Nueva Andalucia: Little Stockholm for large number of Swedes

By Julia Nilsson on - 13m. reading time

The Costa del Sol has always been popular with Nordic buyers. The attraction begins with tourism. According to the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE), a year before the COVID-19 pandemic, 5,169,195 Scandinavian tourists visited Spain, which represents almost 11% of total arrivals. Spain was a leading destination for international trips in the Nordic countries. The figures were surprising: in Sweden, Spain accounted for 13.3% of trips abroad, in Denmark 14%, in Finland 9.4%, and in Norway 13.4%.

Nowadays, even more Scandinavians enjoy their Spanish holidays. Reasonable by their standards prices make travel affordable. They come, fall in love with the climate, culture, food, services, shopping … and next thing you know, they are buying houses and apartments. The pandemic reality has speeded the process up. In 2021, Sweden overtook the UK as the nation with the most searches for Marbella property.

Attracted by healthy environment, superb choice of properties, business opportunities, easy flight connection, low interest rates, and higher quality of life for less money, the Scandinavians keep coming to Marbella and its surroundings. The Costa del Sol Tourist Board announced a new promotional campaign focused on Scandinavia. In 2024, the main areas of Spain for Scandi buyers remain the Costa del Sol (Marbella), Balearic Islands, and Costa Blanca (Valencia region).

Read about living in beautiful Marbella

Types of Nordic Buyers

A typical Swedish dream for retirement is buying a home for spending time in the sun, especially during the dark, rainy months. Ten years ago, Scandi buyers were mostly retired golf enthusiasts. Today, they are in the middle of their working life, aged between 30 and 50 years, and have underaged children. Lately, young “teleworkers” became a new type of buyers, who use their properties during winter and spend summer in Sweden, while renting their properties in Spain.

Find more information about remote work in Marbella

Luxury homes in Marbella area have always been attractive for the Swedish, but in post-pandemic era, the sector has seen significant activity. In 2022, Olive Press News wrote, “on the Costa del Sol, Swedes alone account for 30,000 people and make up 6.4% of all home sales to foreigners in Marbella.” According to Spanish Notaries Data and statistics, 13% of all properties sold in Malaga province are bought by Swedes. The registered population of Nueva Andalucia is around 20.000 people. The estimate, with the above statistics applied, would mean that in Nueva Andalucia there are more than 2.500 Swedes. Many of them live in the area permanently. The Swedish love affair with Marbella that started in the 1950s continues.

Read Drumelia’s guide to Nueva Andalucia and other Marbella’s prime locations

Why Does Nueva Andalucia Attract Swedes?

  • The area is very family-oriented, so are the Swedish people. The location is ideal as it is residential, close to everything, and ticks all of the boxes. Nueva Andalucia offers the infrastructure, healthcare, security, healthy lifestyle, educational, sports and entertainment facilities, and all of those fundamental things that are important if you move your family and your kids, and want to feel happy. Discover about fabulous living in Nueva Andalucia
  • Marbella is booming with Swedish newcomers and they bring the snowball effect. The more are buying, the more follow. Another thing, more and more Swedish influencers are going to Marbella, promote the gorgeous lifestyle to all their followers back in Sweden, and create a huge interest among both young people and entrepreneurs seeing the opportunities available.
  • Swedes love-love-love playing golf. Nueva Andalucia with its Golf Valley has an excellent reputation amongst the Scandinavians. Find out about golf clubs and golf courses in Marbella

Discover a wealth of golf properties for sale in Nueva Andalucia and Marbella

Source: Drumelia Website Reference D3595
  • The Swedish community appreciates Swedish schools, Swedish restaurants and bakeries, Swedish grocery stores (Spisa and Scandi Market), Swedish esthetical clinic, Swedish doctors and dentists in Nueva Andalucia. Services in Scandinavian languages, from hair stylists to real estate agents, lawyers, travel agents, etc. make being here even more convenient. Many restaurants have menus in different languages, including Swedish, and some golf courses, hotels and resorts offer brochures in Scandinavian languages.
  • In Sweden, remote working was nothing new; even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 60% of jobs had an element of it. If people can be based anywhere, why not in a beautiful sunny place like Marbella? There are ideal properties for sale in Nueva Andalucia with home offices and high-speed Internet, technological environment, optimal Wi-Fi, excellent Internet coverage, co-working and green spaces, business centres, great potential for entrepreneurship, reasonable prices and high quality of life.
    • Svenska Skolan Marbella, Swedish International in Estepona and Svenska Skolan in Fuengirola offer the same curriculum like in Sweden. Founded in Nueva Andalucia in 2003, Marbella’s Swedish School, had a new extension in 2023, with more classrooms to accommodate more students.

