Valencia has around 800,000 people living within its borders and over two million are in the surrounding metropolitan area. Once a Roman colony, it is now a coastal Spanish city as well as the capital of the autonomous community of the same name. One of the most interesting facts about this city is that it has two official languages. One of those is Castilian Spanish. The other is Valencian, which is a form of the Catalan language, known for its Romance origins. Influences from all over the world have shaped this beautiful city, having belonged to the Romans, Germanic peoples, and Muslims before the Spanish had their influence.
Location: Mediterranean Pearl and a Beach Lover’s Dream
Situated along the banks of the Turia River, which as artificially moved outside of the city, it is today surrounded by the river and borders the Mediterranean Sea. In the southern part of the city lies one of the largest lakes in Spain, a part of the Albufera Nature Preserve. Due to its location, residents enjoy warm summers and very mild winters—an ideal climate for vacationers that want to spend time on the beaches.
Business: Tourism, Transport, and Construction
The city’s strong economy is always growing, due to its influx of tourists and its huge part in the construction industry. Recently, the city has also broken into the telecommunications and transport businesses, with Air Nostrum now headquartering in Valencia. Most residents are employed in the service sector, and many work in the small industrial base. To top it off, a large factory of Ford Motor Company is located near Valencia.
Culture: Festivals, Food, and the Arts
Valencia is known for colorful and intricate festivals, two of the most popular being Falles and the Holy Week celebrations. Buildings like the Lonja de la Seda, the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, and the impressive cathedral are landmarks that one must visit. On top of it all, this town of art and science is full of culinary opportunities. People come from all over to try signature dishes like paella, the famous simmered rice and meat combination.
Activities: Sports, Gardens, and Awe-Inspiring Buildings
There is never a lack of things to see and do in this port city. Gothic style buildings, historic cathedrals, and medieval churches line the boulevards, giving a glimpse of what life in Valencia used to be like. Architecture is a big draw for tourists as are the many beautiful gardens, including the Jardín de Monforte. For those looking for a little more excitement, Valencia has numerous sports clubs for football, Rugby, American Football, and Basketball.