If you live on the fifth floor of a building without a lift you will definitely get a lot of forced exercise, but is it worth the trouble? If you want to see a grown man cry just watch when someone gets down to the street and realizes that he forgot his phone. If you have to keep your bike inside your apartment your enthusiasm for stairs diminishes very quickly. Of course, all modern buildings have a lift but some of the most beautiful buildings in Valencia don't have this fairly modern convenience. Is a lift a "must" for you or do you have a bit of flexibility when it comes to humping up stairs? Take this simple test to determine what sort of building best suits your needs.
What is your tolerance for stairs?
A) I could live in a fifth floor walk-up.
B) Fourth floor without an elevator is my limit.
C) Only three flights of stairs for this trooper.
F) No freaking way I’m living without an elevator and I never take the stairs.
I lived in a 3rd floor walk-up for two years here in Valencia and I didn't mind it a bit. I lived in a 4th floor walk-up very briefly and it sucked, mainly because I moved in and then out in the matter of a couple of weeks. This was in August and it was as hot as hell and the stairway was suffocating. A friend lives in a 6th floor walk-up in Barcelona and before she lived on the 5th floor here in Valencia without a lift; she obviously has a very high tolerance for stairs.
I usually take the stairs up to my fourth floor apartment if the elevator isn’t waiting for me when I walk into the building—unless I am carrying shit in which case all bets on walking are off. If I am wearing work-out clothes I take the stairs so I don’t think that I have gone completely soft. When I lived in Seattle I lived on the first floor so it was only a flight of stairs and two to reach the basement laundry room. The elevator was too old and scary for me.