Tourist near the Cathedral, in the Ciutat Vella of Valencia

Why Valencia is so much more than a beach destination


When you visit "la terreta" (Valencia's nickname), you will be amazed by what you can do and explore in the capital of the Region of Valencia. In this corner of the Mediterranean, you breathe much more than the sea: design, gastronomy, culture and tradition will be the key elements of an unforgettable trip. 

Start in the Ciutat Vella and discover the city's most historic side, and go 20 centuries back in time. The Cathedral, in Gothic style, houses the Holy Chalice. According to some studies and documents, this is the Grail used by Jesus in the Last Supper. The Cathedral is, without a doubt, an architectural monument worth exploring, outside and inside. Outside you will catch a glimpse of the bell tower, known as Miguelete, because the main bell was baptised on the day of San Miguel. Once you're inside, look everywhere, but above all, look up to see the frescoes. They are considered one of the most important examples of the early Spanish Renaissance and were only found a few years ago. And if you fancy seeing more, visit the Church of San Nicolás de Bari, known as the Valencian Sistine Chapel. 

Top: view of the Cathedral of Valencia / Bottom: frescoes of the early Spanish Renaissance inside the Cathedral of Valencia ©goga18128

Your visit can include the Valencia Silk Exchange, which was awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO. Built in the 15th century, it lived through the Golden Age of Valencian trade. From there you can go to the Church of Santos Juanes or go to the Central Market, where you can eat some tapas or walk through its 8,000 square metres of modernist architecture. While you are strolling through the city centre, you will wander through the Carmen neighbourhood. It is currently considered one of the most bohemian, but also one of the largest medieval neighbourhoods in Europe. You will come across the Torres de Serranos (formerly defensive, but also used as a triumphal arch) and Torres de Quart, old medieval gates that were part of the wall. But what else can you find in this neighbourhood? A variety of artistic and cultural spaces like the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) and the Museu Valencià de la Il lustració i de la Modernitat (MuVIM).

Top: interior of the Central Market ©Madrugada Verde / Bottom: Valencia Silk Exchange ©Kemal-Taner

Are you looking for a place to go shopping and try all kinds of dishes? In the areas of Ruzafa and Ensanche, you will find the most fashionable places: walk their streets, shops and venues while soaking up art, culture and gastronomy. All these elements have made Valencia the world design capital in 2022.But your trip to Valencia must also feature good paella. You can taste it anywhere in the city. However, enjoying paella while facing the sea is a unique experience. Finally, before you leave, you must stop at the City of Arts and Sciences. Near the Turia river and with a 9-kilometre garden, it has become a green space where you can do sports or walk, while gazing at an amazing example of architecture, science and technology. Do you need any more reasons to visit Valencia, aside from its beaches? 

Top: characteristic building in the Ruzafa neighbourhood ©Joaquin Corbalan / Bottom: City of Arts and Sciences
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