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30 Pros and Cons of Living in Valencia (From a Local Expat!)

beautiful park as an example of the pros and cons of living in Valencia
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With Valencia having been named the best place in the world for expats in 2020 and 2022, you may have been wondering just what it’s like to live there.

Well, I’m happy to help! I’m a foreigner who moved to the city in the last few years, so can’t wait to offer my thoughts on the many pros and some cons of living in Valencia, Spain.

Spoiler alert: There are definitely more pros than cons. But I’m hoping to give you a full snapshot in this article of just what it’s like to live here – including some of the things that aren’t so great.

Planning a trip to Valencia last minute?


If you’re booking your trip to Valencia last minute, I’ve got you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

⭐ Top tours in Valencia

  1. City Highlights Guided Bike Tour (great way to see the city)
  2. Palosanto Flamenco Show (incredible night out)
  3. Old Town Tour, Wine and Tapas in an 11th Century Monument (all the highlights at once)
  4. Catamaran Cruise at Sunset (experience the Mediterranean – with cava)
  5. Oceanogràfic – Valencia Aquarium (biggest one in Europe!)

🛏️ Top hotels in Valencia

  1. Only YOU Hotel Valencia (5-star luxury)
  2. Vincci Palace (boutique hotel with beautiful décor)
  3. Hostal Antigua Morellana (great budget option in a superb location)

🚌 Want to see everything with minimal effort while you’re in Valencia? Check out the 24- or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket!

Table of Contents

Pros of living in Valencia

A city isn’t named the best place in the world to live unless it’s got a lot going for it – and, unsurprisingly, Valencia certainly falls into that category. Take a look below at some of the pros of living in Valencia to see what you have to look forward to.

Beautiful Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine all year round

If you’re a sunshine lover, Valencia is the place for you! This beautiful coastal city enjoys a fantastic Mediterranean climate, with warm, sunny days throughout the year. 

Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild, making it an ideal destination for those who prefer to avoid extreme temperatures. Say goodbye to bulky coats and hello to outdoor dining, as the wonderful weather allows for countless al fresco experiences. 

With over 300 days of sunshine a year, you can enjoy long walks along the beach, picturesque bike rides, or simply soaking up the sun with a refreshing drink in hand. Valencia’s climate is perfect for a sun-drenched, carefree lifestyle.

a beautiful beach is one of the pros of living in Valencia

Low cost of living compared to other European cities

One of the most appealing aspects of Valencia is the affordability it offers compared to other European cities. The cost of living is relatively low, making it an attractive option for those looking to make the most of their hard-earned money. 

Housing, groceries, and transportation are all cheaper in Valencia than in many other major cities, which means you can enjoy a better quality of life without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a student, a young professional, or a family looking to relocate, you’ll find that your money goes further in Valencia. 

So get ready to enjoy delicious tapas, fresh produce, and local wine, all at prices that won’t make you wince!

High quality of life with a great work-life balance

Valencia is well-known for its laid-back atmosphere and emphasis on a healthy work-life balance. The city offers an excellent quality of life, where you can easily balance your professional aspirations with your personal interests and hobbies. 

And you can see this by the fact that Valencians place a high value on leisure and relaxation, ensuring that you won’t be overworked and can still enjoy time with family and friends.

In Valencia, you’ll find a great range of cultural and recreational activities to keep you entertained. From the stunning City of Arts and Sciences to the vibrant Central Market, there’s always something to do or see. 

The city is also home to numerous parks and green spaces, providing a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life. With its amazing cuisine, beautiful beaches, and friendly locals, Valencia offers a lifestyle that’s hard to beat. 

Related: 20 Best Places to Live in Valencia, Spain (From a Local!)

Delicious local cuisine

Valencia is a true paradise for food lovers, offering a wide range of mouthwatering local dishes that will have you coming back for more. As the birthplace of paella, you simply can’t leave Valencia without trying this iconic rice dish, made with saffron, chicken, rabbit, and a variety of local vegetables. 

