ValenciaValencia, almost forgotten sister amongst the shine of Barcelona and Madrid, provides a harmoniously combine the remnants of its farthest past, with the most innovative and avant-garde buildings from the new millennium. It is a sort of laid back city which offers a Roman past harboured in its down-town area and the advanced massive architectural project called The City of Arts and Sciences.It was easy to visit the down-town area as I had already purchased the unlimited metro and bus pass. My host helped me with the areas to visit and how to reach there. The down-town area boasted of the Gothic architectural buildings and cathedrals with a lot to discover by walking or cycling. It was easy to rent a cycle and roam around in city, but I preferred to walk. There was the famous Valencia Cathedral, The Barri del Carme neighbourhood, The Mercat Central and a labyrinth of streets all displaying Spanish-style buildings with large balconies and windows. There were a good number of restaurants where I enjoyed mouth-watering cuisines when I got a bit tired of walking. It was a good way to relax and engage in a chat with locals and other tourists while I enjoyed the beauty of Valencia.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Valencia is from December to June
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
Ayre Hotel Astoria Palace
The stress of work have been taking over our lives lately, for the past few months it seems like that the husband and I hardly have time to do anything together. I guess one of the best thing about living in Spain is that we do have a social life and during weekends our kids get to play with other children while we catch up with what our friends have been doing over the week. But, the last time we have spent time as a couple was about three years ago. With work and kids being an excuse it’s easy to over look that we STILL need to spend some time alone, even if it’s just for the weekend. Finally, after our good friend willingly volunteered as a babysitter on Friday, my husband and I decided to spend a unplanned weekend getaway in Valencia. Our friend recommended the Ayre Hotel Astoria Palace because of it’s location, and even though we have lived in Valencia for a couple of years, we are still quite unfamiliar with places in the city. This hotel seems like a good choice when it came to location and positive reviews. After reassuring us a number of times that the kids WILL BE OK, we booked our room at the hotel on Saturday, hoping to only stay a night. The hotel is situated very close to the old town of Valencia, only a walking distance from the main attractions. I’m a great lover of old architecture so this is the perfect location, easily accessible with large choice of bars and restaurants around the area to try. No matter what your taste is, you will certainly find something to do! I particularly loved the surroundings including cafe Nederland 1814 which is situated on a square across the road from the hotel. A great place to chill, eat and watch the world go by. The hotel staff were friendly and willing to help.. Our room was stylish and spacious, I specially loved the sliding mirrored wardrobes, writing desk and the enormous bed! The walk in bathroom was also large and came with the usual complimentary towels, robes and soap. The complimentary chocolates on the bed was a nice touch too, but I made sure I brought those back for the kids. The view from our room was also impressive, we checked in at about 8pm (I told you this was a last minute plan). We had room 314 and was just in time to watch the sunset, which was breathtaking. It almost felt like a scene from Assassins Creed! At that time we realised, we should do this more often! The only fault I can think of is the shortage of drinks from the mini-bar and coffee/tea making facilities. We would have liked to have had a drink once we checked in, but was disappointed to find that the mini-bar was only filled with bottled water. But, that didn’t ruin our weekend and to be fair there are a lot more better bars and restaurants nearby to have a drink and tapas. After spending a few hours bar hopping and enjoying the atmosphere, I realised how important it is to have this little time together and finally spending the time to get to know Valencia at night. Feeling lucky that we have this right outside our doorstep and we should take advantage of it more. A great weekend, nice hotel beautiful city , but one night is definitely not enough!
The Central Market of Valencia
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 7.30 to 14.30, Valencia Central Market is a perfect example of what a good market should be, it is almost hard not to find anything that you need, from fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, herbs, fresh bread and many more! I was told that the fishermen usually go out to sea on Monday, so Tuesday is the best day to go to the market to find the freshest catch in Valencia, and he was not wrong. As a lover of seafood I truly enjoyed looking and admiring how fresh all the products are, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed or get too carried away, an exciting place to be specially if you’re a foodie like me! The traders are friendly and always willing to help, though quite hard to communicate as many of them only speak Castellano or Valenciano. But, I have never found this a problem, even when we first moved here, it is not hard to point at what you want, a little Spanglish and hand signals usually breaks the ice. Foodie or not, Valencia Central Market is the perfect place to view local produce and soak up the atmosphere while having a cortado or two. Or in my case, three glasses of my new favourite albariño wine, a morning well spent.
Valencia pirate shop
While exploring the Mission District it would be a mistake to miss out on the 826 Valencia pirate shop. It’s smart design and playful pirate props is bound to bring out your inner child, which is an important part of the shops design. The space doubles as a writing and tutoring center for local kids. It creates the perfect place for kids to release their creativity while learning. The store features the students’ published works and best of all purchases from the pirate store go to supporting the education programs!