Learn Spanish in Spain. Consider Valencia!
If you come to Spain to learn Spanish, the longer you spend in the country the better. Staying for six months to one year is the best way to get a good grasp of the language. So you need to choose your city wisely. Once you think about Spain art works as Sagrada Familia and Park Güell in Barcelona or Royal Palace and Puerta de Alcalá in Madrid come up into your mind and you start to dream of how it would be live in one of these astonishing cities in Spain. Spain is home to an innumerable number of architectural gems and historical destinations, and deciding upon a particular destination can become a difficult task. When assessing which city to choose to live in for an extended stay in Spain, a cost-benefit assessment often leads to Valencia as one of Spain’s top destinations.
Barcelona and Madrid, as the two biggest cities, tend to be more expensive than other areas. If you are planning to spend a gap year or continue your high school education in Spain while you master the Spanish language, we recommend Valencia as a top choice for your destination city! Valencia is not only the third biggest city in Spain but also offers a great combination of an ancient city, sun and beach, fantastic Valencian beach villages to choose from, and plenty of cool things to do during your leisure time!
Valencia combines a great mix of old and new buildings, giving it a very special feel of its own. From medieval castles and towers to modernist and Art Deco architecture, from nice little shops to big shopping centers, Valencia has so much to offer you as your prospective Spanish home. And of course, there are plenty of great places to eat and drink too! It’s a great money-saving option to consider if you are looking for a long term language program or high school program.
In Valencia, locals speak a form of Catalan (the locals call it “Valenciano”) but this is not officially recognized anywhere outside of Valencia. Even though Valencians speak to each other in Catalan in the street, everyone in Valencia speaks Castillian Spanish. You will find newspapers, TV and radio in both languages. When the Valencians speak Castillian Spanish, they speak with a good accent making it an enriching listening experience for your Spanish learning process.
Valencia is full of surprises! Did you know for example that Valencia has the largest inner city urban park in Europe? The famous Turia park, which used to be a river, is only one of five perfect public parks in Valencia. Valencia also has a big student population and there is a good nightlife to accompany it. And did you know that the Holy Grail, the cup that Jesus was supposed to have drank from during the last supper, is said to be kept in the cathedral in central Valencia?
We love Valencia and summarize below what we consider to be some of the key places you must visit in your next study program in Spain with IFX Soccer Valencia!
The plazas or squares in Spain are often tree-lined, with gloriously cool shaded spots to escape the intense summer sun. They are normally ringed with various lanes, access points and obscure roads, leading out onto different courtyards, and in some cases, even more pretty plazas or squares. One of the most beautiful squares in Valencia is the Plaza de la Reina, or “Queen’s Square” in English, located in the old town.
El Palmar, in the Albufera natural park. Eat where the Spanish eat, that is the best, if you fancy sampling the famous local dish at some point. One of the best places to sample a paella in Valencia is at the beach.
One of the cities’ more controversial claims to fame is that it has what is supposed to be the Holy Grail, the actual cup that Jesus drank from during the last supper, which is kept at The Valencia Cathedral. The Valencia Cathedral is a lovely old place and well worth visiting. You can actually climb to the top of the Miguelete bell tower and admire great views of the city. Inside the cathedral, the Holy Grail is one of the must-see attractions for those of a religious following.
For the enthusiast of food, the historic Central Market of Valencia is quite unique and a must see. Here, visitors get a closer insight into the daily life of the Valencianos. There are some really interesting food stands here: some of the fruit and vegetables may look strange to visitors, and so may some of the traditional meat products which are still popular here but not in northern parts of Europe.
The Fallas festival is by far the weirdest, loudest and most spectacular thing you are ever likely to see going on in a city. This parade consists of each area of the city, and some outlying towns too, spend a whole year constructing large and exuberant statues, then exhibit these statues on the streets for a whole week, setting off fireworks 24 hours a day, with street parties and plenty of dressing up and parading in fancy outfits.
The “City of Arts and Sciences” in Valencia is widely recommended as a must-see for any first-time visitor to the city. It is a group of futuristic buildings designed by local architects, namely Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, and who built this amazing place in stages, starting in 1998, at the seaward end of the old Turia river bed. The City of Arts contains 6 distinct zones or buildings: L’Hemisferic, El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, L’Umbracle, L’Oceanogràfic, El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía and L’Àgora
We hope this helps determine where to go and what to see in your next adventure in Valencia, Spain. Just remember if you want to play high level soccer while you are in Spain, IFX Soccer has the program for you. Play soccer while you enjoy Spain and master your Spanish from the locals. Click here for our study-soccer programs in Spain.
This content was originally published here.