Malaga is an ideal job destination if you want to work in Spain. Thousands of young people from all over the world choose this wonderful city as their home. Are you thinking about doing the same? In this expat guide, you will find all the information you need to get the most out of life in Málaga. From tips for your job search to cultural activities and places of interest to visit in this amazing city. Let's get started!
Education, work experience, and speaking more than one language are some of the keys that can help you get a job in Malaga. Just like most southern coast cities in Spain, catering and hospitality are popular sectors to work in Malaga. Although these jobs are very common, they can also be subject to seasonal periods with more demand during the summer months (May-September).
Apart from tourism, the construction and agriculture industry are the biggest job generators in Malaga. However, according to data from the Andalusian Regional Government, the Information and Communication Technologies sector is growing very fast and creating new job opportunities where language speakers are in high demand.
Furthermore, Malaga is gradually pushing to become one of the best entrepreneurial ecosystems in Spain. According to some experts, the areas that offer the greatest job placement possibilities in Spain are Madrid, Catalonia, and the Mediterranean Arc which includes the cities of Malaga, Alicante, Valencia, and Barcelona.
Despite the COVID-19 crisis in the Spanish labour market, many companies are still looking for employees to continue their business activity. From the Spanish region of Andalucia, Malaga is the province that has more job offers followed by Seville.
When it comes to job hunting, apart from LinkedIn and Indeed, one of the most popular job boards in Spain is Infojobs. However, if you are an expat, we highly recommend you to use Europe Language Jobs, where you can find suitable vacancies in different European languages.
When applying for jobs, it is recommended to attach a cover letter to your CV explaining your motivations.
For EU citizens, there is no need for a visa to work in Malaga. All you will need is the Foreigners Identity Number (NIE) followed by a social security number.
Getting your NIE sometimes can be a tedious procedure, so we recommend you get started as soon as possible. You must make an appointment through this website or go to the Immigration Office located at the police station with all the required documents:
EX18 Spanish Residency Application form filled in
Passport and a copy
Carta Oferta Formal - you can ask your employer to provide you with it
Health Insurance information - find Spanish health insurance here
Your NIE will be ready right away. On this website you can find more information.
Once you have your NIE, your next step is getting your Social Security number at the closest Social Security office (Oficina de Seguridad Social). Their opening hours are usually between 9:00 am and 14:00 pm. In order to get your SS number you will need the following documents:
Carta Oferta Formal from your employer.
They will give it to you on the same day!
For non-EU citizens, a visa will be necessary to go to Malaga together with the NIE and Social Security Number.
Here are some tips to improve the chances of getting a job:
The work environment in Spanish companies is very welcoming. Most of your colleagues will exchange chit-chat during the workday, which makes it more enjoyable. Being punctual is essential to make a good impression. Also, teamwork, being motivated, and being decisive are highly valued skills.
The full working day is 8 hours with a lunch break of 1 to 2 hours, although some companies implement the intensive work-day (from 7 to 3 pm). This being said, working remotely has become more common and acceptable due to the COVID. Most of the companies are flexible about it and allow you to combine working from home with going to the office.
Regarding the dress code, companies opt for a semi-formal style. Although, if you work directly with the public, you most likely will be asked to wear a uniform.
One of the benefits of working in Malaga is that on the first Thursday of every month you will have the opportunity to meet with your colleagues after working hours and have a drink. This initiative established by the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Malaga aims to fight stress at work and promote "good vibes" between employers and entrepreneurs.
Malaga is a very well-connected city that offers a wide range of transport to choose from.
Malaga’s bus network is extensive and most lines are operational from 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., although there are also night-buses. You can check routes, schedules, and prices on the official site (both in English and Spanish). One trip costs €1, but you can also buy a bus card loaded up to 10 trips for €5.90.
The metro in Malaga has two lines, a total of 11.6 km of underground routes. Line 1 goes from El Perchel neighbourhood to Ciudad Universitaria and line 2 from Poligono Alameda to the Sports Palace. Both pass through the city centre. Check out the map for specific routes.
The metro is operational from Monday to Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Fridays and holiday's eves from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased directly on the bus or at the main stations and there are different types:
Malaga taxis are white with diagonal blue stripes on the front doors. All taxis have a meter in the front where you can see how much the journey costs. Normally the fee starts at € 3,7 and the cost per kilometre travelled is around €0.95 during the day and €1,15 during the night. Usually, you can expect to pay €5 for trips within the city centre.
Malaga's airport is one of the busiest in Spain and is perfectly connected to the entire Costa del Sol.
Apart from the taxis and train, the best and cheapest option is the A Express (L-75) bus line of the Malaga EMT. This urban line connects the city centre with the airport. One ticket cost €3 and the bus stop is located in Terminal T3, floor 0. You can check the itinerary of the bus using their website. The bus runs all day, there is one every 25-30 minutes and it takes about 15 minutes to get to the centre of Malaga.
If you are going or coming from Estepona, Marbella, or Nerja you also have a good connection with interurban buses.
The Andalusia region has cultural destinations that you cannot miss such as Seville, Córdoba, Granada and Cádiz. The best way to reach them, if not with BlaBlaCar or by bus, is to use the Spanish train: RENFE. Prices vary between € 20-40 depending on the destination. In addition, the Malaga station has a good connection with other cities in Spain, such as Madrid and Barcelona with high-speed train lines (AVE).
It is not surprising that there are countless car rental companies in Malaga. Some of these companies are located in the airport or around the city. One of the most famous is MálagaCar.com. It has a personalized pick-up service, 24-hour roadside assistance, and all-risk insurance included in the price.
