The third largest city in Spain, Valencia is vibrant, liveable, decidedly modern and super underrated. Futuristic buildings like the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias contrast against historic sites like the Catedral de Valencia, the Micalet bell tower and Plaza de la Virgen, giving the city an intriguing old-meets-new feel. Plus, it's the birthplace of paella, so you can also expect a stellar food scene.
Valencia is situated at the point where the River Turia meets the Mediterranean Sea. Just a 15-minute bus or tram ride away you'll reach Malvarrosa Beach, and just a bit further out is the pebbly and picturesque Sagunto beach.
Like much of southern Spain, Moorish influences can be felt throughout, from the tiled buildings to the cuisine. Visit the Art Deco-style Mercado Central to sample some local dishes and tapas while sipping on local wine. You won't ever want to leave!