About Ines R
Lives in Madrid, Spain
Since Nov. 2008
25-34 year old female
I prefer to stay with the locals and get to know the places from the "inside"! :) In my experience, their tips are always really helpful, and it's so nice to come back to a home instead of a hotel after a whole day of exploring. I am a writer for TripAdvisor. Check out my guides below!
Historic Sites, Churches & Cathedrals
Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites
Sacred & Religious Sites
Sacred & Religious Sites
Historic Sites, Speciality Museums
Parks, Bodies of Water
Zoos, Other Nature & Parks
Gardens, Bodies of Water
Science Museums, Aquariums, Speciality Museums
Observatories & Planetariums, Theatres
Built over a Muslim mosque — that was built over a Visigoth basilica, that had been built on the former site of a Roman temple — this beautiful thirteenth-century building has a lot of different styles — Gothic, Renaissance, baroque, neoclassic — that reflect Valencia's rich history. You will be awed by this magnificent architectural jewel that's part of the cultural identity of Valencia. Not to be missed!
Probably the finest example of a civil Gothic building in Spain, this 15th-century market was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996, and is a beautiful reminder of the huge trading power the city held in the Middle Ages. You'll be amazed when you enter the 17-meter-high column room, with its intricately-decorated vaulted ceiling. Not to be missed.
This beautiful 13th-century church, built over an ancient mosque, suffered several fires and was rebuilt in the baroque style. Its imposing facade is one of the must-see views in Valencia, and inside you'll find numerous fresco paintings and beautifully decorated chapels. It's a gem!
This relatively small church has an impressively decorated baroque dome and beautiful altarpieces, as well as important frescoes. It is the home to the patron Virgin of Valencia, so you'll find a religious atmosphere here.
One of the former Twelve Gates to the City, this pair of towers dates back to the 14th-century. The towers were built as part of the medieval wall surrounding the city. Among Valencia's best-preserved monuments, they are considered the main city entrance. From here, the fallera mayor announces the beginning of the Fallas festival on the last Sunday of February. A true symbol of the city!
These medieval dockyards are an indicator of the importance of Valencian sea trade centuries ago. Used not only as a place to build ships, but also as a defensive building against African pirates, and as a salt warehouse later on, they are now home to the Maritime Museum. A nice visit near the harbor.
Just a few miles south of Valencia, this beautiful natural park is the perfect place for a day out. Albufera means 'saltwater lagoon' in Arabic, and it's separated from the sea by just a strip of sand. This natural environment is full of life and the park has a huge ecological value, as it's home to many endangered species. Here you'll find a flooded landscape covered in rice paddies where you might spot rabbits, ducks, snails, and all sort of fish. There are beautiful views everywhere you look, and photography aficionados will be thrilled with the endless possibilities of Albuferas magnificent sunsets.
Playa de la Malvarrosa is the main beach in Valencia city proper. A visit is not complete without walking barefoot on the soft sand of this long, wide beach any time of year. Both the beach and seafront promenade are very lively all day long: You'll find all sort of restaurants, bars and pubs to refresh in, and many activities that take place on its vast space. Another option is renting a parasol with a safe and enjoying a nice bath in the clean waters of the Mediterranean.
This zoo is one of the best rated ones in Europe. No wonder, the reproductions of African natural habitats are really well achieved. There is a wide variety of animals that are better taken care of than in most zoos. You'll feel as if you were visiting them in their real homes, as the park has been built to conceal the barriers between visitors and animals.
This beautiful park is a referent point in the city, known as the 'lung of Valencia.' It spreads over 10 miles, from Bioparc to City of Arts and Sciences, and is perfect for running, strolling, and cycling. Its interesting shape is due to it having been built over the former riverbed of Turia River, which was diverted to the south of the city after huge floods during the 1950s. You'll find leisure, nature, and interesting architecture along the way.
In the Turia Gardens you will find two bridges designed by famous architect Santiago Calatrava. One is Pont de l'Exposició (popularly known as 'La Peineta' — 'The Comb',) and the other is l'Assut de l'Or (or "El Arpa" — 'The Harp'.) Calatrava's futuristic works have many admirers but also numerous detractors. Go visit and decide for yourself!
This modern cinema is part of the City of Arts and Sciences and has a huge IMAX dome that projects science and technology documentaries in 3D, as well as astronomy shows. From the outside, the impressive building by Calatrava reflected in the water will remind you of an eye, both by day and by night. You definitely shouldn't miss this new emblem of Valencia!
Palau de les Arts is Valencia's Opera Theatre and headquarters of the Valencian Community Orchestra. Here you'll be able to enjoy top-quality performances by the best musicians and singers, both in the main hall (opera and musicals) and the auditorium (which fits 1,500 people.) The building, designed by Calatrava, has superb acoustics!
Oceanografic is the largest aquarium in Europe. You might feel a little uneasy walking through its tunnels with sharks and rays swimming over your head! The main marine ecosystems are exhibited here: Mediterranean, Antartic, Artic, Red Sea, tropical seas, islands, and wetlands... and there's a dolphinarium. You'll see over 500 different species of fish, mammals, reptiles, and birds!