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16 Best Places to Retire in Spain

best places to retire in spain

Dreaming of retiring somewhere sunny, relaxed, and full of life? Spain is a great choice with its sunny climate, rich culture, and welcoming communities. However, finding the right place to live can feel overwhelming. 

In this blog, we’ll help you navigate through the best places to retire in Spain. Whether you’re looking for a beachfront paradise or a quiet town, we’ve got the insights to help you make the best decision for your lifestyle and budget.

Ready to start your journey to a relaxed retirement in Spain? Let’s begin.

Benefits of Retiring in Spain

Thinking about retiring to Spain? Great choice! Here are our top reasons why Spain is a favorite destination for retirees:

  1. Affordable Living: Compared to many Western countries, Spain has a lower cost of living, making it easier to enjoy life here without spending a lot. From food to housing, you can find great deals.
  2. Great Healthcare: Spain’s healthcare system is renowned for its quality and affordability. 
  3. Sunny Weather: Craving sunshine? Spain has on average 320 in a year! Enjoy warm weather year-round, perfect for outdoor activities or simply relaxing.
  4. Relaxed Lifestyle: Life in Spain is laid back. People here prioritize time to enjoy life, from long lunches to leisurely walks in the evening.
  5. Culture and History: Spain is full of history and culture. There’s always something new to explore, from ancient castles to modern art galleries.
  6. Beautiful Scenery: Beaches, mountains, and green landscapes — Spain has it all. It’s perfect for nature lovers and those who enjoy being outdoors.
  7. Delicious Food: Spanish food is delicious and diverse. Enjoy local dishes like tapas, fresh seafood, and, of course, paella.

Spain offers a fantastic mix of good weather, friendly people, and a relaxed pace of life. It’s a great place to retire if you’re looking for comfort, culture and a bit of adventure. Now we’ve covered the benefits of living in Spain, let’s dive into the best places to retire here.

Top Coastal Towns in Spain to Retire

Retiring beside the Spanish seaside is a dream for many. Here’s a deeper look into four coastal towns that could be your next home, offering everything from budget-friendly living to luxurious beachside comfort:

1. Sitges

retire in sitges

Renowned for its cultural scene and stunning beaches, Sitges attracts those looking for a vibrant lifestyle amidst picturesque settings. While its proximity to Barcelona adds to its appeal, it also increases living costs. It’s no wonder it’s considered one of the best places to retire in Spain.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Sitges typically ranges from €900 to €1,200. However, the town justifies its price tag with numerous cultural events, a welcoming international community, and an array of dining and entertainment options. It’s perfect for retirees seeking a lively, cosmopolitan environment by the sea.

2. Marbella

retire in marbella

Synonymous with luxury and elegance, Marbella is the go-to for retirees who wish to indulge in a high-end lifestyle. The town offers pristine beaches, exclusive clubs, and gourmet dining. 

One-bedroom apartments in central Marbella vary from €1,100 to €1,500, aligning with its upscale nature. Though living costs are higher, the quality of life, scenic views, and lavish amenities provide a rewarding retirement experience for those who can afford it.

3. Málaga

retire in malaga

For those seeking cultural depth without sacrificing the coastal charm, Málaga presents an ideal blend. It’s more affordable than Sitges and Marbella but still offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from its historic sites to contemporary art museums. 

The cost for a one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Málaga ranges between €800 and €1,000. The city’s well-developed infrastructure, combined with its cultural and recreational offerings, makes it a well-rounded choice for retirees looking for a balanced lifestyle at a reasonable cost.

4. Alicante

retire in alicante

This bustling town is a magnet for retirees who love the sun and sea but want to keep living costs manageable. Alicante combines beautiful beaches with a lively urban atmosphere. Expect to find a range of amenities tailored to retirees, from golf courses to social clubs. 

A one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs between €600 and €800 monthly, making it an affordable option. The town is also known for its reasonable cost of dining and grocery shopping, contributing to a lower overall cost of living while still providing a quality lifestyle.

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Best Cities to Retire in Spain

Thinking of spending your retirement years in a vibrant Spanish city? Let’s take a peek at some of the best urban places to retire in Spain.

