Best and worst travel destinations for over-50s revealed

Istanbul, Turkey

To inspire travel plans, experts at InsureMyTrip have listed the best travel destinations around the world for people over 50. They standardised the latest available data for each city in several categories including the number of suitable tours for older travellers, ease of walking, healthcare, public transport, and peacefulness.

“A significant amount of time and money goes into planning a vacation,” says Sarah Webber, director of marketing at InsureMyTrip. “Seniors often have more to think about when travelling; so this list can help them choose a destination that is not only enjoyable but also safe.”

Of the top 10 cities in the index, only one is not in Europe. Bangkok, Thailand is ranked fourth in the study, while Istanbul, Athens, and Rome make up the top three.

Here are the top 10 cities for older travellers

  1. Istanbul, Turkey
  2. Athens, Greece
  3. Rome, Italy
  4. Bangkok, Thailand
  5. Tallinn, Estonia
  6. Vilnius, Lithuania
  7. Prague, Czech Republic
  8. Riga, Latvia
  9. Berlin, Germany
  10. Helsinki, Finland

Istanbul is named the best destination for those over 50. Overall, the city scores 8.09 out of 10. The Turkish city scored highly across many of the metrics, particularly for its quality of things to do, peacefulness (10), healthcare (8.41), and ease of walking (9.57).

It was ranked highest for its peacefulness, with a solid 10 out of a possible 10. It’s most known for its incredible cultural landmarks, including the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque.

Narrowly missing out on the top spot is Athens, Greece, with an overall score of 8.03. More than 22 per cent of the population is over 65 years old so it’s no wonder that the city scores full marks for its number of suitable tours (10). However, Athens missed the top spot due to lower scores for healthcare (6.89) and peacefulness (6.6).

Rome and Bangkok follow closely with overall scores of 7.99 and 7.92 respectively. Rome is ranked highly thanks to its quality of things to do (9.98) and walkability (9.04). In fact, Rome is considered one of the most walkable cities in the world, thanks to its abundance of beautiful sites within a short distance of each other.

It’s Bangkok’s ease of walking (9.97) and healthcare (9.33) that secure it a spot in the top five. However, the number of tours available for those over 50 (2.43) contributes to its lower score.

Tallinn, Estonia, rounds up the top five cities for people over 50. While this European city is less well-known than others in the top five, it has experienced a boom in tourism. The quality of things to do (9.89) and ease of walking (9.87) contribute to its high score, however, its peacefulness (5.97) and the number of suitable tours (0) resulted in its slightly lower ranking.

Cities least suitable for older travellers are spread across Europe, South America, and the United States. However, it’s Port Louis in Mauritius that fared the worst, with a score of 5.67. While it was ranked favourably for its quality of things to do (9.14) and ease of walking (8.89), its healthcare (0) and suitable tours (0.11) contributed to its low ranking.

Santiago, Chile and Antwerp, Belgium, are the second and third worst cities for older travellers, scoring 5.85 and 6.03, respectively. Santiago’s walkability (0) is the lowest in the study, due to its rugged and hilly terrain. In fact, only a fifth of Chile’s surface is flat.

Rounding up the bottom five cities to visit are San José (6.44) and São Paulo (6.49).

Have you visited any of these cities? Are any of them on your travel list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Seven of the best US cities to visit if you’re over 60

Written by Ellie Baxter

Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

One Comment

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  1. Thank you for posting this article.
    I would like to know if there are tours catered specifically for seniors with restrictive mobility who can’t keep up with normal young people.
    Apart from Rome, some of the countries mentioned were on the list for our future retirement.
    Sadly my husband has passed away and I have lost the confidence of even getting into the plane by myself, let alone going overseas, and there’s no joy of travelling alone.

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