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Valencia

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Valencia is the third largest urban centre in Spain, and is also the 15th most populous city in the European Union. It has over 800,000 residents within the city proper, and more than 1.8 million within the metropolitan area. It is located about four hours south of the city of Barcelona.   The city is known as the origin of the popular traditional cuisine Paella, which is a rice dish that comes in seafood and mixed varieties. Valencia is also known for its Falles Festival – a celebration in honour of Saint Joseph.   While Valencia is located on the Mediterranean, the city’s charm and focus does not lie in its coastlines. In fact, many of Valencia’s attractions, the city centre, and the popular neighbourhoods are found further inland.   One of the very first places to visit in Valencia is the Llotja de la Seda. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built within the years of 1482 and 1548. It features a Valencian, gothic style architecture, illustrating the city’s power and wealth as a Mediterranean merchant city.   Another popular destination in the city is the ancient area of Barrio del Carmen. Here, travellers will enjoy the many Gothic, Baroque, and Romanesque buildings. It is here that one of the more popular landmarks of Valencia is found – the Saint Mary of Valencia Cathedral – which was built sometime between the 13th and 15th century. Other great places to see include The Seu, The Mercat Central, Crypt of Saint Vicente, and Lladro Porcelain Museum and Factory.   For those craving for more than just historic monuments, a recommended activity in Valencia is walking along the Turia river bed, which is now a park. Here, visitors can enjoy the hiking trails, playgrounds, running track, and the modern symbol of the city of Valencia, the City of Arts and Science. This monument is a striking structure which houses an IMAX cinema, a science museum, an aquarium, and a planetarium. It’s practically a one-stop must-see destination.   Tourists looking for a quieter, relaxing vacation can also try getting a hotel near Valencia’s beaches. The