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The Batalla de Flores
The Feria de Julio has been celebrated in Valencia since 1871. With open-air cinema, concerts, fireworks and more, this month-long festival is an attempt to convince residents to remain in the city during the sweltering summer. The feria’s closing act is the Batalla de Flores, or the Flower Battle… Read More

Jul 31, 2015

The Neighborhood of Canovas, or Gran Via
A wedge-shaped grid of streets just to the east of the city center, the upscale barrio of Gran Via is popular during the day for its restaurants, and at night for its clubs. Most Valencians refer to the neighborhood as “Canovas,” after the circular plaza which serves as its unofficial entrance… Read More

Jul 28, 2015

Meet the Valencians
Armed with a pen, paper and a list of questions, we set out into the streets of Valencia, hoping to meet some locals. As we suspected, this turned out to be a simple task. Valencians live out on the streets, especially during the summer, and they’re exceedingly approachable. Almost every single person we stopped was happy to take a few minutes out of their day, to answer our questions… Read More

Jul 27, 2015

The Street Art of Valencia
Even if you’re the kind of person who refuses to visit a museum, it’s impossible to completely avoid art in Valencia. For years, underground artists have been transforming the city into an open-air gallery, covering walls, fences and entire buildings with works of remarkable beauty and ingenuity… Read More

Jul 27, 2015

The BioParc of Valencia
Valencia is home to the best zoo in the world. That’s a bold claim, but the BioParc is at least the best zoo Jürgen and I have ever visited. Designed in a way that makes cages (almost) obsolete, the BioParc allows an unobstructed view of the animals, and lets you get close to them… uncomfortably close, sometimes. Let’s just say, it’s a good thing hyenas aren’t strong jumpers… Read More

Jul 26, 2015

A Walk Through El Carmen
A tangled web of streets, alleys and plazas, El Carmen has (largely) shaken off its seedy past to become Valencia’s most famous neighborhood. For many, El Carmen is the city; when you “go downtown,” this is where you generally end up. With hip restaurants, cool shops, insane street art, excellent museums, and an eclectic mix of people milling about its plazas, El Carmen is beautiful, strange, and occasionally scary… but it’s never boring… Read More

Jul 20, 2015

Gulliver’s Park in the Turia Riverbed
If you’re looking at the Turia Riverbed using a satellite program such as Google Earth, you might be surprised by the presence of a giant tied onto the ground with ropes. And zoom in closer… what are those little specks climbing all over him? Are they Lilliputians?… Read More

Jul 19, 2015

Adjusting to the Ritmo Valenciano
Although it’s possible to superimpose your own schedule onto Valencia, life is a whole lot easier when you submit to its way of doing things. But what does a normal Valencian day look like? Here’s a quick, and very generalized rundown. Don’t worry, there are going to be a lot of snack breaks along the way… Read More

Jul 19, 2015

San Vicente Martír and San Vicente Ferrer
Jesus and the Virgin Mary rank high, too, but the two most important religious figures in Valencia are a pair of Vicentes. San Vicente Martir met his grisly fate in the city, while a thousand years later San Vicente Ferrer would become one of Valencia’s most influential sons… Read More

Jul 11, 2015

Derby Night at the Mestalla
It should come as no surprise that the most popular sport in Valencia is football. This is Spain, after all. And of the twenty teams in La Liga (Spain’s First Division), five are based in the Comunidad Valenciana. Three are from province of Valencia, and two of these can be found in the city itself: Valencia Club de Fútbol and Levante UD. We attended a Monday night derby between these two teams… Read More

Jul 09, 2015

The Glory of the Baroque: San Juan de la Cruz
Following the San Martín Obispo and San Esteban, the San Juan de la Cruz completes Valencia’s trio of churches which have been recently restored to their original Baroque brilliance. Like its brothers, this is one of the city’s oldest churches, founded in 1343, immediately after the Reconquista. And also like its brothers, it’s just… wow… Read More

Jul 06, 2015

The Glory of the Baroque: San Esteban
The San Esteban is among the oldest churches in Valencia, and has become a popular spot for baptisms. Along with the nearby San Martín and San Juan de la Cruz, it forms part of the city’s trio of exquisite baroque churches… Read More

Jul 05, 2015

The Glory of the Baroque: The Iglesia de San Martín
Back in 2010, Valencia unveiled the results of an effort to restore three of its most impressive Baroque-era churches: the San Martín, San Esteban and San Juan de la Cruz, all located a short distance from each other in the city center. If any of these had been my childhood church, I might have grown up with a very different idea of “God”: not some wizened, white-bearded grump sitting on a cloud, but a flamboyant show-off with a flair for the extravagant… Read More

Jul 04, 2015