The CaixaForum in València, Spain.
Rendering courtesy Fundacion “la Caixa”

The ancient port city of València, on Spain’s southeast coast, seamlessly integrates its innovative urban landscape with its natural one. This year, the World Design Organization selected València to be its World Design Capital 2022, which is being celebrated with events, exhibits, and a new showpiece pavilion, the Agora València in Plaza del Ayuntamiento, designed by architect Miguel Arraiz. The Mediterranean is the city’s muse, evident in the innovative, water-laced City of Arts and Sciences. The latest addition to the cultural complex, CaixaForum, opened its doors in June with three exhibitions, including “Faraón. Rey de Egipto,” which features ancient Egyptian artifacts on loan from the British Museum.

Outdoors, the new Parque Central project boasts more than 24 acres of lush parkland, constructed on top of an old rail yard. Innovative local cuisine is also on the menu—this is the birthplace of paella, after all—exemplified by award-winning chefs like Ricard Camarena, whose namesake Michelin-starred restaurant now offers a plant-based menu. Best of all: València is now faster to get to, on Renfe’s Avlo, a new high-speed, low-cost train.

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