When we think of the Spanish Mediterranean coast, we immediately think of Barcelona, a city in the northeast of Spain that attracts millions of tourists every year. But, if you’re not a huge fan of big touristy crowds, there’s an excellent alternative that, in all honesty, has so much to offer that alternative doesn’t do it justice.
That city is Valencia, a city three hours down the coast from Barcelona that has, in recent decades, renovated itself so much that it now just doesn’t rely on tradition and authenticity but also on modern infrastructures and events that attract many visitors who rent apartments in Valencia all year long. The city that was famous for paella, one of Spain’s most famous dishes, is now famous for many other reasons that I will tell you now.
The Ciutat de les Ciències i les Arts: Translated as the City of Arts and Sciences, this is a completely new and modern complex that encompasses many buildings, each of which carries out a different function. The Oceanogràfic is the largest oceanographic park in Europe. It’s an open air park and it has the shape of a water lily; The Príncipe Felipe Science Museum is a scientific interactive museum in the shape of a whale skeleton; The Hemisfèric is a giant construction which resembles an eye that is in fact an Imax cinema and a planetarium; The Agora is a covered arena where sporting and artistic events take place; and, finally, the Pont de l’Assut de l’Or, a bridge that has a pole that’s over 400ft high which is the highest point in the city. Anyone who visits the city of Valencia has an obliged visit here, because this is one of Europe’s most modern cultural complexes.
The IVAM is Valencia’s Modern Art Institute, a contemporary art museum that has been open since 1989. It is the first of its kind, since it was the first modern art museum that opened in Spain. It holds many important exhibitions by famous contemporary artists every year and it’s definitely a place to go if modern art is your thing.
It has two buildings, the Julio González Centre, which holds permanent exhibitions and some temporary ones, and the Sala de la Muralla, a space in the basement of the former that holds photography and drawing exhibitions. So as far as art goes, Valencia has one of Spain’s and Europe’s most important centres.
The Formula 1 European Grand Prix takes place in the city of Valencia, in the Valencia Street Circuit. This circuit is an urban one that’s semi permanent and that dresses up for the occasion every summer, when the Formula 1 circus comes into town. This is a perfect chance to witness a thrilling race and see the best drivers in the world, such as Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher. The race was first held here in 2008 and it always provides a highly entertaining affair, with its unforgiving walls always sparking up a surprise or two.
Make sure you rent Valencia apartments in time so that you don’t miss out on any of these events that will make your stay in Valencia an unforgettable one.