What’s up everyone? Have you started working on your New Year’s Resolutions yet? 😉
I have a feeling that Valencian people will not be very happy with what I’m going to say but – to me – Valencia feels like Barcelona’s little sister.
Yes, I said it.
It might not be very comforting to live in the shade of your cosmopolitan sibling, who also happens to be one of the top most visited cities in Europe, but this might actually be the key to why Valencia could be a better destination than Barcelona.
Exactly. Less people!
Now, don’t imagine that Valencia’s streets are empty, because this was far from the case. But compared to what’s happening right now in Barcelona, it can feel like a relief to be able to walk around without getting stuck in hoards of tourists.
Valencia might not have Gaudi’s stamp on its architecture, but it surely flaunts its share of stunning edifices that keep you turning your head around all the time. The old area of the city is incredibly chic with so many cute cafes (my absolute favourite was Trencat), terraces and restaurants, there’s a lot of greenery everywhere, the beach is interminable and a bit further away you have a whole show of modern architecture by Santiago Calatrava: the famous City of Arts and Sciences. The city is clean, lively, very easy to get around and, I must note this too, cheaper than Barcelona.
We had our accommodation right in the heart of the old center, so everything that interested us was at walking distance (except the City of Arts and Sciences, but it made for a nice, long walk through the residential areas and the Turia Park and then a quick bus ride back). To me Valencia is the ideal city that has it all for a relaxing few days: beach, good weather, good food and wonderful architecture.
The only disappointment I had here was their paella. Now, I might have just tried it in a bad place (although it was a recommended one), but it was so dry and tasteless, probably also a bit old. I had much better paella in Barcelona and, the best I ever had was in Cabo de Gata. I was so excited to try paella in Valencia and had very high expectations as everyone was praising it but.. oh well. If you know a place where I can get a really good, fresh, juicy paella in Valencia, comment below and I’ll put it on my list for the next time I visit this gorgeous city.
On the other hand, my favourite part was walking around the cathedral at evening time – so much life and music filling up the square and nearby streets!
Despite their similarities, Valencia has a sort of elegance that I feel Barcelona lacks and I think that’s why I ultimately fell in love with it.
Have you visited them both? Which one was your favourite? I’m curious to hear your thoughts!