Your Ultimate Guide to Discover Malaga
Hitting the Dance Floor in Malaga
Find the upcoming festivals happening in the city.
- Viva La Bachata EUROPE 2024Viva La Bachata EUROPE 2024 🗓 When: 25th April – 29th April 2024🌐 Where: Malaga, Spain📍 Location: Rotonda de los Elefantes, Av. del Sol, 195, 29630 Benalmádena, Málaga🎟 Buy your tickets with a discount here – Promo code: BACHATAFESTS If you love bachata, you will love what Luis y Andrea are preparing for you. The 2024 edition of … Read more
- IX No Solo Salsa Congress 2023IX No Solo Salsa Congress 2023 🗓 When: 24th November – 26th November 2023🌐 Where: Malaga, Spain📍 Location: C. Martínez Catena, 6, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga🎟 Buy your tickets with a discount here Who said November is a cold month in Europe?Not if you are in Malaga. Get ready for the 9th edition of the No Solo Salsa … Read more
- The best Bachata Festivals in 2024The Best Bachata Festivals in 2024 New year,new resolutions,and of course…new Bachata festivals for 2024. If you are yet about to plan your 2024 Bachata Festivals,you can find here the top 12 festivals to attend in 2024. Which festival to attend in January 2024 This is an easy decision-brainer,if there is a Bachata festival in … Read more
- Bachata parties in Madrid SpainBachata parties in Madrid Spain If you have been dancing for some time,You may be already familiar with the “Madrid” step. If you are new in town,or simply have started dancing the bachata recently,You probably may be asking yourself where I can dance bachata in this city.We have you covered in this post. Where to … Read more
- Hot Tropical Dance Malaga 2024Hot Tropical Dance Malaga 2024 🗓 When: 12th April – 14th April 2024🌐 Where: Malaga, Spain📍 Location: Km 207 A-7, Playa del Castillo, s/n, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain.🎟 Buy your tickets with a discount here While people in Sweden, Poland or Estonia, will be wearing the winter coat in April,you have the chance to swim by the … Read more
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book your bachata private class in the city here.
What to do in Malaga
If you’re looking for a destination that combines culture, history, art, gastronomy and beach, look no further than Malaga.
This vibrant port city on the Costa del Sol is the birthplace of Picasso, the home of stunning Moorish architecture, and a paradise for seafood lovers.
Whether you want to explore the museums and monuments of the old town, relax on the golden sands of the coast, or enjoy the lively nightlife and tapas scene, Malaga has something for everyone.
In this article, we’ll show you why Malaga is one of Spain’s most exciting and underrated cities, and how to make the most of your visit.
Ready to discover Malaga? Let’s go!
Getting Around Malaga: Transportation Guide
Malaga is a city that offers many options for getting around, whether you want to explore the historic center, the beaches, or the surrounding towns.
You can choose from buses, metro, trains, taxis, or even bikes, depending on your preferences and budget.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to use each mode of transportation in Malaga, and give you some tips and tricks to make your travel easier and cheaper.
The bus network in Malaga covers most of the city and its suburbs, with 45 urban lines and 4 night lines.
You can buy a single ticket for €1.40 on board (cash, card or QR code), or get a rechargeable card that allows transfers and discounts. The buses run from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., with some exceptions.
You can check the routes and timetables on the EMT Malaga website1. There is also a bus station near the train station, where you can catch buses to other destinations in the province or beyond.
The metro in Malaga is relatively new, and consists of 2 lines that intersect at the train station.
The metro is useful if you want to go to some areas outside the center, such as Teatinos or El Perchel. The metro runs from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on weekdays, and until 1:30 a.m. on weekends and holidays.
You can buy a single ticket for €1.35 at the stations, or use a rechargeable card that also works for buses.
You can check the map and timetables on the Metro Malaga website.
The trains in Malaga are operated by RENFE, the national railway company. There are two types of trains: commuter trains (Cercanías) and long-distance trains (AVE). The commuter trains connect Malaga with other towns along the coast, such as Torremolinos, Fuengirola, or Benalmádena, as well as inland destinations like Álora.
There are two lines: C1 and C2, that run from 6:00 a.m. to midnight. You can buy a single ticket for €1.80-€5.20 at the stations, or use a rechargeable card that also works for buses and metro.
The long-distance trains connect Malaga with major cities in Spain, such as Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, or Cordoba.
Some of them are high-speed trains (AVE) that can reach up to 300 km/h. You can buy a ticket online or at the stations, but it is advisable to book in advance as prices vary depending on demand and availability.
You can check the routes and timetables on the RENFE website.
