Top 5 Reasons Why Valencia, Spain is Perfect for Expats

By: Allison B

Everyone knows Spain is one awesome country. But, when deciding to move here, how is a future expat supposed to decide on which city? Valencia is the perfect choice, and here is why:

1. The Food:

What is the main dish that comes to mind when thinking about Spain? Paella, right? Well, guess where that famous food originated from…right here in Valencia! Here, you can sample the most delicious and authentic Paella in all of Spain.
For a cool and refreshing drink, try Valencia’s Horchata (or Orxata in Valencian). This is a drink made from tigernuts and is perfect on a hot summer day. Often paired with homemade pastries perfect for dunking called fartones (Yes, everyone laughs the first time they order these.)
Into Spanish wines? You can try wines from all over Spain for a ridiculously cheap price! Most of the time alcohol is cheaper than soda in restaurants! So...bottoms up!

2. The City:

Valencia has everything you could ever want within close proximity. The beach is very close to the city center and is huge! There is lots of room for sunbathing, volleyball/football games or a nice stroll down the boardwalk with a picnic. The city center is a beautiful mix of old and new. The architecture in Valencia was one of the first things I noticed when I arrived. All the buildings are beautiful! There is so much to do and see in the center it never gets old. If you want to escape city life, outside of Valencia city itself, but still within the Valencian Community are some gorgeous mountains perfect for hiking, biking and day trips to the small towns.

3. The History and Culture:

Even if you don’t know much about Spanish history, you will learn so much when you arrive to Valencia. This city has been influenced by Greeks, Romans, Vistagoths and Moors throughout its long history. There are festivals all throughout the year that celebrate the rich history of Valencia.
The Culture of Valencia is amazing. It has a very laid back and relaxed atmosphere. The people are warm and welcoming and love to sit and chat over a cerveza. There are lots of yummy restaurants and bars with great terraces. Theaters, music, art and other activities are always going on here.
Don’t forget about Las Fallas Valencia’s most famous festival! Huge paper mache displays are set up in the streets, at the end of the festival they are all burned to the ground! Lots of fireworks and people during this festival!

4. Turia Riverbed:

In my opinion, this deserves its own category. This is my favorite thing about Valencia (the same for many other expats!) It is a former river turned green space that runs all through the city. Starting at the famous Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias it continues for just over 8 kilometers. It is an amazing place for a bike ride, morning jog, picnics, kids birthday parties, football games and so many other things. There are playgrounds, yoga groups, live music and movies in the summer. Since it runs through the whole city, it’s a beautiful way to walk to the different neighborhoods.

5. Amazing Expat Community:

Moving to a new country is always difficult. But, finding an expat community makes the transition easier. In Valencia, there are expats from all over the world. There is always something going on so you will feel connected to other people in the same boat. Often from the same country as you! Having such a supportive expat community will definitely make your transition to Valencia much easier!

About the author

Expat Blog ListingAllison B is an American expat living in Spain. Blog description: Allison is a 24 year old English teacher from Denver, Colorado who is currently trying to figure out the expat life in Valencia, Spain. Follow her foodie and travel adventures in and around Europe!
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Contest Comments » There are 59 comments

Jane Bauer wrote 10 years ago:

I agree, Valencia is a great city and in my mind is often over looked when people travel to Spain. We went for Las Fallas last year and words can't describe the festival, it is like the Rose Bowl floats on steroids and multiplied by a hundred. People have to see it to believe it. I much rather prefer Valencia over Barcelona.

Karen Harris wrote 10 years ago:

Oh how I love Spain and I can't wait to get back there as soon as possible. Your lovely description brings back lots of wonderful memories of my last visit.

Sharon Badian wrote 10 years ago:

Someday I will get to Spain (my lucky daughter has been there and even had fabulous paella in Valencia) and I will be sure to consult with you. Until then, I'll have to content myself with reading your blog.

Jess Perrie wrote 10 years ago:

Thanks for all of the insight Allison! Looking forward to my trip to Spain next April, I'll keep all of these points in mind. Hopefully I'll be able to make it to Valencia.

Allie Robitaille wrote 10 years ago:

Spain looks and sounds like such an awesome place! I can't wait till I can travel there and experience the things you have found to be the best :)

Lauren Aloise wrote 10 years ago:

Valencia really does have the makings of a perfect city (although I might be partial to Madrid!). What I love most is the climate and the proximity to the ocean, that's just something I can't get here in the capital. And of course horchata... yum!

