Are you looking for beautiful beaches? Do you prefer museums or beautiful beaches?
You might just want to stroll around a vibrant city filled with authentic restaurants. Well, Valencia has it all.
Here you can have several holidays rolled into one — and that’s exactly what I did in Spain’s third city, down on the south-eastern coast.
Star of the show is the City Of Arts And Sciences — a £760million spaceship-like mega-complex, which took a decade to build.
It is a stunning sight — one of the 12 Treasures of Spain — and made me feel like I’d been transported into a future of hovercars and space travel.
They are so incredible that several shows, including Doctor Who, Westworld, and Tomorrowland, have used them as film locations.
As I walked around the impressive buildings, I realised that the huge resort reminded me of another famous one — the land of Epcot at Disney World in Florida.
The aviary at L’Oceanografic, the complex’s massive aquarium, resembles the golf ball-shaped Spaceship Earth at Epcot.
And there is even a nearby playground, Park Gulliver, with oversized slides that don’t quite compare to the rollercoasters at Disney, but are still fun for little ones.
You can really discover the best of Valencia by purchasing a Valencia Tourist Card. This card gives you unlimited access to bus and metro travel.
The Science Museum is a sprawling attraction that teaches children everything about the human body and space exploration.
Adults can enjoy the Festival Of Arts at The Opera House, which features a variety of live musical performances during summer months.
Best of all, the attractions sit so close to some incredible beaches, where I lost hours drinking cocktails — mostly at Las Arenas strip, which overlooks a busy stretch of sand with paddleboarders in the distance.
You will find the trendy El Cabanyal area, which is known as Little Havana due to its rainbow-tiled buildings.
I spent the evening listening to live jazz and enjoying Iberian hams, croquettes, as well as local wine.
Colmado LaLola is the place to go for the best tapas in the city. It’s run by Jesus and his rescue dog chihuahua.
As did his stories about his life, the small meals just kept on coming.
I washed down fresh scallops, spicy patas bravas, and fried padron bell peppers with a vermouth that was so powerful I felt the need to embrace the Spanish siesta at Valencia Oceanic Hotel by Melia.
But don’t nap for too long as, like all of Spain, the city really comes alive at night.
You’ll feel like you are in a musical as the bars spill out onto streets that are decorated with Victorian streetlights.
If you’re looking for a budget night, head to La Finestra. Everyone comes for the cheap beers and mini pizzas (€2.50).
It’s so popular you’ll find people perched on the nearby kerbs when the tables are all taken.
You can also order a tasting menu from Saona, a small restaurant in Valencia that serves gourmet food “cups”Wine from the local area
Paella is a must-have for all foodies.
Valencia is where the famous rice dish was invented and Nou Racó, in Albufera Nature Park, does it best, serving up wood-fired paellas the traditional way with either meat or seafood, but never a mix of both.
In a few days, I’d barely scratched the surface of Valencia’s city attractions.
But I’d still managed to get my fill of Disney-style excitement, blissful beach relaxation and top-notch wining and dining — all at a bargain price.
It’s not bad for one city.
Getting There: Ryanair flies from Manchester to Valencia from £43 return. See ryanair.com.
STAYING THERE One night at Valencia Oceanic by Melia is from £72 a night based on two sharing. See melia.com.
OUT & ABOUT: Get a Valencia Tourist Card with free bus and metro travel and discounted attractions from £21.50. It includes a15 per cent discount on City Of Arts And Sciences complex tickets from £34. See visitvalencia.com.