Taxis are another option for getting around Malaga, especially if you are in a hurry or traveling at night. You can find taxi ranks throughout the city, or hail one on the street if it has a green light on top.
You can also call a taxi service or use an app like Uber or Cabify. The fares are regulated by the city council, and depend on the distance, time of day, and number of passengers.
There is also a fixed fare of €20 for trips between the airport and the city center.
If you are feeling adventurous and eco-friendly, you can also explore Malaga by bike.
The city has over 30 km of bike lanes and paths that connect different areas and attractions.
You can rent a bike from one of the many shops in town, or use MálagaBici, the public bike-sharing service that has over 20 stations around the city.
You need to register online or at an information point to use this service, and pay a fee of €13 per year or €5 per week. The first 30 minutes of each ride are free, then you pay €0.017 per minute.
As you can see, Malaga has plenty of transportation options to suit your needs and preferences. Whether you want to stay in the city or venture out to other places, you can find a way to get there easily and affordably.
Best Things to See and Do in Malaga
Malaga is a city that has it all: culture, history, art, gastronomy and beach. But with so many attractions to choose from, how do you decide what to see and do in Malaga? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best things to see and do in Malaga, whether you have a few hours or a few days to explore this amazing city.
The Alcazaba of Malaga
This is probably the most well-known tourist attraction in Malaga. The Alcazaba is a Moorish fortress-palace that dates back to the 11th century. It offers stunning views of the city and the sea, as well as beautiful gardens and courtyards.
You can also visit the adjacent Roman theater, which was discovered in the 1950s.
Another place you must visit in Malaga is Gibralfaro castle. This medieval castle is located on a hill above the Alcazaba, and was once a strategic point of defense for the city.
You can walk along the ramparts and enjoy panoramic views of Malaga and its surroundings.
The Malaga Cathedral
The Malaga Cathedral is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. It was built between the 16th and 18th centuries, and combines different architectural styles, such as Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
The cathedral has a unique feature: it has only one tower, instead of two, due to lack of funds. That’s why it is nicknamed “La Manquita”, which means “the one-armed lady”.
Museums to visit in Malaga
Malaga is a city of culture and art, and has many museums to prove it. The most famous one is the Museo Picasso Málaga, which houses an important collection of works by Malaga’s most famous son.
You can also visit the Museo Carmen Thyssen, which displays paintings by Spanish artists from the 19th and 20th centuries; the Museo Ruso de Málaga, which showcases Russian art from the 16th to 20th centuries; or the Centre Pompidou Málaga, which is a branch of the famous Parisian museum of modern art.
If you want to relax and enjoy the sun and the sea, Malaga has plenty of beaches to choose from. The closest one to the city center is La Malagueta, which is a long stretch of sand with a lively promenade.
You can also go to Pedregalejo or El Palo, which are former fishing villages with charming chiringuitos (beachside restaurants) where you can taste fresh seafood.
Or you can take a bus or a train to other nearby towns, such as Torremolinos, Fuengirola or Benalmádena, which have more beaches and attractions.
These are just some of the best things to see and do in Malaga, but there are many more.
You can also visit the botanical gardens of La Concepción, the Atarazanas market, or the port area. Or you can take a day trip to other places in Andalusia, such as Ronda, Granada or Seville.
Whatever you choose, you will surely fall in love with Malaga and its charm.
Where to Stay in Malaga: Accommodation Options
Malaga is a city that offers a wide range of accommodation options for every taste and budget. Whether you are looking for a luxury hotel, a cozy apartment, a budget hostel, or a charming guesthouse, you will find it in Malaga.
Here are some of the best areas and places to stay in Malaga, depending on your preferences and needs.
This is the best area to stay in Malaga if you want to be close to the main attractions, museums, restaurants, and shops.
You can walk to most places of interest, or take a bus or a metro to other areas. You can find hotels of all categories and prices, from boutique hotels to chain hotels.
Some of the best hotels in Malaga Centro are Gran Hotel Miramar GL, which is a luxurious 5-star hotel overlooking the beach; Ilunion Málaga which is a modern 4-star hotel with a spa and a pool; and Hotel Sur Málaga, which is a comfortable 2-star hotel with a great location.
Carretera de Cadiz
This is the best area to stay in Malaga if you want to be near the airport, the train station, or the beach. It is a residential and commercial area, with many shops, supermarkets, and restaurants.
You can take a bus or a metro to the city center, or enjoy the promenade and the beach. You can find hotels of all categories and prices, from luxury hotels to budget hotels.
