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Nightlife in Valencia > Zona Canovas: Overview
Zona Canovas: Overview (Nightlife in Valencia)
Right next to the centre, the buzzing Canovas nightlife is the mainstream weekend hub of Valencia, with a multitude of pubs, bars and nightlcubs.
Canovas is the vibrant mainstream nightlife hub of Valencia. That is to say it is preferred by people who are not after the alternative or uderground, who, after a week in the office, want to pass a noisy weekend in "normal pop" and surrounded by a general Valencian crowd dressed for the weekend nigthlfie.
For the lack of left-right conflict you sometimes find in Carmen, Canovas nightlife is devoid of much pretention. It is a very lively, flamboyant area where Valencian nightlife breathes strong and easy, generally not taking itself too seriously (with the exception of a few places) and placing mainstream music where it is meant to be - as the background to having fun, getting drunk, mating and communicating. This makes Canovas one of the friendlest and easy-going places to go out in Valencia.
Canovas is within a very short walk from the centre. View location on PaginasAmarillas.es
Canovas is fairly compact. There is a clearly defined main drag (Calle Serranos Morales and, across the Plaza de Canovas, Calle Salamanca crossing Calle Conde Altea) that hosts a good two thirds of nightlife within a 100-200 meter radius, with no need to use your navigation skills like in Carmen.
The rest of the nightlife is sprinkled all over the area between Gran Via Marques del Turia and Avenida del Reino de Valencia. It is perfectly possible to spend the whole night on the main drag without losing out on anything.
Canovas has two somewhat different clusters of venues. The main drag to the north of the circular Plaza de Canovas (Calle Serranos Morales) hosts a few vibrant disco-bars where you can dance until 4am with free entry. Because Canovas is so compact, it is very easy to browse through all of those bars to find the one you like the most, and in this way it is far superior to the disco-bar defficient Carmen.
Calle Salamanca to the south of the Plaza has a lower key pubbing life with international pubs and lounge cocktail bars.
Although there are a fair few nice pubs and cocktail bars, they don't offer the same variety as the bars in Carmen.
Canovas nightlife offers some of the most typically Valencian places, as well as a more trendy / cosmopolitan selection.
There are also a few places to carry on drinking after 4am, although they don't really offer the proper nightclub experience. However, there are quite a few clubs withing a short walk or a taxi ride from Canovas.
The music in Canovas is generally very mainstream, so don't expect anything rare. A good number of venues will play solely Spanish pop, also know as "musica Espanola" or, more derogatory by those who are too cool for it, "pachanga". It is basically soft happy rock of local origin. This will usually be mixed with the latest (and sometimes by far not so latest) foreign pop and commercial electronic dance that has been in charts. This music will attract a predominantly local public of mixed age.
The Latino influence is quite strong and will be played in many places in some shape or form, usually reggaeton and latino pop (i.e. Shakira five times a night). Some venues, like Coco Loco, Decada Loca, Aire and Benavente Club will make a heavier accent on it.
There are also a few chill-out bars with lounge or funky ambience music, places with a few R&B tunes and a more refined commercial dance, but that's as far off the mainstream as it gets.
There is no underground music in Canovas. Well, maybe a tune or two played on the background in Pub Chupito or Pub Beer. Underground simply doesn't belong in Canovas. It is not a good place to look for it.
The Canovas crowd are generally mainstream weekenders on a night out after the working week. Most bars are filed with mixed age with the majority between 20 and 45. They tend to dress up for the weekend, something casual smart - men in shirts and women in high heels with war paint.
To some Canovas nightlife appears very young. It is an optical illusion caused by several bars popular with the youngsters (the Euro Bars, Spiral, Look) , all close together on the main drag. It is true though that, bar the university area, Canovas nightlife seems to have a great deal more than usual of almost underage drinkers.
On the other hand, Canovas has some of the most defined mature places in Valencia, such as Pub Classic, Rompeolas or Suso's.
Canovas nightlife has been very predominantly Spanish until recenytly. Some bars are pretty much 100% so - by playing Spanish pop that doesn't appeal to many foreigners (see music above). However, other places can be fairly cosmopolitan (St Patrick's is too much of a freak example though), with both ex-pats and travellers mingling, and Canovas has been getting more international over the last year or two with the appearance of several foreign-owned lounge bars and pubs. Bars that go more towards latino music will inevitably attract some Latinos.
There are no gay / lesbian bars in Canovas and the alternative element is tiny - in a few pubs.
Apart from St Patrick's, which never sleeps, first signs of life appear at 11 or so, in the pubs and bars for a quiet one. Before that (and well after that) people are eating, since Canovas also offers what is probably the most populous and cosmopolitan selection of restaurants in Valencia.
The movement starts at around midnight and finally kicks off at 1 - 1.30am. Unless you yourself want to start in the first gear, there is no reason to come here before. The peak of the nightlife will be from 2 to 4am. From 3.30 onwards it will be difficult to get into another bar, so from then on you'd better stay where you are.
At 4am people will head either to Benavente Club or to Un Sur night-club, perhaps with a stop-over in Blue Iguana. Some lost souls will also head to other blue dots on our map but you shouldn't be one of them. The mentioned two clubs are open till 7-8am but they are basically a repetition of what you have seen in Canovas before. If you want something major at that hour, head elsewhere. The closest night-club is Betty Pop (young and studenty), also Le Club (underground electronic). Alternatively, a taxi will take you to any of the big night-clubs in our listings.
Canovas is a euro or two cheaper than Carmen. This is generally as cheap as it gets in Valencia, bar the studenty area of Blasco Ibanez. On average a beer will cost you 2-3 euros, and a glass of spirit with mixer 5-6 euros.
That said, Canovas nightlife is legendary for having a few bars where booze is the cheapes in town (1.30€ half-litre of beer and 3€ for a spirit / mixer), even beating the University area. Those are the Euro Bars, Cafe Altea and Benavente amonst others.
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