Discover the ins and outs of living in Valencia as an expat! Get a detailed breakdown of everything from the cost of living to healthcare.

Last Updated on April 19, 2024 by Laila Oliveira

Spain is hands down one of the best spots for expats looking to settle down and really enjoy life. Among all the amazing cities in Spain, Valencia really stands out as a favorite among expats. It’s the third-largest city in the country, but it feels like a cozy little town. So, what is living in Valencia truly like? 

Living-In-Valencia-Is-it-the-best-city-in-Spain

Given its strategic location for traveling around Spain and Europe, it’s no wonder many expats are smitten with Valencia! But it’s not just about the weather and location. Valencia has a rich culture and history, stunning architecture, delicious food, and a lively arts scene.

Whether you’re looking to retire in peace, start a new adventure, or just soak up some sun, Valencia has something for every expat. Come along as we dive into what it’s really like for expats living in Valencia! Let’s jump right in!

What is living in Valencia like?

Living in Valencia is what you’d expect from a typical Spanish city: sunshine, rich history, delicious food, and vibrant culture. The weather is a big draw, with sunny summers and mild winters perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

But there’s more to Valencia than just the weather. The cost of living is reasonable, especially compared to other big European cities. This means you can enjoy all the city offers without breaking the bank.

Valencia is also famous for its lively festivals and events; something fun and exciting is always happening. And getting around is a breeze thanks to the city’s excellent public transportation system.

Lastly, life in Valencia moves at its own pace. Locals enjoy siestas, leisurely lunches, and evening paseos along the Turia River Park. Like the stunning Jardines del Real, the city’s green spaces invite you to slow down and savor the moment. Valencia truly has something for everyone!

Neighborhoods in Valencia

Let’s talk about the neighborhoods in Valencia! Each one has its unique vibe and charm, so you’re sure to find one that suits your style. Whether you’re looking for a bustling city center with lots of shops and restaurants or a quieter, more residential area, Valencia has it all.

And the best part? Many neighborhoods are within walking distance of the beach, so you can enjoy the sun and sand whenever possible. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the best neighborhoods Valencia offers.

El Carmen

El Carmen is like the bohemian heart of Valencia. It has narrow, winding streets with colorful buildings, street art, and quirky boutiques. This neighborhood is buzzing with life, especially at night when the bars and restaurants come alive with music and chatter.

This neighborhood is also home to many cultural attractions, like the IVAM (Valencian Institute of Modern Art) and the Torres de Quart. These are some of the ancient city gates that are a must-see.

Living in El Carmen means you’re always in the center of the action, with something new and exciting to discover around every corner.

Russafa

Russafa is where old meets new in Valencia. This neighborhood has a hip, modern vibe while still retaining its traditional charm. You’ll find trendy cafes, art galleries, and boutiques alongside historic buildings and local markets.

Russafa is known for its multicultural atmosphere, with a mix of locals and expats adding to the neighborhood’s dynamic energy. It’s a great place to explore on foot, with its tree-lined streets and pedestrian-friendly squares. Russafa hosts a popular weekly market with fresh produce, handmade goods, and vintage treasures.

Pla del Remei

Pla del Remei is one of Valencia’s most upscale neighborhoods, known for its elegant architecture, upscale boutiques, and chic cafes. This area is a favorite among expats and well-to-do locals, thanks to its central location and luxurious atmosphere.

Pla del Remei is home to some of Valencia’s iconic buildings, like Mercado de Colón, a modernist market with gourmet shops and restaurants. Living in Pla del Remei means enjoying the finer things in life, from designer shopping to gourmet dining.

Who lives in Valencia?

You will find everyone in Valencia, from young students and families to retirees and expats. Valencia’s population is a mix of locals, known as Valencians, and individuals from across Spain and around the globe who have decided to settle here.

One of the main reasons Valencia is quite popular among expats is its diversity. According to estimates, around 302,971 foreign nationals live in Valencia, making up about 11% of the city’s population.

This is slightly lower than the national average of 12% but shows just how diverse the city is. Whether you’re an expat, retired, or living the digital nomad life, Valencia’s expat community is diverse enough that you’re sure to find your tribe.

