvalencia.com
- Valencia Chamber of Commerce: www.camaravalencia.com