50 Best Things to Do in Málaga SpainFrom its historic heart to its shimmering coastline, Malaga is more than just a stopover destination. Having lived in and visited Malaga for over 20 years, believe me when I tell you that it is easily one of the most vibrant cities in Europe and has always been one of our favorites! And why do we love it?
For one, the city has an amazingly rich history that dates back nearly 3,000 years (making it one of the oldest cities in the world) and has been influenced by the Phoenicians, Romans, and Moors. You'll learn more about this fascinating history when you visit some of its most historic sites, like the Alcazaba Palace, Gibralfaro Castle and the Roman Theater.
Malaga is also known as the birthplace of the famous artist Pablo Picasso. The city pays tribute to its most famous son with the Museo Picasso Málaga (located in the winding streets of the old town), which houses more than 200 pieces of his work. Malaga is a city of the arts 🎨 with more than 15 different museums!
** City Streets - Malaga, Spain
Another highlight of this bustling city is that it is the gateway to the Costa del Sol 🌞, the famous sun-drenched stretch of coastline in southern Spain. While the city itself has beautiful beaches, it is also a wonderful starting point for those who want to explore more of Andalucia.
While you're here, don't miss Malaga's other picturesque coastal towns and resorts (Nerja and Marbella), natural wonders (Caminito del Rey and Nerja Caves) or charming inland mountain villages (Mijas and Frigiliana).
Whatever your interests, you are sure to find something special in Malaga. So read on to discover the 50 BEST things to do in Malaga... that you will not soon forget!
Malaga Spain ➜ The Ultimate Guide 2023!
- Where is the City of Malaga?
- Distances to Other Cites from Malaga
- Best Places to Stay in Malaga
- 50 Amazing Things to Do in Malaga!
- Top Activities! More Things to Do in Malaga!
- 9 Best Shopping Areas in Malaga
- When is the Best Time to Visit Malaga?
- Malaga Spain ➜ How to Arrive by Plane
- Malaga Spain ➜ How to Arrive by Train
- Malaga Spain ➜ How to Arrive by Bus
- Malaga Spain ➜ How to Arrive by Car
- Malaga Spain ➜ How to Arrive by Taxi
Where is the City of Malaga?The city of Malaga, which serves as the capital of the province of Malaga, finds its home in the sun-drenched south of Spain (in an area known as Andalucia). It enjoys a privileged location directly on the shores of the Costa del Sol, dipping its toes in the shimmering Mediterranean Sea.
The two nearest major cities are Granada, 1 hour and 45 minutes to the northeast, and Cordoba, 1 hour and 40 minutes to the north. The world-famous summer resort of Marbella is just 50 minutes west along the coast.
Distances Between Cities and Malaga Spain
|Sevilla||Malaga Spain||2 hr|
|Cordoba||Malaga Spain||1 hr 40 min|
|Cadiz||Malaga Spain||2 hr 20 min|
|Granada||Malaga Spain||1 hr 25 min|
|Almeria||Malaga Spain||2 hr 50 min|
|Costa Tropical||Malaga Spain||55 min|
|Nerja||Malaga Spain||50 min|
|Marbella||Malaga Spain||45 min|
** Skyline with Cathedral - Malaga, Spain
Malaga Spain ➜ HistoryThe history of Málaga is fascinating. Beginning in the 3rd century B.C., the Romans arrived and left their mark on the city. Under the Roman Empire, Málaga (then known as "Malaca") was a flourishing coastal settlement. It became a strategic port where goods such as olive oil, fish sauce and wine 🍷 were shipped throughout the Roman Empire, making it an early hotspot for trade and exchange. Today you can still see remnants of these early settlers by visiting the Roman Theater... one of the oldest surviving ruins in Spain.
Later, in the 8th century, the Moors, under the leadership of Abd al-Rahman I, played a pivotal role in Malaga. He was the emir (or prince) who not only founded the Umayyad emirate of Cordoba, but also influenced places like Malaga, making it a notable city during Islamic Muslim rule in Spain. The Moors, especially under leaders like him, brought incredible architecture to Malaga (hello, Alcazaba fortress!).
Fast forward to the 19th century and we meet Manuel Agustín Heredia, a super influential businessman in Malaga. His knack for business, especially with his company "La Constancia" (a massive iron foundry!), was a game changer for the city, sparking an industrial boom 💥 and making Malaga a heavyweight in the world of trade and manufacturing. His ventures inspired other businesses that helped transform the city into the bustling and prosperous place it is today.
Best Accommodation in Malaga Spain!Malaga is known for its variety and quality of accommodations, catering to a wide range of visitors from those seeking luxury to the budget-conscious. Given its popularity as a tourist destination, the city offers a wide range of options, including opulent 5-star hotels, charming boutique hotels, hostels, villas, and modern, upscale apartments.
Malaga's Luxury HotelsThe two most luxurious hotels in Malaga are:
- The Gran Hotel Miramar: Often referred to as the most luxurious hotel in Málaga, the Gran Hotel Miramar overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel offers well-appointed rooms, a sumptuous spa, several dining options and lush gardens. It's housed in a historic building from the 1920s.
- The Vincci Selección Posada del Patio: Located in Malaga's old town, this hotel offers beautifully decorated rooms, a rooftop pool overlooking the city, and a glimpse into the past with remnants of Malaga's ancient walls visible throughout the hotel.
