El Carme (El Carmen, map). In the old centre, it is the perfect place for a stroll where you can witness the transition from a forgotten area to an up-and-coming diverse neighbourhood. Barrio del Carmen is a major nightlife destination in Valencia.
El Cabanyal (Cabañal, map). Established in the 13th century as a fishing village, in the 19th century the town became known as a beach getaway before being annexed by Valencia in 1897. Along with easy access to the beach, it has many charming historic tiled buildings and great bars and restaurants, and is the setting of the annual Semana Santa Marinera.
Russafa (Ruzafa, map). Ruzafa (from Arabic رصافة – rusafa, or ‘garden’) was first established in the 9th century as a Moorish pleasure garden, and evolved into a farming community. It was independent until 1877, when it was annexed by the city. Today the barrio is known for its cultural diversity, hipster shops and cafés, great restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
Benimaclet (map). Benimaclet (from Arabic بني مخلد – bani mahlad, or ‘sons of Majlad’) began as an Arabic farmstead, and was an independent farming community until 1878. Preserved are its central square and parish church, and charming pedestrian alleys.
Mercat Central (Mercado Central / Central Market, map). In a restored modernist iron and glass building dating from 1928, this is one of the largest markets in Europe.
Mercat del Cabanyal (Mercado del Cabañal / Cabanyal Market, map). Traditionally one of the better markets in the city for fish, this also has fresh produce and artisanal products.
El Rastro (Flea market, map). Su 08:00-13:30. Valencia’s enormous second-hand market is a good place to pick up all sorts of odds and ends, ranging from vintage toys to Valencian ceramics to bicycle parts. Vendors are licensed and there is a police presence, but do beware of pickpockets.