First steps

Got somewhere to live? Got your papers in order? Probably not!

It’s an obstacle we all have to overcome… it’s all part of the experience!


Getting on the ‘padrón’ in Malaga

If you’re going to stay in Spain indefinitely, you should get yourself registered on the ‘padrón’ (population census). This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, this can be used as proof that you have been residing in the city and, secondly, this will allow you to sign up for a number of services such as private health insurance, gym memberships and phone contracts. What’s more, the government uses the data from the padrón to allocate funding to towns […]

How to get a NIE in Malaga

If you’re not Spanish and you’re planning on staying in Spain long term, the chances are that you will need a Número de Identidad de Extranjeros (known most commonly as a NIE). Why do I need a NIE? To get practically anything done in Spain, you need an identification number. For foreign nationals, the NIE is your all-purpose identification and tax number in Spain. You’ll need it for practically everything: opening a bank account, getting paid work, buying a property, […]

Registering and getting a Social Security number in Malaga

Registering with Seguridad Social (social security) is another essential step for anyone who would like to stay long term in Malaga, get a job and have access to free healthcare. You require a social security number for any work contract in order to start working legitimately and to begin making pension contributions. There are a number of social security offices close to the centre, in the area next to El Corte Inglés, as well as in El Palo. You can […]
centro de salud victoria malaga

Accessing public healthcare in Andalucía

If you have both your NIE and social security number – and you are in work – then you are entitled to free healthcare in Spain. There are a number of health centres (or ‘centros de salud’) in the centre but it is important that you go to the one that corresponds to your address. If you live in the historic centre, it is most likely that your affiliated centre is the one in the port on Avenida de Manuel […]
malaga panorama

Finding somewhere to live in Malaga

Just arrived in Malaga? You’ll need to find somewhere to live – and you’ll probably be looking to rent an apartment. With Malaga forging a strong reputation abroad, and the Covid pandemic, it’s trickier than ever to find an apartment or house that meets your needs… especially in the city centre. Prices have gone up a lot, especially with an increasing number of landlords choosing to convert their properties into holiday lets or to target Erasmus students. That said, if […]