Welcome to the latest in our “Go Expat in:” series from Matthew Hirtes. This time we focus on “Moving to Valencia”.
Spain’s third-largest city is first choice for many expats
The Mediterranean climate. An average of 217 sunny days a year is a draw. Especially if you’re locating from the UK. Where an umbrella is essential workwear. The food. Welcome to Spain’s Tuscany, one of the country’s outstanding gastronomic regions, birthplace of paella.
They love a moan in Valencia. Sure, el crisis gives cause for concern. But if the economy improved, they’d find something else to gripe about. Although, unlike in the UK, that would never be the weather.
In and out
One of Spain’s more central airports, the Aeropuerto de Valencia (VLC) is located around 10km to the west of the city-centre, in Manises. The most direct journey is by car, along the A3, a trip that will take you just over 10 minutes. Valencia boasts an excellent public transport system, with interconnecting buses, trams, and trains. Purchase a travel card at newsagents, tobaccionists, and the stations themselves to save on your journeys.
The pick of the international schools is undoubtedly Cambridge House Community College. Located in the exclusive north-west suburb of Rocafort, it’s the only Ofsted-approved school in the whole of Spain. In their own words, they “uphold an open and collegiate first names policy which incorporates friendly and supportive one to one treatment of our students with caring, firm discipline”.
Shop until you drop…
For a British-style supermarket, head to the basement of the El Corte Inglés (Calle Colón 1 and 27, and Calle Pintor Sorolla 2). For a cheaper option, Mercadona has branches throughout the city and indeed province. Their product range has recent improved. There are 16 covered markets to choose from. The most famous is the Central Market, although the Rufaza is probably the most authentic.
Over to Valencia Property’s Graham Hunt: “The Carmen, Ruzafa and El Pilar are the most bohemian areas with a lively nightlife and something always going on. The more sedate Ensanche is the most exclusive residential area in the city. Outside space is at a premium in all of the areas so attic flats at good prices are like hens’ teeth.”
One-three bedroom apartments, €100,000-€600,000. Detached Villas, €300,000-€1,000,000. Country fincas €90,000-€270,000.
In Praise Of
“Valencia offers a more relaxed atmosphere than you would expect of Spain’s 3rd city, there’s no sense of “hustle and bustle” as in Madrid or London for example. Beautiful architecture and open-air plazas make it a pleasure to reside in.” Toni Wilson (Valencia Holiday Rentals)
“Valencia is a fab city to live in and a great place to get to know all different types of people. In fact it’s far more bohemian, fashionable and cosmopolitan than many people give it credit for.” Guy Alexander Bell (Valencia’s resident expert for Spain-Holiday.com)
“Valencia is neither too big or too small. It’s a village within a town within a city. It’s both open and closed, dynamic yet staid, liberal yet conservative, intense yet frivolous.” Will McCarthy (editor, 24/7 Valencia)
• Are you an expat in Valencia? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know below.
Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He’s travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert.