Are you thinking of visiting the city of fireworks, paella and infinite Mediterranean beaches? Well, if you want to come to Valencia to learn Spanish, firstly we´ll give you some advice about this city.
Valencia is a delightful city, whose streets combine tradition, elegance and the avant-garde, making it a perfect destination to visit and get to know it close up. Some of the customs you should know about Mediterranean culture, and particularly about the eastern coast of Spain, are:
1 The climate The average annual temperature in Valencia is above 17ºC, the summers are warm, so don´t forget to bring sun cream if you come in this part of the year. If you decide to come in winter, don´t worry because the Mediterranean climate means that the cold will not be too great – the temperatures don´t usually fall below 10ºC. How good is that?!
2 Currency Only euros are accepted in Valencia, so if you travel from the U.K. you will have to remember to change part of your money before coming out. One good thing is that tips are normally included in bills, so they aren´t required as they are in other countries.
3 Mealtimes Valencians make the most of the day to the very last minute, and consequently they usually eat a little bit later than in the rest of Europe. The most common time for having lunch is between 2 and 3.30 pm., while it is usual to have dinner between 9 and 10pm. We recommend that you do what Valencians do and have a mid-morning snack in a bar, maybe a sandwich, which will help you to hold on until it´s time for lunch.
4 People are very friendly and they love speaking to everyone. Start a conversation with a valenciano and you might spend the whole afternoon de charreta, as they say – chatting away. It is usual in language schools, as well, to set up groups of friends with whom you can have a beer or two seated at a terrace after class. Many Españolé students say that apart from learning Spanish in record time they have made friends with whom they still keep in touch.
5 Festivals The `city of the Turia´ will light up your stay with its very lively atmosphere and festivals. To have a few drinks and experience night time in Valencia we recommend you visit the El Carmen neighbourhood or the port area of the city, where you will be able to find places at reasonable prices and with music to dance to until dawn. If you visit Valencia in March, it will be a perfect opportunity to live Fallas and immerse yourself in the city´s most important festival.
6 Public transport in Valencia is very quick and with good connections. From the airport, you will be able to catch the metro to the city centre, only eight kms. away. The best option to visit the most symbolic spots is by taking the tourist bus, which runs to La Albufera, the historic old part and the beach esplanade. However, Valencia is not a very big city, meaning that the best way to get to know its streets is on foot.
7 Cuisine Valencia´s culinary tradition is based on the `Mediterranean diet´, in which rice, salads and vegetables are the main ingredients. ¿Who has not heard of the Valencian paella? Paella is a must on your `to do´ list when you come to Valencia – we know that you are going to love it. To eat an exquisite paella, the best thing is to look for a restaurant in the centre or by the port, where some of the most well-known restaurants in the city for eating paella are to be found.
So, now you have some of the main reasons to come to Valencia to study Spanish. Studying in such a multi-faceted and lively city will offer you a range of possibilities to combine study with unique experiences. Strolling in the evenings through the centre, being amazed by the Museum of Arts and Sciences, enjoying a tapas crawl around the bars but, above all, having fun with people who want to live and learn new things, like you, is an experience we assure you that you will not forget.