What: Barcelona’s futuristic, lesser-known twin.
Where: Halfway up Spain’s east coast.
Currency: Euro (EUR).
Highlights: Mercado Central de Valencia (in my opinion, the best market in Spain), Cathedral, Medieval churches, and the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (where modern architecture goes into overdrive).
Snapshot: On paper it may not look like Valencia, Spain’s third largest city, has the attractions and history to compete with its better-known rivals of Madrid and Barcelona, but the city is blossoming. Voted Best Inter-rail Destination of 2016, Valencia is increasingly popular with younger travellers, thanks to its seaside location, affordable and delicious paella, and its exuberant culture and nightlife. It helps that the city is seemingly set-up for exploring on foot: its streets are pretty, its squares lively and its architecture – which hurtles from the Medieval buildings in the city centre to the futuristic, other-worldly structures of the City of Arts and Sciences – is attraction enough in itself.
Some highlights from Mercado Central de Valencia.