Barrio del Carmen © Traveling Lao
The ancient district of El Carmen sits in the heart of Valencia's old town, with narrow cobbled alleyways, honey-coloured buildings, and bars and cafes contributing making up a chilled Bohemian atmosphere. El Carmen also has several interesting attractions, including the remains of the medieval city walls, and the Gothic tower gates of Torres de Serrano and Torres de Quart, the latter pocked with cannon-ball marks dating from an assault by Napoleon. Roman and Moorish influences are clear in the Old Town and the numerous squares and narrow streets give the area an authentic medieval feel, despite the invasion of tourists as the city increases in popularity. Along with several museums, there is also a convent complex dating back to the 13th century. The Cathedral of Our Lady is a good starting point for a walking tour of the Old Town, and climbing the cathedral's tallest tower will earn travellers fantastic views. Lastly, Mercado Central is one of the largest indoor markets in Spain is quite an experience.