Barcelona has a lot to offer yet, at times, you might be overwhelmed with the hordes of tourists and constant traffic. So how about getting away for the weekend to a more tranquil place? There are numerous places to choose from in Catalonia, but how about trying something different and going a little further to Valencia?
A Brief Overview
Valencia has a nice mix between the old and new. Its diverse history ranges from the Romans to the Moors and even the Visigoth. This becomes apparent while in the old town, where you can see historical landmarks like the Lonja de la Seda (silk Exchange). Shifting forward to the 21st century, you can see the City of Arts and Sciences, which is a work by local architect Santiago Calatrava. Other than its rich history, Valencia also offers pleasant beaches, a variety of stores and a healthy nightlife.
The Origin of Spain’s Signature Dish
Here you will find the world famous paella as it is the local dish of Valencia. The traditional version usually includes chicken and rabbit, but you can also choose from seafood variations. Another seafood option is their stew with either eels ‘all i pebre’ or fish ‘suquet de Peix’. Typically, the prices are comparable and often cheaper than in Barcelona.
City of Arts and Sciences
This futuristic complex houses the largest aquarium in Europe (Oceanogràfic), a 3D and IMAX cinema complex (The Hemisfèric), Príncipe Felipe Science Museum, and an opera house (Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía). Prices range from 8 to 30€ per ticket. If you don’t feel like spending the money to visit all of them, at least take a walk to see them from the outside and marvel at the unique architecture.
The old city can easily be explored by foot but as it is rather large, you might choose to rent either a bike or moped. The price for bike rentals ranges from 10-15€/day.
How to Get There
The best way to get to Valencia from Barcelona is by train, bus, or car.
Taking the train is super convenient as the AVE can get you there in a little over 3 hours. The price for the train ranges from 20-45€ for a one-way ticket.
Another alternative is blablacar, which is a cheap and a fun social experience.
For more information visit Valencia’s tourist website.