Discover boutique city hotels for urban escapes in Valencia, Spain

When Spain’s third largest city landed the America’s Cup in 2007, it could finally stick two fingers up to its bigger sisters, Barcelona and Madrid. Not that it hadn’t anything to be proud about beforehand – the sun-soaked port of Valencia has earned the gratitude of chefs everywhere for being the birthplace of paella, and the city’s glut of 15th-century architecture was turning heads even before its recent renaissance. Now, however, Valencia’s fast gaining a reputation as a designer-boutique shopping destination, a culinary hub (and not just for the ubiquitous paella), and a party city every bit as banging as Brighton or Barcelona. Add to that a stretch of beachy Mediterranean coastline, a handsome historic harbour, a cloud-free sky, and some world-beating museums and galleries, and you’ve got yourself a year-round European city-break destination with looks, brains and attitude.

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