Guide to private and international schools in Valencia

Valencia has a huge variety of private schools, from those that teach in (mostly) Spanish following the Spanish curriculum to those that provide foreign qualifications and teach in foreign languages exclusively, and those that have their own mix of languages and curriculums.

The atmosphere is also quite different in all of them. Some schools are very academic-minded and push their students to get the best possible grades to access the top universities worldwide, while others take a more relaxed ‘whole-person’ approach.

Choosing a school is never easy, and choosing a private school can be even harder. Always make sure you visit the school and understand what is expected from students and families, and in return what you can expect from the school. Take your time to review the curriculum, the education statement and, if available, the syllabuses. Most schools require an interview or a visit to the school during the admission process, make sure you ask as many questions as possible. Schools are used to this and won’t think negatively of an inquisitive parent.

One key aspect to take into account with private schools is cost. Most schools have a basic academic cost and extras that may or may not be optional. One of the distinguishing marks of a Spanish private school is the uniform, and parents are expected to buy it. Some schools will go as far as sending a child back home if the regulation uniform is not being worn. Most schools sell their uniforms on-site or on their website, and some have distributors or selected local stores where they can be found. There are also trips, special events and endless fundraisers, plus transport or boarding if you don’t live locally. Prices can usually be found on each of the schools’ websites, or requested from the school office.

This is a list of the most popular private schools within Valencia and surrounding areas.


British School of Valencia


Located in the heart of Valencia on Peris y Valero, right next to the Jesus metro station.

This school combines the Spanish and British national curriculums and awards its students with completion certificates from both countries (ESO/GCSE, Bachiller/A levels). This allows students to continue

studying in either country with ease. Students are taught in English and Spanish, as well as the local Valencian language. French, German and Chinese are taught as foreign languages. Students who finish their studies are awarded a C2 level in English, C1 in Valencian and a B2 in French, German and Chinese.

Applications for admission will only be considered after a booked meeting, and acceptance of requested documentation. Students joining after age 5 should pass an English language and mathematics assessment as well as provide previous school results (including SATs if coming from a British school).


American School of Valencia


Located in Los Monasterios, a small residential area near Puzol, some 30 km from the centre of Valencia.

The main goal of the school is to educate open-minded free-thinkers who are not afraid of taking risks. Their curriculum is a combination of the American Common Core, the Spanish national curriculum and the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. On completion of secondary school students could leave with 1, 2 or even 3 recognised certificates: the Spanish Bachiller certificate for all students, the IB certificate (if they chose to study it) and the American High School certificate (if they qualify). Students can also take part in year-long exchanges to American schools.

Admission applications are accepted year-round. If a student is starting after first grade, the educational record of the previous 3 three years is required with standardized testing results. The school also tests prospective students on academic subjects. Acceptance of students is entirely at the discretion of the school. An accepted student could be placed on a waiting list.


Caxton College in Puzol


Located in Puzol, about 20 km from central Valencia and offers a bus service for students who live in Valencia and Castellon.

Caxton College is a homestay boarding and day private school that follows the British national curriculum, with the added mandatory Spanish and Valencian language courses. It is an ‘outstanding’ British

Overseas School and approximately 1/5 of their students are of international origin. Students can take part in short exchanges with British schools and participate in a very large number of extra-curricular activities. For those who want to get a taste of the school before enrolling, taking part in their summer camps is a possibility.

In order to apply for a place at the school, you will need to first request an admissions form. The school requires academic records of 2 years and internal testing. The school encourages students to apply one academic year before their intended start date. Accepted students could be placed on a waiting list.


El Plantio International School


Located in La Canada, a short walk away from La Vallesa metro station, just outside of central Valencia.

The school offers the British national curriculum, as well as the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. The IB is mandatory for all students. Unlike most international schools who focus on academics or the sciences, the secondary school section of El Plantio is specialised in speech and drama. Drama is in fact a very important part of the curricula for the younger ages as well. English is the main language of instruction with Spanish and Valencian as main subjects, and French or German as foreign languages. Chinese is also offered as an extra-curricular. The school is open during summer to students and non-students.

For admissions you need to contact the school directly, and they will explain the requirements for each student.




Located in Valencia, Castellón and Alicante. The Valencia campus is in L’Eliana, just a few minutes from Torre del Virrei metro station.

Iale-Eliana es a group of 3 schools: Iale International School in Valencia, British School La Nucia in Alicante and British School Castellon in Castellon. They are all English-Spanish bilingual schools that follow the Spanish national curriculum. They also offer the government-mandated Spanish and Valencian, as well as French, German and Mandarin as foreign languages. During nursery the amount of English is about 70%, and slowly decreases to 33% in secondary. The school in Valencia is

specialised in music and can offer a recognised qualification. It also has a post-secondary technical school specialised in sports, and offers a summer camp in Dublin.

Admissions are year-round and follow 5 steps: appointment booking, school visit, admissions form, academic assessment, and submission of required documentation. Students who don’t speak Spanish will be required to take part in a special class.


Cambridge House Community College


Located in Rocafort, less than 10 kilometres West of Valencia. The school offers a bus service (that includes after school clubs) that covers most of the city of Valencia and some surrounding areas.

Cambridge House is a British School Overseas. Don’t be tricked by the name into thinking the school is connected to the famous university, they are completely unrelated. As with most other private schools, almost all classes are conducted in English. However, communications with home are in both English and Spanish. Unlike other schools, the foreign languages taught are French and Italian, as well as the mandatory Spanish and Valencian.

For admissions parents need to book an appointment and visit the centre. Students who start during the primary or secondary years need to provide academic records and spend one or two days in a classroom as part of their assessment.


