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4 nights in Valencia - ideas folks?

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Trip planning is a funny thing, isn't it? Having what I thought was a 10 day gap in my work schedule that we could use for a trip, I started off planning a trip to Italy, flying into Bologna and out of Rome.

That got shortened somewhat [it turns out DH is committed to helping to sail an old wooden boat to Ireland half way through the time i thought we had for the trip] but I could still see us enjoying a few nights in Bologna.

However, despite my encouragement DH couldn''t, and after detailed study of the available flight schedules, we plumped for 4 nights in Valencia, care of Ryanair. [I know but it'll be a good opportunity to test out their claims to have smartened up their act].

So we have 4 nights, arriving just after 10pm on sunday night at the end of May, and leaving early on the following THursday morning. Spain is one of the few places of course where arriving at what most of the rest or europe considers to be late is not a disadvantage. We have booked a hotel in the centre, the Melia plaza Valencia [though this could be cancelled with no charges if anyone has got a better idea] and will probably get a cab there given the time that we're arriving.

here's the website:

it's about as central as you can get, so far as I can tell. Any suggestions for a first night dinner? preferably pretty close to the hotel? any other tips of what to see/do? I've got an ancient michelin green guide to Spain with info on the Cathedral, museums, a palace, etc. which altogether looks enough to fill a couple of days. is there an obvious place to go for a day trip? nearby attractions? what's the beach like?

we love tapas, so recommendations for tapas bars would be gratefully received.

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