In Spanish Valencia is pronounced with a ‘th’ in the middle instead of the ‘c’. To pronounce it properly touch your tongue on your top teeth as if you were saying the word ‘the’. Most of the buildings outside the centre of Valencia are ugly colourless apartment buildings. There is a lot of graffiti and some parts of the city look like a building site where the workers went home three years ago and forgot to return. The landscape is flat and there is a lot of industry, but do not panic. The whole city is not like this. The centre of Valencia is stunning which contrasts significantly with the ugly high rise blocks of the suburbs. It also has some very interesting futuristic new buildings and a fine beach. The city of Valencia is a great place for a weekend city break.
The Medieval and Roman urban grid of streets with winding narrow lanes provide shadow and shelter from the heat of the torrid Valencian Summers. It is easy to get lost in this labyrinth. You will find beautifully renovated palaces, posh stores, charming squares, and restaurants with character, trendy and busy bars, but be prepared, you will also see decrepit, shabby areas and dilapidated places. People in Valencia speak two languages: Spanish and a dialect of Catalan known as Valencian. You will notice this reflected in the street signs as they are bi-lingual. The most traditional zone for shopping in Valencia is in the southern part of the historic centre, along the streets of Colón, Roger de Lauria, Don Juan de Austria, Poeta Querol, Barcas, Pintor Sorolla, Cirilo Amorós.
Valencia is Spain's 3rd largest city and has an outstanding fiesta and festival scene that rivals the south! The best time of year to come is in mid-March for the Las Fallas festival where they build giant paper mache dolls, light giant bonfires and set off fireworks. It is a little bit like Britain's bonfire night but bigger and lots more fun. If you are going for a weekend break remember that as this is a catholic country most shops are closed on Sunday. Plan to do you shopping on Saturday. Many of the Museums close on Monday so check the internet to find opening days. Also remember that many shops and museums close for a long siesta lunch break of at least 2 hours normally between 14.00 -1600. If you are going to look around the many churches make sure you dress appropriately. No exposed shoulders and very short skirts or shorts.
Craig Moore - www.MooreTravelTips.com