Moving to Spain? These are the best neighbourhoods in Valencia

Are you thinking of moving to Spain, and trying to find out which place is best? I remember being in that exact same position. Googling myself silly every night, trying to consume as much information as possible to see if it’s all is worth the risk and stress. Moving to Spain is a big adventure, for sure! But so worth it. And totally doable. Whatever your reason for moving to Valencia, Spain, it is an exciting plan. We took the leap in 2018, and we haven’t regretted it. Is Valencia a nice place to live, you ask? It is a wonderful place to live. The climate, the beautiful city, the beach and the mountains inland, Valencia offers it all.

Skip the blog posts, save time: find all the answers in my two handy e-books on moving to Valencia, for families and expats without children.

E-book Moving to Valencia, Spain with children. 50-page guide on the Spanish school system, what to consider, lists of good schools in Valencia, family-friendly neighbourhoods and what to expect in the first year. (2020). 14.95 + vat

Your Guide to Moving to Valencia Spain. For when you are looking for guidance and reassurance, but don’t need the schools part. 32 pages of info on life in Valencia, great neighbourhoods and out-of-town areas for housing, advice on healthcare, finding work, cost of living, and making friends. (2021). 9.95 +vat


Moving to Valencia with kids? Nina’s e-book is a good place to start. It answered quite a few questions I had (mainly about schools) and is full of really great tips to make the transition to another country, easier. Also, it’s full of wise advice and Nina is good at managing expectations. Moving to a new country is not easy so I can relate to the gentle warning words of “taking it easy” and being kind to yourself when you first get there. All the main subjects of concern (schools, bank accounts, healthcare etc.) are covered. Nina’s book is as reassuring as it is exciting! Can’t wait to start our own adventure! – Cecile M, London


Put your mind at rest, and feel better prepared.

> Nearly 50 pages of useful tips about schools, neighbourhoods, healthcare and what to expect, when moving to Valencia with children. Including a list of international schools and other schools worth checking out.

My brand-new E-book is an excellent place to start, to make you feel a little less insecure and more ready to make your dream reality. As a mother of two young children, who’s gone through the process, I am sharing my knowledge and first-hand experience as an expat in Valencia. Because really, it all seems impossible….until it’s done!

Price: 14.95 ex vat

living in valencia spain
The beautiful, iconic City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia

What neighbourhoods are good in Valencia, Spain?

Where is good for families to live in Spain? Is Valencia a good place for families? Where do families live in Valencia? I receive a lot of emails from people who are thinking of moving to Valencia from the US, or the UK, or elsewhere, and are full of questions. Many come as a family with children, so there are obviously a lot of concerns to do with schools and family-friendly neighbourhoods in Valencia and its suburbs. After having lived here now for more than 3 years, I have a pretty good idea of what would work best for new arrivals, even if you have never been to Valencia before.

List your criteria

The biggest question is usually: which neighbourhoods in Valencia are good for families and expats? First: Valencia is a very safe city. It is the third largest city of Spain, with about 800.000 inhabitants in the city itself, but you will quickly know your way around and feel right at home. So no neighbourhood is awful, but there are some that are more attractive than others. And of course, it is very personal. If you come from a big house in the suburbs, then you may find it unappealing to move into a shoebox city flat, and likewise, a city dweller may not like the idea of living in an out-of-town village. Think about what your criteria are as a family in terms of living space. Then compare them to the various neighbourhoods to get a better idea of what would be a good match.

Which neighbourhoods in Valencia Spain have good schools?

Another question I get asked all the time: Where should we live to find a good school for our children? What is Spain’s education system like? I explain all of this in my e-book Moving to Valencia, Spain with Children. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to find a good school and neighbourhood in Valencia:

  • You can’t apply for a public or semi-private school if you have no address
  • You can of course select a school and try and find a home nearby
  • It is common for schools to be full. The ayuntamiento or district council, will then have to find you an alternative school closest to your address
  • It is advisable to visit schools in advance to get an idea. Schools are very personal and what suits one expat, doesn’t suit another.
  • It is very common to change schools here in Spain, so don’t worry if you change your mind after a year
  • It is a good idea to rent an Airbnb for a month on arrival and explore neighbourhoods and schools while you are here
  • Official school applications always happen in May, but you can get in throughout the year if there is a place
  • Most out-of-town private and semi-private schools have bus transport arranged from the city centre

Turia park: your 9 km city garden

The 9 km riverbed that was developed in the 1980s as a green park surrounding the city centre, is one of the best features of Valencia. If you base yourself near to it, you’ll always have access to a fantastic outdoor space for your daily exercise, play park visits and picnics with friends.

living in valencia spain
Our green lung: Turia park

Psst…moving to Valencia, Spain, but not interested in lots of info about schools? I have another guide!

Have a look at my e-book: Your Guide to Moving to Valencia, for people who don’t need the info about schools. 30 pages of info about neighbourhoods, life as an expat, healthcare, finding friends, finding work (and costs involved to be self-employed).


valencia areas to avoid
Photo by Joan Costa on Pexels.com

The list of different neighbourhoods of Valencia, Spain.

Good city centre neighbourhoods in Valencia

Russafa
Often called the hipster neighbourhood of Valencia, Russafa (or Ruzafa, in the Valencian spelling), is a lively area, just south of the historic centre.

El Carmen
If you want to live amongst pretty old buildings, ancient towers and windy old streets, and hear the cathedral bells, El Carmen is the place to be.

Ensanche
The posh brother of Russafa, Ensanche lies right beside it, and centers around the beautiful market building of Mercado de Colon.

Cabanyal
The now pretty much gentrified old fishing village, right on the beach, is characterized by its colourful tiled facades and little bars in side streets.

Arts and Sciences
If you prefer bright, modern and comfortable over characterful and old, you may want to look at the areas around the City of Arts and Sciences.

living in valencia spain
Photo by Milan Chudoba on Pexels.com

Which towns and suburbs around Valencia are good for families?

Now this will make the whole search area a lot bigger of course. Many expats choose to live in the suburbs or towns within a 30-minute drive of the city, and many go north because of where schools are located. International and private schools in Valencia are more easily accessible if you live in these areas, although most schools provide bus transport from the city centre as well.

Some of the areas that are popular are La Eliana, Godella/Rocafort/Campolivar, La Canyada, Patacona, Betera, and Monasterios.

You can read more about the best neighbourhoods and suburbs in the my e-books Moving to Valencia, Spain with children, and your guide to moving to valencia, spain

Another good bit of advice? Order a large map, stick it on the wall and pin your short list areas on it. Knowing the map will make you feel you know the area, before you have even moved here.

Good luck!

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