Russafa, Valencia – A Full Guide

Russafa, Valencia – the city’s trendiest neighborhood. What used to be a small agricultural town has turned into Valencia’s hub for gastronomy, nightlife, and exciting adventures. Read through this full-length Russafa guide to learn more about where to stay, things to do, the best places to eat, and must-know tips for travelers and nomads alike! 

A Guide to Russafa

Come visit one of Valencia’s best neighborhoods – Russafa. This eclectic area has the small-town charm with all the big-city conveniences. 

Located just 10-15 minutes away from the Old Town, it’s one of the most popular areas for both tourists and people moving to Valencia. Russafa is an obvious choice for lodging in Valencia. 

So if you’re coming to the city for a few days, let’s go over everything you need to know about Russafa. Valencia is densely filled with hidden gems and things to do, so let’s go over them! 

History

Let’s talk a little bit about this relatively small neighborhood. It’s nestled within l’Eixample district and has certainly made a name for itself over the years. 

It was its own municipality up until 1877, when the City of Valencia annexed it. 

The origins of Russafa come from the times of Moorish rule over the areas. The prince Abd-Al·lah al-Balansí built a palace here in the 9th century. The garden-filled palace and area was named after another palace he owned near the city of Damascus. 

The town’s history is filled with major events and agricultural importance. So while these days, Russafa is often synonymous with gentrification, it has been a crucial part of the Valencian Country’s history.  

Russafa or Ruzafa? 

In Valencia, the official name for places, streets, and public entities is always in Valencian (which makes sense). 

This means that the only official name is Russafa

So even though you might see Ruzafa written in many places – technically it’s not the real name. 

Ruzafa, Valencia is the Spanish translation for the name of the neighborhood.  But since this blog is dedicated to everything Valencian, then we’ll stick to the official name. 

Plus, Russafa is easier for English-speakers to say, anyway 😉.  

Things to see and do in Russafa

Russafa isn’t the most monumental part of the city. In other words, there aren’t as many museums or enormous palaces to visit. 

However, Russafa does have a lot of history and charm. This is exactly why it’s become one of the trendiest neighborhoods

So here are the best things to do in Russafa, Valencia:

Admire the Streets

It may not be original, but it’s sure to be a hit. Walk around the main streets in the neighborhood and enjoy the colorful façades, decorative buildings, and lively atmosphere. 

 In my opinion, the buildings that line this neighborhood are what make it so memorable. Even after living here for years, I always find myself staring upwards when I’m walking around. 

So if you have some time on your itinerary, take a relaxing stroll through Russafa. 

Head to the Mercat de Russafa

Far away from the Mercat Central in the heart of the Ciutat Vella, you have the iconic Russafa Market. 

The building’s exterior contrasts strongly with the rest of the surrounding architecture. But it still incorporates the bright and colorful palette. 

Head inside and you’ll get to experience some of the more traditional flavors. From local fruit stands to cheesemongers and bakeries – you’ll find a little bit of everything. 

The Mercat de Russafa is much less touristic than the Mercat Central, so you’ll be able to find some more authentic vendors. Although, like any trending neighborhood — you’ll also get some international flavors to try as well. 

See the Casa Jueua (Casa Judía)

Just outside the bounds of the neighborhood, you’ll find one of Valencia’s most interesting buildings. 

The Casa Jueua (The Jewish House) is a symbol of the Valencian Art Deco style. Built in the 1930s, it’s a colorful and eclectic building that you shouldn’t miss. 

The house gets its name from the Star of David that hangs overtop the entrance. And while it was used by the Jewish community for many years, the style itself takes inspiration from Arabic, Indian, and Art Deco designs. 

If you’re interested in culture, history, and architecture – this is one of the most famous buildings in Russafa to see. So head over to C. de Castelló, 20 to snap a picture with thsi architectural wonder. 

Walk by Convent La Nostra Senyora dels Àngels

Take a quick step back in history at the Convent La Nostra Senyora dels Àngels. While it might not be the most monumental stop in your Valencia adventure, it’s a great spot for a quick history lesson. 

In this spot where there is now a humble convent, one of the most important events in Valencian history took place. 

Here, King James I officially accepted the surrender of the Moorish ruler Zayan. This marked the finale of the reconquest of Valencia in 1238. 

