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15 Best Things To Do In Malaga

When it comes to exploring the vibrant city of Malaga, I can't help but get nostalgic. The warm Mediterranean breeze, the scent of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the air, and the mesmerizing blend of ancient history and modern art that fills every corner - this place holds a special place in my heart.

Having spent countless summers immersing myself in its rich culture, I've curated a list of the best things to do in Malaga that will truly make your stay in Malaga unforgettable. From wandering through enchanting old town streets to soaking up sun-kissed beaches, this Malaga tourist guide guarantees an authentic experience that will leave you longing for more.

1. La Alcazaba

La Alcazaba - Malaga

I had the opportunity to visit La Alcazaba during my trip to Malaga, and it was an experience that I will never forget. This fortress is one of the most impressive historical sites in the city and is a must see for anyone interested in the Islamic past of Andalusia.

La Alcazaba is a Moorish castle that dates back to the 11th century and was built by the Berber Taifa of Granada. The fortress has a rich history and has withstood the test of time to defend the city across multiple invaders and empires throughout its chequered history.

One of the most impressive aspects of La Alcazaba is its architecture. The fortress has a typical Nasrid appearance, with architectural similarities to Alhambra in Granada. The fortress is well-preserved, and visitors can explore the various towers and ramparts to get a sense of what life was like in the fortress during the Islamic period.

The fortress is also known for its connection to the famous artist, Pablo Picasso. Picasso was born in Malaga, and he often visited La Alcazaba as a child. The fortress is said to have inspired many of his early works, and visitors can see some of his paintings and sketches on display in the nearby Picasso Museum.


Address: C/ Alcazabilla, 2, 29012 Málaga, Spain

Phone: +34 630 93 29 87

2. Málaga Cathedral

Málaga Cathedral

Málaga Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Incarnation, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city of Málaga, located in the Andalusian region of Spain. It is an architectural masterpiece that took over two centuries to complete, with construction beginning in 1528 and ending in 1782.

The cathedral is a blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles, with two towers that rise high above the city skyline. The south tower is completed, while the north tower remains unfinished, giving the cathedral a unique and distinctive appearance.

Visitors can admire the intricate details of the cathedral's façade, particularly the statues of the city's patron saints, St. Ciriaco and St. Paula, that adorn the main entrance. The interior of the cathedral is equally impressive, with a nave that is over 40 meters high and a stunning choir area with beautiful carvings by Pedro de Mena.

Apart from its architectural beauty, the cathedral is also home to many works of art, including the magnificent canvas of the Virgen del Rosario by Alonso Cano and the Gothic altarpiece of Santa Bárbara.

To fully appreciate the grandeur of the cathedral, tourists can take a guided tour that provides insights into the history and significance of this iconic monument. Overall, Málaga Cathedral is one of the best things to do in Málaga for anyone interested in architectural buildings


Address: C. Molina Lario, 9, 29015 Málaga, Spain

Phone: +34 951 92 60 20

3. Castillo de Gibralfaro

Castillo de Gibralfaro in Malaga

The Castillo de Gibralfaro in Malaga is situated on a hilltop and offers breathtaking views over the city and the Mediterranean Sea. The castle is one of the best things to see in Malaga for anyone visiting.

The Castillo de Gibralfaro was built in the 14th century by the Moors as a defensive structure. The ramparts of the castle are still intact and provide a glimpse into the history of Andalusia. The castle was later used as a military barracks and a prison before being converted into a tourist attraction.

The castle is open to visitors from 9 am to 8 pm during the summer months and from 9 am to 6 pm during the winter months. The entrance fee is €3.50, and a combined visit to the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro Castle costs €5.50. On Sundays, the castle is free to visit after 2 pm.

The best way to reach the castle is on foot via the Paseo Don Juan de Temboury, which offers fantastic views of the city. Alternatively, you can drive up the Camino de Gibralfaro or take bus 35 from Avenida de Cervantes.

The castle is divided into two parts: the upper part and the lower part. The upper part houses the main courtyard, the Interpretation Centre, the main tower (Torre Mayor), the Phoenician well, and baths. The lower part, which housed troop barracks and stables, also has the Torre Blanca watchtower.


