Burjassot is just to the north of Valencia, close enough to be connected via tram. The town's defining symbol is its Patio of Silos, where Valencia's grain was stored for centuries, and which was later used as a refuge during the Spanish Civil War. We showed up for a tour, shortly after the historic silos had been opened to the public for the first time.
Found close to the much larger Viveros Gardens, the Jardines de Monforte were commissioned in the mid-19th century for the city mansion of the Marquis de San Juan. Today, the romantic gardens provide Valencia with its most popular backdrop for wedding photos.
A lot of historic buildings in Valencia have beautiful doors, but the grand prize must go to the marble entryway of the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas. This palace is among the top sights in Valencia, having been fully restored and retaining much of its original furniture and decoration. It's also home to the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts.
Valencia has a couple of great city beaches in Malvarossa and Las Arenas, easily reached by bus or tram. But sometimes, Jürgen and I want to get away from the crowds and enjoy a more low-key day on the sand. So, we hop on bikes and head south to the series of beaches that stretch out along the coast between the city and the Albufera natural park.
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 Today, the fruit and veggie sellers have been replaced by cafes, and the Mercado de Colón has evolved into a popular location in which to hang out with friends and relax.
With its antiquated residential buildings, seaside location, and laid-back way of life, Cabanyal should be among Valencia's most desirable places to live. But that's not the case... yet. We took a couple days to explore the neighborhood, enjoying the atmosphere of its narrow streets and learning about the long-running political battle which has left it a shambles.
Valencia continues to surprise us. Although we had known about the existence of Cabanyal's Museo del Arroz for years, we had never bothered visiting. It's a rice museum, you know? It never captured our curiosity. But we shouldn't have delayed so long, because this museum is fantastic.
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.
The Feria de Julio has been celebrated in Valencia since 1871. With open-air cinema, concerts, fireworks and more, this month-long festival is an attempt to convince residents to remain in the city during the sweltering summer. The feria's closing act is the Batalla de Flores, or the Flower Battle.
A wedge-shaped grid of streets just to the east of the city center, the upscale barrio of Gran Via is popular during the day for its restaurants, and at night for its clubs. Most Valencians refer to the neighborhood as "Canovas," after the circular plaza which serves as its unofficial entrance.