However, the culinary delights don’t end there. Valencia boasts a rich culinary tradition that includes scrumptious tapas, fresh seafood, and an assortment of Mediterranean flavors.

delicious food is one of the pros of living in Valencia

For those with a sweet tooth, you’re in for a treat with Valencia’s famous horchata, a refreshing drink made from tigernuts, sugar, and water, often paired with delicious pastries called fartons. 

The city’s thriving food scene ensures that you’ll never be bored with your dining options, from bustling local markets to quaint tapas bars and fine dining restaurants. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey like no other in Valencia!

World-renowned cultural events

One of the most exciting aspects of living in Valencia is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural calendar, with events and festivals that will leave you captivated. 

The most famous of these is Las Fallas, a vibrant and spectacular annual celebration held in March. For several days, the city is transformed into a colorful and noisy spectacle, with giant sculptures adorning the streets, elaborate fireworks displays, and plenty of traditional music and dancing.

But Las Fallas is just the beginning! Valencia also hosts numerous other cultural events throughout the year, including the Filmoteca d’Estiu, a summer film festival, and the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, an iconic music festival that attracts visitors from all over the world. You’ll find that there’s always something to look forward to, ensuring that you’ll be entertained and culturally enriched during your time in this incredible city.

Affordable and efficient public transportation

Navigating Valencia is a breeze, thanks to its affordable and efficient public transportation system. The city offers a variety of transportation options, including buses, trams, and an extensive metro network, making it easy to get around without the need for a car. 

Valencia’s public transport is not only cost-effective, but also reliable and punctual, ensuring that you can reach your destination quickly and comfortably.

In addition to public transportation, Valencia is also a bike-friendly city, with numerous bike lanes and a popular bike-sharing system called Valenbisi. This eco-friendly alternative allows you to easily explore the city at your own pace while enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery. 

With its excellent transportation infrastructure, you’ll find getting around Valencia to be a stress-free and enjoyable experience.

Access to stunning beaches and coastal areas

One of the most alluring aspects of life in Valencia is the easy access to stunning beaches and coastal areas. The city boasts several beautiful urban beaches, such as Playa de Malvarrosa and Playa de Patacona, where you can relax, sunbathe, and swim in the warm Mediterranean waters. 

And for those seeking a more secluded experience, a short drive will take you to the breathtaking beaches of the nearby Costa Blanca and Costa del Azahar.

a stunning beach in Valencia
Source: Boris Dzhingarov (CC BY 2.0)

Valencia’s coastal location also means that you can indulge in various water sports, such as sailing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding, providing endless entertainment for outdoor enthusiasts. Imagine spending your weekends soaking up the sun and enjoying the fresh sea breeze as you embrace the laid-back Valencian lifestyle.

Rich history and architecture

Valencia is a city steeped in history and offers a fascinating blend of architectural styles that reflect its rich cultural heritage. From the stunning Gothic Valencia Cathedral, which houses the Holy Grail, to the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, Valencia truly offers something for every history and architecture buff.

As you wander through the city, you’ll be mesmerized by the narrow, winding streets of the old town, the vibrant street art that adorns the buildings of the trendy Ruzafa neighborhood, and the historic silk exchange building, La Lonja de la Seda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Valencia’s fascinating history and architectural gems provide a captivating backdrop for your daily life here, to the point that you’ll find yourself now and then pinching yourself that you actually live here.

Happy woman walking down street in Spain

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A vibrant arts and music scene with many festivals and concerts

Valencia is a city that celebrates art and music, offering a wide array of cultural experiences to cater to all tastes. The city’s thriving arts scene is evident in its numerous museums and galleries, such as the IVAM (Valencian Institute of Modern Art) and the Centre del Carme, where you can discover both contemporary and classic works.

Music lovers will also feel right at home in Valencia, with its diverse offering of live music venues, from intimate jazz clubs to large concert halls. The city hosts numerous music festivals, such as the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, as I just mentioned before, and the eclectic Ensems contemporary music festival, attracting top international acts and showcasing local talent.

Valencia’s vibrant arts and music scene ensures that you’ll always find something to inspire and entertain you, providing a rich cultural experience that will make living in this city an unforgettable adventure.

Welcoming and friendly locals who are eager to share their culture

One of the most endearing qualities of Valencia is the warm and friendly nature of its locals. Valencians are known for their hospitality and openness, always eager to share their culture and help newcomers feel at home. 

