Planning a move to Valencia, Spain? Whether you’re a young professional seeking the city’s vibrant energy, a family looking for a quiet neighborhood with great schools, or you’re after the most prestigious addresses, Valencia has something for everyone.
But with so many diverse neighborhoods,which is one of the pros of living in valencia, where should you start your search?
Well, as someone who lives in Valencia, I’ve got you covered. I’ll take you on a tour of the city, introducing you to Valencia’s best neighborhoods, with insights into their unique charms and characteristics.
From the bustling streets of Ruzafa to the peaceful villas of La Cañada, I promise to give you an insider’s view, helping you to find the best place to live in Valencia based on your needs.
Best places to live in Valencia, Spain
Once a neighborhood most would avoid, Ruzafa (or “Russafa” in Valencian) has now transformed into Valencia’s trendiest district. This once-gritty locale has seen an impressive glow-up, with an array of hip bars, unique boutiques, and cozy coffee shops lining its streets.
Its location, just a stone’s throw from Valencia’s city center and the popular Turia park, makes it a hot spot for residents and visitors alike.
But it’s when the sun sets that Ruzafa truly comes alive. This neighborhood is a nocturnal haven, with a bustling nightlife scene, and the annual Fallas festival only amplifies its vibrant spirit.
Don’t be fooled though; Ruzafa also has a tranquil side. Its charm lies in its diversity – one moment you’re in the middle of the lively hustle, the next you’re enjoying the serene hum of a peaceful street.
Ruzafa is a cultural melting pot, offering a rich culinary scene that will take your taste buds on a global journey. From the abundance of tapas bars and upscale dining venues to the explosion of international cuisine and top-quality coffee shops, it’s a haven for foodies.
Moreover, digital nomads will find Ruzafa quite appealing. With plenty of work-friendly cafés, vintage stores, and artsy spaces, it’s the perfect blend of work and play.
However, keep in mind that with popularity comes a price. Ruzafa’s surge in demand has led to an increase in prices, reflecting its status as one of Valencia’s most coveted neighborhoods.
Whether you’re a creative soul, a culinary enthusiast, a digital nomad, or just someone seeking the buzz of the city, Ruzafa is an ideal choice. With its lively atmosphere, diverse culture, and prime location, there’s no doubt it’s one of the best places to live in Valencia.
2. El Carmen
Now, if you’re a history buff or a culture vulture, let me tell you, El Carmen is your place to be. This charming district is where Valencia’s heart beats the loudest!
The city’s historical center, nestled right in the old quarter, Ciutat Vella, El Carmen is a veritable labyrinth of narrow streets adorned with cool street art, quirky boutiques, cozy bars, and mouthwatering restaurants.
Yes, it does get a bit crowded – everyone wants a piece of El Carmen, after all – but that’s just part of its charm. And if you’re a bit of a secret squirrel, don’t worry, there are plenty of quiet streets that tourists haven’t discovered yet.
Living in El Carmen is like having a VIP pass to everything Valencia’s city center has to offer – from historic buildings to lively nightlife. However, the privilege does come with a price.
Like that cute little black dress in a boutique window, El Carmen has a higher rent tag attached to it. And, well, it can get a tad noisy during the annual Fallas celebrations. But hey, who needs sleep when there’s so much to see and do, right?
Just remember, while the narrow, cobbled streets create a romantic ambiance, they also mean many apartments don’t get as much sunlight as in other parts of the city. Trust me, you’ll feel the lack of sunshine during the colder months.
But if you can live with that, there’s no doubt, El Carmen is one of the most enchanting parts of the city, packed with cultural delights, gastronomic adventures, and a vibrant social scene.
3. Gran Via
If you’re someone who enjoys a bit of luxury and doesn’t mind splashing out, Gran Via is your dream neighborhood. East of Russafa, Gran Via is one of Valencia’s most prestigious addresses, with tree-lined streets and stunning architecture that’ll have you pinching yourself every morning.
But Gran Via isn’t just about its good looks – this neighborhood knows how to live it up in style! Known as a high-end shopping haven, you’ll find an array of chic boutiques, luxury fashion stores, high-end jewelers, and prestigious antique sellers. It’s the place to go if you want to enjoy retail therapy with a touch of class.
And it doesn’t stop there. Gran Via is also home to a host of classy eateries and watering holes. Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet meal, a fine wine, or a craft cocktail, Gran Via has got you covered.
However, this level of luxury doesn’t come cheap, and finding a place to live in Gran Via can be as challenging as finding a needle in a haystack. But it’s worth the hassle as, if you’re ready to embrace the high life, Gran Via is waiting for you with open arms and a glass of cava!
4. El Cabanyal
Drawn to the allure of seaside living? Then El Cabanyal is your go-to neighborhood in Valencia.
