Valencia Things to Do Tips by LuigiMS
Valencia Things to Do: 524 reviews and 1,183 photos
Partial View of L'Hemisfèric and Museu de les C.
The avant-gardist Ciutat de Les Arts i Les Ciències is the exponent of the modern side of Valencia.
Its monumental architecture worth it to be seen from very close, and go for a walk through it and the beautiful parks by the North side, or the Umbracle, a quiet semi-covered garden with mediterranean plants, artificial brook, and trees South of the Museum de Les Ciències.
All the big buildings are surrounded by large water sheets in order to reflect them and refresh the zone when it's hot.
The Oceanogràfic is the biggest sea-life facility in Europe, and one of the biggest ones over the world, with a huge aquarium and 2 glass tunnels (of 70 and 30 m), and also a submarine restaurant surrounded by water, as well as other aquariums for different ecosystems, from tropical to arctic. There are all kind of fishes, sharks, whales, seals, sea lions, penguins, marshy and mangrove birds inside a giant cage, a big pool for dolphin shows, etc.
L'Hemisfèric shows IMAX movies, laser and planetarium shows.
The Palau de Les Arts will be an amazing building with some halls for concerts, opera and shows.
The Museu de Les Ciències shows many features related to science. Its funny slogan: "It's forbidden not to touch".
Directions: It's Southeast in the city. Taking the way to El Saler Highway.
"Ofrenda at plaza de la Virgen"
The smell of powder, which is nearly like a drug for Valencian people, hot chocolate, "churros" and "buñuelos" extend along the most crowded zones, whilst hearing music bands with their instruments, marching by behind every "comissió de falla" (group of people devoted to one "falla"), and playing "paso dobles" and other typical music.
Hundreds of streets are festooned with millions of glowing light bulbs. The best zone for this is the neighborhood of Russafa (Ruzafa). Many parades ("fallers", "Moors and Christians", ...) take place. Children and teenagers blast their small firecrackers in closed zones. Crowds of thousands roaming the whole city center and surrounding area, ....
Finally, the festive, exciting and merry atmosphere the city and people transmit will pass on you for sure.
Recomedations: main days of "Fallas" are thought only for pedestrians. Don't go by car, please, just gather the other thousands people walking. In addition, all the city center is enabled for pedestrians only. It's great! There are also lots of streets closed to traffic throughout the city.
As wherever are crowds of people, please watch out for pickpockets. Bring valuable objects in unaccesible pockets. Don't bring bags, handbags or wallets on the back or in back pockets. If you take these advises into account, your "Fallas" days will be great. Otherwise you're in a risk and you might be robbed by robbers. They also come to cities with important celebrations so as to have their particular vacations.
Mascletà at "plaza Ayuntamiento"
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From 16th or 17th to 19th almost all "fallas" got their own "mascletà". And from 2pm to 3pm you will have the sensation of being in a bombarded city. You can hear echoes of blasts nearby and far away all around. It's very amazing. But not dangerous indeed.
The monuments ("fallas"): they're made of papier-maché and represent with humor, wittiness and constructive criticism, many features of nowadays' national and international events and problems, celebrities of all classes with funny expressions, politicians, etc., all with colorful figures.
Don't miss the most important, included in "secció especial" (special section). Most of them are around the city center.
"Ofrenda": This is the only religious event during "Fallas". Thousands of "fallers" wearing the typical old Valencian clothes go marching towards "plaza de la Virgen" in order to offer our patron saint virgin, thousands of bunches with (white, red, etc) carnation flowers. There, a big monument devoted to her is covered with a large flowered cloak with beautiful patterns, and then that city square gets full of a pleasant aroma. This take place on 17th and 18th afternoons and evenings.
Night parties: if Valencia's nightlife is very amusing and lively all through the year, on "Fallas" is unbelievable. Night bars and clubs prolong their closing times, and crowds and crowds roam the main zones for nightlife, as well as dozens of outdoor night parties play their music all over the city. There are also night rock and pop concerts.
It's typical for people who still stands at 7am or 8am to go (before going to bed) for a breakfast of hot chocolate and typical fried sweet food called "buñuelos" and "churros" ("bunyols" or "xurros"). But you can enjoy them at any time. It's not necessary to stand 'til those hours everyday (you might miss other events in the morning).
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Address: Mainly city center and surrounding area.
Directions: The entire city center is closed to traffic and people can walk not only the sidewalks but also on the lanes.
Falla in Plz. la Merced
The Fallas, very well-known all over the world, is the most important celebration in Spain.
It begins warming up since March the 1st, when the events called mascletà begin taking place on Plaza de l'Ajuntament (Ayuntamiento) everyday at 2pm, some comic and cultural parades take place on Saturdays as well as fireworks, and an exhibition of the figures ("ninots") that will be burned on the 19th day take place as well.
But the main days are of course from March 15th night to 19th night. Those days, the papier-mache monuments with their "ninots" are settled, and the streets are full of people going by who take over all the city center even at very early morning.
The Fallas is a celebration which has many assorted events, very different each other.
The most important thing is the "falla", they're over 700 big and small monuments settled throughout the city (and the same number over the rest of the Valencian region and even a few in other regions and abroad such as Paris and Buenos Aires). They are exhibited to people and finally burned on the 19th night.
Fireworks are very common these last days. You can see them throughout the city. The most important ones take place at 12:30 or 1 am from 15th to 18th at "La Alameda" avenue (the one on the18th is called "Nit de Foc").
The 19th night, from 22pm, but mainly since midnight, it's amazing if you have the chance to go up to a high position, because you'll see dozens of fireworks all around, when the "fallas" are about to be burned.
Another thing: "mascletà", an event made by the combined explosion of hundred of big ground and aerial firecrackers which produce a sensation of an earthquake and a battlefield.
They last 5-7 minutes. They're awesome and very appreciated by local people. Tourists get amazed and even scared if they're very close. It's a unique sensation very recommended. Don't worry, they're not dangerous.
The main "mascletaes" take place at 2pm at plaza de ´l'Ajuntament (city hall square), from March 1st to 19th and are very crowded.
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Address: The entire city, mainly the city center.
Directions: Most important neighborhoods: all the historic center, neighborhood of Russafa (Ruzafa), and Eixample (Ensanche), AKA Plà del Remei + Cànovas.
Fallas. Thousands of light bulbs in calle Sueca.
For tourism, the most recommended places to have lunch when the weather is good: the restaurants along "Playa de las Arenas" (Las Arenas beach) and those other spotted along the next beach going North, "Playa de la Malvarrosa".
In summer, this place is also very lovely for a good dinner.
But when we're not in summer, tourism uses to move around El Carmen for dinner.
Other important restaurant places for tourism: the pedestrian streets all around "Paseo de Ruzafa" (Passeig de Russafa), and "Paseo(Passeig) de Ribera".
But the better place for me and in general for local people to have dinner are the streets of the Ensanche (Eixample), Specifically going South from "Plaza de Cánovas" along "calle(carrer) de Salamanca", "calle Conde de Altea", "calle Císcar", "calle Burriana(Borriana)" and adjacents. There are LOTS of restaurants (from cheap to expensive) that get full on weekends.
Other great choices are the best commercial and leisure malls: C.C.El Saler (beside Museu de les Ciències), Heron City and Kinepolis (Ademuz highway), very cool, C.C.Bonaire (A-3 highway, Aldaia), Alfafar or Gran Turia.
Address: El Carmen, Calle Caballeros, Plaza de Cánovas
Directions: For Cánovas, go south along calle Salamanca. Most formal restaurants are around "calle Cirilo Amorós".
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