Malaga: The Ultimate Guide to a Great City Trip!
Malaga is one of the largest cities in Spain, but you don’t get that feeling at all when you walk through its beautiful historic narrow alleys. Downtown is small but nice. Everything is within walking distance and on every street corner you will find another cozy place to have a drink. Because they do that here a lot and well. For the food and drink alone, Malaga comes highly recommended. But even if you want something different, Malaga and its surroundings offer a lot of beauty. From beaches, biking along the boulevard, botanical gardens and lots of history.
A few years ago we decided last minute to take a weekend trip. After a quick search online, we came across return tickets to Malaga for only 20 euros! WHAT!?#, holy shit, not TRUE. Yes, it really is. For 20 euros you can fly from our cold little country to sunny Malaga. tickets we could not pass up. So hatseflats, backpacks packed and off to a few days of drinking wine and eating tapas in Malaga.
Since then, we have been back to Malaga about 5 times. If we are in southern Spain by bus we always stop for a few days in Malaga. By now we have seen almost every corner of Malaga, but we never get tired of it!
What to do in Malaga
From world-famous museums to tasting delicious local dishes on a tasty food tour, Malaga excites all your senses. Whether you are looking for history, culture, nature or just relaxing on the beach, Malaga has something for everyone.
- Food Tour of Malaga: Book a food tour with Spain Food Sherpa to discover the city and its culinary culture. More Info
- Visit Alcazaba: Explore the historic Moorish fortress Alcazaba on Gibrafaro Mountain, built around 1055. Its unique Roman ruins and beautiful courtyard gardens are well worth a visit.
- Walk to Gibralfaro Castle: A short walk (or climb) from Alcazaba leads you to Gibralfaro Castle, perfect for adding culture and history to your trip.
- Cycling through Malaga: Rent a bike and explore the city and its surroundings. Cycling along the promenade and passing several cute villages is a fun activity.
- Visit Malaga’s market halls: Discover local food culture at Mercado Atarazanas, Malaga’s market. This market consists of three halls: fruits & vegetables, meat and fish.
- Visit the Picasso Museum: Visit this well-known museum to admire some 200 works by Picasso, including sculptures and ceramics.
- Centro de Arte Contemporáneo: This contemporary art museum has changing exhibitions of innovative and progressive works by international and national artists.
- Carmen Thyssen Museum: A great museum for lovers of 19th-century Spanish painting. It contains an extensive collection of works by leading Andalusian artists.
- Calle Larios: This is the city’s main commercial street and a perfect place for shopping. It is a beautiful, wide street with many stores of well-known brands.
- Roman Theater: This ancient theater dates back to the first century BCE and is still partially in use for outdoor performances.
- La Malagueta Beach: Soak up the sun on Malaga’s most popular urban beach, La Malagueta. Here you will find plenty of chiringuitos (beach bars) where you can eat fresh fish and seafood.
- Visit the hip Soho district: Explore Malaga’s trendy Soho district, known for its street art, boutiques, galleries and lively atmosphere.
- Caminito del Rey: Venture on a breathtaking hike along the Caminito del Rey, a narrow footpath located high above the gorge of El Chorro. Enjoy spectacular views of the natural surroundings and impressive cliffs. Be sure to reserve your ticket in advance, as a limited number of visitors are allowed each day.
Remember that opening hours and admission prices can vary, so it is always a good idea to check in advance.
Also read the article“10x to do in Malaga”
Hotspots & food in Malaga
- MalagaUvedoble: Our absolute favorite! Here, enjoy tapas with a modern twist that are incredibly delicious. An absolute must-visit.
- Colmado 93: Loved by locals, this cozy bar offers the perfect atmosphere to enjoy tapas and a refreshing drink.
- Buenavista Gastrobar & Tapas: Be surprised by great tapas with a modern touch. The combination of flavors and creative presentation is a culinary delight.
- Pez Lola: For lovers of fish tapas, this is the ultimate destination. Taste the freshest and most delicious seafood in a cozy setting.
- Mesón Mariano: This place is an absolute must for artichoke lovers. Be enchanted by the unique preparations and surprising flavors.
- Casa Lola: Although it can be a bit more touristy, Casa Lola is a wonderful place where you can enjoy the most delicious dishes.
- Mesón Ibérico: For an unforgettable tapas experience, this is the place to be. Indulge your taste buds with a plethora of delicious tapas.
- Bar Mercado Atarazanas: This charming tapas bar is located in Malaga’s lively market halls. Enjoy authentic flavors in a cozy environment.
- Los Patios: This hidden gem offers delicious tapas and an excellent selection of wines. Discover sophisticated flavors and relax on the cozy terrace.
- El Refectorium Catedral Malaga: Enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the impressive cathedral. This tapas restaurant offers flavorful dishes and a unique ambiance.
- El Pimpi: Although a popular tourist spot, a visit to El Pimpi is a must if you are in Malaga. Taste the traditional flavors and admire the historic decor.
- La Recova: This small and cozy restaurant is perfect for an intimate culinary experience. Discover flavorful dishes and enjoy the warm atmosphere.