Colegio Mas Camarena


Located approximately 10 km West of Valencia between Rocafort and Torre En Conill. The school offers a bus service.

Mas Camarena is one of the best ranked private schools in the country, and regularly boasts the highest Selectividad scores in the Community of Valencia. This school stands out because it follows the Spanish national curriculum but about 50% of the teaching is done in English (more in the early years and less secondary). French, German or Mandarin can be chosen as a foreign language from the age of 10. In secondary school students can choose to either study the Spanish curriculum or to opt for the International Baccalaureate. The school has

a large sports complex, a language school and an official music school. It also provides full boarding with families if required.

The admissions process follows 3 steps: online form, school visit and in-person interview. Unlike other private schools, it offers a price reduction to large families.


English School Los Olivos


Located in Campolivar, approximately 9 kilometres from central Valencia, and offers a bus service for students.

Los Olivos mostly follows the British national curriculum and students sit for GCSE, AS and A-level exams, while still respecting the Spanish national curriculum enough to be awarded with ESO and Bachiller certificates. Most classes are taught in English, except for Spanish and Valencian. The school offers the typical British school experience with summer fairs, sports days, and summer concerts; but also embraces local culture and events such as fallas.

Los Olivos is quite small in size compared to other private schools, so nursery admission should be submitted two years before the intended start date. For admissions to other school years, the school should be contacted directly.


Julio Verne School


Located in Torrent, to the Southeast of Valencia right next to the A7 motorway.

Julio Verne is a bilingual English-Spanish school that follows the Spanish national curriculum enriched with British subjects to allow students to sit for IGCSE and A-levels if they wish to. French is taught as a foreign language in primary and secondary, and German is an optional subject. Students can choose to focus on sciences or humanities for their secondary level studies. Students can also chose to sit for Cambridge English exams with the school, as they are a recognised preparation centre. The school follows an innovative methodology and takes part in a variety of national and international projects. Julio Verne stands out in that it offers scholarships to students from families with a lower income for Bachiller, dependant on academic performance.

For admissions the school should be contacted directly. To apply for a scholarship, it has be done while the student is on 4th of ESO using a special form available on the schools website.


Colegio Internacional Levante


Located on the border of Chiva and Valencia, very near the AP7 motorway. The school offers buses to Valencia and surrounding areas.

Colegio Internacional Levante is a Spanish-English bilingual school, with about 50% of the classes taught in English. The school follows the Spanish national curriculum, with the International Baccalaureate for secondary school students. The school has a recognised music academy on site, as well as a mini zoo and they are part of the Apple Distinguished Educator network and uses Macs and iPads within the classroom setting. Students experience a typical Spanish school life, with events such as Semana Blanca, a long-week skiing trip.

For admissions families should fill in a form available on the school’s website.


Lycée Français de Valence

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Located in Paterna, on the border with Campolivar. The parents’ association runs a bus service for students.

The Lycée is a fully French school in Spanish territory, recognised by the French government. It follows the French national curriculum, the language of instruction is French and the content is based on French culture and history. Spanish language and culture are only studied in relation to French events. When finishing secondary school, students receive the Baccalauréat certificate. Those who wish to continue their education in Spain can apply for a university that accepts international qualifications or request an homologation to the Spanish Bachiller and take part in the Selectividad exams. The school has an active and hands-on parents’ association that regularly organises extra activities and trips.

The admissions process follows a very strict timetable that all prospective students are expected to respect. Only French families who had to move during the school year will be considered for in-year admission. French families can apply for scholarships.


Deutsche Schule Valencia


Located in Benimaclet, a short walking distance of the Facultats metro station.

The Deutsche Schule, or Escuela Alemana as it’s commonly referred to, is a German school that combines the German and Spanish national curriculums with and emphasis on the German one. Classes are taught in both languages, as well as the local Valencian, with English and French as foreign languages. Students can take part in exchange programs with France and Germany. The school has a music and a sports association that teaches students, connects with parents and alumni, and promotes access to musical and sporting events throughout the Valencian Community. The lunch menu is Mediterranean-based with an emphasis on local products.

For admissions the school should be contacted directly. The school offers occasional scholarships, under the complete discretion of the scholarship commission.


Mammolina Montessori International School


Located in Paterna with excellent transport links into the city.

Mammolina Montessori International School is authorized by the Generalitat Valenciana (GVA) Department of Education for early childhood and primary school education and we are a NEASC School candidate. Located in a quiet neighborhood, just north of Valencia, they offer a multilingual (English-French-Spanish) Montessori based education.

As a small, private, family-oriented international school, children benefit from a diverse student body, an enriching multilingual environment, an individualized education and a beautiful outdoor space for them to explore nature, play, and engage in sports.

The children are offered afternoon sessions of yoga and many classes are taught outdoor. An organic, freshly prepared vegetarian meal is available for those children who wish to sign up for the hot lunch option. The school is surrounded by a large green space with gardens and trees.

For admissions the school should be contacted directly and an application form will be sent to be filled out


Credits: Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

Moving to Valencia with kids. A wonderful adventure for the whole family! A guide to the Valencian education system and how to enrol.

After the first excitement of deciding to move your family to Valencia the concerns start. How am I going to find a school for my children? How do I enrol them? Do they need to know Spanish? Or Valencian? Do I? How do government and private schools work? And which one is the best option for my children?

It can all seem very confusing at first. But the Spanish education system is luckily quite straightforward.

