Malaga is not only a great place to live it’s a great place to do business as well.
Increasingly, this vibrant Andalusian city is gaining attention as an innovative location for professionals and companies alike.
Having lived and worked in Malaga for 18 years, the list of things I love about the city just keeps growing. It’s a special place.
Here are 12 reasons why Malaga is a great city to live and work in:
1. The Quality of Life
According to the latest European Commission Eurobarometer Malaga is one of the top ten cities in Europe with the best quality of life. The only city in Spain to make the list.
An average of 320 days of sunshine a year means its outdoor lifestyle is a major factor.
There is al fresco dining and cafe culture galore, plus beaches to while away those plentiful sunny days.
2. The People
You’d be hard pressed to find a more welcoming and warmer population than the Malagueños. They enjoy life and live it passionately.
The noise, the buzz, the closeness and optimism of its people, never ceases to amaze me.
Family values and the city’s warm thoroughly open people complete the picture of an idyllic quality of life.
3. Pollution Levels
Unlike most cities around the world, the air quality is very good. So good, in fact, that Malaga has the lowest level of environmental pollution in Andalusia and one of the lowest in Spain – which is already low by European standards.
4. History and Culture
Spain’s sixth largest city, Malaga was founded by the Phoenicians – making it one of the oldest cities in Western Europe with nearly 3,000 years of history.
With Roman, Moorish and Spanish influences, walking around it is like visiting an open-air museum.
A cultural and historical hub, you also have around 35 museums including the Carmen Thyssen Museum; the Automobile and Fashion Museum; the Pompidou Centre of Malaga; the Museum of Glass and Crystal; and as the birthplace of artist Pablo Picasso, of course there’s the Picasso Museum.
One of Malaga’s most iconic landmarks is the unmissable 11th-Century Alcazaba palatial fortification that stands watching over the city.
This is the best-preserved Alcazaba (a word from the Arabic al-qasbah, meaning “citadel”) in the whole of Spain. And the place to watch the sunset over Malaga city.
5. Food and Gastronomy
What’s not to love about the Mediterranean diet? the endless supply of fresh fruit and vegetables, the slowly roasted sardines, ‘espetos’ on a warm summer’s evening and the emphasis on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.
The food is quite simply amazing.
Malaga is earning a name for itself as a mecca of fine food and is fast becoming one of the hottest destinations in Europe for tapas.
From Michelin starred restaurants to family run tapas bars, as a foodie destination you can’t go wrong.
See this list for a great selection of places to eat in Malaga.
6. Education and Language Schools
Malaga offers an increasing number of public and private bilingual schools, a university and numerous language schools.
The local public schools have finally understood the importance of learning a second language early on. Many are now fully bilingual from primary onwards.
With glistening sea views one way and the Malaga mountains the other, Malaga is in a stunning setting.
It’s privileged geographical location ensures that Malaga is protected from the extreme summer heat and winter cold. Giving it arguably Europe’s best climate.
Its situation makes it the perfect place for Spanish and European markets as well as a gateway to Africa.
8. A City to Walk or Cycle In
Everything is close in Malaga. From the centre it is an easy walk to most parts of the city. Public transport is plentiful and it’s a great city to cycle around as well.
There are big plans to extend the cycle lanes all over Andalusia. The regional government has announced its first Plan Andaluza de la Bicicleta which between now and 2020, aims to connect all of the provincial capitals of Andalucia, as well as Jerez and Algeciras. Cycling from Granada to Cádiz will soon be a reality.
At present, there are over 30 kilometres of dedicated cycle lanes, with more being added every day.
Offering direct flights to around 150 destinations, Malaga Airport is the third busiest in Spain (after Madrid and Barcelona).
There is also a fantastic network of motorways and dual carriageways as well as high-speed trains (the AVE) to major Spanish cities. It takes only 2.5 hours by train to get to Madrid.
10. The Port
Nowhere has Malaga’s transformation been more evident than in the port district.
What was previously run-down, off-limits to the general public and dirty, has been transformed into one of the most important cruise ship terminals in Spain.
With daily connections, Malaga’s port is one of the main departure points from Spain to Melilla (the Spanish enclave on Morocco’s coast). A journey that takes three to four hours.
The port is also visited by more than 250 cruise ships every year. This number continues to rise yearly.
11. Economy & Cost of Living
Malaga is thriving economically: with a 3.5 percent GDP increase in 2015, there’s growing business with the rest of Europe and an increasing Asian trade.
Rents, salaries and general cost of living are lower than that of most other European cities. Yet it has all the state-of-the-art technology needed: high-speed fibre-optic connections run across Malaga and its surrounding towns.
The Regional Government of Andalusia’s Deputy Minister of Employment, Business & Commerce, Pilar Serrano, recently announced that 19 foreign companies arrived in 2017 with a joint investment of 23 million euros and the creation of 1,240 jobs.
Of those companies, 11 chose Malaga – with an investment of 6.5 million euros that created 450 jobs. Most of these are based in Malaga’s PTA – the ‘Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía,’ the Technology Park.
12. A Digital Boom
Malaga is currently in the midst of a digital boom. Remote workers, ‘digital nomads’ and countless digital startups have chosen to base themselves in Malaga city. The growth of co-working office spaces in Malaga bears witness to this trend.
High-speed internet connections, a low cost of living and a pool of highly skilled workers is ensuring Malaga’s continual popularity.
Local entrepreneurs are increasingly being recognised for their digital prowess, with some big names in the digital world coming from Malaga.
The Financial Times voted Malaga as the eighth best European city in 2016 for its investment strategies. The city already has multinational companies such as TDK, Accenture, Huawei, and Ericsson.
“Doing business in Malaga can result in important savings for the companies that want to benefit from being positioned in the European Union,” says Francisco De La Torre, the Mayor Of Malaga.
“In addition, there are attractions such as communications, top-class cultural and museum facilities, quality services and international schools, as well as the best conditions for water sports, golf and skiing.
“From a business perspective, Malaga is one of the most active places in Spain.”
Malaga has always had something special. It possesses what the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca called Duende.
Its lifestyle, family values, unbeatable cuisine and above all the kindness and relaxed nature of its people are finally being internationally recognised.
Over the last fifteen years, Malaga has undergone a huge transformation to a city that is thriving and confident.
Malaga really is a special place indeed.
Photo credits – with thanks to