Hear about travel to Valencia, Spain as the Amateur Traveler talks to Jason Jenkins from AnEpicEducation.com about the 2 years his family lived in Spain’s 3rd largest city.
Jason says of Valencia, “You could spend weeks and weeks in Valencia and not do the same thing twice, lots of different opportunities. It doesn’t get the attention that Barcelona and Madrid get. There’s fantastic food. Lots of different cultural events. Some are unique to Valencia.”
“Valencia is on the Mediterranean. It has fantastic weather year-round. There were days at Christmas when I would be in a t-shirt and jeans. It has an insane amount of fantastic restaurants. It has that European al fresco dining culture. It has everything from Michelin starred restaurants to great street food. It’s remarkably safe. It has beautiful architecture. The buses and the train system are fantastic. It is very walkable. There are also public bikes. It has everything that you want in a big city (large public festivals, good cinemas, art galleries, museums galore, good restaurants) but it’s almost laid out as a small city. It has a fantastic public park that I think is one of the main attractions of the city.”
We start in the oldest part of the city, the historic center, the El Carmen neighborhood. This is the old Roman and medieval heart of the city. You will find the main cathedral here on the Plaza of the Virgin. Many people claim you will find the holy grail in this cathedral. The only two remaining towers of the medieval walls are in this area.
A short walk from here is a toy soldier museum with hundreds of thousands of tin soldiers. On the other side of the plaza is the archeology museum where you can see the remains of the Roman city under the modern city. Further south you can find yourself at one of the most beautiful markets in Europe, the Mercado Central.
There is one UNESCO site downtown which is Llotja de la Seda, the medieval silk exchange which Jason highly recommends. His daughter also recommends the nearby chocolate place.
The river that used to flood the city periodically was redirected and the old river was turned into a 9 km long park with baseball fields, soccer pitches, a rugby field, an opera house, a symphony hall, a science museum, a zoo, an aquarium and a playground where the equipment is in the shape of a gigantic Gulliver from Gulliver’s Travels. Some of these buildings are ultra-modern buildings where the movie Tomorrowland was filmed.
Jason also recommends you get out of town to the south to the Albufera freshwater lagoon and estuary off the Mediterranean. This is where you will find the rice production for Valencia’s paella.
Hear why Jason and his family fell in love with this too often overlooked Spanish city.
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Barrio del Carmen
Our Top 23 Things to do in Valencia with Kids
L’Iber Museo de Los Soldaditos de Plomo (Toy Soldiers Museum)
Central Market (Mercado Central)
Ricard Camarena Restaurant
Central Bar (Ricard Camarena Sandwich shop)
Llotja de la Seda (UNESCO)
Valor (Chocolate Place)
Mercado de Colón
Palau de la Música
Reina Sofía Opera House
Príncipe Felipe Science Museum
El Rec de la Sitja (restaurant)
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