Are you thinking about living in Spain and more specifically Malaga? Do you want to start planning your trip but feeling a bit lost and not sure where to start? Do not worry my friend! In this blog, we will provide you with all the necessary information, including documents, accommodation, job hunting, and much more.

At CeleBreak, our primary aim is to connect football lovers from all around the globe; however, even though football plays a huge part in today’s society, there are other things in life that have to be considered as well. Moving to a different country and city is one of the toughest challenges life can throw at you; thus, CeleBreak is here to help you find your feet in the second-largest city in Andalusia – Malaga.

Below we present a list of 10 tips that are necessary for surviving in Malaga.

Tip 1: Documents

The most important piece of advice for everyone thinking about moving to Malaga is to get required documents for entering and living in the city.

Passport is the basic travel document that is necessary for crossing the border. The process is relatively straightforward if you know what is needed; however, it is always best to doublecheck, as laws and regulations for travelling are being constantly updated.

Spain is part of the European Union Economic Area, meaning that you do not need a visa if you come from another EU country. All EU citizens can enter Spain with a passport or an EU identity card. However, it is worth mentioning that it can only be applied to people who wish to stay in Malaga short-term, which is no longer than 90 days. Once the initial 90 days period comes to an end, an EU citizen must acquire an EU citizen certificate. You can read more about how to extend your stay in Spain, Malaga, beyond 90 days here.

Additionally, if you are from any of the following non-EU countries, you do not need a visa for entering and staying in Spain for 90 days or less: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong & Macao (China), Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.

However, if you do want to come to Malaga from a country that is not shortlisted above, you do need to acquire a tourist visa, which would be valid for three months. Besides, if you decide to stay in Spain beyond an initial 90 days period coming from a non-EU country, you must get a residence permit. Keep in mind that most of them ask you to be present in your country of origin; therefore, make sure to contact your country authorities before leaving. You can find full details on the procedures of short stay and long term residency in Spain here.

Getting an NIE (Numero de Identificacion de Extranjero) number is also critically important if you are planning to extend your stay in Malaga beyond 90 days. An NIE number is needed by all foreign citizens who are resident in Spain, Malaga in this instance, to track all financial activities. You can read a full guide on how to acquire an NIE number here

Finally, in order to successfully claim yourself to be a citizen of Malaga, you need to get Empadronamiento, which stores your name and address into the registered domain of the city. You can find out what you have to do to get Empadronamiento here


Tip 2: Savings

Saving money is always a good idea but even more so if you are planning to move abroad. Having savings in your bank account protects you in the event of a financial emergency, which, let us face it, is highly probable when you arrive in a new country and city.

According to Expatistan, the cost of living in Malaga is cheaper than in 50% of cities in Spain and 85% of cities in Western Europe. The findings of another cost of living site Numbeo state that a single person estimated monthly costs in Malaga are about 600€ without rent. Speaking of rent, Numbeo estimates that the cost of a single bedroom apartment in Malaga ranges from 500 to 700€ depending on the area of the city. As a result, a total estimated amount of money needed to live a full month in Malaga is from 1100 to 1300€.

Bearing that in mind, anyone who is planning to stay in Malaga for more than three months should have at least 3000€ of savings in their pocket to avoid unnecessary stress in the first months of your stay.

Tip 3: Place to Live

Finding accommodation is the next big step in your journey of living abroad. It is never easy even if you decide to move places in your home country, let alone in a foreign land.

Malaga is the sixth-largest city in Spain, thus finding the best area to live is not an easy task. The city offers a vibrant and diverse setting, with plenty of shopping quarters, big plazas, and glorious landscapes.

The question is what are the best neighbourhoods to live in Malaga? After conducting thorough research, we shortlisted five areas that are regarded as the best places to live in Malaga: La Malagueta, El Limonar, Teatinos, Paseo Maritimo de Oeste, and Historic City Centre.

La Malagueta is ideal for those who want to live as close to the sea as possible since La Malagueta is Malaga’s biggest beach in town. El Limonar is the most perfect area for every family coming over to Malaga who wants to enjoy a quiet life but stay within a reachable distance from the city centre. Teatinos is the most popular living area for students, with the University of Malaga being present at the heart of it. Paseo Maritimo de Oeste is another ideal choice for families who want to enjoy a quiet but fabulous Malaga lifestyle. Historic City Centre welcomes all young expats and students who want to stay in the heart of Malaga and experience all its glory. 