There are basically three kinds of school:
Colegio público, or government schools: they are owned and run by the government and teachers are government employees who have to pass a very hard exam to get their position. These teachers can not be fired, only relocated.
Colegios concertados, or semi-public schools: they are privately owned but government-subsidised and have to follow the national curriculum. Their teachers are not government employees and can be hired and fired as the school pleases.
Colegios privados, or private schools: they are private and free to teach and hire however they want. They do not have to follow the national curriculum, or even teach in Spanish.

This article is about government and semi-public schools and the bureaucratic process of registering your children. We’ll have another one very soon explaining private schools.

The Spanish education system

In Spain school is compulsory from 6, when children start primero de primaria (1st grade of primary). However when children are 3 they can already go to colegio infantil, similar to nursery or kindergarten. Many schools are now offering free schooling for children aged 2. It’s important to note, that education is mandatory and even though homeschooling is legal in Spain it can cause legal problems to parents.

The stages of the education system in Spain are:
Educacion infantil de primer ciclo: from birth to 3. Parents have to pay for these first years, but now many schools are offering free services for children aged 2 and above.
Educacion infantil de segundo ciclo: from 3 to 6. Not mandatory but because it is free in government schools almost all parents choose to send their children.
Educacion primaria: from 6 to 12. Compulsory for all children. Children start in the morning and finish around 4.30 or 5PM, and they are allowed to leave the school and go home for lunch or they can stay in the premises and eat at the comedor (lunch hall).
Educacion secundario obligatoria (ESO): from 12 to 16. Compulsory. Classes usually start around 8.30, and afternoon classes start around 3 until 5. Or from 8.30 to 14.30. ESO students can start making some choices about what subjects they want to study.
Bachiller: from 16 to 18. Not compulsory but chosen by many students. At the end of the two years students who wish to continue studying at university or high level vocational training must sit an exam called Selectividad. In Bachiller students can choose one of several branches depending on their interests.

All schools in Spain teach in Spanish, but in places where there is a second official language (like Valencian in Valencia) the second language is also used in School. In the past parents could chose which language to make the main one for their children’s education during the primary and secondary school years in all schools. But recently a new law was passed that forces schools to choose one of 6 levels from everything in Spanish (except for the Valencian language class) to all Valencian (except for the Spanish language class). The option with the most Valencian is also the one that offers the largest number of classes in a foreign language (usually English, but French is chosen by some schools).

When children enrol in a school and they don’t know one (or both) of the local languages they will receive special beginner classes until they can join the rest of the class. Luckily children learn languages easily and adapt incredibly fast. Usually the main language of the school is the one that is taught first.

In the city most people use Spanish as their main language, and even if children go to a mostly Valencian-speaking school they use Spanish among themselves. Outside of the city, some towns are mostly Valencian-speaking and Valencian is the language heard on the street. It is also important to know that all teachers in schools in Valencia must know Spanish and Valencian. In theory they also have an intermediate knowledge of English (at least B1) regardless of the subject they teach, but the reality is that the exams are mostly written and grammar-based so their conversation skills are usually quite basic.

Concertados are the same as government schools when it comes to curriculum and languages. They are free but usually offer ‘extras’ that are paid for by parents. These extras include clubs, workshops, art classes, and sports; or they can add resources or time to the government curriculum. These schools cost between 30€ to 120€ per month. Most concertados have a religious character, usually Catholic or another Christian denomination, when government schools are non-religious.

Finding a school

There are two ways of registering your child in school depending at which point of the school year you do it.

No matter what time of the year you do this, you first need to register with the council in the padron (council registration list), as you will need a copy of that to begin the registration process.

Keep in mind that students are sorted by age, not by level. If you are coming from the Southern hemisphere depending on when your children were born they could be put a year ahead or behind the one they were doing back home. Also, most semi-public schools have a waiting list.

Within the official registration period (May).
You will have to fill in a pre-registration form (formulario de pre-inscripcion) in which you can list up to 10 schools in order of preference. If you don’t qualify for your first choice, then the second choice will be checked and so on. This form has to be handed in to your first choice school. During May schools have open days when you can visit them, see what they offer and inquire about open spaces.
School registrations are done on a points-based system. Many aspects are taken into account, including: closeness to the school, enrolled siblings, parents working at the school, disabilities…
At the beginning of June a provisional admission list is published by each school. You have to go to each school in person, as this is not online. After this you can enrol your child to the school that admitted them. All schools have a different timetable, so make sure you check with them so you don’t miss any important deadlines.

Outside the official registration period, or escolarizacion extraescolar.
You will need to go to the education authority (conselleria d’educacio) where you will be given a list of schools local to you that have open spaces. With that you can book a meeting with the schools.
Once you have chosen a school, you need to go back to the education authority to get the official registration form that you can take to your school of choice to start the process. Government schools usually have 1 or 2 spaces for children to enrol outside of the regular registration period.

Documentation needed

All children need to present:
> copy of the padron (registration with the council)
> original passports of the parents or European ID card
> ID documents for the children, either birth certificates (international or certified by public notary), addendum to parents’ passport or family book
> medical report certificate (issued by their Spanish family doctor) where vaccinations received are shown
> previous year school results, for those enrolling after the second year of primary (most schools request a Spanish translation)
> authorisation by the education authority if enrolling outside of the official period

Regardless of what many online publications say, you do not need to present a NIE card to enrol children in school.

