Famed for Picasso, beaches and a beautiful old town, it’s no surprise that Malaga is one of Spain’s top holiday destinations.
But the beautiful Andalusian city is under threat from tourist overcrowding, according to one resident who spoke to Express.co.uk.
Lucia Polla, a travel expert on southern Spain, said Malaga has become “completely overwhelmed” by tourists.
She claimed: “As someone who calls Malaga home, I’ve seen this city skyrocket in popularity after being voted one of the best places to live in Europe.
“While I’m proud this shining gem is getting recognised, the rapid influx of tourists is threatening our tight-knit community and authentic local vibe.
“The sheer volume of visitors, especially in summer, has completely overwhelmed our compact city centre.
“Locals avoid venturing downtown in July and August with massive crowds cramming the narrow alleys and plazas. You can barely walk down Calle Larios or find a patch of sand on La Malagueta Beach anymore with endless tourists swarming.”
Playa de La Malagueta is Malaga’s city beach and would usually be a popular place for local residents to relax.
Lucia added: “This chaotic frenzy may be exciting for some, but for us residents it’s infringing on our day-to-day lives.
“Browsing the Mercado Atarazanas or admiring Plaza de la Merced’s architecture now require navigating dense swarms of distracted tourists. We can’t even enjoy a casual meal at our favourite tapas bar without hour-long waits.”
Despite locals’ frustrations, Malaga’s popularity shows no signs of waning as tourists are drawn to its warm weather and cheap flights.
For Lucia, the problem might be eased if tourists venture outside the city centre. She said: “While I want others to appreciate Malaga’s beauty, overtourism is threatening the authentic local charm.
“We cherish laidback neighbourhood spots where you can experience true culture away from the fanfare.
“I urge visitors to wander beyond the main sights and appreciate Malaga through a local’s eyes, you might just have the trip of a lifetime.”