Whether you’re at a local market, a neighborhood café, or attending a community event, you’re bound to be greeted with smiles and engaging conversations.

friendly locals in the market is one of the pros in living Valencia

Valencians take pride in their traditions and customs, and you’ll often find yourself invited to join in on local festivities or simply enjoy a leisurely meal with new friends. Embracing the Valencian way of life and forming connections with the locals will make your transition to this wonderful city even more rewarding and fulfilling.

Great healthcare system with affordable options for expats

Another important factor to consider when moving to a new city is the quality of its healthcare system. Valencia, and Spain as a whole, boasts a highly efficient and comprehensive public healthcare system that ranks among the best in Europe. 

Public hospitals and clinics are well-equipped, and staffed by skilled professionals, ensuring that you receive excellent care when needed.

Expats living in Valencia can access the public healthcare system by registering for a health card, while private healthcare options are also readily available at affordable prices. This means you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you and your family will be well taken care of in case of any medical concerns during your stay in Valencia.

Easy access to nature, including a lot of hiking options nearby

Valencia offers the perfect balance of urban living and outdoor adventure, with easy access to nature and a plethora of hiking options nearby. 

For instance, just a short drive from the city, you’ll find the stunning Albufera Natural Park, a vast wetland area with lush flora, diverse fauna, and serene walking trails. The park is perfect for birdwatching, picnics, or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature.

And for more adventurous souls, the nearby Sierra Calderona and Sierra de Mariola natural parks offer a variety of hiking trails with breathtaking views and diverse landscapes, from wooded forests to rugged mountains and rocky peaks. You’ll even find waterfalls and natural pools dotting your path!

These natural gems provide the perfect escape from city life, allowing you to recharge and reconnect with nature whenever you desire.

Good connections to other towns, cities, and islands in Spain

Living in Valencia also means you’re well-connected to other fascinating destinations within Spain. The city boasts excellent transport links, including high-speed trains, buses, and a well-connected airport, making it easy to explore other towns and cities in your spare time. 

From the bustling metropolis of Madrid to the enchanting streets of Barcelona, there’s always a new place to discover.

train station in Valencia

Additionally, Valencia’s proximity to the coast provides convenient access to the beautiful Balearic Islands, such as Ibiza, Mallorca, and Menorca. 

With just a short flight or ferry ride, you can immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters and stunning landscapes of these Mediterranean gems.

A wide range of international cuisine and dining options

While Valencia’s local cuisine is undeniably delicious, the city also offers an impressive array of international dining options to cater to diverse tastes. From Italian trattorias and Japanese sushi bars to Indian curry houses and American burger joints, you’ll find a world of flavors right at your doorstep.

The city’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and thriving expat community have contributed to the growth of international dining options, ensuring that you can always find a taste of home or indulge in something new and exotic. Valencia’s diverse culinary landscape guarantees that even the most discerning foodies will be delighted and satisfied.

The city is very bikeable, including great bike paths

As touched upon just before, Valencia is a haven for cyclists, offering a well-developed network of bike paths that make getting around the city a breeze. The city’s flat terrain and wide, tree-lined boulevards provide the perfect environment for cycling, whether you’re commuting to work, running errands, or simply exploring the city at your leisure.

Valencia’s commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly transportation is evident in its popular bike-sharing program, Valenbisi, which provides thousands of bikes at numerous docking stations across the city. As an almost daily user of this system myself, I’m continually blown away at this great combination of convenience and price.

With its combination of excellent bike infrastructure, beautiful weather, and a strong cycling culture, Valencia is the ideal city for those looking to embrace a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

A great place to learn Spanish or improve language skills

Valencia is an ideal location for those looking to learn Spanish or enhance their language skills. With a more relaxed pace of life compared to larger Spanish cities, you’ll have ample opportunities to practice speaking with friendly locals and immerse yourself in the language. 

