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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 15 attractions in Malaga

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

Hammam Al Ándalus Málaga

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Just off Martyrs Square, Hammam Al Andalus Malaga Baths is notable for its Moorish-inspired architecture, which encompasses horseshoe arches, colorful tiled walls, and star-shaped skylights. This is one of the few remaining places to experience age-old rituals of purification.More

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

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

Constitution Square (Plaza de la Constitucion)

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Malaga’s largest and most iconic public square, the Plaza de la Constitution holds significance in both the city’s past and present. Serving as a public space since the 15th century, it remains an important center of Malaga daily life today. Palm trees sit beside historic Spanish architecture surrounding the fountain Fuente de Génova. Lined with alleyways full of small shops and cafes, it is a largely pedestrian area that’s great for exploring the city’s history.The square was home to Malaga’s city hall until the 19th century, having since been renamed from Plaza de Cuatro Calles (four streets) and the Plaza Mayor. Once the home of festivals, celebrations, and even bullfights, it is now a central meeting spot for residents of the city. Cultural, political, and religious events still take place here throughout the year, including the impressiveSemana Santa processions and festivities.It is considered to be the heart of Malaga’s historical quarter and a must-see while in the city.More

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

Plaza de la Merced

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A public square situated in the center of Málaga, Plaza de la Merced has been a functional part of the city since the Roman Empire. It is best known as being one of the largest plazas in Málaga as well as being located steps away from famed artist Pablo Picasso’s childhood home.More

Malagueta Beach (Playa de La Malagueta)

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One of Andalucia’s cleanest urban beaches, the man-made Malagueta Beach (Playa de la Malagueta) sweeps along the coastline for 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) and is backed by palm trees, high-rise hotels, and luxurious apartments. Take a dip in the calm surf, relax beneath a parasol, and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere.More

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

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

Atarazanas Market

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Atarazanas Market (also known as Mercado Central de Ataranzanas) is a Málaga landmark that served as a shipyard, warehouse, and barracks before becoming the city’s leading food market. The Moorish-influenced building has been refurbished, and it’s once more a warren of stalls set amid delicate wrought ironwork below a domed stained-glass window.More

Carmen Thyssen Museum (Museo Carmen Thyssen)

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Though the majority of the Thyssen- Bornemisza family collection resides in their namesake museum in Madrid, Carmen Cervera (formally Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza), an avid art collector, decided to open her own galleries in Malaga. Situated in its galleries is perhaps the finest visual representation of Andalucian art, featuring noted artists ranging from Sorolla to Zuburán and Ezquerra, and spanning the 13th to 20th centuries.The Carmen Thyssen Museum (Museo Carmen Thyssen), which opened in 2011, is partially located in a 16th-century baroque palace—el Palacio de Villalón—a site worth seeing in its own right. In fact, the palace and its art aren’t even the most historic items here: when undergoing construction for the museum, Roman ruins were discovered below.It is in the building’s old chapel where you’ll find the “Old Masters” collection, a display of works by the collection’s most prized artists. The palace portion of the museum is also home to a picturesque colonnaded courtyard, a quintessential architectural element found in southern Spain.Other collections – including Romantic landscape and Costumbrismo, Précieux and Naturalist, and Fin-de-siécle – reside in the adjoining building, which was constructed specifically for the museum. Meanwhile, various rotating exhibitions go on display too.More

CAC Málaga (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga)

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Málaga’s Contemporary Art Museum—or CAC Málaga (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga)– is a 20,000 sq ft (6000 square meter) multi-use space, with about ⅓ of its size given over to art exhibits and ⅔ to conferences and cultural events. It is located in the former Málaga Wholesale Market, a historic building designed in 1927 by Luis Gutiérrez Soto. Built in 1939, the building has a two-story, triangular floor plan, defined by cubic spaces and straight lines.The museum has a permanent collection comprised of approximately 400 works, many of which are on loan to the museum from private collectors for anywhere between 3-5 years’ time. Though the permanent collection is constantly evolving, the CAC Málaga is particularly notable for its collection of mid-20th century works by modern artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Frank Stella. The museum also hosts a regular program of temporary exhibitions dedicated to up-and-coming Spanish artists, as well as guest lectures, courses, and workshops for all ages.More

