As the main economic and financial center of southern Spain, Malaga is of regional significance, with its logistics and transportation sectors enjoying strong growth in recent years.
Malaga, the birthplace of artist Pablo Picasso, is also culturally important and the city has a hot and dry climate that makes it an appealing place to live for foreigners.
Malaga has one of the busiest ports on the Mediterranean Sea, aiding its position as one of southern Europe's most important regional transportation hubs.
The city is served by Malaga Costa Del Sol Airport, which was one of the first airports to be built in Spain; it is currently the oldest still in operation in the country. Acting as the international airport of Andalusia, there are daily links with 20 cities in Spain, as well as regular flights to over a hundred cities in Europe. It is also possible to fly to cities such as New York, Toronto, Riyadh, St. Petersburg and Moscow from the airport.
Malaga has a high-speed rail line that runs from Malaga-María Zambrano Railway Station, while there are two commuter train lines — Cercanías and a metro system. The high-speed train makes Madrid reachable in just three hours from Malaga.
Many locals and expatriates living in Malaga get around the city by Empresa Malagueña de Transportes urban buses, while there are road links to Antequera and Córdoba in the north and Barcelona in the east of Spain. Gibraltar, Murcia and Almeria are easily reached by road.
Many important cultural events take place every year in Malaga, with one of the most popular being the Malaga Film Festival — Festival de Malaga Cine Español — which showcases Spanish cinema.
The Holy Week of Malaga is one of the world's oldest cultural institutions and sees processions take place from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday every year. The third of the big annual Malaga events is the August Malaga Fair (Feria de Málaga).
Football is the main sport in Malaga, just as it is in much of Spain. The local team, Malaga CF, plays in the top division of the Spanish league and reached the quarter-final of the Champions League in 2013. The club plays its home games at Estadio La Rosaleda, which has a capacity of just over 30,000.
Basketball is also popular in Malaga and CB Malaga plays in the ACB League. Major sports facilities in the city include the water center Centro Acuático de Malaga, athletes track Estadio de Atletismo Ciudad de Malaga and sports arena Jose Maria Martin Carpena Arena.
There are many fantastic rock climbing locations in and around Malaga, with the El Chorro Gorge well worth the 50-minute drive out of the city center. Malaga is famous all over the world for its pristine beaches, which get very busy during the height of summer.
The Museo Picasso Malaga and the Carmen Thyssen Museum are two of the most important cultural sites in Malaga, while the old Muslim palace, the Alcazaba, is also popular with tourists and expats living in Malaga.
Malaga is a relatively wealthy city and there is not a lot of crime in the area, but foreigners living in Malaga should still take care to be on their guard when in public places.
Theft of personal items is the crime expats living in Malaga are most likely to become victims of, with pickpockets operating in the busiest parts of the city center, especially during the height of summer when there is a large influx of tourists into Malaga and the surrounding area.
The phone number to report a crime to the national police in Spain is 091 and the local force in Malaga can be reached by dialing 092. The number for the ambulance service is 061 and the fire department's number is 080.