ESL tips - Don't miss out on what the city has to offer!
We have plenty of insider tips to help you save during your language stay in Valencia and make you feel just like a local!
In terms of getting around, you’ll want to pick up an abono transporte (monthly travel card). Available for purchase from the ticket office in the metro station and from the tobacconists, you’ll need to present a photocopy of your ID, a passport-sized photo and the €5 card fee. The monthly pass runs €45 and includes unlimited transport.
Valencia tourist card
If you’re staying in Valencia for a shorter period of time or have friends and family coming to visit, it’s definitely worth it to invest in the Valencia tourist card. With free or discounted access to various monuments and museums, restaurant discounts and free public transport including to and from the airport, this is super convenient and a real steal.
Free museums on Sundays
Make Sunday a museum day! Many of Valencia’s museums offer free admission on Sundays. These include the Fine Arts Museum, the IVAM Valencia Institute of Modern Art, the Museu Faller de València (Falles Museum), La Llotja de Seda and the Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas housing the Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts. Being a culture vulture was never so cheap!
Practise your Spanish at favourite local restaurants
Eat like a local in the Mercado Central, where tourists normally only go to snap a quick pic or two. Housed within the soaring market, you’ll find Central Bar, which sources its ingredients fresh from the market. Pull up a bar stool and practise your Spanish! Feast on fresh anchovies marinated in passion fruit, Valencian oysters, garlic-sautéed rabbit, codfish fritters or yummy baguettes with fillings like spicy black sausage or cuttlefish and garlicky aioli.
If you’re still searching for cheap eats, head to the Bar de los Montaditos Gratis in the Benimaclet neighbourhood, where you can pay for your meal in coins! A beer or a glass of Rioja wine with a hamburger or sandwich will only cost you €2! This little hole in the wall is definitely popular with students.
What to drink
You’ll need to wash down all of your tasty tapas with a nice cold beverage, and when in Rome, do as the Romans do! Try the famous agua de Valencia at the bar where it was created in 1959. A strong, sweet cocktail made with fresh squeezed orange juice, cava, vodka, gin and sugar, the tucked away Café Madrid is the place to try the original, at Carrer de l’Abadia de Sant Martí 10.
The beach off the beaten track
Love the beach but hate the crowds? Get out of town to El Saler beach, next to the Albufera Natural Park, for a quieter, more natural beach-going experience. Bus 25 leaves right from the centre of Valencia and is included in your transport pass.
Watch, Read, Listen
Watch Sound of the Sea (2001) Director: Bigas Luna.
This romantic film takes place in Dénia, just down the coast from Valencia.
Bad Education (2004) Director: Pedro Almodóvar.
Pulling back the curtain on religious education in Spain in the 1960’s, this film features several scenes filmed in Valencia’s Russafa and Benimaclet neighbourhoods.
Salvador (2006) Director: Manuel Huerga.
This biopic of Salvador Puig Antich, the last prisoner to be executed under dictator Francisco Franco, is a must-see for anyone interested in Spanish history, with scenes filmed in Russafa.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) Director: Lynne Ramsay.
The opening scene of this chilling film takes place at the famous Tomatina festival in Buñol, just outside of Valencia.
Tomorrowland (2015) Director: Brad Bird.
This futuristic Disney flick sets the far-out world of “tomorrowland” in Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences (with plenty of digital enhancement!).
Read Or the Bull Kills You by Jason Webster
This 2011 mystery novel tells the story of detective Max Cámara as he’s called to investigate the murder of a famous matador in Valencia’s bullring.
The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown
This lovely little novel first published in 2012 tells the story of a woman who returns to the Valencian villa of her mother (a British nurse during the Spanish Civil War) after being abandoned for over 70 years.
Tales of the White Night by Joanot Martorell
This medieval classic, Cervantes’ favourite book, recounts one famous knight’s adventures.
Listen Mi tierra by Nino Bravo La mala reputación by Paco Ibáñez Estrechas calles de Santa Cruz by Mediterráneo València 9 d’octubre by Pau Alabajos