Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias / City of Arts and Science, map). This ultra-modern architectural complex on the former Turia riverbed was designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava and Spanish-Mexican architect Félix Candela. If you don’t want to pay the steep admission charges to the individual sights, you can wander around the complex and appreciate the architecture from outside for free.
L’Oceanogràfic (map). Hours vary by season, open daily . The largest oceanarium in Europe, and the second-largest in the world, has seven sections devoted to different ecological zones.
Catedral de Santa María de València (La Seu / Valencia Cathedral, map). It was the site of a Roman temple, then a Visigothic cathedral, and then a Moorish grand mosque. It is now the seat of the archbishropic of Valencia.
Micalet (El Miguelete, map). The unusual octagonal bell tower, with a height of 51 m, was built in the 14th and 15th centuries. It provides a pleasing view of the city.
Llotja de la Seda (La Lonja de la Seda / Silk Exchange, map). This UNESCO landmark is considered to be one of the most significant secular Gothic buildings in Europe. It was built between 1482 and 1533 on the site of an earlier oil exchange.
Església de Sant Nicolau (Iglesia de San Nicolás / Church of San Nicolás, map). Established in the 13th century, the church was expanded in several phases, culminating in the current 15th-century Gothic structure. During the late 17th century extensive Baroque renovations were carried out to the interior, the most significant of them being ceiling frescoes.
Monestir de Sant Miquel dels Reis (Biblioteca Valenciana Nicolau Primitiu / Monastery of San Miguel de los Reyes, map). Founded in the 16th century, this massive Renaissance building is considered by some historians to be the early model for the more well-known El Escorial near Madrid. In 1835 the monastery was dissolved and came under control of the state.
Banys de l’Almirall (Baños del Almirante / Almirante Muslim Baths, map). Although constructed in 1313 after the Christian reconquista, the bathhouse was built in the Arabic style and is considered to be an excellent example of Moorish architecture.
Museu d’Història de València (Museo de Historia de Valencia / Museum of Valencian History, map). Housed in a former reservoir, this well-designed museum is dedicated to the developmental history of the city, from the Roman era until the present.
Museu Nacional de Ceràmica (Museo Nacional de Cerámica / National Ceramics Museum, map). The ground and first floors showcase a collection of stagecoaches and period furniture, while the upper two floors house an extensive ceramics collection with a focus on historic Valencian pieces. Of particular note are Moorish ceramic tiles from the main mosque which was on the site now occupied by the cathedral, and six plates designed by Picasso.
Museu de Belles Arts de València (Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia / Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia, map). This 17th-century former palace houses over 2,000 pieces of art, with a primary focus on art of the 14th to 17th centuries.
Centre Cultural Bancaixa (Centro Cultural de Bancaja, map). The former 19th-century residence is a cultural centre which hosts excellent, well-curated temporary exhibits of contemporary art and photography, by Valencian, Spanish and international artists.