So, you’re packing up your life and heading to the sunny shores of Spain! You’re all set to sip sangria on the beach and enjoy paella hotspots around town. But before you dust off your passport, take a look at our tips for moving to Valencia so you can quickly adjust to life there.
Ahead of relocating to Valencia, there are many logistics to take care of. That’s why we recommend making a moving checklist to keep on top of the details. In this blog, we’ll focus more on tips to help you settle into your new Spanish surroundings.
Whether you’re moving to Valencia from the UK, another country in Europe, or further afield—we’ve got you covered. Vámonos!
1. Take a virtual tour of the city before moving to Valencia
Obviously, before making the move to Valencia, you’ll need to thoroughly research different areas before you decide which one is right for you to move to. There’s a lot of information online to help you do this. For example, Tripadvisor is great for seeing photos taken from other travellers and reviews of local sights, architecture and businesses. You can also check reviews on Google with Google Maps and you can even get a live view of the streets in Valencia for your own virtual tour!
Of course, this isn’t the same as seeing different areas yourself in real life. Once you arrive in Valencia, you can take the time to explore at your own pace but it’s wise to get an idea beforehand to avoid any unwelcome surprises. For example, Ruzafa is a popular neighbourhood with bars, cafes, restaurants and other services. While it does have some quieter streets, it also has a lively nightlife scene. So, this could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the kind of vibe that you’re looking for!
There are many lovely neighbourhoods to choose from so it can be tricky deciding exactly which to choose. This is covered in our blog Where to live in Valencia city and for more inspiration, you can check out the blog from our colleagues at Dream Properties Valencia, The best places to live in Valencia.
2. Find out the best ways to get around before relocating to Valencia
If you’d like to get expert tips for moving to Valencia it’s a great idea to arrange an orientation trip before actually moving. Relocation Services Valencia offers our own orientation trip where we guide you around the city and answer any questions you may have on local areas and transport options. Whether you’re driving, cycling, or taking public transport, this may affect the location you choose to move to. Taking an orientation trip can give you a real feel for the city and help you make an informed decision about which area is right for you.
Once you move to Valencia city, you’ll find Google Maps may be your best friend. It makes navigating the streets of Valencia and getting from A to B a lot easier! Most places in the city are within walking distance of around 30 minutes or less and no more than 60 minutes maximum, so it’s quite possible to explore the city on foot. There are also bicycle lanes, so if you enjoy cycling then this city is a great choice as it’s very flat. If you don’t have your own bicycle, Valenbisi is a sharing system that allows you to rent bicycles across the city.
Public transport is very accessible and offers different ticket options for the metro and busses. You can pay single fares or if you buy a top-up travel card you can pay in advance to get a package of journeys for a lower price. This card can easily be topped up at stations or local tobacco shops. For more details on transport in Valencia, visit one of our past blogs on the best ways to get around Valencia.
3. Brush up on your Spanish before and after you move to Valencia
One of the biggest differences you’ll need to adjust to in Valencia is, of course, the language. Your experience in Spain will be smoother if you take some time to learn the local language and there are many ways you can do that. In Valencia, there are 2 official languages, Valencian, which is a dialect of Catalan and Spanish. Learning Spanish is more widely accessible and it’s spoken by locals so there’s no need to learn Valencian specifically.
Learning a language can be challenging, but it doesn’t need to be a chore. There are countless options for learning languages that you can start before moving. Many of these can even make learning fun such as Duolingo and Buusu language apps which feature games and quizzes. You can also try learning a language with Netflix or Audible audiobooks.
Intercambios (language exchanges) are a great option for practicing your Spanish in a casual environment by having conversations with other people. Many language exchanges take place in cafes or pubs across the city and they’re free of charge, you only need to purchase a drink at the venue. Language exchanges often attract students but all ages are welcome and you can check in advance if you prefer an older/non-student crowd.
If you prefer more structured learning, it’s easy to arrange language classes in Valencia so you can get guidance from a tutor plus work with other students. But, if all else fails you’ll always have Google Translate to help you as you adjust to life in Valencia and interact with locals.
4. Network with expats and locals after moving to Valencia
Once you touch down in Valencia and get settled, you may soon want to start connecting with other people in your local area. Building your network in Valencia is so important both personally and professionally. However, it can be easier said than done. You’ll find Valencia is a popular student destination with many socials for University/Erasmus students but if you’re looking to connect with older professionals then this takes a little advance planning. Check out our Valencia for expats blog for some inspiration.
We already mentioned language exchanges above as a great way to improve your Spanish. But language exchanges are also a perfect way to connect with locals and other expats who are learning Spanish so it’s a win-win!
Before you move to Valencia, it’s worth checking online for local interest groups so once you get there you’ll have a head-start and can dive straight into socializing. There are lots of options online, from Salsa and Bachata lessons to Spanish cooking classes. These are great ways to immerse yourself in Spanish culture and who knows you may meet some locals to make friends with at the same time! You can check out popular sites for local events and interest groups such as Meetup, Eventbrite, and 24/7 Valencia. If you’re looking for a Valencia Expats forum you can try this expats group on Facebook to connect with others and ask questions. It’s a great resource with lots of tips for moving to Valencia.
5. Embrace the cultural differences in Valencia!
So far, we’ve covered some key tips for moving to Valencia. Last, but not least, we will look at some of the cultural differences you may experience. You’re sure to find more than a few cultural differences when you move to a new country. Even if you’re just moving to Valencia from another city in Spain, you may find the pace of life a little different. Many people move to Valencia for an improved quality of life in the sunshine. However, there are a few things that may take some getting used to.
For example, many businesses operate from Monday to Saturday and are closed on Sundays. You’ll find some shops open such as supermarkets but the majority of smaller businesses may not be open. Also, in Valencia, many businesses open from 9:30 am-2 pm and 5 pm-8 pm. From 2 pm to 5 pm, businesses take a siesta. So why not do the same if you can? Make the most of this time and take a stroll around the city or enjoy one of the local parks!
You’ll also find that people tend to go for later lunches that you may be used to, such as 2-3 pm while dinner could be after 9 pm! Our previous blogs offer some great examples of how to live like a local and you can also check out tips for living the easy life in Valencia.
Get in touch with us to learn more
This blog covers some of the most important tips for moving to Valencia. But this is just a taste of what you’ll need to consider. There are countless other details! From getting set up with a GP to bringing your pets to Valencia, we can help with the logistics. We’re here to help you turn your dreams of moving to Valencia into a reality. So, feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or if you’d like to arrange an orientation trip.