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Arrival in Valencia brings with it a few surprises, even though the general urban feel is excellent. First impressions of the locals may cause newcomers to doubt their friendliness. That misguided opinion is rectified rapidly. The city’s residents are extremely welcoming to foreigners.

It is less likely for locals in Valencia to look you straight in the eye on the streets. A certain indifference seems to exist, which stems from the fact that folks here are relatively private people. They tend to keep themselves to themselves when it comes to strangers. Many are far too timid or unpracticed to communicate in English. Times are changing though, with younger generations more verbal.

Surprises galore

Expats can be astonished at the contrast of provinciality and international feel of the place.

This aspect is very prevalent since Valencia is often relatively unknown before a planned relocation. Another characteristic is its size. To be surrounded by so many languages in such a compact city is unusual. Many are tourists.

The city offers numerous celebrations throughout the year and the quality of food is legendary. Indeed, lovers of home cooking can wonder at the extent of fresh fruit and vegetables available in every season. The gastronomic scene also presents an enormous variety of delightful places to eat.

Orientation can be highly confusing at first. Narrow streets twist and turn at every opportunity in the old town of Carmen. These blend magnificently with expansive avenues. Some roads around the city are pedestrianised while other only appear so. Caution is often required. Architecture is extremely diverse.

Most new arrivals need about a month to acquire a sense of direction.

By Vincent Green, Jun 11 2018


Magnificent, wondrous, appealing, challenging, ridiculous and moving are just some of the expletives uttered at exhibitions in Valencia. Highly talented and famous local artists are shown regularly as well as some of the world’s greatest.


The street art scene in this Mediterranean city is alive and thriving. Tiny, hardly noticeable, scenes vie for attention as passionately as many vast, metre-high murals. Many pieces appear harmonious, others make a more aggressive statement.




From boutique stores to large department stores, a wide spectrum of opportunities to shop in Valencia is a given. Shopping complexes attract shoppers to the periphery too.

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All three utilities come from a different source in Valencia. Water is supplied by Aquas de Valencia, gas by Gas Natural Fenosa and electricity by Iberdrola.

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