My personal experience: Christa, relocation specialist at moving2valencia

I have 14 years of experience with the Spanish education system in government and semi-public schools through my children. I have two children, aged 12 and 16, who now speak Spanish, Valencian, English and our mother tongue Dutch with ease.
In my experience the Spanish education system is very conservative and children are expected to learn by heart from books. There is usually little room for creativity, self-initiative or project-based learning. During primary school there is heavy emphasis on homework. After children finish school they usually have at least 1 hour of homework to do. So if your children enjoy after-school activities, it could be a very long day!
One of the benefits I see about choosing a government or semi-public school over a private one is that children will integrate into their new city and with Spanish children a lot faster. They will learn Spanish and even Valencian quickly. As a parent you will benefit as you learn from them and by socialising with the Spanish parents. Both Spanish and Valencian are very important if you plan to stay long-term and your children choose to continue into further education or work in Valencia.
A high point of the Spanish education system is that classes are small (between 18 and 25 children) and integrated. Children with special educational needs (intellectual, physical or social) are not segregated into special classes, they are part of mainstream classrooms. Depending on the severity of their educational need they might follow a different or adapted curriculum or the mainstream one with support from a dedicated specialised teacher. All SEN children also receive specific guidance hours with the specialised teachers. My youngest child was born with Down’s Syndrome and he is completely integrated in his class and is able to take part in all activities, including the languages.

How we can help you

Moving2valencia can provide support each step of the way, from the first visit to the education authorities to the first day of school.
We can be there for you during teacher interviews and helping you fill in forms. After all, we have been in the same situation when bringing our children to Valencia and we have helped many clients enrol their children in school.

Are you looking for a rental property in Valencia? Here is everything you need to know

When you are relocating to a new place, there are always questions that come to your mind. If you are planning to move to a different country, the questions multiply: which are the best places to look for housing? How can I book viewings? How much is all of this going to cost me? And probably the most important ones: how will I be protected as a tenant? And, what if I decide to withdraw from my contract? If you’re moving to Valencia it’s also important to know the legality of how rent agreements work in Spain.

At Moving2valencia we have years of experience helping customers through the process and we are used to explaining anything and everything that has to do with relocating to Valencia in easy-to-undertand terms.

How can I get started house-hunting in Valencia?

Valencia is a city in constant movement and the rental market is no exception. Demand far exceeds offerings as the crisis of the past years has forced many locals into forced renting. Quick reflexes are a must. Lower priced houses of up to 1500€/month can be gone by the next day. In some cases we’ve even experienced this with more expensive houses costing between 1500€ and 3500€/month.

It’s also important to keep in mind that houses are very rarely advertised with only one real-estate agency and as many as 6 is normal. Popular real state websites like idealista and fotocasa are not always updated when a house is taken off the market either. If your strategy is limited to sending an email through the website’s system and hoping for a quick reply, changes are you will receive a late answer or no answer at all and the beautiful house that caught your eye will be gone. Unlike other countries, in Spain direct communication through a phone call or WhatsApp is still the best option.

How much is renting in Spain going to cost me?

Once you have gone through the viewing process and found your perfect next home, the next step is to sign a reservation contract. This involves paying one month of rent upfront to secure the house. If everything goes ahead as expected this money will be deducted from the deposit when the rent agreement is signed. If the landlord decides to withdraw, the tenant receives a full refund. However, if the tenant is the one to withdraw, the payment will be lost unless otherwise stated in the reservation contract.

In general the costs that will come up when signing a rent agreement are:
If you rent using an agent: 1 month commission fee plus 21% VAT. Be careful and negotiate not to pay for this as part of the reservation process. Some agents however try to get away with it and will charge you for their commission as part of the reservation fee before a rent agreement is secured.
1 to 2 months of deposit. Usually the reservation fee will be counted towards the deposit.
It is very common to ask 6 and sometimes ever more months of advanced rent payments or 4 to 6 months of bank guarantee.

These terms might sound shocking, but they are all allowed under Spanish law. Landlords usually claim that it is an expensive and lengthy process for them to chase payments when an expat is involved. Foreigners can easily go back to their home countries and it is hard for landlords to start legal proceedings and seek prosecution from Spain. Adding to that, it could take up to 9 months to be able to evict a tenant who has stopped paying rent or gas and electricity bills. Most owners deal with this issue by taking a non-payment insurance (called ‘seguro de impago’ in Spanish) which require Spanish payment slips, bank guarantees or several months worth of upfront payments. Since bank guarantees and payment slips can only be acquired by established residents, the only option left for newcomers is to pay upfront.

Our experience at Moving2Valencia after helping many people go through the rental process is that these conditions are extremely hard or impossible to negotiate. If one prospective tenant becomes difficult, the demand is so high that they will be passed over for the next one without a second thought. However, as agents we can help smooth the process for you.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even though Valencia has beautiful weather with 300 guaranteed days of sunshine, some months in Winter can get quite chilly! In January, February and some days of March in particular the humidity of the sea can make the days feel cold. And the building style of the area with single brick walls instead of cavity walls, make checking for heating options a must. Electricity can get pricy, so always remember to check if a house you are viewing has electric or central heating to budget for it and avoid any surprises!

How long does a rent agreement last?

A regular rent agreement can last up to 3 years. Tenants are allowed to finish the contract after 1 year has passed, provided they give the landlord notice. Usually 1 or 2 months.

The landlord, however, has the obligation to respect the contract for the 3-year duration period. There are some instances when this time can be cut short, but only after 1 year has gone past. Some possibilities are when a landlord becomes homeless and requires the house to avoid becoming a rough sleeper or after a divorce when one of the spouses (or children) needs to relocate. In practice, these situations are extremely rare.

How can Moving2Valencia help you?

Moving2valencia can help you throughout the whole process. We will be there supporting you from the very beginning of arranging house viewings (with sometimes up to 8 in one day!) until the signing of the rent agreement.

Some of the things we will help you with is asking those tricky questions that will allow you to concentrate on the ohs and ahs instead of things like house finishings, maintenance and rent terms and conditions. This way we can help you get a full picture before you make a decision. We will also be there to support you while you review and negotiate the rent agreement, making sure that it will be fair to you and it includes clauses such as up to 1 month to find issues with the house and avoid being blamed for them.

