Healthplan Spain


Spotlight On Spain: Malaga Expat Tips

Malaga, a captivating city nestled within the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain, is a hub of history and culture. With a remarkable past spanning over 2,800 years, the city's origins can be traced back to the Phoenicians. Throughout its history, Malaga has been shaped by various civilisations, including the Romans, Moors, and Christian kingdoms, leaving behind a rich cultural heritage.

Situated along the picturesque Costa del Sol in southern Spain, Malaga is nestled between the picturesque provinces of Granada and Cadiz, and to the north it shares its borders with the provinces of Cordoba and Seville.

Malaga boasts a coastline adorned with beautiful beaches, inviting locals and tourists alike to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand. Equally enticing is the city's culinary scene, with a focus on seafood, traditional Andalusian dishes, and delightful tapas. The local street markets and eateries exude a vibrant gastronomic culture that delights the palate of every visitor.

Throughout the year, Malaga hosts an array of festivals and events that celebrate its cultural identity. The Holy Week (Semana Santa) processions, the lively Feria de Malaga (Malaga Fair), and the August Fair are some of the most cherished and vibrant celebrations in the city.

Malaga's international airport ensures excellent connectivity for travellers worldwide, making it a convenient destination to visit. Within the city, a well-developed public transportation system simplifies travel, allowing visitors to explore the city's many attractions with ease.

Population of Malaga by Nationality

Malaga, a province located in the southern region of Spain, has been experiencing a notable increase in its population, with foreign immigration being the primary driver of this growth. In the past year alone, the province has gained 20,652 inhabitants, and a significant 64% of this increase, amounting to 13,302 individuals, can be attributed to foreign nationals moving to the area. This influx of foreign residents has contributed to making Malaga one of the most cosmopolitan regions in the country, with 16.7% of its total population being of foreign origin, surpassing the national average of 11.6%.

While foreign immigration plays a crucial role, internal migration from other parts of Spain has also been a contributing factor to the population growth in Malaga. The province's ability to attract newcomers from both within Spain and abroad has compensated for a declining natural birth rate and an ageing population, leading to a narrowing gap between the number of births and deaths.

Among the foreign communities, the British population stands out as the largest group, experiencing significant fluctuations over the years. In 2021, the British community grew by 2,278 registered residents, a decrease from the previous year but consistent with figures from 2019. In the span of four years, the British community in Malaga province increased by more than 9,000 residents, recuperating from a decline in earlier years, but still below the peak in 2013 when there were 76,931 British citizens on the population register.

The Ukrainian community has seen remarkable growth, expanding by nearly 50% over the past decade, making it the fourth-largest foreign community in Malaga. This rise coincided with Russia's hostilities towards Ukraine, leading many Ukrainians to seek refuge in the province. Conversely, some other foreign communities experienced declines in the past year, with Romanian, Chinese, Nigerian, Bulgarian, and Bolivian residents leaving the area.

Brexit, the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, had unexpected effects on the British community in Malaga. Many British residents, concerned about the potential loss of their rights after Brexit, opted to register themselves formally as residents in Spain, leading to an increase in their numbers in 2021.

Looking at the largest foreign communities in Malaga, the British remain the most numerous, with 55,758 registered residents. Following them are Moroccans (33,985), Italians (15,889), Ukrainians (11,567), Romanians (11,065), Germans (10,344), Colombians (8,806), Argentineans (8,650), Chinese (8,298), and Russians (8,216). The Ukrainian community's rapid growth is particularly notable, reflecting the complex geopolitical situation and the region's appeal to those seeking stability and security.

In conclusion, Malaga's population growth owes much to foreign immigration, with the British, Moroccans, and Italians being the most significant communities. The province's cosmopolitan nature is evident, with a substantial proportion of its residents coming from different countries. This demographic diversity enriches the cultural fabric of Malaga and reinforces its position as an attractive and welcoming destination for people from all over the world.

Weather and climate

Malaga is renowned for its pleasant Mediterranean climate characterised by hot, dry summers and mild winters offering a delightful balance of warmth and sunshine throughout much of the year.