1. Barcelona

retire in barcelona

Barcelona is vibrant and full of life, blending historical sites with modern-day comforts. If you’re thinking of moving here, a one-bedroom city-center apartment typically costs between €900 and €1,400. 

Barcelona is perfect for retirees who love staying active and enjoying cultural experiences, with its famous beaches, iconic architecture, and bustling marketplaces. Plus, there’s always something happening, from festivals to art shows.

2. Madrid

retire in madrid

Madrid, Spain’s capital, is buzzing with activity and brimming with parks, art, and history. Living in the center, you’d pay around €850 to €1,300 for a one-bedroom apartment. 

If you enjoy a fast-paced city life filled with cultural events, delicious food, and historic exploration, Madrid could be your ideal retirement spot. The city is known for its lively squares, world-class museums, and extensive green areas, perfect for those who love urban life but also appreciate nature.

3. Sevilla

retire in sevilla

Sevilla offers a gentler pace with a warm, sunny climate and a rich history. Here, a central one-bedroom apartment can cost between €600 and €900, making it a more budget-friendly option. 

It’s the place to retire if you enjoy leisurely days, historical architecture, and immersing yourself in local traditions like flamenco and tapas. Sevilla’s charm lies in its relaxed atmosphere, beautiful gardens, and friendly people.

4. Bilbao

retire in bilbao

This city combines natural beauty with a love for modern art, exemplified by the iconic Guggenheim Museum. Bilbao is quieter than Barcelona and Madrid but still offers plenty to see and do, with a one-bedroom in the city center ranging from €700 to €1,000. 

It’s great for retirees who prefer a peaceful environment but still want access to cultural experiences. Surrounded by green hills and close to the coast, Bilbao offers a tranquil retirement setting with easy access to outdoor activities.

Best Small Towns in Spain to Retire

Dreaming of a quiet, picturesque retirement? Spain’s small towns offer serene beauty and a slower pace of life that’s perfect for a peaceful retreat. Here’s a more detailed look at four captivating towns:

1. Ronda

retire in ronda

Imagine living where stunning views meet rich history. Ronda sits majestically atop a deep gorge, offering breathtaking landscapes and a serene environment. In this historic town, renting a one-bedroom apartment can cost between €400 and €600 monthly.

 It’s an affordable option for retirees who cherish tranquility, outdoor adventures, and exploring rich cultural heritage. The local lifestyle is inviting, with affordable living costs allowing you to enjoy local markets, traditional cuisine, and the relaxed pace of Spanish life.

2. Cuenca

retire in cuenca

Known for its dramatic hanging houses perched on cliff edges, Cuenca is a town straight out of a fairy tale. With apartments available from €350 to €500, it offers a peaceful and affordable retirement setting. 

This medieval town not only boasts unique architecture but also provides a calm, welcoming community ideal for those seeking to immerse themselves in Spain’s artistic and historical wealth without the hustle of city life.

3. Deià

retire in deia

Tucked away on the lush island of Mallorca, Deià is a sanctuary for artists and writers, known for its serene coastal views and lush landscapes. While it presents a more upscale retirement option, with one-bedroom apartments ranging from €700 to €1,000, the investment in your lifestyle is palpable. 

Here, retirees can enjoy the luxurious side of Spain, with access to stunning sea views, exclusive art galleries, and exquisite dining experiences that cater to a refined taste, all while being part of a close-knit, artistic community.

4. Mijas

retire in mijas

Blending the best of mountain serenity and seaside bliss, Mijas is a hidden gem that offers picturesque living at an affordable price. The cost for a cozy one-bedroom apartment ranges from €400 to €600, making it an attractive option for those seeking the quintessential Andalusian lifestyle without the high costs. 

Mijas is perfect for retirees who love the idea of wandering through whitewashed streets, enjoying panoramic views, and engaging with friendly locals and fellow expatriates in a tranquil setting.

Cheap Places to Retire in Spain

If you’re dreaming of a retirement filled with sunny days, rich culture, and a friendly community, Spain has plenty to offer without stretching your wallet. Here’s a deeper look into some cities that combine great living standards with affordability:

1. Cádiz

retire in cadiz

Cádiz is a coastal town bursting with charm and history. Living here is surprisingly affordable, with one-bedroom apartments in the city center priced between €500 and €800. 