** Gran Hotel Miramar & Vincci Selección Posada
Malaga's Mid-Range HotelsIn recent years, Malaga has seen a significant increase in boutique hotels and charming bed and breakfasts. Many of which are located in historic buildings within the old town, and combine traditional Andalucian architecture with modern amenities. Often offering rooftop terraces with views of the city, Malaga's mid-range hotels have become popular with those looking for comfort at a good price.
Our top picks for the best mid-range hotels in Malaga are the Palacio Solecio, a small boutique hotel in the center just a quick walk from the Alcazaba and the Picasso Museum, and the Molina Lario, a beautiful hotel in a 19th century building with a sun terrace and rooftop pool overlooking the Malaga Cathedral.
Malaga Hostels & Low Cost OptionsMalaga's hostel scene has also flourished in recent years due to the city's growing popularity among backpackers and young visitors. Many of these hostels are located in the heart of the historic center and are very budget friendly. They are also known for their communal atmosphere, with some offering shared rooms and activities.
The best hostel options in Malaga are the TOC Hostel Malaga, which is located in the heart of the city and has air-conditioned rooms, a shared lounge, free WiFi, a bar, a shared kitchen and private bathrooms, and the COEO Pod Hostel , which is located in the old town not far from the Plaza de la Merced. It offers a common lounge, free WiFi and a bar.
** TOC Hostel Malaga - Malaga, Spain
The TOP 50 Things to Do in Malaga!There is a seemingly endless list of things to do in Malaga, from exploring centuries-old Moorish castles and Roman ruins to enjoying contemporary art museums, beach activities and culinary treats. So no matter when you come or what your interests are, you are sure to find an endless number of activities to keep you entertained.
Whether you're staying for a month, a weekend or just passing through, read on to find out the 50 BEST things to do in Malaga Spain!
** Tourist Visiting the Alcazaba - Malaga, Spain
When visiting Malaga, you can't miss its most emblematic monument... the Islamic palace known as 'La Alcazaba', dating from the early 11th century. It is one of the best preserved Alcazabas in all of Spain.
You can access the fortress via an easy climb from the old town and meander through its gardens and along its ancient walls at your own pace. The palace inside the fortress has beautiful arches, courtyards, reflecting pools, gurgling fountains and intricate, geometrically patterned tilework covering the walls... a wonderful blend of Roman and Arabic influences.
Tickets are inexpensive, 3.50 for adults, and on Sundays after 14:00 you can get in for free. The visit should only take about an hour. You also have the option of purchasing an audio guide for an in-depth history of the Alcazaba.
If you are interested, there are also guided tours, which are an even better way to learn more about the fascinating history of Málaga, the Catholic Monarchs, and their ultimate defeat of Moorish rule, both in the city of Málaga... and in the rest of Andalucia.
** The Alcazaba Palace - Malaga, Spain
😎 Combination Entrance Tickets: (Roman Theatre + Alcazaba + Picasso Museum)
The Alcazaba Palace:
|1st April to 31st October (daily)||9:00 to 20:00|
|1st November to 31st March (daily)||9:00 to 18:00|
|Price:||One monument: €3.50
Two monuments: €5.50
|Group Price:||One monument: €2.50
Two monuments: €4.00
|Reduced Price:||One monument: €1.50
Two monuments: €2.50
|Sunday Price (after 14:00):||FREE|
The Malaga Cathedral
** Malaga Cathedral - Malaga, Spain
The Cathedral of Malaga, which stands proudly in the heart of the old town, is one of the tallest and most beautiful cathedrals in Spain. It is known by the locals as "La Manquita", which translates to "The One-Armed Lady"... and received this nickname because of its famously unfinished second tower.
Built in a mixture of Renaissance and Baroque styles, the cathedral is surrounded by a lush garden of fragrant orange trees. Inside you will find beautifully crafted mahogany and cedar choir stalls designed by Pedro de Mena that show the excellent craftsmanship of the 17th century. Also of note are two important 18th century organs containing over 4,000 pipes. Take a guided tour!
😎 Combination Entrance Tickets: (Alcazaba + Málaga Cathedral + Roman Theatre)
|Monday - Friday||10:00 to 20:00|
|Saturdays & Holidays||10:00 to 18:00|
|Sundays||14:00 to 18:00|
The Picasso Museum
** The Picasso Museum - Malaga, Spain
Throughout his life, Pablo Picasso created a staggering number of pieces, estimated to be around 50,000, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, prints, and even textiles. He is best known for co-founding the Cubist movement, and his innovative styles, such as Symbolism and Surrealism, had a significant impact on 20th century art.
The Picasso Museum in Malaga houses a collection of 233 of his works, generously donated by his daughter-in-law and grandson. The exhibition, which is located in the heart of the historic quarter, doesn't just cover one period of his work, but includes pieces that span his entire career as an artist... making it really interesting to see how his art has evolved over the years.
The museum is housed in the Palacio de Buenavista, a beautiful Renaissance and Mudejar-style building, and it's a wonderful place to see this collection because of Picasso's deep connection to the city. Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in Málaga, Spain. Buy Tickets Online - Skip the Line!!
😎 Combination Entrance Tickets: (Roman Theatre + Alcazaba + Picasso Museum)
Picasso Museum Málaga:
|Tuesday to Sundays:||10:00 to 19:00|
|Monday, 1st January, 1st May, 24th June, 25th December||Closed|
Ticket Office: €13.00
|Thursday afternoons after 17:00, First Sunday of month||FREE|
The Roman Theatre
** The Roman Theatre - Malaga, Spain
The Roman Theatre ("Teatro Romano") is located at the foot of the famous Alcazaba fortress, in the city center, making it easily accessible.
