Malaga travel guide. Malaga, located just 100 km from the Strait of Gibraltar, stands as the second largest city in Andalusia, home to almost 600,000 inhabitants. Discovering Malaga reveals absolute charm thanks to its iconic tourist attractions such as the Alcazaba and the Picasso Museum.
However, it is true that the must-see points of interest are relatively limited. However, for lovers of shopping, walks, beaches, or aquatic activities such as snorkeling, Malaga stands out as a vast playground and an inestimable source of happiness.
Must-see places: Malaga travel guide
The garden of concepcion or botanical garden of Malaga
I happily share my experience of visiting the Jardin de la Concepción in Malaga, an absolutely wonderful place that I highly recommend.
To get there by bus from Malaga city center, simply take line 2. The journey only takes about 20 minutes, and the ticket is very affordable.
Once there, you will discover a wide variety of exotic plants and trees from all over the world. The garden is immaculately maintained and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
If you wish, you can also enjoy a guided tour to learn more about the history and particularities of this unique botanical garden. These visits are particularly informative and exciting, especially for botany lovers.
The Alcazaba of Malaga
The citadel in Arabic
To visit the Alcazaba of Malaga, simply take Alcazabilla Street, close to the city center. This pleasant walk takes you through cobbled streets and historic buildings. Entrance to the Alcazaba is affordable, providing access to a site rich in history.
The Alcazaba, an 11th-century Moorish fortress, has been expanded and embellished over the centuries. Perched on a hill, it offers breathtaking views of the city and the sea. Its interior gardens are magnificent, a true haven of peace in the heart of the city.
During your visit to the Alcazaba, immerse yourself in the history of Malaga through the centuries. You will understand the influence of the various cultures that have marked the region. The Roman ruins and Moorish remains bear witness to the city’s importance in the history of Andalusia. Discover this captivating story during your stay in Malaga.
Malaga travel guide- The Roman Theater
The Roman Theater of Malaga is an impressive archaeological site located in the heart of the city. It bears witness to the Roman history of Malaga and constitutes a real journey back in time. The well-preserved remains of the theater offer a fascinating insight into the cultural life of Roman times.
A visit to the Roman Theater immerses you in Antiquity. You will be able to explore the stands, the stage and the backstage, while admiring the remarkable architecture of this historic site.
For history and archeology lovers, a visit to the Roman Theater of Malaga is a must. You’ll learn about how the Romans helped shape the city and appreciate the importance of this site in Malaga’s history. Don’t forget to include this cultural experience during your stay in Malaga.
How to get there?
To get there by bus, you can take several bus lines that serve the center of Malaga. The most common urban bus lines are lines 1, 3, 4, 14, 19, 27, 32, and C1. Get off at the stop closest to the city center, such as the “Alameda Principal,” then follow the signs to the Roman Theater, which is a short walk away.
Malaga travel guide
To reach Gibralfaro Castle, climb the steep hill. But the panoramic view of Malaga from the castle is worth the effort. It is connected to the Alcazaba and accessible by taxi or bus (lines 35, 32, 36 and 8 for only 1.30 euros), as well as by tourist buses.
Built in the 14th century, Gibralfaro Castle is a Moorish fortress built to defend Malaga. It sits next to the Alcazaba, offering breathtaking views of the city and the sea.
A visit to Gibralfaro Castle delves into the history of Malaga through the ages and sheds light on its strategic importance. Its ramparts, towers and imposing fortifications bear witness to its power.
The Cathedral of the Incarnation of Malaga
Malaga travel guide
The Cathedral of the Incarnation, a flagship monument of the Renaissance, sits majestically on Obispo Square in Malaga. During your visit, prepare to be dazzled by its stained glass windows, gilding and precious paintings. But for an unforgettable experience, I recommend climbing the roofs of this cathedral.
Once up there, a breathtaking panoramic view will be available to you, revealing the neighborhoods of Malaga in all their splendor. It is a real feast for the eyes and a unique opportunity to admire the city from a different perspective.
In short, the Cathedral of the Incarnation is much more than just a historical monument, it is a total immersion in the art and history of Malaga, with a breathtaking view as a bonus. Don’t forget to include this tour in your itinerary for a memorable experience in Malaga.
Malaga travel guide – Merced Plaza
The Plaza de la Merced, located in the heart of the historic center of Malaga, is a lively square and very popular with the city’s residents. It is surrounded by historic buildings, bars and restaurants offering delicious local cuisine.
To reach Plaza de la Merced, simply stroll through the charming cobbled streets of Malaga city center. You will easily recognize it thanks to the statue of Pablo Picasso, born in a house near the square.
The Plaza de la Merced is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the Andalusian atmosphere. You can admire the superb facades of the historic buildings that surround it, as well as the central fountain, a true architectural gem.
In addition, the square is a meeting point for cultural events and festivities in the city. If you are lucky enough to visit Plaza de la Merced during the local festivities, you can attend open-air concerts and parades showcasing traditional costumes.
