Best cities to retire in Spain

16th January 2017

When it comes to retiring, saying goodbye to British shores for sunnier climates is a desirable option. After years of hard work, climbing the career ladder, bringing up family and investing hard-earned money, retirement is an opportunity to step back and enjoy the simpler things.
Sunshine, affordability and ease of integration into the local population rank highly when looking for a suitable new home country, which is why Spain is such popular choice for British retirees. In International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index, Spain comes in as ninth in The World’s Best Places To Retire in 2016, the highest-ranking European country on the list. It offers great modern infrastructure desirable properties in both city and rural locations, large expat communities and friendly natives, and a short commute to the UK for visits. Spain is an easy choice, but picking which city to retire to is more difficult, as each have their own merits. Here are some of the best cities to relocate to for a pleasurable retirement.

The second-largest city in Spain, Barcelona is the perfect place for those retirees who enjoy a busy social life. The cosmopolitan city is famed for its arts and architecture, and its buzzing nightlife. It’s also well located, being on the coast, with long sandy beaches to while away the days in the warm sunshine. There is plenty of opportunity to experience the local culture, with a choice of restaurants serving simple, rustic fare. Barcelona is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, so the main language is Catalan rather than Spanish, although Spanish is still widely used. For those seeking healthy pursuits, there are a lot of options, from cycling and hiking, to watersports.
Lying on the popular Costa Del Sol (Coast of the Sun), Málaga is the perfect location for retirees looking to wind down and relax in later life. It has a large expat population, so there are familiar home comforts available if wanted, such as English restaurants and bars, and building a network of friends is straightforward. On the southern coast of the Mediterranean, it’s easy to spend time on the beach, watching the world go by. The city itself has plenty to offer, including a choice of museums and galleries, good shopping and excellent restaurants. It’s also got a small city vibe, so it never feels overwhelming, and it’s well located for exploring the south of the country.
Perfectly blending medieval architectural with ultra-modern technology, Valencia is a city of contrasts. Situated further down the coast than Barcelona, it is a port city based where the Turia River meets the sea. On one hand, its known for the City of Arts and Sciences, with thoroughly modern buildings and an IMAX, Europe’s largest aquarium and a large interactive science museum. On the other hand, it also has a choice of sunny beaches and quintessentially Spanish orange groves. There is a good focus on healthy living, with dedicated walking and cycling routes throughout the city, and in nearby open spaces.
The Spanish capital is right in the middle of the country, so it’s not the place to go for those seeking the coast, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have attractions for retirees. For those with an interest in art and culture, the city has no equal with over 60 museums to spend the days exploring. There are plenty of open green spaces and parks, which are perfect for getting away from the city centre. It’s a good choice for those who want to stay connected to city life and enjoy the hustle and bustle. Some of the best restaurants in the whole of Spain are in Madrid too, so it’s a great place for food lovers too.

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