A Guide to the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia’s Property Hotspot
After the ubiquitous paella, this contemporary architectural masterpiece has become Valencia’s most iconic attraction. This ambitious and instantly recognisable project by notable Valencian architects Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela is set within the former Turia riverbed (which was fully drained and rerouted following fatal flooding in 1957). The entire length of the riverbed has been transformed into a breath-taking public space, including the majestic, skeletal forms of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.
“The above graph shows the evolution of sales prices in the City of Arts and Sciences. Although the average closing sales price is in the vicinity of € 2,500 per m2, the reality is that if the property is located in the area of Alameda overlooking the City of Sciences prices can comfortably exceed € 3,000 per m2. This illustrates that there are significant differences within the same neighbourhood depending on the specific location, with Avenida de Francia and especially Pasegi La Albereda (Alameda in Valencian language) for its river views and proximity to the City of Sciences. You can see the streets in question on this satellite image:
Being a recently built neighbourhood, the average property size is around 120 m2. Average prices range from around € 280,000 – € 360,000 to the very best located homes at around 450,000 € – 600,000 €.
In 2015, average property prices increased by 3.7%, following several post-crisis years of stagnation. This positive news indicates that prices will likely continue to recover in the coming years.
In terms of the rental market, it is a great area due to its proximity to the leisure complex and thus significant demand from tourists visiting Valencia. The City of Sciences is also within attractive proximity to the port area and the popular Malvarrosa beach. The average rental prices range from €7 per m2 to €10/12 per m2 for more high-end properties.” – Juan Luis Herrero, Director Lucas Fox Valencia
Apartment, 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms
Size 124m² (1,334ft²)
Terrace 7m² (75ft²)
Sophisticated designer apartment with incredible views in the City of Arts and Sciences district. This is one of the most exclusive properties for sale in the area.
Penthouse, 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms
Size 252m² (2,712ft²)
Plot size 272m² (2,927ft²)
Stylish, modern duplex penthouse with luxury finishes and wonderful views in Valencia’s Arts and Sciences district.
Apartment, 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms
Size 157m² (1,689ft²)
Terrace 80m² (861ft²)
This corner property is a duplex penthouse with luxury finishes and very tasteful interior design.
The “city” itself is made up of 6 unique structures – each with a specific cultural focus:
This versatile covered plaza hosts a variety of concerts and sporting events including Valencia’s ATP 500 tennis open each November and also recently hosted Valencia Fashion week.
El Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe
This hands-on family-friendly science museum is filled with different interactive exhibits including the “Chromosome Forest” (!) which shows the sequencing of human DNA. Enjoy hands on learning about all manner of science and technology based subjects.
L’Hemifsèric is an incredible IMAX Cinema and planetarium boasting an enormous 900m concave screen with digital 3D technology. The cinema offers one of the most advanced and immersive cinema experiences in the world, with a variety of daily screenings. The first building in the complex to be inaugurated, the structure was designed to resemble a giant futuristic eye, reflected in the glass-bottomed pool of water directly opposite.
Europe’s largest Aquarium, this incredible open-air park boasts 110,000m2 of diverse aquatic environments including the Mediterranean, the Antarctic and Tropical Seas and is home to over 500 different species.
El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía
A colossal opera house and performing arts centre, the Palau de les Arts is dedicated to music and concerts. With an incredible interior structure made up of interconnecting lifts and platforms at different heights, it is a breath-taking feat of engineering that sits within 87,000m2 of gardens and dramatic water features.
The Umbracle is a vast landscaped garden with several walkways including a contemporary sculpture trail. Terraza Mya is a fabulous spot to enjoy an evening drink here during the Summer season.
FUN FACT: Exterior scenes for the futuristic city setting in last year’s Disney blockbuster Tomorrowland were filmed around the City of Arts and Sciences.
Connecting the City of Arts and Sciences to the East, with the city’s world-famous Bioparc to the West is The Jardín del Túria – a landscaped, 9km-long green stretch of parkland that meanders through the city centre. It was forged from the dried river-bed of the formerly flowing (and disastrously flood-prone) Turia river, which was eventually diverted around the city’s exterior in 1957 and takes around 45 minutes to stroll its’ entire length. With abundant, lush plant life, water features, cycle paths, sports facilities including outdoor gyms and football pitches as well as plenty of idyllic picnic spots, the park is hugely popular with residents and visitors alike, and forms a vital part of daily life in Valencia.
