Photo of City of Arts and Sciences

Visit City of Arts and Sciences

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is a vast leisure complex with an aquarium, an IMAX cinema and a Science museum along many other attractions and all are housed in stunning modern buildings designed by the Valencian architects Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela.

A nine kilometer garden runs east to west through the city of Valencia along a stretch of riverbed or the River Turia which has been diverted to prevent regular flooding. At each end is an area of museums and sports facilities and 18 bridges run along its length.

At the south-eastern end is the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia, a number of whose buildings have now become iconic symbols of Valencia.

Explore the City of Arts and Sciences

Spain This Way Comment: If you are visiting Valencia you will need a day to explore the old town but your second day should be spent at the City of Arts and Sciences to enjoy at least a part of what it has to offer.

The Ciudad de Las Artes Y Las Ciencias as the City of Arts and Sciences is called in Spanish is a stunning science and leisure centre with a number of futuristic buildings housing various different cultural centres.

Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences

These are all grouped together on a site that is linked with huge pools of water, futuristic bridges and beautiful gardens running the length of the site. Visually the site really is breathtaking.

It is also completely free to visit the site and walk around the outside and enjoy the sight of the fabulous buildings, the gardens and the various cafés that are there. Prices vary to enter the individual buildings.

From north to south the first building you come to is the Palau de Les Artes Reina Sofia, the Valencia Opera Housewhich resembles the prow of a ship. Its building is considered to be an avant garde icon and it is possible to pay to do a tour of the inside when there is no a performance taking place. Operas, concers and ballets take place throughout the year.

Next, on the other side of the Pont de Monetolivet is the Hemisferic which is an IMAX cinema with a huge 900 meter concave screen and has been designed to look like a giant eye. Various different documentaries are shown throughout the day and there is usually a film for children at some point in the day.

Check the film screenings and make your reservation before exploring the rest of the city to make sure you get to see the film you want.


The next building is the Museu de les Ciences Principe Felipe the Science Museum, which is not only in a fabulous building, resembling the skeleton of a whale, but it is packed full of interactive science and technology exhibitions. You can visit the ground floor area for free to see the building from the inside and to visit the toilets or restaurant. The rest of the exhibition needs a ticket.

Running along side of the Hemisferic and the Science Museum is the beautiful Umbracle which is a large garden under an open mesh structure and is full of plants and sculptures and in the summer has a terrace where you can sit and enjoy a drink.

The Umbracle has been planted with plants, trees and shrubs native to the Valencia area and have been selected to change colour with the seasons. The Umbracle also includes a sculpture garden with sculptures by contemporary artists including Yoko Ono.

The centre is then crossed by the Pont l'Assut de l'or with its distinctive curved pylon which is 125 meters high and the highest structure in the city.

On the other side of this bridge is the Agora which is the most recent building to be added to the City of Arts and Sciences but it can only be visited for specific events.

At the southern end of the area is the Oceanografic which houses the aquarium and is a very popular attraction. The Oceanografic is the biggest aquarium in Europe and has seven different marine environments. Its 500 different species include sharks, beluga whales, dolphins, seals and penguins.

The Oceanografic spreads out over several buildings and can easily take a half day to explore. There is a daily dolphin show in the dolphinarium. The Oceanografic is the most expensive of the different centres on offer though you can get a reduction if you bought a Valencia Tourist Card.

Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences

The City of Arts and Sciences is one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. The City of Arts and Sciences has appeared in several TV and film productions including the film Tomorrowland, Doctor Who and the third series of Westworld.

Where to visit nearby?

We would recommend that you visit Valencia for at least two days. Spend your first day enjoying the old centre of Valencia and your second looking around the City of Arts and Sciences. If you have another day or two then the Albufera nature reserve is a haven of peace around Spain's largest lake area.

Alternatively spend a day at one of the beaches near to Valencia or go to the Valencia Marina. Valencia also has a Biopark where you can see lions, giraffes, elephants, rhinoceros etc all in a very natural environment where the barriers between you and the animals are virtually hidden from sight. This is to the north-west of the city.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Valencia guide, and the Valencia and Murcia guide.

See also Find City of Arts and Sciences hotels

Photos of City of Arts and Sciences

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Map of City of Arts and Sciences and places to visit


City of Arts and Sciences places to visit

Valencia Aquarium

Valencia Aquarium

The Oceanografic Aquarium of Valencia is the largest in Europe. It is located in the wonderfully modern City of Arts and Science on the edge of the city of Valencia.

Valencia Aquarium guide


Valencia is an attractive city with an historic centre but also a lively centre with trendy bars, restaurants and shops.

Valencia guide
National Ceramics Museum

National Ceramics Museum

Spain's National Ceramics museum is housed in a beautiful Baroque building in the heart of Valencia's old town.

National Ceramics Museum guide
Valencia Fine Arts Museum

Valencia Fine Arts Museum

The Fine Arts Museum of Valencia has an excellent display of Valencian and Spanish artists. The display includes beautiful golden altarpieces from the 14th and 15th century.

Valencia Fine Arts Museum guide
Valencia Silk Exchange

Valencia Silk Exchange

The Silk Exchange of Valencia is a magnificent example of civil Gothic architecture and UNESCO listed.

Valencia Silk Exchange guide
Albufera Nature Reserve

Albufera Nature Reserve

A beautiful wetland site to the south of Valencia. It is home to a large bird population.

Albufera Nature Reserve guide