- La Cepa de Cádiz: This hip tapas restaurant just outside the center is the ideal place to enjoy creative dishes and a lively atmosphere.
More hot spots? Want to know where best to score your brekkie or where to go for a fancy smanzy dinner? Then go very quickly to the article“Hotspots Malaga“.
Kneiter handy Google Maps map
Now you’re thinking, Holy CRAP that’s heck of a lot of tips! No Worries. We’ve added everything for you in handy MAPS map. You can just add it to your Google Maps and then you will always have all your tips at hand.
Best time to travel to Malaga
Looking for the perfect time to visit Malaga? Good news! This vibrant city on the Costa del Sol is perfect to visit all year round. With its Mediterranean climate, Malaga enjoys mild winters and long, sunny summers. If you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy pleasant temperatures, consider going in spring or early fall. These seasons offer a perfect balance of warm weather and fewer tourists. If you want to fully enjoy the sun, the summer months are ideal. Just keep in mind that it can be quite crowded in July and August. In short, whether you want to enjoy spring and fall colors or summer vibes, Malaga has something for everyone, all year round.
Transportation in Malaga
Because Malaga is nice and small, almost all of it can be done on foot. The compact size of the city makes it easy to stroll from one sight to another, enjoying its charming streets and lively atmosphere. If you prefer a faster means of transportation, the bicycle is the best option. Malaga has a bike-friendly infrastructure and there are plenty of bike rental locations where you can rent a bike for a day or even longer.
If you arrive at Malaga airport, the train is the most convenient and affordable way to travel to the city center. For only about 2 euros, the train will take you directly to the heart of Malaga. It’s a convenient and quick option, and you don’t have the hassle of finding parking spaces or navigating through heavy traffic. So why not just take the little train and be in the bustling center of Malaga in no time?
Of course, if you prefer not to travel by train or want extra convenience, you can also consider booking an Uber. It can be useful if you have a lot of luggage or if you just want a little more comfort and privacy. Keep in mind, however, that an Uber ride will be significantly more expensive than taking the train. You spend almost 10 times as much on an Uber ride, so if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the train is the best choice.
So my advice is: enjoy the convenience and charm of Malaga by going on foot and exploring the city. If you are traveling from the airport, just take the little train to the center. It is fast, affordable and takes you directly to the lively streets of Malaga. Let public transportation be your guide and discover all the amazing places this city has to offer!
Which budget do i need in Malaga?
Malaga is a top destination for your wallet. With smart planning and a few budget tips, you can enjoy all that this beautiful city has to offer without raiding your bank account.
Let’s start with accommodation. Malaga has a wide range of accommodation options, ranging from affordable hostels to comfortable budget hotels. By traveling off-season and booking early, you can take advantage of lower prices and special offers.If you book just outside the city, the prices are absolutely top notch.
Tapas, beers and wines don’t cost a dime in Malaga. But if you want to save even more, you can also get some snacks at the market and hit the beach or park.
Transportation in Malaga is also affordable and convenient. As mentioned earlier, you can take the train from the airport to the city center for a few euros. Once in the city, you can explore most of the sights on foot, which therefore costs absolutely nothing, nada, nopes.
Many museums and attractions have special rates for students and seniors, and some even offer free admission on certain days or times. The beach, park and walking through the city is, of course, completely free.
In short, a visit to Malaga does not have to be expensive. With smart choices and a little planning, you can have a great time in this vibrant city, even on a limited budget. So don’t worry about your wallet, just enjoy the wonderful sights, delicious food and lively atmosphere Malaga has to offer!”
Cost estimates for a weekend in Malaga
- Hostels: 25 euros per night
- Hotels: 45-80 euros per night
- Luxury Hotels: 80-200 euros per night
- Tapas: €6-€15 per person for a meal.
- Beer: €2 per glass.
- wine: €1.50 – 3.00 per glass.
- Picasso Museum: €10 admission fee.
- Alcazaba fortress: €3.50 entrance fee.
- Roman Theatre: €4.50 admission fee.
Budget for the weekend:
€150-€200 per person.
What are nice places to stay in Malaga?
The delightful and beautiful city of Malaga has more than enough accommodations for every type of traveler. Whether you want to stay in the heart of Malaga in a luxury hotel or small apartment. There is more than enough choice. Here are our favorites spots for a city break in Malaga.
How to get to Malaga?
So flying to Malaga can be spot on. Of course, this does depend a bit on when you go and from which airport. We found these tickets, but had to fly through Dusseldorf Airport (in the middle of the night). But for 20 euros round trip, you won’t hear us complain (okay maybe a little, because it was really mega early). But so they really do exist.
My dear sister and brother-in-law (who go to Malaga regularly) came up with the handy tip of parking the car through Parkos. Really ideal. We were nicely taken to the airport with a van and were charged a total of something like 20 euros for a weekend parking, but it can be even cheaper. Of course, we did this again heartily last minute and therefore paid a little more.
Once you’ve arrived in Malaga, it’s best to navigate to the train station via Google Maps. It is only 5 minutes from the airport, but can take some searching. At the station you can buy a ticket (just using your debit card). A ticket into town was about 2 euros and takes about 20 minutes.