Things to know
One of the oldest Cities in the world!
Málaga is a municipality of Spain, capital of the Province of Málaga, in the autonomous community of
With a population of 592,000 at the start of 2022 it is the second-most populated city in Andalusia after Seville and the sixth most populated in Spain as a whole.
It lies on the "Costa del Sol" (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean, about 100 kilometres (62.14 miles) east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 km (80.78 mi) north of Africa.
Málaga's history spans about 2,800 years, making it one of the oldest cities in Europe and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, Hebrew poet and Jewish philosopher Solomon Ibn Gabirol and the actor Antonio Banderas were born in Málaga.
The most important business sectors in Málaga are tourism, construction and technology services, but other sectors such as transportation and logistics are beginning to expand.
Málaga has consolidated as tech hub, with companies mainly concentrated in the Málaga TechPark (Technology Park of Andalusia).
It hosts the headquarters of the region's largest bank, Unicaja, and it is the fourth-ranking city in Spain in terms of economic activity behind
Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
Amazing sights, must see attractions!
The Alcazaba is probably the most well-known tourist attraction in Malaga.
Built in the 11th century by the Moors, this palace was both the home of Muslim rulers and a fortress to protect and defend the city from the Catholics.
As it’s built on a hill overlooking Malaga, it offers a lovely view over the sea and port.
Another great thing to do in Malaga is to visit the Roman theater located at the bottom of the Alcazaba.
It’s the oldest site in Malaga: it was built in the first century AD by Augustus and was used as a theater during the 2nd century. Then, it was converted into a cemetery to finally be abandoned.
Some of the rocks from this site were used to build the Alcazaba.
The Roman theater ruins were only discovered in 1951, when the building that was built on top was destroyed.
Nowadays, many outdoor performances take place there and even more appealing - entrance is free.
From here, whether it's taking in the botanical gardens (one of the largest in Europe) located in the Northern part of the city, visiting the Atarazanas Market sample some delicious local cuisine (the tapas bars nearby are also excellent!) or making the 1 hour trip to the trendy coastal resort of Marbella, Malaga really does have it all!
You'll need at least 3/4 days to see and do everything (plus sampling food at the amazing selection of restaurants!) but we guarantee one thing, you'll always find something to do!
How does Malaga Compare?
The average cost of living in Malaga is €1095, which is close to the world's average cost of living, ranked 4279th out of 9294 in a recent global list and 27th out of 153 in Spain.
The median after-tax salary is €1514, which is enough to cover living expenses for 1.4 months.
Ranked 398th (TOP 4%) in the list of best places to live in the world and 9th best city to live in Spain. With an estimated population of 592K, Malaga is the 7th largest city in Spain.
While being relaxed and laid back, Malaga is still the center and transport hub for the Costa del Sol region.
It’s still more economical to live in southern Spain than in northern European countries as property prices and the cost of living are comparatively cheaper.
Though many aspects are much cheaper in Malaga than in other cities, rent isn’t one of those things. In this city, you'll be lucky if you find an apartment to rent for less than €500 if you’re looking outside of the city center and €700 for one in the city center. If you’re looking for a bigger apartment for the whole family – prepare to pay around or more than €1200.
Utilities are much less expensive in Malaga than in, for instance, Madrid or Barcelona. Those living in a bit bigger apartments (like 85m2) will have to pay bills for all basic utilities like electricity, water, heating and cooling, that cost around €100. Internet isn’t as expensive, amounting up to around €40 a month – and that’s for a high speed internet, too
Cost of Living
Not everyone is subject to income tax in Spain. If you are a resident for less than 182 days in each calendar year, you do not need to pay tax. Also, if you do not make more than €17,707 per year, receive a rental income of more than €1,000 and/or receive a capital gains and savings income of more than €1,600, you will not need to pay tax.
If you are working in Spain, your employer can deduct your tax from your paycheck. It is also your choice not to have this happen, particularly if you are going to be paying tax in another country.
Most people in Spain do not have their tax deducted from their paychecks, instead choosing to pay their tax bill by June 20th for the previous year. Unless you are a good saver, this is not always the smartest option.
Personal allowances (tax-free thresholds) for Spanish income tax purposes are €5,151, which increases to €6,069 for persons over age 65 and €6,273 for persons over age 75.
Child allowances for Spanish income tax purposes are: €1,836 for the first child, €2,040 for the second child, €3,672 for the third child and €4,182 for additional children. In addition, Spain has a maternity allowance of €2,244 for each child under three years old.
