Living in Valencia: Why is it better to live in Valencia than in Madrid or Barcelona

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Expats and digitals nomads prefer Valencia

Updated 24/01/2021

Living in Spain is not cheap. A flat in Barcelona or Madrid will cost €200,000+ for a pokey 1 bedroom place. So why not think about moving to Valencia? Valencia offers so much more; it’s hot, it’s fun, it’s on the coast, and most of all, you get a lot more bang for your buck. So let’s dive in and find out why it’s better to live in Valencia than in Madrid or Barcelona.

Table of Contents

Living in Valencia means you’ll get a better place to live for a lot less money

When you are looking for a new place abroad, it has to be the dream home. Valencia has dream homes in abundance with miles of shoreline and 300+ days of sun every year. Pair that with much lower house prices and you can imagine what a spectacular city it is as a place for your second home or your holiday home.

For people looking to move to Valencia for study or for contracted work, you can find 3 bedroom flats with communal swimming pools for €800 a month or less. Click here to read how to rent an apartment in Valencia.

Compared to Madrid and Barcelona, Housing in Valencia is much cheaper. To get anywhere near the same in Madrid you would pay a minimum of €1000 a month. But add to that the cost of living. On average you’ll expect to pay 20% more for food in Madrid and Barcelona. Living in Valencia is also much easier as it’s a geographically small city. Most places are within walking distance and there is a great transport network. The city has a large underground rail network which is constantly being expanded.

If you’re looking to invest and buy a place in Valencia, right now is the time. For €100,000 – €150,000 you can get a great apartment in the centre or near the beach. If you’re looking for a more secluded place with garden and swimming pool in the countryside, expect to pay upwards of €200,000. The company Blue Key can help you find an interesting investment in Valencia.

Valencia has everything you need without the hassle of big city life

Valencia has a population of around one million. It’s the best of worlds. It has world famous 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.

There’s lots to do in Valencia. The two best websites which list the hundreds of fiestas and events every weekend are Agenda Urbana and Love Valencia.

Valencia also has great healthcare and infrastructure. The new hospital La Fe is a brand-new, multi-million euro, state of the art hospital which can easily manage healthcare for the whole city with short waiting times and the very latest technology.

On the roads in Valencia you rarely see traffic jams, and the city has just installed bicycle lanes all over the city.

Working in Madrid? The M50 circular of Madrid 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.

Valencia is a great place to learn Spanish

In Barcelona, you can get by speaking only Castilian (standard Spanish), but it’s sometimes difficult as many people only speak Catalan (the dialect of Catalunya). Most schools and universities speak only Catalan so to truly integrate, you’ll have to learn the language.

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.

The Las Fallas festival is an undiscovered week of mayhem

If you haven’t heard of this festival, you’re in for a surprise.

Everyone knows the San Fermín Bull festival and the Tomatina (which is also in Valencia). But Las Fallas is not so well-known. The whole week is a crazy festival of firework displays (some of the best in the world), the infamous Mascleta, The Fallas statues are enormous (15-20 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.

Valencia is on the coast

If you want to enjoy the beach, Valencia offers everything you need. Pristine Mediterranean beaches just South and North of the city. On the main beach close to the port, there are lots of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Nights out in summer in this area are memorable.

The port area has everything for sailing enthusiasts, there is jet skiing, windsurfing, kite-surf, beach-bars. The beach has everything a typical Spanish resort would have, but with the upshot of being only ten minutes from Valencia 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. The beach area of Barcelona at night is also known as a crime hotspot. Madrid is as far from the beach as you can be, right in the centre of the country.

The food is simply spectacular

Valencia is famous for its rice dishes. The authentic Paella Valenciana is local to the region. 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. The areas of El Carmen and Conde Altea have everything from michelin starred restaurants to open terraces serving tapas until late into the night.

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. For around €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.

It’s a great place for families and kids too

Valencians are a very friendly bunch. Kids are welcome everywhere, in bars and restaurants until very late it’s common to see kids still playing until after 11pm. There are kids’ playgrounds everywhere and lots of activities every weekend.

There are public schools in all of the areas of Valencia, and there are now some 10 international schools in and around the city along with bilingual and plurilingual private schools employing native English teachers.

Many expats find home outside the city close to an international school, driving into Valencia in the morning is not bad for traffic and in the residential estates around the city (search Lliria and L’Eliana) life is peaceful and quiet.

Valencia has become a digital nomad hotspot

Despite the pressure that Covid-19 has put on global mobility, location independent working is gaining momentum. More and more people are considering a dynamic location independent lifestyle and becoming a so-called digital nomad. Valencia has become one of the best hotspots in Europe for digital nomads. 

Valencia offers everything a remote worker or digital nomad needs and was selected on several occasions as the best place in Spain for teleworkers. Of course, this is very subjective, but at Globexs we can only agree. Valencia is our home town, the place where it all started. The place we fell in love with the concept of Global Mobility.

Valencia has a vibrant expat community

Despite the Covid-19 social restrictions, Valencia has a vibrant expat community. 

The Facebook group “Expats living and working in Valencia” has thousands of members and is the meeting spot for newly arrived and established expats living and working in Valencia. The group was created to help expats help each other.

In pre-covid times we also published a few articles on this blog about how to make friends in Valencia, and on this page expats and digital nomads can find useful information about living and working in Valencia

Related articles about moving to Valencia

More information about living and working in Valencia

Globexs helps foreigners relocate to Valencia. We provide furnished rental apartments and legal immigration assistance.

The Globexs rental process is specifically designed to make life easy for people who move to Valencia. No hassle rentals: We deliver trust and confidence. 

Are you planning to move to Valencia, contact us for a free quotation.

Globexs offers a wide range of flexible temporary expat rentals in Valencia in all price ranges.

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