Valencia at a glance

If you’re reading this we take it that you’re new to the city, right? Welcome! Benvingut! ¡Bienvenido! You get the gist… We hope this website will help you get to grips with Valencia and have you feeling at home in no time.

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Speaking of home, there are close to 800,000 people currently residing in Valencia city, making it Spain’s 3rd biggest city after Madrid and Barcelona. There’s an additional 5 million people living in the region itself which spans 524km across the Mediterranean coastline from north of Castellón to the south of Alicante. We know what you’re thinking: that’s a hell of a lot of beach.

Think of Valencia and some generic keywords spring to mind. The good: oranges, Las Fallas, sunshine… The bad: Chimo Bayo, corruption, chonis… The ugly: Rita? Although this all may be true, you might want to read our little compilation of Valencia key facts and common misconceptions:

  • Valencian or valencià is used for street signs, some university lectures and with some official government business. Although also heard in the city, it is far more commonly used in the surrounding towns and villages. Always bear in mind, however, that some Valencians prefer to speak valencià (a language strongly linked to Catalan), while others prefer castellano. Try following a conversation with friends that switch rapidly between Spanish and Valencian – mare meua!
  • It’s sunny here for around 300 days a year with temperatures often and continuously breaching 30ºc in summertime. Although chilly in winter, this doesn’t stop hoards of locals and tourists alike heading out for an al fresco drink, whatever the weather.
  • Horchata is a locally produced drink made from tiger nuts typically grown in the Valencia area. Head out to horchaterías in Benimaclet or Alboraya to sample some of the best.
  • The Albufera, a protected nature reserve with a huge natural lake, is just down the road – go visit! Check out some of the photos of the area published over on our Photography page here.
  • There are a LOT of students – for this we can thank Valencia’s two universities and the recent boom in people opting to do their Erasmus here. Of course, this means that Valencia has a thriving nightlife with a seemingly never-ending choice of bars, restaurants and clubs.
  • The Turia river was diverted after a huge flood devastated the city in 1957. The riverbed has since been converted into a stunning park area and now plays home to Calatrava’s iconic City of Arts and Sciences.
  • Valencia is somewhat known for being the epicentre of a techno craze and clubbing movement during 80’s and 90’s. Head to a verbena during Fallas and you’ll be sure to hear this charming little classic. Now never speak of the Ruta del Bakalao again. Ever.
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  • Saving the best till last? Las Fallas will be one of the loudest, fun-filled weeks of your life. Well, that’s my biased opinion. Endless street parties, music, live bands, drinking and throwing fireworks non-stop for nigh on a fortnight. Love it or hate it, it’s there – and it comes with a vengeance.

Need to know more details about the different neighbourhoods? Click here for a detailed rundown barrio by barrio or here to see the city map and metro map.

Remember to also check out our 2015 agenda highlighting all the great events that Valencia city, Valencia region and beyond has to offer.

Need to know anything else? Just ask.

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