Last Summer, in 2014, I went on an internship program in Valencia, Spain. My internship took place in a nice hotel near the center of the town and lasted 3 months.
While I was there I could visit and enjoy many touristic points while also working and getting experience.
Well! Valencia is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. The city has global city status.The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe and busiest container port on the Mediterranean Sea.
In this article I will try to sum up my summer experience of this big city.
Valencia offers many services to the tourists and If you want to stay longer here I recommend the Valencia tourist card. this card comes in 24, 48 or 72 hours formats and includes many services like: free public transport around the city (Bus, Metro and Tram zones ABCD, Including the journey Valencia-Airport-Valencia (L3, L5)), Free entry to Public Museums and Monuments, Discounts of up to 50% on participating tourist and leisure services and in shops and restaurants. Other informations you can find on their official website http://www.visitvalencia.com/.
What to eat and drink:
1. Paella Valenciana—rice dish with ancient roots that originated in its modern form in the mid-nineteenth century near Albufera lagoon, a coastal lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain.
2. Patatas Bravas—or papas bravas, is a dish native to Spain, often served as a tapa in bars. It typically consists of white potatoes that have been cut into irregular shapes of about 2 centimeters, then fried in oil and served warm with a sauce such as a spicy tomato sauce or an aioli.
3. Bocadillo—a sandwich made with Spanish bread cut lengthwise, not with sliced bread. Traditionally seen as a humble food, its low cost has allowed it to evolve over time into an iconic piece of cuisine. In Spain, bocadillos are often eaten in cafes and tapas bars.
I personally like the one with ham, cheese, mayonnaise and veggies.
4. Calamares—olso known as Squid
5. Mojito—is a cocktail that consists of five ingredients: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice,sparkling water, and mint. On the beach restaurants you can find Mojito without alcohol
6. Sangria—It normally consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy.
Top tourists points:
1. City of Arts and Science - includes L'Hemisferic (an IMAX Cinema, planetarium and laserium. The building is meant to resemble a giant eye, and has an approximate surface of 13,000 m². The Hemesferic also known as the planetarium or the “eye of knowledge,” is the centerpiece of the City of Arts and Sciences), El Museu de les CiÈncies PrÍncipe Felipe (Is an interactive museum of science that resembles the skeleton of a whale), L'Umbracle (a landscaped walk with plant species indigenous to Valencia (such as rockrose, lentisca, rosemary, lavender,honeysuckle, bougainvillea, palm tree, also used as a club during summer), L'Oceanogràfic (an open-air oceanographic park. It is the largest oceanographic aquarium in Europe with 110,000 square meters and 42 million liters of water. It was built in the shape of a water lily and is the work of architect FÉlix Candela). I especially enjoyed the time here, i could see many species of fish, birds and animals, and in a hot day this place is perfect to spend some time. El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (an opera house and performing arts center), El Pont de l'Assut de l'Or ( a suspension bridge that connects the south side with Minorca Street, whose 125 meters high pillar is the highest point in the city), L'àgora (a covered plaza in which concerts and sporting events (such as the Valencia Open 500) are held)
2. Virgin Square and the Cathedral—You can visit the Cathedral buying a ticket which costs 5 euros and also you can climb up in the tower for 2 euros, if you want to see an amazing panoramic view of the city.
3. Bioparc—The concept of the zoo, called Zooimersion in Spanish, consists of immersing visitors into the animals' habitat and not vice versa. This is achieved by not using the traditional railings and cages that are common in many zoos, using instead rivers, ponds, streams and rocks to separate visitors from the animals. Also, great care has been taking in reproducing the eco-systems, including an important collection of African flora.
You can find here a lot of species from Lemurs, Elephants, Crocodiles, Giraffes (the ones that i loved most) to any birds and reptiles. The price is a bit high but worth it and in the late summer you can save some money, they give a lot of discounts.
4. The Towers—Torres de Serranos, Torres de Quart- you can visit them and climb up to see the view of the city
5. Llotja de la Seda (declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996).
6. Turia Riverbed Gardens—If you want to have a relaxing day and to get away from the heat this is the perfect place, you can ride a bike, trek, dance, explore the gardens.
7. The Port and the Malvarosa Beach—In the port you can explore the sea by taking cruises or enjoy the sea wave. the Beach is very large, good maintained and the water is also very clean . You can spend here many days just to watch the sea and tan.
1. Spain's National Day—celebrated on 12th of October and is a national holiday, you will find all the restaurants and hotels closed.
2. The Fallas—a traditional celebration held in commemoration of Saint Joseph in the city of Valencia, in Spain. The term Falles refers to both the celebration and the monuments created during the celebration. A number of towns in the Valencian Community have similar celebrations inspired by the original one in Valencia.
3. Tomatina—held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located 30 km / 19 miles from the Mediterranean, here participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for fun. It is held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol. This time of the year is very busy, the same as The Fallas, it is very difficult to find accommodation and you need to make reservations in time.
An important thing that i liked about this city is that Valencia has a very good infrastructure ( rapid metro, bus and tramway), everywhere around the city you can find bike-tracks, and you can change the bus or the metro for a bike trip, because there are a lot of bikes shop were you can rent at a fair price, or you can request for information on the hotel desk. The City of Valencia also makes available a bicycle sharing system named ValenbiSi to both visitors and residents.
Also the people here are very warm and welcoming, the other thing i liked about this city.
If you want to visit Valencia this summer i can recommand you a nice and cheap hotel, which is located near the main touristic points and at 5 minutes by bus from the city center. The hotel is called B&B Mare de Deu Jardine del Turia, you can find more information on Booking, TripAdvisor or on their main page. It's the hotel were I made the internship and staff here is very nice and welcoming.
Enjoy the photos, many of them are from my personal collection.