I know that the cathedral of Valencia, Spain is considered its main architectural feature. But once you get there and see the City of Arts and Sciences you might change your mind. At least I did! The place is stunning and filled with all sorts of amazing attractions that include a huge aquarium, museums and art exhibits. Our visit there was an amazing experience!

 

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

One of the first things that anyone will find while doing any research on the best places to visit in Valencia, Spain is City of Arts and Sciences. I read that the cathedral is the most iconic building in Valencia City, but for what I was able to see the artistic white buildings of City of Arts against a powerful sky is even more impressive than the ancient style. It is breathtaking!

Unfortunately you can’t get the true feel of how amazing this incredible is complex unless you see it in person. Photos don’t do it justice. I suggest you take at least one day to explore it but even if you don’t have that much time, still go and see it. Honestly, just seeing it from the outside will blow your mind. It’s worth the trip.

Visiting the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia

This huge complex is the brainchild and creation of a famous local architect named Santiago Calatrava. He was born in Valencia but was world-renowned. Though he had a busy career, he put a lot of time and effort into making the Arts and Sciences Complex. (you can read all about his creations here).

I was amazed to hear that back in the 90’s when Calatrava got the assignment, he also got an open checkbook and a huge plot of land. It was just an unused space outside of the city. Today the area has become a modern residential area.

Buildings and Areas of the Complex

Hemisferic  

  • In design, it appears to be an eye rising out of a pool of water.
  • It is often called the eye of knowledge.
  • It was inaugurated in 1998.
  • In it you find the planetarium and a space center.
  • Its design is in the shape of an eye. It even opens up as an eye would. This allows the telescope to be used.
  • There is also and IMAX cinema
  • Fun fact – the shape of the building lends itself to echoes!

Principe Felipe Science Museum

  • So far it has receiver a little over 30,7 million visitors.
  • This science museum was inaugurated in 2000.
  • The interior design is three floors high and resembles the skeleton of a whale.
  • There are tons of interactive exhibitions in it, including a “Chromosome Forest” displaying the sequencing of DNA and a Marvel Superheroes exhibition. You won’t get bored!

Palau de les Arts

  • This is a huge opera house and performing arts center.
  • This section of City of Arts and Sciences was inaugurated in 2005.
Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Umbracle

  • This is a unique kind of car park. Aside from providing a space for you to leave your car, it also includes gardens, lakes, walkways and landscaped areas that take up 17,500 square meters. It is basically a huge park.
  • You can also find an exhibition of sculptures in it. Fun Fact: Yoko Ono, widow of Beatle John Lennon, has a sculpture on display here.
  • The car park has a capacity for 665 cars.

Agora

  • This is a multi-fuctional space that is commonly used for events such as concerts, sporting events and conventions.

Oceanografic

  • It is the largest aquarium in Europe!
  • Over 500 different species, including dolphins, beluga whales, penguins and seal lions, are on display for visitors.
  • The pools represent Rio Turia. At one point the river crossed through the city right in the area where the Center stands. But it was diverted due to a huge flood that affected people who lived nearby in the 1950’s.
Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Conclusion

As I mentioned before, taking a full day to experience everything it has to offer is the best choice. It has restaurants too so you don’t even have to leave it for when you get hungry.  Take a walk to find a nearby restaurant and soak in the beautiful architecture. These are more than just buildings; they’re life-sized pieces of art.