Valencia

Where in Europe can you get a city with a beautiful sandy beach, plenty of green space, lots of museums, magnificent architecture, gastronomy, shopping and history? Yes Valencia really does have something for everyone. Thanks to EasyJet and a good range of accommodation from self catering to de luxe, it is a very affordable break.
The city has a very efficient transportation system consisting of metro, trams and buses. Buses are very frequent so it’s really easy to get around and there are plenty of pedestrianised side streets if you prefer just to stroll. If you would rather cycle it is easy to hire a bike and take advantage of the cycle lanes throughout the city. We used a 72 hour Valencia card to get around. The card also includes two vouchers for tapas and a drink.
There is some beautiful architecture throughout the city, old and new, impressive doorways, wrought iron balconies, shining rooftops, examples of Art Deco , mosaic tiles, stonework and bridges. At the other end of the scale is the City of Arts and Sciences, a fantastic example of modern architecture.
Valencia was the original home of Paella and there are plenty of places to sample these washed down with local red wine which is cheap and rather good and there are many Tapas bars all over the city. You must also visit the Central market, the biggest indoor food market in Europe where you can see Serrano ham being freshly sliced, spring onions the size of tennis balls and colourful misshapen tomatoes all in a beautiful old building with stained glass windows.
Even if you are not interested in museums, the City of Arts and Sciences is still well worth a visit. It is a very impressive cluster of futuristic museums originally built for the expo. These include Oceanagrafic, Hemisferic and the Science Museum
In the old part of the city there is the bullring and next to it is Estació del Norte the station which is a lovely building inside the booking hall and outside. The cathedral and Silk building are also worth visiting but go early as the old centre gets very crowded later in the day.
Jardin del Turia is a long strip of parkland right through the heart of the entire city on a dry riverbed that runs from the City of Arts and Sciences to the west all the way to the Marina to the East. All along this stretch of parkland are ornamental bridges that are all slightly different and some have interesting sculptures and lights.
Away from the buzz of the city, the long, sandy beach awaits and you can have lunch in one of the many seafood restaurants along the front, hire a bike and cycle or just stroll along the the promenade and watch the world go by.
Apart from a couple of Irish pubs, Valencia generally has more of a cafe and tapas culture but despite that we came across half a dozen stag and hen parties on Saturday night so for a more cultural or gastronomic experience it would better to go midweek.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s