Malaga is the best place to live in the world

Nov 22nd, 2023

Malaga tops the list of global living destinations

Malaga, Spain, is now the best city in the world to live in for 2023, according to InterNations, the biggest community for people living abroad. This award shows that Malaga is not only a beautiful city but also provides a great lifestyle for its people. Let's explore why living in Malaga is so popular with both expats and locals.

The best and worst cities for expats according to The Expat Insider 2023 Report by InternNations.
Source: "Expat Insider 2023" InterNations

Why Choose Malaga?

Malaga, located in Andalusia on the Costa del Sol, is one of the world's oldest cities. It's famous for its long history, lively culture, and beautiful Mediterranean setting. As the birthplace of the famous artist Picasso, Malaga has a rich artistic and cultural life. The city's nice weather and delicious food enhance the quality of life, making it an ideal place for those who appreciate a mix of historical and cultural charm.

The iconic bridge located on the beach of the Marbella Club Hotel on The Golden Mile in Marbella.

What does this say about Marbella?

Malaga's ranking as the number one city for expatriates in 2023 also speaks volumes about its neighboring city, Marbella. Located just 40 minutes away from Malaga, Marbella shares many of the qualities that make Malaga so appealing. Known as the luxury town of Malaga, Marbella boasts exclusive properties, top-notch restaurants, and a lavish lifestyle. Its proximity to Malaga means that residents and visitors can enjoy the best of both worlds: the vibrant culture and high quality of life in Malaga, and the luxurious, upscale living in Marbella. This connection highlights Marbella's status as a premier destination for those seeking a blend of luxury and the rich cultural experience of the Costa del Sol.

Why Malaga Tops The List

The InterNations survey, which involved more than 12,000 expatriates from 177 nationalities, ranked Malaga at the top for several reasons:

  1. Local Friendliness and Quality of Life: Expatriates praised the local friendliness, which is a crucial factor for those settling into a new city. The quality of life in Malaga, enhanced by its climate and cultural offerings, stood out in the survey.
  2. Work and Leisure Balance: Malaga isn't just about leisure; it also scored high in the work and leisure balance category. This indicates that the city offers a harmonious blend of professional opportunities and personal well-being.
  3. Safety and Affordability: People also really appreciate the city's safety and has cheap public transport. Plus, there are many fun activities to do and a lively social life.

Spain's Overall Performance

Why Spain ranks high for expats

Spain is a top choice for expats, ranking 2nd out of 53 countries in the Expat Insider 2023 survey, and even taking the 1st place in the Quality of Life Index. Expats love living in Spain for many reasons:

  1. Great Quality of Life: Spain leads globally in offering a high quality of life. Expats are particularly happy with their health and well-being (4th) and leisure options (1st).
  2. Social and Cultural Integration: Expats find it easy to settle into the local culture, ranking Spain 2nd in this area. They enjoy a vibrant social life (10th) and feel at home in Spain, with 80% feeling more settled than the global average.
  3. Leisure and Healthcare: Spain is known for its leisure activities, consistently ranking in the top 10 since 2014. The country offers a rich cultural and nightlife scene, and opportunities for recreational sports, supported by its pleasant climate (3rd). Healthcare is another strong point, with expats satisfied with its availability and affordability.
  4. Building a Social Network: Many expats in Spain have a strong personal support network and are happy with their social lives, scoring higher than the global average in these aspects.

An impressive 87% of expats are happy with their life in Spain, significantly higher than the global average of 72%.

How Expats rate life in Spain according to the Expat Insider 2023 report by InterNations.
Source: "Expat Insider 2023" InterNations

Other top ranked Spanish cities

It's noteworthy that Spain, as a country, performed exceptionally well in the rankings, with five cities, including Malaga, Alicante, and Valencia, featuring in the top 20. This reflects the country's overall appeal in terms of lifestyle, ease of settling in, and personal finance management.

The Global Perspective

While Malaga shines bright, the survey also sheds light on global trends in expatriate satisfaction. Cities like New York and Miami, which previously enjoyed spots in the top 20, have seen a decline, mainly due to the high cost of living and work-life balance issues.


Malaga's ascent to the top of the world's best cities to live in is a story of a city that has managed to preserve its historical essence while evolving into a modern urban haven. It's a city where culture, comfort, and convenience converge, offering a lifestyle that's hard to match. Whether you're an expat seeking a new home or a traveler in search of your next destination, Malaga beckons with open arms and a promise of a life well-lived.

For a more comprehensive understanding and to dive deeper into the details, we encourage you to read the full Expat Insider 2023 Report.

Tessa Arts Digital Marketing Specialist

Tessa likes to think outside the box when it comes to marketing strategies and creating content. Her creative eye and interest in global trends keep Homerun's digital presence entertaining and up-to-date.

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