The Picasso Museum in Malaga
Malaga travel guide
Located in the heart of the city center, the Malaga Museum opens its doors every day, except Mondays. Inside, you will discover more than 200 works by the renowned artist, Picasso, spread across numerous rooms. Although Picasso spent most of his life in France, it is essential to remember that he was born in Malaga.
Although the exterior appearance of the museum is modest, it is one of the busiest museums in Andalusia. The museum offers an invaluable cultural experience.
On Sunday, excellent news: entry is free two hours before closing. Additionally, entry is also free at certain times of the year, including Andalusia Day (February 28), World Tourism Day (September 27) and International Museum Day (18 may).
Don’t hesitate to include this visit in your program for an enriching cultural experience in Malaga.
Center Pompidou Malaga
The Pompidou Center, nestled in the heart of Malaga city center, close to the port, is easily reached on foot or by bus from various points in the city. Its affordable entry opens the doors to an exceptional contemporary art collection.
At the Pompidou Center in Malaga, you will discover works by great artists such as Picasso, Miró and Bacon, but also creations by less renowned contemporary artists. The diversity of styles and techniques makes it a must-see for art lovers.
Temporary exhibitions add a fascinating dimension, inviting you to explore new artists and artistic movements. Interactive installations provide an immersive and entertaining artistic experience.
To top it off, the terrace of the Pompidou Center in Malaga offers you a free panoramic view of the city and the sea. It is the perfect place to relax and marvel at the beauty of Malaga.
Malaga travel guide – Constitution Square
The Plaza de la Constitución, an iconic square, is a gem to visit in Malaga. Located in the heart of the old town, it attracts both locals and visitors. This square is an essential meeting point, full of bars, restaurants and shops offering typical foods and souvenirs from the region.
Surrounded by historic buildings, including Malaga City Hall, the square bears witness to the city’s importance in the history of Andalusia. Throughout the year, it hosts a variety of cultural events, such as concerts, festivals and fairs, adding a lively touch to its charm.
The Plaza de la Constitución is also renowned for its central clock, offering panoramic views of the city. It’s the perfect place to take photos and soak up the vibrant ambiance of Malaga.
The Atarazanas market
The market, a real favorite during my visit to Malaga. Colorful stalls and charming merchants create a unique atmosphere. The strawberries I tasted there were simply divine. This place perfectly combines visual and gustatory pleasure.
Near the main entrance, discover bars and restaurants. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste their tapas, they are simply delicious. Malaga is one of my favorite Spanish cities. The atmosphere is incomparable, and the locals are simply wonderful.
In summary, the Atarazanas market is a must-see in Malaga. You will be won over by its colors, its warm atmosphere and its exquisite flavors. Take advantage of the opportunity to taste local tapas, and you will understand why Malaga is such a special destination in Spain.
The Port of Málaga
The port of Malaga is much more than just an arrival point for travelers. It is also a lively place to live, where you can stroll, dine and enjoy the maritime atmosphere. The promenade along the port is decorated with palm trees and offers breathtaking views of the sea.
The Muelle Uno, part of the port, is a modern space with stylish shops, restaurants and bars. It’s the perfect place to relax with a drink while admiring the yachts and fishing boats.
Malaga Port is a popular meeting place for locals and visitors. You can enjoy fresh seafood in the restaurants, or simply soak up the Mediterranean ambiance. Take advantage of this pleasant stopover during your visit to Malaga.
Malaga beaches: where to swim?
The most beautiful beaches in Malaga:
La playa de la Caleta:
If you are looking for where to swim in Malaga, Caleta beach is your ideal destination. It is close to the city center and is one of the most famous beaches in Malaga, alongside Malagueta. On site you will find all essential services, including toilets, showers and bars to refresh yourself.
Caleta Beach extends between Baños del Carmen and Malagueta Beach. To get there from the city center, you can take city buses number 1 or 11. Get off at the “Paseo de Sancha” bus stop and then walk to the beach, a pleasant walk of about 10 minutes .
Although La Caleta Beach is small, it has an authentic charm and local atmosphere that makes it a must-visit destination for a relaxing day in Malaga. So, don’t hesitate to include this picturesque beach in your sightseeing program.
Visit Malaga – La Malagueta
Malagueta beach, located in the heart of Malaga, is one of the busiest. It offers an ideal experience, whether you are a water hike enthusiast or a lounging enthusiast. Its seabed is magnificent, perfect for diving enthusiasts, while lovers of relaxation will be delighted by this excellent spot.
In addition to its turquoise water and fine sand, Malagueta beach offers all the necessary facilities for a pleasant stay. To get there from the city center, you have several options: bus number 11 stops right next to the beach, as does bus number 3 which is nearby. If you prefer to walk, allow about 20 minutes along the harbor from the city center to reach this picturesque beach. If you are arriving by car, there is public parking near the beach for your convenience.
Make the most of your day at Malagueta Beach in Malaga, whatever your preference, water activities or relaxation in the sun.
