- For other places with the same name, see Málaga (disambiguation).
Málaga is a city of 570,000 people (2018) in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia, and capital of the Málaga Province. The largest city on the Costa del Sol, Málaga has a typical Mediterranean climate and is also known as the birthplace of the artist Picasso. The city offers beaches, hiking, architectural sites, art museums, and excellent shopping and cuisine. While more laid back than Madrid or Barcelona, Málaga is still the centre and transport hub for the hugely popular Costa del Sol region, which is flooded with tourists in the summer, and the city has certainly cashed in on the sun and sand, with lots of new construction as well as hotels and facilities geared to tourists. However, Málaga also offers some genuinely interesting historical and cultural attractions in its old city and its setting on the coast is still beautiful.
Malaga's weather is quite mild throughout the year. The city is very sunny in summer and can also experience some sun in winter. Rainfall is generally scarce and normally takes place during the spring and autumn.
During summer temperatures rise over 30 °C, in some occasions reaching up to 38-39 °C. Winters experience colder temperatures, with January averaging 9.5 °C. In September, October, April and May, the weather is mild but usually maintains a cool regime, with temperatures rarely rising over 25 °C, making it ideal to go sightseeing the city and its surrounding areas without the heat of the summer. The winter months can witness unpleasant weather with temperatures feeling colder than they are due to the wind. Sunshine is scarce during the winter, and this causes the closure of most activities. It is therefore advisable to visit Malaga in June or September, as despite the possibility of rain, the city is less crowded and the temperatures more comfortable than those of the chilly winter and of the hot summer.
Humidity is relatively high due to the proximity to the sea, so normally thermal sensation makes it seem colder or hotter than it really is.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
The main bus station is right across the street from the train station, a km or so west of the city centre on Paseo de los Tilos. The station serves buses from all over Spain and is a major transfer point if you're passing through the region.
A substation, the Muelle Heredia bus station, is located along Avenida de Manuel Agustin Heredia, adjacent to the port and handles many of the regional buses that serve the Málaga province, such as those going to nearby beach towns, many of which are operated by the Málaga Metropolitan Transport Consortium.
1 María Zambrano, the city's sleek new train station, is about 1 km (0.62 mi) west of the city centre and served by RENFE's high-speed AVE service, which zips travelers to Madrid in 2½–3 hours (some with continuing service to Barcelona), Cordoba in 1 hour or Seville in 2 hours, with multiple trains running each line daily. Slower (and cheaper) trains are also available. For Granada, take a train to Bobadilla and change to a Granada-bound train there.
RENFE also operates two Cercanías commuter rail lines out of Málaga, one west along the coast via the airport C1 and the nearby tourist towns of Torremolinos and Fuengirola and one inland C2. Both lines make two stops in Central Málaga: one at the María Zambrano station (where you can connect to RENFE and the bus station across the street) and one at the end of the line at Centro-Alameda, located closer to the city center where Avenida de Andalucia crosses the Guadalmedina River.
2 City Centre Cercanías station. Closest entrance/exit to underground train station from city centre, Malaga-Centro Alameda. It's the first stop on the two Cercanías train lines, C1 and C2.
The A-45 motorway runs from Cordoba to Málaga.
Cruise ships plying the Mediterranean call on the Port of Malaga.
- 3 Málaga Airport (AGP IATA). the third biggest international airport in mainland Spain (after Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El Prat Airport). As a holiday destination - the airport's primary tenants are discount carriers and charter airlines, although limited service on the European national carriers (Air France, British Airways, etc.) is available. Seasonal service (non-daily) is available from New York-JFK on Delta.
From the airport you can get a train, a bus or a taxi into town, or hire a car. A taxi to the city center will cost about €15. Bus line A express costs €3 (Oct 2017) and is very convenient, running every 30 minutes and stopping at Alameda Principal and Paseo del Parque, where most of the local buses that serve the city stop as well. The route map for bus A can be seen online. The stop names are shown on an electronic display inside the bus so you can tell when to get off.
Train route and timetables are here.
Renting a car at Málaga's airport is relatively cheap, but it is advisable to book in advance.