Address: Cam. Gibralfaro, 11, 29016 Málaga, Spain

Phone: +34 952 22 72 30

4. Picasso Museum Malaga

Picasso Museum Malaga

The Picasso Museum in Malaga is dedicated to the life and work of the famous artist Pablo Picasso, who was born in Malaga, and it features an extensive collection of his paintings, sculptures, and ceramics.

The Museo Picasso Malaga is located in the heart of the city, in the Palacio de Buenavista, a beautiful 16th-century palace that was restored and adapted to house the museum's collection. The museum is organized chronologically, so visitors can follow the evolution of Picasso's work from his early years to his later, more experimental periods.

One of the things that impressed me the most about the Picasso Museum during my trip to Spain was the quality and diversity of the works on display. The museum has an impressive collection of over 200 pieces, many of which are from Picasso's private collection and have never been exhibited before.

In addition to the permanent collection, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, which showcase the work of other artists who were influenced by Picasso or who worked alongside him. During my visit, I was lucky enough to see an exhibition of the work of the Spanish artist Julio González, who was a close friend and collaborator of Picasso.


Address: Palacio de Buenavista, C. San Agustín, 8, 29015 Málaga, Spain

Phone: +34 952 12 76 00

5. Day Trip To Caminito del Rey

Caminito del Rey

I highly recommend taking a day trip to Caminito del Rey when visiting Malaga. Caminito del Rey is a stunning hike through the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes gorge in Andalusia. It offers amazing views of the surrounding landscape and a thrilling experience walking along the narrow paths attached to the cliff face.

Before embarking on the hike, it is important to wear suitable footwear as the terrain can be rocky and uneven. It is also advisable to bring plenty of water and snacks as the hike can take up to 3 hours to complete.

To gain admission to Caminito del Rey, you will need to purchase tickets in advance. There are various options available, including guided tours and transportation from Malaga. I suggest booking a tour with a travel company to make the most of your experience.

The history of Caminito del Rey is fascinating, and it is known for being one of the most dangerous hikes in the world before undergoing significant renovations to improve safety. Walking along the path, you can see remnants of the old, crumbling walkway, adding to the thrill of the adventure.

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6. Montes de Malaga Natural Park

Montes de Malaga Natural Park

If you're looking for a beautiful and peaceful escape from the bustling city life of Malaga, I highly recommend visiting the Montes de Malaga Natural Park. The park is located just a few kilometers north of Malaga city and covers an area of 5,000 hectares. It boasts of a diverse range of flora and fauna, including Aleppo pine forests, rushing streams, steep slopes, rugged ridges, and unique reptiles like the chameleon.

One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the park is by hiking one of its many trails. AllTrails offers a list of the best 10 hikes and trails in the park, including the San Telmo - Salto Picapedreros - Don Ventura route, which takes you to the Picapedreros waterfall and passes through the aqueduct of San Telmo, an 18th-century structure.

In addition to hiking, the park offers other outdoor activities like mountain biking, e-biking, and bird watching. Malaga E-MTB Tour offers a guided tour of the park, including the botanical garden, natural park, and port of Malaga. The Malaga Highest Peak E-Bike Tour takes you to the white village of Olias and El Palo.

If you're interested in learning more about the park's unique flora and fauna, there are information services available, and you can also visit the park's points of interest, such as the Malaga Petaloptila, a type of cave cricket endemic to the area.

7. Carmen Thyssen Museum

Carmen Thyssen Museum - Malaga

Last year I made a visit to the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga and was thoroughly impressed by the collection of art on display. This museum is one of the top art museums in the city and should definitely be on top of your list of things to see while at the Costa del Sol.

As one of the best places to visit when you go to Malaga, the Carmen Thyssen Museum is home to a private collection of art that spans from the 19th century to the present day. The collection focuses on Spanish art, with a special emphasis on Andalusian art from the 19th century. The museum has a permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions that change throughout the year.