The Roman Theater was rediscovered in 1951 (during construction work) after being buried for several centuries. It is estimated to date back to the 1st century AD, during the reign of Emperor Augustus, and was probably in use for more than three centuries before being abandoned.
Since its rediscovery, extensive efforts have been made to restore the ancient theater and reopen it to the public. Today, it hosts various live performances and events... reviving its original purpose in ancient times. Take a guided tour!
😎 Combination Entrance Tickets: (Roman Theatre + Alcazaba + Picasso Museum Málaga)
** Gibralfaro Castle - Malaga, Spain
Gibralfaro Castle (Castillo de Gibralfaro) was built in the 14th century by the Nasrid King Yusuf I of Granada. It was strategically located on Mount Gibralfaro to defend the Alcazaba fortress below (the former palace of the Muslim rulers).
In 1487, during the Reconquista, Gibralfaro Castle was the site of an important siege when the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabella) attacked the Moorish rulers of Malaga. It withstood the conflict for several months, becoming a symbol of resistance and later a reminder of the cultural changes that have shaped Andalucia.
Today, the castle is an iconic symbol of Málaga and is even featured on the city's flag. It is a must see for those who want to understand this history of the city. If you climb to the top, you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the city of Malaga and its port, making it a popular spot for taking photos.
|Entry Times:||9:00 to 20:00 (daily)
Last entry: 19:15
|Price:||One monument: €3.50
Two monuments: €5.50
|Group Price:||One monument: €2.50
Two monuments: €4.00
|Reduced Price:||One monument: €1.50
Two monuments: €2.50
* One monument includes only the castle. Two monuments include the castle and the Alcazaba.
The Atarazanas Market
** The Atarazanas Market - Malaga, Spain
Known for its vibrant atmosphere, the Atarazanas Market is a bustling place where locals and tourists mingle and shop for a variety of fresh products like fruits, veggies, meats, fish and more. It's a vibrant mosaic of colors, smells and tastes where you can experience the local lifestyle firsthand.
Inside, you will be greeted by beautiful stained glass windows from the early 20th century, depicting different scenes from Malaga's past. There is also a striking Moorish arch at the main entrance, another remnant of the 14th century.
During the Nasrid dynasty, the market was the site of a naval workshop (or "atarazana") where ships were repaired... This is how it received its name. It was also a convent, a military hospital, and finally the vibrant market we see today. Take a food / market tour!
Automobile and Fashion Museum
** Automobile and Fashion Museum - Malaga, Spain
The Automobile and Fashion Museum is a great place to visit, especially if you have kids. It has a large collection of over 90 vintage cars and 200 pieces of haute couture. They are displayed together to show what was in fashion at different times in our automotive history.
The cars are arranged in several themed areas representing different time periods like the Belle Epoque, Art Deco, and the 50's, combining automotive design with cultural influences. You will also find rare and customized cars, like the Delaunay-Belleville that belonged to King Alfonso XIII, and a collection of extravagant "tunados" (or "souped-up" cars).
The fashion exhibition features designs from top names like Chanel, Dior and Prada, offering a glimpse into the evolution of fashion through the ages. Buy Tickets Online - Skip the Line!!
** Russian Museum - Malaga, Spain
Visit the Russian Museum of Malaga, officially known as the Collection of the Russian Museum of St. Petersburg/Malaga. It serves as a bridge between Spain and Russia and houses a large selection of Russian art... providing a window into the country's history, culture and art throughout the years.
The museum's exhibitions are quite diverse, covering a wide range of themes and time periods. From mystical Russian iconography and realistic depictions of Russian life to avant-garde experimental pieces.
The museum is housed in the beautiful Tabacalera building, a former tobacco factory, that is itself an important historical landmark. Buy Tickets Online - Skip the Line!
** Cervantes Theatre - Malaga, Spain
The Cervantes Theater in Malaga, which opened at the end of the 19th century, is the oldest theater in the city. Throughout its history, it has hosted a huge number of performances, from operas and concerts to theatrical productions, making it one of the cornerstones of Malaga's cultural and social life.
Today, the Teatro Cervantes is the primary location for the Malaga Film Festival, one of the most important film events in Spain. It has become a meeting place for movie lovers, filmmakers and actors to celebrate and explore Spanish and international cinematography.
Shopping Around Calle Larios
** Calle Larios - Malaga, Spain
Calle Larios, often referred to as the Fifth Avenue of Malaga, is the city's main shopping street. A promenade of more than 300 meters, it is home to high-end retail brands, international chains and small local boutiques.
You will love shopping and exploring the area around Calle Larios. The elegant, pedestrian-only, marble-paved streets are framed by beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings, and the area has a wonderfully festive atmosphere... perfect for leisurely strolls.
Throughout the year, Calle Larios is also a focal point for celebrations and events like the famous Málaga Feria and Christmas light displays. The colorful decorations, music and buzzing atmosphere transform Calle Larios into a lively, enchanting space that adds an even more festive spirit to the joy of shopping.
Explore the Historic District
** Historic District - Malaga, Spain
Málaga's historic quarter is a vibrant place full of cafes, bars, shops and traditional tapas restaurants, all intertwined with remnants from its past like the Roman Theatre and the Alcázaba Fortress. The blend of the old and the new in its lively squares and narrow streets creates a truly magical atmosphere... where you can feel the energy of Malaga's past while still enjoying its vibrant and bustling present.
The old town is also a haven for art lovers, offering a wonderful selection of museums and galleries, including the famous Picasso Museum.
On your next trip to Malaga, don't miss an afternoon lost in the old quarter for the ultimate experience of what makes this city so special. Take a guided walking tour!