Valencia offers a range of language schools and private tutors, catering to all levels of Spanish proficiency and learning styles. This one-week intensive course, for example, is from a school with excellent reviews that’s very centrally located, so it’s a good way to try it out before committing to a longer term course.

private tutor in Valencia to learn Spanish is one of the pros of living in Valencia

Additionally, Valencians speak a relatively neutral Spanish accent, making it easier for learners to understand and communicate effectively. As you settle into your new life in Valencia, your Spanish skills will undoubtedly flourish, enriching your experience and deepening your connection to the local culture.

(And in case you’re wondering: you may have heard that they also speak Valencian in Valencia. While that’s true, it’s not that common in the city compared to the smaller towns in the wider Valencian community – and everyone speaks Spanish anyway, so it won’t be an issue for you living here.)

Plenty of parks and green spaces to enjoy outdoor activities

Valencia is a city that truly values its green spaces, providing residents with numerous parks and gardens to enjoy the outdoors. 

The city’s most famous green space is the Turia Gardens, a 9-kilometer-long park that was created by diverting the Turia River and converting the former riverbed into a lush and expansive park. Here, you can jog, cycle, or simply relax with a book, all while soaking up the Mediterranean sun.

Other notable green spaces include the Royal Gardens, which features beautiful botanical gardens and a picturesque pond, and the Albufera Natural Park, where you can explore wetlands and observe diverse wildlife. 

With so many parks and green spaces available, you’ll always have a place to unwind, exercise, or spend quality time with family and friends in the great outdoors.

A thriving nightlife with many bars, clubs, and entertainment venues

Valencia boasts a vibrant nightlife scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. From cozy bars and traditional taverns to stylish cocktail lounges and energetic nightclubs, you’ll find plenty of options for an unforgettable night out. The city’s diverse neighborhoods each offer a unique atmosphere, whether you’re looking for a laid-back evening with friends or a night of dancing until the early hours.

For those interested in live music, Valencia is home to numerous venues showcasing local and international acts, as well as hosting various music festivals throughout the year. 

The city’s thriving nightlife ensures that there’s always something exciting happening after the sun goes down, making it the perfect place for those who love to socialize and have a good time.

Easy access to other European destinations with a well-connected airport and train station

Valencia’s excellent transport infrastructure makes it a convenient base for exploring other European destinations. The city’s international airport offers direct flights to numerous cities across Europe, while its well-connected train station provides easy access to Spain’s high-speed train network. 

This means you can easily plan weekend getaways or longer vacations to a variety of exciting destinations, from the romantic streets of Paris to the ancient ruins of Rome.

airport in Valencia
Source: Andreas Wieser (CC BY 2.0)

Living in Valencia opens up a world of travel possibilities, allowing you to immerse yourself in the rich history and diverse cultures that Europe has to offer, all within a few hours of your doorstep.

A laid-back and relaxed lifestyle with a strong emphasis on family and community

One of the most enticing aspects of life in Valencia is the city’s laid-back atmosphere and strong emphasis on family and community values. 

Valencians cherish their leisure time, often enjoying long meals with loved ones and partaking in local festivities that bring people together. This focus on relaxation, family, and community fosters a welcoming environment that encourages a healthy work-life balance.

By embracing the Valencian way of life, you’ll find yourself prioritizing meaningful connections, personal well-being, and the simple pleasures that make life truly enjoyable. Living in Valencia offers you the opportunity to slow down and appreciate the beauty of life, surrounded by a supportive community and a stunning Mediterranean backdrop.

Amazingly good fresh produce and seafood

Valencia’s coastal location and fertile surroundings result in an abundance of fresh produce and seafood that is truly a delight for your taste buds. The city’s numerous local markets, such as the iconic Mercado Central, are brimming with colorful fruits and vegetables, as well as a wide variety of seafood caught daily from the Mediterranean Sea.

By shopping at these markets or dining at local restaurants, you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in the freshest and most delicious ingredients that Valencia has to offer. The amazing quality of Valencia’s produce and seafood not only enhances the local cuisine but also supports a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Excellent shopping options with many boutiques and local markets

Valencia offers a diverse and exciting shopping scene, catering to all tastes and budgets. From designer boutiques and upscale shopping centers to quirky vintage shops and bustling local markets, you’ll find it all in this vibrant city. In particular, 

Valencia’s historic center is home to numerous independent boutiques, where you can find unique clothing, accessories, and artisanal products.

