Affordable Coastal Living in Málaga: Enjoy a High Quality of Life for Less in One of Spain’s Best-Value Cities

Located on Spain’s popular Costa del Sol, Málaga is clean and bright, with a pedestrian-only city center and a revamped harbor. The city is brimming with museums, great dining, and plenty of shopping to suit all tastes and budgets.

The best of “old” Málaga is well preserved. The city, with its miles of seashore, is cheerful and vibrant, oozing trademark Andalusian charm. Year-round the sun shines and winter temperatures are balmy (days average 63 F in January). Sea breezes blow off the Mediterranean, cooling the hotter summer days.

“Málaga remains a very Spanish city, even in the prime tourist areas. Here you can enjoy big-city life with laidback charm,” says editor Glynna Prentice.

At 2,800 years old, Málaga is one of the oldest cities in the world. Founded by the Phoenicians in about 770 BCE, it’s been inhabited by half-a-dozen major civilizations since then.

“But, if you spend any time here, it becomes clear that Málaga is not a city that lives in the past,” reports Prentice.

Twelve million tourists a year pass through Málaga’s international airport, and about half of them visit the city (the rest head directly to the region’s many beach resorts). Yet tourism, though important, is not the only economic driver. Technology, construction, transportation, logistics, and other industries are all big here—this is Spain’s fourth-most important city for economic activity, and one of its biggest ports. This is a big plus for expats and tourists as English is generally understood.

“Most tourism clusters in the pedestrian-friendly areas. Beyond them spreads a city of more than half-a-million people and a large metropolitan area of over a million. Go just a short distance from the centro histórico and Muelle Uno—for instance, to the train and bus stations, just five minutes from here by city bus—and you are already in the non-tourist Málaga of ordinary, work-a-day Spaniards. And prices drop accordingly,” says Prentice.

Right in the historic center, for instance, one-bedroom apartments of around 500 to 600 square feet sell for prices starting at about €140,000 ($182,000). Go a mile or so out—though still in the central district—and property with a third to a half more space can be bought for the same price.

“One neighborhood I like is Huelin,” says Prentice. “Here you can rent a property with about 900 square feet for $650 a month—you may even get a sea view with it. Day-to-day expenses are low, too. My friends and I enjoyed a long summer evening at an outdoor café here, spending only about $4 each for generous tapas—a couple of them made a full meal.”

The full report on living in Málaga, Spain can be read here: Enjoy Big City Life with Laidback Charm in Malaga, Spain.

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