Why are expats moving to Valencia?

As you’re likely aware, Valencia is highly favored by expats, and for a good reason. Its popularity among expats stems from its winning combination of a fantastic Mediterranean climate, rich cultural heritage, and a welcoming atmosphere. That said, here are more reasons why expats are increasingly choosing to move to Valencia.

Climate, Environment, and a warm welcome

Valencia’s pleasant Mediterranean climate is a major attraction for expats looking to escape colder climates. With mild winters and long, sunny summers, the city offers an ideal environment for outdoor activities year-round.

Valencia is also home to beautiful beaches, lush parks, and scenic mountains, providing plenty of opportunities for nature lovers to explore and enjoy the outdoors.

Besides climate, one thing that sets Valencia apart is the local folks. Imagine moving to a place where the community embraces you like a long-lost friend. That’s Valencia for you!

With a significant expat population, newcomers find it a breeze to settle in. The city’s vibe is like a friendly neighborhood where everyone’s ready to lend a hand or share a smile.

Good quality of life

Valencia’s quality of life is a major draw for expats looking for a change. It’s not just about living; it’s about thriving! The city buzzes with eco-friendly initiatives, from lush parks to extensive bike lanes.

It’s a place where work-life balance isn’t just a buzzword but a lifestyle. The city’s affordable cost of living is also a big plus. It allows expats to live comfortably without the high price tag in other European cities.

Valencia’s excellent healthcare system, reliable public transportation, and low crime rates add to its appeal, making it a safe and welcoming place to call home.

Whether savoring a leisurely meal at a local restaurant, exploring the city’s historic streets, or simply soaking up the sun at the beach, Valencia offers a high quality of life that many expats find irresistible.

valencia-beach-safe-and-stunning

Prospects of getting the Golden Visa

The Golden Visa has been a game-changer for expats considering a move to Valencia. This special visa offers residency to non-EU citizens who invest in Spanish property. This makes Valencia an attractive option for those looking to make Spain their new home.

Many expats see the Golden Visa as a gateway to the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle that Valencia is famous for. The city’s stunning architecture, world-class cuisine, and vibrant culture are just some of the reasons why expats are drawn to Valencia.

In addition to its lifestyle appeal, Valencia’s strategic location in Europe makes it a hub for business and travel. The city’s excellent infrastructure, including its international airport and high-speed train network, makes exploring the rest of Spain and beyond easy.

Expat communities and social life in Valencia

Valencia is like a magnet for folks from around the globe, and it’s easy to see why. First off, the expat community here is super welcoming. There are many groups and meetups where you can mingle, swap stories, and get tips on the best paella in town. 

Whether you’re into music, art, food, or sports, there’s always something going on to keep you entertained and connected with others. Popular spots for socializing in Valencia include La Pepica, Mercado de Colón, and Cervecería Maip.

Speaking of social life, Valencia is bursting with life, offering everything from lively flamenco performances that’ll have you dancing along to relaxing beachside picnics.

Valencia has this beautiful mix of old-world charm and modern excitement that makes you feel right at home, something truly extraordinary. The expat communities in Valencia are known for being welcoming and inclusive, making it easy to settle in.

Buying a property in Valencia

The property market in Valencia is quite expat-friendly, with no restrictions on foreign buyers. You can find everything from modern flats in the City of Arts and Sciences area to charming houses in the historic El Carmen neighborhood.

Prices can vary, but on average, you’re looking at around €1,431 per square meter, which is pretty reasonable compared to other major European cities.

Fortunately, the process of buying property in Valencia is pretty straightforward. However, we recommend seeking the services of a professional familiar with the local real estate market. They will help you find the right property and navigate the legal paperwork you will have to deal with.

Overall, buying property in Valencia can be a rewarding experience, whether you’re looking for a permanent home, a vacation getaway, or an investment opportunity. Here’s a summary of property prices in the trendy neighborhoods of Valencia.

