Follow These 5 Steps to be a Valenciana


Karen Cheng is a student at University of Pittsburgh and an ISA Photo Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Valencia, Spain.

Step 1: walk or bike everywhere

Valencia’s flat geography allows biking to be a way of life here. Bike lanes line every street and valenbisi stations dot every other corner. If biking isn’t really your cup of tea, walking is as good a mode of transportation as any – and you don’t miss any of the beautiful details of the city. There is so much to explore!

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‘Placa del Mercat’ Placa del Mercat is a street running next to the Mercado Central that is also home to a church and, on the weekends, street stalls with various vendors.
‘Mercat Central’ The Mercado Central is the largest market of its kind in Valencia, home to an assortment of meat, fruit, vegetable, and ready-to-eat food vendors.

Step 2: drink coffee like it’s hot and very cheap – because it is.

Cafés abound in Valencia and somehow each café is bursting with charm and coffee that is nearly always less than 2 euros. Peek into a café at any moment and you’ll find friends, couples, families chatting leisurely over their café con leche.

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‘Cafe’ One of the innumerable cups of coffee that I’ve had in the few weeks that I’ve been in Valencia.

Step 3: run in the río turia

The río turia is what once was a riverbed but has been converted into a park that stretches across the city. Every day between the hours of 7-9 pm, you’ll see hordes of people running or burning off all the ham and cheese that is consumed, all day every day.

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‘Rio Turia’ A moonlit night, perfect for running through the Río Turia.

Step 4: eat all the oranges except the ones in the streets

Valencia is famous for its oranges, and they’re truly as delicious as everyone says they are. However, the orange trees that line all the streets, parks, and plazas are purely decorative – the oranges from those are actually bitter. You’ve been warned.

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‘Oranges’ A small garden filled with orange trees near the Plaza de la Reina, a common sight around Valencia.

Step 5: relax

“No pasa nada” is the mantra here. It means no worries, don’t worry about it, hakuna matata. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the life you’ve been given. As soon as you’re able to do that, you have successfully become valenciana.

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‘Street Art’ A classic example of the street art that can be found throughout the city everywhere you look.



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