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Things to do in Malaga

Things to do in  Malaga

Welcome to Malaga

Malaga is known as the gateway to the beaches and resort towns of the Costa del Sol, but there’s more to the port city than high-rise hotels and beachfront bars. Many visitors are surprised to discover that Malaga, with its enchanting historic center and thriving art scene—it is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, after all—is more in tune with Andalucia culture hubs such as Cordoba and Seville than the flashy coastal sprawls of Fuengirola and Benidorm. The sloping streets of the Old Town lend themselves well to Segway tours, during which visitors short on time can tick off Museo Picasso Malaga, Malaga Alcazaba, and Malaga Cathedral (Cathedral de la Encarnacion). The urban Malagueta Beach provides opportunity to swim and sunbathe; nearby Mijas, where whitewashed houses tumble picturesquely into the Mediterranean Sea, is a feast for the eyes; and Marbella, home to the affluent Puerto Banus, lures a party crowd with its swanky cocktail bars and star-studded clubs. For farther-flung adventures, Gibraltar, Seville, Granada, with its UNESCO World Heritage-listed Alhambra, and Ronda, home to a historic bullring and the dramatic El Tajo Gorge are within easy reach on day trips. Travelers yearning for a taste of Africa can cross the Alboran Sea on a full-day excursion to Morocco, where a guide reveals the exotic delights of Tangier. If you wish to stay for longer, multi-day trips cover more of Morocco over five or six days.

Top 10 attractions in Malaga

#1
Malaga Alcazaba

Malaga Alcazaba

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One of Málaga’s most popular attractions, the Alcazaba is an atmospheric Moorish palace and fortress with ornamental gardens. Take in panoramic views of the city as you marvel at the ingenious design tricks the Moors used to protect their stronghold.More
#2
El Caminito del Rey

El Caminito del Rey

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One of Andalucia’s top attractions, El Caminito del Rey is a narrow hiking path known for its nearly 2-mile (3-km) stretch of man-made boardwalks and glass footbridges that hug the sides of sheer cliffs and hang over river gorges. The roughly 3-hour hike takes you on paths 350 feet above the Guadalhorce River, offering stunning views of the Gaitanes Canyon (Desfiladero de los Gaitanes).More
#3
Hammam Al Ándalus Málaga

Hammam Al Ándalus Málaga

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Centuries ago, when Spain was under Muslim rule, Arab baths could be found in locations throughout the south. These hammams are said to have served as places of purification, hygiene and relaxation. Though few remain, you can still get a feel—in more ways than one—for what these tranquil getaways were like by experiencing the Hammam Al Ándalus in Málaga.Located in a historic building just off Martyers Square and next to an old Mudejar-towered church, this hammam—or Arab bath—features Moorish-inspired architecture. Think details such as horseshoe-shaped arches, colorful tiled walls, and ethereal lighting created by star-shaped skylights in the overhead dome.As is tradition, the Hammam Al ndalus has cold, warm and hot baths, as well as a steam room, and rest room, where you can relax and sip on traditional mint tea. Lasting 1.5 hours, the sessions allow guests to experience the various pools when not enjoying their massage. The massages themselves can be customized to last 30 minutes (rather than 15), and to include the use of a hot stone and traditional Arabic glove (called kessa) for rubbing soap and red grape into the skin. You can also pick from a selection of essential oils aimed to relax and moisturize.More
#4
Museo Picasso Málaga

Museo Picasso Málaga

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Museo Picasso Málaga, situated in the city of the master’s birth, showcases a collection of more than 200 pieces donated to the museum by Picasso’s family. While the Blue and Rose periods are missing, the collection highlights the artist’s personal side, with works he painted for his family or kept for himself.More
#5
Malaga Cathedral (Cathedral de la Encarnación)

Malaga Cathedral (Cathedral de la Encarnación)

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Built between 1528 and 1782, after Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand expelled the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula, Málaga Cathedral (Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga) is one of the city’s top historic landmarks. Designed by architect Diego de Siloé, the cathedral is a unique combination of Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque styles.More
#6
Málaga Roman Theatre (Teatro Romano de Málaga)

Málaga Roman Theatre (Teatro Romano de Málaga)

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The oldest monument in Málaga, the Roman Theatre (Teatro Romano de Málaga) was built in the first Roman emperor Augustus’ reign. The amphitheater was unearthed as part of a civic building project in the 1950s and has since been excavated and restored.More
#7
Plaza de la Merced

