Valencia was crowned best city to live in after coming in #1 in a poll organized by Internations, the world’s largest expat community. The results of the poll were published at the end of 2022, which is great news for anyone living in or planning to move to Valencia in 2023.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on Internations’ Expat City Ranking, you might remember that Valencia was voted the best city in the world to live in in 2020 as well. So no matter how you look at it, expats living in Valencia, clearly love their adoptive city.
Located on the eastern coast of Spain, Valencia is a vibrant and beautiful city that offers its residents a high quality of life. Whether you’re a Erasmus student, an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, or a retiree, Valencia is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after places to live in Europe. So pack your bags and get ready to discover why.
What makes Valencia the most liveable city in the world
In 2022, Valencia ranked #1 in the Quality of Life Index, #3 in the Ease of Settling in Index and Personal Finance Index, #13 in the Expat Essentials Index and #41 in the Working Abroad Index.
Among the reasons why Valencia is the best city to live in are the affordability of public transportation, the affordability, availability and quality of healthcare, the glourious Mediterranean climate, the great array of leisure options, as well as personal safety.
Valencia also ranks #1 for the cost of living. While prices have gone up all over Europe in the past year, the cost of living in Valencia remains relatively low compared with other cities.
Expats living in Valencia are happy with their social life and appreciate the friendliness of the locals and the easiness with which they can make friends. Getting used to the local culture is generally easy, as expats feel welcome and at home in Valencia.
Along the same lines, Money.co.uk named Valencia the healthiest city in the world in both 2021 and 2022. Valencia also holds the title of World Design Capital 2022, European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022, and European Green Capital 2024.
Valencia is a city that encourages and facilities outdoor physical activity and a healthy diet, with a high life expectancy of 83.5 years. Valencian kitchens use an abundance of locally sourced, fresh ingredients. The city also has low pollution levels, 160km of bike lanes and 2,696 hours of sunlight a year.
The downsides of living in Valencia
Unfortunately, Valencia ranks #50 when it comes to career prospects, #41 for work culture and satisfaction, and #38 for salary and job security. The precarious job market, lack of prospects, and low wages make it difficult for expats to find jobs in Valencia.
Not only that, but the local job market is dominated by Spanish companies, with very few international companies to choose from. Also, the official language of most companies is Spanish, with very few English-speaking jobs available. This automatically implies a language barrier for many people relocating to Valencia.
Besides the poor career prospects and low salaries, expats living in Valencia also have to deal with an unusual work schedule. Most offices close for two hours during lunchtime, usually from 2pm to 4pm, which means the workday ends around 7pm and many businesses open on Saturdays.
However, with the launch of Spain’s new digital nomad visa at the beginning of 2023, the job market in Valencia might be besides the point for many entrepreneurs and people working remotely.
Spain’s Startup Law, introduces a new digital nomad visa that grants a residence permit for up to 5 years to non-EU citizens who want to live and work remotely from Spain.
For EU-citizens, however, Valencia’s job market and salaries will continue to weight heavily on the decision to move to Valencia, unless they are self-employed or working for an international company.
Before you decide if Valencia is the best city to live in for you…
Valencia is one of the sunniest cities in Europe, has friendly locals, delicious cuisine, and plenty of things to do to keep you entertained. But you still have to make your due diligence before deciding if it’s the right city for you.
In spite of the fact that Valencia was ranked the best city to live in, at the end of the day, no city is perfect.
Many people spend some time in Valencia before deciding if Valencia is the best city to live in for them. Whether you decide to book a hotel room or rent an apartment, I highly recommend you get a feeling of the city first.
If you are looking for a short term rental in Valencia, check out Uniplaces or Vrbo. They both have good monthly rates. Also, while in Valencia, try to attend some meetups and connect with other expats and locals.