Plaza de la Merced
** Plaza de la Merced - Malaga, Spain
Walking north through the old town, you will come to the Plaza de la Merced, best known as the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. Here you can explore the Picasso Birthplace Museum (Casa Natal de Picasso) and learn more about the artist's early life and development.
In the center of the plaza is a towering obelisk, a memorial to General Torrijos and his 48 comrades. The base of the monument has been used as a crypt where the remains of these men, who defended the freedom of Spain in the 19th century, are buried.
Plaza de la Merced is one of the most lively squares in Malaga, full of activity both day and night, and lined with numerous cafes, bars and restaurants, it's the perfect place for an afternoon meal.
Ayuntamiento de Málaga
** Ayuntamiento - Malaga, Spain
Another historic building worth visiting in Malaga is the Ayuntamiento, or City Hall. It's a beautiful example of the fusion of modernist and baroque architectural elements. Built between 1912 and 1919, the architects Guerrero Strachan and Rivera Vera masterfully blended these two styles, creating a structure that elegantly reflects different periods of Spanish architecture.
Inside the City Hall you will find impressive frescoes created by the artist Bernardo Ferrándiz. These murals vividly depict different aspects and symbols of Malaga's history and culture.
Outside, along the Paseo del Parque, you can enjoy the Málaga Park and Botanical Gardens with its different monuments such as the Fuente de los Amorcillos, the Monumento a Salvador Rueda and the Escultura del burro Platero.
"La Malagueta" Bullring
** "La Malagueta" Bullring - Malaga, Spain
The "La Malagueta" bullring, which opened in 1876, is another iconic symbol of Malaga and its culture. Recognized as one of the most culturally significant bullrings in Spain, it has hosted many famous bullfighters, or "matadors," and has played an important role in the development of bullfighting in Andalucia.
Although La Malagueta is best known for it's bullfighting, it is also used for various other events and festivals throughout the year, including concerts and religious celebrations. If you're interested in learning more about bullfighting, visit the museum inside for more details about the history of bullfighting in Malaga, the traditions, and prominent bullfighters.
Cementerio Inglés (English Cemetery)
** English Cemetery - Malaga, Spain
The Cementerio Inglés (English Cemetery), created in the 19th century, is a peaceful place with lush vegetation, well-kept gardens and a variety of tombs and mausoleums of different architectural styles... it has a serene and somewhat enchanting atmosphere.
The cemetery is known for being one of the first Protestant cemeteries in Spain and contains the graves of several notable figures, including the British Consul William Mark and the famous Spanish writer and poet Jorge Guillén.
Fuente de Génova (Genoa Fountain)
** Genoa Fountain - Malaga, Spain
The Fuente de Génova, or Genoa Fountain, located in the Plaza de la Constitución, is not originally from Málaga... but from Italy. This stunning fountain is a remarkable example of Italian Renaissance art, carved from the highest quality Carrara marble. Its intricate design shows the meticulous craftsmanship that was common during the Renaissance period.
The fountain has an interesting history. It was originally located in the gardens of the palace of the Marquis of Fortuny in Genoa, Italy. But in the 16th century it was brought to Spain by a Genoese merchant and placed in the city of Málaga. Since then, it has occupied several locations throughout the city before finally finding its home in the Plaza de la Constitución. This is the liveliest area of the old quarter and a wonderful place to stay while you're visiting.
Find Malaga's Most Famous Sculptures
** Bust & Points of view Sculpture - Malaga, Spain
As you stroll through the pretty streets of Malaga, keep an eye out for some interesting works of art. Each piece beautifully adds to Malaga's urban appeal while offering a glimpse into the city's diverse cultural and historical events. Some represent mythological figures, some historical figures, and some are just eye candy...
The most famous statues found in the historic quarter are "Picasso Sitting", "The Points of View Sculpture" "The Biznaguero" and the statue of Hans Christian Andersen.
Saint John the Baptist Church
** Saint John the Baptist Church - Malaga, Spain
The church of Saint John the Baptist (Iglesia de San Juan Bautista) in Málaga is a stunning example of architectural fusion, where Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles come together. Originally built in the 15th century on the site of a former mosque, it has undergone various changes and renovations over the centuries, incorporating different architectural elements and styles, and making it a unique and fascinating place to visit.
** Iglesia del Sagrario - Malaga, Spain
The Church of the Sagrario (Iglesia del Sagrario) in Málaga is famous for its ornate façade in the Isabeline Gothic style, which dates from the 15th century. The detailed stone carvings, especially the remarkable relief of the Epiphany on the main portal, are examples of the intricate stonemasonry of the time, making it an architectural and artistic highlight of the city.
San Telmo Aqueduct
** San Telmo Aqueduct - Malaga, Spain
The San Telmo Aqueduct, also known as the "Aqueduct of the 40 Eyes" due to its numerous arches, stretches an impressive length of approximately 11 kilometers (about 7 miles). Built in the 18th century to bring water from the springs of San Telmo to the city, it is a testament to the engineering and architectural skills of the time, and parts of it can still be seen today in the northern part of the city.
Visit Soho and See Grafiti Art
** Grafiti Art - Soho, Malaga
Málaga's Soho district, often referred to as the 'Arts District' or 'Barrio de las Artes', has recently undergone a dynamic revitalization through vibrant street art. Initiatives such as MAUS (Málaga Arte Urbano Soho) have transformed the area into an open-air gallery, inviting renowned international and local artists to create murals and graffiti that breathe new life and creativity into the neighborhood.
