On the Western edge of the Mediterranean, you’ll find the sprawling city of Valencia. As the third-most populous city in Spain, it has a lot to offer.
Unfortunately, deciding where to stay in Valencia isn’t easy. If you stay in the wrong area, you may struggle to reach parts of the city on foot.
Knowing which neighbourhoods and districts to stay in can help simplify your trip. Choose a spot that places you close to the destinations that you want to visit.
The city offers a great variety of attractions. You can spend your time near the heart of the city exploring the history of the region and local culture. Conversely, you may also want to check out the modern developments around the city, including the culture and science park or the large aquarium.
Don’t know where to stay? Start comparing accommodations with this roundup of the best places to stay in Valencia.
Where to stay in Valencia, Spain: A complete guide to the best neighbourhoods & areas for travellers
Valencia is a large city and sprawls over several square kilometres. Luckily, some of the most important things to do & see in Valencia are in the heart of the city. Staying in the older neighbourhoods gives you convenient access to these sites.
While there are many historic sites to explore, the city also has an extremely modern flare. The City of Arts and Sciences complex, for example, includes futuristic buildings and sprawling parks that span almost the entire city along the old River Turia riverbed.
It’s along this path that you’ll find some of the other neighbourhoods, including Ruzafa, which is the hippest area of the city.
If you prefer swimming and oceanside views, the port area of El Cabanyal is a top choice. It’s near the beaches and still within walking distance of the city centre. With a city this diverse finding the right neighbourhood can help ensure that you have a great time.
A few of the best areas to stay in Valencia include:
- Old Town
- El Cabanyal
✔ Best area to stay for sightseeing and tourist attractions
The Old Town area covers the historic centre of the city. It’s the oldest part of Valencia and home to the most notable landmarks, including Valencia Cathedral and the Central Market.
Old Town is a large part of the city that includes several smaller barrios, such as El Carmen, which sits on the northeastern border of the old district. Here you’ll find some of the most expensive hotels in the city, due to their proximity to the most-visited landmarks.
If you plan on sightseeing (or if your Valencia itinerary is tight for time), staying in Old Town places you the closest to all of the sites that you’ll want to explore. You can easily walk from your hotel to any of the main attractions. In fact, you may be able to check out just about everything in a single day.
Besides historic buildings and the large Central Market, this neighbourhood includes many cool cafes, boutique shops, and street art. In the evening, it’s a vibrant section of the city, with people and live music spilling out of the numerous bars and clubs.
Next to El Carmen is Barrio La Seu, which is considered the oldest area. It’s got more souvenir shops and businesses that cater more to the tourists than any other spot in the city.
Attractions in & around Old Town: Valencia Cathedral, Plaza de la Virgen, Central Market, Silk Exchange
Where to stay: The best hotels in Old Town
Some of the best hotels in Valencia are found in Old Town. You’ll mostly find high-end boutique hotels catering to travellers who prefer luxury over value. A couple of these options are just a few blocks from Valencia Cathedral.
Here are a few of the best hotels & places to stay in Old Town:
- Petit Palace Plaza de la Reina: Directly across from the National Ceramic Museum, this modern hotel places you in the heart of Old Town. It’s a comfortable place to sleep at night and a convenient place from which to start your sightseeing.
- Catalonia Excelsior: Just a few feet from one of the main public squares, this hotel makes it easier to explore Valencia. The cathedral is a few minutes away on foot, and the hotel is housed inside a historic site and conveniently surrounded by cafes and bars.
- Marques House: This hotel offers a great location inside a beautiful old building. It’s in the centre of Old Town, allowing you to easily visit all the landmarks, including the nearby Plaza de la Virgen.
- Hotel El Siglo: The stylish hotel includes several features that make it a top choice, including rooftop views of the city and private spas in some of the bathrooms. It’s also one of the closest hotels to Valencia Cathedral.
✔ Best area to stay for hipsters and student travellers
Eixample is an area just southeast of the old city. This district was built in the 19th century, so there are still many older buildings in the area, but it also has a little more of a modern feel compared to the city centre.
In Eixample, you’ll find the main train station, upscale restaurants, and some of the most popular cafes and bars. Within this district is the Ruzafa neighbourhood, which was once considered the edgier part of town. In the past few years, it’s started attracting more hipsters, giving the area a more laid back vibe.
Thanks to the influx of hipsters, the area has many experimental art installations and museums, along with a surprising number of cupcake bakeries. If you’re into eclectic things, you’ll love this neighbourhood. It’s also got specialty cafes, including vegetarian-friendly cafes.
To the east of the district, you can see the tops of some of the buildings that comprise the City of Arts and Sciences, reminding you that you’re not far from the modern developments. This also keeps you centrally located between Old Town and the beaches.
Attractions in & around Eixample: Valencia Bullring, Colon Market, Valencia International, Gulliver Park, Main Train Station
Where to stay: The best hotels in Eixample
As Eixample is a little further from the centre, you’ll find a greater range of hotels. There are still luxury accommodations, along with a few more affordable choices. Many of these hotels are on the outskirts of Eixample, as the middle of the district is mostly residential.
