If you read the international press articles about visiting or moving to Valencia you could be forgiven for thinking that there is just one place to be, Ruzafa. Every article written in the last few years about the city of Valencia has mentioned Ruzafa as the place to be, to buy and to visit. It’s hip, it’s trendy, it’s happening and it has cakes like these.
Ruzafa has various advantages over certain other areas that make it a logical place to be the hottest property scene in the city. Firstly it’s cosmopolitan. Ruzafa has always been a place where foreigners coming into the city congregated, The name is derived from the Arabic for “Garden” and that’s because it was, a garden for the Arabic prince Abd-Allah al Balans and his palace. Ruzafa has had its ups and downs over the years and as a result during the downs it has been a place close to the centre which was much cheaper for people to buy. In the early 2000’s it developed a small Chinatown which has now migrated largely to La Roqueta and an influx of South American workers and younger Brits and Northern Europeans often working in IT and education. In the last decade since the financial crisis it has become the de facto home to the more artistic and bohemian parts of Valencian society and young north European hipsters looking to find Soho in the Sun.
And boy have they found it!
Ruzafa is now full of excellent coffee bars, cake shops, bike rental shops, vintage clothes shops, art galleries gathered around the deceptively excellent Ruzafa market and it is totally unspoilt by any chain stores, apart from a couple of supermarkets, meaning it has a quaint olde worlde feel whilst being at the centre of boho culture. Ruzafa is the place where you can be sitting enjoying your Skinny Latte and hearing six or seven different languages discussing business ventures in a cafe only fitting about 20 people (Yes I am looking at you Bluebell Coffee on Calle Buenos Aires 3) Ruzafa is the place where cake culture is the norm. Spanish bakery products are usually pretty meh! Not in Ruzafa. The excellent Dulce de Leche and the second coming of La Más Bonita invite you to excess yourself. And for those with a little bit of intolerance the superb Celia Cruz is all gluten free. For all of us Lefties there is the Communist Society Cafe on Literato Azorín 15 right next to the brilliant Ubik. For me the Communist Society Cafe wins for having the best terrace in Ruzafa but Ubik is a literary heaven if slightly loud due to the kids’ play area inside. Loads of books to browse, read and buy and great selection of beers.
If there is one thing which is complained about in Ruzafa it is the might of AirBnB. The constant sound of the wheels of people’s luggage echoes through the area at all times of day and the popularity of short term rentals is pushing up the prices in the area massively and making it difficult to find long term rentals to live in. If you want a secure long term rental then buy a place in Ruzafa, demand is huge.
But what if you want something different, something not covered in the international press for example? Where can you find a bit of the Ruzafa vibe where prices haven’t risen by around 25% so far this year? Let’s just give you four suggestions for other excellent areas of Valencia that are less well known but still excellent places to live or buy and rent out, have a great feeling about them and mostly are cheaper per square metre than Ruzafa without giving up the conveniences and joys of city life. If you want Ruzafa then try this, this, this, this and particularly this property for a start.
Long known as a student favourite, Benimaclet was previously a village surrounded by fields enveloped in urban development years ago but retaining its character and streets of two floor terraced houses around the church square in its centre. Near to the Universities, both football grounds, the ring road for quickly getting around and criss crossed by the metro and bike lanes you can get into the city through the superb Viveros park past the tennis club and it is an exquisitely maintained area with some excellent hidden gem bars and restaurants with a thriving arts scene. Property in the heart of Benimaclet comes onto the market rarely but the apartments that surround it offer good alternatives and if you are in this for rental possibility then students love it here.
Football, art house cinemas, restaurants, the Turia riverbed and a combination of modern and early twentieth century facades, Mestalla/Aragón is a short hop across the riverbed from Ensanche and prices vary in property from very high, in the newer blocks which often have shared pools and gyms, to the older, usually walk up (No lift) properties towards Ayora and Cardenal Benlloch. (You might want to wander a tad further east to Ayora and get absolute bargains within touching distance too but it is not as hip and happening)
The area to the west of Avenida Fernando El Catolico centred around the Abastos Market building (Now a sports centre, school and police station, Arrancapins is on the up. Juan Llorens is a young people’s night out Mecca, the area surrounding Abastos is full of cool cafes, “menu del día” bars and more supermarkets and Chinese everything shops than you can shake a stick at but property tends to be a tad less “Guapo”. The buildings are largely post Spanish Civil War although there are some lovely examples of 30’s facades hidden in the soulless expressionism of Francoist housing plans. A short walk from the centre and of course like almost everywhere in Valencia just ten minutes to the riverbed, Arrancapins is topped off by the grandeur of Fernando el Católico with properties such as this, recently reduced in price and looking forward to your visits.
The poor relation of Ruzafa, you get a lot more for your money in Monteolivete and find yourself between the City of Arts and Sciences and the Old Town while having the Turia riverbed park to hand. Again the facades are usually classical but a lot of the property has not been restored. Facades tend to need a lick of paint but inside, ceilings are high, spaces are large and families live happily served by excellent public transport and bike tracks. Those in the know are getting in there now, city living at an affordable price with everything to hand, and, I don’t know whether it’s just me but, it seems to have the highest concentration of fruit and veg shops in the city.
Oh and you have this right by you! Not bad for an opera house. Impressive isn’t it.
So there you have a few options if the hipster central vibe of Ruzafa doesn’t do it for you. We can get properties for you in all of these areas using our Bespoke Property Finding Service, (Click the link to tell us more about what you want) remember we have many more properties than those you will find on our website available but at the same time there is always some excellent stuff there too. Take a look and contact us with your requirements. We have a great strike rate for finding people exactly what they are looking for. Our experience and knowledge is unrivalled.