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A Turing Intern's First Impressions of Valencia

Natalia shares her first thoughts on Valencia as she begins her Turing Scheme internship


As part of the Turing Scheme, we send participants out to different cities across Europe, to undertake internships in a range of sectors, from Hospitality to Digital Marketing. This week Natalia, who is doing a digital marketing internship shared her first impressions of Valencia! 

Written by Natalia Darska 



Colourful architecture, warm weather, delicious Spanish food, and a beautiful beach - that’s how I perceived the city of Valencia during my first week. Valencia is famous for its festivals, and unusual museums, and its main attractions are Mercado Central, Old Town, and La Lonja. Starting in the beautiful old town, I saw people gathering and eating outside, which was the most charming thing I have seen in a while. Valencia fascinated me as I saw tourists trying their first churros con chocolate in the local cafes, or people exploring the Plaza de la Reina, astonished by its cultural heritage. Likewise, hearing people speaking Spanish all around made me realize the beauty of the language and made me want to improve my skills even more.

First Moments in Valencia

When I arrived in Valencia, I realized that my flat is close to the beach, and I could walk there in less than 15 minutes! The idea of spending my weekends at the beach seemed unreal. When I was exploring the area, I discovered the many colourful streets of Cabanyal, where local children were playing football together and socializing outside. The vibrant area reminded me a little bit of Havana in Cuba where young people usually play football outdoors on the streets.

The next day, we met with everyone at the Spanish school and had our first classes. The idea of improving my Spanish by learning from locals made me excited and motivated to study. During the break in between, I was able to explore the area of the Old Town with other interns and relax for a moment in a local bar outside. The fact that we could rest in the sun in October seemed extraordinary.


Delicious Food and Great Transportation

Valencia is the birthplace of a delicious paella and is known for its seafood and tapas. The diversity and freshness of the dishes bring the culinary experience to another level. In the centre of Valencia, there are many bars and restaurants where people might try local cuisine and soak up the Spanish atmosphere. When I arrived, the first dishes that I tried were patatas bravas, paella, and a Spanish pastry. I loved the diversity of choices at the restaurants and how delicious everything tasted! What’s worth mentioning is that Valencia has its own unique version of Paella, which consists of chicken, rabbit, white beans, and snails. When it comes to transportation, even though Valencia is not the capital, there are still many transportation options available such as trams, metro, buses, and a great service for renting bikes. The cycling offer would be worth considering, as it costs only 30 euros for a yearly membership. Another good option to commute in the city is by walking, as in Valencia you can practically walk everywhere on foot.


Kindness and the Culture of Spending Time Outside

During my first few days in Valencia, I was surprised by how friendly Spanish people are and how they tend to spend most of their time outside. Starting from drinking their morning coffee at the bar with friends or Sangria in the evening. Spanish people know how to appreciate small moments and the beauty of slow life. When it comes to communicating with Spanish people, even though they don’t usually speak good English, they are always trying to be joyful, positive, and helpful. Their good energy makes living in this city much more pleasant without unnecessary stress or rush.

Sunny Weather

Valencia is situated on Spain's eastern coast and is known for its sunny and pleasant weather. What’s more, Valencia has 20km of long beaches and around 300 sunny days every year. When I left the plane, I felt a warm breeze and I realized that my warm coat wouldn’t be needed for a while in Valencia. Even though I was aware of the nice climate in Valencia before, I wasn’t expecting such warm weather in October. 27 Celsius during the day and 21 Celsius during the evening made me feel like it was summer again! As I was always struggling with the cold during the winter in England, I felt like I was living a dream. Valencia fascinated me by its diversity of options for socializing and its beautiful old buildings with a heritage which combine perfectly with modern architecture. I was surprised by the charming atmosphere of the city and its kindness and positive energy. By experiencing the slow life without an unnecessary rush, I realized how that brought happiness into my life. Observing locals who spend much time socializing with their friends outside or children playing on the streets, made me appreciate the small moments in life. I think everyone should visit Valencia to experience its beauty and the wide offer of attractions that this vibrant city has to offer. Even though Valencia is not the capital, it has everything that people need in their daily life such as great transportation, beautiful parks and delicious food.


I’m convinced that everyone would find something interesting in the city of Valencia, because the city has countless things to offer. From learning Spanish by participating in Language Exchange meetings, to soaking up the Spanish culture by joining festivals. The city also has an amazing range of different activities for socialising, such as Flamenco Nights, Tomatina, or Fallas Festivals. For people who would like to experience a nightlife in Valencia, there are many local bars and outdoor events.

The area of the Barrio del Carmen is lively and vibrant with many bars and restaurants which would be perfect for a night out.

For people who would like to unwind, surrounded by nature, there are many parks such as Turia River Gardens which are described as the lungs of the city. This is the perfect place for runners and skaters or people who would like to spend some time relaxing outside.


If you think you'd like to live and work in another country, why not check out the Turing Scheme, just like Natalia did?