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Top Rated Attractions in Valencia

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Church of San Nicolás

The origins of the Church of Saint Nicolas can be traced back to the 13th Century from where begins the long and eventful history of this religious site. The church, as it stands today, is a blend of two distinct architectural styles - the Gothic and the Baroque. From the outside, the church features a simple, understated design that is typical of 15th-century, Gothic architecture. Inside, the church is a visual feast, adorned from floor to ceiling in colorful Baroque frescoes that date back to the 17th Century. The Church of Saint Nicholas is a veritable treasure trove of ecclesiastical art and one of Valencia's most popular attractions. Stop by and enjoy a glimpse into the life of the church's patron saint, chronicled in artistic detail across the walls and ceiling of this historic site.

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia

The stunning white avant-garde building is quite a site to see from afar. Designed and engineered by Santiago Calatrava, a Valencia native this building is truly worth a visit even if you do not plan to catch a show or performance. Reminiscent of the Sydney opera house, the building was meant to look like a ship. Here you can see mostly classical music performances and opera, and stupendous performances have been hosted here in the past, involving stalwarts such as Zubin Mehta and Placido Domingo.

Serranos Gate

One of the only two gates to have survived the destruction of the historic city walls in 1865, the Torres de Serranos impress with their sheer enormity and grandeur of scale. Constructed between 1392 and 1398, this massive gateway served as the main entrance to the city and proved to be a fitting choice for ceremonial functions despite the fact that it was originally conceived of as nothing more than an imposing addition to the city's defenses. Designed by Pere Balaguer, the gateway was built upon a remarkable Gothic design, with ornamentations and embellishments that have withstood the test of time. From 1586 to 1887, the Torres de Serranos was re-purposed as a prison for nobility, and has been variously used ever since. Today, the monumental gateway is a popular attraction, is pinnacle affording those who brave the climb fantastic views of the city of Valencia. Composed of a pair of pentagonal towers with a common gallery and architectural nuances galore, the Torres de Serranos is still central to social life in Valencia, and is noted as the host of the opening ceremony of the Fallas each year.

City of Arts and Sciences

The first of its kind in Spain, this totally white futuristic cityscape made up of enormous modern buildings is the work of famous local architect Santiago Calatrava. You'll find it in the Túria River Bed. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias complex spreads out over 350,000 square meters (86.4 acres) and consists of four different structures but related sections: the Arts Centre, Science Museum, planetarium and Ocean Park. Each of these are must-visit spots for tourists.

Valencia Museum of History

In this museum, history is about much more than battles, dates, and potentates. Hidden under the dust of time there is a universe of unknown dates of seemingly trivial, but nonetheless revealing episodes. The museum aims to tell history through the lens of the quotidian. The permanent exhibition covers epochs from 138 BC - the present.

Museo Etnológico

This museum is part of the Centro Cultural de la Beneficencia. The cultural centre has permanent exhibition halls in which you can learn about the evolution of rural, traditional Valencian society's way of life. It also has temporary exhibitions on various ethnological themes. There is a specialized library, open to the public, which deals with ethnological and anthropological subjects, and the archives that accompany them. Apart from the cultural centre's activities (exhibitions, concerts, conferences), the visitor can participate in and make use of various didactic workshops and sound, photo and video libraries.

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