So if you’re a history lover – take a quick walk by the convent and take a look at the commemorative plaque. You could consider this to be the birthplace of modern Valencia.

Enjoy Artisanal Beer

The craft beer bars are one of the main reasons why I head over to Russafa! Valencia isn’t well-known for its breweries, but in this neighborhood you can find a refreshing artisanal scene. 

While just about any bar in the city will have the typical selection, many spots in Russafa have a wider offering. 

So if you’re a beer aficionado, you’ll want to check out this area of the city. 

Tap here to jump down to my recommendations for bars in Russafa.  

Parc Central

The biggest green space in this section of the city is the Parc Central. 

With playgrounds, fountains, and plenty of sports areas – it’s a lovely breath of fresh air in the chaos of the city. 

If you want to see some greenery, especially in the springtime – the Parc Central is definitely worth the visit. However, if you’re short on time, I’d recommend heading to the Jardins del Túria instead. 

But the Parc Central is a must-know for anybody who wants to live in Russafa. 

Experiences in Russafa

Want to immerse yourself in some out-of-the-ordinary experiences in Russafa?

Valencia is full of exciting things to do. So if you’re spending some time in this trendy neighborhood, here are some unique experiences to spice up your adventure:

Food Tour

Gastronomic tourism is one of my favorite ways to travel! Tasting new flavors, learning new ways to cook, and exploring culture through my taste buds!

Russafa has a couple of food tours that I can recommend for tourists and nomads alike. 

If you’re in Russafa, Valencia’s best food tour is this Paella Cooking Class

You’ll get:

  • A trip to the Russafa Market
  • A homemade Sangria workshop
  • Tapas and drinks included
  • A complete Paella Valenciana cooking experience 
  • Typical salad, fruit, and dessert included

It’s one of the highest-rated tours, which is why I list it as the best experience in Russafa

And yes – they offer it in English. 

If you’re a vegetarian and want something similar, check out this veggie paella tour instead. 

Axe Throwing

Want a truly memorable travel experience? 

Get your adrenaline pumping with this Axe Throwing session. It’s become one of the most popular activities ever since they launched a few years ago. 

El Hachazo is the best place in Russafa for an axe-llent evening. 

While it’s certainly not your most culturally-relevant activity, it is a great option for anyone looking for something different to do. Since it can be difficult to find activities that don’t involve eating or drinking, this is a great option for a fun and alternative afternoon. 

Karaoke

Want a lively, musical night? Take advantage of one of the best things to do in Russafa – Karaoke! 

Whether you’re a show-stopper in a crowded bar or someone that prefers something more intimate, you’ll find the right spot in Russafa. 

My favorite spot for Karaoke in Russafa is Lost Russafa.

They offer private rooms for you and your friends. With different themed rooms, it’s perfect for you to choose your own music. 

Personally – karaoke is something that makes me cringe even thinking about it. But since you have private rooms with just your friends, I had a great time when I went to Lost for my Bachelor’s party! 

So this one comes highly recommended! 

Tandems

Want to learn some Valencian while you’re in the city? 

One of the best ways to do it is with a language tandem! Many of the bars in the city encourage tandem nights. 

You’ll head in and get a sticker with the language you speak, plus the one you want to learn! Then you just walk around, make friends, and practice a new language. 

It’s a fun and social way to immerse yourself on your Valencia trip!

Here are a few bars in Russafa that offer tandems:

  • Pub Big Ben (Mondays and Thursdays, 20:30)
  • Cafe Berlin (Mondays, 20:00)
  • La Catrina Cocktails & Rock (20:30)

You can also use the app Tandem to look for other language partners. 

Escape Room (Kronos)

Want to work on your puzzle-solving and teamwork skills?

Head over to the Cronos Escape Room in Russafa. They offer an English-language experience so you can enjoy an escape room without any language barriers! 

This is a fun experience for friends and families, especially if you’re spending extra time in the city. 

You can choose from 6 different adventures, each of them completely different. They average around €15 per person, which means it’s not an expensive way to spend the evening, either. 

So if you want a unique way to enjoy Russafa, Valencia gives you the Cronos Escape Room! Just make sure to book in advance!