Working with Moving2Valencia can save you time, can save money, and can save you from making mistakes so you can concentrate on what really matters: finding your dream home!

Buying or renting in Valencia? Here you discover all about the 19 districts in Valencia.

Here you can find most of the administrative and financial institutions, as well as a large number of cultural and historical buildings. There are six neighbourhoods in this district: La Seu, La Xerea, El Carmen, El Pilar, El Mercat and Sant Francesc.

Ciutat Vella, or the Old Town, is the best option for those who want to be in the middle of everything with lots to see and do. During Fallas Ciutat Vella becomes the epicentre of the festivities, during the cold months it is a beautiful place to walk around and maybe visit a museum, and during the hot Spanish summer there are hundreds of restaurants, cafes and ice-cream shops where you can take a break and have an horchata. Ciutat Vella is also very well connected by public transport to all other areas of the city (via bus and metro) and right next to the main train station that allows you to be in Madrid in less than 2 hours.
In Ciutat Vella you will mostly find flats in buildings that can go up to about 10 floors. Almost all buildings have lifts, and most flats have balconies. If you like the idea of living in the town centre but would like the house feeling, you can also find many top floor flats which are usually larger and have more open-air space. Because of the popularity of the district with short-term holiday lets, prices are at the higher end of the spectrum for Valencia.

Eixample (Ensanche): the shopping district

Here you can find the most popular commercial areas of Valencia, as well as the main train station and the city’s bullring. Most of the roads follow a grid pattern that form ‘manzanas’ (blocks). There are three neighbourhoods in this district: Ruzafa, El Pla del Remei, and Gran Via.
Eixample is the most eclectics areas in Valencia, the old and the modern mix in a place where you can find people from almost all nationalities. The area is very popular with tourists and locals. Day and night, it’s always busy. In Eixample you can find museums, libraries and many historic buildings or go to a concert at the bullring, sometimes from international superstars. The main shopping streets and department stores are located in and around the Calle de Colon area where Valencians from all over the city go to look at the latests fashions. The train station can be found right next to the bullring, and it’s not unusual to see tourists arrive dragging their bags behind them. Lately the more residential areas of Eixample have been turning into the hipster centres of Valencia with a lot of trendy stores, but the more old-fashioned classically Spanish ones are as popular as they were decades ago.
Living in Eixample could be either more expensive than average or cheaper, depending on the area and even which building in the same area. If your heart is set in Eixample, don’t give up if you can only find flats on the higher end, keep looking and you will find something more affordable.

Extramurs (Extramuros): where residential and offices meet

This is the area around the Gran Via Ferran el Catolic, just outside the old city walls. This part of the city follows Eixamples’s grid pattern in the areas next to it. There are four neighbourhoods in this district: El Botanic, La Roqueta, La Petxina and Arrancapins.
If you enjoy food, Extramurs is a great place to be. This area is the one with the highest concentration of bars and restaurants of all of Valencia. Many of them offer international cuisines that are hard to find in other areas. The nightlife is also lively as many cafes and bars switch gears when the sun sets and turn into pubs or open up dance floors. If you prefer a more relaxed lifestyle, Extramurs is right next to the largest green space of Valencia as well as being a great area to walk or cycle, as more and more roads are becoming pedestrian and bike-friendly. Valencia’s Sports and Cultural Centre can be found in this area, within the Petxina neighbourhood.
As with other districts Extramurs is a mix of the upscale and the working class, with housing prices falling all over the spectrum. It’s not unusual to find a block of flats next door to an office building. In general, it as a mid-range area, but you could get lucky and come across a bargain. Most buildings are quite old, dating from between 1900 and 1960, but they are all in good condition as maintenance of historical buildings is seen as extremely important by the local government.

Campanar: the area that took Valencia by storm

Here you can find the Conselleria d’Educacio (local education government) and several of the most important health hubs of the city. Valencia’s famous Bioparc is located in Campanar, within the Parc de Capcalera. There are four neighbourhoods in this district: Campanar, Les Tendetes, El Calvari and Sant Pau.
About 15 years ago Campanar was seen as the outskirts no-one dared venture into. After years of heavy investment from constructions companies, who very ingeniously promoted the area during the Fallas times, Campanar is now completely changed and a desirable place to live, especially the Non Campanar area. Besides the Bioparc one of the largest supermarkets of Valencia can be found here. The area is in general very quiet (except for the main arteries), as it is mostly a residential area. However it is very well connected by road and public transport to central Valencia and from here it’s very easy to get out of the city without having to navigate hours of traffic.
The district is a weird mix of extremely old orchard-style buildings and residential new-builds with all the mod-cons. Prices in Campanar are slightly higher than other surrounding areas, but still within the mid-range for housing in Valencia. There are plenty of green spaces, and large commercial ones. Campanar is a good place for those who are looking for a residential area but want to be able to get to the hustle and bustle within a few minutes.

La Saidia: the area that came back from ruins

Historically, this area was a religious centre with several churches, monasteries, priestly orders and even a mosque. Currently only a few of those survive, along several sites of archaeological importance and the Museum of Fine Arts. There are five neighbourhoods in this district: Marxalenes, Morvedre, Trinitat, Tormos and Sant Antoni.
La Saidia has an American suburban feeling to it despite being very close to the old city centre and well connected by public transport to the rest of Valencia. In the past it was a working-class area but it almost destroyed several times by flooding of the Turia river before it was was re-channeled and the old bed was turned in to the Turia Park. Thanks to this environmental modifications the area has been the subject of an urbanist construction that made it look less traditionally European with wider roads and bigger blocks. Most of the main driving arteries of Valencia go through La Saidia, for better or for worse. If you are someone who enjoys driving you will appreciate the layout of the district and ease of access, but if you are someone who prefers getting lost in winding roads you won’t find much of that in this area.
This district is mostly residential with large municipal parks and a sport complex. Prices in the area are mid-range and seem to have stabilised as El Saidia has as many fans as it has detractors.

