‘Lifestyle better than the UK’ – Digital nomads embrace Malaga amid warning

Digital nomads are said to be flocking to Malaga for a lifestyle that is better than the UK but a local warning has been sounded that everything is not well in the Andalusian city.

Economic activity is booming with with Malaga only behind Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia in that regard but with rents increasing as well as the footfall of tourists, in line with new attractions, there is a balance to be found.

The i newspaper has featured a digital freelance worker who is loving her experience on the Costa del Sol. Previously more of a gateway to other attractions nearby, Malaga is standing tall for itself, more than ever. Is it sustainable, will the boom last? Those questions and more will need to be found as prosperity has to include local people and the culture, rather than just a shop window for those passing through.

Both can co-exist and that will surely be the aim.

Irish woman Tori Clinton, aged 28, works remotely for a technology company from her current base in Malaga.

“Everywhere you look, there are people sitting with laptops,” she told i.

“People think you are off, not working, but I work better in such a gorgeous environment.

Clinton said it is hard to find a long-term rental apartment and pays €800 (£690) per month for a one-bedroom flat, which is expensive for Spain. Barcelona is the most expensive place to rent, followed by the capital.

“I am happy to pay €800 because I am so happy living here. I could see myself staying long-term,” she continued.

“Spain – here in particular – is not cheap. I am spending the same money as I would be back in the UK. But with the good weather, the lifestyle. There are so many things to do in the evenings. You are not going home at night to watch Coronation Street. There is a better lifestyle.”

Warning of the rising rents and costs in Malaga

The climate in southern Spain and the cafe culture is an obvious attraction, whether for a holiday break or relocation but there can be a tipping point.

That results in increased prices, like rental costs, as well as other knock-on effects.

José Lebrero, the curator of the Picasso Museum in Malaga, has said its popularity is a double-edged sword as evidenced by 641,000 visiting Picasso so far this year, a figure in excess of the population of Malaga.

“In some ways, it starts to be too many people and it starts to be disagreeable and the consequences are problematic,” he told the same source.

“The question is related to tourism. There starts to be too many tourists coming to the town and the local people leave. It is like a shop. Malaga is like Paris, Venice or Barcelona.”

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Written by

Graeme Hanna

Graeme is a freelance writer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland who has been writing full-time for the last three years. He specialises in football and Rangers FC in particular, as well as being on top of news and trending matters. His work has been published in titles such as Rangers Review, Give Me Sport, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon and the Belfast News Letter.