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Despite its closeness towards the Mediterranean, Valencia's background and geography happen to be defined most considerably through the River Turia and also the fertile floodplain (huerta) that encircles it. Modern Valencia was most widely known because of its flooding problems before the River Turia was diverted towards the south within the late 20th century. Since that time, the town continues to be on the steady span of urban beautification. Today, it is on the threshold of being a much sought after tourist destination.
 
The beautiful puentes (bridges) that when spanned the Turia look equally elegant across a wandering municipal park, and also the spectacular advanced Ciudad de las Artes y de las Sciencias (Town of Arts and Sciences), created by Valencian-born architect Santaigo Clalatrava, has finally produced a thrilling architectural outcomes of this river town and also the Mediterranean. Valencia's port, and areas of the town itself, went through major structural repairs for that America's Cup sailing classic held within 2007 and 2010. A brand new cruise terminal is planned for 2014-15.
 
The Main Harbor of Valencia is an extremely busy port along with a thriving reason for commerce around the eastern coast of the country.  Not even close to the town center, the main harbor is really a quick visit to shuttle or taxi to ensure that you can observe a great deal throughout your stay. Much of your points of interest is going to be situated close to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento that is the position of the town hall, a great place to start your trip in the port.
 
Cruise Companies that make use of the Port of Valencia The country is really a beautiful country to determine and also the town of Valencia only adds to the charm and for that reason is a well-liked cruise destination. Many lines pier only at that port including Costa Cruise ships, MSC Cruise ships, Royal Caribbean Worldwide, Pullmantur Cruise ships, AIDA, Holland America Line, Cunard and Windstar Cruise ships. More lines that visit her shores include Oceania Cruise ships, Seabourn, Azamara Club Cruise ships, Regent, Silversea and Circus.
 
Where You're Dock
The cruise port was about 4 km or 2.5 miles from the city center, next to a basin with large hangars that were built for the 32nd and 33rd America's Cup sailboat races.Outside the cruise terminal, a sign pointed to the shuttle-bus stop, where buses were waiting to take passengers into the city. Valencia cruise port Cruise lines provide shuttle buses. The drive into the city took about 20 minutes in light traffic. (At rush hour, travel time can be longer.)
 
City of Arts and Sciences
Designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félx Candela, the sleek white complex comprises a science museum, IMAX cinema and planetarium, opera house and marine park, all housed in extraordinary sculptural spaces. The museum (1 on map), a lopsided pavilion of mosaic tiles and parabolic arches, is fun rather than fusty, with lots of interactive exhibits that change every few months. The Oceanogràfic is the biggest and most elegant aquarium in Europe with more than 45,000 species.
Address: Avenida Autopista del Saler 5 Contact: 00 34 902 100031; cac.es
Opening times: 10am-between 6pm and midnight, depending on time of year. See website for details.
Admission: Combined ticket €36.25 adults, €27.55 children. Individual tickets also available.
Valencia: City of Arts and Sciences complex 
 
Turia Gardens
The Turia river flowed around the city until the 1950s when it was diverted after flooding. The river bed has now been transformed into a park (2), where locals walk, run, skateboard and ride bikes. Join them by hiring a bike from Doyoubike (00 34 963 3744024; doyoubike.com) or Bebike (00 34 963 217076; bebike.es).
 
Cathedral
A Roman temple stood on this site, then a mosque, before the cathedral (3) was built between the 13th and 15th centuries, mixing Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque features. The museum contains a chalice recognised by the Vatican as possibly the original Holy Grail. See paintings by Goya and other major artists, then trudge up the Micalet belltower for sweeping city views.
Address: Plaza de la Reina
Contact: 00 34 963 918127; catedraldevalencia.es
Opening times: April-Oct, Mon-Sat, 10am-6.30pm; Sun, 2pm-6.30pm -- Admission: €5
 
