Oh Valencia! I couldn’t help myself but falling in love with this amazing city. Its atmosphere, its people, its architecture. I’ve never seen a city in such harmony with its history and future at the same time and probably there is no better place to dive into the Spanish lifestyle, which is way more fun the la dolce vita.
Hanni and I decided to fly to Valencia when it was clear that my best friend will work in Spain this spring. So this was a girls only weekend and we had all been looking forward to this trip for weeks. Finally the day came when we had to catch our flight at 6.20 am at Vienna Airport and found ourselves in Valencia only 2,5 hours later. As it was only half past 9 am when we arrived at the city center (by underground) there was hardly a soul on the streets. Of course it was a Saturday but everywhere else in the world the day would have already been in full swing – but not in deep deep Spain – and I loved it. After some time we found a café for our first café con leche of the day and waited there for my friend to arrive by train. When we finally met up with her we made our way to the apartment realizing that we wouldn’t get the keys before 3 pm. So we decided to stroll the city center first (with our trolleys) and got a good overview over the historical center of Valencia pretty fast, as it is not so big but one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Hanging out at nice cafés and walking the streets with no exact plan or purpose wasn’t so bad either, as it is my preferred way of getting to know a city. After checking into our apartment which we book at Luxury Apartments we directly headed for Valencia’s most significant sight: Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias.
It was amazing and it looks like the architect is a bit of a Star Wars geek, or simply with a very futuristic imagination. I have never seen a museum area designed like this – Gaudi would have been proud, I guess, for thinking that far outside the box. We stood there admiring the white concrete and the light blue glas while sitting by one of the pools enjoying ice cream. It is a whole city mixing up art, science and people’s daily life. You can find restaurants and cafés there and at night also a club, which we had to visit of course. We had walked all the way down from the city center by foot as we didn’t rent bike (unfortunately) so we took a taxi back. But the park – a dried-out river bed called Jardí del Túria – was one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever been to. The Mediterranean flair, palm and pine trees make this place so very special and it is best explored by bike, which Hanni and I rented on our last day, when my friend already had to go back to work.
But now back to our first evening in Valencia. We decided to have tapas for dinner so we headed for a great, authentic little place near the university (gonna tell you more about it in my 7 things to do post, promise!). The small bar was packed with locals and we had the best time there. After 3 pitchers of Sangria we were in the mood for a good party and first headed to a club nearby before we hit the Mya Club which is situated at Ciudad de las Artes and danced the night away till our feet hurt, our voices broke and the first forerunners of dawn found their way to the gates of the club. Happy but tired we found our way back to our apartment and slept till noon. The other day the first cause of action was finding breakfast, which we had at Cappuccino, but I would’t recommend going there as it is good but rather expensive. For the rest of the day nothing really happened. We simply enjoyed the city itself by hopping from café to café and looking for street art which you can find all over the city, in the late afternoon. Before dinner we had our daily Tinto de Verano at one of the nice bars near the Mercado Central and then enjoyed a delicious dinner at an Italian – Spanish restaurant called Al Pomodoro.
Our last day Hanni and I dedicated to our spring/summer wardrobe. So we first headed for a great breakfast at Dulce de Leche in the hip neighborhood of Ruzafa and faced the most difficult decisions regarding cake we have ever had to make. After that we explored the neighborhood and dived into every Inditex store we could find – as it is much cheaper in Spain than back home. So we came back to the apartment with heavy bags and burning credit cards 🙂 After that we spent the rest of the day at the park. This is when we rented the bikes and headed for La Turia once again – which was the best idea ever as getting to know a city from bike it totally different than exploring it by foot. Somehow this is a more local and authentic perspective, which is great!
The next morning we had to head back to Vienna but we promised ourselves that we will come back as soon as possible, because Valencia has become one of our favorite cities already and there is still so much to see and to explore!
Have you ever been to Valencia or any other Spanish city? And which one is your favorite?