City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences is an ensemble of six areas in the dry river bed of the now diverted River Turia in Valencia, Spain. Designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava and started in July 1996, it is an impressive example of modern architecture. The "city" is made up of the following, usually known by their Valencian names: El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía — Opera house and performing arts centre; L'Hemisfèric — Imax Cinema, Planetarium and Laserium; L'Umbracle — Walkway / Garden; El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe — Science museum; Oceanografic — Open-air aquarium or oceanographic park; Ágora — A versatile space that will allow the holding of varied events. Surrounded by attractive streams and pools of water, it and the surrounding areas of the "city" are typically used as a relaxing place to walk day or night, with an open air bar outside El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe during the evening.
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia
A spectacular building dedicated to promoting the performing arts. Measuring over 70 metres in height, the Palau de les Arts is divided into four separate halls, all boasting the latest technological advances conceived to stage all kinds of opera, musical and theatrical performances.
Hemisferic is an splendid Laserium, Planetarium and IMAX cinema (over a 900 square meters of screen). It belongs to the City of Arts and Sciences complex. The building was designed by Santiago Calatrava. It has the shape of an eye, and is reflected 24.000 square meters lake.
Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe
The building was designed by Santiago Calatrava and reminds a whale skeleton. It is orientated to learning the sciences through experience, so everything is graphically displayed, with huge texts and pics, experiments, buttons to touch and experience... perfect to go with kids of 7-12 years!
Oceanografic invites us to travel around the planet's main seas and oceans. More than 45,000 examples of 500 different marine species inhabit nine underwater towers that, structured in two levels, represent the most emblematic ecosystems of the planet.
The new icon of the City of Arts and Sciences is a versatile space that will allow the holding of varied events. A multi-functional setting has been planned for the staging of congresses, conventions, concerts, and performances; it can also be converted into an exhibition area.
Tips and Advice
- To visit the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum may take an average of 3 hours and the Oceanogràfic approximately 4 hours, depending on your level of interest and motivation. Sessions at the Hemisfèric generally last about 45 - 50 minutes. The visit to the entire complex can be done in a single day, but to enjoy a more relaxed visit we suggest to take two or three days.
- The City of Arts and Sciences is open 365 days of the year. The Museum and the Oceanogràfic both open to the public at 10:00 and you can then visit at any time you like.
- At the entrance building to the Oceanogràfic, next to the information point, we have a left-luggage service where you can leave your luggage or other belongings. It costs 2€ per day and no pre-booking is required. At the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum we have a free cloakroom service but it does not accept luggage or similar items.
- If you walk from the old town through the dry Turia river gardens, and all the way down to the City of Arts and Sciences, takes about 40 minutes.
- Prince Felipe Museum of Science is a interactive museum where children can experience and learn about science. The museum is very user friendly.
- There are Opera house tours for visit the building. Check the tour hours.
- In the aquarium don't miss the Dophin show and the shark tunnel to see the sharks swimming around you when you walk in the tunnel.
- Go see the incredible suspension bridge in the middle of the complex (Pont de l'Assut de l'Or).
- In front of the City of Arts and Sciences is 'El Saler' shopping centre with shops and restaurants. Very big mall for shopping and eats very close.
- Great to walk around the futuristic buildings, with nice shallow water pools and a lot of impressive architecture with open space. By night the City is definitely the paradise of photographers. You will take great pictures!
Online shop to buy entrance tickets to the Oceanogràfic (aquarium), Hemisfèric (IMAX Cinema) and Príncipe Felipe Science Museum. Buying your tickets in advance means that you can be sure of entering the complex: Buy City of Arts and Sciences Tickets
Accommodation and Hotels near City of Arts and Sciences
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The City of Arts and Sciences in Pictures
This impressive set of buildings was designed by Santiago Calatrava, and offers different spaces where knowledge, culture and leisure are treated with the same architectural concept.
The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is in itself a spectacle for the eyes. It is
“the most lively city in the world” and a reference point for leisure in the XXI century with infinite possibilities and activities for visitors. The avant-garde image of the buildings that make up this impressive centre for leisure and culture, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is complemented with the attractive contents of the Hemisfèric and the Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, the Oceanogràfic and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía.
Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia
The most spectacular of the buildings in the City of the Arts and Sciences has been designed as an all-embracing cultural centre, able to offer opera, dance and open-air concerts. The innovative programme is coherent, offering top artistic events and offers a global vision that uses music as the basis for other artistic and cultural disciplines. El Palau de Les Arts will be equipped with a stage measuring over 1,500m2 where the latest technology, such as portable platforms, interchangeable sets and simultaneous translation via screens in the seats themselves, will be available in order to set the scene for all kinds of opera, musical or plays.
Complete photo gallery: Valencia Opera House Images
Planetarium, Laserium and IMAX Cinema in a single building, the Hemisferic was designed like a giant human eye, looking out on the world over a 24,000 square metre pool. Like the eye it is, it has a semi-spherical pupil, under which you find the projection room, eyelids and eyelashes, which move thanks to a unique feat of engineering. The Hemisferic's programme changes every season and combines shows, conferences and 3-D IMAX movies.
Complete photo gallery: Hemisferic Images
Museu de les Ciencies Principe Felipe
The Principe Felipe Science Museum is just as spectacular inside as it is outside with its five floors and 42,000 square metres of surface area, the Science Museum was built using a complicated system of platforms and covered by two great roofs that rise to over 40 metres. It was designed as an educational area where visitors can experience things by using their own senses. Its dynamic character means that most of the space is devoted to temporary exhibitions. The Museum also hosts major cultural and scientific events.
Complete photo gallery: Principe Felipe Science Museum Images
45,000 animals. 500 different marine species -including sharks, beluga whales, sea lions, penguins and manta rays. 42 million litres of water. Eleven underwater buildings or towers set around the central lake, interconnected by floating walkways, ramps and an amazing variety of gardens. This is the setting for the largest aquarium in Europe - Oceanografic. The park was designed as a centre for leisure, education and research and is divided into ten broadly themed areas, which cover all the different marine ecosystems on the planet. The marine areas properly speaking recreate the habitats of the Mediterranean, the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, Islands, Tropical Seas, Temperate Seas and the Red Sea. The park also has a spectacular dolphinarium, an auditorium – within which is the Red Sea aquarium, an area representing the Wetlands – with one section for mangrove swamps and another for marshes, and different gardens containing over 80 different plant species. And naturally there is a comprehensive range of facilities which include shops and restaurants - especially the underwater restaurant, where customers can enjoy a meal surrounded by an immense aquarium.
Complete photo gallery: Aquarium Images
The Umbracle is the gateway to the City of the Arts and Sciences, a 1,000 square metres green area open to all. The Umbracle is 320 metres long and 60 metres wide, and contains El Paseo de las Esculturas - an open-air art gallery with sculptures by contemporary artists such as Miquel Navarro and Yoko Ono. Its roof also provides shelter for a great number of different plants chosen for their shapes and colours which change continuously with the different seasons of the year.
Complete photo gallery: The Umbracle Images
The Agora in Valencia city is a versatile and multifunctional building which can accommodate different events such as sports, conferences, concerts, conventions or performances. Over the last years, it has hosted the Valencia Tennis Open 500.
Complete photo gallery: Agora Images