Valencia, Spain: City of Arts and Science

Discussion in 'Travel' started by george_katunich, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. I am going to be in Valencia in late September on a cruise with a stop in Valencia. Only a limited amount of time with the ship in port from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. I like to shoot architecture and the City of Arts and Science looks like an absolute must. Because of the limited time (no time for sunrise or twilight shooting) I am thinking of hiring either a photo guide or a general guide to get me to the best shooting locations quickly. Is this an efficient approach? Any idea of how to find a guide and what I might expect to pay? Also looking for suggestions on another "must see" venue in the city.
  2. Hello George,
    The City of Sciences is so exhaustive that you will have difficulties seeing much of the city, if you focus on that. Valencia's city centre is very pretty, you have a lovely cathedral and some nice sights, but to really see the city and absorb its atmosphere, you'd need to stay three days or so. What you should really visit when in town is the market hall, which is very close to the cathedral. It's colourful, loud and jolly. There's also the bullfight arena (plaza de toros) close to that, but of course that's better with an event going on. The Llotja de seta (the ancient silk trade hall) is also a very nice sight and looks like an old castle.
    In Valencia, public traffic is very quick and efficient, and you get around quickly. There are buses going from the CdS to the centre every 15 minutes. Get informed in time, and you'll be able to hop around quickly if you wish to.
    The CdS is quite self-explanatory, but huge, and it will take you some time to walk around and take in what you see. You will also not stop being awed by the complexity of architecture and details. If you wish to extend your stay there, visit the Oceanografic, which is a marine institute where you can walk through aquarium hallways full of sharks and colourful fish. This alone will take you half a day.
    Then there's the old fisherman's quarter next to the beach and the port (the port is nice for a walkaround, since the America's Cup has stopped there and you see the remains of what was constructed then). The quarter is called Cabanyal, and its history has become a bit of a scandal when due to the America's cup, old traditional houses were torn down and a part of the quarter deconstructed. There are some extremely nice graffiti on some houses, across entire fronts, telling the story of Cabanyal.
    For further information, you may want to look into this, which gives you a bit of insight into what is worth visiting. Ignore the museums, they're for a rainy day.
    If you stay there until the late afternoon, I suggest to make the CdS the last stop of your visit. From there, it's not that far to the port where you will probably embark, and you get a nice late afternoon light. In September, sun will be down by 8 p.m., so 5 is a good time to be there.
    Have fun! And don't forget to try a Paëlla!
  3. Thank you for taking the time to respond. However, I am on a cruise ship and have only the limited time I mentioned in my original post. That is why I am looking for a guide to get around the city as quickly as possible. I will use your info to select additional shooting opportunities, time permitting.
  4. Hi George,
    I am sorry to say that I find this approach problematic. With so little time in an old European city (and I do suspect that you do not live in Europe) I would say: Forget about taking a guide and running around in an unknown city breathlessly taking pics at high speed just to be able to say: been there, done it, bought the T-shirt. Instead, take your camera, stroll, follow your nose, breath in the city, the people, the culture - if you can. And, plan to go back another time with a few days (at least) to spend. Photography is about understanding what you photograph.
    Suerte, Stephan
  5. Can you wander around the outside of the city of sciences to take photographs without having to pay to get in ?

  6. I love Valencia, been there several times in the past 10 years. Very authentic city!
  7. Duly noted!
  8. Having spent money to hire a photo guide for the city of Rome, Italy, Based strictly on this one-time occurrence in my life, I would advise against doing so. My guide ran around like a madman. And I had to chase after him. On foot. We went to several well known spots I likely would have gone to on my own and instead of letting me shoot things my way, he inserted his own aesthetics into my shooting. I ended up with a couple OK photos and also got a bunch of stuff I could never do anything with. It was a bit weird, although he had fantastic reviews. The experience left me feeling like I'd somehow missed something. That said, at least I came away with the experience and also the knowledge that hiring a photography guide might not be ideal for me. As an alternative you might seek a private or semi private tour of the city itself, perhaps it's possible to find one who will focus on whatever part of the city you wish to see? IF you succeed in finding something of this ilk to your liking (suitable to your schedule/timeframe etc), It'll be a way to capture some highlights and not get lost doing so.
  9. I would have killed the guide (joke) :p
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    0013a Perspectiva-RespiraderosOvalados-Ventanales-Azulejos-Azul-Blanco-MuseoCiencias-NAIS20.jpg

    0028a EdificioPalacioDeLasArtes--Curvo-NAI24.jpg

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    City of Arts and Science (Nikon D700 with Nikkor AI 24)

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
    m42dave, bgelfand, mpressionz and 5 others like this.

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