Plaza de la Merced

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Picasso’s birthplace is located on the elegant Plaza de la Merced barely 200 yards (180 m) from the awesome Museo Picasso Malaga, which holds over 150 of his artworks. Standing at the end of Calle Alcazabilla, the sweeping square is dominated by an obelisk honoring General Torrijos, an aristocratic revolutionary who fought against French invasion of Spain and was publically executed here for his pains in 1831.This bourgeois, tree-fringed piazza was once site of Málaga’s main produce market and is today lined with smart, shuttered and balconied townhouses, cafés and top-end restaurants. It lies at the very heart of the city and each night locals gather here to promenade and chat in the tapas bars. The last Sunday of the month sees Málaga’s main craft market held in the square, where local delicacies such as Serrano ham and tortilla are also on sale.Perhaps surprisingly there is only a rather low-key statue dedicated to the world’s most famous artist in one corner of the square, but Picasso’s house is given over to the Museo Casa Natal (Picasso Birthplace Museum), which has three rooms on the first floor given over to his ceramics and drawings. The five-story mansion is also headquarters to the Fundación Picasso, which holds thousands of paintings, sculptures and drawings by Picasso and his contemporaries.More
#8
Gibralfaro Castle (Castillo de Gibralfaro)

Gibralfaro Castle (Castillo de Gibralfaro)

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Perched high up on Mont Gibralfaro, Castillo de Gibralfaro offers commanding views of the city of Malaga and the Mediterranean Sea. Originally built by the Moors in the 10th century, the castle is one of Malaga’s best-known sights and is featured on the city’s flag.More
#9
Malagueta Beach (Playa de La Malagueta)

Malagueta Beach (Playa de La Malagueta)

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One of the cleanest, sparkliest urban beaches in Andalucia, Malagueta is blessed with a soft, sandy sweep of 0.75 miles (1,200 m) in length and a spectacular backdrop across Málaga’s smart waterside apartments to stumpy hills inland. Lying just east of the fishing port, it is one of 15 beaches within the city limits and is completely manmade on reclaimed land.With only a moderate tide typical of the Mediterranean Sea and clean, shallow water, the beach is well served by lifeguards, shady spots under palm trees and several play areas, making it perfect for families spending the day there with young children. The calm waters of Malagueta are ideal for swimming and facilities for adults include sunbed and parasol hire, showers and workout stations along the Promenade of Pablo Ruiz Picasso.The curve of the beach is lined with a series of shops selling swimwear and beach necessities as well as chiringuitos (simple bars offering drinks and tasty tapas) and upmarket seafood restaurants. Although it gets very popular with local families in the height of summer, there is ample parking nearby.More
#10
Pablo Picasso Birthplace Museum (Museo Casa Natal de Picasso)

Pablo Picasso Birthplace Museum (Museo Casa Natal de Picasso)

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Picasso’s life in Spain spanned nearly all of the country’s corners, from the northwestern region of Galicia to big-city Barcelona, and, of course, Andalucia, where he was born in 1881. Indeed, it is in Malaga at the now-titled Pablo Picasso Birthplace Museum (Museo Casa Natal de Picasso) — Picasso’s former family home, located in the heart of Malaga’s old town — where he spent his first, and perhaps most formative years.Today, you can visit the artist’s childhood house, which is now the headquarters for the Fundación Picasso, a foundation that studies and promotes the artist’s work. The museum features more than 4,000 pieces by some 200 artists, including Picasso, as well as other contemporary artists. It also houses a variety of objects related to Picasso’s childhood, family, and his connection to Spain and the south.More

