Ruzafa neighbourhood, reconverted into a cool area of Valencia, is delimited by the old and vanished gardens which gave it its name and the future green lung of the city
According to the chroniclers, the district of Ruzafa (“Russafa”) owes its name to the recreational estate that the peaceful prince Abd Allaah al-Balansí (“the Valencian”) authorised to be built to the south of fortified Valencia. In this way, al-Balansí sought to replicate the residence that his father (the emir Abderramán I) had founded in Cordova, in memory of the orchard also raised in Syria by his predecessor.
More than a millennium would have to pass until, in 1877, the then populous and active suburb was officially integrated into the Valencian capital. Since then, many years and stories have taken place in its streets, but it was only a little over a decade ago when the affordable prices of its homes rebounded. Several generations of young people began to settle in the neighbourhood, succeeding an ageing population and ending the famous “ pound shop” and bad reputation that the area had acquired.
This push would make Ruzafa what it is now: a modern district of Valencia, which is very attractive both for its restored facades and its powerful activity.
Animated during the day
To know Ruzafa well, we propose you go deep into its colourful market in the morning. About 5,000 square metres and 160 posts feed and entertain Ruzafa’s residents. Its high quality products are required by the new neighbourhood’s inhabitants and by the surrounding families who shop in this place. In addition, the street vendors’ stalls that move across Valencia make it even more lively every Monday.
In the market you can have coffee or snack something between meals. But the summer aperitif will be more pleasing in any of the terraces that populate the neighbourhood’s epicentre: the recommended San Valero’s church square and its adjoining streets. You can even stop there to eat before or after wandering around Ruzafa.
It is worth walking through the more and less frequented streets to find shops with tradition and recently created ones that, maybe you did not expect to visit in Valencia until now. Decoration, fashion, design, art galleries, second-hand bookstores or a shop that sells honey produced in-house, are just some of the examples of the wide commercial offer that will come your way.
Alive at night
The long summer days in Valencia complement each other perfectly with Ruzafa’s nightlife. The terraces and the cultural offerings in the neighbourhood’s cafes, to which Ubik Café owes much, are ideal for a well-deserved evening’s relaxation. However, its very assorted gastronomy will help you to recover strength as it will provide you with the necessary calories to close the night dancing in one of its bars and nightclubs or listening to music at Café Mercedes Jazz.
A green lung in project
The park at Manuel Granero square is the only green space in the current Ruzafa neighbourhood. However, the Parque Central project is getting closer and closer. It will cover the North and Sorolla stations’ tracks. The call to be the new lung of Valencia, will rejuvenate Ruzafa giving it back its former natural freshness.
If after your stay you are happy to have known this neighbourhood, imagine it in the future!