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The City of Arts and Sciences - Valencia, Spain
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, Spain

Everyone has seen Baroque, Rennaisance, Gothic...It got boring. How many people can come back from their holiday and boast about the 22nd century architecture they enjoyed on their trip?

No pictures will do it justice. This is one of those things you have to see no matter how much you hate the crowds and tourist traps, like the Sagrada Familia of Barcelona or Machu Picchu of Peru. Only this time you are transported into the future, not into the past.

The City of Arts and Sciences is a huge futuristic educational complex designed for Valencia by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrva, as a present to his home city. Calatrava's vision is that of the space age, inspired by animal skeletons.

You can enjoy it for free, unless you want to go inside and explore what it has to offer - the City is much more than the pretty face, offereing amazing entertainment and education on an unprecendeted in Europe level.

The City of Arts and Sciences is composed of 5 elements (below), all bound together in a luxurious lanscape of clear water spaces and greenery. It is truly a city withing a city - you will find yourself far, far away from Valencia, on some distant planet in a distant time.

Some parts around it are still work in progress - the 6th and final construction has only just commenced and thats why the park around the Oceanographic has to wait to be completed. Although this makes a few corners unsightly, generally it doesn't make a big impact on the stunning experience you will receive.

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, Spain See Gallery of the City of Arts and Sciences


The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, Spain

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia

The Concert / Opera Hall
The Palace of Arts has 4 distinct auditoriums for various kinds of stage arts, from classical concerts and operas to theatre plays. DUe to its incredible acoustics it is becoming one of the most prestigious opera halls in Europe. See Classical Music.

 

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, Spain

L'Oceanografic

The Marine Park
L'Oceanografic is the biggest marine park in Europe. A collection of smaller structures grouped around and across a water reservoir. The viewing is actually underground, thosands of species of marine flora and fauna, including sharks and dolphins. There is a section on every marine zone in the world - from Arctic to Mediterranean. This is a more relaxing and visual experience than the Museum of Sciences, and more suitable for kids. For more info and to see some great photos of what's inside you could see Aquarium on "Traveling in Spain" (external link). There is also another gallery of marine wildlife there.
Average viewing time: 3.5 hours

 

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, Spain

L'Hemisferic

The IMAX Cinema.
L'Hemispheric usually has 5-7 various shows on display, all of educational and/or visually stunning character. This is IMAX 3D cinema and perhaps the most engaging part of the complex for the kids. Everyone lies almost horizontally on the floor and watches the hemispheric screen above them.
Average viewing time: 1 hour

 

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, Spain

Museo de Ciences Principe Felipe

The Museum of Science.
An enormous long structure with 3 Floors of ultra-interactive science material on topics like electricity, physical laws, lasers, human body, sport sciences, sound, lights, planetarium, and many others. Some stuff is purely fun, other takes good brain work, all of it is fascinating. Unlike in other museums, the rules here are - pull, push, touch, twist. Most of the exhibition is permanent, with a couple of rotating temporary sections.
Average viewing time: 3 hours

 

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, Spain

L'Umbracle

The Greenhouse.
This is a luxurious green promenade with species of plants from all over the world. It is also the only part of the complex with public access free of charge.
Average viewing time: 3 hours

 

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, Spain See Gallery of the City of Arts and Sciences

Prices

The CAS operates a complex price system which will give you discounts if you choose more than one installation. The tickets are valid for two (even if non-consecutive) days - you simply cant enter the same place twice.

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, Spain View the prices on the CAS webite.

Opening Hours

The opening hours are 10am - 6pm most of the year, with longer hours in the summer. It is recommendable to see the City both by day and by night, if you can - the City changes completely.

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, Spain View opening times on the CAS website:
L'Oceanografic
L'Hemisferic (+ timetable of the movies)
Museo de Ciencies


Getting there

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) - Valencia, SpainView interactive map on Google Maps

Bus: No 19, 35, 95, 40. If you take a bus map from a tourist office, you will see where to catch the bus from wherever you are.

Taxi: will cost 6 - 7 euros from the city centre.

Walk! Why not? It is not far from the centre - perhaps 30-40 minutes, and you can see the best part of the Turia river garden, something you must see anyway. Just enjoy the pleasant stroll in that beauty and watch the City of Arts and Sciences slowly approaching from the horizon. It is an amazing experience.

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