Rachelle M wrote 10 years ago:

Valencia is smaller than Madrid and Barcelona, so it's more laid back, and it's by the beach!

David B wrote 10 years ago:

You definitely hit the high points of my trip to Valencia last year. It's a beautiful city and I'm looking forward to visiting again. Thanks for bringing back such good memories!

Sarah H wrote 10 years ago:

I LOVED Valencia when I was there! Wish I could have spent more time in the city . . .

Chelsea Brown wrote 10 years ago:

I can't wait to explore Spain someday, before Allison moved there I never would have thought to vacation there but she always finds fun stuff to do and from what I have seen its beautiful!!

Jennifer wrote 10 years ago:

Valencia is amazing! I second the Turia Riverbed. It's such a good green space and can make you feel like you've gotten away from the city for a bit.

Lauren wrote 10 years ago:

The Turia riverbed was one of my favorites too when I visited Valencia a few summers ago! I remember thinking how cool it was that it had been converted into a green space for locals, expats and tourists to enjoy!

Scott wrote 10 years ago:

As I start to plan trips for when I finally have money a post like this is full of useful information. Valencia sounds like a marvellous place to visit. One of the main things that drives where I want to go is the food! You make it seem like THE place to be!

Stephanie wrote 10 years ago:

Valencia is a great place for children. The science museum, the aquarium, and bioparc are fantastic. The people of Valencia are some of the kindest I have ever met and they adore children. Living here has been an amazing experience for out family.

Ashley B. wrote 10 years ago:

I really enjoyed the paragraph titled the city! It really spoke in detsil about the many different activities or places someone could go do.

Katelyn Kopp wrote 10 years ago:

My trip to and through Spain was life changing. A lot of that was due to my incredible guide. I agree that Valencia is absolutely beautiful and so full of interesting culture, delicious food, and kind people all its own. I would love to return to visit my favorite expat someday.

Kirstie wrote 10 years ago:

I had the most wonderful picnic in the Turia riverbed when I was there last for Fallas! I'd love to spend more time in Valencia.

Jessica Wray wrote 10 years ago:

I love Valencia! I can´t wait to go back during the summer time :) I wasn´t a huge fan of the horchata but the rest I loved!

Barbara | Creative Culinary wrote 10 years ago:

You've convinced me Allison; Valencia is about much more than California Oranges! :) I've not had the fortune to travel much but have hosted a lot of kids from different countries including many from Spain...their stories definitely have it on my wish list; your review of this area helps me narrow it down. Thanks a bunch!

Chelsea Alventosa wrote 10 years ago:

Awesome List Allison! My grandparents were from pueblos in Valencia and I still haven't been... need to make it over there sometime soon!! Your article makes me think, the sooner, the better!

Ansh Dhar wrote 10 years ago:

When one lives in another country, away from family and the life they have known, it is important to be in a place that makes you feel welcome and feels like a home away from home. From your description it feels just like that - a beautiful, wonderful place to call home.

Lisa wrote 10 years ago:

The best vacation I've ever had was a month in Spain a few years ago. I always think about going back - especially after retiring from work someday and being able to spend an extended time there - but your blog gives me a whole new perspective on how to go sn American expat!

Saxon wrote 10 years ago:

Great information, Allison, thank you. We are eating our way around Asia presently, and may hit you up for tips when we get to Spain!

Ruth wrote 10 years ago:

This makes me even more excited to visit Spain someday! I'm moving it higher up on the list now :)

Martine wrote 10 years ago:

Allison's description of Valencia is spot on! I can almost see myself strolling the streets again. After reading her blog, Spain has officially been moved up a spot on my list of places for a return trip. Thanks!

Jana wrote 10 years ago:

Valencia sounds like a perfect place for expats to live! While I haven't been before, it's now on my list for when I go back to Spain!

Letty Flatt wrote 10 years ago:

I am pretty sure I could easily live in Valencia Spain. I love this post because it tells me why.

Susan Neff wrote 10 years ago:

Thanks, Allison, for your list of reasons to go back to Valencia. Can't believe we missed the Turla riverbed the first time around. Sounds like we should plan on staying a few weeks next time to really enjoy the city and all it has to offer. Or maybe we should return as expats!

Chris Riggle wrote 10 years ago:

Allison, you make it sound oh! so interesting! Would love to come over and have you as my guide. I'll talk to your mom about it soon! Keep teaching and writing.

Heidi @ WagonersAbroad wrote 10 years ago:

Oh, how we love Valencia. We opted to live further south, but love to visit the city.

