Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, offers diverse neighborhoods, each with its own charm and character. Here are some of the best neighborhoods for travelers:
This is the city’s old town and a historical treasure trove. If you’re a history lover or enjoy exploring narrow medieval lanes, charming squares, and old buildings, this is a great area for you. The Ciutat Vella is home to sights like the Valencia Cathedral, La Lonja de la Seda, and the Central Market.
Things to do in Ciutat Vella:
- Valencia Cathedral: Visit this iconic landmark, which houses the Holy Grail and offers stunning panoramic views from the Miguelete Tower.
- Central Market: Explore one of Europe’s largest and oldest running food markets with over 300 vendors.
- La Lonja de la Seda: Discover this UNESCO World Heritage site, a stunning example of late Gothic architecture.
- Plaza de la Virgen: Relax at this historic square surrounded by the Valencia Cathedral, the Turia fountain, and the Basilica of the Virgin.
- Valencia History Museum: Dive into the city’s past, from Roman times to the present, at this modern and interactive museum.
- Palau del Marqués de Dos Aguas: Explore this Rococo nobility palace, now home to the National Ceramics Museum.
This neighborhood, also known as Ensanche, is famous for its beautiful architecture in the modernist style. It’s also the home of Valencia’s luxury shopping street, Calle de Colón, and has a number of high-quality restaurants and bars.
Things to do in Eixample:
- Calle de Colón: Indulge in retail therapy on Valencia’s prime shopping street with a mix of high-end and high-street stores.
- Mercado de Colón: Visit this modernist building now home to a gourmet food market and several cafes and restaurants.
- Ruzafa Market: Sample local produce and delicacies at this bustling neighborhood food market.
- Gran Via: Enjoy a stroll along this grand boulevard lined with trees, shops, and cafes.
Known as Valencia’s hipster neighborhood, Ruzafa is an energetic and cosmopolitan area full of creative, independent shops, galleries, and some of the city’s best restaurants and bars. It’s great for foodies and people who enjoy a vibrant nightlife.
Things to do in Ruzafa:
- Colorful Streets: Wander around the neighborhood’s streets filled with vibrant murals and street art.
- Ruzafa Market: Discover local produce, from fruits and vegetables to cheeses and wines, in this traditional market.
- Ubik Café: Enjoy a cup of coffee at this unique bookstore-cafe, a favorite amongst locals.
- Ruzafa’s Nightlife: Experience Valencia’s vibrant nightlife at trendy bars and clubs in Ruzafa.
El Cabanyal-El Canyamelar
If you want to be near the beach, consider staying in these traditional fishermen’s neighborhoods. They have a unique architectural style and a more laid-back atmosphere compared to the city center. Enjoy a paella by the sea or explore the vibrant Mercado del Cabanyal.
Things to do in El Cabanyal-El Canyamelar:
- Cabanyal Beach: Soak up the sun on this beautiful city beach lined with palm trees.
- Mercado del Cabanyal: Experience the local culture at this traditional market known for its fresh seafood.
- Wandering El Cabanyal: Admire the unique architecture of this maritime neighborhood, known for its colorful tiled facades.
This area is nestled within Ciutat Vella and is popular with younger travelers for its nightlife scene, including unique bars and clubs. During the day, it’s also a great place for shopping and exploring local boutiques.
Things to do in El Carmen:
- Torres de Serranos: Climb these medieval city gates for a panoramic view of Valencia.
- Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània: Discover the history of this old convent that now houses the Carmen Cultural Center.
- Street Art Tour: Wander the streets and marvel at the wealth of street art that adorns the walls.
- Plaza del Tossal: Savor a drink or a meal at one of the many terraces in this lively square.
- Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM): Enjoy contemporary art at this renowned museum.
City of Arts and Sciences
If you’re interested in science, technology, and modern architecture, consider staying near the City of Arts and Sciences. This neighborhood is a bit farther from the city center, but it’s home to the futuristic buildings of the City of Arts and Sciences, including a planetarium, an opera house, and a large aquarium.
Things to do in City of Arts and Sciences:
- Oceanografic: Visit the largest aquarium in Europe, housing over 45,000 sea creatures.
- Hemisfèric: Experience an IMAX film, planetarium, and laserium in this eye-shaped architectural wonder.
- Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia: Attend a concert or opera at this stunning modern arts complex.
- Príncipe Felipe Science Museum: Engage with interactive exhibits on science and technology in this family-friendly museum.
- Umbracle: Take a stroll through this landscaped walk with plant species indigenous to Valencia, offering fantastic views of the city.
A former village, this area maintains its own unique charm. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a more local experience and is also popular with students due to its proximity to the University of Valencia.
Things to do in Benimaclet:
- Benimaclet Main Square: Visit the heart of the neighborhood, a great place to relax and people-watch.
- Visit the old village core: Explore the charming old village part of Benimaclet with its traditional houses.
- Local Dining: Taste authentic Valencian cuisine at one of the many local restaurants in the neighborhood.
- Enjoy Live Music: Experience the local music scene at venues like Loco Club and Magazine Club.
Each neighborhood has its own unique character, and the best one for you will depend on your interests and the type of trip you’re planning.