The City of Arts and Sciences: film territory

The city of Valencia has become one of the favourite film sets for science fiction productions, partly thanks to the work of the Valencia Film Office, and partly because it has one of the most impressive natural sets in the world: the City of Arts and Sciences. Films such as “Tomorrowland” (2015) and series such as “Doctor Who” (2017) and “Andor” (2022) have been filmed in this monumental architectural complex designed by Santiago Calatrava. 

That’s why we want to take you there, so that you can enjoy a unique opportunity to practice screen tourism. Imagine touring the same places that have been the setting for some of your favourite fictions and, why not, having your photo taken in the places where George Clooney or Hugh Laurie have passed through. To make sure you don’t miss anything, take the guided tour offered by the Valencia Film Office and Valencia City Council.

The City of Arts and Sciences: Valencia’s great film set

The city of Valencia has been chosen as the setting for numerous science fiction films, thrillers and even Bollywood musical productions. One of the most sought-after locations for production companies is, without a doubt, the City of Arts and Sciences.

“Andor” is the latest Disney+ production shot here / Valencia Film Office

We’ll start with movies in a big way. Remember Disney’s Tomorrowland? This film starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson and Hugh Laurie, is about a teenage girl and a disillusioned inventor who team up on a mission to discover a futuristic, technologically advanced world in another dimension. Well, that world is in the City of Arts and Sciences.

Continuing with this genre, if you are a fan of “Doctor Who”, the iconic British BBC series, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit the City of Arts and Sciences. In the third episode of the tenth season, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his companion, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), travel to the future of humanity and arrive at a colony where they find some of the few human survivors. The scene in the famous phone box with the Calatrava buildings in the background is unforgettable and will definitely transport you to the “Doctor Who” universe.

Calatrava’s impressive architecture has been used to recreate all kinds of scenarios / Valencia Film Office

In addition to films, internationally renowned series have also been shot there, such as “Westworld” (2020), which filmed sequences for its third season there. In the series, the City of Arts and Sciences becomes Delos, a fictional city with impressive architecture. Who can forget the scene in which Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) lands in a helicopter with the Hemisfèric in the background? It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the world of science fiction and fantasy.

And how could we not remember the mythical adaptation of the video game of the same name, “Assassin’s Creed”. This action-adventure film set in historical settings, filmed in different parts of Spain, also features scenes in this location.

If you’re a superhero fan, you’ve probably seen “The Suicide Squad” (2016), the tenth film in the DC Comics Universe. Although most of the film was shot in Toronto, some scenes were filmed in Valencia, including the City of Arts and Sciences.

This is where the helicopter lands in “Westworld” / Valencia Film Office

In recent years, many Spanish series have come to Valencia to film. These include “El embarcadero” (2019), a drama and mystery series starring Álvaro Morte, Verónica Sánchez and Irene Arcos; “Sky rojo” (2021), a thriller whose plot follows three women fleeing their pimps and fighting for their freedom in different parts of Spain; “Paraíso” (2021), a youth drama in which three teenagers investigate the mysterious disappearance of two classmates; and “Mira lo que has hecho” (2018), the series created by Berto Romero about the challenges of parenthood.

Museum, aquarium and palace of the arts

As well as being able to enjoy the sets of your favourite fictions, the City of Arts and Sciences is a place that offers much more than a breathtaking view to share on social media. This museum complex has a wide variety of options for visitors of all ages, with exhibitions, screenings and workshops available all year round. 

The Príncipe Felipe Science Museum is one of the main attractions in the city of Valencia. The building has a futuristic appearance and a surprising structure, which in itself is an attraction for visitors. Inside the museum, you will find numerous interactive exhibits that invite you to explore different areas of science, such as technology, biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy and geology, among others.

The Oceanogràfic is the largest aquarium in Europe. It houses more than 500 species of marine animals in various aquatic habitats, recreated in a spectacular way. The building is shaped like a water lily and is divided into several pavilions representing different seas and oceans of the world, such as the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Arctic. There are also interactive educational exhibits that educate visitors about life in the ocean and the importance of conserving marine ecosystems.

In addition to filming, many events take place here / Valencia Film Office

The Palace of the Arts is another highlight of the complex, where you can enjoy live music, as well as a long list of cultural events not to be missed, check the agenda. Resident concerts and exhibitions are joined by a wide variety of temporary activities, workshops in the science museum, thematic cycles and conferences, ensuring that you will always have entertainment options in this incomparable setting. 

Visiting the City of Arts and Sciences is a plan you should not leave out of your itinerary in Valencia!

By Victor Cervelló

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