Traditionally, Valencia, Spain has been the weekend vacation spot for Madrilenos. For Americans, it was “that city” that had something to do with oranges. But there’s more to this charming city than hot beaches and fruit, and plenty of reasons to visit Valencia, Spain.
In fact, this 2,000-year-old city—the third largest city in Spain—is brimming with exciting architecture, terrific gastronomy and an engaging, contained culture (they have their own language other than Spanish) that makes it completely unique for both locals and travelers alike. Throw in attractions like the authentic Holy Grail (or is it? experts wonder) and award-winning architect Santiago Calatrava-designed City of Arts and Sciences, and you’ve got plenty of reason to travel to Valencia, Spain in 2023 — we’ll give you the top 5.
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Here are 5 reasons to visit Valencia Spain in 2023
Valencia was designated the 2022 World Design Capital
With its more than 2000-year-old history, the city’s streets are soaked with influences from its Roman and Moorish past. Valencia is where the beauty of history meets modern design and architecture. The Spanish city is now ready to share its museums, galleries, gastronomy, picturesque neighborhoods, outdoor experiences and culture of arts and sciences with visitors seeking vibrant new adventures within its ancient gates.
“Valencia’s legacy of design reaches new heights in 2022 as the World Design Capital and we want to extend a piece of this magic to all,” said Maximo Caletrio, promotions manager for the U.S. and Canada, Visit Valencia Foundation. “Visitors will fall in love with the culinary temptations, miles of coastline, and the cultural offerings and festivities they will enjoy here. 2022 also brought a vast array of events commemorating this important status on the world stage.”
Some of the city’s design highlights are:
- The City of Arts and Sciences is an impressive complex that serves as a monument to scientific and cultural advancement and encompasses seven splendidly designed areas. These include the Palau de les Arts for performing arts, the Hemisfèric – a planetarium and IMAX cinema, a Science Museum that resembles a whale skeleton, the Oceanogràfic – Europe’s largest aquarium, the beautiful Umbracle, an open-access garden spans 183,000 sq. ft., the bridge of L’Assut de L’Or and the newest purple Ágora – a versatile event venue.
- Famous for its delicious gastronomy, Valencia boasts a pictorial food market built in 1928. Walking through the Mercat Central de Valencia serves as an introduction to the high-quality ingredients that infuse Valencian dishes with dynamic tastes. The modern structure of the building made of iron and colorful glasswork with ceramic ornamentation delights the eyes for an experience that enchants all the senses.
- Vibrant neighborhoods such as Carmen, Russafa and Cabanyal are a dream to explore. With their interesting façades and cultural spaces, it is evident how design has forged the character of a city where artisanal industries such as pottery and silks made a name for themselves.
- Valencia’s green spaces and 13 miles of Mediterranean coastline are also an important aspect of the city’s design. Among those to visit include: the Botanic Garden, which contains a large range of rare and endangered species of Mediterranean flora; the Jardines de Viveros that has ruins of an ancient palace and a pond with ducks and swans; and the new Parque Central to enjoy for a walk among abundant vegetation, recreational areas and fountains.
Valencia Spain is the ideal location for digital nomads
Valencia’s appeal also attracts travelers seeking a workcation. The city’s location near the water, year-round comfortable weather and relaxed lifestyle makes Valencia a great place to work from. With remote working on the rise, Valencia is ready to welcome travelers who wish to mesh their professional goals with their wanderlust.
Digital nomads can book a stay at the SingularStays apartments, a home rental agency that offers short-term furnished apartments with incredible amenities like access to a coworking space. Additionally, the coworking concept of Wayco has office spaces in the Ruzafa and Abastos neighborhoods. For those who prefer a hotel stay, Hotel Valencia Oceanic presents a package where guests can book rooms only for the workday while enjoying the hotel’s services and amenities.
The city is a sustainable destination, one of the most recognized in Spain
Valencia is a pioneer in verifying and certifying the carbon footprint of its tourist activity thanks to a study conducted by Global Omnium in collaboration with Visit Valencia, and it aims to be an emission-neutral destination by 2025. Visitors who want to reduce their environmental impact can, for example, opt to explore the city on two wheels, taking advantage of its flat terrain and network of more than 90 miles of bike lanes. This is definitely one of the best reasons to visit Valencia Spain in 2023.
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Sustainable gastronomy is also well-established in Valencia, and the abundance of local products can be enjoyed in bars and restaurants throughout the city. Some go even further in their sustainable initiatives as is the case with Ricard Camarena Restaurant, the first restaurant in the city to receive a Green Michelin Star. The restaurant’s crops are grown less than 6 miles away where only traditional and eco-friendly agricultural methods are used.
Camarena calls the restaurant’s experience “agriculture a-la-carte” because only what can be cultivated is what takes the spotlight on the menu. When crops exceed what is needed for cooking, the restaurant prepares vegetable semi-preserves to be used at a later date.
Valencia is an urban destination with a calmer pace
To avoid the crowds found in major European hubs, travelers can handpick Valencia and explore its urban modernity, historic central district, beaches and so much more without having to leave the city. The pandemic and daily stress have made travelers dream of a relaxing, yet fun vacation and Valencia offers experiences and activities for travelers of all backgrounds. Some might want to take advantage of Valencia’s cultural events calendar or renowned museums, like the National Ceramics Museums, while others may simply enjoy the slower pace of Spanish culture and prefer to take a calming stroll by the Mediterranean.
Beyond the Mediterranean diet, Valencia promotes a healthy lifestyle
Valencia captivates travelers who like to enjoy the outdoors, take a breath of fresh air, exercise and improve their health. Visitors must explore the Turia Gardens, the largest urban park in all Spain and the green lungs of the city. The park’s route expands over six miles and connects breathtaking Parque de la Cabecera and the City of Arts and Sciences. It provides opportunities to enjoy cycling, mini golf, outdoor cafeterias, and a variety of flora. Sport enthusiasts can also enjoy nautical activities such as paddle boarding, wind sailing, and jet skiing.
Other developments for 2022 will include the Caixaforum, a cultural center designed to offer two exhibition halls, an auditorium, and a family education center within Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences and the Casal España Arena of Valencia – a 220-million-euro investment to create a multi-purpose indoor arena for sporting events, cultural and entertainment activities.
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