You can learn about education in Marbella

  • As the coast attracts more Scandinavians, the airlines add more routes, which makes it easier and cheaper to get here. Norwegian Airlines flies from 10 Scandinavian destinations to Malaga airport. Ryan Air and SAS offer direct flights. Malaga and Gibraltar international airports are less than 1 hour away from Nueva Andalucia.
  • The Swedish consulate in Malaga (46-min from Nueva Andalucia) helps with practical information and passport renewals.
  • Svenska kyrkan, the Swedish Church, is located in Fuengirola, 27 min. away from Nueva Andalucia.

Additional advantages:

  • Since 1995, Swedes as EU citizens can work or retire in any member state, without residence or work permits.
  • It’s not difficult to find a job for Scandinavians. Just open FB: “Jobs for Nordic speakers”, or Job Finder Spain: “Jobs for Swedish- speaking residents”, etc.

Discover Drumelia’s vacancies

  • It’s easy to start your own business.
  • Scandinavian passion for sail is world-famous. The Costa del Sol ports and marinas are the marvels, and warm climate allows enjoying recreation on the water all year round.
  • It’s easy to find Swedish expats via InterNations Marbella, and get insider suggestions from Swedish fellows, where to get best köttbullar or where in Marbella your hometown team’s match is shown on TV.

Would you like to gain first-hand information?

Born in Gothenburg, Alexander Ackermann has always been aware that enjoying life is something to be learned from Mediterranean people. Now, Drumelia’s Youtube Manager shares his experience of living in Nueva Andalucia and combining advantages of his native country with the Mediterranean lifestyle acknowledged by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Marbella Through the Eyes of a Swede

By Alexander Ackermann

Nueva Andalucia, where do I start? To me, it feels like subtropical and more beautiful ´Sweden´. I do feel like home, strangely enough never having been here prior to moving some months ago.

To be honest, I love Nueva Andalucia more than the rest of Marbella. Don’t get me wrong, Marbella overall is beautiful. Mountains and sea, extraordinary beaches, nature and luxury, stress-free lifestyle, comfort, safety, much to see and much to do. However, Nueva Andalucia has something truly special…old but updated and modern, luxurious but also suburban. Such a mix of both worlds! Thanks to its higher elevation, you have incredible sea and town views, and stunning La Concha Mountain is seen from practically everywhere. Sunsets and sunrises are just incredible.

I also find the infrastructure excellent. Nueva Andalucia is well planned, with wide streets, lots of greenery, open but cosy spaces, and its design highlights Marbella's signature natural beauty. Everything is within walking distance or a few minutes’ drive (if you live up towards La Quinta): stores, restaurants, gyms, golf courses, international schools, nightclubs, hotels, Saturday street market, Marbella Arena, a one-of-a-kind event venue with the biggest dome in Europe.

It takes me 10 minutes to walk down to El Corte Ingles or Puerto Banus marina. There you have the Blue Flag awarded beaches, trendy beach clubs, shopping malls, designer boutiques, cinema, and just anything you may need.

Come to know about living in glamorous Puerto Banus!

On the weekends, I like walking through Nueva Andalucia down to the port. I stop by Ground Marbella for a cup of coffee, just to watch people, enjoy the sun and relax. That's what I love specially about Marbella. There’s no big city rush, no skyscrapers making you feel small. All is in just the right amount, and harmony is everywhere.The main things for me here are the palms, sea, beaches, climate, safe environment, interesting people and plenty of opportunities. No stress, just pleasant life and work that I love. Most importantly, as a resident I always feel safe.

Source: Breathe Restaurant Marbella Website

You can take a bus to Marbella’s Old Town (5 km), which is full with culture, history and family-owned businesses. Coffee shops are in every corner and outside seating is filled with Spaniards drinking ‘cervezas’ or a hot (!) coffee in the sun. Ice Coffee is not a thing here, or at least not as big in the US or Sweden (if you order an Iced Coffee here, you get a ́slush ́ milked version with ice gone down a blender).

Filled with Swedes, Nueva Andalucia is indeed like Little Stockholm, as they have nicknamed it. I remember my first night here. I went down to what I thought was a local Italian restaurant, Fat Mama Trattoria. Guess what? I did not hear a single Spaniard or Italian, only Swedes wherever I turned, and it was pretty funny. You can meet or hear Scandinavians in the store, at cafes, out on your walks, in the buildings where you live. Scandi shops and stores provide tastes of home.