You can get a taxi from Málaga Airport taxi rank just outside the arrivals hall of Terminal 2. Generally, there are taxis available, although you may have to queue and in summer the queues can be very long. A typical journey to Málaga city centre will cost around €20, a journey to Málaga Port will cost around €25.
Taxis can carry a maximum of 4 passengers regardless of passenger age. Although this can be cost effective if 4 passengers are travelling together over shorter distances, it can be expensive if travelling in large groups. Licensed minibus transfers can be ordered in advance that carry up to 17 passengers for a fixed fee and will meet you in the arrivals lounge of Terminal 2. Minibus companies can not be flagged down from outside Malaga Airport it is forbidden. A typical single transfer to Marbella will cost around €110.
The best way to get an impression of Málaga is to discover the charming corners, stunning sights and lovely neighborhoods by wandering the streets and narrow roads by feet, take a stop for churros con chocolate, ice-cream, a coffee or some Tapas and enjoy the Andalusian atmosphere.
Málaga is making big improvements when it comes to cycling. Nowadays Malagueños use their bikes more often to go to work or for recreational use in the weekends. Also Málaga established a cycling association supported by the local public transport association. The use of bicycles is promoted as being eco-friendly, fun, safe and healthy. Promotional campaigns in the form of group cycle activities or excursions outside Málaga are being introduced and this has led to big success.
Meanwhile Málaga also constructed several bike lanes. Due to this construction the centre is also better connected with the Northern part of the city. The historical centre of Málaga is already free of motorized vehicles, which makes cycling much safer than in the past. Also spots like the boulevard and the harbour are only accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. This 2-km-long boulevard is wide enough for cyclists to enjoy and cycle in a relaxing fashion.
Besides cycling in the city the coast area of Málaga is also worth exploring by bike. Going east from Málaga is probably the most popular route as its possible to travel along a route through the twin traditional fishing villages of Pedregalejo and El Palo all the way to the end of Rincon De La Victoria without going on the main road. Travelling west along the coast is not quite as straightforward, for example biking from Málaga to Torremolinos is a popular route but it is difficult to find a good route away from busy highways but it is possible.
Cycling inland north from Málaga is characterized by steep climbs with little in the way of long easy winding routes. The Montes de Málaga is probably the most notable mountain route from the city where an elevation of over 900 m can be reached in less than 15 km, this route is known locally as "The Reina" and is not for the lazy cyclist. Other notable climbs include a section known locally as "The Wall" which is a terrifying descent or climber's challenge depending on what direction it's cycled. "The Wall" is a 9 km section between Moclinejo and Almáchar (this is the terrifying descent direction) on an inland route from Malaga to the coastal resort of Torre Del Mar.
An alternative mountain route for the committed cyclist is around the "Sierra de Mijas". The route goes west from Málaga on quite a busy main road past the airport, then up a steep country road to the white villages of Benalmadena Pueblo and Mijas Pueblo, dropping down then to Alhaurin el Grande and back on the north side of Sierra de Mijas to Málaga via Alhaurin de la Torre.
- Urban Bicycles, Calle Vendeja 8, Local bajo, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 09:00 - 20:00. Bike rentals in the centre of Malaga.
- Escapada Cycling, Plaza Poeta Alfonso Canales. 10:00 - 20:00. High-end road bike hir starts from €35/day.
By public transport
Car parking Malaga airport
If you want to park at Malaga airport, there are many private car parks around the airport which are much cheaper than the official airport car park.
Málaga has become a well-known place for visiting art galleries, historical sites and monuments in the South of Europe:
- 1 Alcazaba, C/ Alcazabilla 2, ☏ . Tu-Su 9:30-19:00, closed on Mondays. A Moorish castle built in the 11th century on a hill in the middle of the city, this old fort is the best-preserved of its kind in Spain. Upon entering you'll climb up past the ramparts offering excellent views of the city and lush gardens to a small Moorish palace at the top which holds a number of artifacts from excavations on the site. €2.10, free Sundays after 14:00.
