One thing that expats in Malaga seem to agree on is that they love living in Malaga. In our latest expat post, Rachel Winspear from Spanglish Webs tells us what she’s doing in Malaga and why she loves living here.
When did you arrive in Malaga?
I arrived in Malaga when I was 11 years old, it was a cold February night and pouring with rain (not the typical Malaga weather). My parents had just bought a house in Spain and it was the first time I was going to see my new home. When I woke up the next morning I remember how amazed I was at how quickly the storm had past. The streets were already dry, not a cloud in the gorgeous blue sky.
Why did you arrive in Malaga?
My parents wanted a change, a new challenge in life. Starting a new life in another county seemed like a great adventure. So after house hunting in the Balearic islands and Costa Blanca they finally decided on the Costa del Sol and Malaga. We said we would try it for a year… and we never went back!
What were your first impressions of Malaga?
As I came off the plane for the very first time, I remember the different smell, a mixture of tobacco and the countryside… I never notice it now!
Other things that I noticed soon after coming to Malaga were that the Spanish people are so friendly – that seems to be part of their culture and that’s one of things I love about living in Malaga.
What do you think has changed most about Malaga since you arrived?
I’ve now been in Spain 20 years, a lot has changed since then. There are a lot more foreigners who now stay in Malaga, so the city has grown with the changes, with more international places to eat, more bars, new attractions and there are now many more things to do in the city.
Also the roads have improved a lot, I remember when we used to have to drive along what is now the old N-340 through the centre of Rincon de la Victoria and the centre of Torre del Mar to get to Nerja. We still get a lot of traffic in Malaga, but the motorway access and ring roads are so much better.
What do you like most about living in Malaga?
Everyday there is something new or different happening in the city, it really does feel like Malaga is growing all the time and its great to watch it happen and be a part of it.
Also, access to the city with buses and the metro have improved, so its easy to just pop in to the centre for just the morning.
Another thing I think we all love about living in Malaga is the weather… sunshine!
What do you like least about living in Malaga?
I think my least favourite things are more to do with Spain and aren’t just local Malaga problems. As everyone who has started a business in Spain will tell you paperwork and bureaucracy can take forever, the Spanish are not in a rush, everything is for mañana!
Also, being bilingual I watch the regular Spanish TV and I always find that all the evening primetime TV is shown far too late, I would much prefer to watch Masterchef at 10pm rather than at 1am!
Where’s your favourite corner in Malaga and why?
I love peaceful places and if its got a great view, even better, so my favourite place in Malaga is Gibralfaro. The views of Malaga are amazing. It used to be free to visit, but now there is a small charge, but definitely worth it.
Which is your favourite restaurant in Malaga and why?
I like a lot of restaurants in Malaga, but I think one of my favourites is the ‘Refectorium del Campanario’. It’s located at the top of Cerrado de Calderón, and has brilliant views down to the port and of the cathedral. As it’s out of the centre it’s not as well known and less touristy.
(Editor’s Note – this is 1 of our 5 best ‘Treat yourself’ restaurants in Malaga 🙂 )
Describe Malaga in 3 words
Colourful. Warm. Authentic.
I love living and working in Spain and the relaxed lifestyle. The freedom is great too!
Rachel’s originally from Bournemouth in the south of England, but has been living in Malaga for over 20 years. Now she lives just outside Malaga with her husband, son and 2 dogs.
Guide to Malaga would like to thank Rachel very much for her thoughts about living in Malaga and for taking the time to write them down for us. ¡Muchas gracias!
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Read more about living in Malaga in these other Malaga expats posts: