Every city has its must-see attractions, places you have to visit before leaving the city. What are the main tourist attractions in Valencia, Spain? You will find out while reading the next paragraphs. Enjoy!
The City of Arts and Sciences
This perfectly shaped and wonderful to look at building is one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. Wow, that sounds cool, doesn’t it? This means, that the City of Arts and Sciences took part in a contest, something like the Miss World contest but not for people but places of interest and nationwide, and it has been chosen by the Spanish people to be one of the most important and interesting places in Spain. 9000 proposals have been launched on the internet, but the City of Arts and Sciences made it amongst 11 other places in Spain, and that made it number one of the places to see in Valencia.
And what a treasure the City of Arts and Sciences is! Even looking at it from the outside makes you marvel at its beauty! The designers Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela did their best to build a gem that catches the eye of every pedestrian. Building the City of Arts and Sciences took some time, the first inauguration took place in 1998 (opening of the L’Hemisfèric) and the complex was finished with the opening of the El Palau de les Arts Rein Sofia in 2005.
The 6 Treasures of the City of Arts and Sciences
You might have guessed that the complex does not only have one building. There are six of them and it is not recommend visiting them all in one day. The L’Hemisfèric, which looks like a giant silver futuristic eye, is also known as the “eye of knowledge”. It houses an IMAX cinema and a planetarium. You can watch a 3D show that makes you feel as if you were walking with dinosaurs or swimming in the ocean amongst the creatures of the big blue world. Presentations change from time to time so it is a good idea to look at their website to find shows you don’t want to miss.
The second building, El Museu de les Ciències Principe Filipe is an interactive science museum, where you can learn while having fun. Furthermore, you can walk the L’Umbracle, where you can find Valencian plants and numerous sculptures made by famous contemporary artists such as Yoko Ono and Francesc Abbot. At the L’Oceanogràfic, you will find a huge aquarium that is a home to dolphins, belugas and jellyfish. If you want to listen to opera or other watch performing arts, you can do so at the El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. Last but not least, there is the L’Àgora, the plaza for concerts and sporting events.
You see, when talking about things to see in Valencia, Spain, the City of Arts and Sciences is the first place to mention. One of the best from Valencia attractions and it won’t leave you uninspired!
Parque del Turia – one of the best things to see in Valencia
Every city has its parks, but having a park that has once been a river and is more than nine kilometers long is very special. The Parque del Turia is one of the largest urban parks in Spain and can be accessed from nearly every district of the city. Therefore, if you want to enjoy a nice walk surrounded by nature for a while, the park is one of the places to see in Valencia.
The Parque del Turia connects the Cabacera Park and Biopark with the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences and offers many interesting tourist attractions in Valencia, Spain along the way. You can stop for one of the historical places that are announced at the signs in the park whenever you feel like it. Must see places are the Serranos Towers (a wonderful gate in the old city), the Valencia Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) as well as the Museum of Fine Arts.
Furthermore, 18 bridges cross the park of which some are full of history. You should take your time to admire the bridge of San José from the 17th century, the Serranos Bridge, El Real and El Mar built in the 16th century as well as the Trinidad Bridge (15th century).
You will see that the park is a very common meeting place, where people do all kinds of sports like running, playing football, baseball or rugby, have a picnic, or walk their dogs. The park offers installations for families like the huge Gulliver consisting of numerous slides and many playgrounds. Dog owners will be found there as well, since you can find fenced squares were dogs can run freely and even agility grounds in the park. So whatever you feel like, the Parque del Turia is what to see in Valencia, Spain!
El Carmen area – beauty and history
The medieval old town of El Carmen is a magical quarter, full of bars, restaurants, and buildings that have experienced lifetimes of many generations. During the night, the quarter offers a very vital atmosphere. Many places to see in Valencia can be found here so you should take a stroll through this amazing quarter.
A fantastic place to spend some time and enjoy a café con leche is the Plaza del Carmen with its fountain and orange trees. The medieval church of Carmen, located at this square, is one of the tourist attractions in Valencia, Spain. You have to pay an entrance fee for visiting it; however, there is the possibility to enter the impressive building for free during the times of worship. If you are more into arts, the Convent of Carmen, a major center for arts and culture, might be more interesting to you.
While turning south, you will soon discover the Plaza del Arbol. Here you can find nice and authentic restaurants to enjoy some tapas, or the typical menu al dia, which is a very low priced option for your lunch. Starting from 2pm, many restaurants in El Carmen offer the menu al dia, and depending on the restaurant, you get three or four courses including a drink from 10 – 15 Euros.
Wandering the streets of Carmen randomly is a very good way to discover the quarter. You will get lost, because the ancient Arabic outline of the city is very confusing, but you will discover unique spots of beauty around every corner. So look carefully, dream, and imagine all the stories the quarter has experienced so far!
Estación del Norte – not just a train station
The Estacion del Norte is the main train station of the city, funnily not located in the north of the city, but in the south of the city center. Next to it, you can find one of the best attractions in Valencia, Spain, namely the local bullring. It is said to be one of the most beautiful bullrings in Spain and with its capacity for 16,851 seated spectators, one of the largest ones as well.
The Estación del Norte is a jewel to look at as well. It took eleven years to build the station, and it was finished in 1917. It became a protected monument in 1987, when admiring the entrance hall and the outline of the building, you might get an idea why. The front façade is decorated with typical elements of the Valencia culture. You can find oranges, barracas (traditional Valencian houses), the lake La Albufera and women dressed up in traditional Valencian gowns.