Cicerone Ciara here, your personal travel guide to the world! I’m here to give you a look into life around the globe.
Not sure if Valencia is the place for you? Well that’s what I’m here for! Let’s take a quick trip and explore the city before you make any decisions. So hop onto the train as I take you to our new program location: USAC Valencia, Spain!
As we travel east along the Turia River to where it meets the Mediterranean Sea, we find ourselves in the lively city of Valencia! Valencia is famous for its paella, art and festivals. The USAC program here may be one of the STEM focused programs, but there are lots of other exciting things going on too! So pay attention as we show you how to make the best of your time here (in between your studying of course).
Weather is always an important thing to consider when traveling to another country. How else would you know what to pack?
I hope you brought your sunscreen and light clothes today because Valencia is quite the sunny spot! There is usually less than a weeks’ worth of rain every month here. The weather in Valencia is very temperate, with mild winters peaking at 60*F during the day and 40*F at night. Summers typically reach 85*F during the day and 64*F at night and humidity tends to stay around 65% year round. Think of the weather in Southern California.
But make sure you do some of your own research! You can read more about the weather and pack accordingly by visiting The Weather Channel.
Oh the Places You’ll Go!
Now that we’ve made sure your bags are filled with the proper necessities, it’s time to give you a quick tour of the lay of the land. Our first stop: The City of the Arts and Sciences.
The City of the Arts and Sciences is a draw for Valencia so it’s a must that we see it. The City of the Arts and Sciences is made up of 7 different structures, each offering a different experience. The popular Oceanogràfic is Europe’s biggest aquarium with 7 different marine environments and 500 species. You can also visit the Principe Felipe Science Museum where the motto is “Not touching is prohibited.” It offers interactive exhibitions and workshops on science and technology for a new take on the museum experience. The City of the Arts and Sciences also has an opera house for concerts and dance productions and a large garden showcasing modern sculptures and the traditional foliage of the area. If you’re interested in art and science, this is definitely the place for you.
But don’t just take my word for it! Past student Kory Barri mentioned during her field trip to Valencia that “The architecture encompassing the area surrounding the city’s famous Arts and Sciences building is astounding.”
You can read more about The City of the Arts and Sciences on the Visit Valencia website.
- Placa del Merca: Much of Europe is known for their extravagant markets and Valencia is no different. Also known as the Placa del Mercat, it houses tons of vendors selling traditional food products and fresh foods all inside the beautifully architected building. If you’re like me, you could spend hours here admiring all the food and snacking along the way. Shelby Neel from University of Texas, San Antonio agrees with me. She said, “The Mercado Central was something else!”
- Torres de Serranos: I don’t know about you, but I love to learn about the history of places I visit. My favorite way to do it is to look at their architecture. The Torres de Serranos are part of the city wall that once encompassed Valencia. Looking at them now, it’s quite the sight to see.
I know I am! Let’s take a little break from exploring and see what our food options are.
Valencia is known for its paella, so let’s start there!
- Café Arte is a good pick if you’re in the mood for breakfast. They also have sandwiches which are worth a try.
- Ruzanuvol: This tapas bar and pub is famous for their unique food and drink options. Yum!
- Lizarran: Another popular tapas bar, it’s noted for its liveliness and night scene. Count me in!
- Bodega La Peseta: Do we have any vegetarians in the house? Here you can find great food and vegetarian options.
Now that we’ve gotten to play tourist and filled our tummies, it’s time to ask….
Where are the Locals?
Well, they’re probably taking their siesta. Siestas are a part of Spanish culture. So much so, that if you look around, you’ll notice that the shops are starting to close their doors. Don’t worry though; we’re going to join them! Siesta is time for you to relax during the day (think of it as an extended lunch break). Let’s spend our break with our new friends from Valencia. Here’s where we’re starting…
- The Antiguo Cauce del Rio Turia is a park along the old riverbed of River Turia. This is the perfect place to spend a day relaxing, walking, playing games, running and biking. It’s also a great place to go for our siesta. If we keep walking though we’ll find ourselves at…
- The Jardines del Real. These gardens are a nice place to walk through. You’ll find fountains, statues and lakes as you walk through all of the beautiful foliage.
- Playa de la Malvarrosa sits as the border between Valencia and the sea. There’s plenty of space to spread out and relax, and there’s even space to play football (soccer) and volleyball.
Now that you know where to meet locals, where to find food and some cool places to see in the city, here are some other reasons to visit Valencia!
Falles Festival: The celebration is held in commemoration of Saint Joseph. Each community in Valencia comes together and creates their own wooden structures representing different characters or images. Once the sun sets, the city lights up as the structures are set on fire and the celebration continues. You can read about a student’s experience in Valencia during the Falles Festival.
- La Tomatina de Buñol: Just to the west of Valencia sits the town of Buñol. At the end of August is the traditional Tomatina Festival where people join in coating the streets and each other with tomatoes.
- July Fair: If you find yourself in Valencia for the summer, you should make sure to attend the events of July Fair. According to Valencia City Guide, for the month of July performances, concerts, bullfights, parades and fireworks are scattered about the city offering locals and tourists the opportunity to enjoy the art and culture of Valencia.
That’s the end of our trip for today. Thanks for tagging along! If you’d like to learn more about Valencia and how you can go there just check out our website.
P.S. Have any suggestions of places we should add? Let us know in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.