Next up in our series of expats in Malaga interviews is Joanna Karońska from Poland. She’s a relatively new arrival but she has already fallen for Malaga. Below she describes her love affair with the city (that didn’t start well) and how for her, living in Malaga is just perfect.
When did you arrive in Malaga?
I visited Malaga for the first time in May 2013 but only for the weekend. A month later, in June 2013 I arrived here to live, so 3.5 years ago. That might not still too long but it feels like ages to me.
Why did you arrive in Malaga?
My ex-boyfriend was offered a good job in Malaga and after long discussion he convinced me to move from Poland to Spain. We wanted to see what living in Malaga, in a ‘warm country’ was like, not when we were retired but still young and curious about the world. To start with we thought of it as an adventure for one maybe two years, but I fall in love in Malaga and decided to stay here.
What were your first impressions of Malaga?
It definitely wasn’t love at first sight! When I saw the ‘river bed’ without a river and then small, narrow streets between buildings and full dustbins in the city center I was scared. This wasn’t something I was used to seeing in Poland. But then I saw Malaga Port and this made up for everything. And as I discovered new places I realized that Malaga is a city with so much to offer and that my first bad impression was wrong. Now I know that it’s hard not to fall in love in Malaga!
What do you think has changed most about Malaga since you arrived?
Even a few short years, Malaga has changed such a lot. Malaga is developing more and more every year as the city invests in culture and new tourist attractions. It’s great to see so many more tourists from all round the world and I think Malaga has started to become a ‘small Barcelona’ in Andalusia.
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What do you like most about living in Malaga?
Obviously the first thing is the weather. The sunny days give me bags of energy and that feel-good factor. And the Malagueños make me feel at home. I just love their friendliness, openness and smiles every day. I also like the Spanish way of life, how everyone goes out for tapas to spend time with friends and celebrate time with them. Here, life is lived smoothly and easily and that is what I love the most about living with Malaga.
What do you like least about living in Malaga?
Homesickness for my family and country is the worst, but that’s normal when you’re living abroad. Also in Malaga it’s difficult to find typical Polish or European products which I miss.
Where’s your favourite corner in Malaga and why?
I have quite a few but my absolute favourite is Mirador del Gibralfaro. I go up there a lot with friends or on my own to take a breather, stop for a while and admire the view. And of course take photos. The views of the port and all the city at sunset is really relaxing and makes me feel that I’m in the place that I need to be.
Which is your favourite restaurant in Malaga and why?
I can’t say I have one favourite because Malaga offers so many great places with good food. On my list of the places I love are:
- La Recova for a unique breakfast
- Dulces Dreams for the chance to eat a full breakfast on the terrace
- Los Gatos for its typical Spanish atmosphere and tapas
- La Catedral del Pescaito for its amazing seafood
- El Patio Bodega for the good food and nice atmosphere
- El Ultimo Mono (not actually a restaurant but a café) for everything 🙂
Describe Malaga in 3 words
Charming, full of sun and life.
Joanna Karońska, originally from Poland, is an administration specialist and passionate about event management.
She is also the founder of MyMalaga.pl, a portal about Malaga and Andalusia for Polish tourists. She loves photography,
Spanish culture and writing articles where can share her love of Malaga with others.
At Guide to Malaga we’re very grateful to Joanna for taking the time to answer our questions and for sharing her passion for Malaga. And thanks to Joanna for allowing us to publish some of her photos. Thank you! ¡Muchas gracias!
Lots of the places in Malaga that Joanna loves are in our Guide to Malaga as the very best the city has to offer. Discover the rest (there are over 240 of them!).
Read more interviews with expats living in Malaga in our other interviews: