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This is... get to know Valencia on foot in a couple of hours

There are several ways to explore Valencia. The tourist bus is always a good start to get to know any city, and Valencia's starts it's route in Plaza de la Reina (but can be joined at various places all around the city) and by Horse and Cart is also great fun and especially romantic this time of year.

Walk Number Two
Our suggested walk number two is great at any time of the year, but is perfect in a Valencian winter with lovely sunny days and only a slight nip in the air. This walk makes one appreciate the wonderful use of the dry riverbed - El Antiguo Cauce del Río Túria. Why it is dry is a long story but the short version is that after extensive flooding in the 1950s the river was diverted to accommodate the extreme rainfalls - 'La Gota Fría' (The Cold Drop)- and a ring road constructed on its banks.

The city fathers promised the people of Valencia that the old river would be used only for Public recreation, and they certainly kept to their word - the river now houses beautiful gardens, fountains, sports areas, the Palau de la Música, Children's park 'El Parque Infantil Guliver', and the very latest Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias which consists of an Opera House, said to be the 2nd largest in the world, an Imax Cinema, and a hands-on Science Museum. All these buildings are incredible pieces of Modern Architecture designed by the visionary, Valencia-born architect Santiago Calatrava.

Beyond the Science Park is another centre worthy of a day on its own, L'Oceanográfic. An aquarium park that is said to be the biggest in Europe, with live dolphin shows and fish and animals from all four continents. Even if you are not a nature lover, the buildings, creations of Félix Candela are stunning and are arguably the main feature.

Remember, as you walk, always look up! There are lots of amazing things above you!

So, on to the walk! Take the tourist bus or the nº 95 or 35 and get off at the 'El Saler' Shopping Centre, Centro Comercial El Saler, (another day could be spent here too, but not today! Don't be temped by the excellent shopping today!) Walk across the road towards L'Oceanográfic, look to the right and see the fabulous buildings silhouetted against the bright blue skies. Walk down into the dry riverbed at the first entrance to the Science Museum (abig ribcage-like building) and start wandering! In the sculpture gardens on the opposite side of the museum, the various works are scattered beyond the Hemisfèric (a building shaped like an eye, the 'lid' opens and shuts at random times of day) and leave the Opera House (a large egg-shaped building on the other side of the bridge) on your left, maybe stopping for a drink in the new café on your right. The sculptures here are on a musical theme, I found them a little hard to recognise on my first visit, but the the piano is my personal favourite. Once past the Opera House, keep to the centre of the riverbed and you next come to 'Parque Guliver' - you could be here a while if you have children with you! One of the surprising joys of this walk is that it takes you by all the bridges, you will have passed the Puentes (Bridges) de Monteolivete and de Reino, before going under the Puente de Ángel Custodio. The next thing you see will be the 'Palau de la Música', in front of which, the water fountains dance to music and light, and make for quite a show - perfect for a small pit stop on your walk. Take the ramp out of the river on the 'Palau' side, and walk above the river from here, looking around you and down on the water features and fountains. Cross the Puente de Aragón - this is the perfect spot to really appreciate the incredible mix of old and new architecture that seamlessly bring together the ancient and modern in an often startling way. Walk towards the Plaza de América and up the old steps of the Puente del Mar, this is where many a bride has her wedding photos taken! If you take a look down into the riverbed from here, there is a lovely circular pool of water under the foot of this bridge, the oldest in Valencia dating back to the 16th century. From here you can also see the delightful new Puente de Flores where the flowers are planted with the seasons and the Palm trees stretch up through holes in the bridge itself from the ground below. Beyond this, the picture is dominated by the Santiago Calatrava-designed Puente de Exposición, dubbed el Puente de la Peineta by the Valencians, because of its likeness to the large decorative combs they place in their hair during Fallas and other fiestas.

By now I'm sure you're getting weary, so take the road opposite, Calle Cirilo Amorós, and after five minutes you will come across the fabulous Art Nouveau Mercado de Colón - the newly renovated old food and animal market which is now home to overflowing flower stalls, arty boutiques, gorgeous bars, shops, food stalls and restaurants. Enjoy a drink or some tapas here as a perfect end to lovely walk.

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thisis...Valencia for kids!

There are lots of things to do inside and out here, and, living up to its reputation of being the greenest city in continental Europe there is always a children's playground nearby. However, we've said it once and we'll say it again, the very very best playground (probably in the whole of Europe!) has to be the extraordinary Gulliver park in the old riverbed between the Puente (bridge) Ángel Custodio and 'Camino de las Moreras'. The park is a 70m long and 6m high creation of Swift's fictional character, Gulliver, as he wakes tied down to the beach of Lilliput. Covered in slides, swings and more, the idea is that children feel like the Liliputians themselves! Climb, jump, slide, swing all around his hat, up his boots, over his tummy and down his sleeve! Right next to here, for the older children, is a skate park and two life-size chessboards.

The City of Arts and Sciences is always a fun day out. A hands on science museum, a beautiful Oceanarium, an Imax cinema, restaurants and parks, there is something for everyone. It will take you a good few days to do everything though!

Museums and galleries are all free on Sundays, and most in Valencia have hands-on activities and exhibitions especially for children, check the Centro Cultural la Beneficiencia, Calle Corona 36, tel. 963883565.

Another option is to go the Parque Comercial Heron City Kinepolis (www.heroncity.com), a centre full to bursting with restaurants, bowling alleys, cinemas, bars, and loads of activities for the young. A 10 minute taxi ride from the outskirts of town, on the Pista de Ademuz.

Enjoy!


 

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Valencia's
major rock and pop venues

This list does not aim to be definitive - just to give Valencia's main rock and pop music venues. If you would like to get in touch with us to request we add a venue or to report a broken link,
please email us here
For venues outside Valencia , click here

Valencia's
major art galleries
and exhibition venues

This list does not aim to be definitive - just to give Valencia's major art exhibition spaces. If you would like to get in touch with us to request we add a venue or to report a broken link,
please email us here
For venues outside Valencia , click
here

Valencia's
major theatre and classical music venues

This list does not aim to be definitive - just to give Valencia's main theatre and classical music venues. If you would like to get in touch with us to request we add a venue or to report a broken link,
please email us here
For venues outside Valencia , click
here

Valencia's
Venues that show films in Original Version

This list does not aim to be definitive - just to give Valencia's main Original version Film venues. If you would like to get in touch with us to request we add a venue or to report a broken link,
please email us here
For venues outside Valencia , click
here

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