Eligibility to Work in Malaga
Spain is an enticing country to live in. Unsurprisingly, thousands of people apply for jobs in Spain and many make the move each year. Non-EU citizens need a Spanish Work Visa to be able to legally start work.
If you want to live and work in Spain, there are two main branches of authorities that you will be dealing with: the immigration authority under the Secretary of State for Migration (La Secretaría de Estado de Migraciones), and the labour and employment authorities under the Ministry of Labor and Economy (Ministerio de Trabajo y Economía Social).
Fortunately for EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens, moving to Spain is simple, and they can live, work, and study in the country without restriction. However, most non-EU/EEA citizens, also called third-country nationals, need a work permit and must secure an employment contract before they can apply for one.
UK citizens who wish to come to Spain to live and work post-Brexit will also need a residence and work visa.
Work permit exemptions
Some people don’t need to obtain a work permit to work in Spain, however, they may still need a visa to enter the country. These include university professors, technicians, and scientists. Others who benefit from this exemption include those moving to Spain to develop scientific or cultural programs, foreign journalists, artists coming for specific performances, clergy, and trade union officials. If you are joining a family member who has a Spanish work permit, you may not need a visa.
Rules for volunteers
If you are a citizen of a country with short-term, visa-free, entry to Spain, you can enter the country to do volunteer work without a permit. However, you must respect the limits of the visa-free entry agreements that Spain has with your country; for example, 90 days for US citizens.
When you arrive in Spain, to stay long term, you must apply for a resident permit (Tarjeta de Residencia – TIE) and a Foreigner’s Identity Number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero – NIE) through the local Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or police within 30 days.
What is a Work Visa?
Workers who are not from EU countries need to obtain a Work Visa to be able to live and work in Spain. Without a Work Visa, a company cannot legally employ non-EU citizens.
There are various types of Work Visas for Spain for different types of jobs and for different lengths of employment. Some of the most common types of work visas are:
Long-term Work Visas
Seasonal Work Visas
Au Pair Visas
EU Blue Card
How to get a Visa to Work in Spain
There are numerous different types of Spanish Work Visas. Most require going to a Spanish embassy or consulate in the individual’s home country although, for some certain types of visas, the prospective employer makes the initial application on the employee’s behalf.
Work as an Employee (Highly-skilled)
To work in Spain as a highly-skilled employee, non-EU citizens need to find a job which is listed as a ‘Shortage Occupation’. This is a job for which there is a lack of suitable candidates within the EU. The employer must then request a Work Visa from the Ministry of Labour.
Work permit applications can take up to 8 months to process so forward planning is needed. Once the Ministry of Labour has approved the application, the embassy or consulate issues the work and residence visa.
Visa for Seasonal Workers
The process of obtaining a Work Visa for Seasonal Workers is similar to the process for highly-skilled workers. Employers need to apply for the visa on the worker’s behalf from the Ministry of Labour.
In addition to this process, seasonal workers need to demonstrate they have suitable accommodation arranged, their travel costs are covered, and that they will return to their country once the job has finished. The visas are valid for the duration of the work contract.
Self-employed and Freelance Workers
To work in Spain as a freelancer, it is necessary to apply for a Work Visa at a Spanish consulate or embassy. The work visas are valid for one year but can be renewed if all the conditions are still met. The required documentation includes:
Proof of sufficient finances to support yourself
Proof of relevant skills and experience
A business plan (if applicable)
Any contracts or commissions from companies
Any required licences or registrations (industry or job-specific)
EU Blue Card
The EU Blue Card is for people who spent at least 3 years completing a higher education qualification which allows them to work as skilled professionals.
People who have a minimum of 5 years of professional experience at a high level are also eligible. The employer submits the application on the behalf of the applicant.
A work contract that includes a salary which is at least 50% more than the average wage in Spain (or at least 20% more if the skills are in demand) is a requirement. Once approved, the worker also needs to apply for a visa from a Spanish embassy or consulate in their home country. Blue cards are valid for one year but can be renewed as long as the conditions are still met.
Visa for Au Pairs in Spain
Au pairs can apply for a special Visa for Au Pairs at a Spanish embassy or consulate in their home country before coming to Spain. Applicants need to meet a few conditions to successfully apply:
Be aged between 17 and 30.
Possess an au pair agreement with a host family which states the salary and conditions.
Provide proof of sufficient finances to self-support.
Possess medical cover.
Visas for Au Pairs are valid for one year but can be extended if the conditions are still met.