A Walk Around Ruzafa
Ruzafa (or Russafa) is one of Valencia’s most famous neighborhoods, and probably its most hip (no offense, Carmen!) It occupies the southeast side of the city, in the district of L’Eixample. We’ve already written a little about the history of this historic and lively area, and here’s our guide to its top sights.
Start your tour at Ruzafa’s northern tip — the Plaza de Toros de Valencia. Regardless of your views on bullfighting, the arena is pretty awesome. Built in 1850, it was modeled on the Roman Colosseum and is one of the largest in Spain. Besides the corridas, the arena hosts concerts (Julio Iglesias on August 21st, WOO!) and political events. Make sure to check out the Museo Taurino while you’re there — it’s free and won’t take more than 30 minutes of your time.
After the museum, stroll down the Avenida del Reino de Valencia (Avenue of the Kingdom of Valencia), which demarcates the north-eastern boundary of Ruzafa. The street itself is currently under frantic construction, preparing for the new Metro line, but this won’t detract from your enjoyment of the boulevard’s wonderful buildings and facades.
Once you’re done with the market, you’ll have seen the guidebook highlights of Ruzafa, but not yet experienced the true charm of the neighborhood. Ruzafa is probably Valencia’s most multi-cultural area, and there is an abundance of excellent restaurants, bars and ethnic shops. The best way to enjoy Ruzafa is aimless wandering about — get your head out of the map and walk down the fun streets like C/ Ruzafa, Cadiz, Dr. Sumsi and Centelles. You’ll not have any problem finding great deals on tapas and cañas.