The most popular zone of the moment in the medieval Ciutat Vella (Old Town), the El Carme neighbourhood (Barrio del Carmen in Spanish) is a warren of little streets and lanes (many pedestrian-only) lined with historic ancient buildings that give it a real time-machine feel. But that's very much balanced out by the here-and-now vibe you find especially at night, when the partying locals come out to play in the eateries, bars, and clubs. This is also a great area for funky, quirky shopping, even though the distribution of the boutiques can be a bit uneven, even anarchic. El Carme is an amazing testament both to Valencia's historic past and its exciting present.
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