My Valencia Experience, Alba in Spain


What's it like to live in Valencia? Would you recommend it?

Valencia is one of the best cities in Spain to live in as it gives you a great quality of life and a degree of comfort for every citizen. I recommend it to everyone as it's a warm and welcoming city, easy to get caught up in.

What's the student atmosphere like in Valencia?

The things that gives the city its life are the universities as there are two large campuses, one for La Universidad Politécnica and the other for La Universidad de Valencia which have loads of students staying nearby, in Blasco Ibañez, Aragón, Benimaclet or the famous Zona del Cedro.

How much does it cost to live in Valencia?

Unlike cities like Madrid and Barcelona, it's not expensive to live in Valencia. For starters, you can rent a flat for 180€ to 250€ max. I don't recommend the uni halls as they're expensive and not very practical.

Public transport isn't too expensive, a 10 journey metro travel card costs 8. 20€, but you can get student discounts, for the bus as well as the metro (roughly 40€). There's also the Valenbici, which for the great price of 18€/year you can get around the city using the bikes.

In terms of food, the two biggest supermarkets are El Consum and Mercadona, which for 30€-50€ a week you'll be well fed and where you can buy household products too. The 'chinos' will be your best friend should you want to buy the odd thing at any time.

In terms of free time, if you like the cinema I recommend the Yelmo cinemas, why? Because thanks to your free card (that you can get at http://www.yelmocines.es/) you will be able to watch films for 4. 30€ every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. There's also loads of other things going on around the city, exhibitions, concerts, etc. All free too.

In general, living in Valencia will cost you about 500€-700€ a month, and with that you'll live a good student life without having to worry about your money.

Was it hard to find accommodation in Valencia? Can you give some advice?

The truth is I didn't have any trouble finding accommodation, it was pretty quick. The best time to look is usually around June to September, you'll have more options to choose from, both in terms of accommodation and people to live with.

Only a small piece of advice, never pay for something you haven't seen in person, photos can often be misleading and don't show all the possible problems with the room/flat. Also, like I said before, the best places to live are Avenida Blasco Ibanez, Zona de Aragón, Benimaclet and El Cedro.

What's the food like? What are your favourite dishes?

Spain's food is world renowned, mediterranean food. Although they seem typically Spanish, you still need to try the paella, the tortilla de patatas, some good ham, amazing olive oil and enjoy all the fresh food that comes from La Huerta Valenciana.

What places do you recommend visiting in Valencia?

If you live in Valencia, you have to visit the Turia Gardens, a 9km route where you'll find Gulliver Park and the famous Ciudad de Ciencias (another must visit site). If you're walking through Turia and keep passing people doing sport, don't worry, it's also the centre of sport as everyone in Valencia loves keeping fit and looking after their body.

As well as parks, the city has lots of green areas, the Royal Garden in Avenida Blasco Ibañaez for example, or the botanical Garden in the city centre. You can't forget the Albufera Valenciana Natural Park, another of the city's must sees.

It's also worth mentioning its more historic side as well as buildings like La Estación del Nord, the Town Hall Square, the Colón Market, the central market, Silk Exchange, the Marqués de Dos Aguas Palace, The Virgin's Square and the nearby cathedral, and the Old Town, known as El Carmen, where you can find the Quart and Serrano towers.

Another must visit are the beaches of Valencia and La Zona Marina Real where you can enjoy the harbour and the surroundings, like the harbour's beach huts and the clock tower.

And eating in Valencia? Can you give us some of your favourite places?

You can find a bit of everything, from really cheap to fine dining, in the university areas you can find loads of chain restaurants like 100 Montaditos (everything 1€ on Mondays and Wednesdays), Burger King, Forster's Hollywood, and the uni cafes where you can get a meal for 5. 50€.

In the centre there are the same chains like McDonald's, 100 Montaditos, La Sureña, Vips, Ginno's, Pan's & Company, and they are usually the cheapest as the restaurants in the centre are usually expensive and god awful.

My favourite places are:

  1. The burgers from Tommy Mels/Tony Roman's/Peggy Sue, proper American diner food. 10€ per person.
  2. One place you have to go to if you like Mexican food is La Venganza de Malinche. It has the best guacamole you'll ever have, and everything else is amazing, so are the staff. 10€-15€ per person.
  3. Another place I really like is Lemon Grass, really good value Thai food. 7€ per person.
  4. If you like sushi I'd recommend Miss Sushi, which is probably a bit expensive but definitely worth it. 15€-20€ per person.
  5. And now the most expensive, a good 'arròs al forn' from El Coso, you should try their crunchy chocolate dessert, finger lickin' good.

Leaving the more substantial foods aside, I'd like to mention some places great for grabbing a snack, a coffee or a cocktail, all for a reasonable price.

  • Firstly, Llao Llao and it's frozen yoghurt.
  • In the Virgin's Square there's the stunning Café de Las Horas, the most kitsch place you'll see, and where you can grab a tea, coffee, beer or cocktail. 1. 50€-8€ per person.
  • In the Angel Guimerá area you'll find Hawaica, the best of the best, the atmosphere, the staff, the ice cream is to die for (I recommend the Tropicana), the crepes, juices and the best cocktails served in tiki glasses that you can buy yourself for a decent price. 3€-10€ per person.
  • Lastly, on those short winter afternoons in Blasco-Ibañez you'll find El Café Bombón, the best milkshakes and hot chocolates in the whole area, with a mini library and board games to pass the time. 1. 50€-8€ per person.

What places do you recommend for going out in Valencia?

There are 3 areas to go out in Valencia.

  1. El Carmen: the quieter place to go out, you should go to La Flama.
  2. El Cedro/Aragón/Ciudad de Las Ciencias: where you'll find pub-clubs like Murray, Minicab, Mya, etc. Most of them are usually free entry, either through the guestlist or a flyer, until 2:00.
  3. La Zona de Maritím: La 3 is the best modern place in Valencia, other clubs open in the summer are Las Ánimas by the port and another near the seafront is Malvarrosa.

Any advice you want to give future students going to Valencia?

Enjoy the bluest sky in Spain, the weather, the beach, the people, the food... just enjoy it all!



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If you know Valencia as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Valencia! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

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