Valencia is surprising. The best way to discover this is by going there. In fact the capital of the Turia river has been modernised without losing its traditional soul… maintaining its tradition at the same time as becoming more modern. Therefore, in Valencia you can enjoy yourself just as much at La Lonja, one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in all of Spain, as at thrilling speeds, roaring from Formula 1 motors, which can be experienced in the Grand Prix on its urban circuit (the fastest of all the World Championships).
With a commercial, cosmopolitan and lively past, Valencia has experienced long periods of darkness and anonymity. The city went into decline, starting to look ugly and fading, then it’s luck turned. Somebody thought that there would be no better place than this for the spectacular complex of the City of Arts and Sciences. Then came the Oceanographic, the largest aquarium in Europe. After that was the Copa América, a media event which acted as a catalyst in Valencia, opening the city to a Mediterranean sea which had offered its support over many decades. Today, a new Marina, with bars, restaurants, shops, glamour and sport acts as the new seafront.
However, the renovation has not only affected the city’s seafront area. Major changes have also been made inland, whilst still respecting the soul of the city. Thanks to this, for example, the essence of Valencia’s old quarter has been recovered where possible, whilst taking into account the restored facades of the Baroque palace of Dos Aguas or the Gothic gargoyles of La Lonja de la Seda (the Silk Exchange)… and before you know it the time has come to enjoy dinner in an avant-garde restaurant.
In this area of the city, you mustn’t miss a climb up the cathedral tower, known as El Miquelet. Nearby, the Central Market, a real modernist jewel, offers an entire melting pot of aromas and colours… especially in the morning, when the market explodes with life. Under the light that filters through its refined ceiling, visitors not only have the opportunity to fill their larder, they can also buy a bunch of flowers or enjoy a coffee.
The Carmen district embodies the History of Valencia. Therefore, walking along these streets you can absorb the atmosphere and practically feel the weight of the past on Plaza Madre de Dios, the Virgen de los Desamparados basilica… or Santa Caterina square, where a delicious horchata drink awaits you in the El Siglo horchatería. Bon appétit… ten thousand works of art stored in the Valencian Institute of Modern Art IVAM await you.