The ultimate guide to Málaga’s top 6 neighbourhoods


Updated on Jul 24 • 5 minute read

Being one of Spain's best cities to live in, Málaga’s neighbourhoods have a lot to offer for everyone. Located in sunny southern Spain, the city is known as the ‘Cultural Capital of the Costa del sol’. It offers gorgeous scenery, over 30 museums, and a distinct gastronomic scene. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best places to live in Málaga to make sure that you enjoy your time abroad to the fullest.

What is the best place to live in Málaga?

Depending on your preferences and cost of living you can afford there are many options to find the perfect place in Málaga. In this article we will walk you through 6 of the most popular neighbourhoods of Málaga:

  • Old town (Historic City Centre)
  • Soho
  • La Merced
  • El Perchel
  • La Malagueta
  • Teatinos

Málaga Neighbourhoods

1. Malaga neighbourhood: Old town

Quality of life

The historic city centre of Málaga is a popular area to visit. It offers many interesting museums, outstanding nightlife and restaurants with amazing traditional Spanish food. Living in ‘El Centro’ (as the locals call it) of Málaga means that your exciting Spanish life is just around the corner. You can go to a terrace to drink a glass of vino or visit some of the city’s monuments within walking distance.

Moreover, the public transport in the city centre of Málaga makes it easy to visit other areas as well. If you feel like taking a dive into the sea, the metro brings you to several beaches within no-time.


Málaga’s old town is a popular area, loved by tourists. Be aware that you have a high chance of bumping into a tourist when walking out of the door. If you’re excited about living in a vibrant area with many internationals, living in the old city centre might be the right choice for you. The old city offers some refurbished properties with high ceilings and other pretty details.


Living in the Old Town of Malaga is safe. As the streets are pretty crowded, you’d only have to worry about pickpockets. So no need to worry when you’re wandering in the idyllic streets of Malaga’s old town.

2. Málaga neighbourhood: Soho

Quality of life

Forget New York or London. Málaga’s trendy Soho area is where you want to be. Soho's located between the port and Alameda Principal. You can reach Soho within a 15-minute walk from the city centre.

Soho's home to many vibrant street art communities. This's a result of the MUAS project (Málaga Arte Urbano Soho) that was developed years ago with the goal of transforming the neighbourhood into an urban art canvas

If you aren't (that much) into art but do like skateboarding, you're going to love Soho! The Guadalmedina riverbed is now a skatepark, making it a great place for skating.


Soho's the place to be for creatives, whether they are Spanish or internationals. If you consider yourself to be a true hipster, living in Soho might be your dream come true.


One of the reasons why people like to stay in Málaga is because it’s considered to be a safe city. Soho too is an area where you can walk around at any time of the day, without needing to worry about your safety.

3. Málaga neighbourhood: La Merced

La Merced, Málaga's trendiest area, is located northeast of the old town centre. Being an important part of Málaga's historical heritage, the neighbourhood of La Merced used to be Pablo Picasso’s home!

Hot Tip! You will find Picasso's statue on Plaza de la Merced.

With many cafés, restaurants and street performers, the vibrant Plaza de la Merced is loved by many. Do you consider yourself to be a foodie? Living in this area could be the place to be, as the lively food market Mercado Merced is located here. Enjoy your daily cup of (good!) coffee at Doña Mariquita at Plaza Uncibay or go shopping in Mercado de Atarazanas.


Internationals are everywhere! Since this part of the city's popular with tourists , you can say La Merced is quite international.


Planning to live in La Merced? Don’t worry about safety, La Merced is considered to be a safe area.

4. Málaga neighbourhood: El Perchel

El Perchel's one of the oldest neighborhoods in Málaga. It’s a lot less touristy than the Old town, Soho and La Merced, as El Perchel's more of a working-class neighborhood. Many people who live in this area have a job related to the ocean. If you’re a fish lover, El Perchel might be heaven! You can find some of the freshest seafood here.

Not that much into eating (or working with) fish? You can still enjoy the authenticity of El Perchel nevertheless!


El Perchel's located a bit outside of the city centre, making it less attractive to internationals. However, El Perchel's a hidden gem if you like to live in a more traditional neighborhood. Imagine yourself stepping out of your door, walking around in the narrow streets of Málaga. This can be your new reality.


With the main population being locals, you can enjoy a calm stroll through the area’s old streets without worrying about your safety.

5. Málaga neighbourhood: La Malagueta

If you’d like to live close to the sea, La Malagueta's the area for you! With a 1,200m long beach spanning from Puerto de Málaga to Playa de La Caleta some call La Malagueta the best neighbourhood to live in Malaga. The area's located east of the Historic Centre and offers many luxurious hotels and beach bars for your downtime.

Step outside your high-rise apartment tower and smell the Mediterranean sea! The blue ocean is at your doorstep.


La Malagueta's loved by international expat families with children. The neighbourhood's peaceful and offers some international schools. This makes the area perfect for those looking for an international experience nearby the beach.


As the area's populated by young families, you can expect a safe living environment. In Malagueta, even the beaches are flagged as ‘safe’!

6. Málaga neighbourhood: Teatinos

If you’re planning to study in Málaga you should check out the Teatinos area.

This area is known as Málaga’s university district, which makes it popular among students and young families. Focused on an audience with a student budget, there are many cheap restaurants around to choose from.


Since Teatinos's a real university district, it’s home to many young international professionals and students. Even the restaurants in this area are used to non-native speakers and offer English menus. So if you would like to live in an international environment, be sure to check out Teatinos.


Surrounded by students and international families, Teatinos's a safe area to live in.

An overview: what are the best neighbourhoods in Málaga to live?

Teanitos is where the most expats live. You can expect to come across students and young families alike.

For families with young children, international schooling might be of importance. Málaga has a lot of international schools that are regulated by the local authorities. Check which schools are available in your neighbourhood on the website of Junta de Analucia.

If you prefer to live in an area with a lot of history, find yourself a place in the Old Town.

When you’re interested in living in an artistic and ‘hipster’ setting, make sure to check out Soho.

Do you want to have plenty of cafés around the corner? Have a look at La Merced, you might find the place of your dreams there!

For an experience far from the crowds, find your place in the authentic neighbourhood of El Perchel. (Especially if you’re into seafood!)

La Malaguata is the place to be when you’ve always dreamed of living next to the beach.

Now that you’ve learned all about the neighbourhoods, it’s time to find rental homes in Málaga and choose the perfect one for you!

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