Valencia City offers a rich monumental heritage and is a mix of beautiful old architecture and modern futuristic buildings like the City of Arts and Sciences, designed by world renowned Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava. The six massive, contemporary buildings are located in 2 miles of the old river bed. They include the Museum of Science and Technology, a covered garden promenade with spectacular views of the entire complex, the Hemisphere whose design resembles a human eye and is used for presentations on a giant screen, the Palace of Arts, a Sports Arena, and the Oceanographic which is the largest marine park in Europe. The Oceanographic has more than 45,000 samples of 500 specimens of marine life and focuses on the marine life of different climate zones around the world in both indoor and outdoor venues. The aquariums are designed so you walk through glass tunnels while sea life swims all around you. Parks and plazas provide green areas to walk around or sit and relax.. In 1957, parts of Valencia suffered severe flooding from the river Turia so the city decided to drain the area and turn it into a 4 mile park which crosses the city and is used for sports, walking and cycling. Bicycle pick up and drop off points are dotted around the city. The state-of-the-art metro has continued to expand and dozens of hip new bars, restaurants and boutiques have injected new life into the historic city centre. Valencia has also fully redeveloped its beach and port area which enabled it to host the Americas Cup and Formula 1 racing.
The most atmospheric part of the city is undoubtedly the maze-like Barrio del Carmen or Old Town. This once-neglected quarter continues to undergo regeneration, as buildings are renovated and stylish cafes open up next to crumbling townhouses, all of which makes for an incredibly vibrant, alternative neighbourhood.
Valencia has long boasted some of the best nightlife in mainland Spain. Vivir Sin Dormir (Live Without Sleep) is the name of one of its bars, and epitomizes the nighttime activities. The city is alive with noise and colour throughout the year, with explosions of gunpowder, fireworks and festivities punctuating the calendar. Valencia’s fiestas are some of the most riotous in Spain and the best is Las Fallas, held in March, which culminates in a massive bonfire where all the processional floats are burned. A city with a past dating back as far as 138BC and with an ever evolving future, Valencia has something for everyone.