In this report, I share our favorite charming walkable neighborhoods overseas for retiring. We did not create this list by conducting research from 10,000 miles away. We have had our feet on the ground in every one of these places and we took the pictures we show you in this video of each of them.
After traveling the world for 16+ years, and visiting 67 countries in my lifetime, I have the wrinkles and knowledge to make this list. Qiang has also been with me for 6 years now and she shares her favorites also.
These charming walkable neighborhoods overseas selected, are in the following countries: Mexico, Philippines, Guatemala, Indonesia, Peru, Vietnam, Colombia, Portugal, and Malaysia. Each of the neighborhoods is also in a city where we have created full retire cheap reports with videos and links to everything we think is important for retiring overseas in paradise.
The links below are to those reports. However, we have hundreds of other reports and a few courses that teach people how to retire cheap in paradise locations worldwide and how to make money online with your favorite hobby.
Charming Walkable Neighborhoods Overseas for Retiring
We start by sharing the 7 we agree upon wholeheartedly. After that, we will share the 6 “Honorable Mentions,” in which only one of us thinks they belong on the list.
La Condesa-Roma Norte (Mexico City Retire Cheap Report): Mexico City is at a high elevation so it is cooler weather but not cold. These two neighborhoods have gorgeous tree-lined streets, great restaurants, coffee shops, bars, boutique hotels, bicycle lanes, and parks, You will see water fountains and children playing in parks with families having picnics. There are gorgeous office buildings and apartment buildings, mansions, museums, and art studios, with wine tasting, and beautiful people mingling about. There are wide sidewalks with people walking their dogs, college students studying in parks and coffee shops, and people playing instruments or singing for tips.
Baguio City Philippines Retire Cheap Report: One of the first things you will notice about Baguio is that it is never too hot or too cold there. It is a mile high in the sky so it has moderate highland temperatures. The next thing you will notice is the green and beautiful central area of Baguio. The sidewalks are well maintained, and there are plants growing everywhere which are maintained by Baguio City year-round. There is a very large central park full of manicured grass and picnic tables with a lake full of paddle boats you can enjoy with your family and friends. It also is one of the most creative cities in the Philippines, with college students dressing up in Japanese Anima costumes walking around, and drawing chalk characters on Session Road when it is closed to automobiles on Sundays. Because this is a college town, there seems to be a never-ending set of things to do and events to attend that often include cheap street food and fun arts and music. Plus, Baguio is one of the most walkable cities so if you decided to live close in, you would not need a car.
Antigua Guatemala Retire Cheap Report: Antigua Guatemala is the most well-preserved colonial-era city in all of Central America. With 500 years of history, art, and architecture, along with an amazing array of foods from around the world to delight your senses, Antigua is one of the best places in the world for the integration of colonial culture, indigenous culture, and international visitors. Antigua is a place that many experienced world travelers call home after they have seen much of the world. Because of Antigua’s elevation, it remains relatively cool throughout the year. There are also many hiking trails around the city including an active volcano that erupts almost every night. You can take a tour there and watch the volcano light up the skies at night. If you are more of a mountain lake lover, check out our Lake Atitlan Guatemala Retire Cheap Report. This beautiful lake a mile high in the sky is surrounded by seven villages of varying character that would provide a home for people of many different kinds of interest including a hippie spiritual natural healing artist village, an ex-pat party animal village, several indigenous culture villages, and a large ex-pat community village.
Ubud Bali Indonesia Retiree Cheap Report: Ubud is a beautiful traditional village in the mountains of Bali where many people love to stay and eat in many of the healthy international food restaurants. This is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. It was, of course, beautiful; the landscape, the beaches, the people. The joys of this relatively small island are spread out everywhere. So you will need to have a vehicle or rent a scooter like most people. Make sure to ride your scooter to Utuwala on the southern tip of Bali to see the fisherman boats, the local fish market, and children dressed in their school uniforms. Also, take the ferry over to Lembongan for the weekend and visit the famous cliff beaches and umbrella graveyards. Finally, bring your camera with you when you visit the terraced rice fields when they are in full green before harvest.
Hoi An, Vietnam: Old Town Hoi An is a walk back even before the 16th century when Europeans arrived in sailing vessels to trade with the Far East. The architecture and food reflect an integration of East meets West and the best of each rubbed off and called this home. There are tree-lined two-lane streets with flowers hanging from second-floor balconies and open street markets overflowing with fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Young Vietnamese entrepreneurs grab a spot on the sidewalk and barbeque octopus and frog legs on wood-fired grills while people from all over the world line up with money in hand. People can try famous Vietnamese flavors that cost 5 times as much in their home country. Old Town Hoi An is a UNESCO Heritage site now protected for future generations. But you won’t believe how close and beautiful the beach is also.