Where to stay in Russafa

You can’t have a Russafa guide without talking about accommodations

So if you’re coming to spend a few nights in Russafa, there are going to be tons of options. Here are my top recommendations for where to stay in Russafa:

Those are going to be the best hotels and hostels to stay at in Russafa. 

However, if they sell out or don’t have availability for your dates – let’s talk about a few tips to make sure you get the best experience. 

Tips for finding accommodations in Russafa, Valencia

  1. Stick towards the center. It might be tempting to stay towards the Parc Central, but I don’t recommend it for tourists. 
  2. Make reservations early. Russafa is in high demand, so plan your trip in advance! 
  3. Bring your ID. Both hotels and Airbnbs are legally required to document who is staying with them – and charge a small tourist tax. 
  4. Know your price range. Around €100 per night is the norm for most mid-budget lodgings. This will go up during Les Falles. 
  5. Pay attention to how you’ll get there. Will you need a taxi? Can you take the metro? If you’re coming with luggage, make sure to check this out.   

Where to eat in Russafa

Valencia’s restaurant scene is alive and well. Russafa is known for having a huge range of restaurants, both traditional and modern. 

So whether you’re looking for an authentic bite or you want to try something with an international flare, you’ll find it in Russafa. 

Here are some of the best restaurants in Russafa, Valencia:

Canalla Bistro

Head over to a restaurant owned by a household name — Ricard Camarena. This Michelin-starred chef is one of the most well-known creatives in the culinary world. 

This restaurant offers a modern twist to traditional tapas. So if you’re looking for a contemporary experience with a more intimate setting, then this is a great option. 

While Canalla Bistro doesn’t have a Michelin star, it’s still one of the best restaurants in the city. This makes it perfect for anyone looking for a date night while exploring Russafa.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to make a reservation! 

La Casa Viva

In one of the most important streets in Russafa, you’ll find this vegetarian-friendly restaurant. From vegan lasagna to vegetarian tapas, it’s the perfect place for people with dietary restrictions! 

They also have a huge outdoor dining area, which makes it perfect for a relaxing dinner experience. 

Maui

Maui is a simple, Mediterranean-style restaurant that’s always a great choice. They offer a varied, unpretentious menu with options for any tastebud. 

If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or just want a safe bet – this is a great spot to try! 

Copenhagen

Copenhagen is another one of my favorite restaurants in Russafa. While the menu is completely vegetarian – it’s one of those places that will make anyone happy! 

I highly recommend it as a great place for dinner. With both indoor and outdoor seating, it’s a great choice for any time of the year, as well. 

Just make sure to make a reservation! It’s one of the most popular places in town. 

Mare Meua

The perfect spot for anyone looking for tapas in Russafa! It’s the perfect spot for tasty tapas and great drinks. 

So if you want something light or just want to try plenty of different flavors, then this is a great option. They offer both traditional and contemporary recipes, so there’s something here for everyone. 

Zalamero

Discover traditional Valencian flavors with a contemporary flair. 

Zalamero is dedicated to making some of the best coques in town. This sweet or savory dishes are made with a tasty dough, then topped with fresh local ingredients. 

You can’t come to Valencia without trying a coca, so make sure to add this place to your list! 

Cafés in Russafa

Need to grab a coffee in Russafa? Looking for a sweet snack? 

Luckily, this side of town has plenty of great café’s to try out. So whether you just want your morning brew, or you need a tasty berenar (afternoon snack), there are plenty of options. 

Here is a list of some of the most famous cafe’s in Russafa. Naturally, you can head over to any traditional bakery for snacks on the go. 

But if you want to sit down and savor your treats, here are my top recommendations:

Dulce de Leche

DDL is by far my favorite café in Russafa. 

They have a HUGE selection of sweets and a few savory options as well. This tends to be my go-to choice when I head out with friends. 

Before you go: Know that DDL gets CROWDED. Especially on the weekends, you might need to do some waiting.  

La Más Bonita

La Más Bonita is another great option for a berenar. Here, you’ll get very generous slices of cakes. So if you have a big sweet tooth – this is the perfect spot. 

They also have a breakfast menu that’s reasonably priced. So if you need a reliable breakfast spot in Russafa, this is a great option. 

