Home to one of Spain’s most famous dishes, paella, Valencia affords expats an authentic taste of Spanish life on the country’s beautiful east coast. Medieval landmarks meet futuristic architectural designs in Valencia, a city known for being a hub of innovation, science and art.
Extensive green spaces, cobbled alleys and streets lined with orange trees characterise Spain’s third-largest city.
Living in Valencia as an expat
Valencia’s old-world traits yet cosmopolitan feel combined with its friendly population, gorgeous climate and rich culture attract a large and vibrant expat community.
Expats can indulge in several art galleries and museums, most of which host frequent exhibitions. Valencia’s unique architecture cannot be ignored either: landmarks such as the City of Arts and Sciences and the impressive L'Oceanogràfic aquarium are great places to witness the city’s innovation. These ultra-modern projects contrast the city’s historical structures such as the Valencia Cathedral and the 14th-century Torres de Serranos.
Despite being an enchanting expat destination, Valencia's job opportunities are limited, and getting a Spanish work visa can be difficult. Nevertheless, those with the right skillsets are able to pursue a career here and earn a fairly decent salary.
Expats appreciate the mix of old and new in Valencia, and the city’s accommodation follows suit and incorporates modern amenities with access to traditional comforts. This is especially true for expats living in Ciutat Vella, the old town. Many expats also choose to live outside the city in towns and villages, such as L’Eliana, Puçol or Betera, which offer spacious villas and cheaper rentals than the city centre. Valencia boasts sound public transport infrastructure with various options for getting around, so commuting isn’t an issue for those living further out.
Cost of living in Valencia
Expat families and children in Valencia
With the high quality and subsidised education in Valencia, parents need not worry about finding a suitable school for their children. It’s recommended for expats with younger children to opt for state schools, which often teach in Spanish, to help their children overcome the language and cultural barriers.
The city’s many green spaces, museums and children’s parks, such as Parque Gulliver, mean that there are plenty of weekend activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Parents can also rest assured that Valencia boasts excellent, affordable and easily accessible healthcare.
Climate in Valencia
Valencia’s temperate Mediterranean climate is a marriage of warm summers and mild winters. Although the winter months tend to be long and dry, the city mainly experiences pleasant weather all year.
New arrivals with a willingness to embrace the Valencian way of life will soon settle in with the locals and learn to appreciate the small things in life, and, of course, the delicious Spanish cuisine.
►For more insights, read our list of pros and cons of moving to Valencia
"Valencia offers something for every type of person. It is a city that always has something going on, whether that’s live music in the park or midnight marathons... Every day here, I fall in love with the city a little bit more. The architecture is incredible, and every single street or alley has something spectacular to catch your eye and capture your heart." Read Billie's experiences relocating to Valencia in this interview.
"The food! Valencia is famous for its “huerta” (vegetable and fruit orchard/cropland), and one can enjoy the best of Spain’s fresh produce here. Valencia is also a very nice size city, large enough to have plenty of culture and nightlife, but not so large and touristy as Madrid and Barcelona. This combination makes for a wonderful quality of life at a much more affordable price." Read our interview with Zach and find out what he enjoys most about Valencia.
Are you an expat living in Valencia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Valencia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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