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CITY SNAP.

Valencia What's worth seeing? Valencia is a great place to chill out and relax and the good thing is - everything is centrally located.

The Gardens of Turia hold botanical gardens, a theatre, science museum and the largest aquarium in Europe. The gardens never close, but it is not advisable to walk there after dark.

The Plaza del Mercado is home to the Silk Market, an example of Gothic civil architecture, the baroque Santos Juanes Church and the Central Market, a colourful market in a beautiful modernist building.

The Plaza de la Reina can be found behind the cathedral, and from here you get a beautiful view of the Miquelet, the most famous bell tower in the city.

Valencia Guias offers experienced walking guides (www.valenciaguias.com), while the Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias has an arts centre, science museum and an oceanographic park. Feeling peckish? There are 1,500 restaurants, many of them with outdoor dining.

Valencia is the birthplace of paella, so head towards The Old Quarter to try it. The Urbane Cafe with its home-made bread is a good option for something light, with sandwiches costing just under pounds 5. For a three-course meal costing you around pounds 7, Los Toneles is the place to go (0034 963 940 181). Opposite the bullring, this cerbezeria (beer taverna) serves up beautiful calamari and is a favourite with the locals.

If you fancy something a bit more pricey then give popular fish restaurant Civera Centro (0034 963 529 764/0034 963 475 917) a try. With two branches in the city, you can expect to pay anything from pounds 40 upwards.

Where can we stay? For a spot of luxury, head for the five star SH Valencia Palace (0034 96 3375037; www.hotelvalencia-palace.com) where many rooms have a view of the Turia Gardens. Double rooms start from pounds 140 with breakfast included.

Or give the three star El Coso a try (0034 963 728 213; elcosodelmar.com).

Located opposite Las Arenas beach, prices start from pounds 96 including breakfast.

How do we get there? There are daily flights from London operated by Easyjet (08712 882 236) and Ryanair (0871 2460000). What shall we take home? Plaza Redonda is full of shops selling Valencian ceramics.

Bazar Merkat, a small shop by Mercado Central, claims to have the cheapest genuine Valencian ceramics from Manises.

When's the best time to go? With its warm climate, Valencia can be visited at any time of the year.

If you are going to enjoy the beaches, then between June and September would be best.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 24, 2010
Words:429
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