Spend your work break at noon on the beach and your afternoon at a tapas bar. Nowadays, the center of operations does not necessarily have to be in Germany it can be located in warmer regions. But what criteria does an ideal telecommuting destination need? When choosing a location-independent workplace, the following factors are important: Internet connection, weather, cost of living, healthcare system, opportunity for networking and leisure activities.
Here are ten reasons why Malaga is a good place for teleworkers and digital nomads:
1. Good weather and a pleasant atmosphere
Malaga has more than 300 sunny days a year and it is never cold, not even in the winter. In January, the temperatures on the Costa del Sol are pleasantly around 18 degrees and the rains are very scarce. The warm and temperate Mediterranean climate provides Malaga with mild winters and warm, sunny summers. The climate also influences the way of life in this southern Spanish city: the inhabitants are welcoming, friendly, and familiar with foreign visitors. And during the mandatory coffee with milk in the morning at the bar next door, you can always chat with some folks before you start working.
2. Good gastronomy and low cost of living
The coffeehouse is part of the Andalusian life and prices are quite reasonable. This is why it is quite normal to have breakfast and lunch in these coffeehouses. For example, a slice of toast and coffee with milk for breakfast rarely costs more than 2 euros, and a beer along with a tapa costs around 2.50 euros. From a culinary point of view, fish is the main food in Malaga. The port city is well known for its “fried fish” and for its “espetos” (skewers of sardines). In addition to the innumerable typical cafes, bars and beach bars in Malaga, there are, also restaurants that are in another category in terms of price and that offer a variety of exquisite dishes.
Compared with Germany, the prices of the shopping cart in Andalusian supermarkets are almost the same, although in the food market, produce, fruits, meats and especially fresh fish are cheaper. A special experience is the Atarazanas market in the city center, where you can enjoy delicious tapas. Finally vegetarian, vegan and organic products are more readily available in both small and large stores.
3. A Good Internet connection and a good infrastructure to work with your laptop
Internet connection in Malaga is similar to those in a modern city. Both tourist apartments and most cafes have Wi-Fi and the download speeds reach 50 Mbps, even in public places. For those who love to work outdoors, one of the most popular places to work among digital nomads is “Café con Libros.” The café is located on the Plaza de la Merced and offers indoor and outdoor seating. On the internet you can find many other similar cafes with Wi-Fi.
4. Good opportunity for networking
The Costa del Sol is popular for tourist as well as for the most important multinational technology companies. The Malaga Tech Park, the main component of the “Malaga Valley” innovative ecosystem, is constantly growing and has more and more foreign employees each day. The University of Malaga has an excellent reputation. Many renowned international companies have established their headquarters in Malaga.
Unlike digital nomad hot spots such as Bali or Thailand, Malaga is still unknown to telecommuters; however, several workspaces and Facebook groups have already been established for digital nomads and expats. Contacts can be made in the following link: https://www.internations.org/malaga-expats/de.
“The Living Room” coworking space is a good place to meet other digital nomads in Malaga and build professional and personal relationships. It has two locations in the trendy Soho neighborhood in central Malaga and welcomes foreigners with open arms. Michael Nold, a German citizen, has also created a space for digital nomads called Coworking Málaga.
5. Good transport connections through the airport, quick access, good infrastructure
The Malaga international airport is the fourth largest in Spain. The main airlines offer daily direct connections from Germany, Switzerland and 30 other countries. It doesn´t matter if you wish to visit the Costa del Sol or continue your journey to another region, from Malaga you can easily explore the entire Andalusian region. Thanks to the large number of visitors, there are very cheap offers for car rentals. The Andalusia motorways are, without exception, well maintained. The high-speed train is also a good option given you can reach Madrid in 2.5 hours. In Malaga there are numerous bus connections. Also, recently expanded bike lanes are widely used. The main form of transportation in this coastal city is the motorcycle which is quickly being replaced by the electric scooter which allows you to move throughout the city year-round and easily find parking. Depending on the length of your stay, you can buy or rent one of the many mint green a scooters found in the city.
6. Generally affordable rentals and cheap office space
The accommodation costs for a teleworker in Malaga depends on several circumstances. Are you looking for an apartment in a central location, on the beach or inland? Is the rental just for a few months or for long term? The time of year also influences rental prices. There are very interesting options, avoiding the summer high season, starting at around 500 euros a month. There are many short-term holiday rentals in Malaga.
7. Cheap private health insurance
Spain has a national social security system, called the “Seguridad Social,” which combines all health benefits, nursing care and pension insurance. The contributions are significantly lower than in Germany.
As a German, you are most likely insured by the state or privately through the German health system. Most health insurance companies allow a limited stay in other European countries and therefore cover medical expenses in Spain in case of illness or emergency. To get this coverage, you must apply for the European Insurance Card at your health insurance company.
If the stay in Spain is longer than 3 months, the basic requirement to access the State health services through the Foreigners Registry.
In Spain, private health insurance can be contracted in addition to or as a substitute to the state one and it is typically cheaper than in Germany. Many health insurances companies, like the German DKV, offer coverage in Spain. You can also register in Spain as a self-employed person and thus automatically have medical insurance. Self-employed people must pay a 60 -euro per month “flat rate” for those who start their professional activity. In any case, it is best to hire a tax advisor to carry out these first steps.
8. Good international schools
The province of Malaga has many bilingual and international schools following the official curriculum from other European countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden. There is also a German school called the Deutsche Schule Malaga, located near Marbella. This school is an independent private school approved by the Spanish and German educational authorities and recognized as an official school abroad. In 2008, it was the first school in the world to receive the “Excellent German School Abroad” seal of approval.
9. Wide range of leisure
The leisure possibilities in Malaga are enormous. Due to the climate, the beaches of the city, as well as those in the surroundings areas, are always a point of reference. Swimming, sailing, windsurfing and the possibilities for other water sports are endless. You can hike in the nearby Montes de Malaga mountains. Lastly, the Sierra Nevada ski resort is easily accessible in less than two hours from Malaga.
With 3,000 years of history, Malaga has many historical sites such as the roman theater, Alcazaba castle and cathedral. Malaga is also home to many museums like the Picasso birthplace Museum, the Pompidou Centre or the Carmen Thyssen Museum. In the local harbor, one can sit in the evenings and watch yachts or people strolling by, if you aren´t already sitting in a tapas bar in the vibrant city center. Finally, Malaga has numerous language schools for those who wish to learn or improve their Spanish. Malaga is the perfect place.
10. Safe European country
Spain is considered a safe European country and the Andalusia region even safer. Malaga is a well-known tourist destination yet everything remains calm and comfortable for a large city of 600,000 inhabitants. In case of emergency, a return direct flight to Germany takes just 3 hours by plane.