If you’re looking for scenic beaches, fantastic food and a rich cultural experience, there’s no better place to take your CELTA than in Valencia. In Spain’s third-largest city, you’ll find historic architecture, modern sites of culture and centuries-old traditions packed into a coastal city. Not only that, but it’s a city of languages: locals use both Spanish and the regional Valencian.
While taking the CELTA in Valencia, you’ll be able to enjoy the crisp blue water of the Mediterranean, fresh produce from the surrounding market gardens and a unique culture where old meets new. Taste the most authentic paella and the freshest oranges. Immerse yourself in history, arts and sciences. Enjoy all that Spain has to offer as you work towards your dream of becoming the best English language teacher. Not only that, but after you’ve completed the CELTA in Valencia, you’re already at home in a hotspot for English language teaching jobs.
Make the most of your CELTA in Valencia by ensuring you carve out a little time for these top experiences.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the mental exercise you’ll experience on the CELTA will leave you hungry. Luckily for those taking the CELTA in Valencia, you have some of the best Spanish food at your fingertips. In fact, paella, arguably Spain’s most famous culinary contribution, originates from Valencia. Here, you can taste the traditional Valencian paella which features chicken and rabbit instead of seafood.
Don’t worry if seafood paella is what you came for, you can still find fresh seafood paella throughout Valencia. Make it a habit of trying the different iterations at La Pépica. This restaurant has been looking out over the Mediterranean Sea for 120 years and many celebrities have enjoyed the varieties of paella they offer.
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
Quite truly a city within the city, Valencia’s Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences) is a sprawling compound featuring all sorts of institutions dealing with, you guessed it, arts and sciences. Architectural marvels in themselves, the CAC has something for everyone. With a museum of science, IMAX Cinema, laserium, planetarium, oceanographic park, landscape park featuring native Valencian plants, an opera house and a complex for concerts and sporting events, this “city” really is the heart of culture in Valencia.
Think about how you can use all that is here in an English lesson: you can teach water species at the aquarium, or scientific terms at the science museum. The inspiration opportunities are endless. Plus, the futuristic-looking L’Hemisfèric building is known as the “eye of knowledge,” so it’s certainly a good place to consult as you complete your CELTA.
Llotja de la Seda (and other historic architecture)
While the CAC is full of incredible architecture, it only dates back to the 1990s. Founded by ancient Romans, you’ll want to see some of Valencia’s older architecture, as well. The dramatic Llotja de la Seda (Lonja de la Seda in Spanish, or Silk Exchange) is one of the most complete examples of secular Gothic architecture. It dates to the 15th century and has impressive high ceilings, columns, and carvings. Be transported back in time and imagine the meeting of cultures that happened here. You are just part of a tradition of cultural exchange in Valencia.
The Llotja is not the only impressive piece of history in Valencia, though. The gate towers were saved when the city walls were brought down and can be visited for their stunning views of the city. Nearby, the Catedral de València (Valencia Cathedral) is another impressive site of history. A Roman temple and a mosque once stood here, while the current building dates to the 13th century. The Cathedral has impressive Renaissance frescoes while its museum holds art by the likes of Goya. But its claim to fame is that it holds one of the top contenders for the Holy Grail. Fitting as you search for your own holy grail of enlightened English language teaching.
Barcelona has La Boqueria, London has Borough and Valencia has Mercat Central… and Mercat Colón. More great places to refuel, these large markets will have everything you need to stay on top of your game. Offering two different experiences, each market is a great place to experience the local culture while you’re taking the CELTA in Valencia.
The recently refurbished Mercat Colón (or Mercado Colón in Spanish) offers restaurants, cafes and shopping in a relaxed, refined market. The beautiful, hundred-year old market building is worth seeing on its own, but it’s also the perfect place to take a moment to have a glass of wine and unwind after finishing off a lesson plan.
On the other hand, the Mercat Central may be a place to go more regularly. Here, you can get fresh meat and produce to cook at home while also admiring the impressive architecture. This is the place to stock up on fresh Valencian oranges. Sweet, freshly squeezed orange juice is enough to get you through those long days on the CELTA.
Of course, you’ll want to pencil in some beach time. Set up camp on the Mediterranean sands where you can prepare lesson plans and written assignments on the weekend. Where else can you take the CELTA while enjoying the bright blue hues of the Mediterranean?
Even better? When you’ve successfully completed your CELTA in Valencia, consider finding an English language teaching job here so you can continue enjoying these stunning beaches. The market for CELTA-qualified teachers is healthy in Spain. Besides, once you get to know Valencia, you’re bound to want to stay. Make your experience more permanent by looking for your first post-CELTA job here.
National Ceramic Museum
Even if ceramics (or art) aren’t your thing, a quick stop at the Museo Nacional de Céramica is well worth it. The outside of this museum is impressive enough. An eclectic mix of Rococo, Neoclassical and Oriental style architecture, the museum looks unreal. The richly carved Rococo windows, along with the marbled stucco walls make it look as though the building is a sketch rather than a three-dimensional edifice.
Inside, the palace itself continues to be part of the draw. Richly decorated rooms house the largest collection of ceramics. These pieces date back to the 18th century, but there are also more contemporary pieces, including some by Picasso.
Of course, one of Valencia’s most famous cultural contributions is the annual Les Falles festival. In March every year, Valencians come together to celebrate Saint Joseph and the coming of spring. The festival originated with the ancient tradition of carpenters burning pieces of wood with the coming of spring. Today, Les Falles has morphed into a largescale festival.
Larger than life puppets comment on and satirize events of the past year. Displayed throughout the beginning of March, they are burned in The Cremà on the night of March 19th. Fireworks, bonfires and a convivial atmosphere permeate Valencia throughout March as this ancient tradition continues every year. While it may be tempting to schedule your CELTA in Valencia during this period, remember that the full time course is intense and you won’t have much time to enjoy the festivities. Instead, use it as another good reason to find a job in Valencia after you’ve passed the course.
Taking your CELTA in Valencia is a decision you won’t regret. With rich historic and contemporary culture, delicious fresh paella and oranges, world-renowned festivals and stunning Mediterranean beaches, there’s not much Valencia doesn’t offer.
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Find out about dates, fees and more for the CELTA in Valencia.