Central Market
Talk about a feast for the eyes. With 1,000 stalls piled high with the best seasonal produce, this is a dazzling reminder of what real food looks like. Built in the 1920s, the art nouveau market (4) is one of the largest in Europe. Look up to see the stained glass and mosaics adorning the domes of the iron structure, and definitely have a freshly-squeezed orange juice at the tiled bar outside.
Address: Plaza del Mercado
Contact: 00 34 963 829100; mercadocentralvalencia.es
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 8am-2.30pm
Admission: Free

La Lonja
Opposite the market, the 15th-century silk exchange (5) is one of the best examples of Gothic civil architecture in Europe and has World Heritage status.
Address: Plaza del Mercado
Contact: 00 34 963 525478
Opening times: March 15-Oct 15, Mon 10am-2pm, Tue-Sat, 10am-7pm,  Sun, 10am-3pm. Oct 6-March 14, Mon, 10am-2pm, Tue-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-3pm.
Admission: €2 (£1.65). Free Sat & Sun
 
Museum of Fine Arts
This is actually one of the most important art museums (6) in Spain, although it keeps quiet about it. Housed in a 17th-century seminary building, it has excellent 14th- to 16th-century collections, as well as works by Velázquez, El Greco and Valencian artists including Sorolla. A new room is dedicated to the museum’s paintings by Francisco de Goya.
Address: San Pío V
Contact: 00 34 963 870300; museobellasartesvalencia.gva.es
Opening times: Mon, 11am-5pm, Tue-Sun, 10am-7pm
Admission: Free
 
Bioparc
The animals live in as natural a habitat as possible in this 21st-century version of a zoo (7). Explore the ecosystems of the savannah, the forests of Madagascar and equatorial Africa, while getting up close to silverback gorillas, leopards, lions, rhinos, hippos and some very cute meerkats.
Address: Avenida Pío Baroja 3
Contact: 00 34 902 250340; bioparcvalencia.es
Opening times: 10am-between 6pm and 9pm, depending on time of year
Admission: €23.80 adults, €18 children
 
National Ceramic Museum
Even if you don’t want to go to the museum, at least come and gawp at the opulent alabaster façade of this 18th-century palace (8). Inside, displays chart the development of ceramics from the Iberian, Greek and Roman periods onwards. Worth going in just to see the traditional Valencian tiled kitchen on the top floor.
Address: Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, Rinconada García Sanchís
Contact: 00 34 963 516392; mnceramica.mcu.es
Opening times: Tue-Sat, 10am-2pm and 4pm-8pm; Sun, 10am-2pm
Admission: €3 (£2.50), free Sat afternoon and Sun
Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM)
With permanent displays by Julio González and Ignacio Pinazo, and several temporary exhibitions running at any time, this contemporary art museum (9) is always worth a look, even if you’ve been before. La Sucursal, in the museum, is one of the best restaurants in the city.
Address: Guillem de Castro 118
Contact: 00 34 963 863000; ivam.es
Opening times: Mon 11am-5pm, Tue-Sun 11am-8pm
Admission: €2 (£1.65); free Sun
 
Museum of the History of Valencia
Near the Bioparc and located in a 19th-century waterworks, this new museum (10) charts the city’s history in an entertaining, accessible way by means of a series of interactive exhibits. Ask for information in English at the entrance, as labelling is in Spanish and Valencian only.
Address: Calle Valencia 42
Contact: 00 34 963 701105; valencia.es
Opening times: Tue-Sat 10am-7pm (6pm Oct 16-Mar 14), Sun, 10am-3pm
Admission: €2 (£1.70); free Sat and Sun
 
Eating Out
Valencia is rightly famous for its Paella but, for one week only, many of the city's restaurants offer menus at just €20 for lunch and €30 for dinner, using the best of local ingredients. All the restaurants round here serve authentic Paella but if you've got a different destination in mind.traditional El Canyar Restaurant, in the centre of town. It's been here since the 1970's but feels much older as its décor hails back to the 19th century. Service is brisk and I have to down a bowl of soup, a dish of langoustines and scrambled egg with cuttlefish before I get to the Paella. It's served traditional style in its own copper pan - mine is big enough for two and constitutes a thin layer of rice with prawns. Earlier I'd been told that a true Paella should consist only of rice, chicken and rabbit, bajoqueta (green beans) and garrofón (butter beans).

