If you’re planning or have already booked a trip to Valencia, you’ve made an excellent choice. This delightful Spanish city is well-known for its fabulous weather, delicious cuisine, beautiful beaches, and fun and interesting attractions. One attraction which has really been pulling in the tourist numbers is the City of Arts and Sciences. Listed as one of the 12 Treasures of Spain, the complex is both a fantastic example of modern architecture and a fantastic way to spend your days in Valencia.
While the futuristic exterior is simply sublime to see in itself, it’s what’s inside the various buildings that will really enchant you. One of the biggest highlights of the City of Arts and Sciences is the Oceanografic. This amazing aquarium is the largest of its kind in Europe and gives you the chance to observe some of the most magnificent marine creatures the world has to offer. Split into seven different marine environments, there are over 500 different species housed here, including dolphins, sharks, beluga whales, seals, sea lions, and penguins. It’s such an epic attraction that you should plan to spend at least half a day here.
Next on your agenda should be the Principe Felipe Science Museum, an interactive space dedicated to science and technology. Their motto is ‘Not touching is prohibited’, which just shows you’re in for a fun time here. The permanent exhibitions cover every aspect of science you can imagine, from electricity and gravity to DNA and genetics. The museum also hosts a number of workshops if you fancy learning more.
To discover the plant life of Valencia, you should visit the Umbracle, a huge, open-space garden filled with Mediterranean plants such as rosemary, lavender, honeysuckle and palm trees. It’s also a space where you can enjoy a number of contemporary art installations and sculptures.
Those interested in the arts will find plenty to keep them occupied at the City of Arts and Sciences. The Opera House – known as Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia – has a fantastic programme of opera, theatre, ballet and music, all performed within the stunning white building. When there are no performances scheduled, it’s possible to tour the building if you book in advance. Another performance space is the newest building within the complex – the Agora – which hosts a wide variety of concerts, performances, conventions, exhibitions, and sporting events throughout the year.
If it’s movies you’re into, then a visit to the Hemisferic will be in order. This huge building, which resembles a giant eye, was the first in the complex to be opened to the public and houses an IMAX cinema, planetarium, and laserium. Many movies are screened every day, predominantly documentary films, but occasionally others are shown too; check their website for more details.
A visit to the City of Arts and Sciences should be high on anyone’s list of things to do when in Valencia. In fact, there is so much to see and do that you could easily spend the majority of your trip here!