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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help. Though I think I've reduced my choices to two out of an initial half dozen cities, I can't decide now which city to retire to: Barcelona or Venice. (I'm posting to the Spain forum because I don't see a more general international forum that might be more appropriate to post in.) Please don't tease me too badly for this indecision. It's genuinely keeping me up nights, and preventing me from retiring immediately.

I love both cities. I have some command of Spanish (reading, writing, speaking), but very little Italian. But I probably love Venice a little more; I've been there more often. Both cities are near water, a big plus for me. Both are chock-full of the art and architecture that I love. Both seem habitable and friendly - not too big (like Paris or London, for example), but with all the amenities of real cities (restaurants, broadband, and so on). I can afford to live modestly in either city.

I'm not sure what questions to ask (I wish I had some of the very specific technical questions that are the meat and potatoes of the forum), and am pretty self-conscious about asking to compare cities in two countries. But I'll try. Which city do you think I could live most comfortably in? Which city do you like best? Which city (or country) do you think has the best amenities for retirees (health care, health insurance, communities, etc.)?

Thanks for any response.
 

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I don't know you, have no knowledge of your tastes, likes, dislikes so I cannot give advice on so personal and subjective a decision other than to repeat the advice of a previous poster and say 'try both'.
 

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My Wife and I are both retired and looking to "try" Spain and let me tell you that just getting the Visa was an ordeal in itself. Now that we have the non-lucrative visa in hand, come September when we arrive we have to register with the local town hall and then register with the Oficina de Extranjero.
Our problem is that we don't want to be tied down with a location for 3-6 months. We want to travel around and see and try out other parts of the country. Unfortunately we must show proof of residence in order to achieve residency which then locks us into a rental lease. We were hoping to use Airbnb to rent locations but we won't know if the local Oficina de Extranjero will accept it or that the landlord will provide us with necessary paperwork for proof of residence.
Its ironic but now I understand how difficult it must be to enter the Untied States or any other country.
Good Luck
 

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To be honest I'm not sure what sort of quality of life you would get in any city that is a major tourist destination. Prices will be higher and the attitude to foreigners may be different. Spain has many other coastal towns and cities that are steeped in history and culture and have just as many amenities, but the cost of living would be less and you wouldn't automatically be treated like a tourist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hola

Assuming you don't need to work, why not rent for 6 months in each?

Davexf
This is a great idea. I can't spend a year trying out cities until retirement, but I could try out a summer, perhaps five weeks in each city. Do you think that's enough time, perhaps, to make an informed decision? Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Venice will be at least twice as expensive than Barça so if that's not an issue then ignore this post.
It's a bit of an issue in the sense that I won't be able to afford as nice a place in Venice as in Barcelona. Otherwise, I think I'm OK. That being the case, can you tell me which city you'd prefer? (It sounds as if you have some real knowledge of both.....) Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rent a property and use it as a base to explore, Spain has a very good train service if you don't want to drive; you can get modest accommodation for very little euro's.
This is also a terrific idea. May I ask: do you think it would be better to make my base in Barcelona or in Venice. Thank you again.
 

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Having visited both cities I always found Venice more of a visiting location, for short terms only. But Barcelona always seemed like a city where I could fit in and enjoy life from day to day, for long periods of time.
It's only my opinion but I like exploring possibilities as well. Also, Barcelona does seem way cheaper than Venice.
 

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We initially fancied retiring to France, but not warm enough in winter. The considered Spain, but gets cold in winter.

So we chose Lanzarote. Lovely weather all year round :)
 

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Zaphod, are you for real? Let's face it, whether you spend 5 weeks or 5 months in Barcelona and Venice you're going to come back and ask us what our opinion is. Get a grip man!

:noidea:
 

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I didn't consider either city when I retired four years ago, despite loving both. Both are expensive touristy cities (although full of other virtues) and both are quite cold in the winter. I chose Valencia because it shared many of the positive aspects of Venice and Barcelona, albeit on a smaller scale, and it was warmer and much less expensive.
 
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