I visited Valencia several years ago. I explored the city center quite well and I also went to one of its beaches
Valencia is a large city located on the south - eastern coast of Spain.
It is well known for the paella, for the fallas (a feast) and for horchata; a not alcoholic drink made with a kind of potato.
In this post I will show you some things you can see and do in this city.
The Turia River that flew through the city used to flood regularly. It was diverted south of the city after a terrible flooding happened in 1957. Later it was decided to transform its bed into a park; the Turia gardens.
These are practically a large and long (about 9 km) park that borders the old city. It has playground areas for kids, cycle paths, and several sports areas.
Nineteen bridges cross these gardens. Some of them are new and other are the old bridges of the river. One of my favourite is the Puente de las Flores. This is decorated with lots of flowers at the borders and has two walkways for pedestrians and some benches.
The cathedral was built mainly between the XIII and the XV centuries, but its construction went on for many centuries. It was built on the site of a mosque. This was previously a Visigoth cathedral and at the very beginning a Roman temple.
One of the highlight of the cathedral is the Holy Grail. This is said to be the chalice used during the last supper by Jesus Christ.
The cathedral is joined by a bridge with another church; the iglesia de los Desamparados. It is a circular church.
El Miguelete or Micalet is the octagonal bell tower of the cathedral. It was built between the 14th and the 15th centuries in Gothic style.
They say you can enjoy a beautiful landscape over the city when you get to its top.
La Taberna de la Reina is a good place to have some tapas in the city center. This restaurant has a also a menu with a good choice of meat and fish dishes. You can find it at plaza de la Reina.
Here they have a good selection of tapas into a closed transparent box. The tapas they had when I was there are called "pinchos". They are made with a small slice of bread with a topping. You can choose a fried or not fried topping.
You have to help yourself your pinchos. You must keep the skewers that keep the bread and topping together. The waiter will count them to do your bill.
I tried several tapas and I liked them all. My favourite were with salmon topping. I liked those with tortilla de patatas (potatoes and eggs gateau) as well.
Cafe Bertal is a chain of cafe-restaurants. There are six of these in Valencia. I visited Cafe Bertal at plaza de la Reina. It has a large dining room and a terrace on the square.
This cafe was created in the city in 1985 as ice cream parlour and orchateria. Today they serve sandwiches, pasta (noodles) and pizza, ice cream, coffee, pastries and some other food.
Their pizza was not large, but filling and soft. The pizza I liked most there wast pizza Marinara. This is a pizza with seafood.
La Lonja de la Seda was the silk exchange. It was built between 1482 and 1533. It is made of three rooms almost empty and a beautiful small walled garden.
Here you can see the Sala de la Contrataciòn. It is the main hall of this building. This was the place where the merchants would meet, deal and sign. Then you can visit the Tribunal del Mar (a law court).
The area I liked most at this place was the walled garden.
The central market (mercat central or mercado central) is one of the oldest food markets in Europe.
It was built in modernist style between 1910 and 1928. It is a very large structure made of glass and iron. In fact, it covers an area of over eighty thousand square metres. Here there are around 1500 stalls.
Here you can buy fruits and vegetables; meat and fish. Bread and sweets. There are also some stalls offering snails, eggs and dried fruits.
If you need something to drink or eat you can find some cafes inside the market.
This market is opened from monday to saturday; from 7.30 a. m. to 2.30 p. m.
Plaza Redonda is a small square built in 1840. and restored in 2012.
Plaza Redonda literally means "round square". It is made of a good number of three curved storey joined together. This way the whole place is round.
It is traditionally known as "el clot" (the hole). Originally it housed a fish and meat market.
At plaza Redonda you can find several shops where you can buy a souvenir; or even a small pet. There are also some cafes and some stalls inside as well. On sundays this square becomes an open air market.
It is really worth to visit the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas . It dates from the 15th century and was rebuilt in 1740. Probably it is well known for its huge alabaster main door.
Here you can visit a ceramic museum with a collection of pieces from prehistoric times to modern works. On the first floor you can see a large ball room, a dining room and lots of other rooms.
One of the highlights of this museum is a reconstructed typical Valencian kitchen made entirely of decorated tiles.
Another museum I visited in Valencia was the Museo de Bellas Artes. It is housed inside the Colegio de San Pio V. This palace was built between 1683 and 1744 for the formation of priests. Through the years it was used as military academy, military storehouse and a military hospital.
Here you can see a very large collection of paintings. There are masterpieces of Primitive Valencians (painters from the end of 14th century until the beginning of 16th century). There are also paintings made in more recent years.
This museum has sculptures and archaeological finds as well.
You can find a tourist bus in lots of cities. These are buses that stop near the main sights. So you can get off, see the sigh, explore the area and take another similar bus. It is a good way to get to know the place if you can' t spend much time there.
The Valencia tourist bus runs along two routes; A) The historical Valencia. B) The maritime Valencia. Each route lasts around 90 minutes each.
The bus stops near the main sights ( see; Museo de Bellas Artes, Bioparc...) You can change a route into another when you like.
These buses have a multilingual audio system. You will be given a pair of earphones to listen to some explanations about what you are passing by.
You can buy discounted tickets for some attractions in Valencia from the bus driver, as the Bioparc, the Oceanografic, the Hemisferic, P. Felipe Science Museum.
The tickets for the bus turistic are sold from the bus driver, at some hotels; from the tourist offices and also on line.
I booked a twin room half board at hotel Olympia Events and Spa. We had a nice and modern room with bathroom (with tube) en suite. The beds were comfortable.
The breakfast and dinner at this hotel were buffet and there was a large choice of good food.
The hotel has all the amenities you like; a gym, a large swimming pool; a spa. You can ask at the hotel reception for various services; as massages, dancing courses and so on.
Olympia Events and Spa hotel is a very large four stars hotel located in Alboraya. This is a village easily reachable from Valencia by metro. There is a metro station not far from the hotel.
Horchateria Daniel is said to be one of the best places to have an horchata. This is a white drink made from chufa; a kind of potato. It is served liquid or grounded and iced (granizada).
At Daniel' s you can have every beverages you can have in a ordinary cafe; ice creams and very good pastries.
I had at least eight kinds of pastries there. I liked almost every one and I haven' t a favourite one.
This cafe has two large rooms and two terraces. One outside and another on the roof.
There are many other things to see and do in Valencia; so I hope to re visit it quite soon.