Where To Stay in Valencia: The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide
Where to stay in Valencia, Spain, depends greatly on two main things. What you want to do while you're visiting Valencia, whether you want to spend your days lazing on Las Arenas beach, see the top tourist attractions, be within walking distance of the city center or be near the arts and sciences complex, and of course, your personal vacation budget. There are all types of accommodation options available in most areas of the city, so if you want a budget hotel, a mid-range hotel, the best luxury hotel with a spacious room and private balcony, or a boutique hotel that's centrally located, you'll find them, but not all areas suit everyone.
While some parts of Valencia are renowned for nightlife which is great if you're the one going out partying to all hours, they're not so good if you're the one that's not going out and you can't sleep for the late-night noise drifting up from the bars. Same goes if you're a party animal. You won't want to be woken by the clamoring of Valencia Cathedral bells at seven in the morning of the crash and rattle of the nearby Central Market setting up ready to trade for the day.
Choosing the right, or wrong neighborhood, to stay in Valencia can make or break your vacation. With this guide to where to stay in Valencia you can get to know the characteristics of each different area and find out, before you get there, which one will suit you best.
When it's time to check out of the hotel you've stayed at you won't need to sit and keep guard over your luggage until it's time to head for Valencia Airport. Leave your bags and personal belongings at a Bounce luggage storage facility in Valencia and you'll be able to spend your last few hours enjoying a tapas lunch or searching for that special last-minute souvenir.
The Best Part of Valencia To Stay In
Ruzafa is a barrio or neighborhood of Valencia's Eixample district and one where it's all going on particularly after dark. While the barrio's name Ruzafa may originally have meant garden, Ruzafa is no longer a peaceful place full of sprouting greenery and blooming flowers. When you're looking for things to do at night in Valencia, Ruzafa is the place that has to be top of your list if you want trendy bars that are open until the early hours of the morning.
The exteriors of the historic buildings may look antiquated in this part of Valencia and they are. Ruzafa is only a couple of minutes' walk from Valencia's old town, the Barrio del Carmen, but is a world away when it comes to atmosphere. Ruzafa's ideal position near Valencia Train Station also means it's easy and cheap to get to which makes it attractive to backpackers and those who are looking for budget hotels and mid-range hotels. Being close to North Station means getting around Valencia if you're staying in Ruzafa is easy as the city center has great public transport connections.
In a nutshell – if you want luxury accommodation in a stylish hotel and quiet nights then Ruzafa is not for you. If you want low-priced guest houses, hostels, budget hotels, and lots of nightlife on your doorstep, you don't need to look any further than Ruzafa.
The Cuitat Vella is the historic heart of Valencia and a super laid-back place to stay in Valencia with the genuine atmosphere of a Spanish city. Also known as Valencia's Old Town and the Barrio del Carmen, it was once the city's central hub for nightlife, but that position has been taken by noisy neighboring Ruzafa. This barrio of Valencia is now a quiet place where the old buildings have been converted into pricey, luxury hotels with such superb on-site amenities that if you stay in one, you may never be tempted to go outside the door and explore the city.
Barrio del Carmen is the best place to stay in Valencia, if you can afford it, when you want to visit the city's museums and art galleries, shop in big department stores like El Corte Ingles, take an early morning wander over to the Mercat de Colon or eat the best brunch in Valencia in an authentic tapas bar. The Cuitat Vella is not the best place to stay in Valencia if you're on a backpacker's budget or want to be where the nightlife is happening.
The Poblats Maritims is one of the older neighborhoods in Valencia, but one that rather than become tatty around the edges has maintained its own unique Spanish style. Consisting of several different barrios, some of which are more suitable for foreign visitors than others, this coastal district's heart was and still is connected to the fishing industry. The great advantage of some of the barrios de Poblats Maritims is that, although they're around a forty-minute public transport trip from the center of Valencia, they're fronted by the blue waters of the Balearic Sea and plenty of sandy beaches. Poblats Maritims is also where the ferry port is so if you're catching a boat from Valencia to Majorca, Menorca or Ibiza, it can work out to be a convenient place to stay.
Where to stay in Poblats Maritims, Valencia
El Cabanyal – The El Cabanyal barrio of the Poblats Maritims isn't in itself a very touristic area even though it's a seaside district just a few minutes walk from one of Valencia's best beaches, Playa de las Arenas or El Arenal in English. If you're considering staying here then the best hotels to get a room in are on the beachfront itself. They're mostly reasonably priced two or three stars with great sea views close to the sandy beach. If you're looking for the best budget hotel option and are checking out the few places there are away from the beachfront, keep in mind it will be to your advantage if you speak a reasonable amount of the local lingo and are not traveling alone.