El Pla del Real: the greenest area in Valencia

This is where Valencia’s football stadium Mestalla is located. It’s an area renown for its green spaces. There are four neighbourhoods in this district: Exposicio, Mestalla, Jaume Roig and Ciutat Universitaria.
El Pla del Real is without a doubt the greenest part of Valencia, as well as the one with the largest number of university students. The main campus of the popular University of Valencia is located in this area and that shows in the amenities. There are many pubs and casual cafes to be found, most family friendly, as well as an incredible number of green spaces both large and small. It’s not unusual to see groups of people practising yoga or aero-boxing in one of the parks or come across joggers and dog walkers at all times of the day, even when it gets dark. There is even a horse-riding club in El Pla del Real. The area has a higher-than-usual population of English, French and German speakers due to the foreign students, and thanks to them you can find a cinema that shows all films with no Spanish dubbing.
The area is quite upscale and residential, and there are many new-builds. Because of the short-lets and room-sharing of the university students, prices tend to be high and family homes could be harder to find. However, the search could be worth it as this is one place where you could find a house instead of a flat.

L’Olivereta: the working-class area

L’Olivereta is probably the only district in Valencia that has kept it’s early and mid 20th century demographic without many changes. There are five neighbourhoods in this district: Nou Moles, Soternes, Tres Forques, La Fuensanta and La Llum.
This district is a true mishmash of history, housing and amenities. Some areas (such as Nou Moles or Tres Forques) have many government buildings, sports facilities and schools, while others (like Sauternes) don’t have any at all, not even a local park. In the area there are many places of interest including the Valencian History Museum, the Central Library and a market that might not be as breathtaking as the one in Ciutat Vella but it’s every bit as popular. The buildings are a mix of old and new, short and high, social housing and private residences, including low-rise houses with gardens and 60’s blocks of flats with no balconies.
The area is very popular with locals, migrants from other parts of Spain and Latin American immigrants; particularly families. In general the prices in L’Olivereta are very affordable, which makes it a popular area where stock moves very fast. Connections to the rest of Valencia are among the best with over 20 bus lines, the metro and many important road connections. All parts are different and not all buildings are worth the same, so it’s always best to see housing options in person. L’Olivereta is not an area most non-Latin expats consider, but it might be worth a second look if you are after a more immersive experience.

Patraix: the self-contained district

There are five neighbourhoods in this district: Patraix, Sant Isidre, Vara de Quart, Safranar and Favara.
Patraix is one of those places that doesn’t seem to stand out but manages to make locals feel extremely proud of it. It is in close proximity of shopping centres and some larger stores, but for most people it is an area they don’t visit unless they are passing through on they’re way to somewhere else. In the past decade the area has seen large redevelopments that have pushed it towards a more suburban style of hosing. However, with the economic crisis Spain went through some of these developments were left unfinished. These developments have revitalised local business and now there are many owner-operated restaurants, cafes, clothes stores and food shops all over the district. A person could do all of their shopping locally on foot, if they were so inclined. Patraix used to be one of the orchard areas and that village feeling can still be found in the older and younger generations. During Fallas the area doesn’t particularly stand out, but the locals have well organised and family-friendly celebrations that are open to everyone.
Patraix is a largely residential area, with a mostly working class and commuting population. Many families live here because prices are affordable, there are many schools and connections to the centre of the city are good with one metro station, one train station and many buses.

Jesus: the music centre of Valencia

Jesus is an usually forgotten area full of surprises, with a typical Spanish atmosphere. There are five neighbourhoods in this district: La Raiosa, L’Hort de Senabre, La Creu Coberta, San Marcelino and Cami Real.
Jesus is probably not the most exciting district of Valencia at first sight but there is much more to it than it seems. Music lovers will love Jesus with its music society that includes a symphonic band, a youth groups, a chorus, a strings orchestra and a school. The society takes active part in Fallas festivities as well as the local festivities in September performing formal music concerts and playing informally on the roads. A few years ago a cultural centre was opened with a large theatre, music rooms, exhibition rooms and a large libraries. Footballs fans can support one (or both) of the local football teams who share the San Marcelino stadium. Jesus also has a small but popular market and is currently going through a large redevelopment process as the abandoned military posts is being turned into a large park and residential properties.
Jesus is a good option for those looking for a relaxed atmosphere and good connections to and out of Valencia. There are many bus lines as well as metro and train stations, quite unusual for a district that is not central. The area is a mix of houses and mid-height buildings between 5 and 8 levels high. Prices in Jesus are affordable, but they go up for housing near the metro and train stations.