MunicipalityCost of Property
Ador€819/ m
Agullent€629 /m2
Alboraya€3,040 /m2
Barx€1,281 /m2
Beniarjo€707 /m2
Canet d’En Berenguer€2,015 /m2
El Perellonet€2,037 /m2
Massamagrell€1,193 /m2
València€2,400 /m2
Data is from Numbeo (as of April 2024).

Renting a flat in Valencia

Renting a flat in Valencia as an expat is a pretty smooth process, and there are plenty of options to suit different tastes and budgets. The city has a range of neighborhoods, from bustling city centers to more laid-back residential areas, so you can find the perfect spot for you.

The price of rental properties in Valencia can vary depending on several factors. Location is a big one. Neighborhoods closer to the beach or the city center tend to be more expensive.

The size and condition of the flat also play a role – bigger or newly renovated flats usually come with a higher price tag. The time of year can also affect prices, with high demand during the summer months potentially driving up costs.

On average, renting a flat in Valencia costs around €11.3 per square meter. Here’s a breakdown of rental prices for different types of apartments, both in the city center and in outlying areas.

Rental TypeCost
1 bedroom in city center€1,007
1 bedroom outside of center€765
3 bedrooms in city center€1,644
3 bedrooms  outside of center€1,113
Data is from Numbeo (as of April 2024).

Is it better to live in Valencia or Madrid?

Valencia or Madrid for the expat life? It’s like choosing between your favorite flavors of ice cream. Let’s start with Valencia. It’s got a more relaxed vibe, and your wallet will breathe a sigh of relief because living here is generally cheaper than in Madrid.

You’ve got the Mediterranean climate, which means lots of sunshine and mild winters – perfect for those who aren’t fans of the cold.

On the other hand, Madrid is where all the action lives. It’s bigger, so naturally, there’s more going on socially and culturally. You’ve got museums, theaters, and a never-ending list of restaurants to try.

It’s the heart of Spain, so it’s well-connected if you want to explore the rest of the country or even zip off to another destination. If you’re after a chill lifestyle with beach vibes and a tight-knit expat community, Valencia’s your jam.

But if you’re all about that big city energy and don’t mind paying a bit extra for the experience, Madrid might be your match.

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Is living in Valencia better than living in Barcelona?

Trying to pick between Barcelona and Valencia, huh? Here’s the lowdown. If Barcelona were a person, it’d be the life of the party. This city is always on the go, with a never-ending list of cool spots. But yeah, it can be a bit heavy on the wallet, especially if you’re eyeing a spot in the city’s heart.

Now, Valencia? It’s got this easy-going rhythm, gorgeous stretches of sand, and a historic center that’s just oozing charm. Plus, your bank account will thank you because it’s way easier to manage finances, and the community vibe is strong. So, it’s like this: if you’re down for the hustle and okay with splurging a bit, Barcelona’s got your name on it.

But if you’re in the mood for some laid-back living and making your euros last, Valencia would be ideal. Choose what feels right, and you’ll be golden!

What is the cost of living in Valencia?

The cost of living in Valencia can vary depending on your lifestyle and preferences. However, compared to other major cities in Spain, Valencia is known for being more affordable. Here’s a general overview of some common expenses provided by Numbeo (as of April 2024):

ItemCost
Milk (regular), (1 liter)€1.03
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)€1.06
Rice (white), (1kg)€1.30
Eggs (regular) (12)€2.51
Local Cheese (1kg)€9.69
Chicken Fillets (1kg)€7.61
Beef Round (1kg)€12.12
Apples (1kg)€2.18
Banana (1kg)€1.65
Oranges (1kg)€1.69
Tomato (1kg)€2.21
Potato (1kg)€1.59
Onion (1kg)€1.71
Lettuce (1 head)€1.07
Water (1.5 liter bottle)€0.61
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)€5.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)€1.04
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)€1.55
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)€30
Utilities€180

Safety living in Valencia

Valencia is generally considered a safe city for expats, with a relatively low crime rate compared to other major cities. Like any urban area, it’s wise to take common-sense precautions. Avoid poorly lit areas at night and keep an eye on your belongings in crowded places.

The city has a strong police presence, and the local authorities are proactive about maintaining public safety. The neighborhoods vary in safety. El Carmen is more vibrant and prone to petty theft, while neighborhoods like Ruzafa are known for their safety and community feel.

