World’s Best Cities for Senior Travelers

Mar 23rd, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

I have discovered a list of the world’s best cities to live in. Some of the various factors taken into account include economy, quality of life, recreation opportunities, ease of traveling in the region, etc.  These are NOT according to ranking but just the cities.  The GaWc  global city (also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center) will help to identity each.

 Barcelona, Spain

Spain is a wonderful country with beautiful cities in abundance including such charms as Valencia, Mallorca, Sevilla, San Sebastian, and of course Madrid; but standing a cut above the rest is the majestic Barcelona. Home to a beautiful waterfront, exciting nightlife, and a unique architectural style courtesy of Gaudi. The city is a haven for the arts and has a vibrant city life. It also has a close proximity to the French Riviera, and ferries departing daily to the Balearics. The city has been named a ‘beta world city’ by the GaWC for its importance to the global economy. I have been to Spain and loved it but did not make it over to Barcelona, just from Madrid south.  Do get to Spain one day.  You will love it as my wife and I did.  Check out the World Heritage Sites first and make it a priority to see each one on your route.

 Paris, France
The city is beautiful, the culture rich, and the public transportation is great. For those job hunting Paris is home to some of Europe’s largest corporations, centered around the La Defense area. Renowned for its romanticism, Paris has been captivating generations for centuries now and while the privilege to live in Paris doesn’t come around too often, if and when it does you should count yourself lucky and jump on the opportunity. The city has been named an ‘alpha world city +’ by the GaWC in recognition of its extreme importance to the international economy. Having lived in Paris for one academic year I can say…this must be on your “bucket list.”

 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, home to grand boulevards, beautiful parks, and fashionable people, is the undisputed culture capital of South America. The economy is on the upswing and the country has long moved past the 2002 financial crisis. Although, Buenos Aires does suffer from a little isolation as it’s not really close to many international destinations. The city has been named an ‘alpha world city’ by the GaWC in recognition of its importance to world and regional economies. I sure agree with this one having spent a week in BA.  It is called the “Paris of the South” as it has lots of the features of Paris.

 Chicago, Illinois

Often relegated to second-tier by its famous coastal cousins, Chicago is a city for the working person. The people here are down to earth, there’s a strong sports culture, and a good sense for the outdoors. Lake Michigan dominates the recreation scene offering great opportunities for boating while the parks and trails along the lake are great places to take the family or to cycle. Chicago also has its fair share of big city attractions with excellent shopping and a unique nightlife. Air connections from Chicago are as good as any in the United States, with O’Hare being one of the world’s busiest airports. Job opportunities are abundant and the city plays host to a diverse economy. The city has been named an ‘alpha world city -’ by the GaWC for its importance to the global economy.  I could not agree more as I live just south of Chicago and take the train into the city often.  Frank Lloyd Wright once said that Chicago will one day be the finest city in the world.  It is today in my mind…after Paris of course, but what would you expect from a former teacher of French who has been to France 31 times?

Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt is the economic capital of Germany, one of the richest and most modern countries in the world, as such it goes without saying that the employment opportunities here are endless. Although the culture does lack when compared to its European counterparts, Frankfurt still offers a high quality of life and all of the associated creature comforts. Frankfurt is also a great base from which to travel around Europe and the city’s airport boasts excellent connections to destinations across the globe. The city has been named an ‘alpha world city -’ by the GaWC. I can’t say much about Frankfurt except that I passed through the airport from Nice to Paris.

Hong Kong, China

The banking capital of the Far East, Hong Kong has for the past half-century been one of the world’s best places to make your fortune. But there’s so much more than that to the city, Hong Kong has everything from world-class restaurants to remote tropical beaches. Hiking is a favorite pastime of locals, as is exploring one of Hong Kong’s many outlying islands. Just as popular is the internationally renowned nightlife of Lan Kwai Fong. The city is home to a sizeable and significant expatriate community, centered on Hong Kong Island. Another thing Hong Kong has going for it is being the preeminent base from which to explore Asia. The Hong Kong International Airport is the world’s best and its flight connections are unmatched in Asia. The city has been named an ‘alpha world city +’ by the GaWC in recognition of its extreme importance to the global economy.  I had a friend who taught French in one of the international schools in Kowloon and loved the city but I have not been there…yet.

Lacking for space I will conclude with the remainders:::

San Francisco, California

Seoul, South Korea

Singapore, Southeast Asia

Sydney, Australia

Vancouver, Canada

Before selling everything and moving, try visiting first. Live like a local to get an idea of expenses, local activities, culture and amenities you enjoy. Whether you want to live in Sydney or Hong Kong, chances are you’ll find a timeshare there. These resorts allow you to get to know the area, shopping for and cooking meals in your kitchen, staying a week or more, becoming friendly with locals. For example, in Canada try a Whistler timeshare to keep you close to the slopes while you survey the lay of the land. The best way to decide on which city to live in is to experience it first.  Enjoy your galavanting. jeb



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