There are few cities like Valencia, able to harmoniously combine the remnants of its farthest past, dating to the year 138 BC, with the most innovative and avant-garde buildings from the new millennium.Valencia is trade and culture, cinema, theatre, museums, magic, business. It is the centre of international and avant-garde design, and one of the most active cities in Europe regarding fairs and conferences.Thanks to its location, Valencia has historically been Spain’s Mediterranean port and has that special charm of cities that are also seaports. And the fine sand and clean water, the vastness of the sea and the closeness of the coastal mountains make the Valencian coast uniquely attractive.
València is accessible by air, land and sea. It boasts travel links to many major Spanish and European cities. The airport, situated just 8 kilometres from the centre of València, has regular daily flights to popular domestic and international destinations. The city also has two main railway stations, the Estación del Norte, from which the local train network operates, and Joaquín Sorolla, offering AVE high-speed rail services to Madrid, Cuenca, Seville and Córdoba. ALVIA and EUROMED long-distance trains also depart from Joaquín Sorolla, providing connections to cities including Barcelona.
València is home to one of the most important commercial ports in the Mediterranean. The port, which operates passenger services to both the Balearic Islands and Italy, is fast becoming a popular destination for cruise ships, which dock at Poniente Pier, enabling passengers to spend a few hours exploring the city. For those travelling by car, València is equipped with a modern motorway network making it easily accessible from any city on the mainland. These include the AP-7, which runs north to south along the Mediterranean coast connecting the city with Barcelona, and the A-3 running from València to Madrid.
A stroll through the city’s streets is one of the best ways to explore València, given its size, relatively flat terrain and excellent climate. However, if you’re travelling from one part of the city to another, it’s advisable to make use of the extensive public transportation network, particularly if you’re short of time. This serves the whole of València and also provides links to some of the main points of interest in the surrounding area, including Albufera Park and València airport (Manises).
The Municipal Transport Company (EMT) operates a total of 59 bus routes, 44 daytime routes and 13 night routes, serving all areas of the city. The metro offers another great way to explore the city centre, stroll along the old Turia riverbed to the City of Arts and Sciences and even take a trip to La Malvarrosa Beach, after hopping on the tram.
There are two official languages in València: “Valenciano”, used in the Valencian Community, and Spanish, Spain’s official language.
Most hotels, restaurants and shops in València accept the main credit cards such as Amex, VISA, Mastercard, 4B, Access y Diners Club.
People generally eat later than in other European countries: breakfast (7:30 and 10:00 a.m.) is similar to the continental style. Restaurants serve lunch between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., and dinner from 8:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
Now you can go shopping in València any day of the year. Although normal shop opening hours are from 10 am to 8.30 pm, you will find malls and shops in tourist areas that are open every day, including Sundays and public holidays (except 1 and 6 January, 1 May and 25 December). The areas where shops are open every day of the week are:
- Jardín del Turia: from Nou d’Octubre bridge to Astilleros bridge.
- València city centre: Ciutat Vella and Ensanche areas.
- Els Orriols: around Ciudad de València stadium.
Standard electrical voltage in València is 220-240 V AC, 50 Hz. A transformer and an adapter are necessary to use North American electrical appliances whose plugs have two square pins. Adapters are available in most hardware stores.
València enjoys a mild temperate Mediterranean climate. The average annual temperature is 17ºC with warm summers and very mild winters, rarely below 10ºC. There is only light rainfall mainly in autumn and the beginning of spring.