Valencia is a feast for both the eyes and the belly. Gargoyle-topped churches and filigreed Art Nouveau architecture grace the cityscape, rolling through the maze of the Ciutat Vella to bohemian barrios like Ruzafa. Everywhere you go, the scents of cinnamon and spice and seafood rise and twist between the alcoves and the orange trees, heralding paella and tapas and more. Culture vultures are sated at the amazing Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias – surely one of Europe’s most audacious institutions. Outdoorsy types can wander the old riverbed-come-parklands of the Jardín del Turia, or feel the salty spray of the Med down on the city’s beach. Yep, there’s oodles to enthrall in Spain’s third-largest metropolis.
Airbnb has risen to become a great go-to for accommodation in Valencia in recent years. There are hundreds and hundreds of listings all over the city, along with plenty of Airbnb Plus listings – curated flats and houses that offer something extra special. This guide can help you focus in on the top neighbourhoods for your stay, and even reveals some of the very best Airbnbs between the beaches and sierras of Valencia.
Airbnb is legal in Valencia. As a traveler, you have zero restrictions on what you can book and where you can book. So, go right ahead and start a-hunting for that stylish pad in the heart of El Carmen or your beachside retreat out by the Mediterranean Sea. Just be ready to pay local tourist taxes and present your passport upon check in.
All owners must now be registered with local authorities to use Airbnb, while tighter restrictions and more meticulous checks mean that fewer and fewer permits are being issued each year. You can check everything’s in order by looking for a property’s license number displayed in its Airbnb listing, or simply contact your prospective host before you reserve.
Where should I stay in Valencia Airbnb?
You might want to begin your adventures in Valencia in the historic core of the city, which includes districts like El Carmen(1) – a moody and beautiful quarter with fizzing nightlife – and the Barrio La Seu(2) – home to majestic pieces of architecture like the Valencia Cathedral. South of those is the onetime slum of Ruzafa(3) that’s now the main hipster district. Further west is El Cabanyal (4), with its salty promenades and soft-sand beaches. Finally, Alameda(5) offers up the town’s premier cultural draws and museums, making it a top spot for family visitors.
Beautiful architecture, everywhere you look
The most touristy part of town
Loud at night
El Carmen is the best-known of the barrios within the Ciutat Vella old town of Valencia. Atmospheric and steeped in history, it’s a patchwork of cobbled alleys that lead to shadowy plazas filled with cafés. The medieval-era gatehouses of Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart still stand tall to mark the place where the ancient walls of the town once rose. They’re balanced out by a hubbub of bumping clubs and tapas bars and sidewalk cafés that are always brimming with chatting locals and visitors alike.
Not a street will go by in Barrio La Seu where you don’t go reaching for the camera. This is the oldest corner of the old town, a part of the city where weathered slab stones testify to centuries and centuries of habitation. The anchor of the district is mighty Valencia Cathedral, considered to be a masterwork of Gothic building with a twist of the arabesque about it. In the squares around that, expect to find a hodgepodge of delicatessens and souvenir touts, offering everything from novelty magnets to snow globes to Spanish olive oil.
Ruzafa is the shabby-chic hipster district of central Valencia. There was a time when tourists wouldn’t even dream of setting foot in this gritty corner of town, but now it seems there’s an artisanal baker’s or vintage clothes emporium or – even better news – a boutique Airbnb on every corner. In the mix of Art Deco frontispieces and painted Spanish casas that line the streets, you can expect to see jazz bars and flower-strewn al fresco eating areas. There’s also a good showing of farmer’s markets and an energetic nightlife scene that revolves around live music and craft beer.
With Valencia’s sandy Mediterranean beaches on one side and metro lines that whizz straight back to the old town on the other, El Cabanyal is a top option for holidaymakers on the hunt for a taste of the sea. Fish kitchens and fancy cocktail bars abound where the district – once a conglomeration of sailor’s cottages – meets the water’s edge, on a palm-topped promenade that buzzes with life from May to October. Go back a few blocks and you can find quiet streets filled with charming Airbnbs, seafood markets and Spanish cafeterias tucked amid the pretty casas.
The main cultural attractions of the city are here
Good links to the rest of town
Great for families
Not very atmospheric
Not a huge selection of Airbnbs
The area known as Alameda is centred on the beautiful Turia Gardens – a parkland that was once the bed of the River Turia. All first-time visitors to Valencia should have the district on their radar, because it’s home to the striking Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (the City of Arts and Sciences), which is surely the most iconic modern construction in town and hosts enthralling art exhibits, aquariums, and vast opera houses. On top of that, it’s well-linked to the beach and the old town, and has some attractive family-sized Airbnbs.
Built and designed by a local architect, this lovely inner-city flat is a taste of rustic Spain that oozes history from its exposed-brick walls and exposed-beam ceilings. A twist of Scandinavian-style furnishing finishes the place off, while that island kitchen and breakfast bar makes it a great spot for entertaining. The location is fantastic – you’ll be right on the edge of the historic core of Valencia.
Small, compact and easy on the travel budget, this cute casa in the seaside district of El Cabanyal gets you within five minutes’ walking of the main beach in Valencia. You’ll have a tight-knit but cosy lounge to snuggle up in after days of hitting the waves and the seafood eateries, along with two separate bedrooms made up of a double and two single beds.
Keep the creature comforts of home on your trip to Valencia by opting to take the family to this modern apartment. It’s completely refurbished in contemporary styles, with a minimalist kitchen that includes a communal breakfast bar. There are also three bedrooms with space enough for up to eight guests across the property. Services abound – think free Wi-Fi, air conditioning throughout and bedding included.
Inject some Spanish sun and relaxation into that city break to Valencia by taking the whole group to this luxurious and sprawling villa. It’s close to the beating heart and promenade of El Cabanyal, which means the beach is right on the doorstep. But you might not need the sands, what with that private pool and garden even closer to home. The capacity is set at a max of 16 people across five ensuite bedrooms.
This designer loft space is every inch the sort of cool abode you’d expect from the hipster Ruzafa district. Wood-look floors and toned-down Scandi furnishings run throughout the kitchen and lounge, before spilling out onto a breezy balcony that lets you enjoy people watching from morning until night. Being in Ruzafa means you’ll have cafés, bakeries, galleries, and ethnic eats galore the moment you step outside, too.
Choosing an Airbnb in Valencia might just mean you have a few extra euros in the wallet for those nights of sangria and paella between the great cathedral and buzzing streets of Ruzafa. Not only do nightly rates in these sorts of lettings tend to be a tad lower than classic hotels, but you can save even more by sharing larger apartments or homes with everyone in your travel group. And it doesn’t end there, because it’s normal for long-stay customers to get considerable reductions on Airbnbs, sometimes to the tune of 50% or more!
Naturally, an Airbnb doesn’t offer the same sort of hands-on service that a hotel does. To get that famous Spanish welcome, a lobby bar for your evening cerveza, and frills like daily housekeeping, you might prefer something like the chic Vincci Lys Hotel. It nestles in the lovely old town area of the city, boasting a fabulous rooftop terrace and a sumptuous breakfast buffet to boot.
Valencia beckons travelers with outstanding science and arts exhibits, a beautiful old town crowned by a mighty Gothic cathedral, and some of the tastiest dishes in Spain (paella was born here, you know!). Oh, and all that’s topped off by a fantastic selection of Airbnbs that hide between the ancient alleys, the beachfront, and the hip coffee bars.