The graffiti and street art in Soho is particularly interesting because of its impressive scale and variety. Huge, building-sized murals by world-renowned street artists such as Obey (Shepard Fairey), D*Face and Faith47 are interspersed with the work of local talent, making a walk through Soho a visually stunning urban art tour.
Malaga Spain ➜ TOP Sights Along the Coast and PortOnce you leave the old town and head towards the port of Malaga, you will find that there are many more things to do. This area is extremely popular and has been revitalized over the last decade, combining the best cultural attractions, dining, shopping and leisure activities, all with the stunning backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.
Here are the TOP THINGS TO DO in Malaga near the coast and port...
The Malaga Beaches
** Malaga Beach Art
Malaga's beaches vary in size, from wide, expansive options to smaller, secluded coves. They typically have dark golden sand, which can be coarse in some areas and softer in others. Many of Malaga's beaches are bordered by a picturesque promenade, offering leisurely strolls, food and drink, and sometimes bike rentals.
If you decide to spend the day on one of Malaga's beaches, be sure to try the "Espetos de Sardinas", which are sardines skewered and grilled in old fishing boats filled with sand. These are a unique culinary tradition specific to the Costa del Sol and especially to Malaga's coastline... offering you a truly authentic beachside snack to savor.
The Top 5 Beaches in Málaga:
- Playa de la Malagueta
- Playa de Pedregalejo
- Playa de la Caleta
- Playa de El Palo
- Playa de la Misericordia
Palmeral de las Sorpresas
** Palmeral de las Sorpresas - Malaga, Spain
Another popular site in Málaga near the coast and within the port is the "Palmeral de las Sorpresas" (Palm Garden of Surprises), a modern promenade lined with palm trees, elegant white wave-shaped pergolas and wooden benches.
Located in Málaga's port, Muelle Dos, it offers not only a scenic stroll along the Mediterranean Sea, but also various recreational areas, playgrounds, restaurants, bars, shopping, scooter and boat rentals, and sometimes open-air art exhibitions. It's a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the views.
The Malaga Harbor 'Muelle Dos'
** Malaga Harbor - Malaga, Spain
Malaga's port area is known as 'Muelle Dos' (Pier Two) and is probably the second most popular shopping area in the city. When we used to come to the city more than 10 years ago, this area didn't exist, it was mostly used for commercial shipping purposes and not frequented by locals or tourists. But in the last 10 years, the entire area has been completely rejuvenated and has become a hub of activity.
From Calle Larios, head south towards the sea. Once you cross the street, you will find a beautiful promenade that wraps around the entire marina. The walkways are lined with fabulous restaurants, parks, gardens, museums (Pompidou Center), art galleries and more shopping. You can also take boat tours along the coast from the marina or rent scooters to explore the area.
** Pompidou Centre - Malaga, Spain
While enjoying Malaga's marina, you can't help but notice the strikingly colorful, cube-shaped structure at its center, which looks a bit like a 'Rubik's Cube'. The locals call it 'el Cubo' (the Cube) because of its unusual architectural design. Regardless of its appearance, it's a fantastic museum to visit while you're in the area.
The Malaga Pompidou Center is affiliated with the famous 'Centre Pompidou in Paris' and offers a wonderful selection of modern and contemporary art. Inside you will find works by famous artists such as Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso and even Francis Bacon, all of whom were important painters in the 20th and 21st centuries. Tickets can be purchased online to avoid the lines. Buy Tickets Online - Skip the Line!
** La Farola - Malaga, Spain
Continuing along the 'Muelle Dos' promenade you will come to the iconic lighthouse of Malaga. It was built in the 19th century (1817) and has been guiding ships (now cruise ships) in and out of the port of Malaga for over 200 years.
La Farola, which translates to "The Street Lamp", is whitewashed with a classic cylindrical shape... standing out against the deep blue backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy a meal at the end of the pier near the lighthouse, the views of the city, the castle, the Alcazaba, soaring seagulls and yachts coming and going from the port are incredible!
** El Pedregalejo - Malaga, Spain
If you're looking for something quaint and rustic, check out the historic fishermen's quarter called 'El Pedregalejo'. It's located at the eastern end of Malaga, just past the city's main beach, Playa de la Malagueta. You can easily get there by walking along the beach promenade (about 20-25 minutes) until you reach its charming old houses and traditional "chiringuitos" along the seafront.
El Pedregalejo is not only known for having the freshest and most authentic seafood in Málaga, but also for its relaxed and peaceful beach atmosphere. It's the perfect place to come if you're looking for a quiet escape from the city. The beaches here are divided by rocky jetties... creating a series of small intimate coves, each with its own unique feel.
The village itself has a real bohemian feel, with small houses, pretty Andalusian terraces overlooking the sea, creative murals painted on many of the walls, and the sound of clinking glasses and soft music in the air.
Malaga Spain ➜ TOP Activities!We have now taken you through the main sights of the city and the coastal areas. But Malaga is not only packed with really interesting things to see... It is also chock full of some seriously fun things to do. Take a look at our list below of the top things to do in Malaga and make your vacation one to remember!
Here are the TOP things to do, in and around the city of Malaga.
Enjoy a Tapas Crawl
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Enjoy a Tapas Crawl
Malaga, and in fact most of Andalucia, is known for its "tapas culture"... it is deeply rooted in the local way of life and is a social activity that people love to do when visiting Spain. A tapas crawl typically involves going from one bar to another, enjoying small dishes or "tapas" at each location. Tours are available where locals will take you to the very best and most popular tapas bars.
