Valencia is a city that takes music very seriously, with two high-profile classical music venues plus a range of other concert halls found throughout the city centre. Enjoying a live concert is a must when visiting this city, so here’s our round-up of the very best places to go.
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia
Valencia’s own Opera House is found in the ultra-modern Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia building, a cultural centre which is part of the famous City of Arts and Sciences complex. The building features four auditoriums dedicated to opera, classical music, dance and theatre. Said to be the largest opera house in Europe, with only the Sydney Opera House having more seating capacity, this is quickly becoming one of Europe’s prime classical music venues, putting on immensely popular shows such as La Traviata and Lucrezia Borgia. And it’s not just a piece of attractive architecture, the interior design of the 40,000-square-metre venue is innovative and functional with regards to acoustics and audience views.
Palau de la Musica, Valencia | Photo courtesy of the Palau de la Musica
For lovers of classical music, this is a must while in Valencia. Though the programme features mainly orchestras, solos and everything in between from Valencia and further afield, including some very big names, you can also sometimes catch jazz, poetry or flamenco. The full programme of events can be found on their website. The building itself, designed by Spanish architect José Maria de Paredes and opened in 1987, is also impressive, with an enormous glass dome over the entrance and fountains outside. The Palau is located in the green Turia river bed, between the city centre and the City of Arts and Sciences.
The perfect place to spend long summer nights escaping the heat after a day at the beach, this modern venue is right next to the city’s marina. It’s the former America’s Cup building, recently converted into a multipurpose event space and is quickly becoming known for gastronomy and culture. An interesting building with sea views, it is close to the lively fishermen’s quarter of El Cabanyal. There’s a wide variety of events on, including live musical and arts performances and various exhibitions all year round, and a programme of free concerts held throughout July.
Valencia’s huge 19th century bullring, still used for bullfights today, is one of the first sights many visitors see when arriving in Valencia, as it’s right next to the main train station (Estacio del Nord). Today the historic building also makes a very impressive, not to mention convenient, location for all kinds of outdoor concerts in the warmer months; most are held during the city’s major festival of Las Fallas and the July Fair. Check the official event website for up-to-date information.
As well as its handful of large, world-class concert halls, Valencia is also home to lots of smaller music venues hosting live bands and musicians most nights of the week, with rock, jazz, blues and much more besides. One particularly interesting concert venue is Electropura in the painfully cool neighbourhood of Ruzafa. It hosts all kinds of musical and cultural events, from cinema nights to club nights, and there are regular acoustic concerts held here in the early evenings (in Spain that’s before midnight) before the party really gets started in the small hours.