This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Valencia. To help you make friends with Valencia before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Valencia is an amazing city! There are beaches, mountains, and historic sites (all of which are gorgeous)! There is always plenty to do around this great city and the weather always tends to be mild! There are loads of restaurants, shops, shopping malls, and food stands (don't miss out on churros!). Spain has a lot of delicacies that you can find in Valencia (paella, balls of pork in blood, and calamari).
Valencia hostels can be found all throughout the city -- there is at least one about a ten-minute walk from the train station. However, don't confuse "hostel" ("albergue" in Spanish) with the Spanish word "hostal" (a hostal is a family run cheap hotel with dorms, where you won't find the same social environment as a hostel ("albergue").
The city can be reached by pretty much any kind of transportation (airplane, train, bus, car, and bus-ferry-bus). Generally the city is easier to get around by foot if you are staying in the historic center, while the beach is easily reached by metro. The transportation is fairly good in Valencia and not too pricey (although the metro does not go through the city center). If you are driving a vehicle and go to the beach, beware -- some of the beaches have parking spots monitored by children you pay to "protect" your car (we were with locals when this occurred, so it was not foreigners getting duped). The city is really safe (so long as you are not completely clueless about walking around a large city).
The people are very friendly in Valencia, but don't wear other football teams' jerseys here, as the Spanish are very passionate about their soccer/football teams -- a shouting match may ensue, but nothing more. They speak Catalan (a Spanish-French mix), however, they all know Castilian Spanish (the Spanish that is taught in schools).
The best time to visit Valencia is during Las Fallas (they display painted paper mache sculptures throughout the city center, and eventually burn all of them; although not as well known internationally as other festivals in Spain, it is the largest festival in Spain). Las Fallas occurs the week before Semana Santa (Easter week) in March. During the festival they have the gorgeous sculptures they've worked on for an entire year, astonishing fireworks, street food, parades, pageants. It is also a week of repentance (you will see people dressed in garb similar to the KKK, but they are NOT part of the KKK/anything like it, it is a costume they have used for much longer than the KKK; it is simply to hide the identity of the repenter as the repentance is between the repenter and God). While Las Fallas is an amazing festival, Semana Santa is a tad scary (they run a fake Jesus on an open sedan chair through the streets of the city center while people throw things at him and shout).
Written by local enthusiast for Valencia hostelsKari