If you don't want to join an official tour, you can create your own tapas crawl! Many bars in Malaga offer a free tapa with any drink you order, and most bars have their own specialties. This will allow you to enjoy a variety of local dishes in a single evening without having to order a full meal.
😎 Tapas Tours: Malaga Tapas Crawl Tour
Wine tasting in Malaga
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Wine tasting
Malaga, with its ancient vineyards, offers many wine tastings and tours. While you're here, you can learn more about the winemaking process, explore the vineyards and, of course, taste the delicious wines.
Where can you do all this? Well, for starters, the Málaga Wine Museum (located in the old town) offers guided tastings where experts explain the different flavors, aromas and processes behind each local wine. There are also several bodegas (wineries) in the Málaga and Ronda wine regions (north of the city). They offer wine tastings and tours of their vineyards.
The area around Málaga is famous for its wines, especially the sweet wines made from Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel grapes. These wines are usually served as dessert wines or used in cooking. We call them "Sherry" but in Spain they are called "Jerez" after the town of 'Jerez de la Frontera' which is just 2.5 hours from the city of Málaga in the neighboring province of Cadiz.
😎 Join a Tour: Wine Tastings in Malaga
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Flamenco Show
One of the most popular pastimes in Malaga is flamenco dancing! Watching these beautiful women twirl and dance to the rhythm of their partner's beat is truly an unforgettable experience. Flamenco is not just a dance, but a powerful performance art, filled with passion, profound singing and masterful guitar playing.
A popular flamenco venue in Malaga is 'Tablao Los Amayas' where you can watch the performance and enjoy a traditional Spanish meal at the same time. There are also many wonderful tours that you can sign up for online. This will give you the chance to read the reviews and see which one appeals to you the most.
😎 Flamenco Shows: Traditional Flamenco Show in the Heart of Malaga
Hammam Al Andalus
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Hammam Al Andalus
A visit to the Hammam Al Andalus in Malaga is one of my favorite things to do. It's right in the middle of the city, so it's the perfect way to unwind after a long day of sightseeing. The spa is located in a beautifully renovated building with large arched doorways, ceramic tiled walls, soft lighting and historic Moorish touches.
Your session will last about 1.5 hours and you can add a full body massage. There are three bathing areas inside, one warm, one hot and one very cold... There is also a steam room and hot stones where you can lie down to relax. The whole experience will leave you feeling completely rejuvenated. Afterwards head upstairs to enjoy a warm mint tea before you leave. This expeirence is especially nice for couples! Buy Tickets Online
😎 Malaga Hammam + Massage + Hot Stone Treatment: Arabian Baths Experience
Hiking in Montes de Malaga
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Hiking
For those who love hiking and nature, the Montes de Málaga Park is just a short drive from the city. The park covers some 5,000 hectares of stunning scenery, from pine forests and rolling hills to breathtaking views of Málaga in the distance, framed by the glistening Mediterranean Sea.
The Montes de Málaga Natural Park offers a wide variety of trails for hikers and caters to all skill levels. Some of the most popular routes are the "Ruta de Contadoras" and the "Ruta de Los Verdiales".
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Vicens Artesano
One thing you have to try when you're in Andalucia is turron! What is turron you might ask? It's a very popular and traditional Spanish dessert that is typically eaten during the Christmas season... although nowadays you can find and enjoy it practically all year round.
Turron is made with honey, sugar, egg whites, and almonds or other nuts. It originated as an Arabic pastry introduced to Spain during the Muslim period and has become something of a culinary symbol of the festive season in Spain. During the holidays you will find it everywhere!
There are several varieties (some hard, some soft) and many shops in the old town specialize in making it. If you are near the cathedral, walk down the street to the 'Vicens Artesano Shop' where you can try some of the best turron in Malaga. They have every flavor imaginable as well as several other well known Spanish delicacies!
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Segway Tours
Want to do something the whole family will love? Join a Segway tour and explore the city in style!
These tours last between 1.5 and 2 hours and follow a carefully planned route around the city. You will stop at some of Malaga's main attractions like the Cathedral, Picasso Museum, Roman Theatre, Plaza de la Merced and many more.
This is the perfect way to see Malaga and discover some of its more hidden gems. Plus, the road up to the castle is very steep, a Segway will make it much easier and a lot more fun.
Take a Walking Tour of Malaga
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Walking Tour
Another popular thing to do in Malaga is to take a walking tour of the city. Malaga is a pretty big place with a lot to see and it can be a little overwhelming if you're not familiar with it. These tours will show you the most important sights while sharing interesting stories about their history... bringing them to life and giving you a more complete understanding of the city.
Options include a walking tour of Malaga's most popular attractions, a culinary tour that will take you to the best restaurants and bars, or art tours that include museums like the Pablo Picasso Museum.
Take a Boat Tour From the Port
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Boat Tours
If you're interested in exploring the coast, there are boat tours available that leave from the port of Málaga. Here are a few you can take:
- Sightseeing cruises: Explore the coastline with views of Malaga from the sea, including its beaches, the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle against the backdrop of the rolling Montes de Malaga.
- Sunset and night cruises: Romantic sunset or evening cruises are available, offering a serene experience as you watch the sun dip below the horizon and enjoy the city lights shimmering on the water.
- Private charters: For a more personalized experience, private boat charters are available. You can explore the Málaga coast with a customized itinerary, which is perfect for larger groups, celebrations or special occasions.
- Dolphin-watching tours: The kids will love this! Some boat tours focus on the marine life, offering dolphin watching excursions that take you to the areas where you're most likely to see these playful creatures. This tour leaves from Benalmadena (30 minutes to the west).
