The City of Arts and Sciences: learn as you play
Examine a shark's mouth just centimetres from its teeth; discover the planets and a star shower through riddles and poems; see the Earth from the air or get inside the structure of DNA. These are just a few of the things you can do at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, one of the city's emblematic new symbols, where children can discover the world of science, nature and art in the most enjoyable way.
The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia , avant-garde work of architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, is a large complex dedicated to providing scientific and cultural information. Children can discover the fascinating world of nature and science in an enjoyable and original manner. Making use of interactive games, experiments, works of theatre, workshops and projections, along with the explanations of the guides, youngsters have a unique opportunity to discover a world of knowledge where children become protagonists rather than mere visitors. Exhibitions and conferences make the ideal complement to your visit - they all use simple, open language and terminology, to be understood by all.
This special complex has various areas, each dedicated to its own speciality. Once you have passed l'Umbracle, an enormous green area with thousands of plants and trees, its interior decorated with sculptures by contemporary artists, you enter a spectacular building with hanging platforms and a huge glass wall. This is the Prince Felipe Science Museum , offering a new and completely original museum concept: it is forbidden not to touch. The idea is to make visitors experiment with science and new technologies. In the complex you will also find the L'Espai dels Xiquets, an area directed at children aged 3-6 where, with the help of staff, they can learn to build a house working as a team, or explore the human organism. There are many possibilities for the youngest visitors in this area because everything is designed to feed their curiosity. Games, competitions, dialogues between actors playing famous scientists, exhibitions, simulated space walks, experiments, magic tricks, riddles, workshops… Everything counts to show that science is not just fascinating, but fun too.
Close to this unique museum is l'Hemisfèric, an original building in the form of a huge human eye, where you can enjoy the latest projections, in the planetarium, the Imax cinema and the "Laserium". Multimedia shows, 3D films, laser shows, star projections and hundreds of animations give children a very special level of protagonism. An astronomer explains the mysteries of the universe and the sky to the children, who make use of poems and games to learn to look to the firmament and recognize the planets and constellations.
At the other end of the City of Arts and Sciences there is an unusual place that makes an impression on all its visitors: l'Oceanogràfic, Europe's largest marine centre, a scientific reference at world level. This gigantic aquarium is home to 45,000 examples of 500 species from around the world. Diving down into this artificial ocean of glass and tunnels is a unique experience that leaves the youngest visitors wide-eyed. There are many things to do in this huge aquatic area: exhibitions with dolphins, seals and sea lions, tropical forests with unusual flora and fauna, the chance to discover the sounds of the sea, surround yourself with sharks and rays, or walk with penguins. Every year this underwater journey attracts thousands of children and school groups.
The City of Arts and Sciences completes its cultural content with the Palau de les Arts, which hosts the best in theatre, opera, music and dance. This Palace of Arts also has an educational programme whose aim is to encourage appreciation of music from very early ages.
If you decide to visit the complex as a family, you will find greatly reduced prices for the under 12s. This is an opportunity not to be missed. Discover the most surprising and original multicultural exhibitions in the world.