Nestled right behind Las Arenas beach and boasting an enduring old fisherman’s town charm, El Cabanyal is evolving, welcoming an influx of trendy bars, coworking spaces, and international residents. The community’s dedication to preserving its historical, colorful buildings adds a unique appeal to this district, further enriched by its thriving arts scene.
El Cabanyal is a promising destination for expats and digital nomads, with the rise of more coworking spaces and cafes. Although it’s not as bustling as the city center, it’s known for being a safe, family-friendly neighborhood.
There are two downsides, as not everywhere can be perfect, after all! One might be its somewhat quieter winter season, with most activities focused towards the city center.
The other is that there are some streets that aren’t as safe as other parts of town. While the suburb is gentrifying which has seen improvements in its safety record, there are some parts of the neighborhood that you may want to avoid at night.
However, remain aware of your surroundings and you just might find that its closeness to the beach and the port, traditional food offerings, and an authentic local experience make El Cabanyal a rewarding choice, particularly for those seeking a seachange with their move to Valencia.
5. Pla del Remei
Pla del Remei is a shopper’s paradise, offering a diverse range of retail options. It’s most famed for housing the Mercat de Cólon, a grand art nouveau building that hosts an indoor public ‘gastro market’, brimming with trendy eateries and bars.
But the culinary scene extends beyond this market, with numerous authentic restaurants serving traditional fare throughout this neighborhood. The area is also home to beautifully designed apartments, meaning that this district exudes a certain sophistication.
However, it’s not exclusive to the wealthy, with plenty of affordable apartments available. And Pla del Remei’s location is another selling point, as it offers a great compromise between the bustling city center and more tranquil outskirts, making it a prime spot for accessing other neighborhoods.
If you’re a food lover, a shopping enthusiast, or just someone who enjoys a balance of city life and tranquility, Pla del Remei should be on your Valencia housing shortlist.
Benimaclet, once an independent village, has maintained its tranquil, small-town charm within the bustling city of Valencia. Offering a unique blend of a laid-back international vibe and a village-like atmosphere, Benimaclet is a favorite among students and families alike.
The neighborhood’s affordability compared to other popular areas and its proximity to two universities are key draws for many people who consider this the best place to live in Valencia for them.
Charming narrow streets and close proximity to the beautiful Jardines del Real (also known as Jardines de Viveros) further enhance its appeal. While not as hip as Ruzafa or as posh as the Canovas/Mercado de Colón area, Benimaclet is a haven for those who appreciate a more relaxed pace of life.
The only downside might be that it’s not walking distance to the city center or the beach. However, the excellent public transport connections make both easily accessible.
7. El Pilar
El Pilar, located in the central section of the western part of Cuitat Vella, is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Valencia’s bustling old town. A haven for those seeking a quieter lifestyle, this district is especially popular among couples.
Despite its central location, El Pilar offers a peaceful respite from the chaos of the city. As the former silk quarter of Valencia, El Pilar has a rich history, which is preserved in the city’s silk museum located in the district.
The district also boasts a selection of laid-back bars and cafes and a younger resident demographic, further enhancing its laid-back vibe. In essence, El Pilar is an ideal choice for those seeking a relaxed, central lifestyle in Valencia.
Mestalla, located just east of the city center, offers a quieter and more affordable lifestyle. It’s a family-friendly neighborhood that houses a diverse range of residents.
While the district may not have many standout features, its location and affordability make it an attractive place to live.
Positioned within walking or cycling distance to the Turia park, the city center, and the beach, Mestalla offers easy access to many of Valencia’s main attractions. Furthermore, it has good public transport links, making commuting around the city a breeze.
If you’re seeking an affordable residence in Valencia that’s close to both the city center and the beach, Mestalla could be the perfect choice. Its proximity to the beach and availability of parking make it an appealing option, particularly for those who find parking a challenge in areas like El Carmen, Canovas, and Mercado de Colón.
With its calm atmosphere, lower living costs, and excellent location, you can easily see why Mestalla is a compelling choice for both locals and internationals.
9. La Xerea
Located at the eastern edge of Cuitat Vella, La Xerea offers a serene residential retreat in the heart of Valencia. The district is nestled just north of Pla del Remei and shares an extensive border with some of the city’s most beautiful green spaces, including a picturesque stretch of the city’s green belt.
Of all Valencia’s central districts, La Xerea has the most residential feel. It offers an authentic Spanish experience, as it is not frequently visited by tourists and maintains a quiet, local vibe.
This tranquility makes it a popular choice among families, older individuals, and those who prefer a slower pace of life away from the bustling city center.
In short, La Xerea is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an authentic living experience in a cozy, residential neighborhood at the heart of Valencia.
10. El Botanic
Adjacent to Cuitat Vella’s western border lies El Botanic, a stunning and often overlooked district named after the magnificent botanic garden it houses. This garden, in operation since 1802, is one of Spain’s finest and is home to nearly 5,000 different species of plants.