- 2 Roman Theater (Teatro Romano), C/ Alcazabilla 8 (next to the Alcazaba), ☏ . Situated under the Alcazaba facing a small plaza are the beautiful remains of an old Roman theater. You can view them anytime from the overlook in the plaza, but if you want to get up close you can enter the attached building, where you'll be shown a short film and view some artifacts before entering the theater itself, where you can walk past the old stage and sit on the stone steps. Free.
- 3 Castillo de Gibralfaro, C/ Gibralfaro 11 (at the top of the hill, you can walk or take bus #35). Tu-Su 9:30-19:00, closed on Mondays. Another Moorish castle and the counterpart to the Alcazaba, the Castillo sits on a larger hill behind the Alcazaba and offers an incredible view of the city and neighboring suburbs from the ramparts that encircle the castillo. Within the fortress is a set of gardens and some displays, including an exhibit on the various military forces to have occupied the fort. Between the Castillo and the Alcazaba, visit the Alcazaba if you only have time for one, as the Castillo requires a hefty hike or a bus ride (bus 35) up the mountain. €2.10, free Sundays after 14:00.
- 4 Málaga Cathedral (Catedral de Málaga), Calle Molina Lario 9, ☏ . M-F 10:00-17:30, Sa 10:00-17:00, closed on Su and holidays. In the heart of the city centre and well worth visiting. €5.
- 5 Picasso Museum, Palacio de Buenavista, C/ San Agustín 8, ☏ . Tu-Th 10:00-20:00, F-Sa 10:00-21:00, Su and holidays 10:00-20:00. Exclusive paintings and exhibitions. €8.
- 6 Picasso's birthplace (Museo Casa Natal de Picasso), Plaza Merced 15, ☏ . Daily 09:30-20:00. Loads of objects and some paintings that the most famous artist of the 20th century created during his childhood. €1.
- 7 Museo Carmen Thyssen, Plaza Carmen Thyssen, C/Compañía 10, ☏ . Tu-Th 10:00-20:00, F Sa 10:00-21:00, Su and holidays 10:00-20:00 (open M and closed Su in summer). Opened in 2011 and has an excellent collection of 19th and 20th Century Spanish paintings. €8.
- 8 Interactive Museum of Music (Museo Interactivo de la Musica Málaga), Muralla Plaza de la Marina, ☏ . Daily 10:00-14:00 and 16:00-20:00. Has one of the largest collections of musical instruments in Europe. €3.
- 9 Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (CAC Malaga). Closed Mondays. Located in a former wholesale trade market, it houses a good collection of works of art and installations. Guided visits. Free.
- 10 Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta, Paseo de Reding. M-F 10:00-13:00 and 17:00-20:00, closed Sa Su and holidays. Málaga's bullring.
- 11 La Conception Botanical & Historical Garden (Botanical Garden), Camino del Jardín Botánico 3, ☏ . Daily 09:30-20:30. Botanical and historical garden with beautiful views of the city from this garden; worth a visit. €4, guided visits and special prices for children.
From 2015 to 2017, the most visited monument in Malaga was the Alcazaba (650,320 visitors in 2017), whereas the most successful museum was the Picasso Museum (635,891 visitors in 2017).
- Visit the newly remodelled Port Area (south of the Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta). A hive of activity, especially at weekends, the new Port Area or Muelle Uno is a wonderful seaside addition to the city. Bars and restaurants abound overlooking the harbour and there are normally free music concerts and market stalls at weekends. A great place to people watch.
- Rock Climb. There is lots of great rock climbing in and around Málaga. The amazing El Chorro gorge is 50 minutes drive to the North West and this also features the King's little pathway (El Caminito del Rey) - an amazing pathway suspended high above the gorge. There is also Via Ferrata and rock climbing at El Torcal near Antequerra.
- Beaches: The nearest beach to the centre is La Malagueta - this is fine for a day's sunbathing although quieter and prettier beaches can be found further east or west. It can be a nice (if rather long!) walk along the waterfront to reach these beaches, otherwise you could get a bus from near the bull ring in the direction of El Palo (e.g. line 33). Malaga East tends to have smaller beaches while Malaga West have long streches of beaches.
