Málaga is a beautiful city in Andalucía, Spain, it is located on the Costa del Sol - The Sunshine Coast - and it is a must visit in Spain. You will fall in love with the architecture, its blue sea, and its yellow sandy beaches. You will enjoy knowing more about the history of Málaga as well as taking advantage of the beautiful weather by the beach. You can also enjoy many day trips from Málaga if you want to explore more areas and part of Andalucía such as Setenil de Las Bodegas. Málaga offers a variety of activities for tourists, so you will definitely find something you enjoy doing, while enjoying the beautiful and privilege climate Málaga has.
1. How to Get Your Visa for Spain
5. Accommodations in Málaga
2. How to Get to Málaga
6. Best Cafes & Restaurants in Málaga
3. How to Move Around Málaga
7. 12 Top Things to do in Málaga
4. Best Time to Visit Málaga
How to Get Your Visa for Spain
You can get the visa by going to the embassy, or visiting the official website, or getting it with an agency like iVisa. iVisa provides 100% online travel documents such as: Visas, health declaration forms, embassy registrations, passport photos, passport renewals, tourist cards, and other travel documents. It is the simplest solution to process your travel visa.
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How to Get to Málaga
The best & easiest way to reach Málaga is by plane since it has an international airport, Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport which is easy to reach and you will be able to find flights but most probably you will have to take to connecting flight from either Madrid or Barcelona. If you are in Europe you can also find trains & buses depending on where you are, and of course if you are in Spain you will find multiple ways to reach Málaga. I personally took the train to get from Madrid to Málaga and it was the most comfortable way to get there.
I like to use Omio to find either buses or trains in Europe, and if I am looking for a flight I would use WayAway to find cheap flights. You can also use this promo code - TP-385219 - for WayAway Plus or you can directly visit this link! (You will get 10% off WayAway Plus subscription!)
How to Move Around Málaga
Since Málaga is a big city, then you will need to use the public transportation to move around. You can get around Málaga by walking as well since a lot of the main attractions are within walking distance, but it will be easier and less exhausting in the heat to use the metro to be able to move from one neighbourhood to the other and also to be able to reach the beaches. I used Uber sometimes since it was cheap, and you can also use Bolt. You can also get a rental bike and move around Málaga that way if you want, which a lot of people tend to do.
Best Time to Visit Málaga
Now since Málaga has a great climate all year long, you can visit whenever you want but avoid the month of January since it is the coldest. The best time to visit is between June & September, but be aware that this is the high season so it will be crowded and it will also be more expensive that other months. The hottest time of the year is July and August, so if you don’t like too much heat then avoid these two months.
Accommodations in Málaga
The top 6 neighbourhoods in Málaga are Old town (Historic City Centre), Soho, La Merced, El Perchel, La Malagueta, Teatinos. So will be able to find a lot of hotels to stay there. You can also find many hostels if you want something that is budget friendly even though there are budget friendly hotels, and of course you will find endless Airbnbs that would suit your budget.
Best Cafes & Restaurants in Málaga
Restaurante Alyamal (Moroccan cuisine)
Casa Lola (One of the best for tapas)
Pizzamore (Italian cuisine)
El Pimpi (Andalucía dishes)
Doña Inés (Mediterranean cuisine)
12 Top Things to do in Málaga
1. Alcazaba de Málaga
This is probably one of the first things people visit whenever they are in Málaga since it is the most popular attraction. Alcazaba is a fortress that sits in a hill which overlooks the city, so you get a beautiful view of Málaga from the top. Alcazaba was built in the 11th century as a part of the Nasrid Kingdom which was a period of Islamic rule in Spain. Alcazaba was modified & rebuilt multiple times up until the 14th century, so it is one of the most preserved alcazabas in Spain.
Alcazaba is open during the summer which is from April to October; from 09:00 until 20:00 and in winter which is from November to March; from 09:00 until 18:00. Be aware that the last entry is 45 minutes before closing, so make sure to be there before then. Tickets cost €3.50, or you can do a combined entry with the Castillo de Gibralfaro for €5.50 EUR. Tickets are not available online; you must buy them in person at the entrance. Be aware that there may be a queue on weekends and in the high season.
Fun Fact: You can enter for free on Sundays after 14:00!
2. Castillo de Gibralfaro
The Castillo de Gibralfaro was built in the 8th century and it is even higher that Alcazaba, and it was used to protect the Alcazaba fortress and house troops. The view from the top is even better that Alcazaba so it is definitely worth it. You will also find a cafe where you can get a refreshing drink after all that before walking back down to the city. Be aware that there is no direct path between Alcazaba & the Castillo, even though you can see the Castillo from Alcazaba, you will have to follow a road outside to get there, and it is a 25 minutes walk but it is worth it. If you are unable to walk especially in the hot weather, you can always take a bus or get a rental bike.