Ronda

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Perched on El Tajo canyon, Ronda is set on one of Spain’s most dramatic landscapes and possesses a rich history documented by ancient rock paintings, towering stone bridges, and 14th-century ruins. Today, the city’s dramatic cliffs, local wineries, and rustic charm make it an ideal mountain getaway or day trip destination.More

Automobile and Fashion Museum (Museo Automovilistico y de la Moda)

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The innovative Automobile and Fashion Museum is found in a former tobacco factory dating from 1927; it has an entrancing cross-section of exhibits and is the brainchild of Portuguese car fanatic and art collector Joao Magalhaes. The museum’s USP is the unusual combination of vintage vehicles displayed against a background of contemporary art and haute-couture design.Magalhaes’ 80 vintage cars are presented in light-filled galleries stuffed with modern art and come in all vintages from the late 19th century to present day and beyond. His private art collection covers contemporary photography, splashes of graffiti art inspired by Jean-Paul Basquiat and Jackson Pollock, installations forged from wheel rims and sculpture resembling the anatomy of expensive cars. The museum also celebrates the close historic links of brands such as Ferrari and Aston Martin with exclusive fashion houses; the seven elegant clothing displays show exotic gowns from Balenciaga, Dior, YSL and Schiaparelli.A recent addition to the mix is the EcoMuseum, dedicated to raising awareness of sustainability and green energy; star exhibits here include a steam car designed in 1910, the world’s first electric car — built in 1916 — and several futuristic prototypes, including a vehicle powered by hydrogen. If you’ve got time when visiting, walk to the museum along the seafront promenade, which takes about 40 minutes.More

Trip ideas

Granada Day Trips From Malaga

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How to Spend 3 Days in Malaga

Food Lover's Guide to Malaga

Food Lover's Guide to Malaga

Top activities in Malaga

Gibraltar with St Michael Caves Ticket Guided Tour from Costa del Sol
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Taste of Malaga Tour : Tapas, History and Local Customs
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Ronda & Setenil Villages Guided Tour from Costa del Sol
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Arabian Baths Experience at Malaga’s Hammam Al Andalus
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Malaga Tapas and Wine Tour

Malaga Tapas and Wine Tour

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Caminito del Rey group walking tour
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Welcome Tour to Malaga in Private Electric Tuk Tuk
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Private Official Guide to Visit Alhambra in Granada from Malaga Hotel pick up
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Malaga

