April 8

Back to the future in Valencia, Spain


If you think science is boring think again. I bet you couldn’t care less about quantum mechanics, the life and death cycles of a jellyfish  or how  the Doppler effect was discovered.  Yet if I tell you that this can be explained in an interesting and practical manner, made so simple that even 7 year olds can understand it and you still don’t believe me  it means that you have not visited the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain.

Designed by world famous architect Santiago Calatrava the city is an iconic structure of the city and perhaps the contry- the unique style and futuristic design was thought to be an unfeasable proyect for many years, but construction engineers eventually proved everyone wrong when it was inaugurated on  April of 1998.

The city can be quite interesting already without visiting the museum per say, however you would be missing some of the best entertainment you can find when it comes to learning. All activities are presented in an interactive manner to keep visitors busy, perhaps being children the ones who will enjoy it the most.

There are several main structures to be visited:

  • The Science Museum Principe Felipe, an interactive science museum with the shape of a dinosaur’s skeleton
  • The Hemisferic, an IMAX cinema, planetarium and laser center
  • The Oceanographic, Europe’s largest aquarium with over 42 million liters of water
  • Reina Sofia Arts Palace, dedicated to music and scencic art
  • The covered gardens and the bridge, who’s 125 meter high column is the tallest point in the city.

Best of all is that it’s free to walk in and around the city, and you will only have to pay if you decide you want to enter any of the several available shows/ museums. Is it worth paying for anything? I would say it is, specially if there’s a good movie in the IMAX theatre, while children will love looking at the dolphins and belugas in the  aquarium. The Hemisferic and science museum both cost 7.5€ each, while the aquarium costs 23.9€; the all-inclusive ticket costs 31.6€. For more info you can visit their site www.cac.es .

I would recommend visiting the city on the morning of a clear day if you have the option- pictures on a cloudy day are not near as good. It should take you around 4 hours if you plan on visiting everything, but only one if you simply want to walk around and take a few pictures. From there you can hop on a bus that will take you to the center of Valencia city or stroll along the former bed of the Turia river- it was redirected after a massive flood that killed many people in 1957.

If eating paella, partying during fallas, going crazy at the Tomatina, or chilling at the beach were not enough reasons to visit this city you now have another to add to the list. After all there are not many cities in the world where you can look at a beluga in the morning and see how  more than 300  thirty meter high statues are set on fire in the afternoon!


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