Malaga is the capital city of Spain’s ‘sun coast’, the Costa del Sol, and boasts on average 300 days of sunshine each year. This makes it an appealing destination for visitors all year round.

- Spring (March to May): Spring is still warm in malaga with the average daytime temperature ranging from around 16°C to 20°C (61°F to 68°F) in March, 18°C to 22°C (64°F to 72°F) in April and about 20°C to 24°C (68°F to 75°F) in May.

- Summer (June to August): In the summer months, Malaga experiences warm to hot temperatures. The average daytime temperatures in June range from approx 22°C to 27°C (72°F to 81°F).

July and August are the hottest months in Malaga, with average daytime temperatures ranging from approximately 24°C (75°F) to 30°C (86°F). Keep in mind that during heatwaves, temperatures can exceed these averages.

La Malagueta Beach, Malaga

- Autumn (September to November): Malaga experiences mild and pleasant weather in the autumn months with the daily average temperature in September ranging from about 22°C to 27°C (72°F to 81°F).

Cooling slightly to approx 19°C to 24°C (66°F to 75°F)in October and 16°C to 21°C (61°F to 70°F) in November.

- Winter (December to February): Malaga experiences mild winter weather, with average daytime temperatures ranging from around 14°C to 19°C (57°F to 66°F) in December, 13°C to 18°C (55°F to 64°F) in January and 14°C to 18°C (57°F to 64°F) in February.

Climate: Situated on the sunshine coast of the Costa del Sol, the climate in Malaga is characterised by mild winters with moderate rainfall and hot summers.

- Average annual temperature: Malaga’s average annual temperature is around 18°C (64°F).
- Rainfall: The average annual rainfall in Malaga is approximately 500 mm (20 inches).

It is important to emphasise that these weather and climate patterns serve as general guidelines, and specific conditions may vary from year to year.


Transportation in the city of Malaga is well-developed, providing residents and visitors with efficient and diverse options for getting around. The city boasts an extensive public transportation network, including buses, metro, commuter trains, bikes (including e bikes and scooters), and bike taxis.

Malaga's strategic location as a transportation hub allows for easy access to other parts of Spain and beyond, as it is served by an international airport, offering a wide range of domestic and international flights.

Calle Larios - Shopping in Malaga

Imaged Credit: Adrianna Calvo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Overall, the city's efficient and well-connected transportation system ensures that residents and tourists can navigate Malaga with ease, enjoying a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.

  • Metro: Malaga has a two-line metro system that runs from the centre to the west and south-west of the city, starting from Maria Zambrano RENFE train station.
  • Bus: Malaga's outstanding bus service efficiently connects the city centre with all surrounding districts. Identified by their blue colour and adorned with the EMT logo, these buses operate from early morning, until late into the night. For passengers with accessibility needs, almost all buses are equipped with wheelchair ramps accessible via the middle or rear doors. Travellers requiring the ramp can simply notify the driver, who will assist them accordingly.
  • Train: Malaga's local train service, known as "Cercanias," offers modern, extensive, and efficient transportation within the city and to neighbouring Spanish cities. The Alameda station, located near the CAC museum, serves as the primary terminal. The trains run to the main Maria Zambrano station, with routes extending west along the coast to Fuengirola and northwest inland to Alhaurin via the picturesque Guadalhorce valley. It's a convenient and delightful way to travel in and around Malaga.
  • Bicycle: Bike hire services provide a convenient and eco-friendly way to explore the city. With bike-sharing programs available, residents and tourists can easily rent bikes from various stations, enjoying safe cycling along flat terrain and bike lanes while reducing their carbon footprint.
  • Bike Taxi: Malaga is renowned for its Bike Taxis, or ‘Trixis’, providing a unique and leisurely way to explore the city. Passengers can comfortably sit in a pod-like carriage towed behind a bicycle, fully covered for a weatherproof travel experience. Unlike traditional taxis, Trixis offer a smooth ride without traffic congestion, whilst benefiting from having a personal tour guide in the taxi driver.