Malaga is a city with a large number of both international and local students. Many young Spaniards choose Malaga as a destination due to its good location (sun and beach) and the wide range of studies available at universities and the jobs on offer, especially those oriented towards tourism and in the summer season. Therefore, if you choose Malaga as a destination, you will have the opportunity to meet young people from all regions of Spain, as well as international young people.
The Andalusian way of life is living outdoors enjoying time with your family and friends. This is not surprising since it is the sunniest region in Spain with more than 2,800 hours of sunshine per year. The good weather makes people happy and, on a daily basis, they enjoy their afternoons in the streets and bar terraces.
The official language of the city of Malaga is Spanish. If you speak Spanish, the Malaga accent can be a bit difficult to understand at first. A curious fact is that, in this part of Spain, the "c" - one of the most difficult letters to pronounce for foreigners - is pronounced as “s”. This will make your Spanish accent sound better than ever!
If you don’t speak Spanish, there is no problem as English is spoken in many places. Nonetheless, by working in Malaga you will have the opportunity to learn the second most spoken language in the world. Take this chance! We would recommend you to start signing up for an online academy or doing a basic language course.
Having a basic notion of Spanish will make your daily life much easier. The following platforms have a great variety of online courses that may be useful for you:
Additionally, there are different academies and centres for learning Spanish in situ. This option is also very suitable for interacting with people just like you and meeting new expats to practice the language daily.
Below you will find different websites where you can compare all the language schools and choose the one you like best based on your budget and needs:
Malaga is joy, passion, tradition, and good vibes. In Malaga, you can’t skip a good celebration. These are some of the most popular festivities in the city:
As you may already know, people from the south of Spain are very open and welcoming. Becoming friends with Andalusians is not a problem at all. Malaga people are very cheerful and funny. They are always open to having a conversation with you, so you will make friends easily to practice your Spanish with.
In addition to the locals, in Malaga, there is a large network of international people who study or work in the city. Moreover, to break the ice, there is a huge cultural offer of activities and a very lively nightlife.
Websites to meet new people:
Life in Malaga can be full with big events for international young people every year. These events include various excursions to interesting places, outdoor activities, sports leisure, parties, etc. Therefore, a great and youthful atmosphere is always in the air, which allows you to relate and get in touch with other people that share similar interests as yours, whether you are going to study (University) or to work.
The Province of Malaga is one of the most complete gastronomic regions in Spain and it is characterized by a very healthy diet, in particular, the Mediterranean diet (olive oil, vegetables, fish, etc.). The orography of the region, which combines both sea and mountains, makes it possible to enjoy good fish, tasty and fresh meats all year round.
Another important part of Andalucia gastronomy is "el tapeo". "Tapeo" or "going for tapas" is a gastronomic and essential social activity in Malaga practised on the terrace of bars or indoors, depending on the weather. One "tapa" is basically a small dish that is served in bars for free alongside the drink.
Some of the most typical dishes you should try at least ones are:
Regarding sports, Malaga gives you a fabulous opportunity to continue practicing every day. Thanks to its location, you will be able to practice water sports through sport clubs and private companies. If you are not much of a water person, do not worry, there are many alternatives, such as football, basketball, tennis, paddle tennis, etc. to practice with your friends in different facilities.
As soon as you arrive, ask for information from the nearest tourist office about the places closest to your location and find out about the prices, there are many activities, so you can choose the places you like best.
One of the main reasons to work in Malaga is its good location. It is a coastal city, with great kilometres of beach to enjoy every day. In general, the temperatures are pleasant all year round and during the summer consider taking a towel and swimsuit to enjoy the sea and sand with your new friends as the water is very warm. Here are some of the beaches we'd like to recommend:
If you like to party with your friends, you will love Malaga. There are wonderful discos on the beach, where you can enjoy a good atmosphere all day long. In addition, every month there are many parties dedicated to university students and in particular to international students and young people.
The areas where you can find the best night atmosphere are the historical part of the city centre that is plenty of "tapeo" places, El Palo and Pedregalejo. If you are looking for more modern and fashionable pubs, La Malagueta is your place!
If you find yourself having more time on your hands, there are many other interesting places to visit within Malaga, such as:
The cost of living in Malaga is cheaper compared to the other cities in Spain by as much as 45%. Malaga receives loads of international and national young people every year. That is why there are many apartments for rent to students and young professionals, at reasonable prices.
The prices for a room varies between € 150-€ 350 depending on the design and location of each property. We recommend you to search and compare in different online platforms such as Idealista, Milanuncios, and Badi. Also, through Erasmus Play, you can access the large range of accommodation for young professionals in Malaga, compare the prices of all online platforms, and book the one that best suits your budget and location.
The cost of services such as water, gas, and electricity is around € 97.10 per month for a flat of 85 square meters. Sometimes utilities are also included in the rent price.
The average price for a menu in a restaurant is € 9.90. Although, in more fancy establishments the cost could rise up to € 12.5 - 16.30 per person.
The price of other services:
Here is an estimation of how much a trip to the supermarket could cost you:
Have you already decided to move to Malaga? If what you like about Spain is its good vibes, its good weather, and delicious food, Malaga is the perfect job destination for you. Here you will find great job opportunities to progress in your professional career while enjoying an amazing quality of life.
About the authors:
Erasmus Play- Promoted by Spanish G9 Group Universities and supported by the European Union, Erasmus Play was founded to help international students find accommodation during their studies.
They are an accommodation search platform that aggregates a wide range of student housing in one place. Their goal is to guide students in their new environment and help them find the most suitable accommodation. Therefore, Erasmus Play works closely with Universities to offer the best experience for students abroad.