Tourist Information Guide

Valencia Districts: Guide to Each Area and Barrio

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El Mercado Central Interior
El Mercado Central Interior
Valencia is Spain's third largest city - before your visit it is worth gaining an understanding of each of the districts in the city. Some of the most popular areas of the city include the old town (El Carmen), the marina, the beach, the old river bed (which is now a park area) and the residential area of El Cabanyal.

This page will provide you with descriptions of some of the most important parts of the city. There is an explanation of each area plus links to information or photo pages about some of the attractions in that area.


Valencia's old town - El Carmen


An old street lamp and building in the Old Town
An old street lamp and building in the Old Town

Valencia's old town is one of the most popular areas of the city. It is where much of Valencia's night life takes place. It is also where a wealth of interesting history and architecture can be found. It is the location of Valencia's university, as well as some of its most important museums. It is where you will find the famous old market - El Mercado Central. It is one of the places where you are most likely to want to head if you are only in town for a short period - it is the centre of Valencia city.

One of El Carmen's most popular attractions is the Valencia cathedral. For full details on the location, opening times, history and contact details of the cathedral, plus images of the interior and exterior, see our Full Guide to Valencia Cathedral.

If you would like to see what the old town looks like, check out our Photo Route of Valencia's Old Town page.


Valencia city beach - Las Arenas

The entire district of Valencia is dotted with beaches all along its coastline. However, Valencia has its own city beach that sits about twenty minutes by bus or metro from the city centre (the old town - see above).

Sunbathers at Valencia beach
Sunbathers at Valencia beach

If you would like to gain a better idea of what the beach looks like, see our Photo Route of Valencia Beach.

For a full overview of Valencia's beach, including instructions on how to get there from the city centre, details on the facilities that are on offer and descriptions of what to expect in the area, see our Guide to Valencia Beach.

If you are interested in discovering some more of the beaches that can be found within the region of Valencia (rather than just the city), see our Guide to the Beaches in the Region of Valencia. Here you will find listings for the beaches in and around Valencia with listings of facilities and dates for what times of the year these facilities are available.


Marina in Valencia

Valencia's marina has increased in profile and importance since it played host to the America's Cup in 2007. It sits next to Valencia city's main beach - Las Arenas (see above). It is a picturesque place to walk around to breath in the sea air and have a look at the boats and yachts that are moored there.

For a full guide to the marina in Valencia, including information on the facilities, how to get there and photographs of the area, see our Guide to Valencia marina.

For more practical listings of the watersports and nautical facilities in Valencia, see our Guide to Valencia Watersports Clubs and our Guide to Yacht Charters in Valencia.


Valencia's old river bed

CAC and the water pools surrounding it
CAC and the water pools surrounding it

Running through the heart of Valencia is the dried out river bed of the River Turia. This space stretches for 9 km and offers a wealth of green tranquility at the heart of the city.

For an overview of the riverbed, with photographs and further information on what can be found there, see our Guide to the Attractions of Valencia. You can also find information on the Valencia riverbed in our Guide to the Parks of Valencia.

Many of Valencia's most popular attractions can also be found in the riverbed. This is where the famous City of Art and Sciences can be found - a cultural centre spanning 2 km and 5 large buildings. It includes Valencia's science museum and Valencia's aquarium. For a full description of the City of Art and Sciences' Science Museum, see our Guide to Valencia's Principe Felipe Science Museum. On this page you will find information on how and where to buy tickets, cost of entrance,images, descriptions of what is on offer and facilities information.


El Cabanyal in Valencia

A modernist building in El Cabanyal
A modernist building in El Cabanyal

El Cabanyal is one of the less touristy areas of Valencia. It sits directly behind Las Arenas Beach and is an area where lots of local Valencians live. It is a residential area, but it is worth walking around as it contains lots of buildings that are designed in a modernist style - the style that was pioneered by the famous architect, Gaudi. If you are heading down to the beach, it is worth taking a stroll around this area to get a real taste of local Spanish life. It is also the place to head to find an authentic Valencia paella in one of the small local restaurants.

To get an idea of what the area looks like, see our Photo Route of El Cabanyal Area of Valencia.


Tip If you are only in Valencia for short stay and would like to quickly get an understanding of where you can find some of the different districts of the city, you could consider spending a day travelling around the city on the open top tour bus. This will give you the chance to see different parts of the city from on high whilst also allowing you to hop on and off the bus at a pace that suits you. For information on when and where to buy tickets, ticket prices, destinations and services aboard the open top bus, see our Guide to the Valencia Tourist Bus.


Valencia is a large city with a lot to offer. Prior to your trip it is worth doing a little bit of research into each area. This will help you to decide which areas you would like to prioritise during your visit. It will also help you to gain an understanding of where each area is in relation to other parts of town. Valencia is a large city, so you will not want to walk between all of the areas, especially if you are only in the city for a short stay - for full details on your transport options, see our Guide to the Trains, Buses, Metro and Taxis in Valencia.


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