The 10 Best European Cities, From An American-Turned-Berliner

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I spent one of my favorite Christmases yet with a friend’s family in Valencia just a few months before the pandemic began. I knew nothing about Valencia going into this trip, except for the fact that the city is home to so many orange trees, they line the streets. 

Though I only spent four days in Valencia, my memories are so vivid, which is probably because the architecture and the food there is unlike anywhere else. There’s the City of Arts and Sciences, a futuristic architectural wonder so unique and grand that you could understandably center a whole trip around it. In fact, you might recognize it as DELOS company headquarters in the HBO series Westworld. 

My favorite thing about Valencia was Turia Park, a 4.3 mile-long park that felt circus-like in its many attractions, which includes a Giant Gulliver you can climb on, bridges, swan boats for rent, and a mix of pine and palm trees to remind you you’re on vacation. It also made the best scenery for my morning jogs. 

As for the food, I devoured plenty of Valencia’s world-famous paella (made with rabbit and snails), jamón serrano (cured country ham), and mussels galore.  

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