Ed Jennings wrote 10 years ago:

Enjoyed all of the sights and sounds Spain has to offer. If you have any additional insights to the beer consumed in Spain, I would find that interesting since Denver is becoming a craft brewing headquarters.

Stacey wrote 10 years ago:

As an expat in Berlin, I can testify that these are all indeed, luxuries. Especially the food part.. Jealous.

Vicki McLeod wrote 10 years ago:

Many moons ago I visited Valencia and had a night out on the town imbibing Agua de Valencia. I'm told it was a great night out...! I loved the city and your blog has reminded me of these happy days way back when! Congratulations and Bon Suerte! xxx

James Flood wrote 10 years ago:

I really hope to make it to Las Fallas this year! I think it is kind of like bonfire night in England. Sounds like a blast. Great post!

Simon wrote 10 years ago:

Valencia is a great city! I´d love to live there for a while!

Claudia Oddo wrote 10 years ago:

This makes me happy to be a fellow expat in Valencia! :)

Meghan wrote 10 years ago:

What a great little glimpse into Valencia! I think you've convinced me to put Valencia on my "places to go" next time I travel to Spain.

Henry Jones wrote 10 years ago:

Great post, Allison! Spain is one of my favorite countries, but I have not had the chance to go to Valencia. Hopefully the next visit. Your post makes me really want to visit! It sounds amazing.

Jess Romero wrote 10 years ago:

Hi Allison! I love your blog! I went to Valencia a long time ago and reading about all your adventures makes me really want to go back!

Michelle wrote 10 years ago:

Hey Alison! Valencia is all that you say it is for sure! There are always things to continue discovering, meanwhile munching on all the Paella and tapas you can imagine! Good luck! Hugs.

Roy G wrote 10 years ago:

Your list makes me think I need to visit Valencia!

Mo wrote 10 years ago:

Great post! I love being an expat here and you hit on all my favorite things about the city.

Miguel wrote 10 years ago:

Hello teacher, I have lived in Valencia all my life and I think your post has some really good information about the city and why they should visit. Miguel

Chris wrote 10 years ago:

You are making me really regret not stopping in Valencia in my short trip to Spain. At least now I have a good excuse to go back! Very useful information in this post.

Alicia wrote 10 years ago:

Valencia sounds so amazing! I am studying Spanish at school and want to go to Spain when I graduate. Hopefully I can stop by Valencia

Samantha wrote 10 years ago:

I just visited Valencia in the December puente. It is such a beautiful city! I can see why you love it, Allison.

Rachel Baily wrote 10 years ago:

Wow! After reading this I am going to put Valencia on my list for my next trip to Europe. I'm surprised it's not the first destination for most people. It sounds perfect!

Gema wrote 10 years ago:

I love Valencia. I live in a town near, but I visit at the weekends. It is a fun city

Alfredo Gimenez wrote 10 years ago:

I love to live in Valencia it is a beautiful city. I have lucky that I can live here.

Vanesa wrote 10 years ago:

This story makes me proud to be from Valencia. Very nicely written.

Adam H wrote 10 years ago:

I'm studying Spanish at K-State and am hoping to study in Valencia my junior year. Reading this post is making me really excited!

Mark Lombardi wrote 10 years ago:

Very fun! I love Paella and hope that some day I can save up enough money to try the "original" paella in Valencia.

Nina wrote 10 years ago:

Fun post, Allison! I love Spanish culture and hope to be able to visit Valencia some day. Will you be my foodie tour guide?

Justin McDowell wrote 10 years ago:

Great information! The Turia river sounds like its a great escape from the city. Is the horchata in Valencia similar to the horchata in South/Central America?

Gale wrote 10 years ago:

Spanish food is my favorite cuisine. I love having tapas parties for my friends. I like your writing style, keep up the good work!

Jeffrey Donalds wrote 10 years ago:

I always associate Valencia with Las Fallas, this is a great post to give information about the city that has a lot more to offer than just fireworks!

Saher Khoury wrote 10 years ago:

I totally agree with you Allison, it was one of the most beautiful cities I've ever visited, especially during the days of Las Fallas; one of the most unique and crazy festivals in Spain.

Nancy F wrote 10 years ago:

Thanks for the information. We have not visited Valencia, and hopefully there is a Spain trip in our future. Your article certainly describes it well. Interesting area and great food!

NicoleD wrote 10 years ago:

From all your tales it is definitely on my top 10 of places I want to go. Anyplace that starts with Food and Wine being top is totally my kind of place!

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