Valencia: Jewel of Costa del Azahar
When you get to Valencia, you just want to have a drink in the cool areas you heard about where bars are amazing and unique, or have dinner in a nice place where they can serve you a traditional paella, or maybe you want to discover parts of the city that not even the locals know about.
Obviously, the best way to find all those hidden places at a student-price is meeting locals … or you just can read this article!
I’ll divide the places I talk about by the different areas or neighborhoods in the city. By the way, you can also find these places on the most famous social network (yes, the blue and white one) to get information about public transit timetables, guides, etc. (note that some of the websites are in Spanish)
Cedro is the university area, and it is full of bars and places to eat very cheaply all around Blasco Ibañez Street. This street is long, so sometimes it is hard to find the place you’re looking for (important because we are lazy and do not like to search for too long, especially when we are hungry). The best option is going down small streets – doesn’t matter if the place is crowded or not, especially if it’s for food! Whatever will be fine, so let’s focus on bars. One piece of advice: avoid Montaditos!
Natura Dub is one of the nicer places to have a beer … or 500! They have a good selection of beer and lots of events that you can discover for yourself.
Also, if you want to dance, you can find many places to go, but you can go to the small Plaza Honduras, eat something in the Syrian and Lebaneese restaurants that there are in this square, and go to Kraken if you like to dance rock & roll and R&B.
Very close to the university area as well, you can find a nice square called Plaza Xuquer, which is full of bars. One of the most amazing bars in Valencia is there, Tanto Monta, which has many montaditos, which are like the Valencian’s tapas. Huge variety of different flavours (some of them really creative) and good prices, maybe one euro each.
This area is in fashion right now, thus small places are becoming very popular and crowded. Anyway, behind the main train station and close to the center, we can find Rojo Ruzafa, similar to Tanto Monta but with an amazing terrace and with red wood as decoration on the walls.
El Cabañal is one of the oldest neightborhoods in Valencia. A little dodgy, today it’s kind of dangerous moving around in the night, but there are rewards for the brave ones. There are so many “private” parties for the ones who like alternative and okupated places.
Talking about legal clubs, you can grab a beer or two at Un millón de amigos, and for dinner we find a very nice vegetarian bar with live music (usually reagge) called Nehuen, with a cheap menu and amazing dishes.
The city center of Valencia. Narrow streets abound all around, and bars and small clubs are really tiny but amazing. It is impossible to name all the places I know of, where I have so many memories when everything was very private. Just to name two places, Jimmy Glass, a small place where famous jazz musicians come over, and another even smaller and unknown place is Los Picapiedra, where you can have dinner with your friends before a party.
Personally speaking, this is the nicest area in Valencia. It is united by a close community and I see it like a small city inside the big city of Valencia. In the streets, it is nice to see popular Carnivals and Halloween. There are plenty of alternative bars around, but it is not very famous for the food; on the other hand, it is close to the university area and that is why the prices are low.
Like in El Carmen, it is hard to choose only a couple of nice, cheap and secret places in this area, because all of them look like it. However, when you walk into Benimaclet, every other place looks nice in comparison.
El Glop is a nice place to eat and drink. You will find, being the alternative area that is, several kinds of people in it. If you finish class and you want to relax and look for shelter to avoid the cold or heat, you might go to Kaf Kafe, a bar where you can find books, board games, and of course a lot of kinds of tea and coffee (also some nice concerts, poetry recitals, etc.). Highly recommend.
Finally, you can also find amazing nightlife here. One example is Loca Bohemia, where flamenco shows take place and it has a lovely back and secret terrace.
But REMEMBER, the best place will be the one that you find yourself, so don’t be afraid to look for it!
By Pau Garcia