star-5
Malaga in a nutshell!
Einar_B, Nov 2022
E-bike Tour and Rental in Malaga
You get the layout and major attractions.
star-5
Great way to see the city
KIM_V, Nov 2022
Malaga Expert Tour in Private Electric Tuk Tuk
It’s a great way to see the city!
star-5
Great tour
Charles_B, Nov 2022
Express Tour of Malaga in Private Electric Tuk Tuk
A very good tour, very personal Very knowledgable and friendly driver A great way to see main areas of Malaga and learn about their history.
star-5
OH...MY...GOD
RogerPierre_G, Nov 2022
The Best of Malaga in 2 Hours on a Segway
You will have a great ride into Malaga to see the best spots.
star-5
Top of Malaga!
Julie_Y, Oct 2022
The Best of Malaga in 2 Hours on a Segway
Areg, our guide, spoke English well and explained a lot of the history and culture of Malaga.
star-5
Fabulous food and culture.
Janine_E, Sep 2022
Taste of Malaga Tour : Tapas, History and Local Customs
It was a wonderful way to see and taste your way round Malaga.
star-5
A must do trip!
leanne_w, Sep 2022
Welcome Tour to Malaga in Private Electric Tuk Tuk
What a fabulous way to see Malaga.
star-5
A visit to Malaga
Eileen_S, Sep 2022
Arabian Baths Experience at Malaga’s Hammam Al Andalus
Would recommend to visit when in Malaga as one of the highlights
star-5
Great Tangier tour
Tsvetelina_I, Sep 2022
Morocco: Tangier Private Tour from Malaga or Tarifa Port
It was a great possibility to visit Tangier from Malaga.
star-5
Great experience. Top adventure …
Zbynek_P, Aug 2022
PRIVATE Departure in Sailboat, Costa del Sol from Malaga
Great english, experienced, funny and friendly sailing and swiming.
star-4
Probably a better way to do it.
John_S, Nov 2022
Tangier Private Tour from Malaga or Marbella with Hotel Pick up
Samir, guide, personable and articulate in English.
star-5
A very nice day trip if...
Theresa_S, Nov 2022
Gibraltar with St Michael Caves Ticket Guided Tour from Costa del Sol
It is a long trip from Malaga with the other pickups but otherwise it's a well-timed day, you get to see all the main attractions in Gibraltar, shop/eat, and then go back.
star-5
Amazing experience
ANDREEA_L, Oct 2022
Caminito del Rey Tour Direct From Malaga
The way they operate: these 2 women were obviously not with our group, they infiltrated in our group, they had their phones’ light turned on, and they were pretending to be filming, but this was a diversion, as the light was too strong for us to see that their hands were trying to open backpacks.
star-5
Highly recommended experience!
Becky_J, Oct 2022
El Saltillo Gorge and White Village Hiking Tour from Malaga
It was a great hike to a mountain waterfall and swimming hole, where a picnic was provided.
star-5
Excellent Tour, thanks Javier
David_M, Oct 2022
Malaga Highlights - Private Tour
Very knowledgeable and very friendly and spoke great English.
star-5
Excellent tour and guide
Angela_W, Oct 2022
Nerja (Pueblo) + Frigiliana & El Acebuchal - Semi-Private
The tour was in Spanish and English with four guests for each language and Emilio ensured that equal attention was given to both languages.
star-5
Such a Fun Way to See this Lovely City!
Ralph_B, Sep 2022
Malaga Expert Tour in Private Electric Tuk Tuk
His English is perfect and we cannot think of a better way to be introduced to the lovely city of Malaga.
star-5
Great day trip from cruise port
Karen_K, Sep 2022
Private Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens Tour From Malaga
He pointed out a few places in Malaga to visit on our own later.
star-4
A nice way to get to Gibraltar with a large group.
Michelle_R, Jul 2022
Private Full Day of Gibraltar from Malaga or Marbella hotel pick up and drop off
You can either pay for a tour of the Rock (to see the fortress, caves, and monkeys) with an official Gibraltar guide (approx.
star-4
Very complete with many...
mlsilvero, Jun 2022
City Sightseeing Malaga Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Very complete with many activities included!
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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.

People Also Ask

What is Malaga famous for?

A port city in the region of Andalusia, Malaga is known for its charming Old Town, golden beaches, and historic sites including two Moorish citadels. The city is also famous as the birthplace of painter Pablo Picasso—visit the Picasso Museum to learn about his life and work.

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How many days should I spend in Malaga?

Two days in Malaga should allow visitors time to cover the city’s basics. In addition to checking out the Picasso Museum and Alcazaba Moorish palace, visitors could spend an additional day or two relaxing on the beach or hopping among tapas bars before exploring more of the Costa del Sol.

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What should I not miss in Malaga?

In Malaga, don’t miss the Picasso Museum (the city is Picasso’s birthplace), Alcazaba (a medieval Moorish palace), or the striking Malaga Cathedral (check out the rooftop views). For tapas culture, wander Atarazanas Market. Don’t leave without seeing the golden sands at Malagueta Beach.

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What is there to do around Malaga?

Malaga is the gateway to the scenic Costa del Sol. This stretch of coastline in the south of Spain is home to popular seaside resort towns including Marbella, Torremolinos, and Fuengirola. There are also plenty of outdoor adventure activities such as kayaking, boating, and fishing along the coast.

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Is Malaga a party place?

Yes. Malaga is a city known for its nightlife. Bustling tapas bars, live music venues, and nightclubs with quality DJs are the norm in Malaga. This coastal Spanish city is also home to a university, which contributes to its lively feel.

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Are tapas free in Malaga?

No. Tapas are not free everywhere in Malaga. While the tradition of free tapas with a drink purchase may be found in Malaga, it is not commonplace in all bars. The cost is usually modest, which encourages the practice of hopping among bars for several rounds of snacks and drinks.

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