Here are a few of the best hotels & places to stay in Eixample:
- Hospes Palau de La Mar: Situated on the northern edge of Eixample, this boutique-style hotel offers elegant rooms with marble bathrooms. Treat yourself to a relaxing sauna or Turkish bath before exploring the rest of the city.
- Hotel NH Collection Colon Valencia: Located on the border of Eixample and Old Town, this luxury boutique hotel is a convenient place to rest your head. It’s also a charming little hotel with friendly staff that can help give you directions or recommendations.
- Hotel Dimar: Staying at this hotel places you next to the old riverbed and on one of the main thoroughfares in the city. Whether you travel on foot or via public transport, you should have no problem reaching any part of the city from this hotel.
- Hotel Petit Palace Ruzafa: In the middle of the Ruzafa neighbourhood, this mid-range hotel is a little more affordable, yet still close to the main attractions. You’re also close to the best shops, cafes, and bars in the neighbourhood.
✔ Best area to stay to get away from tourists
The diverse neighbourhood of Benimaclet was once a separate city, before getting annexed by Valencia in 1972. It’s now a popular destination for students, as it’s home to many university buildings.
Benimaclet is on the north side of the old River Turia, which places you just a little further from the old district. If you want to get away from the crowds of tourists that line the streets of the other districts, this area is a nice retreat. You’re still connected to those areas via public transportation, so you’re never too far from the action.
During the day, Benimaclet is a quiet neighbourhood. At night, the bars and concert venues come to life. These are some of the most popular destinations for the younger crowd, especially students.
In the middle of the district, you’ll find the main church square. This square remains a common meeting point for locals and tourists. It’s also the focal point when local festivals are in full swing.
The area contains a mixture of the old and new. Some of the streets still look like the streets of the old district, while others have been completely revamped. Overall, it’s a charming area, even if it’s slightly further from the typical tourist hotspots.
Attractions in & around Benimaclet: Museum of Informatics, University of Valencia, Natural History Museum
Where to stay: The best hotels in Benimaclet
Benimaclet is mostly a residential and campus area, which makes it hard to find hotels. Most of your options are located around the outskirts of the district, but still within walking distance to the city centre.
Here are a few of the best hotels & places to stay in Benimaclet:
- Hotel Olympia Universidades: As the highest-rated hotel in the area, this luxury spot offers modern rooms with views of the historic city. While it may be a stretch to walk to the nearest attractions, you’re very close to the tram stop.
- Sweet Hotel Renasa: This hotel is next to Valencia University and a short walk from the metro station. It also has its own restaurant, serving tapas and authentic Valencian cuisine. Before leaving the hotel to go sightseeing, you can ask the staff to pack you a lunch.
- Hotel the Westin Valencia: Outside of Benimaclet and closer to Old Town, this hotel provides a convenient spot to start your journey. While it’s a bit pricey, it’s also centrally located near the largest bar area in the city.
- Hotel Olympia Valencia: On the northern side of the district, you’ll find this affordable hotel. It’s the furthest from the city centre, which increases the chances of finding a vacancy any time of the year.
✔ Best area to stay for swimming and beachside parties
El Cabanyal is mostly a residential area, but it’s also right behind Malvarrosa beach and the promenade. Near the beach, there are dozens of eateries, cafes, late night bars, and souvenir shops.
Like Benimaclet, this district was once its own city. It was eventually annexed by Valencia and has grown to become one of the more eclectic neighbourhoods.
This area is great for swimming or simply spending time on the beach. It’s also one of the busiest areas for younger travellers, as the beachside bars tend to attract those looking for a good time.
While partying near the beach is one way to spend a trip to Valencia, El Cabanyal has more to offer. The area behind the beach is less touristy. It’s got a more residential vibe.
The houses and buildings in this area are colourful and tend to feature a modernist style that sets the neighbourhood apart from the rest of the city. If you want to get a real taste of authentic Valencian life, this is the area where you’ll want to stay.
Attractions in & around El Cabanyal: Malvarrosa Beach, Valencia Cultural Center, Plaza De La Cruz Del Canyamelar, the Port of Valencia
Where to stay: The best hotels in El Cabanyal
If you want to spend most of your time in the water or the near the surrounding port area, you’ll find several great options in El Cabanyal that overlook the beach. Keep in mind that the area mostly offers high-end resorts and mid-range beachside hotels.
Here are a few of the best hotels & places to stay in El Cabanyal:
- Hotel Boutique Balandret: As the top beachside location, this hotel has a lot to offer. It’s got its own restaurant, beach views, a snack bar in every room, and convenient access to a variety of outdoor activities. Besides swimming, you can enjoy diving, horseback riding, and cycling.
- Las Arenas Balneario Resort: This luxurious resort has massive private swimming pools and looks out on the beach. It also has its own restaurants, cafes, and bars. You may enjoy your stay so much that you don’t get the chance to explore the rest of the city.
- Hotel Neptuno: This hotel is also located on the main strip next to the beach. Choose an eastern room to get a view that overlooks Valencia harbour. It’s a lovely affordable hotel with friendly staff and a great location.
- Sol Playa: The last spot to consider is also one of the most affordable beachside options. Like the other El Cabanyal hotels, it offers outdoor furniture and beachfront accommodations. They also offer a shuttle service to make your trip to and from the airport that much easier.