Central Market one of the pros of living in Valencia
Source: santiago lopez-pastor (CC BY-ND 2.0)

And for those interested in local crafts and souvenirs, the city’s markets are treasure troves of handmade goods, antiques, and gastronomic delights. 

So whether you’re in search of the latest fashion trends or simply browsing for a special gift, Valencia’s shopping options are sure to satisfy your retail desires.

Low crime rate and a safe environment

Safety is an important factor to consider when choosing a place to live, and Valencia scores highly in this regard. The city boasts a low crime rate and a strong sense of community, providing a secure and welcoming environment for residents and visitors alike.

Valencians take pride in their city and work together to maintain a safe and pleasant atmosphere, allowing you to feel at ease as you explore the city’s streets, parks, and attractions. Living in Valencia means you can enjoy a high quality of life with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re in a safe and supportive community.

A range of housing options to suit all budgets and preferences

Valencia offers a diverse range of housing options to accommodate all budgets and preferences, making it an attractive destination for people from all walks of life. From charming historic apartments in the city center to modern condos with sea views, you’re sure to find the perfect home to suit your needs.

The city’s relatively low cost of living, compared to other European cities, means that you can enjoy a comfortable and spacious living environment without breaking the bank. 

Whether you’re looking for a cozy studio apartment or a spacious family home, Valencia’s housing market provides an array of options that cater to your lifestyle and financial requirements.

A great place to raise a family with excellent schools and childcare options

Valencia is an ideal city for raising a family, offering a safe environment, a relaxed lifestyle, and a strong emphasis on family values. The city boasts a wide range of excellent schools, including public, private, and international options, ensuring that your children receive a high-quality education tailored to their needs.

In addition to its educational offerings, Valencia provides a variety of childcare options, such as nurseries and after-school programs, that cater to busy parents and help support a healthy work-life balance. 

Offering plentiful parks, family-friendly attractions, and a welcoming community, Valencia is a fantastic place for your children to grow, learn, and thrive.

a baby in a nursery of Valencia

Cons of living in Valencia

Nowhere is perfect and Valencia is no different in that regard. This is why, when looking at the pros and cons of living in Valencia, looking at some of the downsides is important so as to give you a balanced overall look.

The language barrier can be challenging for non-Spanish speakers

Despite its many advantages, living in Valencia as an expat does present some challenges, such as the language barrier. While many locals, particularly younger generations, speak English to some extent, you may encounter situations where communication can be difficult if you don’t speak Spanish.

To fully immerse yourself in the local culture and ease your transition to life in Valencia, it’s highly recommended that you learn Spanish or work on improving your language skills. Luckily, as mentioned earlier, the city offers numerous language schools and tutors to help you along the way.

(I recommend this one-week intensive course at a really well rated, centrally-located school as a great way to see if you like their style before committing to a longer term course.)

beautiful park as an example of the pros and cons of living in Valencia

Average salaries in Spain may be lower than you’re used to at home

Another potential drawback of living in Valencia is that average salaries in Spain can be lower than what you may be accustomed to in your home country. 

While the cost of living is generally lower in Valencia compared to other European cities, it’s essential to carefully consider your financial situation and career prospects when planning a move to the city.

That being said, many expats find that the lower cost of living and high quality of life in Valencia more than make up for any differences in salary. By carefully managing your budget and prioritizing your spending, you can still enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling life in this beautiful Mediterranean city.

Summer temperatures can be extremely hot and uncomfortable

While Valencia enjoys a beautiful Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine throughout the year, the summer months can bring extremely hot temperatures that some (honestly, like me) may find uncomfortable. 

During the hottest days, temperatures can soar above 35°C (95°F) and the humidity can be intense, which may require you to adjust your daily routine and take precautions to stay cool and hydrated.

street in Valencia during a hot weather is one of the cons of living in Valencia
Source: N i c o l a (CC BY-NC 2.0)

To cope with the heat, locals typically plan their day around avoiding outdoor activities during the hottest hours of the afternoon. By adopting this custom and investing in air conditioning or fans for your home, you can more comfortably navigate Valencia’s summer heat while still enjoying the city’s many charms.

