What is The City of Arts and Sciences?
It’s an architectural wonder that puts this city as one of the biggest tourist attractions in Spain. With its breathtaking white domes with shining glass and large reflecting pools, it’s truly a stunning sight. There’s four parts to this massive complex: L’Hemisferic (IMAX Theater and planetarium), Museum of Science (interactive science museum), L’Umbracle (garden and outdoor art gallery) and L’Oceangrafic (aquarium).
- L’Oceangrafic is a glorified aquarium. The only features that make it a little special is a large open-air seal and penguin and a large orb bird exhibit. The architecture is phenomenal creating large open spaces, natural light and lots of space.
- While I know everyone has watched Blackfish and as a vegetarian, I’m supposed to morally object to zoos and aquariums. I think this place has some good examples of ethical habitats and some no so great examples. The animals don’t put on shows while you can see the trainers doing activities with the animals it’s not for the crowd’s entertainment.
- Science Museum is fun for young and old. While some people told me, this is just for kids I am far less pessimistic. The science museum has lots and lots of exhibits to play in and a few fun movies you can see. It’s all very interesting and lots of good fun like fake operating on a body, pulling at intestines, walking on a trembling bridge and going inside of the planet Saturn. So regardless of age, just go have some fun if you are in The City of Arts and Sciences.
- Umbracle is a garden/ outdoor art gallery by day and club at night. It has lovely gardens and a bar. I went as part of my La Tomatina package for the pre-party. The set up was gorgeous! However in terms of a club, it’s just like every other club ever. Or perhaps I’m just jaded.
- I did not go to the IMAX because, I can go to an IMAX anywhere.
The Old City Sights
Museums and sights are free on Sundays and your tourist card does permit discounted-free entry to all of them (I think). I went on a Sunday and I suggest waking up early.
- Crypt is a great little sight. It’s funny because they put on overly dramatic music out of a 50’s horror film.
- La Lonja is a UNESCO site. It’s a 15-century building, it’s architecturally beautiful and I believe 2 Euros normally but free on Sunday. It used to be a marketplace. The detail put in to the architecture is really beautiful and ornate.
- The Cathedral in Valencia is listed a must-see but it’s just like every other Cathedral in the world. There is nothing special about it but every city likes to pretend their cathedral is better than everyone else’s, sort of like men and… well you know. What makes it interesting is this Cathedral was built over a Mosque in 1238.
- Torres de Serrano is an old tower left over from the medieval times. It’s free to enter and there’s a great view of the city as well as some interesting street art.
Old City is great with lots of shops, fountains, great food and plenty of random alleyways with street art.
Art Museums Everywhere
- Mueso de Bella Artes is a normal museum with lots of fine arts.
- IVAM is the modern art museum has some really amazing exhibits. I loved the famous art piece remade with superheroes, rooms filled the letter “S” written in a variety of styles and large metal mobiles.
- Fallas Museum is a quirky little museum with different exhibits from the yearly Fallas festival. Artists create large floats out of detailed papier-mâché. They are all satirical or pretty.
Quick tip: Tourist Card was a great money saver for me. There are a bunch of different options. I got the package with transportation, Oceangrafic and the science museum. It also included many coupons and discounts on a variety of things. I think I paid ~40 euros for it. If you are planning to visit The City of Arts and Sciences, this path is worth your money. This attraction has three parts and all have expensive entry fees. http://www.valenciatouristcard.com/en/home
It’s always a good idea to go to the beach. Even if it’s cold just take a sweater and walk along the coast.