Architecture

The Independent Republic of Benimaclet

If you were to ask a random pool of Valencians which they consider to be the city’s hippest neighborhood… well, Ruzafa would probably be the winner. But it wouldn’t be a blow-out. The northern district of Benimaclet is smaller and less well-known, but it has a young population, excellent restaurants, and a cool vibe all […]

The Micalet and the Santa Catalina

At either end of the Plaza de la Reina, you’ll find Valencia’s two most emblematic church towers. The Micalet, or “Little Michael,” is attached to the city cathedral, while the bell tower of the Santa Catalina church is at the end of Calle Paz. Both towers can be ascended; the ticket price is negligible, but […]

The Hemisferic and the Museum of Science

Housed in the dried-out skeleton of the world’s biggest whale, the Prince Felipe Science Museum is worth visiting primarily for the other-worldly architecture of Santiago Calatrava. A joint ticket will allow you to check out the exhibits here, and catch a show at the IMAX theater in the nearby Hemsiferic. I can’t think about the […]

The Mercado de Colón

The Mercado de Colón opened its doors in 1916 as a marketplace for the well-to-do residents of the Ensanche (or “Expansion”), which was at the time Valencia’s newest neighborhood. Today, the fruit and veggie sellers have been replaced by cafes, and the Mercado de Colón has evolved into a popular location in which to hang […]

The City of Arts and Sciences

An array of futuristic buildings occupying the eastern end of the Turia Riverbed Park, the City of Arts and Sciences is easily Valencia’s most distinctive feature. When people think “Valencia,” the sharp white lines, shallow blue pools and tile-covered curves of Santiago Calatrava’s creations are generally what spring to mind. Born in Valencia in 1951, […]

The Glory of the Baroque: San Juan de la Cruz

Following the San Martín Obispo and San Esteban, the San Juan de la Cruz completes Valencia’s trio of churches which have been recently restored to their original Baroque brilliance. Like its brothers, this is one of the city’s oldest churches, founded in 1343, immediately after the Reconquista. And also like its brothers, it’s just… wow. […]

The Glory of the Baroque: The Iglesia de San Martín

Back in 2010, Valencia unveiled the results of an effort to restore three of its most impressive Baroque-era churches: the San Martín, San Esteban and San Juan de la Cruz, all located a short distance from each other in the city center. If any of these had been my childhood church, I might have grown […]

La Lonja de la Seda

Directly across from the Mercado Central, La Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange) is Valencia’s most historic building, and its only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between 1482 and 1548 at the height of Valencia’s Golden Age, the Lonja is like a church devoted to the god of commerce. At the end of the 15th […]

The Mercado Central

With hundreds of stalls selling fruits, veggies and meat, Valencia’s Mercado Central is among the largest fresh food markets in Europe. And although it has become one of the city’s principal tourist attractions, it’s remained popular among locals as well, many of whom do their everyday shopping here. While climbing the stairs to the main […]

Valencia’s Ancient City Gates: Serranos and Quart

A thousand years ago, a formidable set of walls protected Valencia from marauders and invading armies, and anyone hoping to gain access to the city had to pass through one of its twelve monumental gates. Today, the medieval walls have disappeared, but two gates remain: the Torres de Serranos to the north, and the Torres […]