Five Things to Do in Valencia

Valencia
Valencia

Valencia is one of the largest cities in Spain, but to me, it was a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of tourist season in Barcelona. Valencia is just a 5 hour bus ride from Barcelona. My bus ticket cost approximately 30 euros, but only because I bought the ticket at the bus station in Barcelona. Note: The Alsa website only accepts Spanish credit cards. However, I was informed after the fact, that they do accept PayPal.

Five Things to Do in Valencia:

Bike through the Jardines de Turia to the Beach

The Jardines de Turia are 9 kilometers of old river bed that were transformed into a beautiful, public park. The park runs through the center of Valencia and its designated bicycle lanes make for a smooth, scenic ride through the city. The end of the park is only a short distance to the sandy, sprawling beaches of Valencia.

Bicycles are by far the best mode of transportation in Valencia and can be rented for as little as 9 euros per day. Hostels usually have deals for bike rentals as well, I rented a bike for 10 euros for two days through Feetup Hostels The Red Nest and Passion Bikes.

Visit La Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias

La Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias is must-see cultural center for art and science lovers. La Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias is home to Europe’s largest aquarium, L’Oceanografic, Palau de les Arts, L’Hemisferic and the Museu de Les Ciencies Principe Felipe. The center is conveniently located at the southeastern end of the Jardines de Turia and is easily accessed by bike or public transport. I visited the Museu de les Ciencies during Pixar’s 25th anniversary exhibit. It cost 8 euros for a ticket to the exhibit, which included entry to the museum.

Get wild in Bioparc Valencia

The Bioparc, unlike most zoos, has no fences separating the animals from visitors. Instead the zoo utilizes natural barriers, such as boulders and foliage to give visitors the illusion of being in the animal’s environment. This is the one thing I regret not doing in Valencia, as many people told me it was an amazing experience.

Eat Paella Valenciana

Valencia is where the Spanish rice dish, paella, originated. Traditional Paella Valenciana recipes contain rabbit and chicken. Most restaurants throughout Valencia serve paella, however I was told by a local that the dish is generally only served at lunchtime. Click here for more info about Paella

Visit the Torres de Serranos

Built at the end of the 14th century, the Torres de Serranos is one of the 12 gates found along the old medieval city wall of Valencia. Originally built as a defense mechanism, the tower later housed prisoners. The Torres de Serranos is one of the largest Gothic city gates in Europe. On Sundays entry to the Torres de Serranos is free.

Links:
Wikipedia entry on Valencia

Survival Spanish for travellers

Learn Spanish in Valencia

Basic facts about the Schengen.

So you’re planning an extended trip to Europe, great! You most likely have already mapped out the cities you’d like to visit, sought out friends for advice and possibly went ahead and downloaded the best apps for travel… but have you thought about a visa?

It is always a good idea to research a country’s specific entry requirements before planning a trip abroad. For non-EU citizens planning to backpack or travel throughout Europe for more than 3 months, in addition to having a valid passport, you will need to familiarize yourself with the Schengen Area Agreement.

What is the Schengen Area Agreement? It is a border agreement between 26 European countries to allow EU citizens to travel and settle freely within the area. Non-EU citizens, with the proper documentation, are also permitted to travel freely within the Schengen area, but are limited to 90 days out of an 180 day period.

Schengen countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Liechtenstein.

 

You may be asking yourself, but what if I want to travel throughout Europe for longer than 90 days?

Traveling for more than 90 days throughout Europe is possible, if you plan accordingly. You can split up time between the Schengen area and non-Schengen countries. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom are all part of the EU, but are non-Schengen countries.

For example, you can spend 45 days in the Schengen area, then fly to say, the United Kingdom, and spend however many days the UK tourist visa will allow, then re-enter the Schengen area for your remaining 45 days.

Again, it is best to research country specific entry requirements before considering travel to the United Kingdom, or another non-Schengen country, as you may be asked for additional documentation.

For more information about the Schengen area visit:

The European Commission’s Migration and Home Affairs website.

SchengenVisaInfo.com