Personally, I’ve never gone for breakfast. But if it’s as good as their berenar selection, then it’s also highly recommendable!

Café Ubik

Café Ubik is the perfect spot for book lovers and coffee enthusiasts. The book store/coffee shop is ideal for anyone who wants to relax for a bit and do some reading. 

So if you’re a bookworm or you want to get some souvenirs for back home, this is the spot for you. 

They also offer snacks, including some vegan options. Personally, I found the vegan options to be a bit dry. But the coffee is delicious and the atmosphere is super cozy! 

Bluebell Coffee Roasters

Bluebell is another one of the best coffee shops in Russafa. This roastery is known for their commitment to quality, sustainability, and fair-trade practices. 

The café has a friendly, welcoming interior. So it’s perfect if you need to come sit down for a bit and rest your legs. 

If you’re looking to support some women-led local business, then this is the spot to get your brew! 

Where to get a drink in Russafa

Looking for some great bars in Russafa? Valencia has a huge bar scene, and Russafa is definitely a contender for the best area. 

You’ll find classic, low-priced bars on just about every street corner. 

But if you’re looking for something a bit more interesting – here are my favorite places to get a drink in Russafa:

Olhöps Craft Beer

There are two locations for Olhöps in Russafa, and both of them are great! 

This brewery has a fairly wide selection of beers. Especially for Valencia, which isn’t known for having a lot of variety. 

Olhöps is usually my go-to spot when hanging out with friends, as they have a little bit of something for everyone. 

The bar is laid-back. So if you want something simple, relaxing, and not too rowdy, this is one of the best options. 

Bukowski

Bukowski is similar to Olhöps in both style and offerings. 

It’s a great place to unwind with its chill atmosphere and wide beer selection. If you want to go do some bar hopping, it’s also just about 5 minutes away from Olhöps, so that’s always an option! 

The only downside to Bukowski is that there isn’t much outdoor seating. But if you want to get out of the sun for a while, then this is a great spot. 

Delorean Lounge

Delorean Lounge is one of the most famous places to get a drink in Russafa. They have a more lively scene and better cocktails than beers. 

It’s also one of the largest bars in Russafa, so if you’re coming with a big group – this could be a convenient option. 

Sometimes they’ll have live music and events as well. So if you’re looking for a bit more action, then I’d head over to Delorean! 

Ruzanuvol

Ruzanuvol is another trendy bar in Russafa. This Italian-style pub offers artisanal beer and tasty food. 

If you’re close to the Russafa Market, then this is option is close by. 

Personally – I haven’t been here (yet). But I have heard positive reviews from some friends. There’s a lot to discover in Valencia, and this bar is still high up on my list! 

Café Berlin

If you want cocktails in Russafa – Café Berlin is the place to go. 

It’s one of the only places in the city where you can get unique cocktails. Because while just about any bar will serve you a Gin & Tonic or a Rum & Coke, Café Berlin goes the extra mile. 

The bar has an artsy interior, a diverse drink menu, and lots of events. 

Plus – they offer language exchanges on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30! 

Clubs in Russafa

You’ve had some drinks, and now you’re ready for some real nightlife. 

Let’s talk about the best clubs in Russafa

Valencia has a pretty big nightlife. It might not be as big as Barcelona, but you’ll still have plenty of places to enjoy your all-night party. 

In Valencia, most people don’t start going to clubs until at least 1 am. So if you’re planning on enjoying the nightlife – and you’re not used to that schedule – make sure to drink some coffee beforehand! 

So let’s look at the best clubs in Russafa, Valencia. 

Piccadilly

Piccadilly is my favorite club in Valencia. And there is a big reason for that – 

You get to choose your own music. 

Head downstairs, put on some neon headphones, and listen to the music you want. 

Piccadilly usually has 4 music channels. So you sync your headphones to one of the channels, and your headphones light up with a specific color. This way, you can find other people who are listening to the same music as you. 

It’s perfect for mixed groups or people who want more control over the music (like I do). 

The Silent Disco venue usually costs €10 to enter – which includes one drink. So it’s also not overly priced! 

Xtra Large

Xtra Large is a unique club with 2 different rooms. 

From cultural events during the day to all-night-long partying, this eclectic venue has something for everything. 

It’s one of the most popular clubs in Russafa, with pop, rock, and urban music. 

