What makes Valencia the expat’s top pick for the best city to live in globally?

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Photo by Ivan Dražić on Pexels

Are you considering a change of scenery for work and life?

Valencia emerges as an excellent option, standing out as one of Spain’s most sought-after cities for both living and working.

This vibrant city seamlessly blends the charm of its historic past with the innovation and dynamism of the present, creating a unique atmosphere that attracts people from diverse cultures.

Let’s explore some compelling reasons why Valencia might just be the perfect destination for you:

1. Sun, Sea, and Sand – Always!

Valencia doesn’t do seasons; it does eternal summer. The city’s spot on the Mediterranean means you’re pretty much guaranteed a sun-kissed glow. There are about 300 sunny days per year, and the average temperature is 18°C.

This perpetual summer invites residents to embrace an outdoor lifestyle, enjoying the city’s pristine beaches, lush parks, and invigorating outdoor activities.

The city’s coastline stretches for over 35 kilometers, offering a diverse range of beaches to suit every preference, from the lively Malvarrosa Beach to the serene La Patacona. You can also visit the Albufera Natural Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), a large freshwater lagoon surrounded by rice fields and wetlands, where you can watch the sunset and taste the authentic paella.

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2. Quality of life

Valencia is a city that offers a high quality of life for its residents. It has a modern and efficient infrastructure, a good public health system, many entertainment options and a low crime rate. It also has a diverse and welcoming community, with many expats and international students. You can easily make friends and find support in Valencia.

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3. Welcoming Community

The warmth of the Valencian people is often highlighted by expats who have chosen to make this city their home. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere makes it easy for newcomers to integrate into the local community and build lasting connections.

4. Affordable Living

Let’s talk budget because, let’s face it, financial peace of mind matters. Numbers don’t always play nice when it comes to living in European cities. But compared to other European cities, Valencia stands out as an affordable destination, being the 8th most expensive city in Spain.

Housing costs, daily expenses, and leisure activities are all relatively budget-friendly, making it an attractive option for expatriates and individuals seeking a higher quality of life without breaking the bank.

On average, €1,700 EUR is enough to live well in Valencia. You can definitely live for less in Valencia if you are willing to make some sacrifices.


5. Foodie Heaven

Valencia is the birthplace of paella, the iconic Spanish dish made with rice, meat, seafood, and vegetables. And you haven’t truly lived until you’ve had it here. You can find many restaurants and bars that offer authentic and delicious paella, as well as other typical dishes like fideuà, horchata, and buñuelos.

The city is also known for its refreshing drink horchata, made from tiger nuts, and its sweet treats, such as buñuelos and orange cake. Horchata is usually served ice cold and accompanied by fartons, long and fluffy pastries glazed with sugar that are perfect for dipping. Horchata and fartons are a typical afternoon snack in Valencia, especially in summer.

Valencia is also known for its fresh produce, especially oranges, which are exported all over the world. The Valencian oranges are juicy, sweet, and aromatic, and have a high vitamin C content. You can enjoy them fresh, squeezed, or in desserts, such as orange cake, orange flan, or orange sorbet. Valencia also produces other citrus fruits, such as lemons, grapefruits, and mandarins.

As you can see, whether you prefer rice, noodles, fish, meat, or sweets, you will find something to delight your palate in Valencia.

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6. Education Opportunities

Got kids? No worries. Valencia is home to reputable educational institutions, making it an ideal choice for families.

You might opt for a local public school, which is free. However, public schools will teach in Spanish.

Another option is a private school, where the language of instruction might be English or another language. There are lots of them in Valencia, but some of these schools can be very costly, especially the ones that cater to international students.

7. Health and Wellness

Valencia is a city with a high satisfaction rate of healthcare service. According to the Numbeo website, the city of Valencia received 81.72 points out of 100 possible in this indicator. You can see the breakdown by categories here:

  • Skill and training of the medical personnel: 82.84% (very high).
  • Rapidity when completing observations and reports: 70.92% (high).
  • Modern diagnostic and treatment equipment: 87.77% (very high).
  • Friendliness and likeability of the staff: 76.96% (high).
  • Waiting time in the medical centers: 60.78% (high).
  • Satisfaction with the cost paid: 91.00% (very high).

If we talk about prices, the cost of healthcare in Valencia is also reasonable. For example, the cost of antibiotics (12 doses) is € 5.27 on average, the cost of cold and flu medications (such as Coldrex, 6-day dose) is € 6, and a consultation with a private doctor will cost an average of € 59 for 15 minutes.

With an emphasis on a healthy lifestyle, Valencia offers numerous outdoor activities, parks, and fitness facilities. The city’s commitment to well-being is evident in its extensive cycling paths, green spaces, and a variety of recreational options that promote a balanced and active lifestyle.

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8. Culture

Valencia is a city with a rich history and a vibrant culture. You can admire the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture, visit the museums and art galleries, and experience the local festivals and traditions.

One of the most famous events is the Fallas, a celebration of fire and art that takes place every March. During this festival, hundreds of huge and colorful sculptures called fallas, are displayed in the streets and then burned on the last night, creating a spectacular show of fireworks and flames.

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Another important festival is the Tomatina, a massive tomato fight that takes place in the nearby town of Buñol every August. Valencia is also known for its music and nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and concerts to suit every taste.

But Valencia is not only a city of tradition and fun, it is also a city of innovation and creativity, especially in the field of architecture. You can see the contrast between the old and the new, the traditional and the futuristic, in the urban landscape of Valencia.

One of the most impressive examples of modern architecture in Valencia is the City of Arts and Sciences, a complex of cultural and scientific buildings designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava. Calatrava is a native of Valencia and one of the most influential architects in the world. His style is characterized by organic shapes, dynamic structures, and white materials that reflect the light and the water.

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In addition to the City of Arts and Sciences, Calatrava has left an indelible mark on Valencia’s skyline with several other notable projects. The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, an opera house with a distinctive featherlike arch, stands as a symbol of the city’s cultural vibrancy. The L’Àgora, a multifunctional arena, resembles a whale breaching the surface of the water, while the Pont de l’Assut de l’Or, a suspension bridge, gracefully spans the Turia River.

Valencia is a city that embraces art, science, and culture in all its forms. It is a city that deserves to be explored and enjoyed.

So there you have it, Valencia—the city that’s more than just a city. It’s a lifestyle, a vibe, and a whole lot of adventure waiting for you. If you’re up for some sun, fun, and unforgettable experiences, Valencia might just be your next big thing.

Ready to make it happen?

Schedule a consultation with me today!

As a relocation expert, I can help you with every step of the process, from finding the perfect home to navigating the local culture. I can also provide you with personalized advice on schools, healthcare, and more.

Click here to book your consultation!



Hi, I am Emily Bron.

After living and working in 4 countries (3 continents), experiencing several immigrations, changing several professional fields and being an avid traveler, I created International Lifestyle Consulting to help you to find the best matching place and to relocate abroad for a better quality of life, work, or retirement.

As a professional Baby Boomer and Remote worker, I am relocating again!

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