Discover in-depth the heart of Valencia: El Carmen and the historical center

If there is one area in Valencia that is visited more than beaches like the Malvarrosa or the City of Arts and Sciences, that is its old town. For many, the historic center of the city is nothing more than a basic point of tourism and plenty of shops, however, when the Quart and Serrano Towers were the gates of a walled city, the current center, and the Carmen district were the starting point for every visitor to Valencia.

These are without a doubt the two most famous areas of the city for tourism, so in its streets, you can find many shops, bars, and entertainment.

However, from Flight Mode, we would like to leave you with some advice or recommendations on what to do and where to eat if you are visiting this area to make your visit to a city as magical as Valencia the best possible.

In addition, for those who wish to have an official guide when visiting the most emblematic buildings and areas of the city, in the ‘Create your Flight Mode’ section of our website, you can directly hire all types of tours whether on foot, by bike, by segway or even a tuk tuk.

City center

It is known among Valencians as the Seu district about the Cathedral, located between the two districts to be mentioned. As in the majority of European cities, the center groups together the great majority of historical buildings that populate the city such as the Central Market, the Lonja, the Miguelete, or the City Hall building itself, which are almost worth a visit.

In addition to these monuments known to all those who plan to visit Valencia, an unmissable corner of the city center is the Plaza Redonda. On its ground floor, you will find numerous shops, almost all dedicated to textiles, crafts, and souvenirs, as well as bars where you can eat tapas.

Right next to this square is one of the most picturesque buildings in the city, a curious building known as La Estrecha, whose façade of barely 107 centimeters is the narrowest in Europe.

The Plaza Alfonso el Magnánimo, known by locals as Parterre, is a pleasant garden area in the heart of Valencia where one can stop for an afternoon of shopping or visiting the center to have a beer or a coffee in one of the best-situated places in the city.

Another highly recommendable place after a whole day in the center for those who want to try the authentic Valencian horchata without having to go to Alboraya is the Horchateria Santa Catalina, located in the famous Plaza de la Reina.

Finally, and as a connection point from the center to the Barrio del Carmen, if you go around the Cathedral of Valencia, you can get to the Plaza de la Virgen, a magnificent open square where you can stop for a while to observe another view of the cathedral and which also connects the center to the Barrio del Carmen.

The Carmen

For centuries, the Carmen district was the center of craft activity in the city of Valencia. In each of its streets, workshops and guilds were organized according to trades, so that today many streets still have the names of the trades that were carried out there.

Today this neighborhood has become a reference point for both bars and leisure for visitors and locals alike. Its narrow streets that show the Arab influence in the city are full of life and small corners that are worth visiting and getting to know.

Beyond monuments like the already mentioned Church of San Pedro Mártir, better known as the Valencian Sistine Chapel, El Carmen has a great attraction for its visitors due to its pubs, bars or restaurants, as well as the small but beautiful Teatro Talía, which receives some of the best national plays every year.

However, if you come to Valencia and decide to visit the Carmen, you must stop off at La Pilareta, a winery located in the Plaza del Tossal, the nerve center of the neighborhood, where you can prepare one of the most famous dishes in gastronomy: mussels.

In addition to this tavern, there are other options for snacking and eating very appetizing as La Vaca Verde, located in front of the Market of Mossen Sorell, a small building specializing in gourmet products or the Taberna el Olivo, located a few meters from the Plaza and Church of Carmen, where it is located in Centro del Carmen de Cultura Contemporánea, one of the newest and most avant-garde museums in the city that is located inside a former convent.

Other monuments and places in the Barrio del Carmen and the Center that you cannot miss:

  • Ivam, Museo Valenciano de arte moderna
  • Iber, Museo de los soldaditos de plomo
  • Muvim Museo Valencià de la Il-lustraciòn i de la Modernitat
  • Museo de la Ceramica
  • Museo de la seda
  • Palacio Cervellò
  • Edificio de Correos
  • Plaza de Toros
  • Museo Taurino
  • Estaciòn del Norte
  • Museo de la Ciudad Palacio del Marques de Campo
  • Almoina
  • Miguelete