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Cost of Living in Malaga, Spain – One Month’s Spend for Travellers, Retirees and Nomads

Are you planning an extended stay in Malaga, Spain? Wondering how much a month in Malaga might cost? One of Spain’s most beautiful seaside cities has a lot to offer in the way of beautiful views and affordable living. It’s also a common destination for travellers and retired people. We stayed about a 10 minute walk outside of the historic old town.

When we decided to travel the world full-time, we set a monthly budget for ourselves of $2000 Canadian dollars (about $1,600 USD) per month. We know that it will vary depending on where we are in the world, but we plan to stick to it as best we can and hope it all evens out in the end. However, we knew in Spain it would be difficult to stick to such a low budget.

All figures below will be in US dollars. All costs are for both of us combined as a couple, not per person.

Let’s see how our cost of living compared to our budget:

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We use AirBnb for most of our accommodation for a few reasons. First, hosts tend to give substantial discounts when booking for at least 28 days. Our plan is slow travel so this AirBnb discount works great with our plans.

Second, when you use AirBnb, your internet, electricity, gas etc. are included in the total cost paid, so there are no surprises.

Finally, booking with AirBnb allows us to earn credit card reward points (we love free travel points! learn more here. We can also book in our home currency on AirBnb.ca to avoid paying foreign transaction fees.

We had a very simple one bedroom apartment in Malaga located in a perfect part of town. With quick walkable access to the old town and beaches. While simple, it had all of the amenities one would need for a long term stay. A well stocked kitchen, comfortable bed and beautiful rooftop terrace. An added bonus is the abundance of shopping in the direct vicinity for all of your daily needs. We wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again in the future . Click here to see the AirBnb !

Total cost for accommodation for the month: $1082 USD

If you’re looking for accommodations in the heart of Granada, check these great deals

  • Luxury AccommodationsGrand Hotel MiramarGL– The luxurious Gran Hotel Miramar GL is set in a listed XX century building and is located in Malaga, 10 m from La Malagueta Beach. This beachfront hotel has a spa centre and a seasonal pool.
  • Mid Range Accommodations –Vincci Larios Diez – Featuring a bar, Vincci Larios Diez is located in Málaga in the Andalucía region, 1.6 km from La Malagueta Beach and 1.9 km from La Caleta Beach
  • Budget Accommodations – La Farola – The apartment features 2 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an equipped kitchen with a microwave and a fridge, a washing machine, and 1 bathroom with a shower. Towels and bed linen are provided.

For more places to stay in Granada, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com

If you are on a really tight budget and don’t mind a hostel you can check out prices here.


Malaga is a beautiful seaside town on Spain’s southern coast. It boasts gorgeous beaches and several historical sites. From the the beautiful Alcazaba to the Cathedral and old Jewish quarter. Nearby Caminto Del Rey, once considered the most dangerous hike in the world, is a stunning hike if you are into that sort of thing. And a walk through this gorgeous town is absolutely free of course.

Total Cost for Activities for the month: $72 USD

Don’t want the hassle of planning excursions? Check out some of these tours and services

Dining and Groceries

During our time in Malaga our dining experiences covered a wide range of price points. From Tapas to really nice restaurants. The vast majority of the food we ate, was absolutely delicious. Check out our Malaga food tour below for some of our top picks! DO NOT miss the chicharrones at Casa Lola!

Looking for a guided food tour? Malaga Tapas Walking Tour

Total Cost for Dining out for One Month: $409 USD

While we love the dining out experience, we also have work to do. Therefore, we did a good amount of cooking for ourselves in our AirBnb. Having a fully equipped kitchen helps tremendously on these days. We made simple dishes like pasta, sandwiches, salads, eggs, etc.

Total Cost for Groceries for the Month: $304 USD

Cell Phone Plans in Spain

We spent three months in Spain so we purchased Orange Sim cards at the airport upon our arrival. The service is outstanding all the way around and the price can’t be beat for 30 days of data. This month we only had to top up each of our sim cards

Total Cost for Phone and Data for one Month for 2 people: $23 USD


We were very centrally located in Malaga so almost everything was walkable so we only had to purchase a few bus fares for things that were a little farther out and this month also included bus tickets from Malaga to Cordoba.

Total cost for Transportation for One Month: $53 USD


Being Canadian and American citizens we are allowed to stay within the Schengen zone for 90 days Visa free, so having no cost for this was a blessing.

Total Cost for Visa for one month: $0

Miscellaneous Expenses

This category covers pretty much everything that’s not included above. We choose to include alcohol in miscellaneous, because we do enjoy a beer or a bottle of wine from time to time while hanging around the Airbnb. You might not drink and if you are planning a budget you can easily omit this cost. This also included haircuts for the two of us.

Total Miscellaneous Costs for one month: $153

One thing we can’t live without while on the road full time – Saves us lots of money too!


Spreadsheet of monthly costs

Cost of Living for One Month in Malaga Spain

Looking at the table above, you can see that we came nowhere close to meeting or staying below our budget. Still, We are extremely pleased with this. It feels great to confirm what we always expected – living abroad can be much cheaper than in your home country. These numbers were about 1/2 of what our typical expenses would have been in Canada for one month.

Have you lived in Spain for any length of time? Were your numbers similar to our cost of living for one month in Malaga? Do you have any other tips for potential travellers? Leave a comment and let us know. We would love to hear from you.



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