The bureaucracy and paperwork involved in obtaining visas and permits can be difficult to navigate

Probably the biggest con of living in Valencia – or anywhere in Spain – is the fact that, as with any international move, relocating to Valencia will almost certainly involve navigating bureaucratic processes to obtain the necessary visas and permits. 

No, they don’t make any sense. Yes, you’ll get conflicting information seemingly from everyone you ask. Yes, everyone knows this is a problem but, no, no one seems to want to fit it.

(Can you sense my frustration yet?)

Safe to say this can sometimes be a time-consuming and frustrating experience, particularly if you’re not familiar with Spanish regulations and procedures.

To make the process smoother, do your research, gather any documentation at all that you think you might need (even if you’re not told you need it initially, you’d be surprised how often they suddenly ask for something else…), and seek professional guidance if necessary. In some cases, hiring an immigration lawyer or consultant may prove helpful in ensuring that you comply with all regulations and avoid any unnecessary delays or complications.

The water tastes terrible

Now, I know this is very much a first world problem complaint, but the place I used to live before Valencia had water that tasted like it had been blessed by angels.

It is not, to put it mildly, the case here. While the tap water in Valencia is safe to drink, it doesn’t taste great. There are also a lot of people who say it’s bad for their hair and skin and while I haven’t noticed anything with my skin, my hair is definitely drier than it used to be.

(Funnily enough, I’ve also heard that the same minerals causing these problems are what makes the paella taste so good here, so everything has its pros and cons, apparently!)

If you’re just visiting, bringing a water bottle with a filter or simply putting up with it is fine. But if you’re planning to live in Valencia, you may want to consider buying a shower filter and perhaps even one for the tap in the kitchen to fix up the taste for you.

The local job market can be competitive for non-Spanish speakers

Finding employment in Valencia can be challenging for non-Spanish speakers, as the local job market can be competitive and many positions require fluency in the language. While there are opportunities for English speakers in sectors such as tourism, education, and technology, these jobs may be limited and highly sought after.

To improve your prospects in the local job market, it’s advisable to learn Spanish and gain a good understanding of the local business culture. Networking with fellow expats, attending industry events, and joining online forums can also be helpful in discovering job opportunities and making valuable connections. 

A lot of people move here and work remotely for a company outside of Spain, which is expected to be even more on the rise with the introduction of the digital nomad visa in Spain. Not only is this a good way to avoid any problems with getting a local job (and, if you go that route, get you that digital nomad visa to stay here), but it can also result in a better salary than you may get from working here.

By being proactive and persistent in your job search, you’ll have a better chance of securing a rewarding position in Valencia.

Is Valencia a good place to live?

Valencia is indeed an excellent place to live, offering a unique combination of a Mediterranean lifestyle, affordable cost of living, and a high quality of life. The city’s beautiful weather, vibrant culture, and friendly locals make it an attractive destination for people from all walks of life.

While there are some challenges associated with living in Valencia, such as the language barrier and finding employment, many expats find that the numerous advantages far outweigh the drawbacks. 

With its relaxed atmosphere, diverse housing options, and abundant amenities, Valencia provides an incredible setting for both individuals and families looking to enjoy life in a charming and dynamic city.

The beautiful building of Valencia.

Where do most expats live in Valencia, Spain?

In Valencia, expats tend to gravitate towards a few popular neighborhoods that offer a combination of convenience, comfort, and a sense of community. Some of the most popular areas for expats to live in Valencia include:

  1. Ruzafa: Ruzafa is a trendy and vibrant neighborhood known for its eclectic mix of cafes, bars, and galleries. With its diverse community and lively atmosphere, Ruzafa is particularly popular among young professionals and creatives.
  2. El Carmen: Located in the historic center of Valencia, El Carmen is a charming neighborhood with narrow, winding streets and beautiful architecture. El Carmen offers a mix of traditional and modern housing options, making it an attractive choice for expats seeking a central location with plenty of character.
  3. Ciutat Vella: The city’s old town, Ciutat Vella, is another popular area for expats, particularly those who appreciate the rich history and architectural beauty of Valencia. This neighborhood boasts numerous shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as easy access to many of the city’s main attractions.
  4. Eixample: A more upscale neighborhood, Eixample is known for its elegant architecture and wide, tree-lined boulevards. This area offers a range of stylish apartments and is popular among families and professionals seeking a quieter and more refined atmosphere.
  5. Poblats Marítims: For those who prefer to live closer to the beach, the Poblats Marítims area, which includes neighborhoods like El Cabanyal and La Malvarrosa, is an excellent option. These neighborhoods provide easy access to the beach, as well as a variety of dining and entertainment options.

