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Valencia Travel Guide

About Valencia

A short hop from the Costa Blanca resorts and the capital Madrid, Valencia has become one of the hippest travel destinations in Spain, and one of the hottest tickets in European tourism.

Being widely dubbed the ‘new Barcelona’ in recent years has placed a heavy burden of expectation on Valencia’s shoulders, but the city is brash, beautiful and confident enough to live up to the hype.

Its transformation from poor Catalan cousin to shining star has largely been down to one huge project, the modern architectural marvel that is La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (The City of Arts and Sciences), southeast of the main centre. This extraordinary complex of futuristic structures houses an eclectic range of attractions that include an oceanographic park, IMAX theatre, opera house, sports arena, and hands-on science museum.

The cobbled alleys of the historic old town are also full of sights, such as grand Plaza del Mercado, a marketplace where produce from all over the region is bought and sold. Then there’s the imposing gothic bulk of Valencia Cathedral, which legend claims is the final resting place of the Holy Grail. Moreover, you can climb to the top of its tower for a panoramic view. Also worth a look is the ornate Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas, a beautiful 18th-century former palace that now houses the National Ceramics Museum.

Take time out to stroll through the ribbon-like Túria gardens, which follow the course of a former river, cutting a green swathe through the urban sprawl and connecting the old town to the City of Arts and Sciences and the coast. The original waterway was drained and re-routed after catastrophic flooding in 1957.

Spain’s third-largest metropolis doesn’t rest when the sun goes down either. By night the historic old quarter sets the scene for an exciting nightlife and dining scene. What’s more, it’s also just minutes away from the beach - ideal for chilling out the morning after.

Key facts

Population:
809267
Latitude:
39.475351
Longitude:
-0.361523

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Featured Hotels

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Hotel Villacarlos

This simple, traditional hotel benefits from easy access to Valencia's beaches and cultural attractions via nearby bus and metro links. The functional rooms are decorated in creams and wooden furnishings and offer free Wi-Fi and flatscreen TVs. Ask for the rooftop suite; it has its own sundeck.

Hostal Antigua Morellana

Set in an 18th-century townhouse, this classic Spanish inn is run by four sisters and situated in a narrow lane close to Valencia's historic silk exchange and cathedral. Its cosy, no-frills rooms feature memory-foam mattresses and private bathrooms, as well as TVs and free Wi-Fi. Some rooms also have small balconies.

Hotel ibis Valencia Alfafar

Opposite Albufera Natural Park, this straightforward, chain hotel features modern, budget rooms with flatscreen TVs and Wi-Fi access. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, a bar and a fitness centre, plus guest parking, a business centre and an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast.

Hotel One Shot Colon 46

Within walking distance of the Cathedral, this hotel is part of the Spanish hotel chain One Shot and offers simple chic for a reasonable price. The unfussy rooms have smart TVs, mini-fridges and rain showers, and those on the top floor have balconies. There's a cafe in the first floor where breakfast is served.

Hotel Ad Hoc Monumental

Situated near Valencia's Cathedral and the Serranos Towers, this charming hotel dates back to 1881 and boasts original features such as exposed brickwork and wood-beamed ceilings. The airy rooms are decorated in old-world style, and many have marble floors and private balconies.

Hotel Las Arenas

Set on the beach, this resort-style hotel dates back to 1898 and offers bright, modern rooms with city, garden or sea views. Its renowned spa and wellness centre includes indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, bubble beds, ice fountains and a relaxation garden. Its brasserie offers the best in modern Spanish gastronomy.