It’s ideal for retirees who love the ocean and want to immerse themselves in Spain’s past without the high cost of big city life. Plus, you’ll find the people welcoming and the living costs manageable, especially when it comes to groceries and dining out.

2. Murcia

retire in murcia

Murcia is a city known for its friendly locals and historical sights. Here, the cost of living is low, with city-center one-bedroom apartments available for €400 to €650. Murcia could be your perfect retirement spot if you seek a slower pace without missing out on city amenities. Groceries and meals out are affordable, allowing you to enjoy local Spanish cuisine and culture on a budget.

3. Granada

retire in granada

Granada is the historical heart of Spain. This city captivates newcomers with its stunning views and vibrant student life. 

Retiring in Granada is cost-effective, with apartments ranging from €350 to €600. It’s a fantastic option for those who appreciate history and arts, offering the chance to live amidst ancient beauty while enjoying modern conveniences. Despite its cultural riches, life here remains affordable.

4. Valencia

retire in valencia

Experience the best of both worlds in Valencia, where history collides with modern living against a backdrop of beautiful beaches. With one-bedroom apartments in the central areas costing €700 to €900, Valencia offers a lively yet laid-back lifestyle that’s perfect for retirees wanting more from their city life without the premium price tag. The city is bustling with markets, festivals, and arts, providing endless entertainment and engagement.

Spain’s Non-Lucrative Visa: Your Path to Retirement

For citizens from outside the European Union looking to retire in Spain, the first step of your journey will be to get the right visa.

The Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa, often referred to as the Retirement Visa, is designed for individuals who wish to reside in Spain without engaging in any professional activities. This visa is an ideal choice for retirees who want to spend their golden years enjoying Spain’s diverse culture, pleasant climate, and high quality of life. 

Requirements for Spain’s Non-Lucrative Visa:

  • Proof of Sufficient Funds: Demonstrate a stable income (around €2,400 per month for an individual) through pensions, investments, or savings.
  • Comprehensive Health Insurance: Obtain a full-coverage health insurance policy from a provider authorized in Spain.
  • No Work Activity: You must not engage in any professional activities or employment in Spain.
  • Residency in Spain: Reside in Spain for more than six months annually to renew the visa and maintain residency status.
  • Valid Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for the duration of your stay.
  • Criminal Background Check: Provide a certificate from your home country or any country you’ve lived in during the last five years.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Places to Retire in Spain

Can I work in Spain with a non-lucrative visa?

No, the non-lucrative visa does not allow you to engage in professional activity or employment in Spain.

What is the cost of living in Spain?

The cost of living in Spain varies by location. Coastal towns and smaller cities are generally cheaper than major cities like Madrid and Barcelona. On average, a retired couple can live comfortably between €1,500 and €2,500 per month, depending on lifestyle and location.

Can I access public healthcare in Spain?

Yes, once you become a resident of Spain, you are entitled to access the public healthcare system. However, for the non-lucrative visa, you must initially have private health insurance.

Can I bring my family with me?

Yes, you can apply for family members to join you as dependents under your non-lucrative visa, but you must demonstrate additional financial means to support them.

How often do I need to renew my non-lucrative visa?

Initially, the visa is granted for one year. You can then renew it for two additional years, and after five years, you can apply for long-term residency.

Can I eventually gain permanent residency or citizenship?

Yes, after legally living in Spain for five continuous years, you can apply for permanent residency. Citizenship in Spain can typically be applied for after ten years of residency.

Do I need to pay taxes in Spain as a retiree?

If you live in Spain for more than 183 days per year, you are considered a tax resident and must pay income tax on worldwide income. It’s recommended to consult with a tax advisor for your specific situation.

Can Lexidy Help Me Retire in Spain?

Definitely! Retiring in Spain offers a blend of sun-drenched landscapes, rich cultural experiences, and a relaxed lifestyle, all within a framework that respects both tradition and modern convenience.

By understanding the non-lucrative visa requirements, preparing for the cost of living, and choosing the right location, you can embark on an exciting new chapter of life with ease. Lexidy’s team of expert English-speaking Immigration Lawyers is here to ensure your journey to Spain is smooth and stress-freeBest Places to Retire in Spain.

Ready to get started? Simply fill out the form below to get started. Your new adventure awaits!

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