Valencia is the third-largest city of Spain and has been elected as the European Green Capital 2024. Being settled on the Mediterranean seashore offers vibrant cultural heritage, and natural wonders.
Valencia city enjoys a broad legacy: the beautiful Medieval church “Cathedral of Valencia”, blended with Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque architectonic components in its facade. The Ceramic Museum in the 18th-century palace “Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas” with a magnificent facade and a sculpted alabaster entrance. To visit “The church of Saint Nicolas” in Valencia is a must. It has been recently restored overseen by the former director of the Sistine chapel restorations in the Vatican. It is considered as the Sistine Chapel of Valencia due to the beauty of this sophisticated piece of art.
In addition, is well-visiting the gate of the Old Town which entrance exhibits decorative Gothic features. The town barriers were established in the 14th century and “The Serranos Towers” were renovated in 1930. Visitors can enjoy the views from the large pillars.
Among Valencia broad offer, also deserves a visit, The Oceanogràfic, designed by Félix Candela in the City of the Arts and Sciences. This is a complex comprising a science museum, aquarium, and opera base, a cutting-edge infrastructure designed by the well-recognized architect Santiago Calatrava.
In addition, Bioparc Valencia has a zoo that includes 25 acres and a park; the River Turia’s course provides the separation between the park and the zoo. The animals can move around on the free landscape and the different species coexist together in natural sceneries. The zoo has an extensive assortment of African animals.
Shouldn’t us forget to enjoy the relaxing walk along “The Turia river bed”, backbone of the city along ten kilometres, with exuberant gardens, sport and games areas. Close to the river you can visit “The Botanical Garden”, with an interesting collection of trees and plants from around the world. There are also vibrant spaces in the riverbed with activities, exhibitions, and fairs throughout the year.
Natural wonders are also close to Valencia, thereby just a few km from Valencia you can enjoy the “Albufera Natural Park”, which is a protected natural area of great beauty and perfectly visiting in September.
Welcome to Valencia
Miguel Angel Miranda and Julia Pérez Prieto
València is accessible by air, land and sea. It boasts travel links to many major Spanish and European cities. The airport, situated just 8 kilometres from the centre of València, has regular daily flights to popular domestic and international destinations. The city also has two main railway stations, the Estación del Norte, from which the local train network operates, and Joaquín Sorolla, offering AVE high-speed rail services to Madrid, Cuenca, Seville and Córdoba. ALVIA and EUROMED long-distance trains also depart from Joaquín Sorolla, providing connections to cities including Barcelona.
València is home to one of the most important commercial ports in the Mediterranean. The port, which operates passenger services to both the Balearic Islands and Italy, is fast becoming a popular destination for cruise ships, which dock at Poniente Pier, enabling passengers to spend a few hours exploring the city. For those travelling by car, València is equipped with a modern motorway network making it easily accessible from any city on the mainland. These include the AP-7, which runs north to south along the Mediterranean coast connecting the city with Barcelona, and the A-3 running from València to Madrid.
A stroll through the city’s streets is one of the best ways to explore València, given its size, relatively flat terrain and excellent climate. However, if you’re travelling from one part of the city to another, it’s advisable to make use of the extensive public transportation network, particularly if you’re short of time. This serves the whole of València and also provides links to some of the main points of interest in the surrounding area, including Albufera Park and València airport (Manises).
The Municipal Transport Company (EMT) operates a total of 59 bus routes, 44 daytime routes and 13 night routes, serving all areas of the city. The metro offers another great way to explore the city centre, stroll along the old Turia riverbed to the City of Arts and Sciences and even take a trip to La Malvarrosa Beach, after hopping on the tram.
There are two official languages in València: «Valenciano», used in the Valencian Community, and Spanish, Spain’s official language.
Most hotels, restaurants and shops in València accept the main credit cards such as Amex, VISA, Mastercard, 4B, Access y Diners Club.
People generally eat later than in other European countries: breakfast (7:30 and 10:00 a.m.) is similar to the continental style. Restaurants serve lunch between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., and dinner from 8:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
Now you can go shopping in València any day of the year. Although normal shop opening hours are from 10 am to 8.30 pm, you will find malls and shops in tourist areas that are open every day, including Sundays and public holidays (except 1 and 6 January, 1 May and 25 December). The areas where shops are open every day of the week are:
- Jardín del Turia: from Nou d’Octubre bridge to Astilleros bridge.
- València city centre: Ciutat Vella and Ensanche areas.
- Els Orriols: around Ciudad de València stadium.
Standard electrical voltage in València is 220-240 V AC, 50 Hz. A transformer and an adapter are necessary to use North American electrical appliances whose plugs have two square pins. Adapters are available in most hardware stores.
València enjoys a mild temperate Mediterranean climate. The average annual temperature is 17ºC with warm summers and very mild winters, rarely below 10ºC. There is only light rainfall mainly in autumn and the beginning of spring.