Living in Valencia offers a host of benefits; it’s hot, it’s fun, it’s on the coast, and most of all, you get a lot more for your money. In this post we’ll give you some of the reasons why it’s better to live in Valencia than in Madrid or Barcelona.
When you are weighing up the options in looking for a new place to live, the first consideration is your living space. Compared to Madrid and Barcelona rentals in Valencia are relatively cheap. Of course you need to make a difference between long term rentals and short term, fully furnished/serviced rentals, but expats in Valencia will experience that the cost of renting a decent home in Valencia is not excessive. On top of that you also have to factor in travel; Madrid and Barcelona are big places, and as anyone who has lived in a big city knows, travelling even meet friends for drinks means catching the metro or the bus for a long trip across the city. Living in Valencia is much easier as it’s a geographically small city. Most places are within walking distance and there is a great transport network with underground rail and buses everywhere.
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Valencia has a population of around one million people. This means it has the best of worlds. It has great museums such as the City of Arts and Science, one of the best universities in the country, financial districts, business centres and super-fast internet.
On the roads in Valencia you rarely see traffic jams. In Madrid, the M50 is a notorious motorway for traffic paralysis and hour-long traffic jams in the morning. In Barcelona, if you find yourself on Avenida Diagonal between 7 and 9am you’ll know what heavy traffic really means.
Spain has an NHS, and Valencia new hospital La Fe is a brand-new, multi-million Euro state of the art hospital easily covering the healthcare for the whole city with short waiting times and the very latest facilities.
In Barcelona, you can get by speaking only Castilian, but some people make it difficult. Schools and universities all speak only Catalan so to truly integrate you have to learn this language too. In the centre of Valencia everyone speaks Castilian, so it’s great place to study Spanish. The accent is neutral and there are many language academies for expats that want to spend some time in Spain and learn Spanish. One of the best things about living in Valencia is that the language is clear and it’s easier to learn.
If you haven’t heard of this festival, you’re in for a surprise. Everyone knows the San Fermín Bull festival, but Las Fallas is not so well-known. The whole week is a mad festival of fireworks (some of the best in the world), the infamous Mascleta, The Fallas statues are enormous (10-15 metres high) artworks which on the final day are burnt to the ground in the Cremà. Many people choose to leave the city for the duration of the festival, but expats invariably love every minute of it. If you love culture and want to see Spain at its best, check out this festival!
If you want to enjoy the beach and don’t want to live out in the sticks, Valencia has a huge coastline made up of seven beaches. The port area has everything for sailing enthusiasts, there is jet skiing, windsurfing, kite-surf, beach-bars, and really everything a typical resort would have, but with the upshot of being only ten minutes from the city centre.
Barcelona is also on the coast but the difference is huge. To really enjoy the beach in Barcelona you have to get out of the city and head north or south before you find clean beaches where people aren’t packed like sardines.
Valencia is famous for its rice dishes. The authentic Paella Valenciana is local to the city. The rice is grown in the rice paddies (The Albufera National Park) to the south of the city and the whole of Spain knows Valencia as the place to go for the perfect paella cooked over a wood fire.
If you want to spend a night out eating and drinking, in Valencia you can bar-hop from place to place, eating tapas and having a drink as you go. This is how the locals do it and really, for €40 you can have a great night out and get a taxi home. Compare this to a night out in Madrid or Barcelona and you’d be lucky to make it to 10pm.
Valencians are a very friendly bunch. Kids are welcome everywhere, in bars until very late it’s common to see kids still playing until after 11pm, there are kid’s playgrounds everywhere, no matter where you choose to live it is guaranteed you’ll have a playground within 200m. there are activities every weekend which can be found on Agenda Urbana, which is a great site to find out what’s going in Valencia.
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