Relaxed European city perfect to start a new life in with cheap cost of living

Bringing together culture, good weather and affordable living, Malaga was voted the perfect spot to settle down and start a new life abroad.

In a survey of 12,000 individuals living all over the world, the southern city in Spain came out on top thanks to the range of cultural stimuli it offers and the cheap cost of living.

The survey found that 89 percent of expatriates in the area found locals extremely friendly and welcoming when they first moved to Malaga.

The city scored well above average in terms of opportunities on the job market but foreign residents admitted the choice is still somewhat limited.

However, Malaga also snatched the top spot when it comes to supporting a good work-life balance.

In addition, expats also reported significant satisfaction with the healthcare as new residents, expats and digital nomads are able to access the state-funded healthcare system.

The Mediterranean climate, particularly in Malaga, is considered the best in Europe. With averages of 18C in the winter and 25C over the summer months, the temperate weather, protected by mountains, creates a unique micro-climate that results in milder winters.

The world-renowned Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, fish, fruits and vegetables, contributes to a healthier and longer life, and the local products are a key feature of Malaga and the wider Mediterranean region’s gastronomy.

Malaga and the Andalusia region boast dreamy landscapes that captivate both expats and visitors.

With stunning views of valleys and towns, it’s like stepping back in time. There’s plenty to explore, from popular festivals and hiking trails to archaeological sites.

For several decades, Malaga was seen by tourists only as a base to then move on to the seaside resorts of the Costa del Sol.

Thanks to a far-sighted territorial marketing action, the city regained a leading role in Andalusian tourism.

There is certainly no shortage of interesting things to see in Malaga. The top attractions of Pablo Picasso’s hometown are naturally the house where the brilliant painter was born and the museum dedicated to him.

The museum, located in the historic Palazzo Bevilacqua, showcases over 200 pieces of Picasso’s work, including paintings, illustrations, engravings, ceramics and drawings from his early career to his later years.

For great city views, climb to the top of Malaga’s two famous Moorish-style buildings, the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle.

Perched atop a hill with stunning city views, the Castle originally served as a defensive structure but was later expanded and beautified.

Known as the most impregnable fortress on the Iberian Peninsula, it gained fame as the last stronghold wrested from the Arabs by the Catholic Monarchs in 1487.

While much of the castle’s interior hasn’t survived, visitors can walk along the walls for breathtaking city views, and on clear days, even catch a glimpse of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Tiled promenades framed by palm trees make the perfect spot for an afternoon walk once work is done.

The old town boasts remarkable historic buildings – including the beautiful Malaga Cathedral. Gorgeous piazzas are the main feature of historic Malaga but the centre is relatively small for such a large city.

Within a block or two, expats come across 1970s-style apartment buildings and the rather architectonically questionable gated harbour can in some spots block sea views.

Expats looking to move to Malaga can stay in a peaceful area or closer to the urban hustle and bustle.

Some areas in the city offer tranquillity while still being near urban centres, far enough to avoid noise. Examples include the developments along the Costa del Sol – Torrequebrada, Carvajal, Rincon de la Victoria, Nerja.

However, for those who prefer proximity to nature and rural life, the best bet would be to look for a house in one of Malaga’s more central neighbourhoods such as La Goleta, Laguinallas or La Merced.

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