Valencia districts: El Carmen in Valencia city center Ciutat Vella

district el carmen in valencia

District El Carmen in Valencia

In the series “the districts of Valencia” we start of course in the old town, ´la Ciutat Vella´, in the heart of the center of Valencia city. The Ciutat Vella is the first district and divided into six districts, of which the district El Carmen in Valencia is the largest and best known of the old town.

No Ciutat Vella without district El Carmen in Valencia

Scouring the Mercado Central for fresh products on a warm Saturday morning. Wander endlessly for hours through the many winding streets. Take pictures of all the street art in El Carmen. Visit one of the many antique shops or simply sit for hours on the Plaza de La Virgen or the Plaza Colegio Patriarca with, not unimportantly, a cold drink in hand. Anyone who gets to know Valencia better cannot avoid the Ciutat Vella.

Valencia old town

The Ciutat Vella is the heart of the city of Valencia; the historic center. “Ciutat Vella” literally means old town in Valencian. And that is exactly what the Ciutat Vella of Valencia is; a real old Spanish city as you would expect a real old Spanish city to be. It is the area between the train station (Estación del Norte), the bullfighting ring Plaza de Torros, the shopping street Calle Colon, the 10 kilometer long Turia, the city gates Torres de Serranos and the Torres de Quart.

The district itself is divided into different sub-districts. Of these, El Carmen (located directly below the Turia) and the Mercat (the area around the Mercado Central) are the most famous. The Ciutat Vella has become one of the most vibrant and hip tourist old town centers in Europe. And this of course for a reason.

Why invest in district El Carmen in Valencia

Where prices in El Carmen are currently still not what they once were and with a still rising trend, it is very interesting to invest in the vibrant old center of Valencia. More about real estate prices later. First, a few good reasons to permanently fall in love with the old Valencian city center and the district El Carmen in Valencia in particular.

The historic buildings are simply breathtaking

While the other districts of Valencia mainly have many restaurants and bars, the historic buildings are mostly located in the old town. And we can tell you: they are beautiful.

Take for example the cathedral of Valencia located on the Plaza de la Reina. The cathedral dates from the thirteenth century. Climb the Micalet tower and you have a beautiful view of the whole city. Remember, not recommended in the height of summer. Or in that case, bring enough water for your trip up.

Or take the Lonja de la Seda located next to the equally beautiful central market, the Mercado Central. In the fifteenth century, silk fabrics were traded in La Lonja de la Seda. The silk exchange has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1996. And that says enough.

Or visit the hidden stained glass church called Iglesia de San Nicolás.
And do not forget the many museums such as the Museo Nacional de Cerámica (the ceramics museum). Beautiful on the outside and impressive on the inside.

Rich gastronomy in district El Carmen in Valencia

By that we mean that the quality of the restaurants in the old town (and actually in Valencia in general) is extremely good. Of course you have to know the right places. Because in addition to the beautiful, but also touristic squares such as Plaza de La Reina and Plaza de la Virgen and the adjacent restaurants, there are many good and sometimes even better restaurants in the old town that you as a tourist do not know about. In the Ciutat Vella you will find restaurants in all kinds of styles. From American to Asian, but of course also a lot of typically Spanish.

In El Carmen it is precisely the little gems hidden in a small street or square where you can really be surprised. The quality, the price, but especially with what passion the most delicious food is made and presented.

A few of our favorite restaurants:

  • Tinto Vino Ultramarino
    a combination of Spanish and Italian tapas
    Address: Carrer de la Corretgeria 38
  • Le Favole
    If you want something different than Spanish tapas and are in the mood for a tasty Italian
    Address: Carrer de l’Hedra 5
  • Bodega La Rentaora
    Delicious Spanish tapas and dine amongst the Spaniards. A hidden gem.
    Address: Plaça de Mossén Sorell 11
  • Taberna el Olivo
    Another gem located around the corner from La Rentaora. Especially nice to sit on the terrace in the summer
    Address: Carrer del Pintor Fillol, 1
  • La Comisaria
    With only a small number of tables and an open kitchen, it is truly a very special place
    Address: Plaça de l’Arbre 5
  • Vuelve Carolina
    One of the restaurants of star chef Quique Dacosta located next to the El Ayuntamiento (town hall) square
    Address: Carrer de Correus 8
  • Tobiko
    In Valencia, just like in any big city, you will find a wide range of delicious sushi restaurants, of which Tobiko is certainly one of them.
    Address: Carrer de Boix 6

The above restaurants are just a selection from the range, but they are certainly all worthwhile for a nice long dinner. Don’t forget to make a reservation.

