Valencia Gay Travel Guide & Map 2019

Upcoming Events in Valencia

|  15  –  19 March 2020
Fallas de Valencia 2020: large annual fair with parades and fireworks and many other events. The grand finale are the public burnings of the huge dolls, the so-called Fallas, on the last day at midnight.
|  9 October 2020
Día de la Comunitat Valenciana: official public holiday of the Autonomous Community of Valencia, with roots back to the 14th century. With a traditional procession and ear-deafening crackers in the center of Valencia as well as concerts and other events.
In the night before, many bars and clubs have opening hours like Saturday night.
|  12 October 2020
Fiesta Nacional de España: the national holiday of Spain.
Bars, clubs, shops etc. may operate like on a Sunday and in the night before like on a Saturday night.

About Valencia

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain, located directly on the Mediterranean Sea, about 350 km south of Barcelona. Due to its geographical location, Valencia was once Spain’s gateway to the Mediterranean Sea. Its history dates back to the year 138 BC. Founded as a Roman colony, it was later conquered by the Visigoths and in 711 by the Muslim Moors which led to Valencia’s first period of prosperity.

In 1094, El Cid conquered Valencia, and after another interlude of the Moors, Valencia became part of the Crown of Aragon in 1238. In the 15th and 16th century it was a major commercial and financial center, but as a result of the War of Spanish Succession in the early 18th century Valencia lost its previous importance.

Early 20th century architecture in Valencia - as in Barcelona - was strongly influenced by Modernisme (the Catalan version of Art Nouveau), which is displayed today in many beautiful facades, the railway station and the Central Market.

During the Spanish Civil War Valencia was temporarily seat of government of the Republic and had to suffer greatly under the bombardment of Franco's troops.

Quite important for Valencia’s urban development was the flood in 1957. As a consequence, the river Turia had been drained within the city and redirected around it. It thus became possible to use the dry-laid riverbed for other things. So the Jardin del Turia, a huge park with sports and leisure facilities, and the ›Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias‹ (the ›City of Arts and Sciences‹) were created. The latter was designed by Santiago Calatrava, an architect originating from Valencia, and consists of a huge, extravagant opera house and performing arts center, a museum of science, Europe’s largest aquarium and several other attractions. Apart from the many historic sights such as the cathedral, the silk exchange market and the Modernist buildings, it is especially this newly developed part of the city with its monumental architecture which has made Valencia more and more attractive for tourists.

When you are done with sight seeing, you may want to relax on one of the beaches, some of them located within the city. Or you may enjoy the Spanish national dish paella at its place of origin – Valencia.

An annual highlight is the so-called Falles in March, a traditional celebration held in commemoration of Saint Joseph. Alongside fireworks and processions, the main attractions are the larger-than-life dolls made of papier-mâché and wood (named Fallas) which are ceremonially burned at the end of the festival.