- 1 Sightseeing Treasure Hunt Málaga (i cachr Málaga), Calle de Nicasio Calle 1 (Meeting point at Plaza de la Constitución), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. By appointment, tours last at least 2,5 hours. i cachr Málaga is a startup company and pioneers in Treasure Hunting Events in Málaga. They offer a Sightseeing Treasure Hunt for tourists and tailor made team building events for companies. Equipped with a treasure hunting bag, a treasure book with information and recommendations and a modern GPS-compass you explore the historical centre of Málaga, search for hidden items and solve challenging riddles to find the secret treasure. Tours last 3-4 hours, you are in your private group and do the treasure hunt at your own pace. i cachr Málaga offers a discount for travelling families. 20 - 35€.
- Semana Santa (Holy Week). The Holy Week processions in Málaga are known for at least 500 years, and are one of the oldest in all of Spain. They begin Palm Sunday and end Easter Sunday. The Spanish Legion's procession is a must see on Maundy Thursday.
- Spanish & Culture: If you have a school group, consider one of the immersion language courses at the On Spain Language School, including cultural and sports activity programme.
- Spanish: Take an intensive Spanish course at Málaga University and put it into practice at one of the city's many exciting bars.
- Spanish: Linguaschools Málaga is specialised in teaching Spanish in the old centre of Málaga since 1982.
- Spanish: There are many private language schools in Málaga offering a wide range of Spanish courses. To select the school and course that fit you best, you can search and compare schools and prices on Linganet Languages [formerly dead link].
- Salsa: Many bars and discos in Málaga offer free Salsa classes, such as The Sound in the center and The Swan in the trendy suburb town of Pedregalejo.
- 1 Central Market (Mercado Central de Atarazanas), Calle Atarazanas (north of the Alamada Principal). M-Sa 08:00-15:00. A lively market featuring regional produce and olive oil, fish, meat, and cheese, housed in a 19th-century wrought iron building. Don't miss the restored, enormous stained glass windows, as well as the large 14th-century Moorish gate incorporated into the building's southern façade.
- Librería Rayuela idiomas, on Calle Cárcer . A valuable resource, offering textbooks and dictionaries for learning just about any European language you could desire.
- Ricardo del Cid Fernandez (aka. Del Cid), Calle Caldereria 11, is a fantastic old school hat shop in the old town (selling real sombreros, Panama hats, etc.). Worth to visit even just because of the atmosphere and the very helpful owner.
- 2 SuperSol, Calle de las Atarazanas (across from the Mercado Central), ☏ . Oct-May M-Sa 08:30-21:30, Jun-Sep 09:00-21:30. A conveniently located branch of the Spanish supermarket chain.
- Bodeguita El Gallo, Calle San Agustin (Opposite to Picasso's museum's door). Typical Andalusian tavern evironment, Sweet Málaga wines and the most traditional tapas.
- Vegetarian Restaurant Calafate, Calle Andrés Perez, 7, ☏ . At in Málaga center, hidden gem around the corner from Thyssen Museum. Offers traditional Spanish & Andalucian dishes, with a vegetarian twist. Low-key interior with art for sale on the walls. Good choice for lunch and dinner.
- Cafetería Córdoba 7, Situated in street Córdoba, nº 7 in Málaga center, between the Port and Alameda Principal. Offers traditional and typical andalucian dishes, including soups, salads, meats and fishes or sandwiches, cakes, croissants or baguettes. Star dishes include: Gazpacho andaluz, Paella, Porra Antequerana, Rabo de Toro, Croquetas caseras, and many more. Breakfasts and meals with inexpensive prices.
- Along the coast there are dozens of restaurants and chiringuitos (beach restaurants) where you can have fish, seafood, paella, sangria, etc. One of the most famous chiringuitos is El Tintero, at the east end, where there is no menu: the waiters sing out what they are carrying and they leave you a plate at your signal. From time to time, one of them offers to give you the bill.
- The most typical thing to eat in Málaga is espetos, sardines squewered on a bamboo stick and grilled over a fire (typically driftwood); and pescaíto frito: all types of deep-fried fish from anchovies to squid. A speciality of Andalucia is fish (most commonly dogfish "cazon", although sometimes other fish such as tuna, "atun") marinated in a garlic and vinegar preparation - look on the menu for Cazon en adobo. Try also the coquinas (small clams cooked in white wine). Simply delicious!