Some of the best hotels in Carretera de Cadiz are Vincci Málaga, which is a stylish 4-star hotel with sea views; Campanile Málaga Airport, which is a convenient 3-star hotel with free parking; and Ibis Budget Málaga Aeropuerto Avenida de Velazquez, which is a cheap and cheerful 1-star hotel with free Wi-Fi.
This is the best area to stay in Malaga if you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy nature and tranquility.
It is a rural area, with green spaces, golf courses, and farms. You can take a bus or a taxi to the airport or the city center, or rent a car to explore other places. You can find hotels of all categories and prices, from resort hotels to guesthouses.
Some of the best hotels in Churriana are Sol Guadalmar, which is a 4-star hotel with pools and gardens; Holiday Inn Express Málaga Airport, which is a 3-star hotel with free breakfast; and Cortijo Chico Airport, which is a charming 4-star hotel with a restaurant.
Must-Try Local Cuisine in Malaga: Where to Eat and Drink
Malaga is a city that will delight your taste buds with its rich and varied cuisine. Influenced by its Mediterranean location, its Moorish heritage, and its agricultural products, Malaga’s food and drink are full of flavor, color, and diversity.
Here are some of the must-try local dishes and drinks in Malaga, and where to find them.
Fried fish and espetos
You cannot leave Malaga without trying its famous fried fish, especially the white anchovies (boquerones) and the red mullets (salmonetes). You can find them in almost any bar or restaurant, served as a tapa or a main course.
Another specialty is the espetos, which are sardines skewered on a stick and grilled over an open fire on the beach. You can enjoy them in the chiringuitos, the beachside restaurants that offer fresh seafood and stunning views.
Malaga style salad
A refreshing and healthy salad that combines potatoes, cod, onion, olives, and orange. The orange adds a sweet and citrusy touch that contrasts with the salty cod and olives.
You can find this salad in many places, but one of the best is La Cosmopolita,
a traditional tavern that serves authentic Malaga cuisine.
Meatballs in almond sauce
A hearty and delicious dish that showcases the use of almonds in Malaga’s cuisine. The meatballs are made with beef or pork, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, and egg, and cooked in a creamy sauce of almonds, bread, garlic, saffron, and white wine.
You can try this dish at El Tapeo de Cervantes, a cozy and charming tapas bar that offers a variety of dishes made with local ingredients.
Porra antequerana or salmorejo
Two versions of cold tomato soup that are similar to gazpacho, but thicker and creamier. Porra antequerana is typical of Antequera, a town near Malaga, and is made with tomato, bread, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and water. Salmorejo is typical of Cordoba, another Andalusian city, and is made with tomato, bread, garlic, olive oil, salt, and water.
Both soups are served with chopped ham and boiled egg on top.
You can taste them at La Barra de Zapata, a modern and elegant restaurant that specializes in international and Mediterranean cuisine.
Malaga is famous for its sweet wine (vino dulce), which is made from muscatel or Pedro Ximenez grapes.
The wine is aged in oak barrels for different periods of time, resulting in different types of wine: natural sweet wine (vino naturalmente dulce), liqueur wine (vino de licor), or fortified wine (vino generoso).
You can drink it as an aperitif or as a dessert wine. You can sample different kinds of sweet wine at Antigua Casa de Guardia, the oldest winery in Malaga that dates back to 1840.
Malaga is a city that has plenty of attractions to see and do, but if you want to discover some of its hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path spots, you will need to dig a little deeper.
Here are some of the places that will surprise you with their beauty, history, culture, or charm, and that are not so crowded with tourists.
La Concepcion Botanical Garden
This is a place that not many tourists visit, even though it is one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe. It is located in the northern part of the city, and covers 23 hectares of land. It has more than 2,000 species of plants from all over the world, as well as sculptures, fountains, ponds, and bridges.
You can walk along the paths and enjoy the tranquility and nature. You can also visit the historic house of the Marquis of Casa Loring, who created the garden in the 19th century1.
Peña Juan Breva Flamenco Museum and Bar
This is a place that will be of interest to flamenco lovers, or anyone who wants to learn more about this art form. It is located in a traditional house in the old town, and it has a museum that displays flamenco costumes, instruments, posters, and photos.
You can also watch live flamenco shows in the bar area, or join a flamenco workshop or class.
This is a neighborhood that has been transformed by street art and creativity. It is located near Plaza de la Merced, and it has many colorful murals and graffiti that decorate the walls and facades of the buildings.
You can also find art galleries, cafes, bars, and shops that sell local crafts and products. It is a place that showcases the alternative and bohemian side of Malaga.
Museum Jorge Rando
This is a museum that is dedicated to one of the most important expressionist painters in Spain. It is located in a former convent in the old town, and it has a collection of paintings by Jorge Rando, as well as temporary exhibitions by other artists.
