About Valencia, Spain
- Population: 750,000
- Distance from Madrid: 220 miles
- Distance from Barcelona: 215 miles
The City of Arts and Sciences.
Located on Spain’s southeast coast, Valencia is a Mediterranean city in all aspects. Locals embrace outdoor living and recreation by taking advantage of the area’s temperate climate (average temperatures range between 48-77°F). Popular activities include strolling on one of the city’s seaside promenades (the longest of which stretches 7 km, or over 4 miles), swimming at beaches that have received the highest environmental awards, or using ‘pedal-power’ to visit Valencia’s key cultural and historic sites—Valencia has been recognized as a bike-friendly city by the Cities by Bike Network, and has over 120 km (75 miles) of bike lanes and garden causeways that allow you to explore the city at your leisure.
Valencia is home to a multitude of museums and cultural center, but this port city is perhaps best well-known for its innovative City of Arts and Sciences, a “unique complex dedicated to scientific and cultural dissemination”. This complex comprises 5 main elements: an interactive science center (Principe Felipe Science Musuem), l’Oceanografico (Europe’s largest aquarium), a performing arts venue focusing on opera (the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia), an IMAX theater and planetarium (the Hemisferic), and a large outdoor exhibition zone (the Umbracle).
The city hosts festivals throughout the year, but students studying abroad in the spring will have the unique opportunity to experience Las Fallas, a two-week long regional festival that combines historic, religious, and comedic processions and events and culminates with pyrotechnic displays. Ninots, large and often satirical puppets, are created during the year and displayed during giant parades. One ninot is voted as the favorite and spared; the others are destroyed in large bonfires accompanied by impressive firework displays that light up the night sky and make this festival one that many people travel across the globe to attend.