Alice and Rebecca in ValenciaWe scour the city and surroundings of Valencia looking for exciting things to report on, research topics, interview people and immerse ourselves in the local life and rhythm, but when we chanced upon two young English girls who live and work in Valencia, we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask them about their impressions…

Alice MacGregor, (20), from Liverpool

I have been in Valencia just over two months now, and have enjoyed every second. The city is wonderful and offers so much to see and do that I have barely had time to rest! What first struck me was the relaxed atmosphere of the people, compared with the hustle and bustle of Madrid. Valencians seem to make the most out of every second of the day, perhaps this is a side-effect from living so close to the beach, or generally the Spanish way of life, but I feel this laidback lifestyle is particularly special in Valencia as the city and people pull off an elegance and refinement unlike any other urban seaside destination.

I am also fascinated by the architecture in Valencia. There is a huge mix of styles and designs, a surprise around every corner ranging from the medieval buildings of the centre and the Baroque mansions and palaces around Gran Via to the modernist train station and markets and, of course, the stunning avant-garde structures of the City of Arts and Sciences and the America’s Cup Pavilion.

Obviously, the weather has been a bonus too; the warm climate and sea breeze is a lovely change to a standard British summer! It is a treat to spend the weekends on Malvarrosa beach soaking up the holiday atmosphere, as well as a few rays!

Example of Valencia's Baroque architectureRebecca Nobes, (20), from Essex

After nearly four weeks of having lived in Valencia you’d have thought that maybe I’d seen most of what the city has to offer and knew my way around pretty well. Well, you’d be wrong. Valencia seems to have so much to offer that I find myself seeing something new every time I go out, from a shop that I hadn’t noticed before to another little side street that leads to who knows where. I’ve managed to fill all my weekends with interesting and varied things to do, from visiting the Bioparc for the day (well worth the entry price), to walking in the Jardines de Turia. Of course, I’ve also spent my fair share of time on the beach! I have to take advantage of it; we don’t have this sort of weather in England!

Getting around in Valencia is pretty easy when you get the hang of the bus system. It’s worth knowing where the end of the line is though so, unlike me, you don’t end up at the end of the route not knowing where you are! I ended up waiting for the driver to have his break and carry on to take me to my stop…clearly 3 weeks in I maybe hadn’t got the hang of it as well as I thought.  Luckily for me, with my seemingly absent navigation skills, my route from home to work is just a series of straight lines, but I still carry my map just in case!