All About - Valencia
Valencia is the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with one million inhabitants. Situated in the centre of the Spanish Mediterranean coast it is the centre of the corridor uniting North Africa to South East Europe. A city rich with cultural monuments and museums which have made it a continual attraction for tourists. . The construction of the “City of the Arts and Sciences”, museums, Opera houses and the “Oceanografic” by famed architects with “Calatrava” at the head, have changed the classic image of Valencia to one of a modern and pioneering city.
Internationally famous sporting events have based their headquarters in Valencia. The America Cup, the most famous round the world yacht race has held two of its finals in the capital. Today, as in Monte Carlo, Valencia has an urban Formula One circuit that attracts millions of followers to the area.
All this and more has converted the city into the inevitable destination for any trip to the Mediterranean.
Stroll through Valencia, and absorb the vibrancy of a city where historical tradition and interesting modern architecture stand side by side.
THINGS TO DO IN VALENCIA
Breathtaking architecture. And over 500 species of marine life. Oceanografic is Europe’s biggest marine park and one of Valencia’s newest attractions. So it’s a treat for animal lovers or anyone who’s already seen the city. Part of the amazing City of Arts and Sciences, the first thing you’ll notice is its avant-garde buildings - they look like they’re from another planet. Inside, you’re greeted with nine themed areas, all replicating different oceans and marine ecosystems from the Mediterranean to the Antarctic. Highlights include a spectacular wetlands sphere, an enormous Atlantic aquarium and an ice-cold, igloo-shaped Arctic that’s home to Beluga whales. You’ll also get to see colonies of comical penguins, sealions, sharks and a staggering 45,000 other examples of fish and other species. And rounding everything off is a huge dolphinarium staging dolphin displays. A day to remember, your trip includes transport to and from Benidorm and extra free time to explore Valencia under your own steam, too.
City of Arts and Sciences
If you come to Valencia a visit to the City of Arts and Sciences is a must. Work of the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava, several of its buildings have become icons in the city. It is a scientific and cultural leisure complex which can be enjoyed with family or friends, covering around two kilometres of the former riverbed of the River Turia
With the philosophy "Not touching is prohibited" you can imagine what kind of museum this is. The Príncipe Felipe Science Museum offers different interactive exhibitions about science and technology. You can visit without entering the ground floor, where there is usually a temporary exhibition, some shops, the bathrooms and a restaurant. You will need a ticket for the remaining exhibitions. The Museum also offers scientific workshops for all visitors for which you will have to buy a separate ticket.
The Hemisfèric is a digital 3D cinema, with a huge 900 metre concave screen, which almost envelops spectators. Several films are screened daily, mainly educational documentaries of no more than 45 minutes which are suitable for all audiences. You will receive a pair of innovative 3D glasses with your ticket enabling you to change the screening language. If you are travelling with children, there is usually a film geared towards children once a day.
The Umbracle is a huge, open-access garden covering more than 17,000 m2 where you can stroll around and take in the typical Mediterranean plants and contemporary sculptures. Terraza Mya opens its doors at night during the summer months, where you can have a drink under the moonlight. The public car park of the City of Arts and Sciences is located just below the Umbracle.
The most recent building at the City of Arts and Sciences, the Ágora is a versatile venue hosting a wide variety of events. It is not usually open to the public and cannot be visited but worth seeing just for its spectacular architecture.
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía. Opera house
If you are a music-lover then the Palau de les Arts is the place for you at the City of Arts and Sciences. From October to November, its programme includes operas, concerts, zarzuela and ballet. When not being used for performances.
The Assut D’or Bridge
Also work of the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava, the Assut D’or Bridge crosses the former riverbed of the River Turia, between the Science Museum and the Ágora. There are several lanes for traffic in both directions and there is a pedestrian bridge in the centre connecting the two banks of the Turia Gardens
Barrio del Carmen.
The architecture in this part of the city is a historical collage. Roman, Arabic and Gothic buildings all line up next to each other. Alongside the 13th-century cathedral, the silk exchange is one of the most important buildings here. In 1996 UNESCO made it into a World Heritage Site, because it stood as a symbol of the city’s power and wealth throughout the ages.
Mercado Central or Mercat Central (English: Central Market)
This is a public market located in across from the Llotja de la Seda and the church of the Juanes in central Valencia.
In 1839, the spot had been used to inaugurate an open-air marketplace called Mercat Nou. By the end of the century the city of Valencia sponsored a contest for the construction of a new roofed market. A new contest in 1910 selected the present design by Alejandro Soler March and Francisco Guàrdia Vial, who had trained at the School of Architecture of Barcelona and collaborated with Luis Doménech Montaner. Construction began in 1914 and was not fully completed until 1928
The style blends a modern Art Nouveau style but mirrors some of the architectural influences of nearby buildings such as the Gothic Llotja de la Seda and the eclectic Gothic-baroque church of Sants Juanes. It celebrates the power of iron and glass to permit the construction of large open spaces, but still utilizes domes at crossings.
Most vendors sell food items, although souvenir shops and restaurants are located inside the market as well. It is a popular location for tourists and locals alike.
Hop on Hop Off Tourist Bus
The most convenient way to see Valencia's main sites and attractions is with the hop on hop off tourist bus. On a holiday in Valencia you will not be able to miss the open top buses travelling all over town. Valencia's hop on hop off tourist bus offers the opportunity to see Valencia's highlights all in one organized trip. This is especially useful if you are only in Valencia for a short amount of time. The tour bus will provide you with a means of getting around the city whilst also providing commentary and information on the history of the places that you are visiting.
You can use the bus tours in two different and distinct ways. You may wish to use the Valencia tours bus as a novel means of getting around the city. You can hop on and off at whatever destinations you choose and can rest assured that the bus will take you to the must-see tourist hot spots. Alternatively, you may just choose to experience the full tour in one go, gaining an overview of what the city has to offer and taking note of particular places of interest to return to later on during your trip. Valencia hop on hop off tourist bus makes both options possible and convenient.
BioPark - Valencia
The Bioparc Valencia opened its doors on 28 February 2008. This innovative zoo, in which the barriers are practically invisible and the animals feel right at home, covers some 100,000 square metres and is located in the Parque de Cabecera within the former Turia Riverbed.
Contrary to traditional zoos, this park has the unique feature of bringing the visitor totally into the habitat of the animals. This is known as zoo immersion.
Bioparc’s main objective is to promote respect for animals and make the general public aware of importance of protecting the environment through a commitment to education and the preservation of the animals.
Leopards, lemurs, hyenas, lions, giraffes, gorillas, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, porcupines, ostriches, elephants, otters… all coexist in this zoological world, which offers moving experiences at every bend in the park at every minute of the day.
You will find: Reflections of Africa in Bioparc Valencia. Bioparc displays a range of African flora and fauna and the different habits in which they live together. However, Bioparc is not limited to Africa, since the plan is to expand it over the next few years by 20,000 metres in order to dedicate a portion of the zoo to Southeast Asia and South America flora and fauna.
GETTING TO VALENCIA FROM BENIDORM
Travel time if you take the Ap-7 (139)km) about one and a half hours.
ALSA BUS - Route Benidorm - Valencia
Journey time - 1h 45m, Guide Price €12 - €17, Frequency, hourly - Check times and prices here. Tickets can be purchased: at the station, online, over the phone +34 902 42 22 42
Alicante to Valencia The train journey time between Alicante and Valencia is around 1h 54m and covers a distance of around 179 km. The fastest train normally takes 1h 44m. Operated by Renfe Viajeros