Visit Valencia, Spains City of Culture

By: Lee Smith

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain. It is a melting pot of the traditional and the modern, and home to a very friendly and warm population. From a tourist's perspective, the city and its outskirts have lots of tourist attractions, stunning beaches, museums, culture and arts, and in short, everything that one would expect to see and experience in a vacation hotspot. Reaching there is quite easy as Valencia is well connected by air and road to all major towns and cities in Spain as well as other European countries.

One of the major highlights of Valencia is its festivals, most of which are celebrated in the summer months, starting February to June. This includes February carnivals, the Las Fallas festival in the following month, Holy Week and Easter celebrations, Corpus Christi in the month of June, and the San Juan bonfires in June end. The 'Tomato Warfare' in Bunol every summer and fireworks in Paterna in August are other notable festivals.

Regarding other must-visit places, the first on the list is the magnificent Valencia City of Arts and Science, which includes the L'Hemisf?c Planetarium, the leisure complex Palacio de las Artes Reina Sofia, the artificial marine world Parque Oceanogr?co, and the treasure cove of information and artifacts, the Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe. Also, it is worth visiting the Miguelete Tower, offering a panoramic view of the city, Nicolau Primitiu Library, Palacio de la M?a, the music palace, and Palacio de Justicia.

Historic edifices of interest include Antigua Universidad de Valencia, the 18th century hall - Ayuntamiento - the World Heritage Site of Lonja, Puente del Mar - the 400 year old sea bridge - and the main port, Puerto de Valencia. The small town of Sagunto, on the northern outskirts of Valencia, has some ancient Roman edifices and ruins.

For shopping, Plaza Redonda and Plaza de la Virgen would be ideal. Also, it'll be a nice experience to walk around the historic square at the heart of the city's Old Quarter, Plaza de Manises, or to savor the sight of Plaza de Toros, the 19th century Valencia bullring.

No visit to Valencia would be complete without a visit to the city's some extraordinary museums, especially if you are somebody who loves history and archeology. The famous museums in the city include Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueologia, Museo de la Ciudad, Museo Taurino, and San Pious V Museum.

For those who love sea, the beaches, and water sports, there are plenty of those along the Valencia coastline. The coastal resort of Benidorm, the charming Alicante - to the south of Valencia - and Balearic Islands - east of Valencia - including the island of Ibiza with its 50 beaches, offers more than one would expect from a beach tourist destination.

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