Valencia City Guide
Valencia Location: East Coast of Spain (Valencia)
Lively, warm and welcoming, Valencia is Spain’s third largest city and birthplace of its most famous dish – paella. Founded over two thousand years ago, Valencia is refreshingly non touristic, is known for fantastic weather, has exciting nightlife, offers a number of diverse shops and museums, and has a charming old town center.
The historic center of the city lies around the Cathedral and includes La Almoina Square and La Virgen Square, site of the old Roman forum. For a fantastic view over Valencia, head for the Miguelete – the octagonal bell tower lying atop the city’s cathedral. The cathedral itself reflects the city’s rich architectural history with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles all featured. It is claimed that the Holy Grail (Santo Caliz) – the gold cup used by Christ during the Last Supper – is housed in the cathedral’s museum. Valencia’s town hall – the ayuntamiento – lies right in the heart of the city. A palatial 18th century building, it houses two small museums and is wonderfully lit up at night.
For those interested in art and architecture, Valencia will not disappoint you. For an outstanding collection of work by Valencian Impressionists such as Sorolla, Espinosa and Ribalta, don’t miss the Museo de Bellas Artes. Situated in the Jardines del Real, the museum is one of the best in Spain and also features works by Goya, Velazquez and El Greco. The baroque palace of Marques de Dos Aguas on Calle del Poeta Querol is fronted by an impressive façade hand-carved in alabaster. The palace houses the Museu Nacional de Ceramica.
After the taxing business of sightseeing, head for the Playa de la Malvarrosa, the city’s main beach, or take a stroll in the Jardines del Real. Ideal for picnicking, the gardens are also home to a zoological park, a rose garden, and a sculpture garden. For shopping, head for the streets around Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Walk around the Barrio del Carmen, the oldest part of the city. Just west of the cathedral, it is home to countless bars, cafés and restaurants. Enjoy paella, tapas, and a jug of Sangria. This should set you up nicely for the evening. Apart from the Barrio del Carmen, check out the Ciutat Universitaria, the Plaza de Xuquer and the beach suburbs of Malvarrosa and El Saler for a taste of what Valencia has to offer after dark.
Finally Valenicia is very famous for its festivals. The most popular by far are the world-famous week-long Fallas in March. On the appointed day, huge papier-mache sculptures (catafalques) bearing cardboard figures are erected and then set ablaze in festive bonfires as fireworks color the sky and the smell of gunpowder fills the air. This lively celebration developed from burning useless materials accumulated in local carpentry workshops, but now local artists vie to create the most colorful and elaborate monuments, only to quickly torch them in the wild celebration. Spectators from around the world come to Valencia during this festival to experience the magic and the charm the city and its people.
The other famous local festivals commemorate the Christian reconquest of Valencia, with mock fights between Moors and Christians following spectacular “invasion” parades filled with authentically dressed troops with appropriate pomp and circumstance.
Without a doubt, Valencia is an ideal location to learn Spanish and experience Spain.
Things To See And Do In The Area
- Participate in the many festivals
- Excellent sight-seeing opportunities
- Great museums
- Wonderful weather
- Hang out on the beach
- Visit the Costa Blanca
- Excellent nightlife
- Great shopping
- And much…much…more!
We are confident that learning Spanish at the Valencia Spanish School will be a wonderful experience!
Getting To Valencia, Spain
- Many daily international flights arrive into Valencia.
- Fly into Madrid or Barcelona and catch another flight to Valencia.
If you have questions about how to arrive into Valencia, Spain please do not hesitate to contact us.