The museum also organizes cultural events, such as concerts, lectures, and workshops. The entrance is free.
La Casa Invisible
This is a cultural center that is run by a collective of artists and activists. It is located in a historic building in the old town, and it has various spaces for exhibitions, workshops, meetings, concerts, and performances.
It also has a library, a garden, a bar, and a restaurant. It is a place that promotes social movements, alternative culture, and participatory democracy.
Malaga’s Top Shopping Destinations: Where to Shop
Malaga is a city that offers a wide range of shopping options for every taste and budget. Whether you are looking for fashion, souvenirs, art, or local products, you will find it in Malaga.
Here are some of the top shopping destinations in Malaga, where you can shop till you drop.
This is the most elegant and exclusive street in Malaga, and the main artery of the city center.
It is a pedestrian street lined with marble and decorated with lights and flowers. Here you can find some of the best Spanish and international brands, such as Mango, Massimo Dutti, Zara, COS, Victoria’s Secret, and Bimba y Lola.
You can also admire the historic buildings and monuments along the street, such as the Larios Monument and the Cathedral.
This is a parallel street to Calle Larios, and it has a more eclectic and diverse mix of shops. Here you can find some of the best international brands, such as Flying Tiger, Decathlon City, Marks & Spencer, and Footlocker.
You can also find some unique and quirky shops, such as Natura, which sells fashion accessories, gifts, and homeware; or La Bella Julieta, which sells delicious bagels and cakes.
This is a perpendicular street to Calle Larios and Calle Nueva, and it has a more traditional and local flavor.
Here you can find some of the best shops for typical products from Malaga and Andalusia, such as olive oil, wine, cheese, ham, ceramics, leather goods, and flamenco dresses.
You can also find some of the best pastry shops in Malaga, such as Casa Mira, which sells the famous turrones (nougat); or Casa Aranda, which sells the best churros con chocolate (fried dough with hot chocolate).
This is a modern and stylish shopping center located at the port area of Malaga. It has a beautiful waterfront location with stunning views of the sea and the Alcazaba. Here you can find some of the best fashion and lifestyle brands, such as Adolfo Dominguez, Desigual, Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, and Rituals.
You can also find some of the best restaurants and bars in Malaga, such as Jose Carlos Garcia Restaurant, which has a Michelin star; or Gorki Selección Muelle Uno, which has a great selection of tapas and wines.
McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Málaga
This is a new shopping center that opened in 2020 near the airport of Malaga. It is part of a European network of designer outlets that offer discounts of up to 70% on top brands.
Here you can find some of the best luxury and premium brands, such as Versace, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Swarovski.
You can also find some of the best sports and casual brands, such as Adidas, Nike, Puma, Levi’s, and Superdry.
Nightlife in Malaga: Best Bars, Clubs, and Entertainment
Malaga is a city that has a vibrant and varied nightlife scene, with something for everyone. Whether you want to enjoy a drink with a view, dance the night away, listen to live music, or watch a show, you will find it in Malaga. Here are some of the best nightlife activities in Malaga, where you can have fun and make memories.
Malaga has a great selection of bars, from traditional taverns to trendy cocktail lounges. You can find bars in almost every street and square of the city center, especially in the areas of Plaza de la Merced, Plaza de la Constitucion, Plaza Uncibay, and Plaza Mitjana.
Some of the best bars in Malaga are Antigua Casa de Guardia, which is the oldest winery in Malaga and serves sweet wine from barrels;
Puerta Oscura, which is a cosy and elegant bar with a classical music theme;
Speakeasy “The Pharmacy”, which is a hidden bar behind a pharmacy that serves creative cocktails; and Friends&Mojitos, which is a lively and modern bar with a terrace and deep house music.
Malaga has a great selection of clubs, from small and intimate venues to large and flashy ones. You can find clubs in different areas of the city, such as the port area (Muelle Uno), the industrial area (Poligono San Luis), or the outskirts (Torremolinos).
Some of the best clubs in Malaga are ZZ Pub, which is a legendary club that hosts live music and DJs every night; Sala Premier, which is a stylish and sophisticated club with a rooftop terrace and panoramic views;
Salsa classes in Malaga, which is a place where you can learn and practice salsa dancing with professional instructors; and Mode Late Bar, which is a cozy and friendly club that plays indie, rock, and pop music.
Malaga has a great selection of entertainment options, from cultural shows to comedy nights. You can find entertainment venues in different parts of the city, such as the old town (Centro Historico), the port area (Muelle Uno), or the suburbs (Churriana).