But El Botanic has more than just its namesake garden. The district also offers easy access to other green spaces, the city’s museum of modern art, and excellent public transportation links. Its laid-back atmosphere makes it an ideal choice for families, securing its reputation as one of Valencia’s best neighborhoods for raising children.
If you’re looking to escape the city’s crowds and nightlife in favor of a family-oriented neighborhood, El Botanic could be the perfect place for you to call home in Valencia.
11. La Cañada (Paterna)
La Cañada, a part of the municipality of Paterna, provides an idyllic setting for those seeking a balance of tranquility and connectivity. Nestled adjacent to La Eliana and separated by the nature reserve La Vallesa, La Cañada is a residential haven, particularly appealing to families.
This appeal is strengthened by the presence of highly regarded schools in the area, including the British College of La Cañada.
The area is conveniently located about a 20-minute car drive from Valencia city, but also enjoys connectivity via the metro line. This accessibility, combined with the serenity of the natural surroundings, makes La Cañada an ideal place for those seeking a calm environment without sacrificing the perks of city living.
12. La Eliana
The municipality of La Eliana, located northwest of Valencia city, boasts its own unique charm. The city center is accessible within a 30-minute drive, and with four metro stations serving the area, public transport is a breeze.
La Eliana is a well-equipped neighborhood, offering a range of amenities including restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, shops, and sports facilities. The area is characterized by detached villas, further enhancing the sense of space and comfort for its residents.
The residential district is conveniently located at the heart of the municipality, providing an accessible and comfortable living environment.
Rocafort, situated adjacent to Godella, is another enticing option for those seeking a peaceful retreat within reach of Valencia. The heart of this municipality is the gated community of Santa Bárbara, a tranquil haven of beautiful villas, well-equipped with numerous facilities.
Residing in Rocafort means having access to renowned international schools in the vicinity, as well as a public school located just a short walk away.
The area is well-served by public transportation, including the metro, making the commute to Valencia a breeze. Indeed, from the gated community of Santa Bárbara, Valencia is just a 20-minute drive away.
With its combination of peaceful living and urban accessibility, Rocafort stands as a prime choice for families, particularly those prioritizing education.
14. San Antonio de Benagéber
Moving further north, you’ll discover the charm of San Antonio de Benagéber. Much like its neighboring municipalities, it’s an ideal location for families due to its proximity to a selection of international schools.
The location is a haven for nature and golf enthusiasts alike, being nestled between the La Valessa nature reserve and a golf course.
San Antonio de Benagéber also has a few new construction projects on offer, making it an exciting option for those wishing to settle in a freshly built property. The town is a 20-minute car journey from Valencia city.
Although it lacks a metro station, it is well-served by bus routes, ensuring you’re never far from the heart of Valencia. The balance of tranquility, outdoor activities, and accessibility makes San Antonio de Benagéber another attractive area to consider in the outskirts of Valencia.
Náquera, a municipality nestled in the north of Valencia, provides a sanctuary for nature lovers. It borders the Parc Natural de la Sierra Calderona, a spectacular nature reserve that contributes to the area’s verdant charm.
Being at a higher altitude, Náquera offers potential residents the opportunity to secure a villa with panoramic views, some reaching all the way to the sea.
While the city of Valencia is a slightly more distant half-hour drive away, the trade-off is the proximity to an enchanting nature reserve, providing a serene backdrop to everyday life.
A metro journey to the city center takes approximately an hour, still a feasible commute for those who prefer living in the lap of nature. If a quiet, scenic retreat is what you’re after, Náquera could be the perfect match.
If your heart is set on a location closer to Valencia’s bustling city center, then Godella is worth your consideration. Just a 15-minute car journey from Valencia, Godella also offers a metro connection, ensuring the city’s attractions are always within reach.
Godella is a picturesque Spanish village with an upscale neighborhood, Campolivar. Here, beautiful villas and houses line the streets, creating a harmonious blend of elegance and tradition.
The area is also populated with excellent schools and sports facilities, catering to families looking to make Spain their new home. The combination of accessibility, amenities, and authentic Spanish charm make Godella an enticing proposition for potential residents.
Situated just above the towns of Godella and Rocafort, Bétera is a serene municipality nestled on the southern slopes of the Sierra Calderona mountains. This tranquil area is peppered with a range of villas and reputable schools, making it an appealing location for families.
Bétera is also known for its golf course, a highlight for sports enthusiasts. Furthermore, two stunning urbanizations, Mas Camarena and Torre Conil, add to the charm of this area, offering elegantly designed homes amidst peaceful surroundings.
While Bétera offers an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, it doesn’t cut you off completely. You can reach Valencia city by car in roughly 30 minutes, and the area is also served by a metro line, ensuring the city’s attractions are always within reach.
