City of the Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts y les Ciencies)#2 in Best Things To Do in Valencia
The Ciutat de les Arts y las Ciències (also known as the City of Arts and Sciences) is a traveler favorite. Built on the old riverbed of the Turia River, the museum's contemporary architecture (by Santiago Calatrava) shelters the Museu de les Ciències (a science museum), the Hemisfèric (a planetarium and IMAX theater), the Oceanogràfic – the largest aquarium in Europe – and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (a performing arts venue), among other attractions.
Most past travelers raved about the complex's myriad offerings, and suggested you wear comfortable shoes; the attraction is so massive, you'll be doing a lot of walking. Reviewers recommended setting aside an afternoon or even two to three days to see the entire complex.
The City of Arts and Sciences is open daily, though with varying hours depending on the season. You can purchase entrance tickets to individual attractions, or you can buy a combined ticket. A ticket to the Museu de les Ciències, for instance, costs around 8 euros (or about $9) for adults, while a package combining several attractions ranges from 12 euros (about $13.25) to 38.60 euros (around $42.50) for adults. To reach the complex, jump off at the Alameda metro stop on lines 3 or 5; you can also take buses Nos. 13, 14, 15, 19, 35, 95 and 40. Visit the official website for more information.
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#1 Turia Gardens (Jardi del Turia)
The Jardí del Túria (or the Garden of the Turia) might seem odd to newcomers, seeing as how it boasts more than a dozen bridges built to span a river that's no longer there. One of the country's largest urban parks, Jardí del Túria was built after a fatal 1957 flood of the Turia river, which was then diverted over the course of the mid-to-late 1960s. Today, the gardens shelter orange and palm trees and rose bushes among the wide variety of flora. The park's facilities also include cafes, football (i.e., soccer) fields, children's play areas, rugby pitches, fountains, baseball diamonds, running tracks, skate parks and miniature golf courses. Predictably, the park is especially popular with runners and cyclists. It is also ideal for families with children.
The green space is highly appreciated by recent visitors for the range of activities on offer as well as the peaceful atmosphere.
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