One of the highlights of the permanent collection is the section dedicated to traditional Andalusian life. The paintings in this section give a fascinating insight into the daily life of people in Andalusia during the 19th century. The museum also has a great museum shop where you can buy souvenirs and art books.

If you're a fan of Spanish art, then the Carmen Thyssen Museum is definitely one of the best things to do in Malaga. The museum is open every day except for Mondays and admission prices are reasonable. I highly recommend adding this museum to your list of places to visit in Malaga.


Address: Plaza Carmen Thyssen, Calle Compañía, 29008 Málaga, Spain

Phone: +34 952 21 75 11

8. Roman Theatre

Roman Theatre - Malaga

The Roman Theatre in Malaga is located at the foot of the Alcazaba fortress in the western part of the city and was discovered in 1951 after having remained buried underground for many centuries. Dating back to the first century, this Malaga attraction was built during the Empire of Augustus and was used up until the third century.

The theatre has undergone significant restoration work, and visitors can now appreciate the grandeur of the Roman architecture. The seating area is divided into three sections, with the lower section reserved for the most important people in the city, such as the governor and other high-ranking officials. The middle section was for the middle class, while the upper section was for the rest of the population.

One of the most impressive aspects of the theater is the stage, which is still in excellent condition. Guests can walk on the stage and imagine what it was like to perform in front of a Roman audience. The theatre is also used for performances today, and it's a unique experience to watch a play in such a historic venue.

The Roman Theatre is free to visit, and it's an excellent opportunity to learn about the history of Malaga and the Romans. It's also a great way to spend a few hours, especially if you're interested in history and architecture. The theatre is open to visitors, and I would highly recommend adding it to your itinerary when visiting Malaga.


Address: C/ Alcazabilla, s/n, 29015 Málaga, Spain

Phone: +34 951 50 11 15

9. Playa de la Malagueta

Playa de la Malagueta  - Malaga

Playa de la Malagueta beach is located close to the city center in Malaga and only 12 minutes from Malaga airport, making it easily accessible for tourists and locals. The beach is sandy and stretches several kilometers east from the port.

One of the things I loved about Playa de la Malagueta is the cleanliness of the beach. The water is crystal clear and the sand is well-maintained. There are also clean changing rooms and showers available for visitors to use along the coast.

If you're looking for a place to grab a bite to eat, there are some select restaurants and chiringuitos (fish shacks) located along the beach. I highly recommend trying the espetos, a popular dish in Andalusia where sardines are grilled on a skewer over an open flame.

During my visit, I also noticed that there were lifeguards on duty, which made me feel safe while swimming in the ocean. It's important to note that the water can be a bit cold, especially in June, so be prepared for that.

10. Plaza de la Merced

Plaza de la Merced - Malaga

I recently visited Plaza de la Merced, a famous square located in the centre of Malaga. This ornate square is a must-visit top attraction for anyone visiting Malaga. It is famous for its historical significance and its association with the renowned artist Pablo Picasso.

Plaza de la Merced is home to the Casa Natal de Picasso, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. The house has been turned into a museum that showcases the artist's life and work. It is a great place to visit for art enthusiasts and anyone interested in learning about the life of Picasso.

Apart from the museum, La Merced Plaza is also known for its tapas bars and nightlife. By day, the square is a tranquil spot ideal for picking up some tapas or a beer. But by night, it comes alive with music and partying, making it a popular nightlife spot.

The square is also home to a statue of Pablo Picasso that reminds visitors of the artist's connection to the city. Additionally, Plaza de la Merced has historical significance as it was the site where General Torrijos and his companions were executed on the orders of Ferdinand VII.

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11. Centre Pompidou Malaga

Centre Pompidou Malaga

The Centre Pompidou is a modern art museum located in the middle of Malaga city, Southern Spain. It is a part of the Centre Pompidou family, which includes the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.

The Centre Pompidou Malaga is one of the top things to see for art lovers. The museum features a collection of modern art from the 20th and 21st centuries, including works by artists such as Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, which change regularly, so there is always something new to see.

