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Valencia is an autonomous community in Spain, with Valencia being the largest city and its capital. Valencia is also the third largest city in all of Spain, next only to Madrid and Barcelona. Anyone who has studied about Spanish geography is familiar with the name – it is no doubt one of the most popular cities in Spain. But it wasn’t until recently when tourism had a major boost with more tourists now opting to travel to Valencia and looking for other alternatives from the usual destinations.
If you are curious to travel to Valencia, the province has more to offer than just the popular dish Paella. Indeed, this now-world famous culinary dish originated in Valencia, Spain. But Valencia is known for many other things. First off, it was a Roman colony during the 138 BC. Geographically, the city is located next to the River Turia along the Iberian Peninsula. Valencia’s historic center is also the largest in Spain. Hence, you can find several cultural attractions and ancient monuments when you travel to Valencia in Spain.
With a growth in tourism, Valencia’s economy also experienced a steady growth in the past decade. Aside from tourism, the construction industry also contributed to this spurred growth. The continuing development of infrastructure and expansion of transport and communication facilities are just a few of the contributors to the industry. Meanwhile, the service-oriented industry makes up for 84% of the jobs in the employment sector.
The port in Valencia is the biggest in the western coast of the Mediterranean. This port plays a huge role in Valencia’s economy as well. This port was the first to service container traffic in Spain. Today, 20% of exports in Spain are handled through the Valencia port. Some of the top export products from Spain are beverages and food items.
Despite of a flourishing export and construction industry, tourism remains one of the top performing industries in Valencia. In 2015, the number of tourists who travel to Valencia and spent at least a night in Valencia experienced a 6% increase as compared to data from the previous year. There were a total of 1.6 million overnight stays recorded in Valencia for 2015. The Valencia International Airport also recorded growth in business with almost 9% increase in passengers from last year.
Things to Do
Before you travel to Valencia, here are some quick recommendations on things to see or do during your stay:
Where to Eat: As the home of paella, it’s not surprising to hold such high standards for the gourmet cuisine scene in Valencia. When you visit the following restaurants, you won’t be disappointed: Bodega Casa Montana, El Poblet, Navarro, La Casa di Sophia, and Delicate.
What to See/Visit: There are numerous notable attractions to explore when you travel to Valencia. If you love history and culture, check out the gothic and neoclassical architecture in the Catedral. You should also visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed La Lonja to indulge in its splendid architecture. Another display of architectural prowess is the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencas or the Museo de Bellas Artes.
Where to Shop: The shopping scene in Valencia is also vibrant. If you want to shop souvenirs, check out the following shopping destinations: Plaza Redonda, Mercado de Russafa, and Centro Commercial Aqua.
When to Visit Valencia
Valencia’s weather is favorable almost all year round. But planning your travel to Valencia ahead of time will enable you to enjoy optimal weather and avoid the crazy crowd. The best time to visit is in the months of April and May. At this time, you can enjoy the Mediterranean climate in Valencia with a pleasant breeze from time to time.
Annual average temperature in Valencia ranges up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and 59 degrees in the winter. If you want to travel in the winter time, there is also a consolation as the weather cools up to as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the city is basically tourist-free. Of course, the only downside if you travel to Valencia during winter is that some of the attractions might be closed for the season.