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Retire in Malaga Guide

If Malaga is on your retirement radar, our detailed Retire in Malaga Guide is your go-to resource. Delve into the crucial aspects of life here, including living costs, climate, housing options, healthcare services, and residency procedures. We also explore the city's social dynamics, volunteering scenes, transportation, and how walkable its neighborhoods are.
|-Retire in Malaga Guide

Retiring in Malaga is a dream come true for many international retirees. The city offers a unique blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and a relaxed lifestyle. The Mediterranean climate, affordable cost of living, and excellent healthcare system are just a few of the reasons why Malaga is a popular retirement destination. However, like any foreign country, there are challenges to consider, such as language barriers and understanding the local customs and laws.

Cost of Living in Malaga

One of the biggest draws for retirees in Malaga is the affordable cost of living. Compared to many European cities, Malaga offers a high standard of living at a fraction of the cost. Renting a two-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around €800 per month, while eating out at a local restaurant can cost as little as €10. However, it’s important to note that prices can vary depending on the area and the season.


Malaga enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. The city boasts over 300 days of sunshine per year, making it an ideal location for retirees who enjoy outdoor activities. The average temperature in the summer is around 30°C (86°F), while in winter it rarely drops below 10°C (50°F).


Spain’s healthcare system is ranked among the best in the world. Malaga is home to several top-rated hospitals, including the Carlos Haya Hospital and the Quiron Hospital. Many doctors in Malaga speak English, making it easier for international retirees to communicate their health concerns.

Public Healthcare System

Spain’s public healthcare system is accessible to all residents, including international retirees. However, many retirees opt for private health insurance to avoid long waiting times. It’s also worth noting that some treatments may not be covered by the public healthcare system, so it’s important to check this before making any decisions.

Residency Options

Spain offers several residency options for retirees, including the non-lucrative visa and the golden visa. The non-lucrative visa requires proof of sufficient income to support yourself without working, while the golden visa requires an investment in Spanish real estate. Both visas allow you to live in Spain permanently.

Parks and Recreational Activities

Malaga is home to numerous parks and recreational areas, including the Malaga Park and the Montes de Malaga Natural Park. The city also offers a wide range of activities, from golfing and hiking to sailing and fishing.


Malaga’s culinary scene is diverse and vibrant. Some popular local restaurants include El Pimpi, a traditional Andalusian restaurant, and Restaurante Vino Mio, known for its innovative fusion cuisine. For seafood lovers, Marisqueria Casa Vicente is a must-visit.

Learning the Language

While many locals in Malaga speak English, learning Spanish can enhance your retirement experience. The Malaga University offers Spanish courses for foreigners, and there are also several language schools in the city, such as the Malaca Instituto and the Debla Spanish School.

Local Culture

The locals in Malaga are known for their friendly and welcoming nature. The city has a relaxed pace of life, with siestas in the afternoon and late dinners in the evening. Malaga also hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Malaga Fair and the Holy Week processions.

Meeting People and Volunteering

Meeting new people in Malaga is easy, thanks to the city’s numerous clubs and social groups. The American Club of Malaga and the International Women’s Club are popular among international retirees. For those interested in volunteering, organizations like Cruz Roja (Red Cross) and Protectora de Animales y Plantas de Malaga offer opportunities to give back to the community.


Most retirees in Malaga live in apartments or condos in the city center or in the quieter suburbs. Popular neighborhoods for retirees include El Limonar, Pedregalejo, and La Malagueta. These areas offer a mix of city life and beach living, with plenty of amenities within walking distance.


Malaga has an excellent public transportation system, with buses, trains, and taxis readily available. The city is also very walkable, with many retirees choosing to get around on foot or by bicycle. While having a car can be convenient for exploring the surrounding areas, it’s not necessary for daily life in Malaga.

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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