The next question is where can you find and book your accommodation? Spain Houses, Nestpick, and Idealista are the best English websites to search for a place to live in Malaga. As mentioned before, the average monthly rent ranges from 500 to 700€ for a single bedroom apartment, with prices rising up to 1300€ for apartments of 3 bedrooms.

Tip 4: Job Hunting

After you have settled in Malaga, it is time to start your job search. Finding a job is no easy task, whether it be your hometown or any other city. However, having solid qualifications and necessary work experience can open the door for any candidate.

Speaking Spanish is a highly desirable skill when looking for a job in a Spanish speaking country; however, we have collated several websites that post English speaking jobs in Malaga for those who are yet to master their Spanish language skills. Think Spain and Jobs The Local are the best places for job hunting if you are new in Malaga.

Tip 5: Spanish Bank Account

Opening a bank account in a new country is one of the mandatory tasks for someone looking to acquire a long term residency. Once your account is set-up, it is a lot easier to deal with everyday life tasks such as paying the utility bills and receiving your paycheck.

There are plenty of banks to choose from in Malaga, including BBVA, Santander, and CaixaBank. In order to open a bank account you will need to provide the following paperwork: proof of identity (passport), proof of address, and proof of employment status (student card, job contract, unemployment documentation). Please note that the Spanish Foreign Identification Number (NIE) is not compulsory to open a Spanish bank account.

You can find more information on the list of requirements for opening a bank account in Spain here.

Tip 6: Health Insurance

The path to happiness lies in good health. Getting health insurance for an expat in Malaga is one of the tasks that should be at the top of your checklist. Even though every resident in Malaga is eligible for public healthcare, having private health insurance can be a handful asset in your daily life.

There are plenty of reasons why taking out private health insurance is beneficial. First of all, healthcare covering is essential for anyone who wishes to acquire a long-term residency. Secondly, it guarantees you faster access to health clinics, as public healthcare is often overloaded in Malaga, meaning that you will have to wait weeks and sometimes even months to see a doctor. Last but not least, private health insurance is perfect for those who do not speak fluent Spanish. Doctors in private hospitals in Malaga are way more likely to speak English than those who work in public clinics.

AXA is the largest health insurance company in Spain. It will provide you with access to treatment and healthcare at all clinics and hospitals in Malaga. Speaking of health centres, Dr Galvez, Quiron Salud, and Hospital Vithas offer the best clinical practice in the city of Malaga.

Tip 7: Spanish Language Courses

Living in a foreign country but not speaking its language is unpleasant and unfulfilling experience. Thus, speaking even a little Spanish, while you are present in Malaga, will ensure smoother assimilation in the country, as well as better job and life opportunities. For this reason, taking up a Spanish language course is a must if you are planning to stay in Malaga for a long time.

We have collated several Spanish language courses that are taught in Malaga. These courses are specifically dedicated to expats who want to speak fluent Spanish and fully immerse into the country’s culture.

Suspanish, Cervantes, and Linguaschools are three independent language learning platforms, offering live Spanish courses in Malaga that will help you master your Spanish in no time.

Tip 8: Schooling Options

Moving to a foreign city on your own is challenging, but it is even more so if you have children travelling with you. Finding the right school for expat parents can become a severe headache; thus, we provide you with a list containing all the key information about every international school in Malaga.

There are a total of 29 registered international schools in Malaga, which you can find and read about in full depth here.

Tip 9: Sports in Malaga

It has been widely researched that sport is the best form of relaxation. You will definitely need that after all the worrying you have to deal with when moving to a foreign place. Luckily, Malaga is one of the sportiest cities in Spain, offering a wide range of sporting activities that will make you never want to leave the city.

At first, you can try our Pick Up service, which provides people with an opportunity to play football for free while living in Malaga. And if you get tired of playing football, we can offer you plenty of other great sporting activities, including running, which are available to get involved in Malaga.

Tip 10: Going Out in Malaga

Finally, you have done all the essential life things after arriving in a foreign city. Now it is time to enjoy yourself at least a little bit and experience an amazing nightlife that Malaga has to offer.

There are plenty of different places to go to when living in Malaga, but we specifically recommend you to visit Malaga’s best sports bars in town. You will be able to experience its local culture, meet new people, and watch football.


If you would like to learn more about playing football while living in Malaga, visit our website and download our app to get started.