Valencia – top 5 picks

A few weeks ago, I spent a couple of days in Valencia, visiting my Uruguayan host sister. Besides seeing her again after 5 years, here’s what I thought were the five main highlights and must-do’s.

            1. Enjoy the green

I had no idea, but it turns out Valencia has a lot of green spots throughout the city, which is something that I really appreciate in a city. With the mellow lifestyle and warm weather, these parks are the perfect place to enjoy an ice cream, read a book in the shade or just catch up with friends.

Jardín del Turia is now a park, but used to be the river bed of the Turia river. You can imagine it’s a huge park, twisting and turning its way through the city.

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Another good one are the Jardins del Reial, which has lots of exotic plants and trees (this goes for Valencia in general, which is quite different and enjoyable if you are from the cold cold north, namely Belgium).

             2. Take a stroll through the historic city centre 

There is just so much amazing architecture to look at. From older buildings to new ones, all of the streets look glorious. Don’t forget to climb the Miguelete tower to enjoy the view from the top too! The 209 steps are worth it. Tip: don’t wear a dress, it can get quite windy up there. Unless you want the whole of Valencia to see your bum, then by all means do like I did.

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3. Buy some fresh produce at one of the many markets

Valencia is the place for foodies with its bustling markets spread across the city. From fresh fruit and veggies to refreshing juices, spices and different types of meats, cheese and fish, it’s all there for you to enjoy. Mercado de Colòn is a renovated old market, but it’s worth a peek. For more of a real market feel, check out Mercado Central: both the inside and outside are beautiful and you can pretty much find anything here. Since Valencia is known for its oranges, try a freshly squeezed orange juice, or buy the original spices to make your own paella.

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             4. Enjoy the climate and take things slow

Because Valencia can get quite hot in the summer, people live on a completely different daily time schedule. Wake up late, take a siesta in the afternoon, go out for dinner late and stay up till the sun sets over the beautiful city. Take things slow and easy.

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           5. Don’t skip the main attraction

Although it’s the one thing that I knew Valencia for, and it does sound like quite a tourist trap, the Océanographic and the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, are both definitely worth a visit, if not for the architecture alone. The pictures don’t lie, it’s a pretty photogenic space… Don’t just skip it!

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Hasta la próxima!

Besos

Silke

Eindhoven

Last weekend my boyfriend and I took a small trip to Eindhoven to see how our neighbours live. Eindhoven is a short drive away and yet radiates a different atmosphere entirely . What we discovered was a city known for its good food, lots (and lots and lots) of shops and design. Here’s a few photos of what we enjoyed and what I believe you might too if you ever end up there.

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Boekenhandel Van Piere. If you love books and magazines as much as I do, you will love this bookshop. It’s got Dutch as well as English books, a little café in the back and some very cute book-related home decor that I didn’t need but couldn’t resist nonetheless. More info here.
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Walking the streets. We were blessed with two gorgeous autumn days, which allowed us to fully enjoy the quietness of the city. Lots of bikes, which means less cars, which means a very enjoyable city to explore on foot. 

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Enjoying all the trees around and how they capture the light. 

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Visit the Van Abbemuseum. Although I initially was disappointed that this museum was not an ABBA museum (which is in Stockholm), I enjoyed sniffing a bit of culture in this museum about modern art. More info here
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What’s even nicer is the fact that the museum is located in a pretty nice area. It’s situated on top of/in the river de Dommel and downstairs there are glass area’s that give you the feeling of hanging out in your veranda and allow you to watch the trees, the river and the complementary ducks. 

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It even had this art piece that told you to take off your shoes and cozy up in this suspended car. What’s not to love, right?
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Finally, the museum has a pretty cool design, capturing lots of light. It is clear from its outlook that Eindhoven is a design hub. The many design stores in town (some of the side streets of the main shopping streets are the best places to check out) are proof of that.
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Last, but certainly not least, did I mention our awesome breakfast we had at Meneer de Boer, a cozy cafe with good coffee (according to Gillian) and to die for pancakes (according to myself). More info here

Happy travels,

Silke