When choosing where to live in Valencia, it’s important to consider your lifestyle preferences, budget, and proximity to work or school. 

By visiting different neighborhoods and talking to fellow expats, you’ll be better equipped to find the perfect area to call home in this captivating city.

What do I need to know before moving to Valencia?

Before moving to Valencia, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the city’s culture, customs, and practical aspects to ensure a smooth transition to your new life. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Language: While many locals speak some English, particularly younger generations, it’s highly recommended that you learn Spanish or improve your language skills to ease communication and fully immerse yourself in the local culture.
  2. Visas and permits: Make sure you’re aware of the necessary paperwork and bureaucratic processes required to obtain a visa, work permit, or residence permit. This may involve gathering documents, submitting applications, and potentially seeking professional guidance.
  3. Housing: Research the various neighborhoods in Valencia and determine which area best suits your lifestyle, budget, and needs. Be prepared to provide necessary documents and potentially pay a deposit when securing a rental property.
  4. Healthcare: Familiarize yourself with Spain’s healthcare system and determine whether you’ll require private health insurance or if you’ll be eligible for public healthcare.
  1. Banking and finances: Research the process for opening a local bank account and transferring funds from your home country. It’s also crucial to create a budget that accounts for the local cost of living and any currency exchange fluctuations.
  2. Employment: If you’re planning to work in Valencia, be aware that the job market can be competitive for non-Spanish speakers. Start networking, improving your language skills, and familiarizing yourself with local employment resources to increase your chances of finding a suitable position.
  3. Education: If you have children, research the various schooling options available in Valencia, such as public, private, and international schools, and begin the enrollment process as early as possible.
  4. Transportation: Learn about Valencia’s public transportation system, including buses, metro, and trams, and consider whether you’ll need a car or if public transport will suffice for your daily needs.
  5. Social life: Connect with fellow expats through online forums, social events, and language exchange programs to build a supportive network and ease your transition to life in Valencia.
The bike near the beautiful beach of Valencia.

Can you live in Valencia, Spain without a car?

Yes, it’s entirely possible to live in Valencia without a car. The city boasts an extensive and efficient public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro network, which makes it easy to get around without the need for a personal vehicle. 

Valencia is also a very bike-friendly city, with numerous dedicated bike lanes and a popular bike-sharing program called Valenbisi.

In addition to public transportation and cycling, many of Valencia’s neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly, with shops, restaurants, and amenities often within walking distance. Furthermore, taxis and ridesharing services are widely available for those occasions when you need a more convenient or direct mode of transport.

By choosing to live without a car in Valencia, you can save on expenses such as fuel, insurance, and parking, while also reducing your environmental footprint and enjoying the city’s vibrant street life.

(And from my perspective, coming from a very car-focused way of life: not having a car here is one of the best things about living in Valencia for me. I mainly rely on the bike system, Valenbisi, and can only recommend you do the same.

On the odd occasions we’ve needed a car, like to do a day trip, we simply hire one for the day. Far cheaper and far easier than having to look after one year round!)

10 Comments

  1. Hi Anna, Thank you for your great article. I am planning to move to Valencia and your outline will be most helpful. I don’t speak Spanish and will want to find an immersion Spanish class.
    Thanks again, Hank Thierry from Seattle

    1. Hi Hank – moving to Valencia is definitely a great plan in my books! 🙂 If you don’t speak Spanish yet, that’s perfectly fine at first, although you’ll find you need it in day-to-day life. Fortunately, there are plenty of really good schools here offering intensive Spanish classes (which, in my experience, can also be helpful for meeting new people). Take a look at this course, for example, as this school has great reviews and is well priced – and good luck with the eventual move!

