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. Coming in at Number One in the Huffington Post for the best of 11 cities in the world to live, Valencia is one of the best picks you can make for moving abroad. 

But it’s not totally clear that it’s the best move ever, like anywhere, there are drawbacks, so we’re going to use our insider knowledge to look at the pros and cons of moving to Valencia, the 3rd Spanish city.

Pro #1 - The weather

Like Barcelona, Valencia is located on the Eastern coast of Spain and is sheltered by the Calderona mountains. It is nearly flat, and in the East of the mountains, the weather changes drastically. It’s hot, it’s mild, and it’s milder than in the rest of Spain. In the summer it’s some 5 degrees cooler than Madrid (which is a furnace) and 5 degrees warmer in the winter.

Con #1 - The weather

Valencia can get very humid in the winter. For some people, this is not a problem, but there is a lot of moisture in the air added to the heat sensation. And above that, the city can go for weeks without rain, so July and August are very hot indeed, in fact, most Spaniards travel North for their holidays!

Pro #2 - The food

Valencia is the home of paella. Many other people will tell you that paella comes from their city, but they are wrong. From its very origins, paella comes from the Albufera rice paddies to the South of Valencia, you can take a boat around the lake and follow it up with the most delicious paella you have ever tasted. Valencia has many more regional dishes which are rice based, cheap, and wholesome.

Con #2 - Culture

It is Spain’s third city with a population of around 1 million, so it’s not lacking in amenities but if you want to see the latest gigs from Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, this is not the place. There are not many cinemas and most of the films are dubbed into Spanish. The local culture is great, with lots of fiestas and crazy traditions, but international culture is definitely lacking.

Pro #3 - The fiestas

The Fallas festival is a spectacle not to be missed. It is 5 days of madness, fireworks, street food and (tacky) music. Many Valencians flee the city for five days and stay elsewhere as they are fed up of the chaos, but for tourists and expats it’s one of the best parties in the world. Prices rise for accommodation around this time so if you’re going to visit book early. But this festival is one of the unsung festivals in Spain and pretty much the best one!

Con #3 - The March Madness

Yes. For tourists, March is crazy in Valencia. It’s fun, the streets are filled and there is non-stop noise from the Mascletà, but for many people, this is hell. Some tourists arrive w not knowing what they are going to face and it can be overbearing. If you don’t like to be squished in crowds of people, you’ll need to plan a holiday for March to escape the city

Pro #4 - Peace and quiet

Unlike Barcelona and Madrid, Valencia is relatively quiet. Traffic jams are very rare, the cycle lanes are excellent and the weather is perfect for cycling. This makes for a city center with a nice quiet feeling. Around the main plazas, there’s a nice hum of conversation without the constant beggars and drunks like in the Ramblas of Barcelona

Con #4 - The pay

Expect to take a pay cut if you’re working for local companies in Valencia. The wages in Spain are simply lower than in other EU countries, so if you have a remote job great. For English speakers coming to Valencia for adventure, there are always opportunities in English teaching. Having said all that, the cost of living in Valencia is quite low, rent is still cheap, even near the beach, and you can get by very well on very little money.

Pro #5 - The lifestyle

Valencia is a relaxed city, the people are welcoming and friendly, and there is lots to do with events all over the city published on Love Valencia and Agenda Urbana. Most activities go on outdoors and people spend little time indoors. The food is cheap, the weather’s great and there is a great vibe.

Con #5 - The housing market

The housing market is getting back to its pre-2007 best. Which is great for people who invested cheap. There is a lot of available housing in Valencia and some of the prices are genuinely amazing; but in the prime areas, prices are rising and some rents are becoming difficult for people in low paid jobs, especially in the centre of the city. The outskirts have some great places for much lower cost if you don’t 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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