The Old Town, often referred to as Ciutat Vella, is the beating heart of Valencia. It dates back to the foundation of Valencia by the Romans in 138 BC and is an enchanting blend of winding streets, picturesque squares, Gothic palaces and elegant residential buildings.
Whether you’re a first time visitor or not, I believe that the Old Town is the best area to stay in Valencia, hands down. This district has so much going for it, that I can’t think of many reasons why you’d want to stay anywhere else. Ready to find your perfect accommodation? I’ve been living in Valencia for years, and below I’ll help you pick the best hotel in the Old Town of Valencia.
In a hurry? This is my favorite hotel to stay in Valencia Old Town
Only YOU Hotel Valencia
This sophisticated hotel is located a 1-minute stroll away from the City Hall. It has two fabulous restaurants, a welcoming bar, cozy rooms, and exceptionally attentive staff. Perfect if you want to make your stay extra special.
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Valencia Old Town’s layout and neighborhoods
Valencia’s Old Town district is made up of six historic neighborhoods that seamlessly transition into one another. Each of these neighborhoods has its own distinct character and offers a unique experience, which is something you may want to consider when choosing your accommodation.
La Seu. This is the oldest part of Valencia, dating back over two thousand years to when the Romans founded the city. Home to the imposing Valencia Cathedral and a series of Gothic palaces, it’s slightly more touristy than other areas of the Old Town, not necessarily in a negative way.
El Carmen. This is the most famous neighborhood within the Old Town. El Carmen is bohemian, with colorful facades, vibrant street art, and an eclectic mix of bars and boutiques. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in Valencia’s artistic and alternative scene.
Sant Francesc. This barrio exudes an air of sophistication, featuring elegant streets, upscale shops, and the city’s most exclusive hotels. This is where Valencia’s City Hall is located and is the ideal neighborhood for those who seek luxury and refinement.
El Mercat. Surrounding the bustling Central Market, this is a delightful area with many traditional tapas bars, historic streets, and a lively atmosphere where you can immerse yourself in the city’s culinary traditions.
La Xerea. Nestled between the Cathedral and Túria Gardens, this barrio offers a respite from all the hustle and bustle of the Old Town. With quiet, narrow streets filled with hidden treasures, this is a part of the Old Town that invites you lose the map and let your feet lead the way.
Velluters. Also known as El Pilar, this is the least touristic neighborhood in the Old Town. Historically, is was a barrio of weavers, these days it hosts the Silk Museum and what used to be the first psychiatric hospital in Europe, now a public library.
Boutique hotels where to stay in Valencia Old Town as a first time visitor
Besides the hotels mentioned above, I can think of a number of alternative accommodation options that might better suit you, depending on your preferences, budget, size of your party, and trip style. Here are five hotels in the Old Town of Valencia, that offer quality, comfort and a boutique experience.
Best budget hotels in the Old Town of Valencia
On a budget? You can definitely stay in Valencia’s Old Town while being frugal. Here are three fantastic accommodation options that won’t break the bank.
Reasons to stay in Valencia Old Town
Valencia’s Old Town is like a open-air museum, a place where old world charm and modern comforts meet. It’s the best area to stay in Valencia when visiting for the first time, but if you’re still on the fence trying to decide if this is the right area for you, here are seven compelling reasons that will hopefully facilitate your decision. I also wrote a comparison post about the best areas to stay in Valencia, if you’d like to investigate further.
2. The Old Town oozes history from every corner. Each street, square, and building tells a story of centuries past and the people that lived there. When staying in the Old Town of Valencia, you’ll feel like you’re taking a journey thorough time every time you leave your hotel room.
3. Valencia’s Old Town has many outstanding architectural marvels, from the awe-inspiring Central Market and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Lonja de la Seda to the iconic Valencia Cathedral which is believed to house the real Holy Grail.
4. The Old Town is centrally located, which means you can reach any part of Valencia in 40 minutes or less, including the beach and the bohemian El Cabanyal neighborhood. If you stay in the Old Town, you’ll rarely need to use the public transport, as you can walk as far as the City of Arts and Sciences and Bioparc by following the Túria Park‘s green pathway.
5. The Old Town is easy to reach from the airport. Both metro lines that connect Valencia to the airport have several stops in the Old Town.
6. Valencia’s Old Town is a foodie’s heaven and a night owl’s paradise. Here you’ll find anything from traditional tapas bars to modern eateries, suitable for all tastes and budgets. Terraces and bars stay busy until midnight and clubs stay open until the wee small hours of the morning. In fact, the Old Town has some of the best nightlife in Valencia and maybe even Spain.
7. The Old Town also offers an unparalleled shopping experience. This area is home of the newly opened Zara and Lefties megastores, two El Corte Inglés department stores and some of the best shopping streets in Valencia.