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Valencia, Spain

When you think of big-deal destinations in Spain, you’ll find Valencia up at the top with Madrid and Barcelona. And for lovers of paella and horchata (orxata locally), the ‘third city’ might just be your #1. The same city that invented these delicacies can be found simply living life as if it were art, a city where Old World charm brushes up against gleaming futuristic buildings that seem to come from a future that hasn’t arrived just yet. Look back to the past for an example of Valencian ingenuity: a midcentury diverted river has given way to over five miles of green “sunken” park space.

  • Become a resident of the City of Arts and Sciences — for an afternoon — when you explore the complex that houses the largest aquarium in Europe.
  • Check out Albufera, a lake so large — the biggest in Spain, no less — that the lake and its surrounding lands are considered a park.
  • Walk the Old Quarter, the neighborhood with a Coliseum-style bullring and countless city blocks lined with buildings built around interior courtyards.