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  • Writer's pictureThe Legal Digest

The Valencia Guide

Valencia is a city that has all the charm of a busy Italian city minus the tourists.

If you are looking for a place where you can feel a sense of familiarity in a European City but still be able to immerse yourself into the Spanish culture then you can find it here in Valencia.

As a digital nomad, I for once decided to leave the laptop in my suitcase and spend my 4 days purely as a vacation.

I travelled there in June which was just before the start of the peak holiday season meaning the planes were less full and the City was less crowded. There was definitely a need to put my GCSE Spanish knowledge into practice as locals are less used to speaking English and restaurant menus were all in Spanish but that isn't anything Google Translate can't solve so don't let that hold you back if you are thinking of visiting.

Day 1

After leaving my suitcase with the hotel, I discovered I was about a 20 min tube journey from the main city Valencia. It's actually relatively straight forward to travel by the metro in Valencia, and there are several ticket options lasting you a full day or 1 week to travel into any zone and there are simple maps on the tube lines all around the station.

I found that most tube stations were about a 15 - 20 min walk from the main tourist spots which felt a bit far away however, the best hotels are outside the main city and more cost effective. Valencia has beautiful gothic style buildings but quite expensive to rent for short term stays so I opted for a hotel that would give me a chance to see the real Valencia but also not be too far from all the main tourist areas.

This time of the year, the temperatures are extremely hot on average reaching around 39 degrees Celsius so making too many plans into one day seemed unrealistic. However, my first stop was Valencia Cathedral which is well worth the visit as it offers you the options to go to the museum inside the Cathedral with underground viewing platforms taking you back to the roman empire. If you are a history geek then this will be perfect for you. Otherwise, the intricate artwork, paintings and general atmosphere inside the Cathedral is breathtaking. I spent around 2 hours inside the Cathedral.

After exploring the culinary delights and the small boutiques it was time to head back to the hotel which had a restaurant and bar.

Day 2

This was a day for exploring food, drink and local boutiques. Paella originally comes from Valencia so this was the main dish on every restaurant menu plus it is gluten free and there are vegetarian options. As a coeliac this was easier for me however, veganism didn't really appear to have taken off there yet so if you are vegan there might be limited options and food allergies and intolerances were not mentioned on menus.

As someone who is also guilty of overdosing on caffeine, just like in Italy, in Spain it's unusual to find lattes, iced coffees and smoothies. They offer "espresso" or "cafe con leche" (coffee with milk). If you ask for a "latte" you will just get a glass of milk so bear that in mind when ordering coffee. The coffee as an espresso was still delicious and not the bitter and strong taste you might expect.

In terms of boutiques I found that the products in Valencia were high quality and priced very reasonably in addition to be locally made. There were the usual high street chains such as Zara, Mango, and Oysho but the locals appeared to prefer shopping for locally made products.

Day 3

Temperatures continue to soar to 40 degrees Celsius so I decided to take a walk in the park "Instal-lacions dels Jardins del Turia" which has lots of shaded areas, a beautiful river running through and outdoor gyms. This took me about 40 mins until I reached the "Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias", the Arts and Science Museum.

As I was with a group we went to the Aquarium part of the museum, I'm not a fan of caged animals but before entering I didn't have any expectations of what it would be like inside. It was a huge place however, I am not a fan of dolphins, sea lions or turtles in tanks. After seeing dolphins swim freely in the wild this wasn't easy for me to watch as these intelligent animals were being asked to swim around a swimming pool.

Despite this, there were other aspects of the aquarium that I did enjoy such as their efforts to educating visitors on the negative impacts of overfishing, and how to look after our planet. The aquarium is probably a half day visit, so after this I headed back towards the hotel where there was also a bar.

Day 4

This is my last day in Valencia and I was leaving the city in the afternoon to catch my flight so I took a walk around the local area and found the most wonderful vegan restaurant. It was run by two brothers who had spent some time travelling around Bali, Indonesia and had incorporated Indonesia style food with Spanish food. Lots of flavour and dishes to suit all dietary requirements so that was a great way to finish off my trip.

The best thing about this City was the locals and tourists ability to welcome and mix with people from all over the world. There were plenty of people arriving on business trips which gave them the chance to really show off their international flare and ease at welcoming everyone.


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