The urban vibe of El Carmen

Over the past 10 years, El Carmen has developed into a modern and artistic district. This also to attract a slightly younger target group. About 10 years ago, El Carmen was a place you didn’t always like to visit. But a lot has been invested to make the city center the lively place it is today. El Carmen is a neighborhood of small streets where many artists have indulged themselves on the walls between the traditional facades. You will find a lot of street art. You can even book a walking tour to see all the urban art.

El Carmen also has a pleasant nightlife. This is mainly located around Plaza Negrito, Plaza Tossal and Calle Caballeros. In El Carmen you will not find large discotheques, but mainly dance cafes. These open earlier than the Spanish night clubs and also close earlier. There is always a good vibe in El Carmen on weekends and actually throughout the week.

El Carmen good investment potential

In addition to the above facts that make the old town of Valencia a very special place, we will of course come back to the property. We briefly mentioned that prices are very attractive throughout Valencia. Certainly also the prices in Ciutat Vella, the old center. If you compare the real estate prices with those of the center in Madrid and Barcelona, the prices in Valencia are not even half that of the bigger brothers.

Real estate figures of El Carmen

The prices of real estate in the old city center have currently (April 2020) increased on average by 3.6% compared to the beginning of 2019. Furthermore, house prices here are still about 11% lower than they have ever been before the crisis. If we look specifically at the El Carmen district, for example, we see that prices there have dropped by 5.6% compared to February 2019. This will partly be due to the current limitation that you can no longer get a tourist rental permit in El Carmen. This officially applies to the entire old town, but unofficially actually applies to the whole of Valencia city. This limitation has caused investors to move to other areas for the tourist rental.

Nevertheless, it certainly remains interesting, because the demand for medium and long-term rentals is still high. The old center of Valencia will always keep its value. There will always be a demand from people to buy or rent here, both short and long term. El Carmen is certainly a popular place to stay, especially among young people and students. We expect prices to rise again here. For comparison, just look at the prices of the suburb El Mercat located directly on El Carmen. In a year’s time, house prices there have increased by 23.7% from February 2019!
Below some more details.

Valencia Old town – prijs change per m2

vastgoedprijzen el carmen valencia


Roughly speaking, we therefore assume an average price of 2837 euros per square meter in the old city center. Of course still entirely dependent on the condition and location of the house. This can sometimes even cause major differences at street level.
Furthermore, in the following table you can see what prices have done before, per district of the Ciutat Vella district.

Valencia Old town – price change per neighborhood


Discover the Valencia old city center

Even though prices are still favorable and the Ciutat Vella of Valencia is rightfully one of the most beautiful old city centers in Spain, the old town is certainly not suitable for everyone as a place to live. You mainly need to know where to look.

Because there are many small streets in El Carmen, for example, this automatically means that the houses are closer together. In any case, we always advise our customers to look for an apartment located on a high floor that provides sufficient daylight.

We can of course also tell you exactly in which streets it will remain pleasantly busy in the evening for a little longer than in other, more quiet streets. After all, we all want to be able to sleep well at the end of the day. But everything depends on your personal preferences.

El Carmen district Valencia

Dream Properties Valencia is of course happy to help you in the search for a dream apartment in El Carmen in this wonderful and unique city center of Valencia. We can advise you where to buy, the advantages and disadvantages and help you to discover this beautiful old town from real estate point of view. We have access to the full range of properties and are happy to help you find your dream property.

More informaton? Feel free to contact us and we are happy to help you or visit this informative website.
Or want to know more about the other districts of Valencia.


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