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Here's Why You Should visit Málaga

This Andalusian city has always been known as a gateway to Spain’s beautiful Costa del Sol, but now people are discovering that it’s a great destination itself. Here's why.

Audrey Smith
Audrey Smith
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Here's Why You Should visit Málaga

There’s a buzz around Málaga these days. In recent years it has been one of the fastest growing city's in Spain as more and more people are drawn to this Andalusian gem. And it’s not hard to see why: with a sunny climate, stunning beaches, fascinating history and exciting art scene, Málaga offers an ideal setting for immersing yourself in the language and culture.

Is Malaga a Good Place to visit?

We certainly think so! But don’t just take our word for it. Malaga is the number 1 choice for expats according to InterNations’ Expat City Ranking 2023, beating 48 other cities worldwide. Overall, 88% of expats said they are happy with their life in Malaga, compared to 72% globally, with survey respondents ranking the city the best in the world for its unbeatable climate, affordable living and friendly locals.

Students in Málaga
Students in Málaga

Why is Málaga a popular place?

There are many reasons why Málaga is a great place for an immersive language experience. Here are five to whet your appetite!

 

  1. An authentic Andalusian destination: Andalusia has very strong cultural identity and is home to some of the country’s most iconic cultural traditions like flamenco music, tapas, and bullfighting. As one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Málaga is a hotbed of this Andalusian culture and history. From the Moorish-era Alcazaba de Málaga and Gibralfaro Castle, the Roman Theatre, and the Renaissance era Cathedral, this rich tapestry of history is on display throughout the city.

  2. Tapas and beaches: it’s hard to beat Málaga’s outstanding tapas bars and golden beaches. Order some local dishes like grilled sardine espetos (skewers), prawn fritters or ajoblanco (cold white soup). And then after that you can walk straight out onto the city’s famous beaches like Malagueta or La Caleta and spend the afternoon hanging out with friends by the Mediterranean sea.

  3. Welcoming people: As the InterNations survey shows, Málaga is known for the warm and welcoming nature of its residents. Malagueños are known for their friendliness and hospitality, which makes it easy for visitors in everyday interactions. Whether you're ordering tapas at a local bar, chatting with shopkeepers in the market, or striking up conversations with fellow students, you'll find ample opportunities to develop your language skills and build confidence in speaking Spanish.

  4. Strong art credentials: As the birthplace of the legendary artist Pablo Picasso, Málaga takes immense pride in its local art scene. The city is home to several contemporary art galleries and exhibition spaces - like the Centre Pompidou Málaga, the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) and the Carmen Thyssen Museum - that highlight the work of both established and emerging artists. In fact, though most people think of Madrid and Barcelona as the hubs of culture in Spain, it is Málaga that has earned it the moniker "City of Museums" for its impressive scene.

  5. A great base to discover more of Andalusia: you will have plenty of opportunities to discover more of what Andalusia has to offer. Just outside of the city, Málaga province contains pretty whitewashed towns like Frigiliana and Nerja, natural surroundings like the Montes de Málaga, and of course miles of Costa del Sol beaches. This means you can enjoy a range of sights and activities within easy reach of the city. And it’s not much further to visit established Andalusian hotspots such as Granada, Ronda, Cadiz, and Sevilla.

Try sardines in Málaga
Try sardines in Málaga

How much does it cost to live in Malaga ?

Compared to other cities such as Madrid or Barcelona, Málaga offers a relatively affordable cost of living. In the InterNations Expat survey, Málaga ranked 1st in the world in the Personal Finance category and for general cost of living. Numbeo’s ‘Cost of Living’ comparison also shows that prices of accommodation, dining and groceries are 10-20% lower in Málaga than in Madrid or Barcelona. This makes the city an attractive option for anyone who want to travel Spain without breaking the bank.

Málaga's historic center
Málaga's historic center

Is Málaga safe for female travelers?

Málaga is generally considered a safe destination for female travelers – it is known as a welcoming city with a low risk of crime.  According to Numbeo, which bases its rankings on the real-life perceptions of visitors, Málaga is the third safest city in Spain.

That said, like any city, it's always important to exercise caution and take common-sense safety precautions to ensure a safe, enjoyable and hassle-free experience. As such, we recommend female travelers follow these simple tips:

  • Stay vigilant, and always be aware of your surroundings.

  • Keep belongings and valuables secure (especially in crowded areas or on public transport)

  • Avoid walking alone at night (especially in deserted or secluded areas)

  • Use only licensed taxis.

Above all, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, remove yourself from the situation or ask local authorities or trusted friends for help.

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