Alicante or Valencia?

Hola, we are ex-pats currently living in Medellin, Colombia after having lived in Panama for over 3 years and are now in the exploratory stages for our next ex-pat chapter for Spain.  We are going to visit both Alicante and Valencia as possible locations in April/May. Both locations are very appealing to us for many reasons.
Our question is, for any ex-pats living in these cities, what are your recommendations for areas to consider for rentals? We like the city vibe, close to transportation, the beach, culture and living with the locals. A quiet location is a must. Gracias a todos!

Felices fiestas y Prospero año nuevo

John and Susan

city vibe; public transportation; close to beach; living with locals:  All very easy to do in Valencia.  We live across the street from Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias.  Lots of public transportation, Malvarossa is 20 minute bus/35 minute walk. 

Secluded beaches (eg El Saler) also have bus service, maybe 30 minutes away; not unusual to see people that have forgotten to bring their bathing suits there. 

However, "quiet" can be difficult.  People in Valencia many times stay out ALL NIGHT coming home at 6 to 7 AM.  There are bars in our area that close at 2, and some of the people go to the parks near our apartment to continue their lively discussions from then onwards.  It's not every night, but probably 2 to 3 times a month.

Closer to the center of town, eg Russafa, it's "very lively" at night, sort of like living above a disco.

I've only visited Alicante once, for me the biggest difference is that there a lots of hills there, while Valencia is very flat.  Both have their ups and downs (pun intended)

We looked around Valencia but decided on the more laid back life in Alicante. It is smaller, more affordable and easier to get your head around. Valencia was just too confusing and had too much traffic for our taste. Depending on how you define both terms, I agree with BlueMoon that "quiet" and "city vibe" are often an incompatible combination. That said, I think you can find all you're looking for here.

There are water views galore. While there's only one sand beach in the city center, the entire coast from Playa San Juan to El Campello is one long beach ... with direct tram access to downtown Alicante and to towns farther up the coast.

We chose to live in Barrio San Gabriel on the southern end of the city. It's a working class neighborhood with everything we need within a few blocks. There's a bus into the city center at our front door (about a 10-minute ride) and we're 15 minutes from the international airport.

Everything is a matter of personal preference, of course, and I know nothing of your personal situation. Your best bet is to explore both cities and see what feels best to you. I'm by no means an expert on all things Alicante but would be happy to show you around when you're checking it out. I'd also suggest reviewing rental options on to get an idea of what's available and at what price ... both here and in the Valencia area.

Happy Hunting!

Thank you Blue Moon.

Hello Restaurantdoc. We sent you a private message.


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