Some of the best entertainment options in Malaga are The Shakespeare Pub, which is an English pub that hosts comedy nights, quizzes, karaoke, and live music;
Morrissey’s Irish Pub, which is an Irish pub that hosts concerts, sports events, and themed parties;
Colours Irish Bar, which is another Irish pub that hosts bingo nights, drag shows, and cabaret; and La Cochera Cabaret, which is a cultural center that hosts theater, dance, circus, and music shows.
Family-Friendly Activities and Attractions in Malaga
Malaga is a city that has a lot to offer for families with kids of all ages.
Whether you want to learn about history, culture, nature, or just have fun, you will find it in Malaga.
Here are some of the best family-friendly activities and attractions in Malaga, where you can enjoy quality time with your loved ones.
The Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle
These are two of the most iconic landmarks in Malaga, and a great way to introduce your kids to the rich and diverse history of the city. The Alcazaba is a Moorish fortress-palace that dates back to the 11th century, and has beautiful gardens, courtyards, and views.
The Gibralfaro Castle is a medieval castle that stands on a hill above the Alcazaba, and has impressive ramparts and panoramic views. You can buy a joint ticket for both attractions and explore them at your own pace.
You can also join a guided tour or an audio tour to learn more about their history and secrets.
The Botanical Garden
This is a place where you can connect with nature and discover more than 2,000 species of plants from all over the world.
The Botanical Garden was created in the 19th century by a wealthy couple who loved gardening, and has different areas such as the tropical garden, the historical garden, the cactus garden, and the orchid garden. You can also see some archaeological remains and sculptures along the way.
The Botanical Garden is a perfect place for a picnic, a stroll, or a game of hide and seek.
The Segway Tour
This is a fun and exciting way to see the sights of Malaga without getting tired. You can join a Segway tour that takes you around the city center, the port area, or the beach promenade.
You will have an expert guide who will show you the highlights and tell you interesting facts and stories. You will also have time to take photos and enjoy the views.
The Segway tour is suitable for kids over 10 years old, and includes a training session before you start.
The Flamenco Show
This is a cultural experience that will immerse you in the art and passion of flamenco. You can watch a flamenco show at Tablao Alegría, one of the best venues in Malaga.
You will see traditional dancing, singing, and guitar playing by talented artists from Malaga and other parts of Andalusia. You will also learn about the different styles and rhythms of flamenco, such as alegrías, soleás, bulerías, and fandangos.
The flamenco show lasts for about an hour, and includes a drink of your choice.
Day Trips and Excursions from Malaga
Malaga is a city that has a lot to offer for travelers who want to explore the surrounding regions of Andalusia, Morocco, and Gibraltar.
Whether you want to see historic cities, stunning landscapes, exotic cultures, or charming villages, you will find it within a short distance from Malaga.
Here are some of the best day trips and excursions from Malaga, where you can discover new places and experiences.
If you want to experience a different continent and culture, you can take a day trip to Morocco from Malaga. You can join a guided tour that takes you by bus and ferry to Tangier, the closest Moroccan city to Spain.
You will have a chance to see the highlights of Tangier, such as the Kasbah, the Medina, the Grand Socco, and the Petit Socco. You will also enjoy a traditional Moroccan lunch and a camel ride on the beach.
You will need your passport and visa (if required) for this trip.
If you want to see one of the most beautiful and impressive monuments in Spain, you can take a day trip to Granada from Malaga. You can join a guided tour that takes you by bus to Granada, the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain.
You will have a chance to visit the Alhambra, the stunning palace-fortress that showcases the Islamic art and architecture of Andalusia.
You will also see the Generalife gardens, the Albaicin quarter, and the Royal Chapel. You will need to book your tickets for the Alhambra in advance, as they sell out quickly.
If you want to enjoy some beach time and nature exploration, you can take a day trip to Nerja from Malaga. You can join a guided tour that takes you by bus to Nerja, a popular coastal town on the Costa del Sol.
You will have a chance to visit the Nerja Caves, one of the most visited sites in Spain. The caves have spectacular formations of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as prehistoric paintings.
You will also have some free time to relax on the beach or stroll along the Balcon de Europa promenade.
If you want to see one of the most picturesque and historic towns in Andalusia, you can take a day trip to Ronda from Malaga.
You can join a guided tour that takes you by bus to Ronda, a town that sits on a cliff above a deep gorge. You will have a chance to see the Puente Nuevo bridge, which spans the gorge and connects the old and new parts of town.
You will also see the Plaza de Toros, the oldest bullring in Spain; the Mondragon Palace, which was once home to Moorish kings; and the Casa del Rey Moro, which has a secret water mine.
You will also have some free time to explore the charming streets and shops of Ronda.