Recent Things to Do

  • by mpowell

    More of Hola Valencia’s Top Five
    Plazas | Day Trips | Restaurants | Festivals

    We did a lot during our time in Valencia, but there were a few experiences that stood out among the rest. These are our favorite things to do in the city… the activities and excursions that we would recommend to everyone who visits Valencia.

    Sunset Sailing

    Especially on a clear summer evening, the sunset tour on board a catamaran is an unforgettable experience. While stretching out on the ship’s tarp, as they unfurl the sails and turn off the motors, you have a wonderful view of Valencia’s harbor and beaches, with the sun setting beautifully behind the city. And when they bring out the complimentary cava, an already unbeatable evening just gets better.

    Sunset on a Catamaran

    Soccer at the Mestalla

    The days are numbered for the incredible Mestalla stadium, as construction on its replacement (the Nou Mestalla) is almost finished. But, if you can, make sure to visit the old stadium. With its dizzyingly steep terraces and superb atmosphere, it’s a great night out for even people who loathe soccer.

    Mestalla – Go while you can!

    Horchatería Daniel

    An institution in Alboraya, the Horchatería Daniel is the most famous and best place to sample the most quintessentially Valencian treat: Horchata. The tasty drink made from tiger nuts is even better when accompanied by freshly-baked fartons. Daniel is an extremely popular, and very big, place. Perfect for a warm Sunday evening.

    The Best Horchata in Valencia

    The Bioparc

    The Bioparc is easily the best zoo I’ve ever visited. The animals are free to roam huge grounds, with no cages or bars anywhere in sight. Elephants, lions, hyenas, rhinos… everything you might expect in a zoo is there, but our favorite was the Lemur zone, where the lively monkeys intermingle freely with humans.

    Our First Visit to the Bioparc

    The Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias

    The outrageous architecture of Calatrava is collected at the end of the Turia riverbed, providing otherworldly backdrops for pictures. Walking along the paths, by the the crystal blue pools which reflect the sparkling white buildings, such as the Hemsiferic, the Opera House, the Science Museum and the brand new Agora, you’ll feel like you’re on some alien planet.

    Photo Reportage of the CAC

    Visit Somiedo, Asturias

  • by mpowell

    If you’re meeting a group of friends in Valencia, there’s about a 73% chance you’ll be meeting in Plaza Dr. Collado (location). The reasons are many: the plaza is central, everyone knows it, there are plenty of places to sit for a drink, it’s relaxed and without major traffic.

    On any length visit to Valencia, Dr. Collado (named after, I think, this guy) will be one of the plazas you find yourself in over and over again. Directly behind La Lonja, and within spitting distance of the Mercado Central and Plaza Redonda, it’s perfectly situated for a post-sightseeing caña.

    Tourists mix with locals here, and the atmosphere is almost always festive. We enjoy watching street musicians fight for the right to play in the lucrative plaza.

    One of the most striking things about this plaza is the number of abandoned buildings that surround it. Even while the plaza enjoys prominence as one of Valencia’s favorite areas to hang out, the city and landlords completely neglect its living conditions.

    Back in the 70s, the Falla of Dr. Collado was one of the city’s most important — that decade’s Nou Campanar. Nowadays, it’s one of the most boisterous. During Fallas, this plaza rocks all night long, with live music and big crowds.

    Location on our Valencia Map

  • by mpowell

    As everyone knows, there is exactly one way to get children interested in the Natural Sciences: Dinosaurs. The bigger and scarier, the better.


    Oh great, it’s Pipsqueak McGee, the neighborhood geek.

    “My less enlightened peers may be impressed by dinosaurs, but my favorite creature of the past is the fascinating trilobite, with is easily fossilized exoskeleton.”

    Shut up already, Pipsqueak. Nobody likes a nerd.

    Luckily for all the cool kids in Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences is not staging a year-long exhibit entitled “Among Trilobites”. Instead, visitors to l’Umbracle will find themselves Among Dinosaurs until May 29th, 2011. Entrance to Europe’s largest collection of mechanized dinosaurs will cost €6. Nighttime visits are possible until the end of August.

    From the imposing Stegosaurus to the 27 meter Diplodocus, there are twenty-six robotic dinosaurs on display. Strangely though, no Tyrannosaurus Rex!

    Haha, yeah right! Of course there’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex. There’s never been a dinosaur exhibit in the history of the world without one. That’s a fact, you can look it up.

    More Information at

    Prince Felipe Science Museum – Our Visit

  • by mpowell

    After leaving the Baños del Almirante somewhat disappointed, we decided to try our luck at the nearby Carcel de San Vicente Mártir, in the Plaza de la Almoina. And we found it a lot more interesting.

    The building is near the cathedral, in one of the historical focal points of the city. Remains of civilizations stretching back to the Romans can be seen in this area, and the crypt contains an intact Visigoth chapel from the 6th Century. This basement is supposedly where San Vicente was held captive prior to being martyred in 304 AD. Although, when I pointed out to the guide that there’s another spot in Valencia that claims to be his jail, he readily admitted that no one really knows “for sure” where the jail was… but it certainly could have been here.

    The basement ruins are interesting enough, but the best part of the experience is a very cool audio-visual guide that leads you through Valencia’s early history, from the Visigoths to the Moors, to the arrival of Christianity. It’s available in English and provides a fascinating glimpse into the city’s early days.

    We loved this exhibit, and were shocked to be the only visitors at 18:30 on a Saturday evening in May. The entrance is free and well worth your time. You can probably get lucky with an English tour, like we did, but you might want to call ahead to make sure.

    Archaeological Crypt of San Vicente Martír
    +34 96 394 14 17
    Location on our Valencia Map

    Vicente Mártir Procession

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