Jamon is a regional specialty, and is an aged, salted ham, from acorn-fed pork, similar to prosciutto.
- Famous sweet Málaga wine can be tasted in popular pubs in the city center, like the famous old La Casa del Guardia (Avenue Alameda Principal) or the very typical El Pimpi where everyone, from celebrities to local teens meet.
- Restaurante Gallego Candamil, ☏ . Cuarteles 15. On the street leading from the train station to the centre, this Galician restaurant is very popular with the locals. This is understandable when you see the great range of quality tapas at fantastic prices, e.g. tapa of empanada €1.25, glass of cider €1.15.
- A Casa Gallega, ☏ . Fernán Núñez 2. Another Galician haunt a little further towards, although still outside, the center, this one does not have any menu but relies on the clientele knowing what they want. Good empanada, pimientos de Padrón. Atmospheric.
- Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro, ☏ . Castillo de Gibralfaro. Some report being disappointed by the restaurant at the Parador. The food was sub par, but the service by contrast was exemplary, together with all the nice little free appetizers, aperitifs, etc. Wine list tended towards the expensive but with the excellent idea of a monthly wine choice 'balancing quality and value', for example a very palatable Ribera del Duero Crianza at €10. Set menu €27 pp (plus VAT). Fantastic view of the city, especially from the terrace.
- Las Garrafas, ☏ . Calle Méndez Núñez 6. Winery and "taperia". Typical Málaga cuisine in a large and clean locale. Delicious and reasonably-priced food. Especially recommended are the mouth-watering "albondigones," large meatballs served alongside french fries.
- 1 Bodega-Bar El Pimpi, Calle Granada, 62 (entrance around the corner from the Museo Picasso), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 10:00-late. Enormously popular with both locals and tourists, this place serves up excellent food and wine. Despite being frequented by such celebrities as Antonio Banderas and Placido Domingo, the prices are very moderate.
- 2 Mesón Lo Güeno, Calle Marín García, 9, ☏ . Daily 12:00-24:00. Offers a large range of tapas and excellent wines.
- Málaga has a typically sweet wine called Moscatel made from muscat grapes.
Málaga nightlife will make you think that nobody sleeps in this town even during the work week! However, it is especially busy from Thursday to Sunday, where people buy their drinks in the supermarkets and have them at night in controlled areas known as "botellodromos" in the city center, before going into the clubs:
- Metropol, Cosa Nostra, Vaticano, Andén (big busy Latin club)
- Velvet Club (aka Sonic, plays metal, hardcore, punk) [not open Sundays]
- Nyx, Urbano, Village Green (Rock, Indie, etc.)
- White, Abyssinia, Bar El Sound (Rap, Hip Hop, R&B)
- Paradise/Punto G, Warhol (gay)
- ChillHouse ( house-dance music)
- There are several nice Moroccan-style tea houses in town, serving an amazing variety of teas in addition to other interesting non-alcoholic drinks.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
There are basically two good locations for tourist lodging in town: At the beach, or in or near the pedestrian zone in the center. The cheapest beds are found in the red light district between the center and the port.
- 1 Oasis Backpackers' Hostel Malaga, Calle San Telmo 14, ☏ . Check-in: midday, check-out: 11:30. The newest backpacker in town, amazing location right in the city center with big roof-top terrace to overlook lovely Málaga and a bar in the basement. Free wifi and breakfast. From €14, dorms and double rooms. Directions: From Busstation Paseo los Tilos its a 2-km walk to the Oasis Hostel at Calle San Telmo 14. Walk to the right of Paseo los Tilos turning into Callejones del Perchel. At the roundabout take a right into Avenida de la Aurora crossing the river. Continue the river bank on the this side for about 800m, (Pasilla de Santa Isabel) until you turn right into Calle de los Cisneros. Turn into the 4th street on the left, Calle Santos, next to the right, than left again, than right again into Calle San Telmo at No. 14 from €14.
- [formerly dead link] Down Town Hostel, Pasaje de Clemens 11, ☏ . Check-in: 01:00, check-out: 11:00. Just under the alcazaba, in a quiet street. Not too far from the beach, close to the city centre. Free wifi, nice people, nice rooftop. 16-20.
