7 Ways To Spot Locals In Valencia
It may come as a surprise to you, but Spanish people have numerous regional differences. So when you are out and about, pay attention and you will be able to spot locals in Valencia. Here are 7 things that distinguish Valencians from the rest of Spaniards.
1. Locals in Valencia may address strangers as “love” or “honey”.
Valencian Falleras. Image source: Marcela Escandell
Cariño, cariñet, guapa/o, corazón, bonica/o, teta/e etc. is a very common way to address friends or strangers among Valencians. So whether you are getting around Valencia – shopping or having a coffee – you can hear this from both men and women.
On the other hand, male friends address each other as tio (“bloke”, “dude”) or nano (literally “a little one”).
2. Valencians eat paella directly from the paella pan.
Needless to say, locals consume a lot of rice in Valencia. And there is no need for plates here. Just get your spoon out (wooden, if possible) and dig in.
Keep in mind that you need to visually divide the dish (just the way you would cut a pizza) between all. No trespassing the next person’s territory!
Eating directly from the pan is the only way to really enjoy the crispy rice layer at the bottom, that Valencians really appreciate.
3. On a warm sunny day locals in Valencia walk on the shady side of the street.
Children playing on the sunny Plaza de la Vírgen, Valencia, Spain. Image Source: Víctor Gutiérrez Navarro
There is no shortage of UV rays in Valencia with the 360 days of sunshine a year. For that reason, locals also wear sunglasses all year round. Outlanders flock to the sun, while Valencians look for the shade, air conditioned spaces, a cool horchata and a café del tiempo.
4. Locals in Valencia do not drink tap water.
Horchata and fartóns.
You cannot drink tap water in Valencia. Its quality is notoriously bad. With this in mind, it’s better to stick to bottled water here.
By the way, do not mistake Agua de Valencia for water – that is a local alcoholic cocktail!
5. Valencian people use some words and phrases that no other Spaniards use.
Central Market in Valencia. Image Source: Antonio Tajuelo
“Au” is basically “that’s it” in Valencian. “Vamos a tomarnos un café, i au” means “Let’s just get a coffee and nothing else”.
“De categoría” means “of the highest class”: “La paella ha sido de categoría” – “That was the best paella ever”.
6. You can see locals between 10am and 11am at a nearby bar in Valencia.
A typical sandwich served during the traditional breakfast in Valencia. Image credit: Restaurante Puerta del Mar
On a working day locals in Valencia fill the bars and taverns to enjoy their bocadillo (sandwich) and a glass of wine. Be aware, almuerzo is almost a religion in the region!
7. Valencians celebrate anything by exploding firecrackers.
Mascletà – the ultimate celebration which runs for 19 days straight every March in Valencia during the Fallas Festival. Image Source: Ronald Woan
Last but not least, the epiphany of any celebration for a Valencian is an explosion. That is, either small firecrackers on a birthday, communion or other family occasions, or a big one, such as Mascletà, during the Fallas Festival in March.
For 19 days straight thousands of people get together in Plaza de Ayuntamiento (City Hall Square) to experience the roaring explosive rhythms of the gigantic Fallas firecrackers.
Hope you have fun spotting some locals in Valencia! And if you enjoy learning about the local traditions, why not join my tapas & wine tour? It´s a unique evening tour that takes you off the beaten track in Valencia. We only visit local family owned or historic taverns. A full dinner with wine and dessert is included!