This is the time of year where many people begin planning their upcoming summer holiday. If a city that has a rich and ancient history yet is incredibly modern, the birthplace of a number of world famous cuisines, is filled with interesting cultural spots and vibrant nightlife and has great beaches appeals to you, then you might want to consider Valencia in Spain.
What part of Spain is Valencia located?
Valencia is Spain’s third largest city and is located on the country’s southeastern coast along the Mediterranean Sea.
Roman consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus founded Valencia in 138 BC. The city was later ruled by Arab and Moroccan Moors before coming under the rule of King James I of Aragon in 1238.
Modern day Valencia is a city of about 800,000 and is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia. In addition to a rich cultural heritage, Valencia is a thriving business centre. The port is the fifth largest container port in Europe and the area is home to a number of large global industrial and research businesses.
Is Valencia in Catalan?
Valencia is part of the area known as the Catalan Countries which also includes the Spanish region of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and parts of Murica and Aragon. The Catalan Countries are not part of any political or administrative unit and refers to areas where the Catalan language, or a variant of it, is spoken. For centuries the Catalan Countries have been the centre of cultural projects. In the last few years their political aspects have grown.
The city is wonderfully diverse and offers an excellent choice of activities, sights and nightlife.
Things to do in Valencia
- Eat paella – The rice based dish was invented in Valencia. Paella is offered virtually everywhere but the best places to sample the authentic recipe is at traditional restaurants at Malvorrossa city beach or El Palmer.
- Attend a festival – Each barrio and area hosts their own street fairs and festivals on a regular basis. However, the most spectacular and famous festival in Spain is Fallas, a month-long Valencia-wide festival with traditions which include the building (and burning) of special statues and lots of fireworks.
- See the Holy Grail – The Valencia Cathedral is said to be the current home of the Holy Grail. It should be noted that several other places around the world also claim to be in possession of the Grail.
- Visit a historic market – Food markets are not often at the top of a holiday to-do list. However, Valencia’s Central Market is one of the more unique in Europe and definitely worth a visit.
- Visit The City of Arts and Sciences – The City of Arts and Sciences is considered by most to be a must for any visitor to Valencia. The City of Arts and Sciences consists of six futuristic looking buildings designed by two local architects. The district includes a 3D panoramic cinema, a science museum, one of the most impressive aquariums to be found in Europe, sculptures, an opera house and a sports arena among other things.
Things to do in Valencia at night
While several Spanish cities lay claim to the title of Spain’s party capital, to many this title firmly belongs to Valencia. Valencia’s nightlife offers something for almost every taste; many of the clubs are open until the very early morning hours. Some of the more popular night spots include La3 Club, Agenda Club and Mya. Many of the clubs consists of rooms which offer different genres and local and international DJs and acts are featured.
Points of interest in Valencia
Valencia is filled with a wide array of sights and experiences. Here are some that should be on your list.
- Valencia has a large number of tree-lined plazas that offer a cool spot to relax and to escape the hot summer sun. While most of the plazas are ringed with shops and cafes each one has its own design and special flavour. More of the more famous plazas is the Queen’s Square (Plaza de la Reina) in old town.
- The beaches of Valencia are plentiful. Many of the beaches have been developed and offer water sports, bars and restaurants. There are also of number that have remained undeveloped and offer a semi-private retreat.
- The city has a number of parks and gardens which are perfect for walks and relaxation. If shopping is something you enjoy, the streets are lined with local artisans and unique shops and galleries as well as trendy international stores.
What currency is used in Valencia?
Just as is the case throughout Spain the official currency is the Euro. Exchange kiosks are plentiful. ATMs are also widely available.
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