Since ancient times, Valencia has been reknown for its radiant light, maritime spirit and fertile soil. Mediterranean by nature, here you can see relics of Roman, Visigoth and Islamic cultures, as well as notable examples of all styles of art and culture. Over the last years, the city has shown its splendour to the world as the host of major international events such as the America’s Cup regattas or F1 European Grand Prix.
Valencia enjoys a warm climate for most of the year, boasting an average temperature of 18º C and around 300 days of sun per year.
Valencia surprises visitors with its harmonious blend of antiquity and modernity. A visit to the old town is a must. There you'll find everything from the bustling Plaza de la Reina and Plaza de la Virgen, between which is located the Cathedral with its famous bell tower, El Miguelete, and the Serranos and Quart Towers, the only two perfectly-conserved city gates. Strolling through the Barrio del Carmen, you’ll arrive at the jewel of civil gothic architecture, the Lonja de la Seda (UNESCO World Heritage) which is situated opposite the modernist Central Market.
All of these contrast with the City of Arts and Sciences, designed by Valencia’s own Santiago Calatrava. The atmosphere inside this spectacular architectural complex, which lies in the former Turia riverbed, makes it one of the most worthwhile visits of all. Hiring a bicycle is highly recommended here, as you can cycle the 10 km along the riverbed which crosses the city, and take a quick trip to the African plains with a visit to Bioparc, a new zoo-immersion concept. Nearby is the bus stop for the Albufera Bus Turistic which takes you on a two-hour visit to the Albufera National Park where you can take a trip in an albuferenc, little boats used to go fishing in the lake, or visit a barraca, the houses where the families of fishermen used to live. Furthermore, Valencia boasts a seven-kilometre stretch of beaches, where you can enjoy some of the city’s traditional dishes, as the paella, on the seafront.
Art lovers are spoilt for choice, with over 30 museums to choose from. Some house contemporary art, such as the IVAM. On the other hand, you have the Museum of Fine Arts, the second largest art gallery in Spain, after the Prado Museum.
How to reach the city
The airport is about 8 km from the city centre. You can reach the city centre by taxi, by tube or by bus.
A taxi from the airport will cost approximately 15 euros (including the extra fee for service from the airport).
There is a new underground service from the airport to the city centre: lines 3 (red) and 5 (green). Both lines follow the same route to the Xátiva and Colón stations which are close to the city centre and hotels. The underground runs from 5.29 to 23.59 during the week; on Saturdays from 6.08 to 23.48 and Sundays from 7.28 to 23.43. A single ticket (1 journey) costs 1.70 euros and a return ticket costs 2.90 euros (only valid for next-day returns).
A bus service, called AERO-BUS, is also available departing every 20 minutes from 6.00 to 22:00. The fare is approximately 2.50 euros. The nearest stop to the city centre is Bailén within a 15 minute walk to most of the hotels booked by the organisation.
There are comfortable trains from Madrid and Barcelona. The train station (an interesting modernist building) is within a 5-10 minute walk to the hotels. For information on timetable and fares visit www.renfe.es
If you decide to bring or rent your own car there are two major roads leading to Valencia, one from Madrid (A-3) and another from Barcelona and France (AP-7).
Transport in the city
There is an extensive, low cost public transport network covering the city including bus, underground-tram and taxi. There are different tickets and fares available:
Bus: single ticket (on the bus), "bonobus" (10 trips, bought at kiosks).
Underground: single ticket, "bonometro" (10 trips), at the metro station.
Combined bus-underground 1-3 day tickets are also available at kiosks.
Taxis are not expensive (but there is a minimum fare of 4,90€ at daytime and 6€ after 22:00), and you can pick them up at taxi ranks or stop them in the street, or ask the reception desk to call one for you.
Electricity is supplied at 220V - 50 Hz AC with European norm plugs.
Valencia normally enjoys year-round sunshine with an average annual temperature of 20ºC (68ºF). Summers are pretty hot (32ºC max - 24ºC min) and humid; however it cools by night and most places have air-conditioning.
There are two official languages in Valencia: Valenciano and Spanish. You will find that most people are not fluent in English, except hotel staff, but they will do their best to communicate with you.Valencia normally enjoys year-round sunshine with an average annual temperature of 20ºC (68ºF). Summers are pretty hot (32ºC max - 24ºC min) and humid; however it cools by night and most places have air-conditioning
There is a good range of shops in the city centre and also big suburban shopping centres. Shops are generally open from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 17:00 to 20:00, Mondays to Saturdays. Department stores and shopping centres stay open during lunch time and close around 21:00
Spanish eating habits are characterised by late hours, we normally have lunch around 14:00 and dinner around 22:00. Most restaurants open from 14:00 to 16:00 for lunch and from 21:00 to 23:00 for dinner. However some tourist and informal places have longer opening hours.
For further information on the city and its surrounding area you can visit the following sites:
City of Valencia www.turisvalencia.es
Region of Valencia www.comunitatvalenciana.com