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 architect Santiago Calatrava.
A nine kilometer garden runs east to west through the city 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.
Across the Las Flores and into the Pla del Real district you will find the superb City of Arts and Sciences, 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.
One of the main centres is the Oceanografic which houses the aquarium. 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.
The Hemisferic is the IMAX cinema with a huge 900 meter concave screen. 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 Principe Felipe Scienc Museum is not only in a fabulous building 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.
The Palau de Les Artes Reina Sofia is the Valencia Opera House. 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
The Agora is the most recent building to be added to the City of Arts and Sciences but it can only be visited for specific events.
It is possible to wander all round the park for free and enjoy the splendor of these modern buildings. There is also the Umbracle to discover 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 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.