Things that make it a little extra like home

  • SPISA: the coolest food destination with almost all tasty Swedish things you crave being away from home. The Swedish grocery store has a deli, lounge area, fast food restaurant Sibylla and super friendly Swedish staff. Here, you are treated like a Swede, even if you are not. I always find myself walking in here, sometimes to just sit and work, or have a cup of coffee with a freshly baked pastry, or traditional Swedish food.
Source: Spisa Supermarket Website
  • Little Scandi Market next to La Campana was the first Swedish store on the coast, so I’ve heard.
  • Due to the high number of Scandinavians, there are many Swedes-oriented companies, especially around Centro Plaza. Kitchen and Design Brands, Scandinavian Beds, Swedish Estetica Clinic, Swedish beauty salons, medical practitioners, dentists, law firms, etc. These places always have Scandinavian staff. It’s both charming and annoying (hahaha). I am sure it's of great comfort to many Scandinavians who live here.
  • People. Just walking in Nueva Andalucia or visiting stores and restaurants, you will soon realize what I mean. You’ll either hear or see them (us), pretty much wherever you go. To meet new friends, share a chat, ask for advice or direction in your own language… a strange but nice feeling!

Another thing than has surprised me. The process of moving here, as a European, is easier than I thought. Essentially, it's a plane ticket, a place to stay, NIE number … and that's it. If you are coming here for a long vacation, you can work remotely without any problem. To get a job as a non-Spanish speaking employee is also fully possible. In fact, many companies encourage internationals to come and work here due to our work ethics and local demand in different languages and experiences. Once here, there are Spanish language schools available, locals to learn from, and colleagues to help you.

If you are interested in living or visiting Little Stockholm on the Costa del Sol, don’t hesitate to contact me by email [email protected]. I’ll do my best to make you feel like exactly like I feel here, at home.

What properties Scandinavians like to buy

Source: Drumelia Website Reference D3546

Scandinavians invest mostly in newly build properties with contemporary and minimalist design, casually chic rooms, clean lines, neutral colour palette and modern furnishings. It makes it perfect for the current trends and fashions in Marbella.

Whether it is a frontline golf penthouse in Alcores del Golf, a luxurious villa in Los Naranjos, a Scandinavian-inspired unit in La Cerquilla. Nueva Andalucia has properties for everyone.

Are you are interested in a holiday property? Look at this renovated apartment in Les Belvederes with panoramic sea views, or a stylish Scandinavian-inspired ground floor unit.

Best real estate agents for buying properties in Marbella

With years’ experience of managing sales of properties to the clients from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, Drumelia offers a wide portfolio of both re-sale and new homes for sale, and its native Nordic languages-speaking team members are always ready to help.

Contact us with your dreams, hopes and ideas, and let our team find you the perfect place in the sun.

Interesting facts

  • Scandinavians make up around 8% of foreign residents in Malaga province, although they are equal to less than 5% of the EU population.
  • Finland (not a Scandinavian but Nordic country) has the largest Finnish community in the world, outside of Sweden, in Fuengirola. It started in 1970s, when professional Finnish athletes established a training center to take advantage of the Costa del Sol’s climate.
  • Scandinavians think about Spain as “the land of fiestas, flamenco, sangria, tapas and passion, with super social people without need of personal space.” Spanish think about Scandinavians as “beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed and well-paid people”, “everyone is depressed in Scandinavia before they come to Spain.”
    Other nations’ opinion, “Scandinavia is introvert central, while Spain is extrovert on steroids.”
  • The favourite saying of Swedes about Spain is, “no matter what day of the year, there is always a fiesta in Spain.”
  • “Revolution of a Sueca.”
    A Madrid businessman described 1960’s as the ‘Revolution of a Sueca’ and immortalised the word. Suecas are blonde girls from Northern Europe (typically Sweden), and they changed everything for Spanish highly Catholic culture: “We were puritans. Then came the Suecas, young, blonde, laughing. Once they stripped down to their bikinis, and we saw what the human body could be, the old laws simply could not be enforced. A Sueca had a limited vacation and no time to waste. When our Spanish gallant started to go into his romantic slow set act, she just said, ‘Sure, where?’. The revolution was profound. Its effects are greater, in the long run, than those of the labour unions.”


Julia Nilsson
Lead Editor Julia Nilsson

Cosmopolitan since birth, Julia is multilingual and has a doctorate degree in international auxiliary languages as means of intercultural communication.…