The building itself is a work of art, with its unique design and architecture. The Centre Pompidou Malaga is housed in a glass cube, which is suspended above a plaza. The cube is covered in a colorful geometric pattern, which makes it stand out from the surrounding buildings.

The museum is open every day except for Tuesdays, and the opening hours are from 9:30 AM to 8 PM. The admission fee is reasonable, and there are discounts available for students, seniors, and groups.


Address: Pje. del Dr. Carrillo Casaux, s/n, 29016 Málaga, Spain

12. Parque de Málaga

Parque de Málaga

Parque de Málaga, a beautiful park located in Malaga centro, is a popular tourist attraction for anyone traveling to Málaga, especially if you're looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

One of the most striking features of the park is its stunning fountains. The Fountain of Swans, also known as the Fountain of Genoa, is a beautiful Renaissance fountain commissioned by Charles V. It's a great spot to take photos and admire the intricate details of the fountain.

For families with children, the park also has several playgrounds scattered throughout. The playgrounds are well-maintained and provide a safe and fun environment for children to play in.

In addition to the fountains and playgrounds, the park also has several kiosks and stands, including a bandstand. These provide a great opportunity to grab a snack or drink while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.


Address: Paseo del Parque, 1, 29015 Málaga, Spain

13. Atarazanas Market

Atarazanas market - Malaga

When I visited Malaga, one of the best things I did was to stroll through the Atarazanas Market in the heart of Old Town within Malaga. This market is a great place to visit for anyone who loves fresh, locally sourced food. The market is housed in a stunning 19th-century building that was originally a shipyard. It gracefully incorporates its Moorish heritage into its detailed industrial age iron works.

The Atarazanas Market is one of the oldest and most popular markets in Malaga. It is located in the heart of the city's historic district, just a short walk from many of the city's top monuments. The market is known for its wide variety of fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, and meats. You can find everything from locally caught fish and seafood to exotic fruits and vegetables.

One of the things I loved about the Atarazanas Market was the atmosphere. The market is always bustling with activity, and the vendors are friendly and welcoming. You can find a mix of locals and tourists shopping for their daily groceries or enjoying a quick bite to eat in Malaga at one of the market's many food stalls. The market is a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and get a taste of Andalusia's culinary traditions.

If you're looking for a unique souvenir to take home, the Atarazanas Market is the perfect place to find it. The market offers a wide variety of handmade crafts, including ceramics, textiles, and jewelry. You can also find a range of traditional Spanish products, such as olive oil, wine, and cured meats.


Address: C. Atarazanas, 10, 29005 Málaga, Spain

Phone: +34 951 92 60 10

14. Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Malaga

Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Malaga

A while back I visited the Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Malaga and was impressed by the collection of over 3,000 glass pieces. This museum is a hidden gem in Malaga and is definitely worth a visit if you are interested in glass art and history.

The glass museum is situated in a carefully restored 18th century house, which adds to the charm of the place. The facade of the building is adorned with beautiful paintings, and the interior is equally stunning. The glass pieces are displayed in a way that highlights their beauty and craftsmanship.

The crystal museum has a significant representation of paintings, furniture, and decorative objects belonging to different historical periods. This creates a magical atmosphere in the domestic context in which their first owners lived. The glass pieces pay tribute to artisanal techniques of the past, many of them sadly lost nowadays.

The Museo del Vidrio y Cristal is a private collection, which makes it even more special. The collection is carefully curated, and the staff is knowledgeable and passionate about the pieces on display. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 11 am to 7 pm.


Address: Plazuela Santísimo Cristo de la Sangre, 2, 29012 Málaga, Spain

Phone: +34 952 22 02 71

15. La Concepcion Historic Botanical Garden

La Concepcion Historic Botanical Garden – Malaga

The La Concepcion Historic Botanical Garden in Malaga is one of the best-preserved subtropical landscape gardens in Europe, and it's an asset of cultural interest created in 1855. This garden has more than fifty thousand plants, including three thousand tropical, subtropical, autochthonous, endemic, and agricultural species, varieties, and cultivars.