- Pension La Palma, Calle Martinez 7, ☏ . Run by a friendly lady, this cheap and cheerful place has rooms starting from €30. It's very central and some rooms have little balconies.
- Pension Costa Rica, Calle Córdoba 5, ☏ . Very primitive and in the middle of the red light district, but it seems to be one of the cheapest available. From €20.
- Picasso's Corner, San Juan de Letrán, 9, ☏ . Right in the historic district,close to the beach. Bar and lounge, food and disco shows! 15-20.
- 2 Hotel Alameda, Street Casas de campos, 3 (corner street Cordoba,9) (Next to the harbor, a short walk from Alameda Principal (sur) stop on the no. 19 bus.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Economic budget, centrally situated in Málaga center, between historical center and the Port. All rooms have private bathrooms, television and air-conditioning or heating. The hotel is on the eighth floor of a building shared with other businesses and you will need to use the buzzer (well labelled) to speak to reception so they can let you in. (Reception is manned 24 hours a day.) From €55.
- 3 Apartamentos Debambú, Calle Cintéria, 7, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Centrally located, with very clean rooms. Exceptionally clean and modern, with helpful staff. Free wi-fi, airport shuttle available. From €60/studio.
- Málaga Hotel, Acacias de Guadalmar 153 (on Guadalmar beach), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 3 star hotel with garden, swimming pool, jacuzzi, restaurant. Boardwalk with beach restaurants (chiringuitos). €60 - 119.
- 4 [dead link] Oficentro Suites, C/ Tomas Heredia, 8 (city centre), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The apartment is fully furnished and cleaning is done weekly. The contact person is Jose.
- 5 Hotel Santa Rosa, Carretera Málaga-Almería 125. Torrox Costa El Morche, ☏ . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 18:00. Hotel Santa Rosa is a small but welcoming hotel situated on the sea front. €45-98.
- Silken Puerta Málaga, Héroe de Sostoa 17, ☏ . Very stylish four-star from the Silken chain, opposite the main train station. Beautifully decorated rooms and bathrooms, with great attention to detail. Good discounted rates in winter (€56-69+VAT).
- Hotel Guadalmedina, Pasillo del Matadero, 16, ☏ . €55-90.
- Suites del Pintor, C/ Montaño 18 Portal 3, ☏ . Bright, comfortable apartments in Malaga's historic centre
- Hotel MS Maestranza Málaga, Avda. Cánovas del Castillo 1 29016 Málaga, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Nice 4-star hotel in the centre of Malaga.
- Higueron Hotel Malaga, Curio Collection by Hilton, Avenida del Higueron, 48, Fuengirola, Malaga, 29640, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00.
- NH Málaga, Avenida Río Guadalmedina, ☏ . In the historic and commercial centre of Málaga, next to the 'Puente de la Esperanza' and a short stroll from the 'Museo de la Expiración'. Its excellent location makes it easy to enjoy Málaga's unique personality.
- Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro, Castillo de Gibralfaro, ☏ . Fantastic location with spectacular views (best on 3rd floor) over the city. Sitting area and balcony. €135 +VAT, breakfast €11.
- Hotel del Pintor, Álamos 27, ☏ . Opened in 2005, the Hotel del Pintor is a small urban hotel that combines design and technology with personalized attention. Central location in the historic center, near Picasso's birthplace. €74-121.
Málaga has exceptional road and motorway links, making it an excellent base for exploring the nearby villages and towns. Wonderful drives inland reveal the hidden gems of this region, with small restaurants nestling in the hills where you can experience a truly authentic taste of Andalucia.
Berrocal's Museum System. Exhibition venue around the work of the sculptor Miguel Berrocal in the Andalusian village of Villanueva de Algaidas, in the outskirts of Málaga. The project offers the possibility to visit 3 exhibit spaces:
- The Museum has its first wing dedicated to painting and graphical works.
- The Studio-Workshop is where you can be discover the complex creative and technical process for the production of his disassemblable works.
- The House-Museum allows to better know the polyhedric personality of Berrocal and see some of the most important art of the 900 through the works of his artist friends.