Lively Valencia is not just the birthplace of paella; it’s a city transformed in the past decade from a quiet town into a thriving tourist resort. Simultaneously a World Heritage Site and strikingly modern, Valencia is a city of intriguing diversity.

Barrio Carmen

Barrio Carmen

1. See the City of Arts and Sciences. This futuristic museum complex is also one of the most innovative examples of modern architecture in Spain.

2. Lounge on the beach. The warm waters of the Mediterranean lap at Valencia’s shores, drawing tons of tourists throughout the year.

3. Head to the Barrio Carmen. This hip district is the focal point of the city’s nightlife scene.

4. Pack your clubs and shack up at one of Valencia’s great golf resorts.

5. Go for a four-star stay in the city center. These accommodations offer visitors unbeatable value; very affordable rates can be found even at peak periods.

6. Book a stay at a five-star hotel; options are numerous in this world-class city, and many have on-site spa facilities and offer attractive honeymoon packages.

7. Stay in a central location and explore by foot in the city center. It’s not really necessary to take transit unless heading to the beach or the City of Arts and Sciences.

8. Take the Metro for longer journeys to major sites. Although the city’s subway system is not so far and wide, it does stop at the city’s primary points of interest.

9. Get a bus schedule; buses travel throughout the city and can literally take you anywhere you need to go.

10. Rent a bicycle. Valencia is flat, and cycling is becoming increasingly popular among visitors.

11. Buy a Bono card from a cigarette kiosk if you’re going to be using transit frequently. It offers a handy 10-trip discount.

12. Plan a trip for the spring. It brings the most pleasant weather of the year, and the Fallas de San José fiesta, held in May, is one of the most vivacious in Spain.

Be aware of Valencia’s linguistic diversity. Valenciano, a tongue distinct from standard Spanish, is the region’s official language. Native speakers resent hearing it referred to as a Spanish dialect.

To book accommodations, you can use a site like, or contact the Valencia Tourism and Convention Bureau at (+34) 963 606 353 or visit their website (see Resources, below). It’s a good idea to rent a flat for a short-stay; this is practical for group vacations to Spain.

About The Author

Born in the UK to an English mother and Spanish father, Amancay relocated to her father's home town of Alboraya in 2010. She moved to the centre of Valencia in 2012, where she works as a real estate agent selling properties to expats from the Northern European countries.

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