The City of Arts and Sciences is a string of stunning architectural jewels in the centre of the Spanish city of Valencia (map). Designed by Santiago Calatrava (one of my favourite architects) and Félix Candela, the City of Arts and Sciences is a modern cultural and entertainment complex built on the old riverbed of the Turia river. The complex is composed of a series of buildings, pools and elevated walkways. The striking white façades of the buildings form a striking contrast to the cool blue pools and the often cloudless azure blue Valencian sky. Of the series of buildings, my absolute favourite is the El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía with its futuristic fish-like mouth. If you don’t have the time to visit one of the exhibits or attend a concert in the buildings, a stroll around the complex is more than worthwhile and affords many excellent photo opportunities.

The City of Arts and Sciences (website) truly is a magnificent architectural marvel, definitely one of the top things to do in Valencia. To enter the various attractions, you can purchase a single ticket for the City of Arts and Sciences. Please scroll down to view some of the many photos I took during my tour of this awesome complex.

City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe.

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe fronts a stunning blue pool.
city of arts and sciences valencia
Stunning right?
El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía Valencia photo
El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía
El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía fish mouth
Close-up of the ‘fish mouth’ of the El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía.
El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía.

The beautiful blue pools form a stark contrast with the white/metal-coloured buildings.

City of Arts and Sciences by night

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe by night.
The City of Arts & Sciences in Valencia by night.
L’Assut de L’Or bridge by night


The City of Arts and Sciences is also home to the L’Oceanogràfic, the Valencia Aquarium. It’s a vast complex with outdoor pools and underground aquariums connected by tunnels. It’s definitely one of the most impressive aquariums I’ve ever visited! Purchase an entry ticket.

The stunning roofs of the Oceanografic.
The restaurant at the Oceanografic.
Feeding time!
One of many tunnels at the Oceanographic

Read about my visit to L’Oceanogràfic and Bioparc.

24 Responses

  • […] are ten things to do and see in this wonderful city:1. Explore the City of Arts & SciencesThe City of Arts and Sciences is a true architectural gem. Consisting of a series of stunning, highly photogenic buildings strung […]

  • […] for it: a stunning medieval centre, an infectious big city vibe, cutting-edge architecture at the City of Arts & Sciences and gorgeous Art Nouveau architecture at the fringes of the old town, and the beaches! As I thought […]

  • […] Art Nouveau neighbourhoods; visits to some of the city’s excellent museums and the stunning City of Arts and Sciences; some beach time; and undoubtedly a good deal of delicious local cuisine and wines – I […]

  • The Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences) in Valencia by night | velvet escape's blog

    […] Read the accompanying post: ‘An Architectural Marvel in Valencia‘. […]

  • Thanks Mark. The City of Arts & Sciences is an absolute highlight of Valencia, but so are the beaches, the festivals, the old town and the FOOD! 🙂


  • Great post Keith! I was in Valencia several years ago during their annual “Las Fallas” festival and was blown away by the city. Too bad I was only there for a couple of days…by the looks of things, I missed a whole lot. Oh well, gotta make it back there soon! 🙂

  • Shellfish platter at restaurant Vertical in Valencia | velvet escape's blog

    […] The Michelin-star Restaurant Vertical in Valencia features exquisite cuisine and magnificent views of the City of Arts and Sciences. […]

  • Really cool pictures! I love this complex. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava, one of my favorite architects. And Valencia is a beautiful city on itself.

  • The breathtaking City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia | The Happy Explorer

    […] the accompanying post: ‘An Architectural Marvel in Valencia‘ Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 Europe TAGS: city, […]

  • I’ve heard about this place, and have seen a few images. But these photographs REALLY wet my appetite and now I want to go there even more! I planned to just see Barcelona when I am in Spain in the Spring, but I will have to add Valencia. Thanks for writing about the City of Arts and Sciences!

  • […] An Architectural Marvel in Valencia: Like modern archcitecture?  Check out these pictures of the City of Arts and Sciences taken by Keith from Velvet Escape.  Wild, stunning, and so clean — gorgeous!  You’ve probably seen plenty of Valencia posts popping up all over the travel blogosphere — several top bloggers in Europe were invited on a blog trip sponsored by the Land of Valencia.  I cannot wait to get to Valencia. […]

  • […] Architecture’s Modern Marvels – Vanity Fair1111 E. Pike / Olson Kundig ArchitectsAn architectural marvel in ValenciaThe Mummy Mountain Residence by Chen Suchart StudioThe Meadowview House by Platform 5 […]

  • Very cool! I’m always amazed at how people come up with these ideas before construction. The reflections on the water really add to the appeal.

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