Valencia - The City of Arts and Sciences
Explore & marvel at the City of Arts and Sciences
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, or City of Arts and Sciences, is a sight to behold. Situated in the Turia Gardens in Valencia, it consists of a number of futuristic, modern buildings which together form a cultural and visual experience.
Where to begin? The City of Arts and Sciences was built over 20 years with mosaics on the exteriors still being finalised when I lived in Valencia in 2015. Getting to the site is easy as it is situated at the end of the Turia park so can be reached by bike, scooter or foot. You can also take a car however you would miss out on the beauty the park has to offer. If you arrive via the gardens, you will first see Palau de les Artes Reina Sofia which functions as an opera house. It’s huge, imposing and intricately designed. The structure contains four auditoriums and is covered by a metallic ‘feather plume’ roof which stretches across the top of the egg-like building. Shows are regularly held here - you can see a wide variety of events such as opera and flamenco.
Behind the opera house, you come to L'Hemisfèric, El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe and L'Umbracle. L'Hemisfèric is the centrepiece of The City of Arts and Sciences and contains an IMAX theatre. Visitors can rent a boat on the lake that surrounds it and bask in the sun. El Museu de les Ciències is a must-visit and contains three floors of exhibitions. The building was designed to look like a whale’s skeleton and looks like something not from this world. You won’t be surprised to hear that a number of Hollywood movies have used the space to capture an alien feel, the most recent of these being Tomorrowland. At the museum you can buy horchata and wander the grounds if you didn’t want to pay for entry. Finally you will see L’Umbracle (which I think is my favourite of all the buildings). An open-concept garden, it is full of a stunning variety of flora and fauna. Be sure to take lots of photos both inside the garden and also outside, as it offers breathtaking views of the rest of The City of Arts and Sciences.
I’ve been to The City of Arts and Sciences too many times to count, and can confidently say that my favourite way of exploring the site is by scooter. Valencia has joined many cities in the scooter revolution and they are easy and inexpensive to rent. We used EcoBikeRent by Porta de Serrans and scooted our way all the way through the Turia park to get to The City of Arts and Sciences. It’s a fun way to explore and much quicker too.
The City of Arts and Sciences is one of the weirdest, futuristic places I’ve seen so it really should be top of your to see list when visiting Valencia!