Darlene Foster's Blog

A Visit to Valencia

Posted on: April 12, 2022

A few years ago I visited Valencia and loved it. I realized I hadn’t written a blog post about this marvellous city located halfway between Alicante and Barcelona. It is often overlooked in favour of places like Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Toledo and Granada. All great cities, but I would also highly recommend a visit to this, the third-largest city in Spain. It’s a wonderful example of the old and the new blended together perfectly. Valencia is rich in history, amazing architecture, an oasis of art, culture and leisure, and the home of paella! It’s also one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world.

After a few devasting floods, the city planners diverted the river Turia three kilometres south of downtown and turned the former river bed into a pleasant ten-kilometre green space enjoyed by all. Parks, gardens, sports facilities, children’s play areas and walking paths fill this fifteen-hectare space.

Turia Gardens in the old riverbed
Turia Gardens
Sporting events held in the former riverbed

I took a hop-on hop-off bus tour which enabled me to see most of the city. The architecture is amazing. Here are a few samples. Some of my pictures were taken from the bus so are not as good as could be, but you’ll get the idea.

At each end of the bridge called, Puente del Real, stand religious statues.
The Tower of Santa Catalina
The Bank of Valencia building
The Micalet belltower, part of the Valencia Cathedral built on the site of a former mosque, and before that a Roman temple.
The Serranos Towers once guarded an important entrance to the city.

I remember enjoying the 1961 film, El Cid, starring Charlton Heston and Sophie Loren. (Yes, I loved historic movies way back then already) I was excited to find a statue of the popular 11th-century warrior who fought to free Spain from invaders. He is a popular Spanish folk hero and has been called The Prince of Valencia.

The famous Spanish warrior, El Cid
Plaza de la Virgin with a fountain representing the river Turia
Front of the Church of Los Santos Juanes

There are so many wonderful museums to visit, but I didn’t have much time so chose the Ceramics Museum housed in the Palace of Marquis de Don Aguas. The splendid facade of the building is worth the visit alone. Inside are fabulous pieces of ceramics dating from pre-historic times to the present day as well as tapestries, jewellery and furniture. This visit requires a post of its own.

Palace of the Marquis de Don Aguas, home of the Ceramics Museum

In my previous post, I mentioned the troupe of traditional dancers I came across. I love when this happens! They were so delighted with my interest in them, that they gave me a front-row seat to watch their performance. The children were adorable.

The men’s traditional Valencian costume
The dancing was terrific. It made my day!

Valencia also has Art Nouveau buildings as well as modern structures including a world-class music hall, an art centre, a group of buildings that make up the futuristic City of Arts and Science and a Science Museum. Something to check out on another visit.

I had such a wonderful time and certainly plan to return to this incredible city.

69 Responses to "A Visit to Valencia"

So nice to tour this city with you Darlene!

Nice to have you along, Chris. Have a great day!

So beautiful! Architecture and art beautifully integrated. And all the dancing and colorful clothes, marvelous. This city is definitely worth a visit–or more than one!

It certainly is. And I only posted a few of the pictures I took. I was so enthralled by this city.

What wonderful pictures, Darlene. Besides the beauty of these areas, I definitely see their pride. I love that.

There is a lot of pride in their city and their culture. It is very evident. The costumes are quite different from other parts of Spain.

Thank you for this enjoyable tour, Darlene! I’d heard of Valencia, of course, but I knew nothing about it.

Thanks, Liz. I forgot to mention the Valencian oranges which are so good.

You’re welcome, Darlene. I could go with a Valencian orange right about now!

What a magical city! We definitely want to visit on our next Spain visit, because there will be at least one more!

You two would absolutely love it. Besides the best paella anywhere, the food is amazing.

I love their food, culture, and overall attitude – we can’t wait to explore!

Thank you for the virtual tour of this beautiful city, Darlene such impressive architecture…Great images 🙂 x

Thanks, Carol. So pleased you enjoyed the tour. xo

What a lovely city! Thanks for sharing.

It was a real treat to visit this city. Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

Thanks for the tour. All I can say is, “They don’t make things as lovely as they used to.” Imagine if city planners put as much artistic flare into today’s buildings as they did back then. Now they are rectangles and squares. Very boring. And they won’t last half the time.

I agree. It is so nice to see these amazing old buildings which have lasted over the centuries. Even the more modern buildings in Valencia had some style to them.

Valencia has a rich culture. Thanks for sharing the festive colors and joyful dancing, Darlene.

I love travel photos and enjoy TV shows like Rick Steves’ who recently did a travelogue of a Spanish city, I believe Granada. 😀

Rick Steves does a great job, I enjoy his travel shows. Granada is another unique city with incredible history. It’s also an easy city to get lost in, as I well know.

Wow, what a beautiful city. Thanks for sharing the pictures. Love the architecture!

It is a very beautiful city, very clean. The people are very friendly as well. The dancers were delightful and made me feel like a special guest.

What marvelous architecture! Thanks for the visual tour.

Thanks, Pete. Pleased you enjoyed the tour. It was hard to pick which of my many pictures to share.