The Castillo is open during the summer which is from April to October; from 09:00 until 20:00 and in winter which is from November to March; from 09:00 until 18:00. Tickets cost €3.50, or you can do a combined entry with Alcazaba for €5.50 EUR.
3. Teatro Romano de Málaga (Málaga Roman Theatre)
This is the oldest place in Málaga, which dates back to the 1st century, and you can either see it from above or go inside and visit it. If you visit the viewing area then you can see the old Amphitheater for free. The remains of the theatre can be found at the foot of the Alcazaba.
4. Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga (Málaga Cathedral)
The Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga is a Roman Catholic church in the Renaissance architectural tradition. The cathedral is one of the most unique and beautiful buildings, and it took 150 years to complete. The cathedral has one bell tower which is unusual since it has to have two, which has led locals to refer to the building as La Manquita which means the one-armed lady. The bell tower is 84 meters high, which makes it the second tallest bell tower in Spain. Fun fact is that you can actually climb onto the roof of the building since the city allows it, so you will get a panoramic views of the city. Tickets cost €8 but €12 including the roof, and you will receive a free sound guide as well.
5. Museo de Málaga (Málaga Museum)
This is was an art museum before but it is now combined with an archeological exhibit, so if you love art, then you will definitely love this museum. The building itself from the outside is also stunning, so you will love it. Tickets cost €1.50, but it FREE for EU citizens.
6. Picasso museum
Now if you didn’t know, Málaga is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, and because of that; they built a museum to honour him. The Picasso Museum combines modern architecture & history in an inventive way, and you will be able to see the artist’s amazing work displayed inside, which is what attracts people to the museum. You can also visit the house where Picasso was born which is now transformed into another museum called Museo Casa Natal de Picasso, and it is just a 5 minutes walk. Tickets cost €9.
7. Mercado Central de Atarazanas
There is nothing better than enjoying the local cuisine, and I always say that the best ways to get to know another country and culture is by getting to know their cuisine. You will find many stalls that sell local fruits, veggies, spices, bread, and olives. The market closes at 14:00 and it is closed on Sundays, so make sure to visit in the morning from 08:00.
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8. Parque de Málaga (Málaga Park)
If you enjoy some quiet time and time in nature, then you will love Málaga. Málaga has a beautiful park called Parque de Málaga that is located in the city centre, and it is such a beautiful place. I stayed there for a bit and it so nice and refreshing, and it was nice to get away from the crowded city for a bit to enjoy some time in nature. The most interesting features of the park are the ornate pieces of baroque and renaissance sculptures and fountains surrounded by subtropical plants.
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9. Jardines de Puerta Oscura (Puerta Oscura Gardens)
This is another famous park in Málaga besides Parque de Málaga, so it is also a must visit. It is always nice to get away from the crowded city for a bit to enjoy some time in nature.
10. Castillo de Colomares (Colomares Monument)
The Castillo de Colomares is a castle that is dedicated to the life and adventures of Christopher Columbus, and it was built between 1987 and 1994 near near Benalmádena which is a town full of charming streets. The building looks like a ship and it tells the story of Columbus’ discovery, and it was finished in the 90s so it is fairly new. Also, it contains the smallest church in the world! It has such a beautiful view from the top and a beautiful garden that you can wander around. Since there is no shade there, it would be best to visit in the afternoon but do whatever suits you.
It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 until 18:00, in the spring it stays open until 20:00, and in the summer, it closes between 14:00 and 17:00. Tickets cost €3. To get to Benalmádena which is where it is located, it takes about 40 minutes by car or the M-110 bus. You can also take the C1 train which leaves every 20 minutes going towards Fuengirola.
Málaga is well known for its beautiful sandy beaches and blue water, which is why it is a popular destinations for tourists during the summer time. There is a variety of beaches that you can go to, and also a variety of water sports and fun activities you can do and enjoy. If you hate crowded spaces, you will be able to find some remote beaches that you can go to and enjoy some quiet time away from all the noise, beaches such as Playa el Polo which was originally a fishing neighbourhood in Málaga, or you can go to Malagueta Beach which you can find right next to Málaga’s old quarter.
12. Day Trips
You can enjoy staying in Málaga, or you can go and explore more. There are a lot of beautiful places in Andalucía that you can visit, and you can definitely go on many day trips from Málaga, such as Setenil de Las Bodegas, which is a small Spanish town located in the south of Spain in the Cádiz province. As the Andalucía area have a lot of white villages that are charming, but Setenil de Las Bodegas is different that the rest as the houses not only are built into the surrounding cliffs, but the overhang is impressive.
You can also go on a day trip to Iznajar which is another famous white village as well, and it sits high up on the mountain overlooking the beautiful valley and lake below. Another charming towns you can visit are Nerja and Frigiliana, which are very close to each other on the beautiful coastline outside Malaga. You can also hike the Caminito Del Rey, which is a 1 hour drive from Málaga and it used to be one of the most dangerous in the world, however whole hike was refurbished, and it’s now completely safe and secure, with safety barriers and helmets provided.