The Best Cultural Things to do in Valencia
Valencia is known for its free-flowing sangria, deliciously rich paella and golden sand beaches. However, this magnificent city is also filled to the brim with historical and cultural wonders. With lush gardens, picturesque bohemian neighborhoods, UNESCO gothic architecture and the famous City of Arts and Science, Valencia is one of the cultural hubs of Spain. So, to find out how to get in touch with the real spirit of this city, check out our list of the top cultural sites in Valencia.
Let Your Inner Creative Free
Imagine a pristine world in the year 3000, filled with modernistic buildings and etherial pools of crystal clear water and you’ll be pretty close to the splendor of the City of Arts and Science in Valencia. Started in the 90s and finally finished in 2005, these impressive buildings are now filled with state of the art attractions. L’Hemisfèric a planetarium and IMAX Cinema, and the spectacular L’Umbracle, a botanical garden housing some of the most exotic native species to Valencia both call this unbelievable place home. For fun with the entire family, the City of Arts and Science is one of the top cultural sites in Valencia.
Step Back in Time
Valencia is filled with stunning 15th-century architecture, but nothing comes close to the gothic masterpiece that is the La Lonja de la Seda. The name of this UNESCO World Heritage Site means ‘Silk Exchange’ in homage to when Valencia was one of Europe’s main trade and culture centers. Marvel at the wondrous detail of the delicate twisting columns, high ceilings and intricate decor. For a peek into this grand city’s past, a trip to La Lonja de la Seda is one of the best cultural things to do in Valencia.
Drink, Eat and Be Merry
El Carmen is the ultimate juxtaposition of old and new. Grand palaces, 14th-Century buildings and medieval Torres rub shoulders with boutique stores, hip cafes and modern bars. Walking through the shaded streets of this bohemian neighborhood gives the perfect restate to Valencia’s hot summer afternoons, where you can enjoy a delicious paella, a refreshing cocktail and a stop of shopping. Once the sun sets, Calle de Caballeros is where the action is. This street runs right through El Carmen, and it’s where almost every night out in Valencia ends up. For a more modern cultural experience in Valencia, El Carmen is the place to be.
Turia Park provides the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, and get back to nature. Created in the 20th-Century after the River Turia destroyed the city and was diverted, this 9km park is an amazing spectacle. One of the main features are the 18 bridges that still cross the park, a haunting reminder of what was and a perfect photo op. With an orange grove, pine forest, palm trees, fountains and winding paths, Turia Park is the most picturesque place in the city. Enjoy a picnic, yoga on the grass, tai chi or cycling in one of the top cultural sites in Valencia.
Gaze upon the Holy Grail
One of Valencia’s most famous claims to fame is that they own the official Holy Grail, the actual goblet that Jesus drank from at the last supper. Although many countries around the world claim to own this famous cup, there’s something extremely magical about standing in front of the glowing Holy Grail of Valencia. What makes the whole experience even more special is that it’s located within one of the top cultural sites in Valencia, the Grand Cathedral. After you’ve soaked up the mystery of the Holy Grail, you can walk up the many steps to the top of the Miguelete bell tower and soak up the unbelievable views of the city.
The Top Cultural Sites in Valencia
- City of Arts and Science
- La Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange)
- El Carmen Neighborhood
- Turia Park
- Holy Grail of Valencia