Oven Club

Oven Club is right on the main avenue in Valencia, so you can’t miss it. 

This club has a wider range of music, with different DJs throughout the week. They have a dance club section, as well as a more laid-back area with more ambient music.

So if you want to head out for some drinking, but aren’t a fan of dancing – you have your pick. 

Látex

Látex is the place for funk, house, and electronic music in Russafa. 

It’s one of the best clubs in Russafa to spend your Friday nights. Just remember that they’re only open on Friday and Saturday night. So if you want to head out during the week, you’ll have to try out the other clubs. 

Russafa (Valencia) Tips

Let’s finish off this Russafa Guide with a few tips and tricks to make the most of your stay. 

Because if you’re planning on staying in Russafa, there are a few things you should keep in mind. So let’s jump into my top tips for Russafa.

And if you want more tips for your trip to Valencia, check out this full guide

Russafa Market is Closed on Sundays

This is super important to know, especially if you’re only planning on visiting for the weekend. 

The Russafa Market, as well as most markets in the city, are going to be closed on Sunday. So if you want to check out the fresh produce and local specialities, make sure you do it on Saturday!

Make Reservations When You Can

This is especially true if you’re coming on the weekend. It’s generally a good idea to make reservations for restaurants. 

Russafa is a trendy area, so most restaurants will fill up quickly. So make sure to book online or call to make a reservation. 

This isn’t necessary for bars or cafés, but I generally recommend making reservations for lunch or dinner

No Parking

If you’re coming by car – just know that Russafa is notoriously difficult for cars

Unless you’re a full-time resident, there is almost nowhere to park in all of Russafa. You’ll either need to park in another neighborhood or in the dedicated garages. And those car parks tend to be expensive. 

So if you’re coming to Russafa, I’d recommend using the public transport over renting a car if possible. 

Easiest to Get Here by Taxi from the Airport

If you’re coming straight to your lodging from the airport, I’d actually recommend grabbing a taxi rather than using the metro. 

The reason for this is because Russafa (unfortunately) isn’t very well connected. Your closest metro station from the Airport is going to be the one in Xàtiva. There is a metro station in Russafa, but it doesn’t have a direct line to the airport as of 2023.

So depending on where your hotel is, you may end up walking 15 minutes with your luggage. 

So if you’re coming with lots of luggage – I’d suggest a taxi

But if you’re coming with just a backpack, then this isn’t necessarily a problem.

Lights in Falles

If you’re planning on visiting Valencia during Les Falles – Russafa is one of the most exciting areas of the city. 

With some of the biggest Falles commissions and a very lively atmosphere, it’s a really fun area. 

Plus, the entire neighborhood sets up light shows throughout specific streets. It varies every year, but typically you’ll see light shows on these streets:

  • Carrer de Cuba
  • Carrer de Sueca
  • Carrer de Literato Azorin 

Plus some other streets as well. Make sure to check the updated Falles schedule each year. But regardless – Russafa is a safe bet for anyone who wants some excitement during this time of year. 

The official Falles dates are always March 14th – 19th. However, basically the entire first half of the month has a lively atmosphere. Just remember, if you’re looking for peace and quiet – this isn’t the time for it. 

Only 1 Metro Line

Currently, Russafa is only accessible by metro Line 5

This means that the metro service isn’t super convenient here at the moment. There are plans to expand it in the future. But for now, you’ll either need to take a bus, go to the Xàtiva station, or get around by foot. 

Which, in case you were worried – you absolutely can get around by foot in Russafa. Valencia is a very pedestrian-friendly city, so you don’t need to take public transport if you don’t want to. 

I usually only take the public transport if the weather is uncomfortable or if I’m just really tired. Otherwise, I generally prefer walking. 

Find More Travel Resources

Hopefully this Russafa guide helps you take advantage of the charm and liveliness of this Valencia neighborhood. 

If you ever have any questions or want some advice – just reach out (really!). I’m always happy to help. 

If you’re planning to stay in Russafa, Valencia will likely become one of your new favorite cities! With a historic charm, plenty of trendy restaurants, and an active nightlife – it’ll be a blast. 

So go enjoy your trip, and make sure to read through my other travel resources to make the most of your adventure in Valencia!

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