Horse and carriage tour
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Horse and Carriage Tour
Experience the charm of Malaga with a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride through its historic center. Soak up the sights and sounds of the city as you bounce along the cobblestone streets, admiring iconic landmarks such as the Alcazaba and the Malaga Cathedral.
The slow pace of the carriage will allow you to appreciate the atmosphere of the city while enjoying the fresh sea air. With the help of an expert guide, you'll even learn more about the fascinating history and culture of Malaga, making this a truly unique experience. Tours start near the port before you cross the main road. Tickets must be purchased at the time of the tour.
Feria de Malaga
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Feria de Malaga
This special celebration began in 1487, when the Catholic Monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand reconquered the city of Malaga from Muslim rule. It has evolved over the centuries into a vibrant, week-long celebration with a blend of traditional and modern festivities that include historical re-enactments, religious processions and various events throughout the city.
If you visit Malaga in mid-August, get ready to party! The city comes alive with a week of city-wide celebrations and an evening fair on the outskirts of town (Real de la Feria). There are flamenco performances, folk music, fireworks, equestrian shows and, of course, an overabundance of food and wine!
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Hop On Hop Off Bus
We always take a bus tour when we first visit a new city. It's a great way to get your bearings before you really dive in and explore all the nooks and crannies!
The Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour in Malaga follows a route of the main attractions like the Alcazaba, Gibralfaro Castle and the Picasso Museum, with the flexibility to hop on and off at different stops. You can spend as much time as you want at each location and explore Malaga at your own pace.
Take an Adventure Tour Outside of Malaga
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Adventure Tours
Take a break from the city and explore more of the Malaga countryside and coast! If you have a car, there are tons of great activities to try along the sunny Costa del Sol! Here are three we recommend:
- Kayak & Snorkel Tour in Cerro Gordo Natural Park, La Herradura: Just an easy 50 minute drive east of Malaga you will find yourself in one of the most picturesque villages on the Costa Tropical, La Herradura. Here you can try one of the most popular activities on tripadvisor... kayaking through the Maro-Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve.
- Authentic Andalusia - Jeep Eco Tour (pick up from Marbella - Estepona): Take an exhilarating 4x4 adventure tour through the Parque Nacional Sierra de las Nieves, swim in a river, and visit two traditional Andalucian white villages.
- 1 hour buggy buggy tour: Heading up towards the Sierra de Mijas you will take in the beautiful Spanish countryside and views of the Fuengirola coastline on this buggy tour.
Take a Day Trip!
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Torcal de Antequera
One of the best things about visiting Malaga is that it is SO close to SO many other amazing destinations. We love visiting beautiful European cities, but we love visiting charming villages and awe-inspiring natural monuments even more... (we've also included some places the kids will love). Also check out our full list of the TOP 20 day trips from Malaga.
Here are ten (10) nearby areas / sights worth visiting...
The Botanical Gardens of Malaga, known as "La Concepción", has an amazing collection of tropical and subtropical plants and trees. It takes about an hour to 1.5 hours to walk through the gardens, past fountains and over bridges... offering a peaceful escape just 20 minutes north of the city.
If you go in December, the gardens will be illuminated by thousands of colorful Christmas lights!
Bioparc Fuengirola, located 30 minutes west of Málaga, is a wonderful little zoo where natural habitats have been created to preserve endangered species and other animals. We take our kids here every year... and they always love it! Buy Tickets Online!
Visit the Sea Life Aquarium or Adventure Parks
Sea Life Benalmadena, located 30 minutes west of Malaga in the town of Benalmadena, is an amazing exploration of the underwater world with sharks, sea turtles and vibrant coral. After a visit to Sea Life, head to the marina (it has a cool futuristic or "sci-fi" look) for a seafood dinner and an evening boat cruise! Buy Tickets Online!
Day Trip to Granada
Malaga is one of the most popular cities in Andalucia, Granada is another! Only 1.5 hours away, you could easily make it a day trip, but we recommend staying for at least two days if you can. Granada is home to the world famous UNESCO Alhambra Palace and the Sacromonte Gypsy Caves. It's a must-see destination in Andalucia!
😎 Guided Trip: From Malaga: Granada, Alhambra + Nasrid Palaces Tour
Day Trip to Ronda
A day trip to Ronda, 1 hour and 40 minutes northwest of Malaga, is a wonderful opportunity to explore the more rural side of Andalucia. Ronda is one of Spain's most picturesque villages and is known as the capital of the 'pueblos blancos'. It's most outstanding features are its historic bullring, the dramatic El Tajo gorge and the iconic Puente Nuevo bridge... all set against the backdrop of the stunning Serranía de Ronda mountains.
Again, you could visit Ronda in a day but we recommend staying for 2-3 days and exploring the other 'pueblos blancos' in the area, which are equally as beautiful... Grazalema, Setenil de las Bodegas, Zahara de la Sierra, and Olvera.
😎 Guided Trip: From Malaga: Full-Day Bus Trip to Ronda and Setenil
Day Trip to Mijas
Mijas is another whitewashed village not far from Málaga, 30-45 minutes, that is considered one of the "prettiest villages in Spain". It has incredible panoramic views of the Mediterranean, traditional Andalusian architecture, and burro-taxis (donkey taxis), which have become one of the symbols of the town.
😎 Guided Trip: From Málaga: Marbella, Mijas y Puerto Banús Guided Tour
Day Trip to the Caminito del Rey
The Caminito del Rey, often referred to as "The King's Little Pathway", is a famous hiking trail located in the El Chorro Gorge, just 60 km from Málaga, making it an easy and popular day trip destination for those looking for a little adventure.
