The pleasant weather, amazing food and the rich culture, makes Valencia one of the top Erasmus destinations in Spain. But as any other city, it also holds a few surprising secrets that no one really tells to tourists or foreigners.
In fact, you probably won’t realise about these facts unless you spend some considerable time around the Turia’s capital. So keep reading and don’t miss out on the exclusive information about Valencia provided below.
1. Almost every store is closed at lunchtime and on Sundays
Forget about going grocery shopping on Sundays, as you’ll find out that almost every supermarket is closed in Valencia. There are only a few specific supermarkets that open on the holiest day of the week, such as Carrefour, Carrefour Express and other small corner shops.
Also, in some cities of Spain people have a midday break at work, which means that they work a few hours in the morning, go home for a couple hours to have lunch and come back. Therefore, many stores – such as pharmacies, clothing stores or other local businesses – close during this period of time, so if you have a duty to do, keep this in mind.
2. El Carmen and Ruzafa are the coolest neighbourhoods to live only if the buildings have a lift!
The neighbourhoods of Ruzafa and El Carmen are probably the coolest areas to live in Valencia. However, when looking for a flat to share in these zones, you should always be sure the building has an elevator, as many of them are really old constructions and don’t have any.
If you don’t care about this, you’re good to go. If you have a bike, then this may not be the most convenient place to live (check out why in the next point).
3. Pay attention to where and when you park your bike
In the last few years, Valencia has considerably increased the number of bike lanes in an attempt to turn Valencia into a more eco-friendly city. However, some people have been annoyed by this decision, as the traffic jams have worsened and become more recurrent.
The number of cyclists have also increased and, unfortunately, the thefts of bicycles keep on happening, especially in student areas. Also, you’ll notice that there are no bikes parked at night in the streets of Valencia as in other European cities. This is also because of the burglars.
So our advice here is that you take your bike inside your place. Be aware of where and how you park your bike and don’t let it unwatched for a long period if you don’t want to be surprised.
4. Don’t try to drink tap water
Don’t even think about drinking tap water in Valencia. Although you won’t get sick by doing this, it’s well known that the water in this region of Spain is not very good. It is full of lime and it won’t feel good to your gut.
This means that you cannot order free water in restaurants or bars in Valencia, as they only sell bottled water. However, water is really cheap in the supermarkets, especially if you buy in bulk. You can get a 6 litre drum of water for less than 1€ and get a workout as you carry it home.
5. The other side of Fallas
If you’re considering moving to Valencia, you’ve most likely heard about the local festivity: Las Fallas. This cultural event has become a huge tourist attraction in the last decade. If you have never experienced it before, this is a must for any foreigner. It’s a fun period, but if you live in the city, your perspective may vary.
Some of the aspects of this festivity can seem a little bit overwhelming or exasperating. Traffic jams increase and many streets get closed. And guess what! Google Maps won’t even know which is the easiest and quickest way to get to your destination!
Related post: The 10 most instagrammable spots in Valencia
6. Turia is nice but try not to stroll around at night
This amazing urban park was born in 1957, when the river’s banks burst and caused the largest flood Valencia has ever suffered. The Turia was redirected to avoid any further disaster and gave place to this amazing garden. It bisects the city and provides a perfect area to play any sports, enjoy the sun and picnics and celebrate different cultural events.
However, at night, the riverbed can get a little bit too dark and murky. Therefore, we recommend you to avoid this area during nighttime if you don’t want to be robbed or scared and rather enjoy this beautiful green area.
7. Valencia is not prepared for the rain
Don’t expect to do anything on a rainy day. No joke. Valencian people don’t like to do many any plans when raining. They would rather stay at home, put on some Netflix and eat some comfort yummy food. This might seem crazy if you’re originally from the north of Europe or anywhere colder than Valencia.
There are a lot of traffic jams and that delays the public transport as well. This happens when it rains a little bit, but if it rains cats and dogs, be prepared to see Valencia completely flooded.
8. No one really speaks Valencià in the city
Although Valencià and Spanish are the two official languages in Valencia, no one really speaks valencià in the capital. Yes, this is a shame. Valencian is an essential part of the history, identity and culture of the region, but it’s only spoken in the municipalities around the city.
Here’s a tip: although Valencian and Catalan are quite similar, avoid saying that Valencian is Catalan as some locals may get a little bit annoyed.
9. Public Transport is not the best
When moving around Valencia using public transport, you should know that it’s not the best network you’ll see in a city. Grabbing the bus is a great and probably the best option. It’s not always on time and sometimes not as frequent as they should be. On the other hand, the subway, only covers a small part of the city and its surroundings, so it’s quite useful if you live outside the city but if not it might not be too helpful.
10. La Malvarrosa Beach is not the best one in the city
Although it’s probably the most well-known beach in Valencia, it’s definitely not the best one you’ll find. The Malvarrosa Beach is a long stretch of beach but it gets super crowded and you’ll most likely get invaded and people will merge into the space you’ve settled in.
This means that it’s not always as clean as it should be, which is a shame, as people should respect the environment they’re enjoying. So if you’re looking for a more relaxed beach in nature, we recommend you to visit the beaches located in the surroundings of Valencia such as El Saler.
Related Post: The 10 most instagrammeable spots in Valencia
If you’ve read this far, you probably know now as much as a local. However, we still encourage you to live your own experience in Valencia and judge it for yourself. It’s a very artistic city, has an amazing gastronomy and even better weather. All of this makes Valencia one of the comfiest places to live in Spain and Europe.
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We hope you enjoyed this article and found interesting these top ten things no one tells you about Valencia. If so, do not hesitate to read the top ten things no one tells about Porto and don’t forget that anywhere you go, Uniplaces can help you to find the best accommodation in many European cities.