Oceanografic Valencia (L'Oceanografic)#3 in Best Things To Do in Valencia
Though part of the Ciutat de les Arts y les Ciències, Oceanogràfic Valencia stands as one of the top things to do all on its own. It's the largest aquarium in Europe and also boasts the longest underwater tunnel on the continent, which facilitates close-up view of sharks and the only family of beluga whales in Europe. The aquarium reproduces multiple habitats, including Artic, Antarctic, temperate and tropical as well as, appropriately enough, Mediterranean. Its dolphinarium, which features bottlenose dolphins, seats more than 1,500 people and is (you guessed it) the largest in Europe. The attraction also shelters a sizeable crocodile preserve.
Past visitors marveled at the aquarium's unique architecture as well as the range of sea creatures on view (though the dolphins were frequently singled out as a highlight). Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the place is especially popular among families with children, though some travelers found the tickets rather expensive.
The Oceanogràfic is open every day 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for Saturdays (and select Fridays), when it is open until 8 p.m. Its amenities include a restaurant surrounded by a circular aquarium, educational programs, a cinema and meeting rooms. It is accessible via bicycle, bus, car or metro. Alameda, on lines 3, 5, 7 and 9, is the closest metro station. Bus routes Nos. 15 and 95 serve the location. Ample parking is available on-site (for a fee). Tickets, which can be purchased online, start at 31.30 euros (or about $35) for adults and 23.30 euros (around $26) for kids between the ages of 4 and 12; children 3 and younger are admitted for free. For more information, visit the aquarium's official website.
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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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