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Plaza de La Merced in Malaga, Spain


Cost of Living in Malaga

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Understanding the the cost of living in Malaga helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Apartment Rentals The average cost of renting an apartment in Malaga is €650-€850 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, and €850-€1,200 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. Prices vary depending on the location and size of the apartment.
Apartment Purchases The average cost of purchasing an apartment in Malaga is €2,000-€3,000 per square meter. Prices vary depending on the location and size of the apartment.
Transportation The cost of public transportation in Malaga is €1.30 for a single ticket, €10 for a 10-trip ticket, and €30 for a monthly ticket. Taxi fares start at €3.50 and increase depending on the distance traveled.
Groceries The average cost of groceries in Malaga is €50-€100 per week for a family of four. Prices vary depending on the type of food purchased.
Restaurants The average cost of a meal in a restaurant in Malaga is €10-€20 per person. Prices vary depending on the type of restaurant and the type of food ordered.
Utilities The average cost of utilities in Malaga is €50-€100 per month for a family of four. Prices vary depending on the type of utilities used.
Private School Tuition The average cost of private school tuition in Malaga is €2,000-€3,000 per year for preschool, €3,000-€4,000 per year for elementary school, €4,000-€5,000 per year for middle school, and €5,000-€6,000 per year for high school. Prices vary depending on the school and the type of program.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Malaga

"The cost of living in Malaga is considered to be relatively affordable compared to other major cities in Spain. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is moderately priced, while outside the city center, it is significantly cheaper. The cost of utilities such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage is also quite reasonable. Groceries in Malaga are relatively inexpensive, with local markets offering fresh produce, meat, and fish at affordable prices. Eating out in Malaga can be quite economical as well, especially if you take advantage of the local tradition of tapas, small plates of food often served free with drinks. Public transportation in Malaga is efficient and reasonably priced, with options including buses, trains, and taxis. Owning a car can be more expensive, with costs including fuel, insurance, and parking. Healthcare in Malaga is of a high standard and is generally less expensive than in many other European countries. Both public and private healthcare options are available. Overall, the cost of living in Malaga is quite manageable, particularly if you are earning a local salary. However, it's important to note that salaries in Malaga tend to be lower than in other parts of Spain and Europe," said one expat living in Malaga.

Can I live in Malaga on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Malaga for a while now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll need to find an affordable neighborhood to live in. I recommend looking into areas like El Palo, Huelin, or Teatinos. These neighborhoods are more budget-friendly and still offer a good quality of life. You might want to avoid more expensive neighborhoods like Malagueta or Pedregalejo, as the cost of living there can be significantly higher.When it comes to housing, you'll probably have to settle for a smaller apartment or share a flat with roommates to keep your rent costs down. Utilities and internet can be quite affordable, especially if you're splitting the costs with others. For groceries, I suggest shopping at local markets and discount supermarkets like Mercadona or Lidl to save money. Eating out can be affordable too if you stick to local tapas bars and avoid touristy areas.As for transportation, Malaga has a decent public transport system, and a monthly pass costs around €40. If you're willing to walk or bike, you can save even more on transportation costs. Owning a car might not be the best option, as parking and fuel can be expensive.In terms of entertainment and leisure, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy in Malaga. You can visit the city's many parks and beaches, or take advantage of free entry days at museums and cultural centers. Going out for drinks can be affordable if you stick to local bars and avoid high-end clubs.Overall, living on $1,500 a month in Malaga is doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, being smart about your housing and transportation choices, and enjoying the many low-cost activities the city has to offer, you can make it work," commented an expat living in Malaga.

Can I live in Malaga on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Malaga for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make some sacrifices in terms of the neighborhood you choose to live in and the size of your apartment.For example, if you want to live in a more upscale neighborhood like Pedregalejo or El Limonar, you might have to settle for a smaller apartment or share with roommates to make it work within your budget. These areas are known for their beautiful homes, tree-lined streets, and proximity to the beach, but they can be quite expensive.On the other hand, if you're willing to live in a more affordable neighborhood like Teatinos or Huelin, you can find a decent-sized apartment for a reasonable price. These areas are still close to the city center and have good public transportation options, but they might not have the same charm or amenities as the more expensive neighborhoods.In terms of other expenses, groceries and eating out are generally quite affordable in Malaga. You can find fresh produce at local markets for a fraction of the price you'd pay in the US, and there are plenty of tapas bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a meal for under $10. However, if you're a fan of imported goods or high-end dining, you might have to cut back on those to stay within your budget.Overall, I think it's definitely possible to live comfortably in Malaga on $3,000 a month, but you'll have to be mindful of your spending and make some compromises when it comes to your living situation. But in my experience, the beautiful weather, friendly locals, and laid-back lifestyle more than make up for any sacrifices you might have to make," said one expat living in Malaga.

Can I live in Malaga on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Malaga for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. Of course, you might have to make some sacrifices, but overall, you can have a pretty good life here. First of all, you'll want to choose an affordable neighborhood. Some of the more expensive areas, like Pedregalejo or El Limonar, might be out of your budget if you want to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Instead, consider looking for a place in neighborhoods like Teatinos, Ciudad Jardin, or Huelin. These areas are more affordable, but still offer a good quality of life and access to modern amenities. When it comes to housing, you can find a decent apartment for around $1,000 to $1,500 a month, depending on the size and location. This should leave you with enough money for other expenses, like utilities, groceries, and transportation. Keep in mind that public transportation is quite affordable in Malaga, so you might not need a car, which can save you a lot of money on gas and insurance. As for other sacrifices, you might have to cut back on eating out at fancy restaurants or going out for drinks every weekend. However, there are plenty of affordable options for dining and entertainment in Malaga, so you won't have to give up on having a social life. Plus, the city is full of beautiful parks, beaches, and cultural attractions that you can enjoy for free or at a low cost. In terms of healthcare, the public system in Spain is quite good, but you might want to consider getting private insurance if you're used to a higher level of care. This can cost you around $100 to $200 a month, depending on the coverage you choose. Overall, I think you can live quite comfortably in Malaga on $5,000 a month, as long as you're willing to make some adjustments and choose a more affordable neighborhood. It's a beautiful city with a lot to offer, and I'm sure you'll enjoy your time here," commented an expat living in Malaga.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Plaza de La Merced in Malaga, Spain

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