Quatre Carreres: the most photogenic area

From traditional water fountains to the modern City of Arts and Sciences, if you’ve seen a lovely photograph of Valencia that is not Ciutat Vella, chances are it was taken in Quatre Carreres. There are seven neighbourhoods in this district: Monteolivete, En Corts, Malilla, Fuente de San Luis, Na Rovella, La Punta and Ciudad de la Artes y las Ciencias.
Even those who know next to nothing about Valencia have heard about the City of Arts and Sciences, or at least seen it in during one of the many sports or cultural events that have taken place in or around it during the past 15 years. The reputation is well deserved as it is architecturally beautiful, and it boasts museums, an aquarium, the tallest opera house in Europe and among other things, a garden that turns into an open-air disco at night. Those who enjoy the arts will also be able to take advantage of the Spanish branch of the Berklee College of Music. And those who like languages can find the Official School of Languages here, where Spanish for English speakers is taught. Quatre Carreres also retains the typical Valencian orchards and traditional countryside buildings. In the area there is also a popular basketball stadium with regular matches.
All of Quatre Carrers has very good transport connections, but prices vary wildly depending on location. Most of the district is between low- and mid-range when it comes to housing. However the areas near the City of Arts and Sciences can be among the most expensive in all of Valencia.

Poblados Maritimos: the old fishing neighbourhoods

Poblados Maritimos is the area that made Valencia a thriving business centre in the past, and it is now a popular tourist destination. There are five neighbourhoods in this district: El Grao, Cabanal-Canamelar, Malvarrosa, Betera and Nazaret.
Thousands of articles and even books have been written about Poblados Maritimos as in the past 40 years it has been the subject of almost revolutionary urban planning. Where old fishermen’s houses used to be now stand large renown international hotel chains and expensive restaurants. The area is now extremely popular with tourists, while only a few years ago people would avoid the area due to the heavy fish smell. Even though Poblados Maritimos has undergone development at a large scale, older traditional buildings can still be found and many are being brought back to their old glory as a way to keep the history of the city alive. Poblados Maritimos is truly a district of contrasts. Sport fans should enjoy the area as many international water-sports competitions take place in the area. And if you are brave enough to try yourself, the waters are very good for surfing and all kinds of rowing sports.
Housing prices are all over the spectrum, with some houses only the very rich can afford and some flats where low income families survive. The closeness to the beach and the many amenities are making this area more and more popular, and prices are slowly but surely going up.

Camins al Grau: the forgotten district

The call to fame for this area is without a doubt the City of Arts and Sciences, which is not even part of the district but right next to it in Quatre Carreres. There are five neighbourhoods in this district: Ayora, Albors, La Creu del Grau, Cami Fondo and Penya-Roja.
This district usually gets eclipsed by the neighbouring City of Arts and Sciences. Most people use it as a way to get there and pay little attention to the areas surrounding it. Truth is that Camins al Grau deserves to be considered as an interesting place out of its own merit regardless of the City of Arts and Sciences. The area used to be mostly working-class residential and with some students who went to the old university campus, slowly it is becoming more popular with middle and higher-income families, but it still keeps it’s relaxed suburban feel. It is located very near to the beach, and if you like leaving the city for quiet beaches, the road connections are among the best. There are many shops in the area, mostly concentrated in the shopping centres. And also a large public swimming pool.
Camins al Grau is mostly a relaxed residential area. Buildings are usually short, streets narrow and prices among the cheapest of all of Valencia. Main roads are wide without much traffic, but with regular bus services. Prices get higher the closer to get to the City of Arts and Sciences and neighbouring shopping centres.

Algiros: the residential area popular with students

Algiros is an orchard come working-class housing area come university campus. There are five neighbourhoods in this district: L’Illa Perduda, Ciutat Jardi, L’Amistat, La Bega Baixa and La Carrasca.
Algiros is one of those places that has a little bit of everything, but not a lot of anything. It is very close to the beach with many green spaces popular with runners, dog-walkers and students. During the day the residential part of the district has a quiet small town feel to it, while the campus is a hub of activity. Thanks to the presence of so many students, Algiros also has several nightlife hotspots. When it comes to shopping, there isn’t much beyond the shops that will provide residents with the day-to-day basics in the form of supermarkets and small owner-run local shops. Thanks to the campus there are always cultural and sporting events taking place and some of the university premises can be used by the general public. The district is very much divided in 3 sections: the South is the residential area, the middle is the campus and the North is mostly green space.
Because the area has a large university campus and is near the beach, it is extremely popular with students. However, unlike other popular student areas prices are mid-range in Algiros. Most building are relatively new builds as the area has had a resurgence over the past three decades, and mostly residential.

Benimaclet: the up and coming area

Benimaclet is the new hotspot of Valencia, taking the baton from Campanar. There are two neighbourhoods in this district: Benimaclet and Cami de Vera.
This district used to be covered in orchards, which still surround it, but slowly started being built and it has been gaining traction for a few decades now. It is the perfect mix of city and countryside and only 10 minutes away from the beach with the tram. In recent years some larger shops have been opened, including a shopping centre. However, Benimaclet still maintains a typical Spanish village feeling with the smell of orange blossoms during spring and readily available horchata during the hot summer. Being close to a campus makes Benimaclet popular with students, but unlike other student-heavy areas of Valencia, this one has developed day-time family-friendly activities (such as local Fallas groups) rather than a thriving nightlife. Thanks to this, the district is a mix of students, pensioners and young families. Benimaclet doesn’t only celebrate Fallas, but also Carnival.
Most buildings are old and low but in good condition, the city of Valencia takes pride in the good maintenance of its buildings. However, Cami de Vera is slowly but surely being covered by high modern buildings. Benimalcet is for now still quite affordable, but if the trend continues they could get as high as those in Ciutat Vella. The whole area is becoming popular with commuters who take advantage of the good and affordable links to the town centre.

