Begin your visit to Valencia with car hire offered by Instant-Car-Hire. We offer online bookings with cheap car rental at Valencia airport. All of our car rental suppliers employ specialist telephone staff on hand waiting to answer any extra queries that might arise before or after completing your rental car booking. For your information the airport at Valencia is situated about 15 km from the centre of Valencia.
Traditionally known as the ‘City of Romance’, the orange city of Valencia was where El Cid fought against the Moors. Opinion is varied as to whether the city is still considered to be ‘beautiful’. Love it or hate it this is a city with a chequered past and a promising exciting future.
Once upon a time, Valencia would take some beating for its romantic appeal but nowadays, it is generally felt that those days are long gone. In spite of this, things are undergoing something of a renaissance here with the appearance of stunning structures that offer recreational and cultural enticement as well as contemporary beauty to the cityscape.
The arrival of the City of the Arts and Sciences has really woken things up in Valencia encouraging other similar investment to the area.
Valencia, the third largest city in Spain and the capital of the ‘Land of Valencia’ was founded in 137 BC by the Romans. Situated in the South, its port is one of the busiest on the Mediterranean handling about twenty per cent of the total exports from Spain.
There is something for everyone here! An art deco Estacion del Norte, the modernist Central Market and the well preserved 15th century Silk Exchange built in Gothic design impresses its audience so well that it has been awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO.
Valencia’s city centre is navigated fairly easily despite the myriad of snakelike streets in the Barrio del Carmen where you will find numerous occurrences of ancient residences. There a number of grandiose squares about like the expansive Plaza de Ayuntamiento where the Fallas firework displays take place and where the Town Hall is located. The Plaza de la Virgen is loved by tourists for its Cathedral, its Turia fountain and its one or two bars, cafes and restaurants. It is a beauty spot that is adored by the locals too. If you take a walk over and through the Turia Gardens you will undoubtedly enjoy the Palau de la Musica.
If you peel back the large office blocks, there is much to see that reveals a past filled with splendour and high times. Unfortunately as the years have ploughed on, these ‘remnants’ become fewer. The outcome is not too desperate though for a contemporary note fills the air in Valencia. Buildings like the brand new stunning City of the Arts and Sciences and the IVAM bring hope to the city! Once again, Valencia is an exciting city destination on the up attracting a growing tourism market and more investment.
One of the newest additions to the city, the City of the Arts and Sciences (known locally as Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias) is extraordinary! It is reported to be the largest cultural and educational structure that has ever been built in the whole of Europe. It attracts a leisure crowd to its 36 hectare park, its 8 hectares of underwater city, its auditoriums and IMAX and sparkles like an enormous diamond on the landscape. As with all good things, entry to the City of the Arts and Sciences comes at a price. Adult prices for entrance to L’Hemisferic and Museo de las Ciencas Principe Felipe is 7.50 euros while to get into the L’Oceanografic complex is 22 euros to get in.
To contrast the very new, why not visit the thirteenth century Cathedral (known as the Seu). Built on the site of what was once a mosque, the cathedral was once renowned for possessing the Holy Grail. With a stunning domed basilica and a tower (offering stunning views of the city) called the Miguelete, this is a local attraction not to be missed.
Sticking with the old and the traditional, there is the city bull ring, the Plaza de Toros, where corridas (or bullfights) were once a common and regular past time. Today however, blood sports have considerably less appeal and have been replaced by other spectator events like football. You can see a corrida here during the Fallas festival.
Having visited the new and followed it with the old, it is time to bring the two together and take in all that is on offer at one of Spain’s top art attractions, the Instituto Valencia de Arte Moderno or the IVAM. This is an attraction with a difference where a convent from the thirteenth century shares the same stage with a modern art gallery feature. The institute is located in the atmospheric old quarter and houses the Center del Carmen (where modern painting is displayed within an aged setting) and the Julio Gonzalez Centre sculpture, painting and ironwork exhibitions co-exist.
When visiting Valencia, unless you have a strong dislike for crowds, the time to come is during the March Fallas de San Jose. Expect liveliness to the extreme, dancing in the streets, fireworks and processions galore throughout the event that honours the coming of Spring. On the final night of the Fallas, it is expected that the papier-mache effigies are burned which was traditionally done to bring luck to the local farmers in the Summer.
is situated fourteen and a half kilometres outside of the city.
If travelling between the airport and the main railway station, Cercanias trains are on hand. A one way ticket costs one euro.
If travelling by road, the airport can be reached via the N220 which connects to the N335 and A3.
A shuttle bus service runs from the airport into the city centre for the cost of two and a half euros.
Taxis are available from outside the main terminal.