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Top 11 Best Places to Retire in Europe

Amelia Mead July 4, 2020
Posted July 4, 2020 In Moving Tips&Tricks,
Amelia Mead

Originally from Chicago, currently everywhere, Amelia is a freelance writer working on bringing all the moving tips to you.

Are you thinking about what the best places to retire in Europe are? If that’s so, we have created a list of some of the most stunning corners of the Old Continent you could consider as your retirement option. Enjoy!

Retirement Visas

When you decide where you want to spend your golden years in Europe, find a list of documents needed to travel abroad. These days, countries are trying to attract as many retirees as possible, so they offer unique programs to make the whole process easier. However, you will be required to show proof of your retirement income, and maybe even open a bank account and put a deposit.

When it comes to applying for visas, make sure to have all the necessary documentation. Every country has different requirements, so, to apply properly, you should visit a local embassy and get all the information regarding the application.

Lagos, Portugal

Located in the Algarve region, Lagos is one of the most popular cities in Portugal, especially among European tourists. Summer makes this place so appealing, whether you are coming as a tourist or you are planning to move here.

Those considering the option of retiring in Lagos should know that the cost of living is quite affordable. A couple can live comfortably in Lagos with $2,000 a month. It means that every year, you’ll need around $24,000.

Another advantage of this place is public transit. There are a lot of buses, while trains go from Algarve to other regions. Also, Lagos is flat, so it is manageable to go around it on foot.

Why Is Portugal One of the Best Places to Retire in Europe?

Portugal is a piece of heaven for those who are thinking about retiring here. It has a delightful climate, affordable healthcare, and a not so high cost of living. On the list of top favorite cities in Portugal for retirees are also Porto and Nazaré.

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Porto – Portuguese Beauty

Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal. It will seduce you with both its natural and architectural beauty, exquisite cuisine, and excellent wines. Monthly expenses for a couple are around $1,500. If you love museums and art, a lot of sites and museums offer senior discounts.

Nazaré – a City on the Coast

Nazaré is a town on the coast, and it is located between Porto and Lisbon. It is manageable to explore it by foot, but there are also plenty of buses and taxis.

If you are looking for a place with year-round sun, Nazare may not be the place for you, considering that its coldest month is January, with an average temperature around 50F. Summers are pleasant, with a temperature of around 85F.

Those who are thinking about retiring here should know that to rent a comfortable apartment close to the beach and cover the standard living costs for two, you’ll need around $2,000 per month.


An attractive lifestyle and breath-taking scenery are two main reasons why many Americans choose Italy as an ideal destination for retirement. This country has so much to offer, from ancient towns and artsy cities to modern suburbs.

Italian mountains attract those in love with outdoor activities, while sea costs are a dream-come-true destination for all beach lovers. The mild climate is characteristic of the Mediterrane, but you should expect both hot summers and colder winters here.

Many people think living here is expensive, but keep in mind that coming as a tourist and being a local are two different things. If you are thinking about retiring in Italy, consider looking for housing options outside the most popular tourist destinations, such as Basilicata and Modena.

Basilicata – A Retirement Heaven

The history, culinary scene, stunning gulf, and hiking trails are just parts of the overall dolce vita scenery offered by Basilicata. Unlike most prominent cities in the country, this town is affordable, and monthly expenses for two are around $1,600.

Modena – Art Is All Around

Around 80 miles north of Florence, Modena is a place with monuments, museums, art, and entertainment. It has a university that draws future students from all around Italy. They come here to study medicine, law, and mechanical engineering. Many famous automakers are in the area, so once in Modena, you can visit Lamborghini, Ferrari, Pagani, and Maserati production sites.

Modena is an ideal place for those looking for a relaxed lifestyle. It’s a great option if you are looking for a place suitable for retirement. It’s affordable – a couple can live here comfortably for around $1,670 per month (including rent).

Alicante, Spain

Located in Costa Blanca, Alicante is a Spanish city and a home to around 30,000 residents. The town is a combination of city lifestyle and a calm, countryside vibe, ideal for those looking for a place to start a new chapter.

During the summer, Alicante is full of tourists, unlike winters, when everything slows down. However, even during the colder months, the average temperature doesn’t drop under 50F. It is not expensive, and a couple who stay here can live comfortably with $2,000 per month or $24,000 per year.

Granada, Spain

Granada is a mid-sized town with reliable public transportation. However, it is easy to walk the length of, so many people go on foot. Winters can be chill and snowy, but the snow never lasts more than a few days. Summers are hot and dry, suitable for outdoor activities. Couples who want to spend their golden years here will need $2,500 per month.

Valletta, Malta

Welcome to Malta, one of the most affordable options to retire in the Old Continent. The nation’s capital – Valletta has so much to offer, from history and culture to food and kind and lovely people. In 2018, Valletta was named the European Capital of Culture.

Those who want to live here should know that the crime rate is low, healthcare is excellent, and you don’t have to think about breaking the language barrier because English is widely spoken. A couple will need around $2,600 per month or $31,200 per year to live comfortably here.

Aix-en-Provence, France

With blues, sky, medieval villages, and lavender fields, Provence is one of the most beautiful locations to spend your golden years. So, if you are looking for a picture-postcard lifestyle, head to France; Provence is waiting for you.

Aix is a city 20 miles north of the Mediterranean coast and Marseille. It is a university city with a population of 142,000 and high medieval streets. When it comes to the cost of living, a couple can enjoy a peaceful retirement with $2,700 per month.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The capital of Slovenia is a perfect place for all those in love with both the sea and mountains. Although Ljubljana itself is landlocked, the Adriatic Sea is only a couple of hours away. It has a small-town charm combined with modern amenities. If you see yourself living in one of the most beautiful capitals in the Old Continent, consider moving to Ljubljana. A couple can live here peacefully at around $1,400 per month.

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s part of a country populated with less than half-million people. Adriatic surrounds it on one side and mountains on the other. Kotor can be compared to villages in Spain or Italy, only not as expensive, ideal for those who want to relocate to the Old Continent on a budget.

Ready To Make the Final Decision?

When choosing your ideal place, make sure to know everything about legal requirements, housing, healthcare, and other expenses regarding each country. Also, the right choice should be based on your preferences – are you a mountain type or would you like to spend your golden years by the beach? All in all, Europe has so much to offer, so you will not be wrong, no matter which country you choose.

For a comfortable relocation, you should consider hiring professional movers. A reliable moving company that offers international moving and packing services is the right solution if you want to avoid moving stress.



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