The park is also home to the much loved, if slightly unusual Gulliver Playground, in which a giant model of the mythical traveller is bound and tied to the ground, for small “Lilliputian” children to clamber upon the folds of his clothes (and slide down his hair)!
The aforementioned Bioparc is another must-visit attraction. within walk-able distance from the City of Arts and Sciences. Highlights include its incredibly designed, ethical landscaping designed to minimise the “zoo feel”. There is even a walk-through Lemur exhibit, which is lots of fun. There’s a super affordable annual pass for just 51 euros (or 34 euros for unlimited visits on weekdays).
Unwind after all of that walking with a massage at Hotel Barcelo’s 500m2 10th floor spa, overlooking the City of Arts and Sciences. We recommend the Orange Experience treatment (it’s Valencia after all), involving an exclusive vitamin C cocktail which leaves skin hydrated and luminous. Lovely!
Essential Loft is another nearby day spa offering a range of relaxtion and beauty treatments.
Head to Malvarrosa beach, just 20 mins away and feel a million miles from the city centre.
Where to Eat and Drink:
Just outside the Eixample, on the doorstep of the City of Arts and Sciences, Cocotte & Co is a stellar brunch option that stays open right through dinner.
With a style that blends English country cottage and Mediterranean touches, it’s an ideal spot for catching up with friends or reclining with a good book. The sunny outdoor terrace is the perfect vantage point for catching some rays year-round.
La Pequena Pasteleria de Mama is perfect for morning coffee alongside warm buttery homemade pastries – this tiny homely café is a real neighbourhood favourite. The venue is a calm oasis – think white wood and duck egg blues with pretty lampshades and gorgeous vintage armchairs. “Mama” likes to welcome customers herself, and regularly remembers how they take their coffee!
Fruit and Nut Café is a healthy smoothie bar by day, cocktail bar by night – definitely our kind of place. Though alas not a tribute to the Cadbury’s chocolate bar of the same name, this zingy establishment is nonetheless not to be missed! Come for breakfast then return after a long day’s exploring the area to refuel with one of their incredible Mojitos.
Al Solito Posto is a great pizza pitstop across the road from the Science centre, with a glorious terrace for enjoying Valencia’s divine year-round sunshine. There’s plenty of room for larger groups to gather, including pushchairs (which can be easier said than done in these parts). Pop in in the afternoon for a doorstop sized wedge of mascarpone cheesecake and a revitalising coffee before delving back into the City of Sciences, or come in the evening for a few cañas (always served with a complimentary tapa or two).
Museum restaurants can be hit and miss at times, but Contrapunto Les Arts Restaurante is a glorious exception. With fabulous views of the science centre, this contemporary restaurant feels super upmarket, with stylish Mediterranean touches. The seasonally rotating dishes are beautifully presented and in our experience, delicious. For a laid-back aperitivo, claim one of the comfy outdoor sofas and wait for the golden hour work its magic on the water.
Trendy bistro-style restaurant ElBar is just 100 metres from the City of Arts and Sciences. This monochrome establishment serves up tasty Mediterranean fare ranging from succulent steaks to pasta dishes. Local wine-lovers rejoice – they do a series of great wine pairing menus and even host tasting nights.
Definitely not a fast food joint, Burger Beer serves up what is reputedly the best burger in all of Valencia. Founded by chef Luca Dessole and sommelier Ceferino Juarez, Beer Burger was established as an antidote to poor-quality fast food, adding some Mediterranean flair to the typically American pattie-and-bun combo. The space is informal with great music and the halloumi burger is to die for.
Notable for their burgers also is the neighbouring Black Turtle. We suggest trying one of each to resolve the territorial “beef” (ahem) once and for all.
For celebrating a special occasion, Michelin-starred Vertical boasts breath-taking panoramic views of the City of Arts and Sciences. Chef Jorge de Andrés provides a creative spin on traditional Valencian cooking. Their gourmet Tasting menu is surprisingly wallet-friendly and they have a great selection of local wines. I would recommend going for lunch as not all of the City of Arts and Sciences is illuminated at night.
If you don’t fancy a formal meal, but don’t want to miss out on those stunning views either, head to Sky Bar on the roof for a refreshing aperitif in style.
After 20 years on the scene, family run Beirut is a culinary veteran that never disappoints. Now a restaurant chain with several outposts, the owners’ passion for their homeland’s cooking is contagious. Their Mezze sharing plates are a great sociable alternative to more traditional tapas, and the warm welcome is sure to have you coming back for more!