Best known as the birthplace of paella, Valencia has steadily moved onto the radar of savvy travelers. It's a vibrant, friendly, mildly chaotic place with two outstanding fine-arts museums, an accessible old quarter, Europe's newest cultural and scientific complex – and one of Spain's most exciting nightlife scenes. Whole sections of the old city, for example the Carmen Quarter, have been extensively renovated. One of the best spots for exploring Valencia's history is at the museum L'Almoina, which opened three years ago in the Carmen on the site where Valencia was founded by the Romans in 138 B.C. Here, you can walk over glass floors, looking down at a stunning assemblage of ruins excavated in the area. The exhibition includes Roman baths, tombs and a medieval Moorish ward for plague victims.