Georgetown, Penang Malaysia Retire Cheap Report: Hours will feel like minutes as you stroll around Georgetown colonial-era and spot colorful street art around every corner. The number one attraction here is finding the best Mama’s restaurant in town for a $2 USD meal. Once you taste the amazing local foods, you will have a hard time convincing yourself to pay $8 to $10 USD in the tourist restaurants. As a former British colony, people are still required to speak English in many schools here. There are art galleries listed, things to do, music and nightlife, and arts and entertainment. The Canteen in China House Restaurant is still listed as the premier live music forum. Make sure to take our beach and Buddha tour, the street art tour, our old town walking tour, our nightlife tour, and try out our favorite restaurants. Most of our retire cheap in paradise reports include these types of tours.
Porto Portugal Retire Cheap Report: Porto Portugal has a beautiful landscape and a romantic yet safe feeling to it. It is like living in a storybook. The central area of Porto is highly walkable. Porto has gorgeous ancient architecture. It is like walking through a living museum with single-lane cobblestone pre-vehicle streets. There are beaches, wine tours, symphony, many food choices, hiking, biking, great day trips, weekend getaways, sports stadiums, sailing, water sports, cruising, parks, nature, etc. Porto has an old-world charm that you usually only find in more expensive cities. Plus, it has the LIDL grocery store chain which sells amazing gourmet foods for really cheap. Porto is the best cheap base to explore Western Europe. It is a little cooler than I normally like but it reminds me of San Francisco (California) weather near where I grew up and I love that place too. You may need to take the Porto Metro underground a little outside the city center to find cheaper rents to meet the $1500 USD total living costs, but isn’t it nice that you won’t need to buy a car? Consider reviewing our Coimbra Portugal Retire Cheap Report if you would prefer to live in a smaller less congested college town.
Charming Walkable “Honorable Mentions”
These are the neighborhoods that one of us really loves but we can’t both agree that it belongs on this list of most charming walkable neighborhoods overseas for retiring.
San Miguel Mexico Retire Cheap Report: This is one of the most charming walkable Cities in the world and is in fact one of the most famous cities in the world known for such. Many buildings have been impeccably restored and art studios strewn about, coffee shops, excellent restaurants, and arguably one of the most beautiful churches in the world. Many artists move here because they are embraced so fondly by the culture and this is one of the earliest artist enclaves in Mexico. After World War II, many Americans moved here to attend an art college here with their GI bill. That artist’s stamp of approval on this little city and its influence remains strong to this day. It is one of the smallest cities in Mexico but carries such a strong cultural punch.
Sintra Portugal Retire Cheap Report: This is a fantasy small city with full-sized charming castles strewn about the countryside. It has been a second home to some of the wealthiest people in Portugal for centuries. It is a great weekend getaway but may not have enough going on for some of us (including me), but you have to see it when you are in Portugal.
Queretaro Mexico Retire Cheap Reports Queretaro has one of the highest per capita incomes in Mexico because it is the Silicon Valley of Mexico. There are many great restaurants in town because of the higher incomes but many foreigners live in Queretaro because the large international business community helps support the diversity of different kinds of restaurants. I would live in the colonial-era center of Queretaro where there is a large selection of foods both expensive foreign and inexpensive local family restaurants. There is also a large selection of nightlife venues with live music, many coffee shops, museums, and arts and crafts.
Cusco, Peru: Cusco old town is certainly walkable in the areas that matter around Plaza de Armas. Cusco is one of the most interesting smaller towns in the world. But because of its elevation (3400 meters, 11,200 feet), it is a little hard to breath when walking up some of the step roads or mountain paths. But this is something you would adjust to over time. But each time you return you would need to adjust again. The international food choices were fairly well represented especially given the size of Cusco. We found a decent Pizza, some decent vegetarian dishes, a few decent Chinese places (Chifa), and a few international restaurants. There seems to be something going on culturally in Cusco at least a few times per month. There are also many museums, art galleries, and archeological sites to explore. There is also beautiful nature hikes and lots of beautiful space around to enjoy nature.
Cartagena Retire Cheap Report: The extravagance of this walled city is apparent with cobblestone streets, flowers brimming from second story balconies, horse-drawn carriages, and musicians playing in the middle of the irony of the many plazas with fallen ‘heroes’ that owned and tortured hundreds of innocent slaves during their life. For an over the top Colonial Colombian experience, Cartagena Old Town Centro is the jewel in the crown. The sense of colonial history is rich with facts that spring to life in stories that occurred hundreds of years ago, where you are now standing now. Cartagena is the historical heart of the Caribbean. The Castle Walls were built by 80,000 humans captured in Africa. You will hear about men like Saint Peter Claver who lived in Cartagena (died in 1650) and convinced many slave owners to treat their slaves like humans and set them free. You will hear stories about how Sir Francis Drake held the city of Cartagena ransom for gold, which is why Spain eventually constructed the castle walls.
Thanks for reviewing my report, our favorite charming walkable neighborhoods overseas for retiring.
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