  2. Hi Anna, thanks for this information. We visited Valencia, beach area and loved the neighborhood ps you mentioned. As a soon to be early retired university professor of languages, both English and Spanish, is their opportunities to work with local language institutes? Also, I would be teaching remotely so WiFi or cable would be a must. What are the opportunities and networking and working like this?

    1. Hi Nelson, so great to hear that you loved Valencia as I feel the same! I’m honestly not sure about opportunities with local language institutes but there’s certainly no harm in reaching out to some of them to find out. I do know that quite a few foreigners move here and teach English online and there are some great Facebook groups to reach out to others doing this – I always recommend this Expats in Valencia group, but this more general one on being ‘autónomo’ in Spain will also be helpful, given how many people also do this.

      On WiFi, I have to say that I’ve been very impressed at the speed vs cost of the internet connection here. At our place, we use Digi and have absolutely no complaints. That said, if you plan to rent something like a short term furnished place that comes with internet, even just when you move here, you can always ask them to show you proof of the internet speeds if you’d like to be extra sure.

  3. Hi Anna,

    We are thinking about moving to Valencia and I am going to travel to Valencia soon for a month. Do you have by chance any tip how to find out about the countryside of Valencia, where it would be lovely to live within 30 minutes or so. I am trying to find information but find it actually really hard to come by.

    Many thanks,

    Annette

    1. Hi Annette – great idea to come and actually see the city and its surroundings before committing to move, I hope you love it 🙂 You may have seen it already, but I do have this article on places to live in Valencia, which may give you some ideas. That said, while it’s a good starting point, it is more of a summary, so I’d also recommend that you join this Facebook group. There, you can either search the (thousands!) of existing questions about this topic or ask your own to get some thoughts for those who actually live in the areas you may be interested in. I’m a member of that group and there are honestly several posts daily with people looking for exactly what you describe here, with other people being really helpful at sharing their own experiences in living in the towns in the wider region – so hopefully it can be a great resource for you too! Good luck!

  4. Thanks Anna for a great article! I’ve been planning my move to Spain for a few months to be there long-term as a digital nomad and have been reeling back and forth between Madrid and Valencia. Now I’m leaning towards Valencia as I think it fits the more relaxed life I’m looking for but still offers opportunity for adventure and fun. Would love to hear your input for a 20-something debating between these different two cities 🙂

    1. Hi Peleg – no matter which one you pick, it sounds like a great idea to me! Even if I’m a bit biased 😉 I really do love Valencia for the exact reasons you mention…and at the same time, I’m a big fan of Madrid and could truly see myself leaving there one day. One thing I’ll mention as a wise old 30-something to you as a 20-something is that a lot of people have commented that the dating life in Valencia isn’t great. Not sure if you plan to come here with someone (I moved here with my husband so it wasn’t on my radar!) but I thought I’d mention it. The other thing is, of course, Madrid is a bigger city so naturally has more options for nightlife. That said, there are PLENTY of bars and things in Valencia, so it’s not like you’re short on choice here either in that regard.

      Those comments are all pretty general though, so feel free to let me know if you have any specific questions!

  5. Hi Anna,
    Thank you for the very informative article. I am retiring next year and I am seriously considering Valencia because of the many Pros that you mentioned. I am a Filipino-American and if my research is accurate, I can apply for Spanish citizenship easily since Spain colonized the Philippines. Is this true? I am actually spending a few days in Barcelona next month so I can have some basic points of comparison. I grew up in the Philippines and now live Texas and still the heat bothers me. I will for sure look for housing options with air conditioning.
    Thanks again!
    Rio

    1. Hi Rio – so glad to hear you’re thinking about making Valencia your home! Even if the heat is a (definitely valid!) consideration 😉 Unfortunately, I’m not 100% sure of Spain’s citizenship laws with respect to Filipinos although I understand you’re right that citizens of former colonies do have some benefits in that regard. I’d instead suggest checking directly with an immigration lawyer or another expert more in the know.

      Good luck and enjoy your trip to Barcelona!

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