Dinner is the one star Michelin Restaurante Vertical, on the 9th floor of the Confortel Aqua Hotel 4*. Its huge windows give me a splendid view of the city at night and the tasting menu is both ancient and modern. Their Royal Beef stuffed with Foie Gras, slow cooked for 72 hours, but best is the Swiss chard risotto topped, with a crispy slice of Iberico ham. Matching wines are served with every course and  its surprisingly how well a Fino sherry works with the raw tuna starter.
 
Probably the best dinner restaurant recommended by locals  tiny Q de Barella Restaurant, a short walk from the centre. There are 6 courses - home made cream cheese with bits of mojama, (salt cured tuna), almonds and lupin seeds. Next it's Foie Gras with shavings of daikon. It's followed by a standout black pudding made with squid, the ink colouring the morcilla. Then a huge scallop, on a bed of green beans, with sauce romesco, made with roasted red peppers, almonds, garlic and tomatoes. rare pork tenderloin with a parmentier of Sobrassada, spicy sausage from Mallorca. .
 
If you like tapas you want to visit  at Casa Montaña. They've been in business for 177 years and it shows. There's excellent marinated tuna in 7 spices, goat cheese and honey peppers and, most favourited dish, cuttlefish with onion.
 
Shopping
You haven’t seen Valencia until you’ve visited the 1920s Mercado Central to marvel at the beautifully displayed meats, fish, and produce, and to purchase bomba rice, smoked paprika, and a paella pan to bring home. If you are in town on a Sunday morning, head to the open-air market at Plaza Redonda, near the cathedral. Vendors offer traditional Valencian handicrafts, including ceramics, ironwork, silver items, and inlaid marquetry. You’ll also find equally colorful items from other parts of Spain and even Morocco. If you’re more interested in seeing what Valencianos have been storing in their attics, reserve Sunday for the flea market on Avenida de Suecia.
 
Spain’s ubiquitous El Corte Inglés department store has several locations in Valencia, including Calle Colon, 1 and 27 and Calle Pintor Sorolla, 27 (tel. 96-315-95-00; www.elcorteingles.com). We like the fact that these stores stock local handicrafts and other goods along with more general merchandise. They are always a good bet for one-stop shopping.

Serious shoppers will enjoy browsing around the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and along the streets of Don Juan de Austria, Colón, Sorní, and Cirilo Amorós. The Mercado de Colon (Calle Jorge Juan, 19; tel. 96-352-54-78), a Gaudi-inspired fantasy dating from 1916, is a good stop for a break at one of its cafes. Several streets around the market also attract shoppers, including Calle Conde de Salvatierra, home to Cacao Sampaka (Calle Conde de Salvatierra, 19; tel. 96-353-40-62; www.cacaosampaka.com), a branch of the original co-founded by Ferran Adrià's brother Albert in Barcelona.
 
Valencia is known for its embroidered shawls, and Nela (Calle San Vicente Mártir, 2; tel. 96-392-30-23) has an excellent selection, along with fans, leather goods, and other items. Spain’s famous Lladró porcelain figurines are made in a factory just outside the city. For a full range displayed in an elegant setting, seek out Lladró (Calle Poeta Querol, 9; tel. 96-351-16-25; www.lladro.com). If you wish to visit the Lladró Museum in the suburb of Tavernas Blanques, ask the shop staff to assist with reservations.
 
Footwear and leather merchandise is among Valencia's primary items. Both hand crafted and mass-created ceramics are made in a variety of styles and shades. Fans and silk shawls, together with other traditional Spanish language dress, are listed based on quality. Olives and essential olive oil can make gourmets happy. Essential olive oil can also be utilized in a variety of hair and sweetness items. A colorful flea marketplace is held weekly morning through the cathedral. Another bustling market happens on Sunday morning in Plaza Luis Casanova, near Valencia's soccer stadium. Whether its gifted local designer put on you are after, then go to the Barrio Carmen. The city of Manises, 9 km (5 ½ miles) west of Valencia, is really a center for Valencian ceramics.


 
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