The path was once considered to be "the world's most dangerous footpath" due to its deteriorated state, but the Caminito del Rey has been completely renovated and was reopened in 2015, making it a safe yet exhilarating hiking experience. If you want to stay longer check out hotels near the Caminito del Rey.
😎 Guided Trip: From Málaga: Day Trip to Caminito del Rey
Day Trip to El Torcal de Antequera
El Torcal de Antequera, located about 45 km (1 hour) north of Málaga, is a unique karstic landscape known for its hiking trails through surreal limestone formations, some of which resemble strange but recognizable shapes. It is one of the best preserved in Europe and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, making it a fascinating day trip destination. While you are there, you could also visit the dolmens of Antequera!
😎 Guided Trip: From Malaga: VIP Antequera Torcal Hiking and Dolmens Site
Day Trip to Nerja & Frigiliana
Nerja and Frigiliana, located about 50 km east of Málaga, is another perfect day trip combination, one is a coastal beauty and the other is a traditional Andalusian mountain village. The highlights of the two villages are Nerja's breathtaking Balcony of Europe and prehistoric caves, and Frigiliana's whitewashed, streets and alleys.
😎 Guided Trip: From Málaga: Guided Day Trip to Villages Nerja & Frigiliana
Visit the Costa Tropical
The last item on our list is a day trip to the Costa Tropical, the coastal area along the province of Granada, located just 55 minutes east of Malaga. Enjoy beautiful beaches, charming villages, and delicious seafood during a relaxing day by the sea. The top villages are: Almuñécar, La Herradura, and Salobreña.
Malaga Spain ➜ Best Shopping AreasBeing a large metropolitan city, Malaga has great shopping! You will find everything from traditional markets to modern shopping centers and charming boutiques. Here are the nine (9) most popular shopping areas and markets in the city:
- Calle Larios: Malaga's iconic main promenade with high-end brands, boutiques, and festive decorations during the holidays.
- Calle Nueva: The pedestrian street that runs parallel to Calle Larios through the historic center of Malaga. It is one of the oldest shopping streets in the old town and is full of shops of all sorts.
- Muelle Uno: A modern open-air mall, set along the beautiful port of Málaga with a nice variety of shops and restaurants.
- El Corte Inglés: Málaga's largest department store, offering a wide range of high quality fashion, household goods, electronics and much more.
** Things to Do in Málaga ➜ Plaza Mayor at Night
- Plaza Mayor: An outlet mall outside of Malaga near the airport. It has a brand new high fashion area, tons of restaurants and the largest movie theatre in the area.
- Atarazanas Market: Malaga's central market selling fresh produce, meat, fish and local delicacies.
- Malaga Plaza: Located in the heart of Malaga it has a commercial shopping area of 6,800 square meters and a huge skylight that provides natural light.
- Vialia Centro Comercial: Another shopping center connected to the Maria Zambrano train station. It has clothing stores, restaurants and a movie theater.
- Larios Centro: A multi-story mall with fashion, technology and lifestyle stores.
Malaga, Spain ➜ Practical Information
When is the best time to visit?The best time to visit Malaga is generally in the fall or spring when the weather is warm but not hot and the Costa del Sol is not packed with summer tourists. Winter can also be enjoyable! It doesn't get very cold in Malaga and the December festivities are definitely worth seeing!
Here's a breakdown of what to expect in Malaga during each season:
- Spring (March to May): Málaga has a mild and very pleasant spring, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C, making it the perfect time to explore the city and make some day trips.
- Summer (June to August): The summer months in Malaga are hot (like very hot!) and sunny, with average temperatures between 25°C and 35°C. If you like the beach and water activities, it's the perfect time to come.
- Fall (September to November): Fall brings cooler temperatures between 20°C and 28°C, accompanied by occasional rain, but it's generally a very pleasant time to visit.
- Winter (December to February): Winters in Malaga are relatively mild compared to other parts of Spain, with temperatures typically between 12°C and 20°C, and occasional rainy days.
Malaga ➜ How to Arrive & DirectionsMalaga is a very accessible city, it's close to Granada, Seville, Cordoba and Cadiz with an international airport, a great train station and wonderful bus services.
|To Malaga ➜ by Plane
Malaga has its own airport, Malaga Airport or Costa del Sol Airport (AGP), located approximately 9 km (10-20 minutes) west of the city center. It has connections to all major Spanish cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca as well as many international destinations.
Important! The BEST place to find cheap flights is Cheapoair.com!
|To Malaga ➜ by Train
Malaga's train station, the Málaga María Zambrano Train Station, is well-connected to other cities in Andalucia and the rest of Spain. The high-speed trains (AVE) make it possible to reach Malaga from any destination quickly and comfortably.
|To Malaga ➜ by Bus
Malaga's main bus station, Estación de Autobuses de Malaga, is centrally located and has easy connections to all other cities and towns along the Costa del Sol. It is also conveniently located next to the Malaga train station and has a bus service to the Malaga airport.
|To Malaga ➜ by Car
Renting a car is a great option if you want to explore the rural villages and natural parks around Malaga or take one of the day trips we recommend above.
Driving Directions to Malaga:
* If you need a rental car: Find a good deal here!
|To Malaga ➜ by Taxi
Taxis are available throughout Malaga and can be hailed on the street, found at taxi stands, or booked through a phone call or smartphone app. They are a convenient option for getting around, especially if you're traveling with luggage or have limited time.
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