Visit Malaga – Pedregalejo
To access Playa de Pedregalejo in Malaga, take bus number 11 from Malaga city center. Get off at the “El Palo” stop and continue on foot towards the beach. The bus ride is quick, around 20 minutes, and the ticket is economical. If you prefer to drive, several parking lots are available near the beach for your convenience.
Playa de Pedregalejo is popular with locals and tourists alike due to its beautiful seaside promenade, seafood bars and restaurants, and fine sand and crystal clear waters. A sunny day on this beach will allow you to relax while enjoying spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Don’t miss the opportunity to live this experience during your stay in Malaga.
Visit Malaga – El Cristo Beach
This beach with gray sand and turquoise water is dear to the hearts of Malagueños and Malagueñas. Nestled near the port, it is among the most beautiful and pleasant in Malaga. On site you will find all the necessary services, from pedal boat rentals to frozen treats, street vendors to refresh you and bars waiting for you.
El Cristo Beach is located about 2 kilometers from the center of Estepona, in the province of Malaga. To get there by car, follow the N-340 towards Algeciras and take the “Playa del Cristo” exit. You also have the option of taking the bus, line 27, from Estepona bus station, with a stop near the beach.
Offering an incomparable seaside experience, this beach is a true gem to discover during your stay in Malaga. Enjoy its enchanting atmosphere and crystal clear waters.
Visit Malaga – Cala del Moral
To reach Cala del Moral in Malaga, simply take bus number 11 from the city center. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes, and buses are frequent throughout the day. If you prefer, you can also opt for a taxi or rent a car to get to Cala del Moral. Once there, enjoy a stroll along the seaside promenade or immerse yourself in the seaside experience by enjoying the beach and water activities on offer.
Where to stay in Malaga
The best neighborhoods in Malaga
Centro Histórico: in the heart of Malaga, the centro Histórico, the historic center of the city, is full of treasures. You will discover numerous museums, restaurants and bars, making this lively area an ideal place for entertainment. For relaxation, more peaceful corners are also at your disposal. Tourist attractions abound, such as Malaga Cathedral, Gibralfaro Castle and the Roman Theater.
La Malagueta: Nestled close to the beach, La Malagueta invites you to enjoy the sea, while offering you a plethora of choices of seafood restaurants and seaside bars. It is a tourist area, but its breathtaking view of the mountains makes it a must-see.
El Palo: This picturesque seaside neighborhood runs along Malaga Beach. It seduces with its pedestrian streets, its traditional shops and its typical bars. For an authentic immersion into the local life of Malaga, El Palo is the ideal place.
Soho: trendy and artistic neighborhood – Soho is a vibrant neighborhood that attracts culture and contemporary art lovers with its many restaurants, bars and art galleries.
Pedregalejo: the fishing district – Located near the beach, Pedregalejo, formerly a small fishing village, is full of seafood restaurants and traditional bars. Offering magnificent views of the sea, it is a picturesque area that will seduce you.
The best things to do in Malaga?
Practical information about Malaga
- We pay in euros.
- For European nationals, the CNI (National Identity Card) is sufficient as an identity document.
- Living in Malaga is much cheaper than in Barcelona.
- Also, what is the best season to go? For pleasant temperatures and fewer tourist crowds, consider spring (April-May) or fall (September-October). Summer can be very hot in Malaga, while winter is mild, ideal for escaping the European cold.
- The local cuisine in Malaga is delicious, be sure to try the seafood dishes and tapas.
- The city is well served by public transport, with an efficient bus network and the metro.
- Malaga is renowned for its sunny climate, with more than 300 days of sunshine per year.
- Be sure to visit the Picasso Museum, which houses an impressive collection of works by the Malaga-born artist.
Getting around Malaga:
To get around Malaga, several options are available to you:
- Buses and subways : Public transportation, like buses and subways, is a convenient and economical way to explore the city. For more information, visit the official website.
- Tourist buses : Opt for tourist buses for a guided tour of Malaga, allowing you to discover the main tourist sites.
- Taxis : Taxis are widely available and offer a quick way to get around town.
- Car Rentals : If you prefer independence, car rental is a popular option for exploring the area at your own pace.
- Scooter, Bike, Segway : For a more unique experience, consider renting a scooter, bike or even a Segway for agile mobility through the streets of Malaga.
Make the most of your stay in Malaga by choosing the mode of transport that suits you best.
Homosexuality in Malaga
Malaga is an incredibly gay-friendly city, offering many LGBT bars and establishments. In fact, it is one of the most open and welcoming cities in Europe, just like Barcelona.
Tolerance towards same-sex couples is deeply rooted in Malaga. The decriminalization of homosexuality dates back to 1979, and same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005 in Spain, making this country one of the first to recognize it.
The LGBT community is very active and visible in Malaga, creating a warm and inclusive atmosphere. If you want to discover more LGBT places in Malaga, there is a great site that lists these places for you.
MTT wishes you a wonderful journey.