Trip ideas

Granada Day Trips From Malaga

Granada Day Trips From Malaga

How to Spend 3 Days in Malaga

How to Spend 3 Days in Malaga

Food Lover's Guide to Malaga

Food Lover's Guide to Malaga

Recent reviews from experiences in Malaga

star-5
Great experience
Nessa_N, Mar 2020
Rent a City Bike: Full Day 24 hours
A great way to see the highlights.
star-5
Fun and informative
val, Feb 2020
2h E-bike Malaga tour
Great way to get around Malaga and to see the sights.
star-5
Give this a try
Navigator705793, Nov 2019
Private Tour in Malaga.Electric Car Tour and visit to Gibralfaro Castle
The cars were a fun way to see a part of Malaga-the walking tour was interesting, informative, and fun Give this excursion a try
star-5
Best way to tour Malaga!
patcanputt, Nov 2019
Rent a City Bike: Full Day 24 hours
Great way to see Malaga!
star-4
What a terrific UNESCO experience
David B, Oct 2019
Day trip to the Alhambra from Malaga and Costa del Sol
Time wise all good but we felt a bit stranded at old town not really knowing were to go or what to do for 1.
star-4
Malaga, Spain
judithsguerra, Aug 2018
Malaga Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Malaga Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Having gone to Malaga before, we expected to see some of the sites we visited before.
star-5
It was a great experience to get on...
fans842, Oct 2017
City Sightseeing Malaga Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
A must if you want to see most sites in Malaga, though most of them are centralized and you can walk exception, the Castle
star-4
The trip to Gibraltar took 3 hours...
Juris I, Sep 2017
Gibraltar Express: Sightseeing Full Day Tour from Malaga
No stop to visit guest room.
star-5
Really enjoyed the hop-On and...
bill_hk_88, May 2017
Malaga Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Malaga Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Great way to see Malaga for the first time.
star-5
A fantastic way to see Malaga. If...
Thomas M, Oct 2017
City Sightseeing Malaga Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
A fantastic way to see Malaga.
star-5
This was a great way to see a lot of...
Paul L, Apr 2017
1-hour Segway Tour in Malaga
This was a great way to see a lot of Malaga in a short amount of time.
star-5
very nice tour, I was surprised that...
Krasimir C, Apr 2017
Gibraltar Express: Sightseeing Full Day Tour from Malaga
We had English breakfast and it rained a bit.
star-5
Amazing way to see the city and...
kengel, Oct 2016
Malaga Tapas Tour with Flamenco Show
Amazing way to see the city and taste the local cuisine.
star-5
Great tour. A very cost effective...
Lael W, Jul 2016
2h E-bike Malaga tour
A very cost effective way to see the highlights of Malaga.
star-5
Our guide was so good. We spent...
Julie H, Jan 2017
Malaga Shore Excursion: Skip-the-Line Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Tour
He took great care to translate into English for us.
star-5
Our tour guide, Tim, was brilliant...
Brian A, Jul 2017
Rent a City Bike: Full Day 24 hours
Biking Malaga was one of the best ways to see it, and it was effortless.
star-5
Alejandro was an excellent host...
Nicole W, May 2017
Malaga Tapas and Wine Tour
Spoke great English and was very knowledgeable on the places to eat and the history of Malaga.
star-5
This tour was fantastic and fun...
Valerie S, May 2016
Malaga Tapas and Wine Tour
Great food, great wine and a little bit of history plus Elena recommended other places to see and visit in center Malaga.
star-4
A great day to see areas east of...
Monica R, Mar 2014
Frigiliana and Nerja Tour from Costa del Sol
A great day to see areas east of Malaga!
star-4
Overall very good. Only one real...
Kenneth R, Jan 2008
Gibraltar Sightseeing Day Trip from Costa del Sol
Only one real problem though, when I rang the office in Malaga to confirm the pick up arrangements no one could speak English.

All about Malaga

When to visit

Malaga loves a good party. Annual highlights include the carnival celebrations in February; the Holy Week parades in April; and the annual Malaga Fair in August, which energizes the city with fairgrounds, light displays, and live music. If you're visiting during summer, book ahead and be prepared to share the beaches with plenty of other sun-worshippers.

A local’s pocket guide to Malaga

Monica Nunez

Barcelona-based Monica loves Malaga. Find her in Soho having tapas and beers, or chowing down on fresh fish by La Malagueta beach.

The first thing you should do in Malaga is …...

get lost in the city center, admire the top monuments, and enjoy a cold drink on a streetside patio.

A perfect Saturday in Malaga …...

starts with street art in the Soho neighborhood, a visit to the Picasso museum, and drinks on La Alcazaba rooftop. Finish your day with dinner at El Pimpi, accompanied by sweet wine.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is … ...

visiting the Pompidou museum and having lunch nearby.

To discover the "real" Malaga …...

sample some “pescaíto frito” (fried fish) and a Cruzcampo beer at one of the city’s many streetside bars or cafés.

For the best view of the city …...

go to the AC Hotel rooftop—it has an amazing view of the cathedral, castle, and sea. Having a cocktail or a glass of wine while you admire the city is a must.

One thing people get wrong …...

is spending most of their time on the Costa del Sol and not much time in the city. Malaga has a lot to offer including good museums and nice restaurants.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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