It's easy to see why so many people retire in Spain - the infinite sunshine, historic cities, seaside villages, welcoming locals and amazing food. Barcelona, Madrid and San Sebastian are beautiful places to live, but the cost of living is high. Here are 5 affordable places to retire in Spain:
Retiring in Valencia, Spain
If you're looking for city life, Valencia is Spain's 3rd largest city and located on the southeastern coast. Valencia is more affordable than Madrid and Barcelona. Valencia's most famous attraction, the City of Arts and Sciences, houses a science museum, an opera house, a planetarium, an IMAX theater, an oceanographic park and more. Mercado Central is a huge public market with hundreds of food vendors and some restaurants, souvenir shops and tapas bars.
"I had visited Valencia several times to make sure I knew what I was going to encounter. The people here are amazing, and very friendly, for the most part. The cultural aspects of this area are also incredible, and there are so many things to enjoy about the city. Not having a car has not been a problem, and finding an apartment was relatively easy. I am always finding something new to do for free or close to free," explained one expat living in Valencia.
Retiring in Costa Blanca, Spain
About 2 hours down the coast from Valencia is the Costa Blanca region. "I am a retiree living in the Costa Blanca area. Weather is neither too hot nor too cold. People are lovely. Cost of living is low. I have a small dog, and it is dog-friendly here," explained one retiree living in Costa Blanca. Alicante is one of the most popular cities in the Costa Blanca region. With a population of nearly 350,000, Alicante has lots to offer retirees with a thriving restaurant scene, a beautiful marble promenade, called The Explanada de Espana, a bustling city park, called Canalejas Park, and more.
Retiring in Almeria, Spain
Another 2.5 hours down the cost is the city of Almeria, which is the capital of Almeria province. The population of Almeria is close to 200,000. "For lots of sunshine and low prices Almeria is the hot ticket at the moment," advised one expat in Spain. Another expat living in Almeria said, "I have now lived in Spain for 11 years. I live in a small friendly market town in the province of Almeria called Huercal-Overa. Almeria Province is located in Andalucia but can offer all your requirements for temperature, nightlife, culture too. We are located 100kms from either Almeria, the capital city of Almeria or its neighbouring province of Murcia (Murcia city). There is a good motorway route (A7/E15) along just about the whole of the south of Spain giving you more or less trouble free driving. There are at least 3 airports nearby (possibly another one opening up soon hopefully, Corvera). They are: Almeria (more provincial, but busier in the summer), Murcia-San Javier and the furthest (2 hours) from here although with regular international flights, Alicante."
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Retiring in Malaga, Spain
Malaga is the largest city in the beautiful Costa del Sol. With a population of nearly 600,000, Malaga is the 6th largest city in Spain according to Wikipedia. In Malaga, you'll find a bustling harbor, numerous city beaches, Malaga Park and the popular shopping street Calle Larios. Plus, there are numerous other parks, a botanical garden, museums, restaurants and tapas bars.
"I live in Malaga now near Marbella and it is the best place to live so far. I travelled all over Spain to find the right place. Very good offers to buy here and elsewhere within this budget," recommended one retiree. Another expat described the cost of living saying, "We currently live in Malaga City. You can definitely live on $2000 a month, at least in Malaga. I have written a post here detailing our cost of living. Assuming you don't eat out a whole lot, you should be fine."
Retiring in Seville, Spain
Seville is Spain's 4th largest city with a population of approximately 700,000. Founded over 2,000 years ago, Seville is a city rich with history and culture. From Seville's Alcazar Castle, built in 1300, to the ultra modern Metropol Parasol, Seville has something for everyone.
"I lived in Seville for several months in college and after... and my husband is from there so we go back annually. We also plan on moving back there someday. I have only good things to say about Seville! I suggest you rent until you get to know the city and decide where you want to live... then look into buying something. In terms of American networks, there are a good percentage of Americans living in Seville, mostly students, but some expats as well. I know there is an American Women's Club with a branch in Seville," described one expat.
Expat Health Insurance in Spain
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Read our article, 10 Tips for Living in Spain, which includes a compilation of the best tips from expats in Spain. Visit our
Expat Guide to Living in Spain and be sure to review the lists of reports by location as well as the most recent submissions. Plus, use our
Spain Forum to talk with other expats living in Spain.