Overall, Valencia offers expats a safe and welcoming environment, with a friendly local population generally helpful to newcomers.

living-in-valencia-as-an-expat

The healthcare system in Valencia

Valencia’s healthcare system is known for being reliable and accessible, making it a good choice for expats. The city boasts a robust public healthcare system known as the Sistema Nacional de Salud or SNS.

This system offers quality medical services that are both accessible and affordable. Spain’s universal healthcare system covers most medical needs, including emergencies, hospital stays, and specialist consultations.

As an expat, you can access healthcare through the public system if you’re registered in the Spanish social security system or have private health insurance.

One major public hospital in Valencia is the Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, known for its quality care and wide range of services. It’s a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Valencia.

For those who prefer private healthcare, there’s the Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia, which offers a high standard of care and a range of specialties. Overall, whether you choose the public or private route, you can expect to receive good healthcare in Valencia, with well-trained medical professionals and modern facilities.

Work labor in Valencia

The work scene in Valencia can be promising for expats, with a variety of industries offering opportunities. Spain’s current unemployment rate is around 13%, which is a bit high but has been improving in recent years.

Valencia is known for its strong industries, such as tourism, agriculture, and services, which can offer job opportunities. The city also has a growing technology sector, with startups and tech companies establishing a presence.

Teaching English is a common option for expats, especially with language schools and private tutoring. Given Valencia’s popularity as a tourist destination, hospitality and tourism-related jobs are also in demand.

Networking and knowing some Spanish can benefit job hunting, as many local companies prefer bilingual employees.

Education in Valencia

Valencia offers expats great educational opportunities, especially in international schools and higher education. For families, several international schools offer a high-quality English education, such as the British School of Valencia, which follows the British curriculum.

These schools provide a familiar educational environment for expat children. Valencia is also home to several universities, including the University of Valencia, which offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The city’s universities are known for their research and academic excellence, attracting students worldwide.

How can a foreigner move to Valencia?

Thinking about moving to Valencia? It’s actually pretty straightforward! First things first, if you’re not from the EU, you’ll need to sort out your visa.

Depending on your plans and how long you intend to stay in the country, there are different types. You can apply for a Long-Stay Visa if you plan to work or study. Alternatively, the Non-Lucrative Visa would be ideal if you simply want to enjoy the Spanish lifestyle without working.

Once that’s sorted, it’s time to find your new home. Valencia has a range of neighborhoods, whether you’re into lively streets or more relaxed vibes.

Then, there’s the paperwork. You’ll need to register with the local council and get your NIE number, which is basically your ID here. And last but not least, learning some Spanish might be a good idea. It’ll make everyday tasks like shopping and meeting new people much easier!

Is it worth living in Valencia?

Living in Valencia can be a fantastic experience for expats! The city offers a high quality of life at a lower cost than other major cities in Spain. The cost of living? It’s a steal compared to other European hotspots.

You’ll find a city big enough to never get bored but small enough to feel like home. Plus, the expat community is thriving and super welcoming.

Sure, there might be a language barrier, but that’s just part of the adventure, right? With various neighborhoods, you can choose your own vibe—from historic charm to beachside bliss.

So, is it worth living in Valencia for expats? Unfortunately, this is one of those things you’ll have to discover for yourself. In general, Valencia is a lively and thrilling city that provides an excellent lifestyle for expatriates.

Do you need help moving to Valencia?

If you’re considering moving to Valencia, you’re in for a treat! Valencia is an amazing destination for expats, offering a fantastic quality of life, beautiful weather, and a rich cultural experience.

Whether exploring historic neighborhoods, relaxing on stunning beaches, or indulging in delicious Spanish cuisine, Valencia has something for everyone.

For help with your move, experts from Viv Europe are here to help you out! Our team specializes in immigration and can assist you with all the paperwork and logistics involved in moving to Valencia, making your transition smoother.

For more tips and information about living in Spain, consider following our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats. It’s a great way for expats in Valencia and beyond to stay updated on the latest news, events, and resources.

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