The clock is ticking, and it’s the final countdown to your move to Valencia. I was in your exact shoes in June of this year when I decided, on a whim, to spend the summer in Valencia, a city I’d never been to before. Unlike the mixed reviews I got about other Spanish cities, everyone seemed to collectively love Valencia, which totally justified my somewhat crazy decision.
Now that I’ve been in Valencia for a month, I can honestly say that Spain’s third-largest city is guaranteed to enchant you with its beautiful architecture, kind-hearted people, and delicious food – whether you’re here for 6 months, 1 year or more. While moving abroad is never an easy feat, follow these tips both before and after your arrival to ensure a smooth move to Valencia so you can start enjoying the fiestas and siestas.
Need advice on getting a NIE, finding a cool gym, or unearthing Valencia’s hidden gems? Then Expats in Valencia is the right group for you! It is filled with knowledgeable expats from all over the world and is an excellent resource for all your burning Valencia questions. What’s more – they host plenty of fun events such as tapas outings, networking events and more.
I’ve learned incredibly important things such as where to get the best internet, how to decipher a menu utilizing the power of miming, where to find the best horchata, and where to get my nails done at a reasonable price. #Priorities.
<class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_6047" style="width: 754px">Do you know where to find the best paella in Valencia?
## **Book your apartment with [Spotahome](http://www.spotahome.com)!**
Up until the beginning of June, I had my heart set on staying in Barcelona for the summer (don’t judge me, I chose Valencia in the end). Finding an apartment in Spain while you’re abroad can be pretty painful, and Barcelona’s summer apartment prices were obviously catered towards tourists.
My “bad luck” in Barcelona led me to finding my Valencian summer apartment (which I love) on Spotahome. The professional photos and verified videos on the Spotahome site made finding an amazing apartment a breeze! I booked ahead AND avoided the exorbitant Spanish agency fees I found at other booking agencies. Now that’s what I call a win!
<class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_6048" style="width: 780px">Look at my cute apartment I rented through Spotahome! Photo source: Sally Elbassir, passportandplates.com
## **Start learning Spanish!**
Thankfully, my high school Spanish skills came rushing back (more or less) after a few days here. People often mistake me for a local, so I just roll with it and hope I don’t say something stupid. I’ve been mostly successful on that front…with the exception of some unintentional bad words here and there. That’s one way to make friends abroad, I suppose.
For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, don’t worry too much. Valencia is Spain’s third-largest city after all, and it’s brimming with diversity. This cosmopolitan city is unapologetically Spanish, but people usually speak enough English to get by. My recommendation is to start those Spanish language classes before you make the move to ensure a smooth transition to* la vida Valenciana*.
P.S. Valencia is technically bilingual, but Valenciano is mostly spoken in the pueblos, not in the city center.
While making expat friends is one way to ease into the city, what better way to truly embrace Valencian life than by befriending locals? **Take advantage of intercambios** – language exchanges – to make Valencian friends.
There’s a Facebook group with daily meetups, so you can literally make new friends every day if you want to. I’ve already made a few friends in the short time I’ve been here, and have found that people love showing off their hometowns and favorite spots, all while teaching me the “important” Spanish phrases so I can sound like a true Spaniard.
Keep an open mind
No matter where you’re coming from, you’ll find that** life in Valencia is a bit different**. The pace of life is slower, people really enjoy being outside, and meal times are atypical to most of the world. All differences, both big and small, will likely be apparent during your first weeks in Valencia. Embrace them, and don’t take things too seriously. Be patient and open-minded, and you might find that these differences may suit your lifestyle much better than you think.
While moving to a new city is never easy, it is certainly a life-altering experience. Whether you’re moving to Valencia for 6 months, one year, or more, these tips will certainly ensure a smooth(er) transition to your new home in Valencia.