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Are these the top five retirement cities in Spain?

currency-newsAre these the top five retirement cities in Spain?
While the UK’s decision to break from the European Union has left its future relationship with the rest of Europe in doubt, Spain remains one of the most popular emigration destinations for British retirees.

Around 70,000 British retirees have been drawn to Spain by its many attractions, including its Mediterranean climate, stunning landscapes, iconic food culture and laid-back way of life.

With at least two years of UK/EU negotiations ahead and the shape Brexit will take still uncertain, expat retirees are making the move to Spain, but some are taking precautions like opting to rent property rather than committing to making a purchase.

But which Spanish cities are most popular with expat retirees?

According to a study conducted by International Living, the most popular cities among expat retirees are; Barcelona, Granada, Madrid, Málaga and Valencia. Each city has much to recommend it, so we’ve compiled some key stats to make drawing comparisons a little bit easier.
 

Barcelona

Key facts: Barcelona is situated on the North of the Spanish cost and is a thriving cosmopolitan uniting historic architecture with striking modernity. Known for its art, culture and food, Barcelona is a hugely popular tourist destination and is a place where there’s always something going on. Living in Barcelona is perfect for the retiree who wants an active social life, but it may not be right for those seeking to relax and slow down in their later years.  
 
 
  1. Population: 1.609 million  
  2. Average high/low temperature: 24°C / 10°C   
  3. Are there beaches? Yes 
  4. Number of airports: One
  5. Distance from London: 934.3 miles
  6. Cost of meal in inexpensive restaurant: £9.09
  7. Cost of regular cappuccino: £1.49
  8. Cost of a loaf of bread: £1.04
  9. Rent per month for 1 bed property in city centre: £694.51 
  10. Price per m2 of buying property in city centre: £3,753  
 

Granada

Key facts: Granada is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, making for some very striking vistas. Granada’s location also means you could be skiing in the morning and sunbathing in the afternoon, fantastic if you’re a fan of an outdoors lifestyle.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Granada is the Alhambra, a series of gardens and palaces built in the 14th century. The region as a whole is littered with impressive historic architecture and Granada’s culture is often considered particularly unique.
 
 
  1. Population: 234,758
  2. Average high/low temperature: 24°C / 6°C
  3. Are there beaches? Yes
  4. Number of airports: One
  5.  Distance from the UK: 1,332.6 miles
  6. Cost of meal in inexpensive restaurant: £7.79 
  7. Cost of regular cappuccino: £1.13
  8. Cost of a loaf of bread: £0.87
  9. Rent per month for 1 bed property in city centre: £327.74 
  10. Price per m2 of buying property in city centre: £995.43
 

Madrid

Key facts: Madrid is the central capital of Spain and is home to both the nation’s government and its Royal family. If you’re seeking a lively nightlife Madrid promises exactly that, and the sheer volume of museums and art galleries means there’s always something to do.

However, being Spain’s capital does come at a price. The general cost of living is more expensive than in places like Granada and Málaga, and both buying and renting property can be considerably pricier.
 
 
  1. Population: 3.166 million
  2. Average high/low temperature: 25°C / 6°C   
  3. Are there beaches? No
  4. Number of airports: Five
  5. Distance from London: 785 miles 
  6. Cost of meal in inexpensive restaurant: £8.66
  7. Cost of regular cappuccino: £1.54 
  8. Cost of a loaf of bread: £0.88
  9. Rent per month for 1 bed property in city centre: £674.62  
  10. Price per m2 of buying property in city centre: £3,572
 

Málaga

Key facts: Málaga is synonymous with the Costa del Sol – a stretch of coastal towns and communities enjoying some of the best beaches Spain has to offer. With a far smaller population than either Barcelona or Madrid, Málaga is quieter out of season. However, with over 10 million holiday makers descending during the summer months, the most popular areas can get quite rammed.

Málaga’s cultural claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of the artist Pablo Picasso.
 
 
  1. Population: 569,009
  2. Average high/low temperature: 25°C / 13°C   
  3. Are there beaches? Yes
  4. Number of airports: One
  5. Distance from London: 1043 miles 
  6. Cost of meal in inexpensive restaurant: £6.92 
  7. Cost of regular cappuccino: £1.26
  8. Cost of a loaf of bread: £0.66
  9. Rent per month for 1 bed property in city centre: £419.06
  10. Price per m2 of buying property in city centre: £1,444.05

 
Valencia

Down on the south eastern coast of Spain is the port city of Valencia. Whether you’re looking for culture, beautiful beaches, lovely outdoor spaces or really good food, Valencia will have something to suit.
 
Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences is particularly well renowned because of its planetarium and interactive museum.
 
 
  1. Population: 790,201
  2. Average high/low temperature: 25°C / 9°C   
  3. Are there beaches? Yes
  4. Number of airports: One
  5. Distance from London: 832 miles
  6. Cost of meal in inexpensive restaurant: £8.66   
  7. Cost of regular cappuccino: £1.34
  8. Cost of a loaf of bread: £0.75
  9. Rent per month for 1 bed property in city centre: £444.34 
  10. Price per m2 of buying property in city centre: £1,878.16
 
From this comparison you can see that Madrid may not be the destination for you if you’re keen to spend lazy days on the beach. Similarly, if your income is going to be fairly restricted you may get more for your money in Granada than Barcelona.

However, we’ve only provided the broadest of overviews of these places here. If you’re considering retiring to Spain and have one of these cities in your sights, spend a good amount of time researching all they have to offer before making your decision!
 
Philip McHugh

Philip McHugh

Joining the corporate trading desk in 2007, Phil now over sees all of Currencies Direct’s corporate dealing activity. Having gained experience working with hundreds of businesses to optimise international payments processes and execute comprehensive risk management strategies, Phil currently works with a portfolio of corporate clients whilst managing Currencies Direct’s overall market exposure

Phil has FCA approval and has completed the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertiTM)

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