The Thriving Art of Valencia

Perhaps one thing that people do not associate with the port of Valencia in Spain is it’s thriving art seen. Known more for its historical value and Renaissance and Modernist architecture, this lesser visited city than its Catalan neighbor has really come into its own as far as art and especially street art and culture are concerned. Easily reached now from anywhere in Europe thanks to low cost airlines the city (about five miles from the airport) any Valencia guide will give you plenty of options as far as galleries, museums and other attractions are concerned.

Thanks to most galleries being free to visit there is no reason not to give them a try. Highly recommended would be the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, or modern art museum which can be found at 118 Guillem de Castro. It is actually two separate buildings and contains paintings and sculpture in the contemporary style and also offers regular workshops on contemporary design. For those of you who prefer something in the more traditional Renaissance styles then the Museo de Bellas Artes San Pio V will be more interesting as it houses a fine collection of 15th century artworks. Other places of interest might be the Valencian Craft Centre and the Diocesan Cathedral Museum inside the actual Cathedral of Valencia and reportedly containing the Holy Grail!

El Carmen, the centre of Valencia is where the street art scene has really kicked off.. Wandering through the narrow alleys you will find yourself stumbling across various wall paintings, some in progress, by famous street artists such as Escif and Are You Dead? expressing both wit and social issues.

After you have visited the galleries and museums of the main town it would be a good idea to go and take a time out and relax at the Umbracle of Valencia which is part of the City of Arts and Sciences. The City of Arts and Sciences itself is a huge complex made up of six different art and exhibition areas including not just science and art museums but also  the Hemispheric, Oceanographic and Agora complexes. These places really take modern architecture to new levels and well worth the visit with certain hotels offering ticket and accommodation collaborations.

The best thing about the Valencia art scene is that it is rich, vibrant and diverse so it is well worth taking your time exploring this amazing city.

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