Places to Visit

These are just a few of the many attractions that Malaga has to offer. Whether you're interested in history, art, nature, or simply relaxing on the beach, the city promises a diverse range of experiences to suit every traveller's preferences.

  • Alcazaba: Explore the impressive Moorish fortress, Alcazaba, located atop a hill overlooking the city. Wander through its well-preserved courtyards, gardens, and historical structures.Roman Theatre: Discover the ancient Roman Theatre, situated at the foot of the Alcazaba. This well-preserved amphitheatre is a fascinating glimpse into Malaga's Roman past.
  • Picasso Museum: Pay a visit to the Picasso Museum, housed in a beautiful 16th-century palace. This museum showcases an extensive collection of works by the iconic artist Pablo Picasso, who was born in Malaga.
  • Calle Larios (above image) - Calle Larios is the most famous and vibrant shopping street in Malaga, Spain. Known for its elegant ambiance and pedestrian-friendly design, this bustling avenue is a shopaholic's paradise. Lined with a diverse array of shops, boutiques, and high-end brands, Calle Larios offers a delightful shopping experience. 
  • Malaga Cathedral (image below): Marvel at the grandeur of the Malaga Cathedral, known as "La Manquita" (the one-armed lady). Its architectural style combines Renaissance, Baroque, and Gothic elements.
  • La Malagueta Beach: Relax on the sandy shores of La Malagueta Beach, conveniently located near the city centre. Enjoy the sun, sea, and a variety of beachfront bars and restaurants.
  • Atarazanas Market: Immerse yourself in the local culture at the Atarazanas Market, a bustling indoor market offering a vast array of fresh produce, seafood, and regional specialties.
  • Gibralfaro Castle: Climb up to Gibralfaro Castle, situated on a hill above the Alcazaba, for breathtaking panoramic views of Malaga and its coastline.
  • Malaga Park (Parque de Malaga): Stroll through the lush greenery of Malaga Park, a picturesque oasis in the heart of the city, adorned with fountains, sculptures, and exotic flora.
  • Muelle Uno: Visit Muelle Uno, a modern waterfront area filled with shops, restaurants, and leisure facilities. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the harbour, taking in views of the boats and the sea.
  • Teatro Romano Málaga: El Teatro Romano is the oldest monument in Málaga City; it is located in the cultural heart of Málaga city, at the foot of the famous Alcazaba fortress. Accompanying the site is the Centro de Interpretación, a visitors centre dedicated to educating visitors about the fascinating history of the ruins and the subsequent excavation process.

Malaga Cathedral

Malaga Universities

There is only one university in Malaga and that is the Universidad de Málaga.

Universidad de Málaga (UMA) is a prominent public university located in the city of Malaga, Spain. Established in 1972, the university has grown to become a leading institution of higher education in the region of Andalusia, ranking 23 among all Spanish universities and 683 worldwide.

UMA offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across various fields, including arts, sciences, social sciences, engineering, and health sciences.

Educational activities at the University of Malaga are conducted across 18 centres, led by appointed teachers from 81 different departments. The majority of teaching is concentrated within the two main campuses, offering a central hub for academic pursuits. However, classes are also conducted in various locations throughout the city centre, as well as in the towns of Ronda and Antequera.

With its commitment to academic excellence and research, the University of Malaga has gained recognition both nationally and internationally. The university's faculty comprises highly qualified professors and researchers who contribute to cutting-edge research and innovation.


In conclusion, living in the vibrant city of Malaga, offers a captivating blend of rich cultural heritage, pleasant Mediterranean weather, and a thriving modern lifestyle. From its historical landmarks and artistic treasures to the lively culinary scene and beautiful beaches, Malaga provides a unique and fulfilling urban experience.

While considering factors like housing costs and traffic congestion, residents can enjoy a high quality of life surrounded by the city's enchanting charm. Whether strolling through the picturesque streets, savouring delicious local cuisine, or immersing oneself in the city's lively festivities, Malaga proves to be a city that welcomes residents and visitors alike with its warm and inviting spirit.