El Grao – El Grao is the barrio in Poblats Maritims for boat aficionados and those who want to experience Valencia as it really is. With both new and old parts, in Grao you'll find marinas full of yachts and streets lined with tapas bars as well as world-class restaurants in the modernistic building called Vele e Vents. Hotels here tend to be stylish but still in the medium price range. It's good to keep in mind that Grao may sound great and fall within an okay price range, but it is still a major port area so caution is best when wandering around at night if you're traveling solo.
La Malvarrosa – If you want to spend your days lounging on the beach then La Malvarrosa is one of the best places to stay in Valencia. La Playa de Malvarrosa, or Malvarrosa Beach, is a Blue Flag beach that stretches for several kilometers along Valencia's Mediterranean coast. During the summer months Malvarrosa Beach has all the facilities you could ask for including sunbeds for hire, parasols, kiosks for drinks and snacks as well as numerous water sports amenities if you want to try surfing, paddleboarding, or even kite surfing.
If strolling along a seafront promenade full of excellent fish restaurants with views of the city in the background sounds good then La Malvarossa is for you. If you want the city's historic center within easy reach, then it's not. It does take around half an hour to get from La Malvarossa into the city center, but the public transport services are regular and run until late at night so if you do manage to drag yourself away from this great spot in Valencia, it won't be too much trouble to go and do some sightseeing. La Malvarossa is suitable for everyone who wants a combined beach and city vacation though expect to pay just a little more for a hotel room if it's on the seafront.
Other Great Places To Stay In Valencia
Stay in the Extramurs barrio and you'll know you're in a real Spanish city, but as a place to stay in Valencia, it has its good points and not so good points. Extramurs borders the Old Town and its good points are some great medieval architecture like its Gothic-looking twin watchtowers and the Porta de la Mar stone arch. The superb Museum of Fine Arts is in Extramurs too and so is the beautiful University botanical gardens, plus several more exceptional park areas. Extramurs is also just a short walk from one of the city's biggest markets, Central Market, which is one of the best places to go shopping in Valencia.
The not-so-good point about the Extramurs barrio is that it's home to the Placa de Bous de Valencia which is Valencia's bullfighting ring. If you're a real animal lover then the roar of the crowds between April and September can turn out to be quite upsetting. Staying in Extramurs around the middle two weeks of March can also be disturbing as that is when the annual Bullfighting Fair of Valencia is held. Stick to staying in Extramurs from November to the end of February and while the Valencian weather might be chilly, you'll find Extramurs is as warmly hospitable as the rest of the city all year.
The Turia Gardens, or Jardines de Turia, is a public green space that runs for nine kilometers through the heart of Valencia. The old dried-out riverbed that's been converted into a botanical garden extends from the City of Artes and Sciences to Cabecera Park. If you're someone who has to have their early morning or evening jog then this is the perfect area to stay while you're in Valencia. You won't have to circumnavigate pedestrians either as there's a special lane running through the gardens called the Circuit 5K Jardi del Turia just for runners which is almost six kilometers long. The circuit is equipped with a special running surface, light beacons, and outdoor gym equipment.
As far as hotels near the Jardines de Turia go, this is the very center of Valencia so it's difficult to find economy accommodation, but there are plenty of mid-scale two and three stars with great amenities that don't charge exorbitant nightly rates. There's also a surplus of highly-priced four stars that will make any budget-conscious traveler cough when they see the room rates. The advantage of staying in the Jardines de Turia area though is having many of Valencia's main attractions practically on your doorstep. It's the ideal place to stay in Valencia if you're visiting the city with kids too as there are multiple play areas where they can let off steam.
City of Arts and Sciences
If you're attending a congress, convention, international sports meeting or heading to Valencia for a big concert then it'll probably be happening in the City of Art and Science. It is a city within a city that can only be called space-age as the structures there are totally out of this world. The City of Art and Science houses several museums, the city's aquarium, and its opera house. Rooms in the hotels close by the City of Art and Science are always in high demand so prices can reach the spectacular. As the public transport in Valencia is so efficient and cheap to use, it's much more budget-friendly to stay further away and travel in to whatever event you're attending.
The great thing about finding out where to stay in Valencia is discovering the diversity of locations this amazing Spanish city has to offer. There really is something for everyone, from backpackers to those with a surplus of cash to splash on a luxury hotel. In the end, where you stay doesn't matter so long as you make the most of Valencia and enjoy every single moment you spend there. And if you need to leave your bags somewhere, don't forget, Bounce has luggage storage facilities in Valencia where your bags will be safe while you head off to explore.