The garden is located at the northern entrance of Malaga, and it's one of the few gardens with subtropical climate plants that exist in Europe. The garden covers a 23-hectare site, and it's a natural oasis in the city.

The history of La Concepcion gardens and house dates back to 1855 when two members of Malaga's rising bourgeois class, Amalia de Heredia Livermore and Jorge Enrique Loring Oyarzabal, got married. They brought and ordered plants and trees from all around the world and created a tropical oasis throughout the site. The garden has a unique layout, and it's a great place for a peaceful walk or a picnic.

If you're planning to visit Malaga, I highly recommend visiting the La Concepcion Historic Botanical Garden. It's the best place to relax and enjoy nature in Malaga. The garden is open every day from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm, and the admission fee is €5.20 for adults, €3.10 for children and retired persons, and free for children under six years old.


Address: Cam. del Jardin Botanico, 3, 29014 Málaga, Spain

Phone: +34 951 92 61 80

Best Flights To Malaga

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Q: What are some hidden gems to explore in Malaga?

A: When Malaga sightseeing, I highly recommend visiting the lesser-known places in Malaga, such as the beautiful Botanical Gardens of La Concepcion, the charming fishing village of Pedregalejo, the Contemporary Art Museun in Malaga, and the stunning views from the Mirador de Gibralfaro. These hidden gems offer a unique and authentic experience of the city.

Q: What are the best things to do in Malaga for couples?

A: If you're looking for a romantic getaway, Malaga has plenty to offer around the city. You can take a stroll along the picturesque promenade of Muelle Uno, enjoy a sunset at the beach of Playa del Palo, or explore the narrow streets of the historic center. You can also book a private boat tour or enjoy a wine tasting experience in the nearby vineyards.

Q: What are some cheap things to do in Malaga?

A: Malaga is a budget-friendly destination with plenty of free or low-cost Malaga activities. You can visit the Picasso Museum for free on Sunday afternoons, take a self-guided walking tour of the city, or enjoy the stunning views from the rooftop terrace of the AC Hotel Malaga Palacio. You can also sample the local cuisine at the Mercado Central Atarazanas or take a day trip to the nearby village of Ronda.

Q: What are some places to visit near Malaga?

A: Malaga is a great starting point for exploring the areas around Malaga. You can visit the charming town of Marbella, the stunning beaches of Nerja, or the historic city of Granada with its famous Alhambra Palace. You can also take a day trip to the picturesque village of Mijas or explore the rugged landscape of the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park.

Q: How many days do you need to fully explore Malaga?

A: To fully explore Malaga, I recommend spending at least 3-4 days in the city. This will give you enough time to visit the main attractions, such as the Alcazaba fortress, the Cathedral, and the Picasso Museum, as well as explore the hidden gems and enjoy the local cuisine. However, if you want to explore the surrounding areas away from Malaga, you may need to add a few more days to your itinerary.

Recommended Hotels In Malaga

Gran Hotel Miramar in Malaga

Gran Hotel Miramar

Featuring views of the beach, the garden, or the city, the elegant rooms at this hotel are air conditioned and equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and an entertainment media library, as well as Bluetooth sound system, USB and HDMI connections.

AC Hotel Málaga Palacio by Marriott

AC Hotel Málaga Palacio

Located between Málaga Cathedral and Paseo del Parque, AC Hotel by Marriott Málaga Palacio features a rooftop swimming pool and views of Málaga’s port. It has a gym and rooms with flat-screen TVs. Each room has a minibar and free WiFi is available throughout the property.

Ilunion Málaga hotel

Ilunion Málaga

Set in a contemporary eco-efficient building within the port area and overlooking the sea, Ilunion Málaga offers an on-site restaurant, wellness area with indoor pool, and a fitness centre. Maria Zambrano Train Station is just 5 minutes' walk away.


Book Your Hotel In Malaga

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Book Your Flight To Malaga

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights to Malaga. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airline companies around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Car Rental In Malaga?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the cheapest rental cars in Malaga here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Malaga?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Malaga, here you will find all the answers to book your next private airport transfer in Malaga.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never visit Malaga without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel to Malaga. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Spain:

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