Nestled along the warm unspoiled shores of the Mediterranean, Valencia is a fabulous place that is bursting with arts, culture, urban bustle, and nightlife hubbub. This vibrant autonomous city is Spain’s third largest metropolitan area but it has its own unique charms, which you won’t find anywhere else in the country. Instead of divulging the usual travel-related “guff” found in almost every other tourist brochure, let’s delve deeper into some of more off-beat facts and peculiarities about the City of Valor.
The stag do capital of Europe
Young soon-to-be-wed bucks are flooding this city to celebrate their final days of bachelordom like kings. And for a good reason! Valencia is jam-packed with all sorts of exciting stag do activities, ranging from paintball skirmishes, bubble football matches, and beer bicycle runs to quad biking, go karts, and chartered yacht parties. Just gather your mates and paint the town red. There is also a wide selection of contemporary bars and nightclubs you should definitely check out during your pub crawls, such as the trendy Barcode, Guinness-fuelled St Patricks, and the alternative Black Note Club.
The quest for the Holy Grail
No, this is not another Monty Python sketch… Many Christian devotees believe that the cup from which Jesus drank out of during the last supper is nestled within a cathedral in Valencia. Whether or not there is truth to this fact is open for discussion but one thing is certain – it is a magnet for tourists. The holy relic is adorned with ecclesiastical decorations and the sacred structure is well worth including in your itinerary, regardless of your religious sentiments.
Paella de marisco
If you haven’t tasted this traditional dish, it’s like you haven’t been to Valencia at all. A lot of visitors are excited to savor this rice meal with roots dating all the way back to the ancient times.
Make sure to find the real thing though, because the fake tourist version is something the Spanish will never put in their mouths. Ask any food expert and he or she will say that a properly served paella is more than just a meal. It represents deep human connections, socializing, family, and friends – everything that defines the local way of life of Valencia.
Turia River transformation
Valencia is bisected by the river Turia but you won’t find much of the water now. What happened? In 1957, the river burst its banks, flooding the city and causing a national disaster. In some places, the flood reached the heights of up to 3 meters and you can see stains on old houses in the old central districts even to this day! Nowadays, the river is transformed into a remarkable urban park. Turia gardens are considered one of the most beautiful green areas in Europe, boasting sports facilities, children’s play parks, and bike rental stations. Combine this lush natural environment with 3D cinema, a mini sea world and artistic exhibitions, and you have got yourself one magnetic tourist attraction.
Spanish is not spoken in Valencia per se
A savvy traveler is sure to learn a few phrases and expressions before arriving at his or her destination. However, if you ever get the chance to visit Valencia, not many locals will claim to speak Spanish but Valenciano, which is derived from Catalan dialect. People here are proud of their language but not many people outside of Valencia’s urban borders get the chance to learn it. Interestingly enough, you will stumble upon many French looking words and some will even have similar spelling as found in English, more so than Castilian Spanish.