El Pla del Real may not be the most famous district of Valencia, but it is one of the most homogeneous. It is, in my opinion and many other Valencians, the most beautiful and elegant part of the River Turia’s bed. It is the perfect place to breathe in the lifeblood of the city and enjoy many activities beside one of the longest rivers in Spain.
The neighbourhood of La Exposición: bright and friendly
This area, on the north bank of the River Turia, is one of the most beautiful areas of El Pla del Real. Bounded by the river, the Avenue Blasco Ibáñez and the Jardines de Viveros, La Exposición is one of the greenest areas of the city – perfect for lovers of outdoors activities. In the Paseo de la Alameda, where impressive trees line the promenade, there are several terraces where Valencians meet whenever the sun is out. The best known terrace among young people is Llebeig (Paseo de la Alameda, 6), which has a menu with great value for money. Practically all of them have an outdoor space for you to sunbathe even on those warm winter days. This area is also one of the best places for Valencia’s nightlife throughout the year, but is especially inviting during spring and summer.
During the Fallas – Valencia’s traditional festivities – this is where they launch the fireworks or Castillos from. These can be seen from both sides of the river and illuminate the Valencian night. Also, during the Summer, several outdoor concerts are held in the Jardines de Viveros or Jardines del Real.
At the other end the spectrum, if you want to enjoy the party, first you have to work a bit for exams. An essential place to study at is the Library of Palacio de la Exposición (Galicia Street, 1). This is a public institution with high ceilings and large tables, where studying for the final exams is a bit more tolerable thanks to its huge windows, which let in lots of natural light and make the library a better, friendlier place.
The most attractive area for international students
However, the most popular side of El Pla del Real, especially among Erasmus students, is on the other side of the river: in Mestalla, San José and Ciutat Universitària.
Firstly, the Mestalla area comprises a set of streets full of Erasmus bars. On the Polo y Peylorón and Bélgica streets, you will find several famous bars. Some of them are famous, such as Bueno Bueno (Calle de Polo y Peyrolón, 17), Café Tucán (Polo y Peyrolón, 40) – perfect for reggaeton lovers, or El Aguacates (Polo y Peyroloó, 37) if you prefer rock.
Calle Bélgica, however, is much more quiet and peaceful. The restaurant and cocktail bar La Casa de los Martini (Bélgica, 30), is perfect for enjoying buenísimas Spanish tapas and Mediterranean dishes. International students mingle here with Valencians – perfect to make local friends and learn the language!
Adjacent to the Mestalla neighbourhood is San José. This area offers a wide repertoire of things to do for Erasmus students. It has, beyond question, the most beloved place among all types of students to experience the most Spanish and international atmosphere: Plaça del Xúquer. In the nearby streets you can experience various types of party: in JamonSession (Calle Gorgos, 20) students gather to watch football games and have drinks; however, in Vitti (Plaça del Xúquer, 3) you will find a calmer and more bohemian atmosphere.
If you are looking for something more exotic, we recommend that you try the Moroccan restaurant Balansiya (Paseo Facultades, 3), where you’ll love the food and the authentic Arabic decor.
In the Ciutat Universitària, as mentioned in our previous post about Valencia, there are multiple quintos bars where you can probably enjoy the cheapest beers in town and some typical patatas bravas.
We saved the best for last. The most Erasmus area in Valencia: Plaza del Cedro. This area is known for the amazing offer for students: there are plenty of bars and restaurants for all tastes and colours. Surely, you will spend most of your year in Valencia around here and enjoy the partying atmosphere. We must make a special mention to the Espit Chupitos (Plaza del Cedro, 12), where you risk having a night full of “surprises” – ask the waiter to recommend a flavour, as they are all secret and some are even served with a show!
Finally, you should not miss the Erasmus club par excellence: Rumbo 144 (Avenida de Blasco Ibáñez, 144). Parties here are often organised by various Erasmus associations, whether thematic or just to have a real blast!