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Passions flare amongst the red-blooded males of this city as OutUK’s Adrian Gillan takes the bulls by the horn in Valencia, Spain’s third biggest city, finding out it's a stunning mixture of the old and the new.

The port city of Valencia lies on Spain's southeastern coast, where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean. It's known for its City of Arts and Sciences, with futuristic structures including a planetarium, an oceanarium and an interactive museum. Valencia also has several beaches, some within nearby Albufera Park, a wetlands reserve with a lake and walking trails.

It's a city also famous for it's football and I arrived precisely as the club's players were returning from a victorious match to be greeted by hoards of young mucho machos, and as testosterone was freely and frantically coursing through the throbbing heart of the old Barrio Carmen with its gay district. You sensed that even the finest straight specimen might be up for anything if their much adored team continued with its winning streak. Valencia's stunning Museum of Sciences
Smaller than Madrid or Barcelona, Valencia is also more liberal. Indeed, as the temporary republican capital that lost out to brutal fascist Franco in the Spanish Civil War, it has paid in blood for its lofty, lefty ideals. There are a couple of dozen gay venues in town, mostly clustered along the cute old town’s Quart road and on squares nearby.
Note: If you speak standard Spanish you’ll get by but most here speak Valenciano, markedly different. Also: Spaniards are probably the latest-starters of all Mediterranean revellers. They rarely eat before 11pm, then hit bars at 12.30am and will scarce touch a club before 2.30am. You really will need your early evening disco nap if you’re to keep up with these horned-up nocturnal party animals! The Dome in the Central Market

FOOD

There are some truly superb gay-run restaurants in Valencia, all offering great-value fixed-price menus at all hours, with wine aplenty. Just to the east of the old centre, Rincón 33 offers creative, modern Spanish-continental cuisine in a cosy, friendly corner grubbery with excellent service. A ten minute stroll west, into the old town itself, Sant Miquel Café on Pza Sant Miquel offers less interesting dishes, but is certainly the place to grab an outside table, to see and be seen.

CAFE CULTURE

Back opposite San Miguel, modern and cosy yet airy Trapezzio Café is a perfect place to chill out with a coffee or beer, either in the loft lounge or out on the square itself, day or night.

BUBU on Carrer del Botànic attracts a bears and friends masculine crowd with lots of locals. They serve bottled beer and neat liquor with a sort of Berlin-light kind of vibe. If you don't like this place, you're probably just a bit too camp. It has friendly and happy bartenders and is very clean and well run. They play good music and most importantly there is air-conditioning inside.

Other places worth a mention include MORATIN 7 which is a Gay bar located on Carrer de Moratín; PUB-DAKOTA on Carrer de Sagunt which is a local bar with entertainment and sometimes they do very funny shows; and La Boba y el Gato Rancio - a laid-back gay bar featuring cocktails, coffee & desserts in colorful surrounds with a terrace, found on Carrer de Cuba.

The warm-up for the night ahead, definitely happens in Café Deseo on Pza Vicente Iborra. It has a small dance floor which, although cliquey, is most surely where the young, hip crowd muster to hang and swing.

CLUBBING

And so onto the main throbbing vein of Gay Valencia: on a road around the corner called Quart. There are several venues that lure in the Deseo dance crowd with the coolest music in town. The really chic will stay here until around 3am and then find a café or some strange bed for the night. If it's a weekend then there's the former sauna Nuncadigono a sexbar with backrooms, cruising area, videos rooms, slings, showers, and more.

tête-à-tête bills itself as "Not just a sex bar". They run a number of special nights from 10pm including Wednesdays when it's a Slip and Nudist Party; and Thursdays & Sundays when there's a Greek Festival night called "Fiesta Griega". It's a Greek towel party - the towel and flip flops are included with your ticket. The venue has a Jacuzzi, Glory Holes, Slings, Round Bed, Cabins, Films and even a VIP Room.

Homens Sex Bar is exactly what it says. "Hòmens" (Men, in Valencian) is what you can find here, since it is a bar with strip performances, live sex, sex and role-playing parties (Wednesday Nudist-fetish party, Nudist Friday or slips, Saturday stripper performance and Nudist sundays) and a great maze to lose yourself among men, cabins (some with beds), video screens, glory holes, slings, dark room, showers. Its reputation isn't great with people complaining of warm bottles of beer, a dank bar and staff who couldn't care less. Others say it's hilariously AWFUL!! A sign that the Spanish gay scene has not yet left the 70's!

Alcatraz Vlc is a Cafe Lounge with Cruising Area. The venue was recently closed down by the city council but they are fighting to get their licence back. When open they offer cabins, glory holes, sling, showers, morbid cells and different codes every night designed to include just about every taste! Tuesdays has a slip code, Thursdays Nude, and there are blackout sessions on Fridays and Saturdays.

WHERE TO STAY

Our hotel partners Bookings have an excellent range of gay-friendly hotels which can be booked online at special discount rates here

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Alcatraz Vlc (Carrer del Túria, 22; T: +34 633 47 10 24; Website)
BUBU (Carrer del Botànic, 7; T: +34 628 22 12 67; Website)
Café Deseo (Pza Vicente Iborra 2; no phone)
Homens Sex Bar (Carrer d'Alacant, 11; T: +34 963 28 02 92; Website)
La Boba y el Gato Rancio (Carrer de Cuba, 59; T: +34 962 06 63 54; facebook)
MORATIN 7 (Carrer de Moratín, n.7, pta 2; T: +34 632 46 07 35)
Nuncadigono (Turia 22) Website
PUB-DAKOTA (Carrer de Sagunt, 10; T: +34 651 59 35 32)
Rincón 33 (Corretgería 33; T: 0034 963 924 161)
Sant Miquel Café (Pza Sant Miquel 13; T: 0034 963 924 596)
tête-à-tête (Carrer del Gravador Jordán, 1; Website)
Trapezzio Café (Pza Músico Lopez Chavarri 2;T: 0034 963 915 027)

Revised August 2019.

 

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