Inspired by our article about using your blog to reflect on your year abroad, Isabella Elesinnla wrote this post about her Valencia! Follow Isabella on Twitter or read this post and more on her year abroad blog.
Even though I promised many more travel posts for the final few Spanish trips that I took, I came across an interesting way to reflect on my year abroad, courtesy of this site (an obsession of mine for at least the past two years.) It seemed that my advice/opinions on things people should know about Valencia post was very popular too, so I thought I’d give it a go. Let the questions begin!
NOTE: I’ll keep all answers exclusively related to the city centre rather than the community as a whole.
1, Home is…?
A top floor flat only a stone’s throw from the famous Puente de las Flores bridge and Mestalla stadium, with views across the city.
2. Building you'd like to buy?
Possibly the hardest decision to make, but I’ll go with the Correos building since the decoration and high domed ceiling alone are breathtaking. The central location isn’t bad either.
Correos at Christmas
3. Best meal?
Anything you decide to order at Moltto, a small restaurant on Plaza de la Reina square which can be a little pricey but never lets you down on flavour and friendly customer service. One waiter practically became my bestie by the end of the year.
4. Best value for money meal?
There are two really great places that I found this year. For the huge group gatherings, a place called Betty Burger that has a huge amount of food with limitless beer and sangria all for €10 per person. The second, a lovely Mediterranean/Middle Eastern fusion restaurant called Kana Makan with beautiful decor. No dish on the menu costs more than €5,99.
5. Favourite place to shop?
I guess that would have to be Calle Colón, home to no less than three separate Corte Ingles’ with all of your favourite high street retailers too (H&M, Zara, Pull&Bear to name but a few.)
6. First thing you do when you arrive?
Hop on the metro towards home with my Metrovalencia card, feeling satisfied that I don’t have to bumble around and figure out the ticket system anymore.
7. Best drinking spot?
Espit chupitos was a definite revelation when it came to cheap shots! They have a list of over 100 shots with mysterious names, just be careful not to order one that sets the bar on fire…
8. Best first date location?
A place called Gula. Despite it’s location on the main university street Blasco Ibáñez, in the evenings it’s a relaxed part of the city with delicious dishes to be enjoyed by candlelight.
9. Earliest Valencia memory?
Sending my jumbo 32kg suitcase up to my new flat in the lift and then racing up the stairs to meet it on the top floor, out of breath of course.
10. Favourite discovery?
Llinares, the artisanal gelateria with possibly the best array of ice cream flavours I have ever seen (including savoury options such as cheetos, gazpacho andaluz and gin tonic). It’s on the corner of Plaza de la Reina, not too pricey and not too far from Moltto either.
11. Best cultural spot?
Plaza de la Virgen, home to the famous fountain that appears on almost every guide to Valencia, you know the one I mean. A few cafés line the square and there’s a wonderful view of the illuminated Cathedral at night.
12. Favourite club?
Without a doubt I would have to say Akuarela. One of a few popular beach clubs, it has the best range of Spanish and English music that attracts both the Erasmus crowd and party loving locals. Stay out long enough and you get to watch the sun rise not the beach!
Sunrise on the beach
13. Best place to end a night out?
El horno de los Barachos, translated as ‘the oven of the drunks’, is open ’til 6am and serves the most important thing of all… pizza.
14. What would you do if you were Mayor for a day?
Attempt to organise a giant city street food party in the park with limitless tinto de verano and música española.
15. Building you’d like to be locked in overnight?
The Ayuntamiento (town hall) since it was one of the places that opened to the public towards the end of my stay in Valencia, but that I never got to explore.
16. Best time of year to visit?
Around May when there isn’t too much going on by way of traditional noisy Valencian festivals, but the city is abuzz with happy Spaniards enjoying the beginning of a very hot summer.
17. Thing you’d miss the most if you left?
I’ve already left and I have to say I just miss the overall relaxed feel of the city, being constantly surrounded by Spaniards and the palm trees. English seems kind of annoying to me now.
18. Most overhyped tourist trap?
Lonja de la Seda (the silk exchange) was something that I visited before my year abroad in Valencia, but didn’t go back to see again. It appears in most guides but is generally ignored by the natives who rush past it to get to the Mercado Central.
19. Favourite local expression?
‘Me cago en Dios/diez/el mar.’ I don’t think it’s exclusive to Valencia, but I’d certainly never heard it before my year abroad.
20. Best way to get from A to B?
I loved walking around the city because you can reach most places in 15-20 minutes and discover new places along the way. Some days though, valenbisi (city bike rental) was the nicer option for a little ride in the Jardín del Turía.
21. Best view?
From the top of El Miguelete tower, part of the Cathedral. There’s an amazing panoramic view out across the city. If you’re lucky enough you may even get to hear the bells chime on the hour!
22. Who's your local hero?
Negredo. The footballer who I raced past in the street without realising who it was as I was in a mad rush to get to class (which of course started late anyway.) A few months later I went to Mestalla to see him score the winning goal.
23. What’s next on your list?
Return to final year and daydream about my next adventure in Spain.