If you’re considering living abroad and Spain is your country of choice, we’re here to tell you that Valencia should be the spot you choose. The third largest city in the nation, it gives you all the busyness of the other cities like Barcelona and Madrid, but is a little less touristy and a little more authentic when it comes to daily Spanish life.
Whether you’re thinking about just moving abroad for a year or two, or considering expatriating all together, you want to make sure you’re choosing the right place for you. Moving to another country, especially one where you might not speak the language can be a daunting move, so that’s why we think Valencia would be a great place, especially for Americans, due to its normalistic lifestyle and friendly local people.
Let’s start with the incredible weather! If Spain’s warm climate brought you to the country, then the miles of beaches will bring you Valencia. The city is coastal and beautiful, but at the same time is a bustling metropolis, thats quite a bit less touristy than some of the other Spanish cities. It’s very much a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle in Valencia, so if that’s the type of life you seek, this city is very much for you.
Walk through the city streets and gaze at the amazing mix of old and new architecture. A city in Spain often referred to as “underrated,” Valencia has so much to offer. Visit the gorgeous Valencia Cathedral if you want to see something beautiful and full of history. What kind of history you ask? Well, the Valencianos claim they have the real Holy Grail. You know, the cup Jesus Christ supposedly drank from at the Last Supper? Yeah, that one. Although several other cities in the world argue this, if you want to be a Valenciano yourself…I’d side with the locals.
Take a trip to the local Valencia Central Market and get out your wallet. Here you’ll find everything from fruit and vegetable vendors, to meat stands, to restaurants, bars, and other little shops. It’s very much a local hangout and will really give you a glimpse into what daily life is like, not only in Valencia, but Spain in general. Maybe grab yourself a couple delicious snacks and go hang out at one of the central plazas. They’re a great escape to sit back, relax and people watch. Just be wary of thieves and pickpockets, and know that it’s not your snacks they’re looking for.
A great spot, especially for a photo op, is The City of the Arts and Sciences. It’s a crazy part of town that has all these very futuristic-looking buildings. Its located at the end of the old Turia river bed and has many awesome attractions like a 3D panoramic theater, a small Sea-World-like attraction and even an opera house. If you want to spend the day entertained, this is the section of the city to do it.
And speaking of entertainment, Fallas is a festival that happens annually in which the city kind of loses their mind a little bit. Each neighborhood in the town constructs large statues, binge drinks, dresses up in crazy outfits and sets off fireworks at all hours of the day and night. Everything sort of shuts down for the whole week, but its definitely an experience to remember, no matter how much drinking you may do.
Lastly, if you need a little escape from all the craziness that goes on in the city, head 20 minutes outside of town to Port Saplaya, otherwise known as “Little Venice.” It’s a quaint little oasis and a great escape from city streets. Right along the coast, it boasts little canals and a quiet romantic atmosphere, just like the real Venice.
We can assure you, no matter where in the world, or even in Spain. you choose to live abroad, it will be an experience and an amazing one at that! After our research though, during Spain Week, we concluded that this city has it all: the endless amounts of things to see and do, the proximity to the sea, the local welcoming attitude and the calm aspect lacking in some of the other big cities. We love Valencia and can’t wait to walk the streets for ourselves.
Where would you live abroad in beautiful Spain?
Much love and wandering…