Definitive guide

Top 7 must-see areas in Valencia

Whether you consider yourself more of a history lover, a shopping enthusiast, a hopeless romantic, or a backpacker waiting to kick back and relax with the locals, there’s a place for you in Valencia. These are the neighbourhoods and areas that you cannot miss if you really want to get to know the city.

Valencia is a wonderful place if you want to go sightseeing, with plenty of historical monuments, interesting museums, avant-garde complexes, and marvellous churches. But you can’t really know this city if you don’t get lost in its streets. It is there that you’ll find Valencia’s many faces, the ultimate expression of its soul.

The city is divided into 19 districts, each of them further subdivided into barrios (neighbourhoods), for a total of 88. Many neighbourhoods have developed their peculiar identities, to the point that they feel like they are their own little towns. As you move around the city you’ll find different architecture, colours, businesses, and crowds.

If you’d like to find out more about Valencia’s districts and neighbourhoods, you can check out our article about them.

So what’s the best way to explore a city if not by getting to know its streets, its people, its bars and buildings? Here we have gathered all the places that you can’t miss on your visit.

Northern Ciutat Vella

If you want to take a deep dive into Valencia’s history, the northern part of the Ciutat Vella (meaning Old Town), is the place for you. In the three famous neighbourhoods of El Carmen, La Seu and El Mercat, you’ll find the highest concentration of churches, museums, and historical attractions, especially mediaeval or turn-of-the-century buildings and ancient remains.

  • The view from Carrer dels Serrans in Ciutat Vella, Valencia
    Ciutat Vella is known for its old buildings, iron balconies and upbeat atmosphere.
  • Graffiti in the streets of el Carmen neighbourhood in Valencia
    El Carmen, in Ciutat Vella, is known for its street art and history.

Ciutat Vella is a place that vibrates with a thousand memories, where ancient history lives side by side with colourful street graffiti. Old houses with iron balconies look over the cobblestone alleys and squares, while the chatter of small cafes and artisanal businesses mixes in with the laughs coming from tapas bars and live-music venues.



Ruzafa

You cannot skip Ruzafa, Valencia’s hip area, favoured by expats and artists. It is filled with retro shops, quirky art galleries, vintage stores, American-style bakeries and brunch cafes.

This is the eclectic, trendy barrio where you’ll find alternative painter workshops, designer studios, and poetry readings all on the same street.

  • Ruzafa architecture - Valencia
    Here you can see Ruzafa’s typical buildings - lots of colours and balconies.
  • Sporting Club Ruzafa, Valencia
    Ruzafa’s art shops and galleries are known all over Valencia.

The neighbourhood is also known for its nightlife. In fact, in the evenings and at night, the whole area lights up with the numerous craft beer pubs, bars and outdoor-seating restaurants.



Colón

Colón is the commercial area of Valencia, where you’ll find long streets dotted with popular department stores, brunch cafés, boutiques, luxury brands, and gourmet food venues. It is one of the most expensive residential areas of Valencia, and it’s ideal if you’re interested in doing some shopping.

  • Calle Colón in Pla del Remei district in Valencia
    Calle de Colón, in Pla del Remei, is famous for its large stores.
  • Stores in Colón commercial area in Valencia
    If you like shopping, Colón commercial area is what you’re looking for.

Aside from all this, you can expect to see elegant architecture with pastel-coloured buildings and broad, bright streets, which give the area its characteristic “fancy” feel. At night, the affluent Valencians can often be found here, enjoying high-end restaurants, disco pubs, and sophisticated bars.



Blasco Ibáñez

Blasco Ibáñez is for those looking for the young crowd in Valencia, the university students. The area has a quiet yet upbeat atmosphere, with hip cafes, college bars, tapas eateries, and of course university students, who make up most of their population.

  • People at a cafe in Blasco Ibañez district in Valencia
    Visiting Blasco Ibañez you’ll surely see lots of university students hanging out at local bars and cafes.
  • Blasco Ibañez avenue in Valencia
    Blasco Ibañez is recognisable for its green avenue lined with a bike path.

Here you will see large avenues and buildings, as well as lots of greenery and a park-like feel. The area has managed to remain more subdued and laid-back than the city centre, all without losing its liveliness.



Maritime area

Spaniards from all over the country travel to Valencia to spend a few days at the beach, so if you were to visit the city and not go to the beach, it would basically be a sin. Even more so considering that the seaside is not all this neighbourhood has to offer. Here you’ll really need to take your time to appreciate the contrasts of the maritime area.

Going to the beach and harbour you can enjoy a typical beach day: luxurious seaside restaurants, cocktail bars, and, of course, long golden beaches. Going just a few streets inwards, you can find a quiet, colourful gem.

  • Beach in Valencia
    As you can see in the picture, even when there are a lot of people, you can have quite a bit of room to yourself, because the beaches are so broad and long.
  • Bars in Calle Rosario in Cabanyal, Valencia
    Some streets, like Calle Rosario here have that typical sea-side town feel.

El Cabanyal is a memorable place, with picturesque and colourful small houses, which used to belong to the city’s fishermen and their families. Here, pedestrian streets are small and quiet, and houses decorated with whimsical tiles alternate themselves with casual bars and cafes. You have to come here to appreciate the dream-like atmosphere and charm.



Benimaclet

Benimaclet is where you should go if you want to experience the real Valencian identity and people, away from the touristy areas. With its informal atmosphere, street markets, pedestrian streets, and its closeness to the Valencian Huerta (the cultivated fields), Benimaclet feels more like a small town than part of a city.

  • Benimaclet district in Valencia
    The small, colourful houses and calm atmosphere make Benimaclet feel like a place away from the city.
  • Streets of Benimaclet, Valencia
    A famous house in Benimaclet is the Casa de Trencadís, decorated with traditional tiles.

Here you’ll find low white houses, small streets, tile decorations, and locals sitting outside chatting to one another. Nevertheless, the nightlife is thriving, with international and inexpensive bars and restaurants all around.

Turia Park

Finally, when you need a little rest, the beloved Jardín del Turia is there for you. In this long park, crossed by several stone bridges, you can enjoy large, green lawns, small wooded areas, flower gardens, and small artificial lakes. This relaxing atmosphere is just a few minutes away from the buzz of the city.

  • Cyclist in Turia Park in Valencia
    The whole Turia Park is lined with cycling paths.
  • Green areas in Turia Park in Valencia
    You can find small wooded and green areas in the Turia Park.

Throughout the park, you’ll find open-air gyms, running tracks and bike paths. In the leisure areas, there are benches and tables, as well as beautiful monuments, art installations, cafés, and playgrounds for kids.



Introduction
Top 7 must-see areas in Valencia