Expats and digital nomads prefer Valencia
The pros and cons of moving to Valencia, Spain
This article describes the pros and cons of moving to Valencia. If you are number one in the Huffington Post as the best city in the world to live from 11 other cities, then Valencia is the best choice you can make to move.
But it is not entirely clear that it is the best move ever. As everywhere, there are disadvantages, so we are going to use our foreknowledge to look at the pros and cons of moving to Valencia.
Pro #1 - The weather
Like Barcelona, Valencia lies on the east coast of Spain and is protected by the Calderona Mountains. It is almost flat and in the east of the mountains the weather changes drastically. It is warm and it is milder than in the rest of Spain. In summer it is about 5 degrees cooler than in Madrid (that feels like an oven) and in winter it is 5 degrees warmer.
Con #1 - The weather
Valencia can get very humid in winter. For some people this is not a problem, but there is a lot of moisture in the air added to the feeling of warmth. On top of this, the city can go for weeks without rain, so July and August are very hot, in fact, most Spaniards travel north for their summer holidays!
Pro #2 - The food
Valencia is home to paella. Many other people will tell you that paella is from their city, but they are wrong. From the beginning the paella comes from the Albufera rice fields in the south of Valencia, you can take a boat around the lake and eat the most delicious paella you have ever tasted. Valencia has many more regional dishes that are rice based, cheap and healthy.
Con #2 - The culture
It is the third city of Spain with about 1 million inhabitants, it does not lack facilities, but if you want to see the latest performances of Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, this is not the place. There are not many cinemas and most of the films are dubbed in Spanish. However, the local culture is great, with lots of parties and crazy traditions, but the international culture is definitely lacking.
Pro #3 - The Fallas festival
The Fallas festival is a spectacle not to be missed. It is 5 days of madness, fireworks, street food and (tasteless) music. Many Valencians flee the city for five days and stay elsewhere because they are fed up with the chaos, but for tourists and expats it is one of the best parties in the world.
Prices for accommodation rise around this time, so if you are visiting, book early. This festival is one of the unsung parties in Spain and just about the best! Read more about the official program of fallas 2020 behind this link.
Con #3 - The March madness
Yes, for tourists March is crazy in Valencia. It is fun, the streets are filled and there is non-stop noise from the Mascletà, but for many people this is hell. Some tourists arrive without knowing what to expect and it can be overpowering. If you do not like being crushed in crowds, you should plan a holiday for March to escape the city.
Pro #4 - The peace and quite
Unlike Barcelona and Madrid, Valencia is relatively quiet. Traffic jams are very rare, the cycle paths are excellent and the weather is perfect for cycling. This creates a city centre with a nice quiet feeling. Around the large squares there is a nice buzz of conversations without the constant beggars and drunks like in the Ramblas of Barcelona.
Con #4 - The pay
Expect a pay cut if you work for local companies in Valencia. Wages in Spain are simply lower than in other EU countries, so if you have an outside job, that's great. For English speakers coming to Valencia for the adventure, there are always opportunities in English education. That said, the cost of living in Valencia is quite low, the rent is still cheap, even near the beach, and you can make a living with very little money.
Pro #5 - The lifestyle
Valencia is a relaxed city, the people are hospitable and friendly, there is always a lot to do in the city. The best way to keep up to date with events is Love Valencia and Agenda Urbana. Most activities are outside and people spend little time indoors. The food is cheap, the weather is great and there is a great vibe.
Con #5 - The housingmarket
The housing market is getting at its best as pre- 2007. Which is great for people who have invested cheaply. There is a lot of housing available in Valencia and some prices are really great; but in the top areas prices are rising and some prices are becoming difficult for people with low paid jobs, especially in the city centre. The suburbs have some great places for much lower prices, if you do not want to live in the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are looking to invest in Valencia check out Blue Key Investments a sister company of Globexs.
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"We do what we do because we believe the world would be a better place if everyone had the chance to live and work abroad for a while." Lodewijk Cuypers, founder of Globexs.
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