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Cultured yet cool, with urban beaches, green space and a buzzing food scene, Valencia holidays are packed with things to do for every type of traveller. But Spain’s third largest city also offers plenty of opportunities to relax, whether over a long, lazy lunch trying local specialities or lounging by the sea.
With more than 300 days of sunshine a year and generally mild temperatures, a city break in Valencia can be all about soaking up some vitamin D. Hire a bike and explore Turia Gardens, a large urban park built on a former riverbed, plan a route to one of the city’s beaches or to get your heart racing while paddle boarding.
Valencia’s central, atmospheric old quarter is home to many of the city’s attractions including its cathedral, the Silk Exchange, Central Market and the Valencian Institute of Modern Art. Allow some time admire the architecture which has Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque influences, and keep your energy levels up by stopping for tapas or coffee in one of the area’s numerous bars and cafes.
For an architectural contrast, head to the striking City of Arts and Sciences buildings, some of which were designed by Santiago Calatrava. On the former Turia riverbed, you could easily spend a day here; it houses a science museum, IMAX cinema, an opera house, a planetarium and the largest aquarium in Europe.
No trip to Valencia would be complete without trying its famous paella. One of Spain’s most famous meals, the paella is said to have originated here, and you can expect more authentic versions, different to tweaked dishes you may have eaten elsewhere. The dish typically consists of locally grown rice, three different types of beans and traditional meats such as chicken or rabbit.
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