Looks like a lovely city indeed 🙂

It is a special place. Thanks, Carol Anne.

We went to Valencia, Darlene. We only stopped a couple of days in each major city, so we didn’t see everything you saw.

I love your photos. I love the architecture and colorful culture in Spain. The Ceramic Museum must be interesting.

I only had two days as well. The hop on hop off bus was great as I got a good overview of the city and then the next day I picked what I wanted to see. I’ll do a post of the Ceramics Museum soon.

Thanks for sharing the photos!

So pleased you liked them, Rebecca. Photos don’t do the city justice but at least you get a bit of an idea.

Oh sweet Darlene, aren’t those pictures gorgeous! Valencia had wonderful museums indeed and beautiful traditions stuck up in a time warp. Simply amazing!

Thanks so much. I plan to return and explore more of the museums. It is an amazing place.

Yes, it must be a wonderful place. Keep us updated with such beautiful and informative pics when you return. 😍

I think Spain and Finland probably have some of the best art deco architecture . Looks like I need to visit..

I haven’t been to Finland yet but it’s on my list.

Oh it is utterly fabulous and deliciously bonkers. Only Helsinki would have the chutzpah to put a sperm weathervane on its roof

These photos are fabulous! You captured the architecture as well as the local colors. Thank you for sharing!

Thanks, Jan! So pleased you enjoyed the photos.

I liked Valencia (twice) and stayed in a hotel right opposite that ceramics museum.

That would be a great place to stay. We stayed in a hotel that used to be a textile mill. it was about a 15-minute walk to the old town.

Thank you for sharing your amazing pictures, Darlene. Ceramics Museum looks incredible and I would love it there. I read about Valencia in a book about the Spanish Civil War. I didn’t know much about it prior to that.

Oh yes, Valencia was one of the last places to surrender to the fascist army. A terrible time in Spanish history. I will post more pictures of the Ceramics Museum as it was incredible. I only had time for one museum so I chose that one and was glad I did.

Thank you for sharing your amazing pictures of Valencia. I’ve never visited but would like to do do in the future.

Thank you for the virtual travel. I needed this!

Happy to fill your travelling needs, even if virtually. I made the dog biscuits today and both dogs loved them. Thanks.

This is the second time around for me, Darlene. I love touring with you and Amanda. With every step we took together on this visual tour, we felt the history beneath us. I love Hop-on/Hop-off busses – you see a city from a different perspective. As for El Cid, Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar – El Cantar de mio Cid! Oh that is a marvelous story and movie (One of Don’s favourites). Every once in a while I listen to the music:

Many thanks for a wonderful adventure.

Thanks so much for the wonderful soundtrack. El Cid’s wife, Jimena Diaz, played by the amazing Sophia Loren, was also a formidable character and ruled Valencia after his death. I am so pleased you joined me on this visual tour of an incredible city and could feel the history. Hop-on/Hop-off buses are great, especially if you don’t have much time and want to see a lot of the city. I find the commentary very interesting and informative.

I’m so glad you shared Valencia with us, Darlene. I love the photos and am enthralled by the art and architecture. That photo of you by the statue at the Palace of the Marquis de Don Aguas is incredible. And I loved the dancers. How wonderful. I think you’re naturally lucky, lady. A great trip.

Thanks, Diana! I toured Valencia on my own, my hubby was there for a sporting event. I relied on kind strangers to take pictures of me. I always feel the need to have it documented that I was actually there. The young couple who took the picture of me by the Palace were so nice. I believe I am a naturally lucky person, especially when it comes to stumbling upon local dance performances that were not advertised or posted. Pleased you enjoyed the post.

It was wonderful. I enjoyed riding in your suitcase. 🙂

Sounds like you had a wonderful time in Valencia. Your pictures are beautiful. I love the outfits of the traditional dancers. How fun that you got to watch them perform.

Thanks. It was great. I must return soon. Seeing the dancers was the icing on the cake.

It looks a lovely city, Darlene.

Thanks, Stevie. It is very nice.

Loved the tour…awesome pics and the architectural detail is amazing!! Thanks for sharing!

The buildings were amazing. I was in awe the entire time.

My goodness! What a lovely tour. The architecture is amazing. I loved the dancers, too. Thank you, Darlene!

Thanks, Jennie. Aren’t the children adorable in their costumes?

Yes, they are precious!!

I’ve never been to Spain. Thanks for sharing this post about Valencia. The architecture, the dancers in costumes, and the Turia gardens all look so beautiful and inviting.

Thanks for visiting my blog, Carol. Spain is a very diverse country, full of amazing cities, quaint villages and history around every corner. I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

Darlene, thanks for this most lovely taste of Valencia. I have heard of it. And I’d love to go there. I’m aiming for early fall. ❤

You would love it. I was there in November and it was great weather. October would be good too. xo

Well, when I get there, you will know about it! 🙂 xx

Thank you for showing me around Valencia one place I didnt get a chance to visit back in 2019. Maybe one day xx

There are so many wonderful places to visit in Spain, all a bit different. Thanks for stopping in. xo

What a wonderful place – and I love those costumes. So romantic. Toni x

The costumes are amazing!!

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