Valencia's history stretches back to Ancient Rome, Moorish invasions and the Spanish Reconquest. In more recent years it has twice hosted the America's Cup, leading to a rejuvenation of its dock and coastal areas. This, along with the ultra-modern City of Arts and Science, gives Valencia a contemporary feel and visitors plenty to see and do. The historic heart of the city, home to the Cathedral and Basilica, is a maze of narrow cobbled streets, easy to get lost in and sometimes inaccessible to traffic.
Must Know: Valencia is, of course, home to paella. To be sure of an authentic taste of this most Spanish of dishes, visitors should search out local eateries where it's made to order in iron pans over wood fires.
Must See: Visitors should look out for the 'naughty' gargoyles displayed on La Lonja de la Seda, or Old Silk Market. The world-famous Lladró Porcelain factory is in Valencia and offers factory tours and a museum.
Must Do: A high point of any trip is the City of Arts and Science complex with its IMAX Cinema, Aquarium, and Planetarium while Valencia Cathedral is a tranquil oasis combining three distinct architectural periods.
Did You Know: Many people don't know that the region's official language is actually Valenciano, not Spanish.
Valencia Airport is linked to the city, just 9 km (about 5 and a half miles) away, by buses, as well as taxis and rental cars. Traveling to Valencia by train is possible from Madrid, Barcelona and other Spanish cities with arrivals at Estacion del Norte, within walking distance of the city center. Buses from all over Spain arrive at the bus station, located just outside of town on the River Turia. Regular ferries also run to and from the Balearic Islands.
The best way to explore old Valencia is on foot or by taking one of the bicycle rentals available at over 200 locations across the city, with short and longer-term rental passes on sale. The Valencia Metro has four lines and a beach tramway while local EMT buses serve the whole city.