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Hola Valencia’s Top Five: Restaurants

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

This was a really difficult list to compile, as we’ve been to a lot of restaurants during our time in Valencia. We tried to get include a good mix, from traditional Valencian to sushi. We operate on a budget, so you won’t find any wallet-smashers on this list (nor, for that matter, anywhere else on our site!) If you’ve not visited any of our top five, wait no longer! Here they are, in no order:

El Albero

One of the first restaurants we discovered in the city, El Albero is a great place for dinner, serving up a huge array of Andalusian tapas. Always busy, the place is small but offers outside seating.

Calle de Ciscar, 12
Our Review of El Albero

Las Cuevas

Extremely popular with Valencians, the windy, dark interior of Las Cuevas does just to its name. They offer an interesting menú of tapas that combines popular favorites with other more unique items. Don’t miss the flaming rum-soaked chorizos!

Calle Samaniego, 9
Our Review of Las Cuevas

Ao Yama

Possibly the best lunchtime deal in the city, Ao Yama is a Japanese sushi restaurant, offering unlimited food for a small price. As long as you keep packing it down, they’ll keep bringing the sushi and other great dishes like chicken in orange sauce and grilled shrimp.

Calle Joaquín Costa, 3
Our Review of Ao Yama

Al-Balansíya

The best Arabian meal in Valencia can be found in the University district, in Al-Balansíya. The plates full of authentic and delicious Arabian food just keep coming in this popular locale. Baba ganoush… chicken tajín… groan.

Paseo de las Facultades, 3
Our Review of Al-Balansíya

La Utielana

Home Cookin From Mama! This restaurant, in the heart of the city, is so popular that you’ll have to take a number before getting your table. Incredible Valencian eats at outrageously good prices, with an open kitchen and a fleet of matronly waitresses attending to your every need. We’ve been back a lot.

Plaza Picadero de Dos Aguas
Our Review of La Utielana

Suitcase Stickers For Fun Travel Time

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July 26, 2010 at 12:57 pm Comments (2)

Hola Valencia’s Top Five: Plazas

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The one thing Valencia has more of than church bells? Plazas! Every corner of the city is the Plaza de Somethingorother. Here are our favorite five, in no particular order:

Plaza del Ayuntamiento

Bounded by the city hall building, the post office and Valencia’s emblematic fountain, the Plaza del Ayuntamiento is the de facto gathering place for the citizenry, whether it’s to celebrate a mascletà or Spain’s World Cup victory.

Plaza del Ayuntamiento – Info & Pics
2010’s Final Fallas Masletà
Rodin in the Plaza de Ayuntamiento
World Cup Celebrations at the Ayuntamiento

Plaza del Patriarca

Orange trees are the dominating feature of this lovely plaza next to the old University building, La Nau. It’s named for the adjacent Colegio de Patriarca, a church & museum. On Sundays, the plaza fills with kids and well-dressed families.

Colegio del Patriarca – Introduction & History
Colegio del Patriarca Video – Bell Tower in Action
Oko Sokolo: Modern Gymnastic Theater in the Pl. Patriarca

Plaza de la Virgen

Valencia’s most famous, historic and heavily visited spot, the Plaza de la Virgen is the heart of the city. With the fountain of Neptune as a highlight, this plaza is adjacent to the Basilica and the Cathedral, and plays host to the famous Tribunal de las Aguas.

Plaza de la Virgin and Panoramic Views of Valencia
Traditional Dancing in Plaza de la Virgen
The Flower Offering to the Virgin

Plaza Dr. Collado

This cool little plaza is found right behind La Lonja, and is a favorite meeting spot for people. During Fallas, the commission always put up an interesting monument and rocks the neighbors with noisy concerts. A great place to grab a beer in the evening.

Plaza Dr. Collado – In the Heart of the City
Dr. Collado’s Café Lisboa – Meeting Spot Central

Plaza de l’Almoina

The central feature of this plaza is its large, glass-bottomed pool that shows off ruins from the beginning of Valencia’s history. From the ancient Iberians, through the Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Christians, the Almoina has always been at the center of Valencian civilization.

Museum of l’Almoina – Centuries of Ruins
Valencia’s Roman Origins

Top 5 Day Trips from Valencia

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July 24, 2010 at 11:43 am Comments (8)

Plaza de la Virgin and Panoramic Views of Valencia

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We’d climbed the 207 steps of the Micalet before, but this time have recorded a video of the panoramic views from above.

Music by Camaron De La Isla
Title: Leyenda Del Tiempo
Songs available here: Cameron De La Isla

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July 24, 2010 at 5:32 am Comments (2)

Hola Valencia’s Top Five: Day Trips

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With our impending 3-month trip to Asturias coming ever closer, we thought it’d be a good time to look back on our years here, and compile some “Best Of” lists. We’ll start with Day Trips. As is always the case when creating lists, we’ve had to leave a lot of great things out… but these are our favorites. In the next few days, we’ll be publishing more Top Fives!

The city of Valencia offers enough diversion for any length of trip, but it’s worthwhile to get out and see some of the other incredible spots which are nearby. We took a lot of day trips during our time here, but these are the five which we enjoyed the most, in no particular order.

El Palmar and the Albufera

Found just a few kilometers south of Valencia, the natural park of the Albufera is home to an enormous freshwater lagoon. From the city, you can bike there in less than an hour, and be rewarded with some incredible nature… dunes, wetlands, birds and fauna, the beaches of El Saler, and beautiful nature trails. The village of El Palmar is found deep within the Albufera and is world-renowned for its paella restaurants.

El Palmar – The Perfect Day Trip
Bike Trip to Saler and the Albufera
El Palmar and the Albufera – Another visit

Sagunto

Sagunto is famous for its Roman theater, and its hilltop castle which stretches over a kilometer. A must-see for history fans, “Saguntum” was a powerful Roman city, and the first to be attacked by Hannibal. It’s just a short train trip away from Valencia.

Sagunto: City of Ruins
Sagunto, Part II

Dénia & Xàbia

There are a lot of great opportunities for biking in the Valencian Community, but the trip we most enjoyed was around the Montgó Mountain, between the touristy seaside villages of Dénia and Xàbia. Even without the bike trip, both towns are worth visiting; particular Xàbia with its crystal blue water and beautiful coastline.

Bike Tour around the Montgó: Dénia-Xàbia

Alcoy

Alcoy, with its magnificent old town and castle, is worth a visit any time of year. But it’s especially impressive in late April, when the Alcoyanos put on Spain’s biggest Christians & Moors Festival. For three days, marchers, dancers, musicians and animals fill the streets. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Alcoy – Christians & Moors Festival 2009
Mentira – Alcoy’s Awesome Party Drink
Valencia Scenic Drive: Alcoy to Altea

Xàtiva

With trains leaving the Estación del Norte about every half-hour for Xàtiva, there’s very little excuse to miss out on this fascinating town south of Valencia. The Castle of the infamous Borgia family is the highlight, but there is a lot to see and do in this city of the Setabenses.

Day Trip to Xàtiva
Xàtiva – Introduction & History
Random Xàtiva Photos
Xativa Castle in HD

Rent a car for your day trip from Valencia

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July 23, 2010 at 9:19 am Comments (2)

Eerie Valencia, Spooky & Beautiful Images

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post-office-Valencia

Here’s a set of some eerie nighttime photos I’ve taken of Valencia. Enjoy!

eerie-valencia

agora-at-night

eerie-turia

pink-pink-building

Spinning-sick

valencia-spain-flags

children-eater

banco-valenciano

moon-ayuntamiento

Follow us to Oviedo

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July 21, 2010 at 9:13 am Comments (2)

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