If tranquillity, nature, and accessibility are on your wish list, Bétera is an exceptional candidate.
On the other hand, if you’re drawn to the appeal of Náquera but yearn for proximity to the sea, Puzol could be your perfect match. Offering the best of both worlds, Puzol combines the allure of outdoor life with the charm of a beautiful town center.
Notable within Puzol is Los Monasterios, a picturesque urbanization that encapsulates the area’s beauty.
Puzol is a 25-minute car journey from Valencia city. While it doesn’t have a metro connection, it does have a train service that transports you to Valencia Estacion del Norte, placing you right in the heart of Valencia city.
This makes Puzol an excellent choice if you’re seeking a balance between seaside living, natural beauty, and convenient access to city life.
Situated west of Valencia city, you’ll discover the appealing area of Chiva. Here, you can find exquisite detached villas, many boasting private swimming pools and captivating views.
If you choose to reside in Chiva, you’ll gain a massive nature reserve as your neighbour, the Sierra de Chiva. This remarkable reserve offers a multitude of scenic walking trails, making it a dream locale for nature enthusiasts.
For golf lovers, Chiva also boasts its own golf course. Additionally, the area is home to a stunning gated urbanization, El Bosque, enhancing the allure of this region.
Chiva’s location enables you to reach Valencia city in just half an hour by car, and there’s also a direct bus connection, making the city’s vibrant center easily accessible. With its blend of natural beauty, recreational amenities, and convenient connectivity, Chiva provides a remarkable living experience.
Rounding out our list is Picassent, located south of Valencia. This typical Valencian municipality is surrounded by ample greenery, creating a calm and pleasant atmosphere.
A notable feature of Picassent is its proximity to the beach, a mere 15-minute car journey away. Meanwhile, Valencia’s bustling city center can be reached in 20 minutes by car or 30 minutes by metro, offering convenient accessibility to the city’s attractions.
Picassent also has several urbanizations, among which El tancat d`el Alter is one of the most well-known. This urbanization is situated near the international school of Ausias March, making it an excellent location for families with school-aged children.
Picassent, with its combination of natural surroundings, proximity to the beach, and easy access to Valencia, makes for an ideal place to call home.
Where do expats live in Valencia, Spain?
Ever since Valencia was named the best place in the world for expats to live in 2020 and 2022, the city has seen a ton of immigration, with expats from all over the world looking to move here and enjoy this incredible lifestyle.
While you do tend to find foreigners all over the city, there are some neighborhoods that are more popular than others, including the following:
- Ruzafa: Known as the “Soho of Valencia,” this trendy neighborhood is easily the place where most expats live in Valencia, thanks to its vibrant nightlife, creative scene, and abundance of dining options.
- El Carmen: Located in the heart of Valencia’s old town, El Carmen offers a blend of history and modernity, making it a popular choice for expats seeking a central location.
- Mestalla: Offering affordability and a convenient location, Mestalla is a favorite among expats. It’s close to the city center, beach, and has excellent public transport links.
- La Xerea: This residential district in the city center offers a quieter lifestyle, attracting expats who prefer a calmer ambiance.
Best places to live in Valencia for families
If you’re looking into moving here with your family, it’s understandable that you may have different priorities when it comes to the best place to live in Valencia. For families, these areas tend to be pretty popular at the moment:
- La Cañada (Paterna): With good schools in the vicinity, including the British College of La Cañada, this residential area is an ideal choice for families.
- San Antonio de Benagéber: Its proximity to several international schools and location between a nature reserve and a golf course make it a prime location for families.
- Godella: Just 15 minutes from Valencia city, Godella offers a Spanish village charm with good schools and sports facilities, making it suitable for families.
- Bétera: Bétera’s quiet ambiance, numerous villas, and quality schools make it an excellent choice for families. It’s also known for its golf course and two beautiful urbanisations, Mas Camarena and Torre Conil.
Most expensive neighborhoods in Valencia, Spain
Looking to live the high life in Valencia – or, alternatively, trying to stick to a budget and want to see where to avoid? These parts of town tend to come with a higher price tag:
- Pla del Remei: Known for its luxury apartments and high-end boutiques, Pla del Remei is one of Valencia’s most upscale neighborhoods.
- Ciutat Vella: As Valencia’s historic center, Ciutat Vella features numerous beautifully restored properties that fetch high prices due to their charm and central location.
- Rocafort: Particularly the gated community of Santa Bárbara in Rocafort is known for its beautiful villas and many facilities, making it one of the pricier areas in Valencia.
- Ruzafa: Often compared to Soho in New York, Ruzafa is a trendy neighborhood with a diverse mix of modern condos and historic buildings. Its popularity has led to higher property prices.
- Gran Via: Located in the Eixample district, Gran Via is known for its wide, tree-lined streets and grand buildings, making it one of the city’s more prestigious and expensive areas.