Rascana: the untouched orchards

Rascana is the most traditional of all the central districts. It still maintains most of its orchards and most of its population speak the local language. There are three neighbourhoods in this district: Els Oriols, Torrefiel and Sant Llorenc.
Rascana was an old Arab town, that became a monastery town until the early 1800s when it finally became an independent town, to be later added to Valencia before a century has gone past. Despite its strange history it still retains an Arabic orchard structure. It is one of the largest districts in Valencia, but also one of the ones with the lowest number of inhabitants, with one neighbourhoods having less than 70 people according to the latest census. Els Oriols is the Valencian neighbourhood with the largest number of immigrants, most of them from Ecuador. It used to be an area where orchard workers lived, but now it has become a low-income working class area of commuters as the tram connections are very good and reliable and the roads are easy to drive. Football fans can attend Llevant UE’s matches at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium. And those who dare learn the local language (Valencian, which is very similar to Catalan) can take advantage of the Valencian Language Academy and only fully Valencian library in all of the Valencian Community.
Most of the district is still unbuilt with large orchards, and small urban centres house most of the inhabitants. Rascana is the ideal location in Valencia for those looking for affordable rural accommodation, but keep in mind that driving is a must.

Benicalap: where Fallas live

Benicalap was an Arab town that went through the typical 60’s redevelopment with a twist, instead of building concrete blocks a town for artists was created. There are two neighbourhoods in this district: Benicalap and Ciutat Fallera.
Both of Benicalap’s neighbourhoods are completely different from one another. Benicalap itself is a mostly residential area built around the old Arab town centre. There are trams, the metro and many popular cycle lanes that allow easy access to the centre of Valencia and the beach. However, bus services are limited to a few local services and only one that goes to central Valencia. The area has a large park as well as a market, and the new stadium of Valencia CF, Nou Mestalla, is located here. The other part of the district is taken by Ciutat Fallera. A neighbourhood created as a way to keep all Fallas artist workshops within the same place as a way of sharing resources and making commuting for artists easier. All the roads in Ciutat Fallera are named after important Fallas’ personalities and the residential area is taken over by mostly Fallas-related workers. Ciutat Fallera also houses the Fallas Museum where all previous winners are kept and displayed to the public.
The residential areas are very affordable considering the good public transport connections and closeness to the beach. Both the centres have a good selection of shops, large and small. The only negative point about living in Benicalap are the crowds that can take over the streets during Valencia football matches, but there are rarely any safety issues.

Poblados del Norte: traditionally old-fashioned Valencia

With a mostly ageing population, Poblados del Norte is the most old-fashioned area of Valencia. There are seven neighbourhoods in this district: Benifaraig, Pueblo Nuevo, Carpesa, Casas de Barcena, Mahuella, Masarrochos and Borboto.
Poblados del Norte is a very large district with very few inhabitants. The area is mostly rural with many producing orchards and very near the coast. Each of the seven neighbourhoods celebrates Fallas as well as their own local festivities. If you like popular Spanish celebrations that take over the streets, Poblados del Norte is the perfect place for you. Population numbers have slowly been increasing in the past decades, mostly due to recent government investments in transport links and sporting facilities. There are now several bus lines that serve the area, as well as the metro. As for sports there is a modern multi-sports facility with the only hockey field of Valencia. As owners age and the younger generations decide to sell the orchards, the land is slowly being used to build industrial states that are helping regenerate the population of the area and bringing more young people and families.
Most of the Poblados del Norte’s population is spread around and there’s only one real town centre: Mahuella. Prices are quite hard to compare to other areas, as housing is so different. When it comes to Mahuella, houses and flats are very affordable and among the cheapest in the city. The orchard ‘caserios’ are averaged-priced.

Poblados del Oeste: the international business centre

Poblados del Oeste is the place most business people visit when they go to Valencia. There are two neighbourhoods in this district: Benimamet and Beniferri.
Poblados del Oeste is the main business tourism area of Valencia. The Fair Centre and the Convention Centre are both located here, and both among the most important in Europe and the world. The Fair Centre is home to many annual professional fairs as well as some open to the general public included some dedicated to manga, games and toys, youth activities, beauty, hobbies, weddings and dogs. The area is also the home of the Velodrom, where international cycling competitions take place, as well as many concerts and other sporting events. Thanks to the Fair and Convention Centres the area has become heavy in professional tourism services. There are many international hotels, a casino and short-term let offices, as well as everything locals need for day-to-day living.
The district is right in between the airport and the city centre, at only 3 miles from each with very good connections, including the metro. Because of this, it is ideal for those who travel regularly but still need to go to central Valencia. The area is a contrast of some of the highest buildings in Valencia and low houses with gardens, and prices vary from the very affordable to the almost ridiculous. If your heart is set in Poblados del Oeste, shop around.

Poblados del Sur: the home of paella

Poblados is the place Valencians go for a bit of untouched nature. There are eight neighbourhoods in this district: Horno de Alcedo, Castellar-Oliveral, Pinedo, El Saler, El Palmar, El Perellonet, La Torre and Faitanar.
Poblados de Sur is home to the largest lake in Spain, Albufera, with a marshes area mostly used in the past as rice paddies, and now almost completely returned to its original natural state thanks to the whole area being designated a natural park due of protection. However, rice is still a large part of the local economy, alongside fishing. This combination of local products allowed the development of what is probably the most popular Spanish dish: paella. The beaches are sandy and with dunes, which provide a very different experience to the city centre beaches of Malvarosa and Les Arenes and very popular with the locals who will travel from central Valencia to enjoy less crowded beaches. The natural areas have woodland sections with a variety of evergreens, and the whole district is a favourite among hikers and sports personalities, particularly El Saler area. There is also a large industrial presence centred in a number of industrial states.
Connections to the area are extremely good for drivers but lacking when it comes to public transport, with only a few bus services serving the town centres. Most of the district is rural with typical ‘caserios’ and the town centres have mid-hight buildings. Prices vary depending on whether the target market is local working families or foreigners looking for holiday homes.