…which I didn’t know before I went. So I didn’t take my bikini. So I spent my weekend there being cultural, and sightseeing, and walking, and taking more photos than humanly possible.
So, if you go to Valencia:
- Don’t attempt to do your sightseeing on a Sunday. EVERYTHING was closed.
- There’s a free tour every day from the Plaza de Tossal, at 1pm and 7pm.
- The Botanical Garden is a bit sparse. Spain isn’t known for its luscious, verdant gardens.
- The hostel we stayed at, Center Valencia, is near the big things and was £16 a night. Free internet, clean, and when our toilet door broke they fixed it quickly and properly! Reception was always super helpful, though occasionally understaffed.
- The metro is actually a tram, and the ‘Las Arenas’ stop is the one you want for the beach. Costs about 2,4€ to get there from the city. There are a few bars and restaurants out there as well, but I didn’t see as many as were rumoured…
- There’s the most ADORABLE Christian bookshop in the Plaza de la Reina called Paulinas, and a great tea shop called La Petite Planèthé on the Calle San Fernando.
Café Bombon: espresso and condensed milk. Super sweet, but way awesome.
Torres Serranos – the city gates. They mark the boundaries of the old city walls, which were often destroyed when opposing bands of Christians and Muslims took Valencia. Don’t go up the towers in a skirt or dress, there are some glass floors on that jutty out bit of battlements, underneath which the tour guide stops to point out unsuspecting women…
The Valencian beach. Still gloriously warm at midnight ❤
Plaza de la Virgen – one of the cathedral entrances.
Another cathedral entrance
The town hall ❤
Market – it was HUGE. That vaulted ceiling was just the hub, corridors spread off in every direction from there. I challenge you to try and leave by the same door you entered by!
This fella represents the town’s river, and the eight ladies are the eight irrigation systems, crucial to Valencian agriculture. There’s a tradition in this square that eight men, each democratically elected as representative for an irrigation system, come and meet on a Thursday morning in the square. It’s a public meeting, so anyone with issues can come and ask a question, which they will then discuss and resolve. Unfortunately, there aren’t actually issues with the irrigation on a weekly basis, so most weeks the lads troop back inside after an awkwardly silent few minutes. Poor things.
Not actually sure what this is… But it definitely houses a ceramics museum. The Virgin on the bottom right is actually built onto a spinning plate. The family of the house used to spin her to face inwards when they were in residence, and then out again when they left. Now it’s a ceramics museum, she is left to stare outwards, which (as the tour guide said) is a terrible waste of a perfectly good spinning virgin.