Valencia, Meet Surprise

22nd Apr, 2022

Historical capital of the ancient kingdom of Valencia and Iberian face to the Mediterranean, we are indeed in a place wonderfully alive with a thriving culture, artistic cuisine and a vivid nightlife; a city lying on the east coast of Spain never afraid to innovate, where the riverbed has been transformed into beautiful green parks; Valencia, the third largest city in Spain, where history and modernisation meet in such a harmonious yet stunning manner.


“A little advice, put it on your destination list to organise an event. Valencia offers spaces for all association activities, conferences, product launches, incentives, festivals, etc. This coastal town also has a major advantage: prices are very reasonable and it has remained on a human scale.” by Anne Vallès Meunier - HR, Finance & Corporate Events Manager | ETNO

From the beach to the old town…

A city blessed by Zeus, with over 300 sunny days in a year! From the golden beach to the Plaza de la virgen in the maze-like old town, Valencia has so much to offer. Veles e Vents, an iconic minimalist-style building stands at the epicentre of La Marine de Valencia, is a place where the best celebrations and gatherings are held. A 4-storey building designed by the prestigious architects David Chipperfiled and Fermín Vázquez for the purpose of hosting the 32nd America’s Cup. With approximately 11,000 m2 of meeting space, two panoramic floating terraces (7,000 m2) and three marvellous restaurants, Veles e Vents, is undoubtedly one of the favourite venues for event organisers. Kindly keep in mind that the entire building can be privatised. If you are a creative PCO and looking for a playground, this is definitely the to-go place! 

Speaking of Valencia, who can afford to miss Paella? Enjoying a 10-minute walk from Veles e Vents and embracing the breeze from the sea, in between the dancing palm trees, there is the Neptuno restaurant. A place adored by locals, where the best Paellas are served - be aware of the amount, they are generous! 

The gorgeous old town is no more than a 20-minute ride from the beach, where its history is printed on the wall. From the Roman gothic St. Mary’s Cathedral and the mighty Serranos Gate, to the abundance of colourful, narrow alleys within walking distance, this compact old town is a great storyteller. Right in the heart of the old town, close to Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Only YOU Hotel Valencia opened its door last year. Renovated from a historical hotel and decorated by well-known Spanish interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, the hotel is a gem for visitors and locals alike. The decor of the meeting space has a touch of Mediterranean inspiration, which provides a light and lively feeling with plenty of natural light. Facilitating approximately 400m2 meeting space, 191 stunning guest rooms and two sophisticated restaurants, Only YOU Hotel Valencia is ready to surprise its guests. 

A 10-minute drive will bring you to the other side of the city, where Bombas Gens Centre d’Arts stands. It is the major centre of contemporary art having been transformed from a former hydraulic pump factory. With its programme of exhibitions and cultural activities, the centre aims to extend the meaning of art towards a service for people and bringing social impact. Both indoor and outdoor space can be used for meetings.  

Wandering between the streets, various restaurants are at your disposal. Birlibirloque, a gastrobar with a cosy cosmopolitan atmosphere, suggested by Michelin Guide, serves a refined dining with an extensive wine list. After a busy day this is the place to indulge! 

“Valencia is a city which truly belongs to my favourite 3 cities within Europe! It is sometimes a ‘forgotten city’, but I really love it! The city has everything: Old town with its rich culture, port area, beach. Moreover it is a super safe and clean city for conferences!” by Anniek De Vlieger - AdVangarde Passionate Upscale Project Management Expert 

From greenisation to modernisation…

On 13 October 1957, the people of Valencia were not prepared for the immense torrent that was gushing its way down via river Turia after a tremendous amount of rainfall in only two days. As the river continued to swell, the flood spread its hand over the populated area and resulted in a complete catastrophe and loss of life as the water eventually spilled into the sea. In less than 24hrs when the worst had finally gone, the city was filled with heavy mud, debris and, way worse than that, thousands of homeless people. Peace would not be restored until the end of November. 

In June 1958, the ‘Plan Sur’ was born, an ecological project to divert the river - a plan to create an enormous green space in the city was put up against the construction of a huge highway to get people from Madrid to the beach a fraction faster. Backed by people’s choice, the city had successfully turned the riverbed into today’s Turia Riverbed Park which nests many sports facilities such as a football pitch, basketball courts, athletics stadium, walking paths, as well as cycle lanes, etc. 

With over 156 kilometres of cycle lane, Valencia is a great city to explore on two wheels. A Bike-tour, from ancient to modern, is one of the most popular activities for visitors. Gliding under the bushy orange trees through the riverbed park, among the lights and shadows, you will reach the modern masterpiece designed by renowned local architect Santiago Calatrava, Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences) - a cultural and architectural complex, as well as one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. This world-famous complex occupies a massive 350,000 m2 swath at the southeast end of the former river Turia. It contains several principal buildings such as the opera house, science museum, 3D cinema and aquarium. 

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (opera house) is another go-to place for events. Offering the possibility of using its diverse and versatile rooms and halls, this venue has opened its door to different types of events and gatherings, as well as large celebrations and congresses. L’Umbracle is an opening structure decorated with various species of plants indigenous to Valencia, and numerous contemporary sculptures. When night falls, L’Umbracle offers a stunning view towards the entire luminous complex. With a length of 320 metres and width of 60 metres, it is an ideal platform for an unforgettable event. 

“After having organised two major congresses in Valencia some years ago, it was really a pleasure being back in this wonderful sunny city and to personally experience how Valencia positively evolved since and without losing its typical authenticity.” by Werner Van Cleemputte - Medicongress

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